Review - Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Friday, April 22, 2016

Interview with the Vampire
By Anne Rice
Release Date: April 12th, 1976
Genre: General Fiction
Source: Purchased


Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.

So, remember about how eight years ago the Twilight series was at the peak of its popularity? Well, with that came quite a bit of criticism for the novels, the main point being that Meyer’s interpretation of vampires was unrealistic and, to put it bluntly, weak and not at all threatening. When I was online during those years, I saw post after post about how Anne Rice was the best writer of vampire fiction out there, about how her stories were so awesome and that her vampires were real vampires. Moreover, there was constant praise for a vampire called Lestat, that he was so cool and was an interesting and compelling character. People couldn’t praise the series enough back in those days.

Anne Rice in general is a pretty household name when it comes to famous authors, and her arguably most popular novel – Interview with the Vampire – had been on my radar for ages. It wasn’t until recently, when my father and I started to talk books, that I decided to really buckle down and read the book. We’re both a fan of horror and gothic movies, with his interest extending to the same in stories. I, however, have never read a properly spooky/gothic adult book and when he took up the Dresden Files series I’ve been pressuring him to read, he made me promise to pick up Interview with the Vampire.

I have to admit, I went into this book with preconceived and very high expectations. After all the praise it had gotten over the years, after all the copies that have sold, I was expecting an awe-inspiring, spooky, epic read. Further, seeing as how I wasn’t allowed to watch the movie as a child because it was inappropriate and that the synopsis itself said “chillingly erotic,” I was like, “Alright! Time for some gore and nice vampire sex!”

That’s… Not what I got.

Rather than the entire story being about this Lestat character I had heard so much about, the protagonist is actually a man called Louis, who was turned into a vampire by Lestat’s doing. The latter being a secondary, but still very important character. The first third of the book centers around Louis coming to terms that he is a “creature of the devil” and him adjusting and learning the ins and outs of being a vampire. The second part of the story starts when both men create another vampire (it’s a long story; basically it was a means for Lestat to get Louis to accept his vampire tendencies and feed on humans) this time a small child named Claudia. This, of course, results in Claudia forever being trapped in a child’s body, despite living for decades. Before long, all three form a strange, tentative family of sorts but it isn’t long before Lestat starts acting very possessive, if abusive to the others. Determined to be free, both Louis and Claudia escape from him, but it’s not without dire consequences that eventually come back to haunt them.

To be honest, my feelings for this book changed quite a bit while I made my way through it. At the beginning, things were quite stimulating, seeing as there was quite a bit of world and character development, not to mention that we have to digest Rice’s “rules” about vampirism. Since the story is told from Louis’ perspective, we get a great sense of the confusion and hurt he feels upon being turned into a vampire as well as the inner turmoil he feels concerning his faith and the fact that he’s “damned.” Too, we get to see his struggles first hand and that really helps to paint him in a sympathetic light. The reader feels like they’ve really made a connection and gotten to know him. This extends to the other characters as well – at least to a certain degree.

So, the book certainly doesn’t lack character development. But that is one of the main things that made the novel so frustrating to me. I’d think I have the characters’ motivations and personality pinned down, then they’d turn around and do something completely unexpected. Or something that I thought was “out of character.” It almost felt like they were constantly changing, almost too quickly for me to comprehend at any one point in time. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it was an overly bad thing. Such character development meant that they stayed not only interesting, but that we also got to see the best and the worst in all the characters - from their nicest gestures to their ugliest thoughts. Moreover, I felt that the praise Rice received for her characters was definitely laudable. They’re memorable, complex and unapologetically themselves. Meaning that they weren’t afraid to accept their darker nature.

Well, at least most characters. Like I said earlier, perhaps the main focus of the book is how Louis struggled to come to terms with what he had become. This was where the other big issue I had with the book came into play. Literally half of the book is spent on Louis bemoaning his fate and succumbing to the woe-is-me outlook on life. (Afterlife?) Anyway, I’m all about some angst in novels, but his negativity and self-pity made me come close to putting the book down.

Luckily, though, I’m not one to set aside a book after I’ve spent so much time reading through the first half. And the book certainly picked up in the final act of the story. Murder, drama, revenge… All of it coalesces into a perfect climax and, believe it or not, the ending is really what made the story satisfying for me. Given the point that Louis was trying to get across in his “interview,” the first parts of the story started to make quite a bit of sense, as well as Louis’ outlook concerning his fate. The fact that Rice can make her “monsters” so human is truly a testament to her ability as a writer. The relationships the characters form, whether borne out of love or hate, are intricate and meaningful. Her prose is beautiful, almost lyrical, and certainly has the ability to transport the reader right into the middle of her world. Lastly, the book – while satisfying – leaves the reader with much more questions than answers, meaning you’ll be wanting to pick up the sequel right away.

For me, it’s hard to give a certain rating or good review to this book. I loved it and I hated it. There were times I wanted to throw the book and other times, I was so enamored that I couldn’t look away. I could sympathize with some of the characters’ actions but could condemn others. I could love a character one moment and hate them the next (Lestat was a big issue in that I had heard so much about him and built him up as a great character in my head, only to be disappointed when he acted like a total douchebag the whole time.) There were aspects of the novel that annoyed me, sure, but the pros certainly outweighed the cons and – ultimately – I think this book certainly deserves all the praise, awards, and accolades it has received over the years and I certainly don’t regret picking it up. After all, if a book can cause you to feel so much, is the source of inspired discussion, and leaves you thinking about it hours after having turned the last page - then the author is certainly doing something right.

So, if you like darker tales, stories with great character development, or are a fan of the supernatural, then Rice is definitely an author to look into and Interview with the Vampire is an excellent place to start. (Just know that there is no hot, vampire sex and that Lestat is an ass. Ha!)

Throwback Thursday - Portraits of Little Women

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Tomboy Jo March would rather die than spend time with wealthy, proper Aunt March. She'd much rather race against the boys at school or star in all the swashbuckling plays she writes. But when Aunt March offers to adopt one of the March sisters to help ease the family money problems, Jo decides to make the ultimate sacrifice. She'll tear herself away from her sisters and parents--the family she dearly loves--if it means they'll have a better life. She's determined to become the perfect lady. Now Jo has to convince her family that she's sincere about her decision by taking on a role that may be too difficult to act.

The first classic novel I ever read was Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. It was a gift from my aunt for my twelfth birthday, claiming she read it when she was my age. Intrigued, and a little intimidated, I cracked open the big book and, well, that was all she wrote.
While I had trouble deciphering some of the language when little, I’ve read the story many times over now and I still love it as much as I did when I was young. As an aspiring writer and avid reader myself, I always sympathized and liked Jo the most. But that didn’t mean that the other March sisters weren’t endearing, too. The whole tale was heartwarming and the book will always hold an honorable place on my bookshelf and in my heart.
Anyway, when I was younger and after having just finished the novel, I was perusing my local library and came across the Portraits of Little Women series, which are novellas basically about all four March sisters and other adventures that supposedly happened in their lifetime. I was skeptical, of course, seeing as it was an interpretation of the characters and the like from a completely different author, but my desire to dive back into Alcott’s world won over.
To be honest, if I read the stories now, I would probably find them overly childish, but it was never meant to be a great piece of literary work. It was geared for children, after all, but that didn’t mean that they weren’t fun to read. I enjoyed all eight of the books that were at my library and Pfeiffer has since published more in the series. They also had recipes and little crafts in the back that the reader could make and I remember making a homemade keepsake pouch that I sewed all by myself – to hold rocks for my slingshot. Haha.
All in all, this was a great set of stories for any child who was interested in classics but not yet ready to graduate to the full unabridged novels. Or those kids, like me, who had read the novels, but wanted to see a different take on the characters. If you loved Little Women as much as I did, you just might want to give it a look one day!

Waiting on Wednesday - The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favour.
But Apollo has many enemies - gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

Alright! Rick Riordan is back at it again!
How he is able to pump out so many books, I’ll never know. This makes the third series of books he’s currently working on, the others being the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, as well as a series of crossover novellas where Percy and the Kane siblings meet. Of course, I’m not complaining! While Riordan books are geared more toward a Middle Grade audience, I’ve always loved the humor and wit that has become something of a staple for his work. When you crack open such a book, you’re in for a creative and wild adventure, full of laughs, but that doesn’t mean that there are more somber and series moments, too. His books are a good balance between fun and engaging.
The Trials of Apollo series seems to center around Apollo and how he was thrown out of the Olympian circle and sent to Earth as a mortal for his misdeeds in the two pervious series. To teach him a lesson, if you will. I’m definitely interested in seeing how Apollo will cope with his sudden humanity as well as how he plans to redeem himself to his parents and the other Gods/Goddesses. Whatever Riordan has up his sleeve, I can tell it will be good!
This book releases May 3rd, the same day as A Court of Mist and Fury and I’ve already preordered both! Now to just wait until they show up in my mailbox! Which books are you looking forward to?
Feel free to link me to your own Waiting on Wednesdays~

Top Ten Books for Cat Lovers

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Top Ten is the weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, in which we showcase our top ten books in a certain category. This week's theme was "Top Ten Books for ____ Lovers." And, well, considering this is a cat themed blog, I had no other choice than to cover ten books that feature awesome kitty characters!

Number Ten: The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

I actually read this for the first time last year. I had been on my radar for years, but I had never really taken the time to sit down and read it until then. It's a relatively short book following the long and dangerous journey three pets take to find their way back to the owners they love. I applaud the two dogs for their determination and loyalty, but when it came to cleverness and fierce fighting, it was the cat that came out on top. He fought off a bear and won! The narration of the book is a little strange, as the animals don't really communicate and you interpret what they feel mostly through their actions, but I think that makes it all the more memorable. It's a timeless classic and the movie, though it certainly takes some liberties, is lovely as well.

Number Nine: Paw Prints in the Moonlight by Denis O'Connor    

This is a true story of how Denis found his faithful companion, Toby Jug. Toby was first found as a mewling little kitten abandoned in a barn during a snowy winter. Dennis took the cat in and nursed it back to health - though he was encouraged by his vet to put the kitten down. It took many sleepless night and tender care, but Toby lived through the ordeal and became his human's constant companion. In fact, by the end of the story, we're left wondering who saved whom. It's a touching reminder of the bond between cats and humans, but it will likely leave you in tears

Number EightCharmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones

Wow, I grew up adoring the Chrestomanci Chronicles. With magic, wit, and imagination galore, Jones was one of the most influential authors of my childhood. Charmed Life follows the protagonist Eric "Cat" Chant and his sister Gwendolyn, who is a gifted witch, and their life upon being taken in by Christopher Chant, the current Chrestomanci - the most powerful Enchanter in their world - and others. One of the most memorable characters is the rather grumpy Throgmorton, who inhabits the castle but is by no means a pet. He doesn't meow, but instead, says "wong." It's worth a read just for him!

Number Seven: The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

One can't make a Cat Lover list without including the Shadowhunter books. Of particular note is Church, who takes it upon himself to protect not only the Institute but happens to keep a close eye on the newest characters introduced, Julian Blackthorn, his siblings, and Emma Carstairs. And of course, there's our favorite cat eyed warlock - Magnus - who owns a rather self-satisfied cat, Chairman Meow.  

Number SixDewey: The Small-Town Library Cat who Touched the World

This is a touching memoir of Dewey Readmore Books, who was stuffed into a library book return chute on the coldest day of winter. Seeing as his mother was a librarian, and that he had found his way to Spencer, Iowa's Public Library, it only made sense that he was to become their mascot and live in the library! This book is about Dewey, but so much more than just how a cat came to "work" at a library. It's a story about how he touched the lives of the readers he met in the library, how he saved the library and about the incredible bond he shared this his human. This is another book that will leave your heart warmed and you eyes teary.
Number FiveThe Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

We all know cats have a second sense when it comes to the supernatural, so it only makes sense that Chicago's top wizard detective would own an awesome cat. Harry's cat is a thirty pounds of love that tends to hang out on his bookshelf. Still, he's well aware when there's trouble about or when Harry needs a little extra support. Too, we get to see Cat Sith in one of the later novels, the infamous cat like faerie - and, of course, Harry has quite a time dealing with the tricky creature!

Number FourChicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul

I guess this one was a no-brainer, huh? Chicken Soup reached it's popularity several years ago, but it proves to still provide readers with touching stories about thing we love the most. Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul consists of numerous short stories about the amazing feats cats perform and the special bond we share with them. It's perfect for a good pick-me-up when you need a smile.

Number ThreeHomer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper

This is probably one of the most memorable memoirs about a cat that I've come across. I actually came across Homer's story in a television interview several years ago. When I found out that he had his own book, I immediately went to the library to check it out. Homer found his way into the heart of Gwen when he was only three weeks old and eyeless. Despite his disability and the claim from many family members and friends that the little black cat would only be a burden, Homer manages to prove over and over that he's as gutsy, capable, brave and - most of all - as loving as any regular cat.

Number TwoThe Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa

The number two spot for the most memorable cat character goes to Kagawa and her lovely and witty interpretation of Grimalkin, the Cait Sith of the Nevernever. Thought traditionally, Cait (or Cat) Sith and Grimalkin are two different entities, Kagawa blends both in her fey series to create a truly memorable character. Not only is he witty and sarcastic, he also remains a loyal friend and accomplice on many of Meghan's journeys throughout the series. He's just so loveable and cute! And though I know he'd likely claw my eyes out, I just want to pick him up and cuddle him close!

Number OneThe Warriors Saga by Erin Hunter

And, of course, the series most synonymous with cats is Erin Hunter's Warriors saga. This will be a series that will always have a special place in my heart, no matter how old I get. The world Hunter created was memorable and there are a great many characters that will work their way into your heart. Firestar, the great ThunderClan leader is only one of many that you will find yourself rooting for. Whether you read the books as a child or came into the series when you were older - like I did - Warriors will delight and intrigue all ages.

And that's my Top Ten! Are there any kitty themed books, or awesome cat characters that I didn't mention? (Besides Harry Potter, because we all that was a given! XD) Please share your thoughts and feel free to link me to your own TTT!

Review - Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Monday, April 11, 2016

Lady Midnight
By Cassandra Clare
Release Date: March 8th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Purchased

 Warning: Contains Mild Spoilers

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel. It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses. Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions… Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it? Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

Lady Midnight is the first installment in The Dark Artifices series and takes place five years after the conclusion of City of Heavenly Fire, the final book in The Mortal Instruments series. It follows Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn, two characters that we were introduced to in City of Heavenly Fire. In the conclusion of CoHF, we learned that Julian’s parents did not survive the Dark War, nor did Emma’s who showed up dead on the shore in California, believed to be victims of Sebastian (or Jonathan Morgenstern, take your pick). Emma however, has never believed that that is what befell her parents and in Lady Midnight, we get to learn quite a deal more about all these characters.

Since the conclusion of the Dark War, the Blackthorns and Emma have been learning to cope with the loss of their parents, but as she grew, Emma’s thirst to avenge her parents’ death grew, too. From her training to the missions she goes on, her thoughts are on her parents and the mysterious way that they perished, thrown into the ocean and marked up with an unfamiliar language. Now, five years later, more murders are cropping up and the similarities between their deaths and the Carstairs’ is remarkable. Of course, Emma takes it upon herself to get to the bottom of things and before too long, it’s discovered that many of the recently murdered individuals have Faerie blood – and those of Faerie are concerned. Since the issue of the Cold Peace, Shadowhunters are forbidden to aid Faerie and, as a bargaining chip, they allow Mark Blackthorn – who had been taken by the Wild Hunt – to return home until they solved the mystery. Once the Blackthorns, without the aid of the Clave, have pinned the murderer, then Mark would be allowed to decide if he would stay with his family or return to the Hunt.

With the possibility of having their older brother returned to them for good, as well as Emma finally getting to the bottom of her parents’ death, everyone in the Institute puts their effort into apprehending the wrongdoer and putting a stop to the killing for good. They just didn’t anticipate how much trouble they’d dredge up in the wake of their investigation and, by the end, the Blackthorns are left wondering who they can truly trust...

This is a book that I’ve been waiting for since the moment I put down CoHF, over a year and a half ago. In many ways, it didn’t disappoint. First and foremost, we get a whopping 667 page book. That, in and of itself, is glorious. Moreover, it was very exciting to get to learn about life in a new Institute, as well as getting to know the Blackthorns a little better. We got a peek into Julian’s and Emma’s minds in the previous book, but Lady Midnight really delves into their personality, motives behind their actions, and what events led them to be the people they are today. That Emma and Julian are Parabatai, but also desperately in love with each other is a foil that all readers knew was coming, but I’m truly intrigued to learn more about the Parabatai bond in future books. We’re given a peek into the repercussions of loving your Parabatai in this book, as well as a warning of what could happen if that love grew, but the cryptic explanations only left me wanting to know more! So that’s certainly one reason I will be picking up the sequel.

Additionally, we get a good idea of the personalities and needs of the younger Blackthorns. Ty, in particular, was fun to follow and watch grow as a Shadowhunter throughout the course of the book. In many ways, he is not like average Shadowhunters and he’s one of the main characters that I’m eager know better in later installments. Mark, too, had changed drastically after his years spent in the Hunt. He’s embraced his Faerie side, thinking his family lost from his forever, but when he’s given the choice to stay at the Institute with his family should they succeed in their quest, he’s torn - as he left someone he had grown to love behind. I found his struggles of adjusting to the human world, as well as reconnecting with his siblings who were practically strangers now, particularly engaging. There were many parts of the novel where I could practically feel how torn he was between both worlds. Too, there are a cadre of new characters thrown into the mix, such as Cristina, who is visiting the LA Institute from her home one in Mexico, Diana, the Blackthorn’s tutor, Kit, a supposed mundane with the Sight, and Malcolm Fade, the High Warlock of Los Angeles – all who seem to have their own secrets.

I’m always so impressed with how intricately Clare is able to weave her books together. If you have read The Infernal Devices series, you should already know how well it and The Mortal Instruments fit together chronologically and The Dark Artifices will be no different. Characters from past series are reintroduced in Lady Midnight seamlessly and it’s refreshing to see old characters we’ve grown to love come together again to aid the Blackthorns. Seriously, I’m willing to bet that Clare as an intricate family tree taped up to her study wall of all her characters, as well as a massive plot chart. Her series fits perfectly together like a puzzle!

Moreover, I’m impressed with how easily she is able to weave the story, especially a mystery such as this one. I was left guessing who was the bad guy up until the page it was revealed and it took me completely by surprise! What I found particularly notable was that the “bad guy” didn’t fit your generic evildoer stereotype. In fact, by the end of the story, I found myself feeling sorry for the person, who had been driven to such acts out of desperation. By the end of the novel, we’ve solved one big mystery, but many more unfold and – unfortunately – will only be addressed in later additions, leaving the reader desperately waiting for the next book.

While this book, overall, was amazing, there were a couple of issues I had with it.

First, I’m growing really tired of the Clary carbon copies. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a strong female lead in a novel, but for once it would be nice to read about someone who actually struggled to be that great Shadowhunter or heroine. I think that that was what drew me to love Ty so much. He had weaknesses and, overall, was an active character we saw grow in the story. Emma, however, is already being called the next “Great Shadowhunter.” Really? Then why should we worry about her wellbeing if we know that she’ll be able to fight herself out of the horde of demons with nary a scratch? I’m just tired of the seemingly perfect girl leads and, literally, the only different between Clary and Tessa was that Tessa was a warlock. The differences between Emma and Clary? …..She’s…. blonde instead of a redhead? I mean, I really struggle to see it!

Secondly, Clare literally uses the exact same method to “break up” Emma and Julian as she did with Will and Tessa in The Infernal Devices. Knowing that falling in love with her Parabatai is not only illegal but very dangerous, Emma takes it upon herself to break Julian’s heart in an effort to protect him. *Insert facepalm here* Ugh! I will never understand why authors can’t have characters actually talk with one another rather than keep secrets. I mean, sure, it creates more drama, but throughout this whole book we’re told that Julian and Emma are inseparable, that they know each other in and out and that they hardly ever keep secrets from each other. So why couldn’t Emma just talk with Julian about what she discovered? I get that there’s a great amount of plottage to be gained from the deception, but I just found Emma’s motivations behind lying forced and – overall – unfulfilling. Though I’m interested in seeing how Mark’s “favor” for her will play out in the sequel.

Lastly, and this is certainly not a complaint, it’s been leaked that Clare is writing a short story concerning “Malec” (Magnus and Alec) about their first time together. *Fangirl squee* Malec is literally my favorite gay couple I’ve ever read about and I’ll forever blame Clare for my love of yaoi. Anyway, if you’re a Malec shipper like myself, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the short story, whose proceeds will go to The Trevor Project, which helps LGBT youth. Follow Clare on Twitter for more updates.

Overall, this book was an awesome read that satisfied my need for Shadowhunters, at least for the next year or so. You won’t be disappointed with the story, but note that it does fall victim to the typical Clare plot tropes.

Waiting on Wednesday - A Court of Mist and Fury

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people. Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two. With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Having a best friend who practically worships the ground Sarah J. Maas walks on can be difficult at times. I mean, we're all book lovers here, and we probably have friends who love them, too. And, if you're at all like me, you and your friends tend to have similar tastes.
When Throne of Glass first came out, my best friend was all over it and, for my birthday, I received a pretty, hardback, signed copy of Throne of Glass. Knowing she loved it so much, I was eager to crack it open and see what all the fuss was about. Well, I was... less than enthused. Celaena was far too damn perfect, in my opinion. She was absolutely beautiful, knew how to kill a man a dozen different ways, and despite being enslaved for so long, men were crawling over each other to be with her. Gag. But, determined to give it a fair chance, I read Crown of Midnight, too. So now not only is she perfect, but she's a lost fairy princess? And my favorite character was killed off?
Just. No. Thanks, anyway.
So that was a series me and my BFF would just have to agree to disagree on. In contrast, though, I was super excited about A Court of Thorns and Roses when it came out and even snagged a signed copy of it, too! It's weird. Seeing as it, too, deals with fairies and one of the main plots of the book mirrors that of Throne of Glass, one would think that I would despise this series, too. But I found that I was able to connect with Feyre on a more human level. She had flaws, wasn't a badass from page one and I was able to see her grow throughout the first book to become a strong heroine. Further, we got an awesome (semi?) bad guy in Rhysand that I definitely want to learn more about in the next installment.
Overall, I can't really pin down why I love this series so much, but I'm definitely looking forward to A Court of Mist and Fury's release date next month, May 3rd.
Most of all, though, I'm glad that I was finally able to join the "I Love Sarah J. Maas" book club that it seemed like everyone was in.

It Liiiiiives! Mwahaha!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Well, after nearly a year, I figured it was high time that I bring this blog back to life. As a reader and writer, I’ve certainly missed sharing my thoughts over great (and not so great) books I’ve read, but I think most of all, I’ve missed the community of awesome bookaholics that I befriended and the support and love that we show each other. I’ve missed being in the blogosphere, and now that I’m back, I hope that it will be a loooooong time before I take a break from Space Between the Spines.
To be fair, the long absence is partially attributed to how busy my life has been the past year (as well as my proclivity to sit in my jammies on weekends and watch Pixar and my slight obsession with an epic roleplay that’s reached well over 500,000 words by now) but I can also lay some of the blame with a rather unhelpful IT guy that initially helped me set up my blog. While my blog, in my humble opinion, is adorable and aesthetically endearing, it only had a domain name for a year. My IT guy set up the account for me and, low and behold, when the year passed up and my domain was taken down, I tried to reach out to him to see where he had hosted it and who I needed to contact to renew the subscription. Long story short, he never got back to me and, at a loss and bogged down with real life things, I let Space Between the Spines fall to the wayside for a while.
Needless to say, it’s certainly been a busy year.
You can see a post I wrote over how I was finishing up my last semester of graduate school last May, and since then, I’ve found a full time job that, while it doesn’t rake in the big bucks, lets me do what I enjoy, which is mapping. And it’s a cushiony government job, so I can’t complain. I also joined a kickboxing gym which I go to (or at least try to go to) three times a week and have been focusing more on getting healthy and in shape. Between the full time job and the exercise classes, I usually don’t get home until six in the evening most weekdays, then I have to cook dinner for the younger siblings and clean house. I have help, of course, but after a full day of work, working out, and chores, by the time I sit down to read or write like I would have a couple years ago, I would be too exhausted and just told myself I’d do it tomorrow. Further, I ended up injuring my wrist kickboxing and had to have it splinted for six weeks, then I underwent sinus surgery in November to alleviate my asthma, allergies, and chronic sinus infections.
Despite all that drama, though, I would say the past year has been insightful and – overall – a good learning experience. And as busy as it was, 2016 is promising to be even more eventful! In addition to trying to read a little more, I’ve taken up a hobby of beading and jewelry making, which subsequently led to making fancy little bookmarks. They’re a lot of fun to make and I’m hoping to make a little money of selling them in the future. If you are interested in them, there’s a tab set up at the top of my site and you can see a few samples I’ve created already. They’re pretty adorable, if I do say so myself, and I might just give a few away in drawings over the next year, as well as a few other surprises for my blog followers.
I have a couple of book events lined up this year, the first of which will be BookCon next month, May 14th, in Chicago. These are just a few of the authors I hope to see and have sign a book: Cassandra Clare, Sarah J. Maas, Morgan Matson, Veronica Roth, Leigh Bardugo, Kendare Blake, and many more! Needless to say, my friends and I are dressing up as shadowhunters. =D
Next, I’ll be going to my first ever convention, DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia the first weekend in September. This is a big Con in general, with many special guests ranging from TV actors, artists, to authors and more. What I’m most excited about, though, is getting to see Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne – my two favorite urban fantasy writers – in person. I passed up the opportunity to go see Butcher last year when he attended, but now that they threw Kevin into the mix, I couldn’t help myself. Now to put together my Druid costume…
Don't worry. There will be MANY pictures of both the events.
Lastly, and perhaps what I’m most excited about, is my first trip abroad. I’ve never left the US before. In fact, I’ve hardly ever traveled outside the Southeastern area, but in October, I’ll be boarding a plane to South Korea with one of my best friends. We’ll be there for two weeks and already have a great many places we’d like to visit mapped out, but we plan on visiting Seoul (where we'll visit the demilitarized zone, The Korean Cultural History Museum, Lotte World, and the Korean Pok√©mon Center), Chungcheong (where we'll visit a ton of temples and see the Catholic church one of our favorite K Dramas was filmed), Jeju Island (for the pretty sights and beach), and Busan (for the hot springs and spas). I’ve already gotten my passport and we’re looking at airplane tickets now. A lot is still up in the air concerning the trip, but you can bet that I’ll be updating you on plans we make, once they’re official. Until then, I’ll be trying to memorize a few key Korean words and trying to decide which book I will add to my library that will be written in Korean! I’ll never be able to read it, but it will look mighty fine on my shelf.
Anyway, that’s it for the updates for now! I guess now I have to actually work and start on a few reviews, huh? At any rate, it’s great to be back blogging and I look forward to chatting and meeting many more friends along the way in this new chapter of Space Between the Spine’s history! Be sure to check back tomorrow for my Waiting on Wednesday post!