March 31, 2016

So You Like... #25

Do you have any favorite classic books? Well, one of my favorite tales is Anne of Green Gables. I especially love the movie adaptation with Megan Fellows and Jonathan Crombie, and I thoroughly enjoy Green Gables Fables, which is a webseries adaptation. If you haven't guessed, today's So You Like... is all about...


(as always book covers link to the Goodreads pages)

(for the kindred spirits)

(Anne would appreciate the whimsy.)

(for the similar theme of the girl who loves her home and yet wants to go off into the world to learn)

(for a protagonist with gumption)

(for Anne's love of poetry)

(for those who share Anne's romantic side)

What books would you recommend for fans of Anne of Green Gables? Are there any other classics you want to see me do for this post series?

March 30, 2016

DNF Review: Dig Too Deep

Dig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer
Grade: DNF
Release date: April 1, 2016
An e-galley was provided by AW Teen via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration.
Summary: With her mother facing prison time for a violent political protest, seventeen-year-old Liberty Briscoe has no choice but to leave her Washington, DC, apartment and take a bus to Ebbottsville, Kentucky, to live with her granny. There she can at least finish high school and put some distance between herself and her mother--or her former mother, as she calls her. But Ebbottsville isn't the same as Liberty remembers, and it's not just because the top of Tanner's Peak has been blown away to mine for coal. Half the county is out of work, an awful lot of people in town seem to be sick, and the tap water is bright orange--the same water that officials claim is safe. And when Granny's lingering cold turns out to be something much worse, Liberty wonders if somebody at the mine is hiding the truth about the water. She starts to investigate and is soon plunged into a world of secrets, lies, threats, and danger. Her searches for answers and justice lead to even tougher questions--should she turn to violence and end up like her mother? Give up her quest for the sake of keeping the peace? Or keep fighting until the mine is shut down for good?

When did I stop reading?: 18% into my e-galley.
Why didn't I finish?: Characters were stereotypical and the romance started too fast.

The Long(er) Review: I wanted to love this book because of its setting, but characters were stereotypical especially the mean girl, Ashleigh. The protagonist describes Ashleigh as "looking very Taylor Swift with her big, brown eyes" and I couldn't help but laugh and then be annoyed. First of all, Taylor has blue eyes. Second, I'm tired of Taylor being the chosen look-alike for the mean girls. The grandmother is also stereotypically strict and stubborn.
The romance started 15% in, and I wasn't really going into Dig Too Deep looking for kissing and insta-lust.
Finally, there was too much language for my taste.

The Verdict: Needed a lot of polishing. Not worth your time.

March 29, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent 5-Star Reads

Making this list was kind of sad for me, since I had so few 5-star reads in 2015 (in fact, I think some of these were 4.5 stars but I rounded them up to 5 on Goodreads). I hope I'll love more books in 2016...

1. Fridays with the Wizards by Jessica Day George (2/13/16)

2. Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern (12/29/15)

3. Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray (11/5/15)

4. All In by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (11/3/15)

5. A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (9/10/15)

6. Nil Unlocked by Lynne Matson (6/4/15)

7. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (5/25/15)

8. The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (5/19/15)

9. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee (4/30/15)

10. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone (4/23/15)

Were any of these books 5-star reads for you, too?

March 27, 2016

Rewind & Review #58

~I was on spring break! I went to downtown Richmond, visited the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (and met Degas's La Petite Danseuse), saw Zootopia, baked, read, and blogged. But the break was definitely too short.
~I won NOVL's February box, curated by the Poppy editors! I was so excited when it arrived. I got four books (listed below), a tote bag, a temporary tattoo, pencils, and nail polish.
~I received my first Happy Hello bookmarks - I got Cath, Levi, St. Clair, and Anna. And I may have already received a second order... (I got the first three Lunar Chronicles couples.)
~We didn't get the apartment. We made it onto the wait-list and were told we would hear after the apartment housing night where everyone would pick their apartments, but we never heard back. I'm applying for a single room now.
~I had half of my Easter break. I was stuck on campus because most of my friends went home or somewhere else to spend the holiday with family, and I couldn't. I tried to be productive and get a lot of my history paper done, though.

Books I Received for Review
Break Me Like a Promise by Tiffany Schmidt (via Bloomsbury)
Crossing the Line by Meghan Rogers (via PenguinTeen)
Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider (from Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley)

Books I Won/Traded for/was Gifted
Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
Those Girls by Lauren Saft
Seven Days of You by Cecelia Vinesse (ARC)
The Memory Book by Lara Avery (ARC) (all won through NOVL's February NOVL Box)
When We Collided by Emery Lord (ARC) (traded with Bridget)
17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen (from my Secret Sister)

Books I Bought
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Books I Read
Champion by Marie Lu (3 stars)
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (reread)
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (3 stars)
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (reread)
Double Down by Gwenda Bond
The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan (reread)
Students on Strike: A Landmark Struggle for Equality in the Jim Crow South by John A. Stokes
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski (reread)
Crossing the Line by Meghan Rogers
Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County by Kristen Green (4 stars)
The Norfolk 17 by Andrew Heidelberg (3 stars)
Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor (3 stars)

Blog Posts You Might've Missed
   (From 3/14-3/19)
   (From 3/20-3/26)
  • TTT: Most Recent 5-Star Reads
  • DNF Review: Dig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer
  • So You Like... #25
  • Random Friday: April Fool's Day
  • Writing Prompt #2
  • Reading Challenges
  • TTT: Bookish People to Follow on Social Media
  • Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
  • From the Bookshelf to the Kitchen: Lemon Crumb Muffins
  • DNF Review: The Taming of the Drew by Stephanie Kate Strohm

March 26, 2016

I'm Maybe a Poet, and I Know It

Last fall, I took intro to creative writing - fiction, and this semester I have to take intro to creative writing - poetry. Poetry is totally not my thing, y'all. I sometimes dash off little free verse poems, and I like Neruda, and "Do Not Go Gentle" but that's about it.
But I'm actually enjoying the class for the most part! I like my classmates, and most of the assignments haven't been too hard. (I about killed myself trying to write a sonnet, though.)
So anyways, I thought I'd share some of my poetry like I've shared some of my prose pieces. So...enjoy!

Anticipation (a lyric poem)

Chatter, clatter, cacophony all around,
rising to the dome,
swooping to the floor.
Feet shuffle
and stomp
Bodies squeezed together,
not an empty seat in
the building.
We are at the top,
almost vertical.
I feel like I could fall,
could pitch forward,
at any minute.
The video on the screen ends.
The crowd takes a breath.
A song begins.
It’s starting.
It’s starting.
It’s starting.
I feel so close.
It ends.
The crowd takes another breath.
Darkness falls, not for long.
City noise and flashing lights,
Cheers swell.
She’s coming.
She’s coming.
She’s coming.


To My Sunshine with Paws (a villanelle)

Hello, my little love, my fluffhead.
I don’t care if I’m waking you from sleep.
No, stop pestering me; you’ve already been fed.

Go on, go through your door, go ahead.
Oh, now you’re already back in with a leap.
Hello, my little love, my fluffhead.

Go lay down, go on, I said.
Oh, stop that; don’t you dare weep.
Stop pestering me; you’ve already been fed.

Okay, go lie in your crate instead,
and don’t make even a little peep.
Hello, my little love, my fluffhead.

Stop that, Sunny, I see where I’ve been led.
I still won’t feed you, you little dweeb.
Stop pestering me; you’ve already been fed.

Look at you, all curled up in your bed.
Oh man, this feeling I have, I’m in deep.
Hello, my little love, my fluffhead.
No, stop pestering me! You’ve already been fed.

Childhood (a list poem)

I’m from brick and gray houses,
tan and stone houses.
(I don’t remember the brick.)
I’m from the South
And South Beloit
And Woodstock.

I’m from suburbia—but with cornfields
Outside my window.
Suburbia, two blocks
From the center of town.
Suburbia—but surrounded by trees.

I’m from a no-cat, no-dog, no-rabbit family—
At least at first.
We had fish, two of them, then one.
We got a dog, a little fluffball of a thing.
He is sunshine and warmth and trouble.

I’m from train rides to the city
To a store with deep red awnings
Splashed with stars;
To a museum with lions,
And a park with a bean and fountains.

I’m from books, and books, and books
Filled with bears and little houses,
Detectives and babysitters,
Green gables and horses,
Boxcars and wardrobes.

I’m from churches, schools, and libraries.
I’m from casseroles, waffles, and spaghetti.
(Not all at the same time.)
I’m from a Midwestern legacy,
But my heart belongs in Virginia—
Or maybe Kentucky—
Or maybe Chicago.

You're Gone/I'm Gone (a pantoum)

I see it all now that you’re gone.
You were subtle, manipulative, brutal.
You were all I wanted, but not like this.
Let me tell you what went wrong.

You were subtle, manipulative, brutal.
You played me like a game of chess.
I’ll tell you what went wrong.
You left me all alone in my best dress.

I was only a pawn in your game of chess;
That night when we danced,
You left me to the wolves in my best dress.
I wondered what I had done wrong.

That night when we danced,
You were all I wanted but not like this.
I don’t wonder what I did wrong.
I see it all now that I’m gone.

Please tell me what you think of these. And be kind (but honest, too). I don't think I'm the best poet, but I actually have found I'm not terrible. (At least, I think so.)