That right! It has been a goal of mine to participate in NaNoWriMo at least once in my life and I decided back in January that this year was going to be THE year. The story that I have chosen to write is one that has been simmering for a while. I havent written on a daily basis for quite some time so I’m expecting road blocks and rough patches to start with but my goal is to just get words on paper. Doesn’t matter how good or bad they are as long as I reach my goal, I will go back, edit and perfect it later. I don’t have a lot of free time as a single mom but I plan on writing every night and putting aside my other hobbies; reading and crafting. For me this is more about getting back into the writing groove than completing a novel. That being said I would love to have a first draft at the end of this experience. I also hope I can meet and support other NaNo newbies like myself. I already have a couple of friends who have done NaNo before that have supported me in my journey thus far. I have spent the better part of October just preparing myself. This included writing an outline, a list of writers block busters, taping up inspiration photos on my wall and stocking up on cinnamon gum (my writing crutch). So, wish me luck! I hope to be sharing some snippets of my story with you all in the coming weeks and if you will be participating as well please let me know! Happy writing everyone!
The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Soure: ARC from Yallwest
Link to the author: http://www.nicolayoon.com/#welcome-new
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Cover Rating: 5 Thumbs Up
“It’s not up to you to help other people fit you into a box”
It only took a few chapters of The Sun Is Also A Star to enchant me and I fell head over heels for both of the main characters with all their beautiful quirks and imperfections. This is a truly incredible story about life and love and self discovery, I would recommend to everyone.
The cover is dazzling, and once you start to read the story you realize the design is representing the threads of people’s lives tangled and intertwined. Genius.
The two main characters are Natasha, who likes facts and objective thinking, and Daniel who is a romantic and a poet. Two very different people whose worlds collide in a series of unlikely ways. The story takes place over one incredible day, and both the dreamer and the realist are changed forever. The chapters are mostly from Daniel’s or Natasha’s point of view. However, there are smaller chapters from minor characters and also chapters that provide essential pieces of information. These extra people and pieces might not seem relevant but you come to realize they are all a part of the threads bound to our main characters lives. As you read on you discover that all the characters are entwined and their smallest actions affect one another. Think back to the cover art! I thought it was one of the neatest parts of this book.
We meet our two characters on a day that is most critical in both of their lives; love is the last thing either of them is expecting. Daniel is trying to decide what his future will look like, caught between the desire to please his parents or follow his own path. Natasha on the other hand knows exactly what she wants, but her family’s deportation is standing in the way of that. Twists of fate bring them together and Natasha, reluctant at first, agrees to spend time with Daniel. Together they explore the city and Daniel tries to convince her that sometimes love happens regardless of reason or logic. I really enjoyed that there was a little role reversal; usually the girl is the romantic and the boy is all business. The banter between these two was on point! They made me laugh but they also put their foot in it from time to time and that made the story all the more real and relatable. Reading about their journey through the city, the complexities of family and falling in love was so beautiful. Probably the best love story I have honestly ever read.
The Sun Is Also A Star will give you all the feels. All the warm, fuzzy, please pass me the tissue box feels and you will love every second of it. I enjoyed Everything Everything earlier this year and now, after reading her second book I consider Nicola Yoon to be an auto-buy author.
And I Darken by Kiersten White
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 28th 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction
Link to the author: http://kierstenwrites.blogspot.ca/
Rating: 3.5 Wallachians out of 5
“I think of you like a sister,” he said. “Like a brilliant, violent, occasionally terrifying sister that I would follow to the ends of earth, in part because I respected her so much and in part because I feared what she would do to me of I refused. ”
She nodded. “I would do awful things.”
It took me over a month to read And I Darken, but eventually I waded my way through this dark retelling. That being said, I have a lot of good things to say about it. GORGEOUS COVER – like maybe the best cover of 2016? Incredibly historical, which might not be for everyone but personally I find really fascinating. Also why I was easily distracted, little action means it was easy to stop page turning and go to bed or watch some TV. Lada – at first I didn’t like her but as she grew and developed, I could see a lot of myself in her. She’s tough and stoic but also really passionate, diving head long into things with intensity. She had a lot of flaws but she was also inspiring; strong-willed, smart and determined. The writing was sharp, graphic, striking (I’m not finding words to capture what I experienced) and Lada had some incredibly strong, if slightly disturbing, lines. By the time I finished the story I was hooked, it was worth sticking with and I’m even eager for the second book.
Bound by Blood and Sand
Review & Give Away!!
Jae is a slave in a dying desert world.
Once verdant with water from a magical Well, the land is drying up, and no one remembers the magic needed to keep the water flowing. If a new source isn’t found soon, the people will perish. Jae doesn’t mind, in a way. By law, she is bound by a curse to obey every order given her, no matter how vile. At least in death, she’ll be free.
Lord Elan’s family rules the fading realm. He comes to the estate where Jae works, searching for the hidden magic needed to replenish the Well, but it’s Jae who finds it, and she who must wield it. Desperate to save his realm, Elan begs her to use it to locate the Well.
But why would a slave—abused, beaten, and treated as less than human—want to save the system that shackles her? Jae would rather see the world burn.
Though revenge clouds her vision, she agrees to help if the kingdom’s slaves are freed. Then Elan’s father arrives. The ruler’s cruelty knows no limits. He is determined that the class system will not change—and that Jae will remain a slave forever.
Bound By Blood and Sand
Written by Becky Allen
Published by Delacorte Press October 11th 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
My first impression of the cover was WOW. I haven’t read many book set in the desert, so I was excited, and it set a tone right away; beautiful and harsh. That tone was written into every line and the world was described vividly. I could feel the hot sand and parched land of Aredann and it really helped me understand the main character Jae.
“The future was chaos, war and blood and thirst, ending with everyone’s bones bleached in the desert” (Page 110)
Jae is a Closest, cursed long ago for her people’s betrayal. The curse was genius on Allen’s part. I immediately felt so much for the Closest, to have to do everything your superiors told you. EVERYTHING. To not be able to speak unless spoken to. To not be able to keep any secrets. It was unthinkable. Then Jae discovered her elemental magic and I LOVE elemental magic so I was all in at this point. This didn’t suddenly make her life easy though, instead she faced further conflicts as a gifted Closest. I really liked the way Allen wrote the magic system, the legend, the discovery; it had all the elements fantasy readers will love while feeling fresh and new. The story’s relationship focus was between Jae and her brother Tal, rather than a romantic interest which was also a nice change. It really put the focus on the curse and Jaes fear of discovery.
“If you die, the world can turn to dust for all I care” (Page 284)
The reader starts to get the idea that maybe not everything Jae and the Closest have been told is true. Allen didn’t dump the truth on us like a bucket of water instead like the opening of a desert flower the truth was reveal slowly, piece by piece. I enjoyed this because it kept me intrigued and the pages turning. And man can she write a good villain! On page 183 I was about ready to kick some Highest butt myself, Elthis was unbearable! Thankfully his son Elan did not follow in his footsteps. I wasnt sure whose side he was on but when he chose Jae I was cheering “Go Elan!” as I read. Together Jae, Tal and Elan are racing against time to try to save the Well and the Closest from the Highests greed and lies. Jae isn’t so sure that she’s the good guy though. Once she discovers her powers she doesn’t always do the most noble thing. She could destroy the world or save it and after all she has been through, which will she choose?
“..the first thing she’d done with her freedom was kill. But she’d grown flowers too” (Page 206)
Honestly I thought she might let the world burn, some of its inhabitants had it coming. The ending was a bit of surprise to me though. The sacrifice that is made, the choice, is so powerful because for the closest being able to choose anything is a big deal. Not going to lie I teared up right here.
“You said it was a sacrifice, coming from me its a gift” (Page 283)
The ending wrapped up nicely but left so many possibilities open and a long journey still to come. I’m excited to see if more Closest find their magic. I’m also interested to see if there is a potential love interest between two of the characters in the future? Maybe? I look forward to finding out in book two!
Meet The Author:
Becky Allen grew up in a tiny town outside Ithaca, New York, and graduated from Brandeis University with a major in American studies and a minor in journalism. She is the website director of TheBody.com, an online HIV resource, and loves New York, brunch, and feminism. Becky lives in New York City.
Check out her full bio at http://www.beckyallenbooks.com/about-me/
Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews It’s all about sharing the books you recently added to your shelves, because as book lovers we get pretty excited about new books!
I haven’t done one of these posts in a long time, in fact I looked back and it’s been four months! Here’s the thing, I’m a chronic book hoarder. I said it, and so I have no idea how many books I’ve acquired in the last four months – a lot is safe to say. So this is just my best guess.
Books I bought
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Empire Of Storms by Sarah J Maas
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J K Rowling
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (with red pages!!)
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Shadowfell by Juliet Mariller
Books I bought Second Hand
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
Book I Received As Gifts / From Subcriptions
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J K Rowling
Books Received In Trades
Scythe by Neil Shusterman
Vicarious by Paula Stokes
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland by Catherynne M Valente
Sweep by Cate Tiernan
Books For Review
The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett
The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova
The Bone Witch by Rin Chuppeco