Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Service Update

I am currently on hiatus (obviously) because the semester has become overwhelming. However, I'll be back in action in a couple of months! I love all of you, and I'm still reading--just at a slower pace. :P 

Drowning in heavy Literature texts,
Mollie <3 font="">

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bookdictive Liebster Award Nomination!

Woot!!!!! I got nominated for my first ever Liebster Award by Litha Nelle over at Victorian Soul Book Critiques

For those of you who are clueless as to what it is, Liebster means "dearest" in German and the award is something bloggers pass on to other bloggers they like or whose blogs they admire. It seems it has been around the blogosphere since about 2010 and appears to be going strong.

This particular Liebster Award has a different variation of the rules:

1. Link and Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator asks.
3. Pick 11 other bloggers who have 200 or less followers.
4. Ask the 11 bloggers you nominated 11 questions and let them know you nominated them!

Here are the questions and my answers. Below it is my own list of questions. 
1. What is your favorite time of day to read?
My favorite time to read is late at night. I love coming home, getting ready for bed, and curling up with a book or my Kindle until I get sleepy.

2. What makes your favorite book your favorite: the characters, the plot, or something else?
Like every other reviewer out there, my list of favorite books is endless. But I have to say, a longtime favorite of mine, Gone With the Wind (not YA lol) is a favorite because a) It's fantastic historical fiction from the viewpoint of the unpopular side b) It's long and well-written and c) Because Scarlett is the most selfish and yet complex character. You WANT to hate her, and you probably do (I think I do, at least), but at the same time, you love her. You lament her stupid decisions (WHO SAYS NO TO RHETT BUTLER?!) and want to throw things when she ruins EVERYTHING. But in the end, she'll become one of your favorite characters of all time.

3. What is your favorite dessert?
I love fruit desserts: Apple crumble, berry cobbler, etc. But I also love anything chocolate!

4. Do you have a favorite villain? (Literary or otherwise)
Undoubtedly Darth Vader. Anakin Skywalker/Vader, to be exact. Kinda like Scarlett O'Hara, he's complex and I love him because I see what led him to the Dark Side. 
5. What three books would you bring to a deserted island with you, if you had everything you needed (food, water, shelter, bookshelves, etc.)?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; probably my Norton Anthology of Romantic Literature (plenty to read, it's a huge text); and a trashy romance book because, hello, I'm stranded on an island. It's practically a requirement! 
6. Which book do you consider underrated and under-read (people don't read it as much)?
Oooo tough one. Currently, I'm trying to get my friends to read Cinder by Marissa Meyer but they won't bite. Same goes for Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Both received five stars from me! 
7. If you could travel to another universe (bookish or otherwise), would you stay here or go?
8. If you could travel back in time once, where would you go, and what would you do?
Scottish highlands before the Jacobite stuff. I went through a terrible Highland Romance phase and devoured like 30 books.
9. Is there a book you think is over-hyped (a lot of people like it, but you don't)?
The Selection series. Poorly developed characters that all have good things happen to them are cleverly concealed behind gorgeous covers. 
10. If you could meet any author (living or dead), who would you meet, and why?
J.K. Rowling. She's just...ugh. She's amazing. Brilliant. Fluid and talented writer. She's my idol.
11. Do you judge a book by its cover?
Fo sho! But I love being proven wrong. ;)

Here are my 11 questions that you must answer: 
1. When did you first realize that you loved reading?
2. Who is your least favorite literary character of all time?
3. What book-to-movie adaptation do you approve of?
4. How many books do you think you own? (electronic and/or hardcopy)
5. What is a book or series that you couldn't bring yourself to love, but everyone else seemed to love?
6. If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would you pick and why?
7. What is your favorite highbrow/respected work of literature?
8. What is your favorite (pick one) "fun" work of literature? 
9. What genre can you absolutely not stand to read?
10. Who is your favorite literary character?
11. What is the most gorgeous and cover-coveting worthy book cover you've ever seen? 

Okay, so, that's it! I look forward to seeing the posts from the people I nominate! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Elementalists by C. Sharp

So, I finished reading this two days ago (yay ARCs, yay Diversion Books! They're such a nice publishing company) and I feel silly because I had NO IDEA THE AUTHOR WAS A GUY. Oops :P Not like it matters, but I've definitely noticed over the years that men and women each have their own distinctive voices. This changes my perspective a lot, but my review won't go up for awhile since the publishing date is so far off.

ANYWAY, time for the reveal!
*drum roll*

Isn't it pretty???? 
What I love about it is that it totally relates to the book. The girl looks similar to how I pictured the MC, Chloe, to look; and the lightening in the background is fitting, as it plays a pretty central role in the story. It's dramatic, it's blue (which I love), and it's impressive. But what do you guys think?? Let me know in the comments!

It is the hottest year on record for the fifth year in a row, and famine riots spread across much of Africa. Along the Gulf Coast, the hurricane season is one of the worst in memory. The latest in a string of 9.0 strength earthquakes has claimed two-hundred thousand lives in central China. Far below the earth’s crust, imprisoned in ancient slumber, the elemental powers of the land grow restless...

All seems normal in small town Virginia, where fifteen year old Chloe McClellan dreads the start of her sophomore year. Whip-smart, athletic and genuine, she’s also a bit of an angry loner who is totally unaware of her charms. Despite her plans to stay under the radar, Chloe becomes a target for the fiery queen of the It-girls in fifth period gym. She then draws instant notoriety when she’s struck by lightning after her first disastrous day of school. As if that weren’t bad enough, she soon comes to believe, that either she’s going insane, or her accident has unleashed a powerful and terrifying creature from the mythological world—triggering the final countdown to the world’s sixth great extinction level event.

Chloe finds some solace as she inexplicably wins the affections of an unlikely trio of male classmates: the earthy and gregarious captain of the football team, the flighty stoner with a secret, and an enigmatic transfer student who longs for the sea. All the while she struggles with the growing realization that “Dragons” exist, and she may be the only one who can stop them.

The Elementalists, book one of the Tipping Point Prophecy, follows Chloe and her group of friends, and enemies, as they struggle to save humanity by harnessing the power of the elements.

Author bio:
This is C. Sharp’s debut novel. He studied English Literature and Anthropology at Brown University and Mayan Archaeology at the Harvard Field School in Honduras. He works in film and commercial production. Chris now lives in Concord, MA with his wife and daughter.

Goodreads link:

Sales widget (pre-order links will go live on Friday 8/8):




Monday, July 28, 2014

Heart of Dread: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz

Howdy Bookdictives, I'm back from my book break! After a slew of mediocre books, I took some well-deserved time off. I knew I was out of my slump when, all of the sudden, I decided to read not one, but two books over the course of four days.
The first book I read was the one that took me three out of those four days. Normally, you'd think a reviewer would want to avoid reviewing books they've rated at one- or two-stars on their blogs (as opposed to GR), but I'm not like most reviewers! 

Last month, I had a one-star NA that I only talked about on GR, but now I bring to you...my first one-star YA of the summer! 

Book: Heart of Dread: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
Rating: 1/5 stars
Bookdictive Categorization: Utter crap.

Okay first off: Hola, mucho confusing title. Every time I went to pick up my Kindle, I would think, "Heart of...Frozen...Frozen Heart?" and then that song from Frozen would start playing in my head.
Fun story: I used to joke this was the best song on the soundtrack and now it's the ringtone that plays when I call one of my bff's on her cell. Frozen Heart>>>>Let it Go amirite?

But no, it's Heart of Dread, which I guess is the name of the series; book the first being Frozen. Now that we've cleared that up, on to the story! 
Right away we get this really confusing flashback of the MC, named nat in my really awful mobi version (unless she actually goes by nat, not Nat. Seriously, was this thing edited????) escaping from some sort of facility/mental asylum/dystopian testing center. Eventually she decides to hire Wes the Mercenary and his ragtag group of street rat ex-military teenagers to get her to the Blue, the mysterious fabled land where the sky is blue and there's birds.
Okay, some confusion is to be expected. But after processing this, I thought back to Chapter One, with its barrage of lingo, terms, and acronyms. I, who have read all of the Song of Ice and Fire books, couldn't keep up with everything. It was like because of the two genres, de la Cruz kept tennis balling back and forth between them. But this isn't ASoIaF, and you don't have 1,000+ pages to learn the lingo. So two chapters in, you've gotten: 
"Mages' marks...the marked children could do things--read minds, make things move without touching them, sometimes even predict the future. Enchanters, they were called, warlocks, "lockheads" and "chanters" in the popular slang." Never mind that you don't hear those terms again, because it's not important apparently. Then, down the page, even though they were mentioned in the first five pages with no explanation: "...sylphs, a race of beings of luminous beauty and awesome power."
There's also some "smallmen" which is a nice term for ice midgets. BUT BACK TO THE STORY, because none of these mysterious peeps that came out of the poorly-explained ice, caused by the Big Freeze (sounds like a delicious frozen dessert) are really featured again, if at all.
In fact, here's some more examples of things-that-aren't-important-but-are-somehow-vital-to-the-story-and-yet-almost-never-talked-about-again, plus just general inaccuracies:
-Textlish, which is introduced in this great sentence, "...textlish--which had been compared to Egyptian hieroglyphics by bygone intellectuals and academics--had been invented by a couple of kids with their handhelds before the Big Freeze. The latest rBes, or "reading-Based entertainment," were all composed in textlish." I'm sorry, what? rBes? How is that even pronounced?
-The money system, called watts, or credits if the author chooses. Mentioned only as either ransom money (10,000 watts) or measly amounts like one watt, these don't serve much of a purpose because this world is deprived of natural resources and yet somehow, people find money to gamble in New Vegas. And apparently, they're made of platinum. Because a monetary system made of platinum in a frozen dystopic world makes sense. 
-The time when Nat dresses up as a rich trophy wife "with the help of a video blog and a few silver coins from Wes' stash" called a tai tai so she can single-handedly enter into a high-stakes poker game in K-Town (which I'm pretty sure stands for Korean-Town, which has taken over what was once L.A. I guess) to win back Wes' fastest ship in the galaxy land. Which of course she does, all in the matter of a couple pages. 
-The military not knowing how to upgrade any sort of system, just maintain it. Okay. 
-Nat finally having this random flashback about wanting to kill one of Wes' mercenary friends, sparking a memory of her three year old self wanting to kill a neighbor's mean kid. But move along, it's really not important. 
-How a guy who turns out to be a traitor but he's just a young boy like the rest in this godforsaken world so cut him some slack ends up dying and no words on his behalf are said. Nat describes the scene when he dies at the hands of some friendly-yet-deadly sea monster-dragon, "Daran was one of their team, but there had been no words spoken...no blessings, but then, perhaps he had not been worthy of any. The dead couple had given their lives for their friends, but Daran would only have brought death to his team." SORRY, didn't realize that there is only black and white, and that the value of a human life is only who has helped who, and who hasn't. 
-The giant reveal of the giant secret that none of us knew Nat had about Wes' long-lost twin sister until a few pages before. I have to write the whole exchange because it's just one quick, confusing paragraph: 
""...our specialty was people." He clenched his jaw and tossed his cards to the floor. "No. No. Don't tell me that. You had nothing to do with Eliza!" "I'm a monster...I...hurt people...your sister..." He shook his head, tears coming to his eyes. "Your sister is dead, Wes. Because of me. I killed her." "No!" "The night you described, the fire that came from nowhere, the fact that there were no remains...oh god, Wes, the things I used to do...the things they made me do...the things I can do..." "no, Nat, no! You had nothing to do with that!" He took her hands in his fists. "Look at me. Listen to me! It wasn't you. You had nothing to do with that!"" This is all within the last 18% of the book. I read that whole exchange THREE TIMES because I couldn't make sense of it. But Nat is the most special snowflake in Frozen and so of COURSE there's blind acceptance of her past because Wes loves Nat even though he's consumed with the loss of Eliza, the girl more important than ANYTHING else in this awful, trash-filled frozen world of bleakness and despair.
-The epic ending that all the other reviewers seemed to think was "exciting" and "suspensful " and "thrilling" and blah blah IT LASTS FOR FIVE PAGES WITH ALMOST NO DETAIL!!!!! I don't get it! I FINISHED THIS BOOK. I DESERVE A BETTER END BATTLE. Not this random dragon that appears out of the ocean, which I'm forced to accept is actually Nat in dragon form (wth????). The dragon that can talk to her, tells her that she has this bogus long-lost name that she "knew about all along" because even though she never had any idea she had this connection, she's a mage so WHO CARES! IT IS THEREFORE IMPORTANT!

At the end of my notes, I wrote this, and still stand by it: I just don't know what this book is about. Obviously I see the themes, but now, at the end, suddenly it's about dragons? What happened to all the hype about the Blue? There's never any backstory in this. Why are things a certain way, but then reason is shrugged off and Nat is suddenly able to fly, etc. Where's the timeline of events? I have no clue how the Blue can be discovered, but then it not be important, and then Wes leaves Nat there (a thinly veiled way to set up Book Two), all within less than a page.  

This book was so terrible. I really loved de la Cruz's Blue Bloods, which came out right after Twilight and I reread almost as many times in 2007. I read the Ring and the Crown, which fantastic but was decent. I even read The Ashleys, her book series that read like Gossip Girl but for middle schoolers. Melissa de la Cruz has proven that she CAN do PNR, but what she's really talented at is the type of removed, omnipotent voice that is prevalent in series like Gossip Girl and the A-List. With no jewels, opulence, and teenaged drama to focus on (even the Ring and the Crown had it, and that was historical fiction!), her writing is just...bland. Her plot falls to pieces. It's like she saw Disney's Frozen, decided that dystopia is hot right now, but didn't care enough about her characters or her world-building to devote the time and energy to it. That's where I think the random bits of fantasy come in. Like she just said "whatever" and published this mess because she wanted another book on the shelves. Read her other works, but don't read this one. 

***a galley of this was sent to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, and in no way reflects the views of the publisher or author***

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Perfected Release Day Book Blitz!

HAPPY JULY MY FELLOW BOOKDICTIVES! I hope y'all are having a good week. If you're like me, you're staying indoors and perfecting sunless tanning (who knew the term "pearly whites" could be applied to more than just your teeth lol) by reading, watching the World Cup (USAUSAUSAUSAUSA!), and enjoying all the fabulous summer sales on pretty much everything under the sun. 

But here's something that won't cost you any money whatsoever: A book blitz of Perfected, which is a YA dystopian Cinderella story from one of my favorite publishers, Entangled Teen. You get a signed book AND a necklace if you win. It's totally worth it because, well, read this synopsis!

Release Date: 07/01/14
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Perfection comes at a price.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

For fans of Keira Cass’s Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.


Praise for Perfected:
“Compelling, imaginative, and unique. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough!”

— Mary Lindsey, author of Shattered Souls

Still not sold? 
Here's an excerpt:
I sat in my room on the couch near the window staring out at the last bit of gold staining the sky. I couldn’t place the feeling growing inside me. It was as if the flavor of Ruby’s butterscotch and Penn’s music still lingered on my tongue, a taste that was both bittersweet and totally divine.
This place was more beautiful than I ever could have imagined, but it was more confusing, too. It felt as if a conversation was going on around me, but I could only hear bits and pieces of it, and now I was trying desperately to string those bits together to make a sentence that I could actually understand.
The room was growing dark, but I didn’t feel like turning on the bright light of the chandelier that hung at the end of my bed. In the shadows, I almost became a part of the room.
Miss Gellner had always admonished us to go to bed by nine o’clock each night. “Sleep feeds beauty,” she always used to say. But I wasn’t at all tired.
Just as I was about to get up from the couch to crawl into bed, there was a small tap at the door. Before I had a chance to respond, the door cracked open, letting the yellow light from the hallway spill into the room. The Congressman’s large body stood silhouetted in the doorframe.
“Ella?” he called, poking his head into the room.
I sat up straighter on the couch and arranged a content expression on my face.
“Please, come in,” I said, pressing down the tremble in my voice.
The Congressman strode into the room and sat beside me on the couch. The light was nearly gone from the sky and the only bit of illumination in the room was the yellow rectangle of light in the doorway. Sitting in the dark next to him felt too intimate, and I wished I had at least turned on a lamp.
“How was your first full day in your new house?” the Congressman asked.
“It was lovely.” My face flushed at the lie, thinking of all the things that had happened during the day that I knew I shouldn’t mention. Had he heard about that woman, Rhonda, and her crazy rant? Or about my swim in the pool? Or the forbidden piece of candy Ruby had given to me? I feared all of my secrets were written on my face as clearly as the words in Ruby’s book of fairytales, but the easy look on his face suggested he couldn’t see them.
“I brought you a little something,” the Congressman said.
I hadn’t noticed the small box he held until he placed it in my hands. The box was flat and rectangular, covered in soft, white satin.
“Go on, open it,” he said.
I cracked the lid and stared down at the gold chain that glittered ever so softly in the dim light. On the end of it was a round pendant. I lifted it up and held it towards the light so that I could see that the gold pendant was encircled with a ring of shining diamonds. Inside something was engraved in loopy script.
“It’s your name,” he said, reaching out to run his finger over the lettering. “And on the other side it has our address and phone number.” He cupped the side of my face in his hand. “Let me put it on you.”
My hands shook and I turned away from him, lifting the hair from off my back. The scooped back of my nightgown left me feeling bare, and without my hair to cover me a chill brought goose bumps to my skin.
The Congressman reached his large arms around my body so the cold metal of the pendant rested across my collarbone.
“Now you’ll never forget where you belong,” he whispered next to my ear.
I reached down and touched the front of the pendant. “It’s beautiful,” I said, “Thank you for thinking of me.”
“You’re easy to think about, Ella.”
My name sounded peculiar on his lips.
His hand still rested against the bare skin of my shoulder, but he didn’t attempt to move it. Leaning forward, he brushed his lips lightly against my cheek.
When I raised my eyes, the Congressman’s wife was standing in the doorway. In one fluid motion the Congressman removed his hand from my shoulder and scooted away from me.
“Elise, what wonderful timing,” he said, standing. “I just gave Ella her new tag.”
He stood and flipped on the light to the chandelier, casting the room with such bright, yellow light that I had to shield my eyes. Even so, I didn’t miss the strange look that passed across the Congressman’s wife’s face.
“Wonderful,” she said, walking across the room to where I sat. “Let’s have a look.”
She only gave the pendant a passing glance before turning to her husband.
“It’s late. Don’t you think we should let Ella get to sleep?”
The Congressman nodded, smiling at his wife. “Goodnight, Love,” he called behind him. A moment later the two of them closed the door, leaving me alone under the bright lights of the chandelier.

STILL NOT SOLD???? You must be made of glass because this is, like, swoon worthy. But fineeeeee, here's a Rafflecopter giveaway. ;)

About the Author:
Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids. To learn more visit www.katejarvikbirch.com

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