Saturday, August 31, 2013

How Maggie Stiefvater helped me through a career crisis and didn't even know it!

Now fair warning this is going to be a long post. I don't often post things about my life, I like to stick to bookish things but this is something I wrote and wanted to share. I've also started thinking about my blog and I put a lot of work in to it behind the scenes but I feel like a lot of my followers don't really know me so here is the first step in getting to know Emily.

My sister Bethany and Me (I'm on the right)
I hope that at minimum you know I am in Law School. I just started my third year and that means in the next year I will take the bar and become a lawyer. What you might not know is that I have been dealing with a crisis of profession. I went to Law School right after Undergrad because if I didn’t go straight away I wouldn’t have been able to afford it. The way my student loans are I never would have been able to pay them without consolidating and I can only consolidate once thus turning all my yearly loans in to one big loan. Well, I couldn’t afford to pay 4 small loans so I would have had to consolidate right out of undergrad and then I never would have been able to pay 3 medium sized loans in addition at the end of law school so I was put in a weird position. Either choose to go to law school at 21 or never go at all. I don’t like being told what to do and I wouldn’t want to miss the chance altogether so I went to Law School.

This is USD Law School on a good day (there are few good days)
The problem I’m realizing now is that I went to law school for absolutely no reason. I’m not passionate about being a lawyer or what lawyers represent. To be completely honest I went to please my parents. And they are pleased with me. They have never been happier or treated me better then they have since I began Law  School. My Mom brags about me every chance she gets, and my Dad talks about me at work. It wasn’t like they were never happy with me before but I can finally tell that I have done something to make them truly proud of me. 

So that brings me to my crisis. I HATE Law School and not in that abstract way that makes you dislike things that are challenging but in the cringe when I wake up in the morning, don’t care what classes I’m going to pick next term because I will not like them anyway kind of way. I’m completely apathetic toward Law  School, I just don’t care about it and the reason I don’t care is because it was never what I wanted to do in the first place. Had my student loans not been forcing me to make a decision taking a couple years off from school would have been good for me! I would have loved to graduate college, evaluate my life, and actually see if Grad school was for me or not. At 21, when I was sending out applications, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my ENTIRE life! And now I’m stuck. I’m going to have to finish law school, become a lawyer, and live out the rest of my days doing something I don't like to pay for graduate school I didn’t really want to go to.


This is the part where Maggie Stiefvater comes in, in case you were wondering if I was ever going to get to the point or if I just titled this post something interesting instead of ‘crappy law school rant’. I read Maggie’s blog all the time, I still contend that the woman could write a post about paint drying and I would love it and rave about the character development of the paint as it went from wet to dry, seriously. For those of you who don’t read Maggie's blog she rally races (more on that here)! This is something I have always wanted to do! One of my first passions was cars. In High School I obsessively followed the WRC (World Rally Championship) and my parents even bought me the car of my dreams a Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Ralley, which further fed my obsession. In an earlier post as part of the Dear Teen Me Blog Tour I shared a letter my 16 year old self wrote to me at 21 and as you can see I’m not making this stuff up. It basically said love your family, love your car, better make sure to have a Ferrari! I obviously had my priorities straight.

So after reading Maggie’s post a little seed was planted in my head. Maggie is a fiction writer right? So what is she doing racing cars?! I started realizing that maybe I could be a lawyer but that didn’t have to be my entire life. I could be a lawyer and a:

  • Rally racer
  • Writer
  • Publishing intern (or at least I could get a job in the legal department maybe?)
  • Book Blogger
  • Graffiti Artist (I could take over for Banksy if he wants to retire)
  • Bakery Owner
  • Clothing Designer (Just BE clothing line of course, we would also do perfume)
  • Prison Warden
  • Regular Artist (In case Banksy doesn’t want to retire)
  • World Traveler
  • A DJ (Everyone’s a DJ!)
Okay, some of those jobs are a little less realistic then others but at one point in my life they are all careers I have considered. I’m actually totally serious about opening that bakery the only thing stopping me is the early mornings (and the bank doesn’t want to loan me more money =P).

In essence Maggie got me thinking (and listening to music you probably won’t like) that my profession doesn’t have to be my life. It only has to be a piece of the person I am. I can do other things! After feeling trapped in a life I made for myself but didn’t want it felt so liberating to know that I can be a lawyer and do something else; that this decision to go to school had not changed my life so completely that I would never be able to do anything I liked ever again. At 24 I’m still young enough to have a life, make dumb decisions, and I’m not stuck!


So I want to thank Maggie, without ever knowing she was doing anything she helped me realize I can still have a life. That I can be 2 or 3 or 10 different professions if I want! This year I’m happily going to finish Law School and become a lawyer because while it may be my profession it isn’t who I am. I am still Emily, but now I’m Emily the Lawyer/Armature Astronomer/Rally Racer/Bakery Owner/World Traveler/Graffiti Artist! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Publisher: Dial (Penguin)
Publication Date: August 15, 2013
GoodreadsAmazon

Review:
Violet and her brother Luke are old money but the money has run out. They’re living in a crumbling mansion while their flighty artist parents are in Europe. To make some extra money Violet puts up an add to rent out the guest house, River West answers that add and suddenly Violets life is changed and so is the entire town.

I loved just how creepy this novel was. I was always trying to figure out what was happening and all signs constantly pointed back to River being behind all of the strange happenings around town. River is a lovely, wealthy, liar who makes Violet feel so at ease. I never trusted him because I don’t think Violet ever does. While she likes him there is just something off about River and as the novel progresses I liked that Violet knew to keep her distance even if she wasn’t sure she wanted to. 

I immediately liked Violet. She is quirky, while still remaining rather dark. She was completely unapologetic about the way she acts and how she thinks. At times I felt Violet was rather judgment, especially regarding her friend Sunshine, but you can tell she has a good heart. I also liked the way she keeps her grandmother, who everyone including Violet calls, Frankie alive in her memory. Even though Frankie was never in the story I felt like I knew her through Violet. 

Tucholke excels at writing dysfunctional sibling relationships. Violet and Luke are twins and one second it feels like they hate each other but the next you can tell just how much they truly care about one another. The dynamics just feel real and the sibling relationships between Violet and Luke as well as between River and Neely became one of my favorite aspects of the story. 

My one gripe with Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is that I found the ending to be a bit of a cop out. I wanted it to be so much creepier then it actually was. If Tucholke had taken the novel to its natural conclusion it would have been dark, terrible, and I would have loved every word. Instead things wrap up rather nicely and none of our main characters are forced to be the bad guy. 

Overall, despite the ending I still really enjoyed Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. It was creepy, whimsical, and I enjoyed all of the old movie references. I will definitely be picking up the sequel, 2014 can’t get here fast enough.

*The rating of this book was changed from 4 to 5 stars are part of my post In Which I Reconsider Book Ratings

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: The Winner's Curse


The Winner's Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Tor)
Expected Publication: March 4, 2014
Goodreads

Synopsis:
In the tradition of Kristin Cashore and Cassandra Clare comes this brilliant, unputdownable, star-crossed romance about the curse of winning.
Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is an aristocratic citizen of Valoria, a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Here, a girl like Kestrel has two choices: join the military or get married. Despite her skills in military strategy, Kestrel’s real passion is music.Which is why she feels compelled to buy Arin, a slave with a talent for singing, at auction. It’s not long before she finds herself falling in love with Arin, and he seems to feel the same for her. But Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for Arin is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart
My Thoughts: I loved The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski when I read it last year and after reading an excerpt from this novel here, I think The Winner's Curse will be just as good! Not to mention I've got a huge case of cover love!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Top 10 Most Memorable Secondary Characters


Top 10 Most Memorable Secondary Characters 

1 Rusty and Angela- Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
"I absolutely loved Kami's best friend and her brother Rusty. Both of them were so cute! I loved that they were so alike, and were constantly falling asleep places. It made them even quirkier then some of the other characters and that is saying something!" I feel like that quote from my review of Unspoken kind of sums up my love for these two.

2 Isaac- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The book was about two kids with cancer falling in love, and I think somehow Isaac gets forgotten in all the gushing over Hazel and Gus. Isaac was a pretty big part of the story though and every time I think of this novel I think of him. 

3 Valentine Wiggin- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
This girl blew me away. I loved the political intrigue portion of this novel that Valentine and Peter started. 

4 Josh, Roshmi, & Meredith- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This entire novel was really cute and I adored Anna and Etienne but the story wouldn't have been nearly as good without this friend group surrounding these two!

5 Zuzana-The Daughter of Smoke and Bone & Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
This girl is a true friend to Karou! She comes across the desert with only vague e-mails as clues to find her best friend. And The love story between Zuzana and Mik was one of the few shiny happy spots in Days of Blood and Starlight. Can't wait to see more of them both in the final book of this series.  

6 Jackal- The Immortal Rules and The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
I love me some crazy villains and while he became less of one in book 2 Jackal definitely still retained some of his craziness. He is actually probably my favorite character in this series. 

7 All of the supporting characters- The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Can I just say that I love all of the characters in this book? Even the “bad guys” who I’m not supposed to like, I ended up liking in the end. I just loved Puck’s younger brother Finn, who is always tinkering with something and can be a bit flighty but truly loves and cares for his sister. The American, George Holly, who always reminded me of old Hollywood combined with a bit of California glamour and Dory Maud who has become something of a second mother to the Connolly kids.

8 Jims- The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski
Jims, in the beginning has amazing one-liners that had me giggling and rolling my eyes like I do with my own friends. Actually the supporting characters and the friendship they have play a pretty important role in this book and it was one of the reasons I liked this so much.

“Isn't that... isn't that what friends do? They change our perspective on the world. Part of why we care about them is because we love that feeling. The feeling of being changed.”-Marie Rutkoski, The Shadow Society
9 Jordan Baker- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Golf star. I can't even say I really like the girl but she is definitely memorable. 

10 Prim- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Prim is the entire reason Katniss enters the games and after everything that happens in Mockingjay, well I guess it should be obvious why she made my list of most memorable secondary characters.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cover Reveal: Hothouse Flower

Hothouse Flower
Release Date: February 2014

Summary from Goodreads:

Ryke Meadows, meet Daisy Calloway ... she’s all grown up.


Twenty-five-year-old Ryke Meadows knows he’s hard to love. With a billion-dollar inheritance, a track-star resume, and an alpha-male personality—he redefines the term likable asshole. But he’s not living to make friends. Or enemies. After months helping his brother through rehab and sobriety, he just wants to free climb three of the toughest mountains in Yosemite without drama or interruption.

And then he receives a distressed call from a girl in Paris—a girl that he has never been allowed to have.

Daisy Calloway is eighteen. Finally. With her newfound independence, she can say goodbye to her overbearing mother and continue her modeling career. Next stop, Paris. Fashion week begins with a bang, and Daisy uncovers the ugly reality of the industry. She wants to prove to her family that she can live on her own, but when everything spirals out of control, she turns to Ryke to keep her secrets.

As Daisy struggles to make sense of this new world and her freedom, she pushes the limits and fearlessly rides the edge. Ryke knows there’s deep hurt beneath every impulsive action. He must keep up with Daisy, and if he lets her go, her favorite motto—“live as if you’ll die today”—may just come true.

Standalone New Adult Romance: recommended for readers 18+ for mature content

About the Authors
Becca Ritchie is a carnivore of pop culture, television, film and of course YA and NA books. While in college, she worked at The CW television network and put her vampiric knowledge to good use, blogging about hit series and swooning over actors’ abs. When she’s not blogging, she writes novels and has teamed up with her twin sister for their New Adult novel ADDICTED TO YOU. Available July of 2013.

Krista Ritchie is the mind behind popular trading website YA Book Exchange and created Nawanda Files, a book blog that also features books into movies news. When not pouring over entertainment news and the newest releases, she spends her time conducting research in a genetics lab. She’s happy to join forces with her sister, harnessing their twin powers to produce the first in a New Adult series.


Becca’s Links:

Krista’s Links:
GoodreadsTwitter

Cover Reveal Oranized by:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 72

Not to many new books this week but the books I bought were both on super good sale! I picked up a hardback copy of Fateful from Amazon for under 3 dollars and I got Chosen Ones and The Pace for 99 cents on Nook! I love me some deals lol

Bought
Fateful by Claudia Gray
Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt
The Pace by Shelena Shorts

From The Publisher:
One More Day by L.S Murphy (and others)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Awaken by Meg Cabot

2/5 Stars
Awaken (Abandon #3)
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Point (Scholastic)
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
GoodreadsAmazon


Review:
This series, for me, has been an exercise in indifference. I was indifferent to the first book, Abandon, and had I not borrowed the second one from the library at the same time I borrowed the first one I probably wouldn’t have read it. After reading Underworld I figured I had already come this far and I should read Awaken just to finish things up. That brings us to this point. I finished Awaken and want to know how I feel? Indifferent.

From the outset I neither loved nor hated Pierce. She was simply the main character and nothing she did ever seemed out of the ordinary or pulled me in one direction or the other. She never pissed me off with her decisions or left me wanting her to be more aggressive. Pierce is just there, and this novel felt no different. I did like that she embraced John and her position as consort of the Underworld in this novel though.

Then there was John, he was silent and brooding as ever, he actually was missing for a portion of the novel and his absence was felt. I guess in that section of the novel I liked Pierce a little more just because she was expressing emotion and working toward getting John back. 

In all honesty the synopsis (which can be found here) for this book is way more exciting then the book itself. I feel like while the stuff listed in the synopsis happens it was presented in such a manner that left me feeling blasé. This novel didn’t suffer from a lack of action either. I think the problem, for me, was that the action never felt immediate or like anything important was on the line. Either they solved the problem or they didn’t and I couldn’t bring myself to care either way. 

Overall, this book wasn’t bad it just left me feeling nothing and I probably won’t remember what happened in it this time next year. There were no technical problems I just think this series suffered from a lack of soul and because that something intangible was missing from the story I wasn’t able to ever really love it.

Thank you Scholastic and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advanced readers copy of Awaken.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The One Summer Cover Reveal

That One Summer (Summer #3)
Author: CJ Duggan
Expected Publication: 2014
Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …He sure could kiss.
As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.
So that can only mean one thing: road trip!
No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.
She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?
After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.
Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.
Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.


About The Author
C.J Duggan is an Australian author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia.The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.
For more on C.J and ‘The Summer Series’, visit www.cjdugganbooks.com

Giveaway
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: A Mad, Wicked Folly


A Mad, Wicked Folly
Author: Sharon Biggs Waller
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (Penguin)

Expected Publication: January 23, 2014
Goodreads

Synopsis:
Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?
My Thoughts: I've been getting in to period pieces lately and this one sounds like a period piece mixed with a heavy dose of drama, just my style!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
GoodreadsAmazon

Review:
I adored Throne of Glass, I enjoyed it so much that I actually went and bought all of the prequel novellas. This is a huge feat for me! Throne of Glass is actually the only series I’ve ever bought novellas for. And if possible I loved the novellas even more then the first book itself. Needless to say my expectations for Crown of Midnight were set high, and unfortunately while the story was enjoyable I didn’t like it nearly as much as the first book of the novellas.

I’ve been thinking about the reasons I didn’t love this book for a couple months now and I think the problem wasn’t necessarily with the characters because I still love each of them. I think it was the pacing of the story and the plot itself that left me wanting something more. Let me explain, there was just a lot of down time in Crown of Midnight there was Celaena researching, brooding, following people, eating, whining, being the king’s champion, walking, hanging out at the library, exploring underground. It felt like I was always waiting for the action to begin and when it actually did begin it felt lackluster. There was a lot of buildup in Crown of Midnight for future novels I think.

Despite the fact that Celaena spent a lot of time doing menial tasks she was still an absolute badass in this novel! Whenever she had the chance she shined and I definitely think she is still one of the strongest and most kick-ass heroines in YA!

One of my favorite things about Crown of Midnight was the relationship developments between Celaena and Chaol! I wasn’t really sure how I felt about the two of them in the first book. I actually liked Celaena with Dorian in Throne of Glass and in the novella’s I LOVED Celaena with Sam…actually I still kind of want Celaena /Sam to work out even though it is completely impossible. Anyway, back to my original point! I really like Celaena and Chaol in this novel and hope that Celaena can finally be happy.

I think my biggest non-plot related disappointment with Crown of Midnight was the lack of Arobynn. I understand he wasn’t really in the first novel but after reading the novella’s I couldn’t get enough of him! Arobynn is just a good bad guy. The type that has no redeemable qualities and just when you think he can’t get any worse he sells you out even more. I really do hope he makes an appearance in later novels.

Overall, Crown of Midnight was an entertaining sequel but I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as the book and novellas that proceeded it. I am still definitely looking forward to the next installment in the series though!  

Thank you Bloomsbury USA and Netgalley for allowing me to review an advanced reader's copy of this novel.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

3/5 Stars
Dirty Little Secret
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
AmazonGoodreads

Review:
Dirty Little Secret is my first Jennifer Echols book but it definitely won’t be the last! For the first few pages I was sucked in to this Nashville world of Country and Blue Grass and despite the fact that I know absolutely nothing about either of those things I was still able to enjoy the story and found each of the characters to be fun and relatable.

The story centers around Bailey, an amazing fiddle player whose sister has signed with a major recording studio and what was once a duo is now a solo act. I liked that Bailey was portrayed in such a real way. She wasn’t the perfect sister, she was jealous of Julie, her younger sister, resentful about the way her parents treated her, and rebellious. All of these traits made Bailey someone you wanted to root for so that she could have that happy ending and not have her life turn in to a country song. 

Then there was Sam who is determined to make it big in the music industry but he doesn’t want to be a solo act he wants a band and Bailey is his way to that perfect band. With his singing and her fiddle playing they could be that something different the music executives are looking for. Despite Sam’s often single minded drive to make it big, I still liked the guy. Sam is just the right combination of cocky and vulnerable. The relationship that develops between him and Bailey had me exasperated at some points and then at others I just wanted them to be together so bad! I like the happy balance that Echols strikes with the romance.

Overall, Dirty Little Secret was a fun, quick read. I liked being immersed in a country world and reading about the struggles Bailey has with her sister, parents, and band. I’m now looking forward to getting my hands on more books by Echols!Dirty Little Secret is my first Jennifer Echols book but it definitely won’t be the last! For the first few pages I was sucked in to this Nashville world of Country and Blue Grass and despite the fact that I know absolutely nothing about either of those things I was still able to enjoy the story and found each of the characters to be fun and relatable. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 70

So this local used book store (in WA) smelled like cat pee and I avoided it like the plague. I decided to give it a second chance and boy am I glad I did! It is totally cleaned up now and I was able to get LA Candy for 25 cents and an ARC copy of In The After!  

Bought/Won
In The After by Demitria Lunetta
L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad
Wake by Lisa McMann
Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by
The Symptoms of my Insanity by Mindy Raf (Thanks Emily's Crammed Bookshelf!)
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Pleasant surprise the author signed the copy I won!

Netgalley/Edelweisss
The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Blog Tour
Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins
Belonging by Karen Ann Hopkins
Count Down by Michelle Rowen