Apathy & Rhetoric


Leave a comment

Book Review: Abandon by Meg Cabot

This is a special book review because it is the review of January’s reading selection for the Escape Reality Book Club. (My apologies for being so late.) If you haven’t already voted for February’s selection, hurry up! Voting ends tonight (Feb 14).

duo

Abandon review

Official Overview:

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

1 star

My Review:

This book was extremely disappointing. I am a huge Meg Cabot fan, but if this book is any indicator Meg Cabot seems to have forgotten how to write. Everything is told in back story. Even when you think you’ve finally caught up, the book jumps ahead two days and then recaps. It’s annoying to say the least, not to mention boring. Cabot breaks the number one rule of writing: show, don’t tell. Everything is told.

 I also found the characters to be annoying sometimes and maybe unrealistic. Don’t even get me started on the romance scenes. Completely unbelievable (and remember, I normally like cheesy romance novels). The main character goes from terrified to in love in record time (with no real explanation why), while the boy she loves really needs to learn to communicate better.

There were moments that I loved, and thought showed great potential, but they were few and far between. I almost gave this book two stars just because of those small glimmers of hope, and because Cabot is one of my top ten favorite authors, but the reality is I can’t see myself recommending this book to anyone.

In conclusion, if you want a great, fun read I suggest any Meg Cabot book but this one.


Leave a comment

Escape Reality Book Club: February’s Nominations

Hosted by Apathy & Rhetoric and The Obsessive Bookseller #EscapeRealityBC

#EscapeRealityBC

 Hosted by The Obsessive Bookseller and Apathy & Rhetoric (That’s me!).

Escape Reality Book Club is a monthly online book club. Everybody is welcome to join. If you want to know more about how it works click here.

It’s time to vote for February’s book. Voting lasts from now until the fourteenth, and then we’ll read and tweet about the winning title the following week.

Here’s the nominations:

steelSteelheart by Brandon Sanderson

There are no heroes. Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.  Nobody fights the Epics… nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience. He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

the-enemyThe Enemy by Charlie Higson

They’ll chase you. They’ll rip you open. They’ll feed on you…When the sickness came, every parent, policeman, politician – every adult – fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry. Only children under fourteen remain, and they’re fighting to survive. Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city – down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground – the grown-ups lie in wait. But can they make it there – alive?

raven-boys

Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

miss-peregrineMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

rithmatistRithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings — merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles. As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing — kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery — one that will change Rithmatics — and their world — forever.


Leave a comment

Book Review: The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison

trioUndead Pool Summary

Official Overview:

Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering.

Rachel must stop the occurrences before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. However, the only way to do so is through the ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils.

4 stars

My Review:

I love this series, but at the same time always feel a little bored when I read it. Unfortunately, I can’t pinpoint why. The books have excellent plots, wonderful characters, and great writing. They just never seem to move as fast as I want them to. Perhaps I’m too impatient.

In any case, The Undead Pool is of the same caliber of quality as all of the eleven previous books, which means all you super fans out there should be very excited. While maybe not my favorite of the series, I definitely think Undead Pool is one of the better ones. The sad news is there is reportedly only going to be one more Hollows book after this one, which surprised me because I felt this one ended with enough new intrigue to keep the series going for awhile. 😦

One of my favorite things about this book was the character interaction. A key part to this series has been the trio (Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks) working together and helping each other. Each character had a unique skill and role to play. I’ve felt as though that element had disappeared in recent books, but am happy to say it makes a comeback. This of course means we see more of Ivy again, who seemed to have disappeared in the last couple of books. I missed her. The way she interacts with (and intimidates) people is always fun to read. Now, if only we can get back Glenn…

I also liked the development of Trent’s storyline, but I won’t give any details on that because of spoilers. I’m just happy that certain actions finally take place.

The second thing I really loved was the elven magic and the direction Harrison took with it. It opened up whole new realms of possibilities. I’ve always liked that in this series the magic has a clear method about it and seems almost scientific. Elven magic, on the other hand, breaks that mold. It follows completely different rules (which is probably why it gets called wild magic), and that excites me. I don’t know how to say more without giving away spoilers. Let’s just say the next book should be interesting.

There were a lot of key things that happened in this book (some subtle, some major) to progress the overall arc of the series. I was happy to see some of the loose ends that I felt were dragging the series down finally get resolved in this book. There was also a lot of new avenues opened, which left me (and will probably leave you, too) eagerly anticipating the next and final book. Let’s hope it comes quickly.


Leave a comment

Top Ten Worlds I Would Want to Live In

As promised…

1. Hogwarts from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Who wouldn’t?

2. Pern from The Dragonrider’s of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey – First off, you have the chance to be a dragonrider. On dragons that can go between time and place. Then there is the whole society of crafters and holders, which sounds kinda awesome. Plus who wouldn’t want to live on the Southern Continent where you can swim in the ocean all day and pick your dinner off of trees? Sure, there is the deadly thread that falls from the sky, but as long as you’re indoors you’re fine.

3. Fablehaven from Fablehaven by Brandon Mull – A secret reserve for all things magical that also has its own swimming pool. Just the fairies alone would make it worth it.

4.The Castle (and other worlds) from the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage – The Castle is my first preference because it has the underground tunnels and is the place to be if you want to become a wizard. However, the Marram Marshes and the Port sound pretty fun too. The forest would be fun to visit, but maybe not live. I think I’d try to stay clear of the Badlands.

5. Aloria of the Belgariad and Mallorean series by David Eddings – I can’t decide where in Aloria I’d like to live because each kingdom is so unique and fun. I’m thinking maybe Drasnia because of the spying (aka: knowing everything) and the secret sign language. I’d really like to be a sorceress, but living in the vale sounds kinda lonely.

6. Fictional Earth in The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs – This world is just like ours with the added benefit of werewolves, vampires, and fae; however, something about it is a lot more compelling than other paranormal stories. I think I could thrive in a werewolf pack like Adam’s or Bran’s. 🙂

7. Camp Half-Blood from Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan – I think the idea of being half god appeals to me way more than the actual camp, but I have always loved Greek mythology. I don’t think I’d enjoy the fighting though…

8. Fictional Historic England from most historical romance novels – So I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have liked the real England way back when, but the romance novels make it sound fun. Lots of parties and dances and a society that thinks people should never speak to each other until after they’ve been introduced, which would take away a lot of the anxiety. Not to mention, I’d be a total wallflower, which means I would be the one who got the devastatingly handsome and perfect man who plays the hero in all the best novels.

9. Krynn from the Dragonlance Saga by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman  –  I love the gnomes. I also think it would be cool to live in a tree. It’s been a long time since I’ve read these books, but I remember liking all the settings.

10. New Avalon from How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier – First off, everyone should read this book. It is uniquely brilliant, which is why I want to live in its world. The people in the city seem awesome and quirky and fun. I also want a fairy. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what mine should be. 😦

 

There you have it. A list that turned out to be much harder than the one about places I’d hate. I’m still not sure this list is accurate. Here are a few more titles that almost made the cut (mostly because I like their magic):

Landover from The Magical Kingdom of Landover series by Terry Brooks

Four Lands of The Shannara Series by Terry Brooks

Elenia from the Elenium and Tamuli series by David Eddings

Midkemia from The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist

D’Hara from The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind

 


8 Comments

Top Ten Worlds I Would NOT Want To Live In

toptentuesday

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I discovered something about myself while writing this post. Well, two things really. The first is that I’m pretty adaptable, and there aren’t a lot of places I couldn’t stand to live in. The second is that I tend to focus on only the fun and cool parts of fictional worlds and ignore the bad. In any case, here is my top ten worlds I’d least like to live in. (Hopefully, I didn’t forget any super obvious ones).

1. Westeros and Essos of the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin – Aside from a lot of dreadfully boring (in my opinion) politics, the people of these books are obsessed with rape, incest, murder, and dismemberment. In fact,in their society a person isn’t respected until they commit at least one of these sins. The world is a paradise for the morally corrupt, but definitely nowhere I want to be.

2. Hell from The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri – Confession: I haven’t read this book, but the setting sounds awful.

3. The Hunger Games Arena from The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins – Alright, I may not want to live in the districts either (seeing as they’re starving), but not all of them are as bad as 12, and the Capitol actually sounds kinda fun. I definitely wouldn’t want to be in the arena though. For one, I’d be one of the first to die. For another, I can’t see myself killing anyone in cold blood. Even killing someone in self-defense sounds a little hard.

4. Futuristic Earth from The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan – I don’t like Zombies. Nor do I like books/worlds where a lot of good people die.

5. Easton Academy from the Private Series by Kate Brian – The girls of this academy are so cliquey and shallow I really don’t think I could stand living with them. Not to mention they really need to sort out their priorities. (Note: I’ve only read book one, and I’m not even sure I finished.)


6. Futuristic Earth from Rootless by Chris Howard – The man-made trees sound awesome, but I don’t think I’d enjoy only being able to eat popcorn and having to avoid flesh-eating locusts.

7. Battle School from Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – The military school lifestyle is way to strict for me, and the zero-gravity games sound nauseating (or worse).

8. Morganville, Texas of the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine – While I would love to meet Claire, Eve, Shane, and Michael, and maybe even do some sightseeing, I don’t think Morganville would be a place I’d want to put down roots. Finding and keeping a protector (one that wouldn’t drain me dry) seems like a lot of work, and I don’t have the guts to go solo like the gang at the Glass house. (Not to mention I lack the awesome house.) Going to the blood bank to pay my taxes doesn’t sound fun either.

9. Fictional China of Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman – This society is way too sexist for me. It also has too many power struggles that I simply wouldn’t want to deal with. There are better worlds to live in if you’re looking for dragons.

10. Futuristic Earth of the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld – I wouldn’t want to live in a world so focused on looks that people stop being human. Cosmetic surgery sounds painful.

I enjoyed this post so much I’m going to try and do a follow up post this week listing the top ten worlds I WOULD want to live in.  What about you? Where would you want or not want to live?


2 Comments

Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist

toptentuesdayHosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Things On My Reading Wish List

(In other words, things I want authors to write about.)

I chose to do a mix of things I look for in books, things I enjoy in books,  and things I wish more author’s would write about.

In no particular order…

  1. Dragons – There really aren’t enough books with dragons.
  2. Magic – Whether it be sorcery, witchcraft, or werewolves, I love it.
  3. Strong WomenI’m ok if girls are girly, but I like them to be strong in character and not depend on a man to save them.
  4. Socially Awkward Women/Women Who Don’t Date A Lot – I like to be able to relate to them.
  5. Good Looking Men – What? I’m single.
  6. Knights – Who doesn’t want a knight in shining armor? (Even if you can take care of yourself.) Not to mention, books with knights usually have magic. My preference for knights might also be because of #7.
  7. World Building- This can be fictional or not (i.e. a planet with three moons or England during the regency era), but I like reading about different societies and how the people interact, dress, etc. It makes the book all that much more interesting. How boring would Harry Potter have been if the wizards dressed and acted just like the muggles?
  8. Comedy – I like to laugh. Too many books these days are serious and dramatic. (I’m talking about you, dystopians.)
  9. Cats – A lot of books (especially romance) have character’s with pet dogs. I prefer cats.
  10. Happy Endings

Agree, disagree? Can you think of anything I missed?


Leave a comment

Escape Reality Book Club’s January Selection: Abandon

Hosted by Apathy & Rhetoric and The Obsessive Bookseller #EscapeRealityBC

#EscapeRealityBC

Hosted by The Obsessive Bookseller and Apathy & Rhetoric (That’s me!)

Votes have been tallied and this month’s winner is Abandon by Meg Cabot!

abandon

Reading starts today! (Unless you’re like me and forgot to pick it up while at work today, then you’ll probably start tomorrow.) Join us for discussion at our Facebook page and on Twitter at #EscapeRealityBC all this week.* Comment below if you’ll be joining us. 🙂

If you missed the introduction to this book club you can read about it here.

*Confession: I’ve never actually used Twitter before. Wish me Luck!


Leave a comment

Introducing: Escape Reality Book Club

Escape Reality Book Club

Hooray, a book club!

Brought to you by Niki, The Obsessive Bookseller, and me, the awesomeness behind Apathy and Rhetoric.

(Admit it, you’re shocked at my productivity.)

That’s right, Niki and I are hosting a book club. We actually did this a couple of years ago, but this time we both have blogs, and therefore, are taking it online so that awesome people like you can join in and share your input.  While both Niki and I love books for all ages, this books club is going to be only for Teen/Young Adult novels, preferably of the unrealistic variety.

Here’s how it works:

  • Each month one member gets to nominate about 5 books.
  • Everybody votes for their favorite. (Polls will be available here and at The Obsessive Bookseller.)
  • Once the winner is picked, we will read the book over the course of a (designated) week. (This is actually going to be a challenge for me because I usually only take a day or two to finish a book, but I’m going to force myself just for you because… )
  • During that week, Niki and I will be posting on Twitter with our spoiler free* comments, questions, and reactions. Everybody else who is reading the book–or has already read it–is welcome (and encouraged) to join in.
  • At the end of the week Niki and I will each post our own review of the book on our blogs, and all you  other bloggers out there will hopefully do the same.

Everybody gets the chance to participate by voting, reading, and tweeting. If you want a chance to be the one to make the nominations one month, then all you have to do is click here and go to the official Escape Reality Book Club Facebook page, and ask to join the group.

Here are January’s Nominations (Chosen by me!) 🙂

Defiance by C. J. Redwine

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a  secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel  knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to  return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector,  her father’s apprentice, Logan–the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the  same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s  survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a  heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

Why I picked it: I’ve been looking for a good fantasy read, and the summary sounds exciting.

Last Dragonslayer

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

In the good old days, magic was indispensable. But now magic is fading: Drain cleaner is cheaper than  a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange runs Kazam,  an employment agency for magicians—but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And  then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed  Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam—and for Jennifer.

Why I picked it: Anything with Dragons has a 99% chance of being amazing.

abandon

Abandon by Meg Cabot

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at  once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always  watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you  back. But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe  she can stop feeling so afraid. Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how  desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly  heaven, yet she can’t stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it,  but exactly when she needs him most. But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find  herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

Why I picked it: I love Meg Cabot. I would have read this one sooner, but decided to wait until the trilogy was over so I wouldn’t be stuck waiting.

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Why I picked it: My friend Janae has been begging me to read this. She says it’s the best she’s read since Hunger Games.

Princess of the Silver Woods

Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George

When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor’s twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it’s not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse. The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a twist as Petunia and her many sisters take on bandits, grannies, and the new King Under Stone to end their family curse once and for all.

Why I picked it: Jessica Day George is another great author. I picked this, but it wasn’t until Niki pointed out it was the third in a series that I realized I’ve read the first two books in the series (and loved them)! Don’t worry, you don’t need to read the first two books to know what is going on. Each book stands on its own.

Remember, you can vote here and then head over to The Obsessive Bookseller for an extra vote. 🙂

The winner will be announced, and reading will commence on Monday, January 20.

*I reserve the right to make predictions in my tweets, and cannot be blamed if those predictions become true and ruin the book for you.


Leave a comment

Update on Weekly Meme Thingy

In case any of you were dying to see if I kept to the resolutions I made a week ago, I thought I’d give you an update. The Weekly Meme Thingy I mentioned called Writer’s Block Wednesday will not be starting today. After much thought, I decided it worked better as a weekend thing. My reasons:

  1. More people have time to write on the weekend.
  2. It is a two-part meme, which means I need at least two days for it. Since all meme’s must be alliterations in order to be good,* I decided to call it Writer’s Block Weekend.**
  3. I am contemplating joining the Waiting On…Wednesday Meme Thingy, and didn’t want to do two memes in one day.***
  4. I watch Psych on Wednesdays.

 

Look for it this weekend! (Unless I get busy; however, I guarantee I’ll have it up before the end of the year). 😉

 

*I might try to disprove this theory.

**I’m still not 100% happy with the name; therefore, it is still subject to change.

***I don’t like the name of this meme. It makes it sound like I’m waiting for Wednesday, which makes no sense because all new books come out on Tuesday.****

****Unless they are by James Patterson, then they come out on Monday.