Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Raw, Creepy and Haunting: Meg Myers | Musical Obsessions

Today, I'm sharing with you guys the fantastic creator that is Meg Myers. I originally found her through this fantastic trailer artist that featured one of her songs in her The Raven Boys trailer and I've never looked back since.

Her songs are raw, creepy, and haunting. It's the soundtrack of a haunted house or a murder spree, if that makes any sense, and it's one of my favorite themes in music. Yes, I'm slightly morbid.

In some of these songs, her voice grates as if she's screaming her soul out and it's glorious. But I don't mean screaming like metal music or anything... you'll just have to check some of the videos bellow to understand what I mean haha

So, I'm going to link to three of my favorite songs of hers (I love so many of her songs, it's not even funny).
Lemon Eyes 
Go - couldn't find the video here so take a link and a gif ;)

Also top favorite recommendations: Heart Heart Head, Adelaide, Sorry, 

So... did you like the songs? Which one is your favorite? Are you going to listen to more songs by her?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa | Book Review

First Published: 2010
Library Paperback
Young Adult, Fantasy
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny--one she could never have imagined...
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school...or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth--that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face...and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
Well. You can just look on my (many) GR status updates about The Iron King to see it definitely had an effect on me - I kept having things to say about it.
click here to read the rest :3
In all honesty, I wonder if this wasn't because the Iron King was my first buddy-read more than anything else. Because The Iron King was a good book, but it didn't blow my mind... And I desperately tried to hide that.

When I started this book, I pretty much knew nothing about it. The last time I read the synopsis was eons before and I was just a little too lazy to read it again or something. So I didn't know what to expect, yet I was surprised by what I got. Does that make sense?

The world of The Iron King strongly resembles that of Wicked Lovely, with its faeries, courts and michief. In my original review, I stated that I would pick this one over Wicked Lovely. That was a lie. What I actually meant was that this book would appeal more to young adults and ya lovers because of it's adventures and quirky characters. It's the book I would give my bookworm niece to read.

But on a personal level, I probably love Wicked Lovely a lot more.

Our main character is Meghan Chase, and can I just say I was very impressed by her? She shows remarkable cleverness despite the unknown world and rules she falls into, she is brave and loyal and she is such a caretaker. I just wish she'd stop promising deals without a second thought to what it may cause.

Puck/Robin is Meghan's bff. I had really mixed feelings towards him. At first glance, I loved him. But after he showed his true form and started being so harsh and mocking toward Meghan who literally knows nothing of his world instead of explaining things to her, I wanted to slap his face off.

Then there is Ash, a handsome Winter Prince. And... that's it, really. I know everyone is like *fangirl screaming voice* Aaaaaaaaaaaaashhhhhhhhhhhh *normal voice* but I don't see the appeal. He was too all over the place - one minute cold, then sweet, then bored, then caring, with barely a warning in between. Decide who you are, then come back to talk to me, mm'kay?

And because I wasn't really feeling it with Ash, I wasn't the biggest fan of the romance. Mostly because it appeared really abruptly. Where is the falling-in-love sense? Where are all the little sweet moment that make up that process? I didn't see them.

I will admit to liking the two of them together after, though. Their first kiss had me tingly all over, so I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and hope they will swipe me off the feet in the next book. Oh, and here's to hoping that foreboding sense of a love-triangle will not come to fruition, or at the very least not be heavy on it.

My favorite character is not a human or a fairy though. No, my favorite character is a cat. A wickedly cool one at that. Grimalkin is the Cheshire cat of this universe and I dig it.

And finally.. Ethan. God, the adorableness! I love children in books, and Ethan is just such a cute one. Fingers crossed he is a part of the next book!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Why Sleepy Hollow is Like an Ex you Want to Ax | TV Buzz

Full disclosure: I stopped watching Sleepy Hollow on season 1.

Why, then, am I still going to add in my two cents? Why do I feel like I even can? First, read this little post about how I watch tv for some insight on my unique viewing method. Second, I am going to directly explain why I stopped watching Sleepy Hollow back when, and why I am eternity happy for this after THIS clusterfuc (I have just seen the last few scenes of season three finale and my RAGE is on).

Also, here's to hoping season 4 gets cancelled after two episodes without Abbie, because I can't with this fuckery and I don't even mind the fact I'm being super negative right now.

So. My experience with Sleepy Hollow started as love at first sight, but after rashly moving in together I soon found out Sleepy Hollow threw all it's dirty socks everywhere in the house, took pisses in the garden and stole all the dog's biscuits for itself. The breakup was pretty amicable; I packed my things and stopped coming "home"; Sleepy Hollow never called.

Slightly exaggerated? Perhaps. Let's try being a little more realistic about it. Here's the deal: when I started watching Sleepy Hollow; I loved it. I loved how it felt very similar to Castle in the type of relationship and banter Abbie and Crane had, and I loved how it was episodic mysteries that connect into a bigger, sinister, magical arc. There wasn't a lot of things like it on TV and I hoped it would fill a niche I've been needing and missing.
I continued to love it, continued to look forward to every episode and the next cute moment between our dashing heroes with the palpable chemistry until the whole thing with Henry. This was the metaphorical time I saw Sleepy Hollow fight with the dog for the dog biscuit. I promise this metaphor is going to make more sense in a sec.

You see, Henry is a sin eater. And a son. And a horseman. And a ton of other shit.

Specifically, he's Ichabod Crane's son with his witch wife. Only, Crane died without ever knowing he was going to have a son. His wife, chased by her witch coven, leaves the child in (what she thinks is) safety with a couple and then runs to lead the coven away. After which she is imprisoned in another dimension for centuries. 

Henry knows all of this. He knows his father is dead. He knows his mother sacrificed herself for him, even if it ended up being for nothing. He knows they had no choice in the matter. And still, he becomes evil because he hates them. He hates them for leaving him. He hates them for abandoning him. He hates them for how he has been buried alive by his mother's coven. Both his parents essentially died, and he's angry to the point of becoming devil's instrument to get back at them.

Excuse me while I go bang my head against a table.
This was my and Sleepy Hollow's first big fight. I just couldn't understand the freakin' logic behind this. WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO EAT THE DOG BISCUITS WHEN WE HAVE PERFECTLY GOOD COOKIES ON THE COUNTER?

Maybe if Henry hadn't knows his parents were dead to the world, maybe if he thought they really have abandoned him, maybe, then, I could fathom this plot line. As it was, I stood there baffled at his weak reasons for being the piece of shit he is.

I struggled with this unreasonable plot twist of Sleepy Hollow the entire hiatus. Mostly, it was because it showed me I couldn't trust Sleepy Hollow's writers. Because it showed me they valued shock a lot more than they did sound, logical story-telling that builds on what you've established before. Because they thought more on the twist than the reason for it. 
Or better yet, don't. This was not the last time Sleepy Hollow's writers let the fandom down.

As is my way, I chose to look at season two of Sleepy Hollow from the relative safety of tumblr; I wanted to see if it got better, to see where the next season was headed, before committing myself to this relationship any further. Sleepy Hollow has betrayed me once, and I wanted to see whether it would correct its ways or dot dot dot.

The things I saw were NOT good. I saw Sleepy Hollow becoming about family drama (that made no sense!). I saw characters being wronged and neglected to sidekicks and arm pieces. I saw finales that were on the verge of ridiculous and I saw FUCKING HENRY CONTINUE TO BE FUCKING MORONIC. (I have a lot of rage on the Henry front.)

The only thing that remained constant, the only thing I saw fans comment on time and time again was the friendship, and possible more ship, to Abbie and Crane. Their banter, their chemistry, their connection. THIS was the glue that still held the show together, the fans immense love for these two, together, on screen.
Which brings up to the point of THIS debacle. Sleepy Hollow continued despite my dislike. It hardly saw fit to cease to be because I lost faith, the scoundrel. And Abbie Mills continued to be negated and neglected until the third season finale came. Continued to become an instrument through which Crane is illustrated. The white, male hero. I don't like going there but... I'm going there.

Abbie was killed off.

Now, two things: a. I can totally believe this was the actress's wish. As a lot of people have noted, her twitter and instagram tell a very clear, stark picture. But one has to ask himself why things were so bad that she wanted to leave. The WHY is as big part of all this. For a main actress to want to leave her show...  that's not a normal situation.

b. there could have been an acceptable way to do this. Not a right way, or a good way, because the right and good choice would not have been to kill off one of your main due, which is like killing a golden goose, but an acceptable way.
Before I explain the acceptable way Sleepy Hollow could've taken this, let's review the very, very, very, very, very, very wrong way Sleepy Hollow's writers chose to take this death. Because Sleepy Hollow's writers decided to try to explain and excuse themselves inside the finale, by given Abbie ridiculous words.

Abbie tells Crane, and the viewers, inside this death vision (I actually watched this full scene and growled while doing so) that she has done her duty. She has completed her mission. Her mission to... make Crane more? She is at peace because she has fulfilled her meaning in life. Crane. To be an instruments in Crane's journey.

This was all she was meant to be, and so, it's her time to go.
This is not some subtext inside a scene. This is literally what she tells Crane. WHAT IS THIS BULLSHIT? the writers are essentially telling the viewers not to be mad. Abbie was never meant to be a main character. Abbie's relationship and banter with Crane was not the crux of the story. We've been watching the show wrong this whole time. It was all about Crane. Crane is the real hero! Here, even Abbie says it! Believe it!

Fuck. Out.
Of all the ways it could've went, you went with this nonsense? What is the purpose of degrading all Abbie was for three seasons to an accessory and a literal stepping stone? And then, you go and add to it that her soul has moved on to someone else, making Abbie replaceable? Making the person who was Abbie unimportant because she could be anyone, really, for this plot's sake?

I'm looking forward to watching (from afar) the writers trying to dig themselves out of this one. They can't have a white replacement because RACISM! The fandom would shout it, people outside the fandom would shout it, and I would most certainly shout it. The white, male hero did not need the black female heroine and so she was replaced with a white one.

If they bring in another black woman... WHY DID YOU THROW ABBIE AWAY??
Now, the acceptable way to take this death?

First, don't explain her death at all. Definitely don't bring into the whole thing a death vision where you force Abbie to make herself nothing at all. Let Crane mourn, for more than half a scene, and let the viewers remember Abbie for all she was and not this reduced existence you made her into with one choppy scene with awful dialogue. Don't bring in reincarnations (or if you feel like you must, at least not yet). Don't send Crane in a chase for a replacement for Abbie.

End the season with grieving. Respect both the character and the fandom that truly adored her. Maybe have the next season (blah) start with that as well. With Crane lost and stumbling without his Leftenant. Let the viewers FEEL the impact of Abbie and what she was to Crane, and not this blatant disrespect to everything YOU have built this show on.

Let us see how lost he is. And after we have fully dealt with her death, have come to accept that the show loved Abbie as well (which clearly, it does not, as it was desperate to get rid of the body but keep the position), introduce the idea of a new female lead.
Instead, Crane is left to mourn for a minute and a half. Then he is told by his friend not to be sad, finds out her soul still lives, and goes to look for his next companion. Making Abbie's death mean nothing at all. 

Top aces, Sleepy Hollow

Thursday, May 26, 2016

My (Extra)ordinary Way to Watch TV

I don't think I watch TV (or more accurately, TV shows) quite the same way other people do, if I were honest. 

It starts off one of two ways: I either find a show through tumblr by seeing dozens of gif sets or what not, finding a couple that looks beyond adorable to ship, and then jumping in to join the party. Or, I find a show through sidereel or my mother's recommendation and THEN move to tumblr.

As you can see, tumblr is pretty important in my watching method either way. I'm emphasizing this because it's going to be extra important in just a sec. 
After I've decided on a show to watch, I usually watch around the first eight episodes in one go... and maybe the whole season. I Just binge right through them. Worth noting:

  • If a show has eight episodes and I find myself stopping in episode three or four, then I probably won't continue with it because it means the show is not for me. Usually, I know why I'm stopping but sometimes it just doesn't click.
  • If a show is ongoing and doesn't have that many, even if I'm head over heels in love with the episodes I've watched, chances are I'll drop it until there's at least a full season before I continue watching because I tend to forget shows.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Perfection by R.L. Mathewson | Book Review

Neighbor From Hell #2
First Published: 2011
Adult, contemporary
Zoe is used to taking care of herself and has long ago accepted that if anything bad was going to happen, it was going to happen to her. So when she loses her job over something most bosses would probably be happy with and her life starts going down hill from there she doesn't expect it to get any better. She certainly didn't expect any help from the loud jerk next door, but then again she has nothing to lose so puts her trust in him and hopes for the best. What she didn't expect was the once in a lifetime opportunity that he offers her through an arrangement where they both benefit and no one is supposed to get hurt, but she should have known better because her luck has never been that good.
Like most Bradfords, Trevor has a soft spot for food, but that's about all. He leads a pretty straightforward life and likes to keep things simple and that includes his relationships. He wants the perfect woman and knows exactly what she'll be like. So when he discovers much to his horror that he's thinking about his frumpy little neighbor he decides the best way to get his head straight is by working her out of his system. He'll keep her around, but only until he finds perfection.
I originally read Perfection a long time ago. It was one of these romances that just stuck with me, so when I needed a good pick-me-up I decided to re-read this one and maybe finally review it. Well, here goes nothing.

It occurs to me that the reason I love this book so much is because Zoe, and how she feels about herself, strikes a cord with me. It twists my insides to read her inner monologue and matter-of-fact reflection on her body image... because I feel like I'm listening to my own thoughts. My own darkest fears and insecurities. I thought maybe I dreamed how much I related to her but NOPE, still relatable af.

Out of all the heroines in the Neighbor from Hell series, she is my favorite because of this.

But the best part about this story? Zoe get's the guy. Trevor is an eye candy, and he knows it. He is arrogant, self important and douche-y, like all Bradfords before him... and like all of them, he has a good heart. A heart that's just waiting for the right woman to devote itself to. And the more he falls for Zoe (despite his insistent otherwise), the better person he becomes. 

Of course, outside of the fantastic relationship and it's slow build, you have the usual hilarity that ensues whenever a Bradford (or heaven forbids, three) are on the scene. And as always, we are still baffled by the notion of how does a whole family gets banned for life from a restaurant!? 

Perfection is in it's core a romantic comedy that will make you love a jerk and be happy about it, dangit!. Hollywood, I won't mind if you adapt this one into a RomCom. Just don't get me an anorectic actress to play Zoe, please... 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare | Book Review

The Infernal Devices #1
First Published: 2009
Young Adult, Fantasy
Magic is dangerous — but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Friendless and hunted, Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by — and torn between — two best friends and quickly realizes that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
If you've been following this blog for the short while it has existed, you probably already know I gave up on The Mortal Instruments after the third book. So you might be a bit surprised to see this review.

But after hearing so many good things about The Infernal Devices and it's superiority to TMI, I decided to give it a shot, hoping it might be a different reading experience than the former. I desperately wanted it to be. I wanted to be swept into Clare's world like so many others do. But alas, it was not in the stars. Again.

As I've mentioned before, the main issue I have with Clare's books is that they just fail to properly grab me. I always end up reading them really slowly. It tires me. In this particular story, I kept flipping to the end, in the hope of peaking my interest. It mostly didn't help, aside for spoiling the Big Bad for me, which only served to make me upset about the lack of hinting in his direction (that I could note).

Then there was the romance. In TMI (first trilogy), I was kind of on-board. I liked Jace, and I liked that there was never really a love triangle. I was looking forward to the romance in TID, seeing as everyone freakin' loves Will and Jem.

Did I get what I was hoping for? Nope. Aside for the fact I did not swoon for Will (he was kind of too inconsistent for me, hot than cold and over again, and while I'm sure we're going to explore his past and get his redemption, that's not done in this book), I did not understand why Tessa was falling for him.

The few decent interaction they had ended poorly. It was insta love, from start to finish. Jem, at the very least, was very sweet to our MC. Falling for him, especially at this point, would've made much more sense.

To be completely honest, I was way more interested in the side characters, such as Charlotte & Henry, and Sophie. I kept looking forward to their scenes, wanted to see how their stories would play out. If I read on (which will probably happen as I already own the third book), it will be mostly for these guys. Sorry!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop | Book Review

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop
The Others #4
First Published: 2016
Adult, Fantasy
For centuries, the Others and humans have lived side by side in uneasy peace. But when humankind oversteps its bounds, the Others will have to decide how much humanity they’re willing to tolerate—both within themselves and within their community...
Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others changed. Some, like Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn, see the new, closer companionship as beneficial—both personally and practically.
But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others—and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs…
Well. That happened.
I cried. I laughed. I squealed like an anime girl spotting her favorite Senpai reading the same manga she loves. I bit my nails. I awwed and ewwwed. I can't even with all these emotions and feelings. 

Like, I don't know how to deal with this. This book was devastating to me. I came here to have fun and I honestly feel so attacked right now. I mean, I knew it will get bad. I knew the stakes are rising and we're going to get some really bad stuff.

But... like... I sobbed. Why did you have to do this to me? Why????

Aside for that, this book got my shipping vibes rolling. We all ship Meg and Simon, and by this point that particular ship is more an armada that contains every single living soul in the novels plus everyone reading them, BUT I was seeing so much potential for more hybrid couples (as I shall now call them) in this novel.

There's Toyla, for one, whom I can pair with a couple of lovely ladies, and I feel like Jesse mentioned Shelley meeting the right guy for a reason, and her fascination with vampires (I'm sorry, I can't pronounce their actual specie's name in this series, let alone remember how to write it...)   has to come into play somehow. I mean, so far Anne Bishop have used every "small" detail that shouldn't matter to her advantage and made it important.

Now, this book gets a four and a half star rating because a lot of time was invested outside the Lakeside Courtyard and with new characters. I liked all the newbies and I liked their story, and I definitely see the necessity of it as the books progress in scale - it's no longer about the fight of the Lakeside Courtyard, but that of the entire continent and then some - but they aren't the Lakeside Courtyard, and the Lakeside Courtyard is where my heart lies and always will lie.

Speaking of my heart...
Was I supposed to live through that last scene? Because I think I've died. Like, seriously. That was so worth it. It's been wonderful enough that everyone knows they're going to be mates at some point. By now, it's just a matter of time and even Meg and Simon acknowledge that in their inner monologues. BUT, to have a scene like this... 

All I can think about is getting my hands on book five. The last book.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter | Book Review

Heist Society #2
First Published: 2011
Young Adult, Contemporary
"You're a smart girl, Katarina--too smart to take stupid chances. Better thieves than you have gone after that blasted stone, and they have paid"
Uncle Eddie stopped, and Kat could have sworn she saw his hands shake. His lips were a thin hard line when he whispered, "Great thieves have paid dearly."
Kat's voice was different when she said, "I know."
"We do not steal the Cleopatra, Katarina. It is..." Eddie trailed off, struggling for words.
"Cursed," Kat offered.
Eddie turned to her. He shock his head. "Forbidden."
So, if you read my review of Heist Society, you probably didn't expect me to pick up book two. I didn't think I'd do that, either. But then, while looking through my local bookstore, I found a hardcover copy of Uncommon Criminals and I just... thought it was so damned pretty. #Shallow

I was hoping Uncommon Criminals might actually live to the potential of the awesome idea behind these books, but while it was a better read than the first, it was by no mean anything incredible.

Maybe Carter's writing is just not for me - a lot of people praise this book as an exciting and fast story. To me, the book was the complete opposite - it was a fast read, sure, but the content of the book felt slow and somewhat anticlimactic.

I did like Kat a whole lot more in this book. While she's always been likable, she's also been a flat character. In this installment, she's added more depth and felt a lot more rounded. She still lacked a past, but it wasn't as intolerable as in Heist Society.

Alongside Kat, Hale and Gabrielle get an upgrade in the depth department as well. Unfortunately, Simon and the brothers are left as the one dimensional decoration they were in Heist Society which sucks because I really like these characters. Far more than I like Gabrielle.

As for the romance - it was still such a small, undeveloped and unsatisfying part of the plot, but I am proud to say I'm Team Hale, and luckily (if I'm reading things correctly) he's also endgame, so yay for me! Though, I don't think my curiosity in that aspect is enough to make me read on with this series.

One thing that really bothered me and drove me nuts were the heists themselves. Lots of parts were just left out and made no sense at all! Like, the Interpol. For god's sake, how did they make all these things explode? Or the doves and the casino. Maybe those are actually robot doves and that's why they did exactly what they wanted them to.

I felt like Carter thought of all those interesting ideas for the heists, but had no idea how to explain them... so she didn't, believing the reader would just suck it up despite it. It may not bother everyone, but to me this was a major issue.

Maybe book three will be better. Maybe not. I'll probably never find out.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Nonsensical and Ridiculous in the Best of Ways: "Gintama" | #PAP Review

Gintama (2006)
MAL Top Anime List*: #10
# Episodes watched (so far): 26 out of 201
Will I continue?: Yes
Aired: Apr 4, 2006 to Mar 25, 2010
Followed by: Gintama'
Comedy, Parody, Samurai
The Amanto, aliens from outer space, have invaded Earth and taken over feudal Japan. As a result, a prohibition on swords has been established, and the samurai of Japan are treated with disregard as a consequence.
However one man, Gintoki Sakata, still possesses the heart of the samurai, although from his love of sweets and work as a yorozuya, one might not expect it. Accompanying him in his jack-of-all-trades line of work are Shinpachi Shimura, a boy with glasses and a strong heart, Kagura with her umbrella and seemingly bottomless stomach, as well as Sadaharu, their oversized pet dog. Of course, these odd jobs are not always simple, as they frequently have run-ins with the police, ragtag rebels, and assassins, oftentimes leading to humorous but unfortunate consequences.
Who said life as an errand boy was easy?
The top anime on MAL (currently) is the latest sequel to Gintama. Originally, I tried watching that. I got 7 minutes into the episode (seven hilarious minutes) before I established that I should watch the original series to fully appreciate it.

Which is how I made my way to the #10 seed, Gintama (2006). 

Gintama is the sort of anime I have a trouble keeping up with... because it has no story arc (so far) to carry the "plot", just nonsensical episodes on episodes that don't really connect unless they joke on past episodes events.

The series revolves around Gintoki, Kagura and Shimura. The description of their job is "odd jobs" - they will literally do anything for money (but they're so outrages it usually ends badly, so they're constantly broke). The anime relies and the dynamics between them, which are ridiculous to watch. A bit like a dysfunctional family.

It's extreme funny (though, just from the first episode of the sequel I can determine that one is even funnier) and you spend most of the episodes baffled and going WTF, but with a teasing smile at the corner of your mouth as your brain tries to figure out what's going on and then decides it's just not worth the headache.

It also relies on references and 'inside jokes'. I don't always get the references (I am not that knowledgeable about popular anime, especially in the last few years), but those I did get kind of killed me.

The strength of Gintama is that I can put it aside when I don't feel up to it (and when there's no overall plot to suck me in, I usually don't feel up to it) and pick it up again when I need a pick-me-up without having to re-watch any of the episodes prior to it.

I will definitely keep up with this show, but it might take me years to finish it - it will all depend on when I'm "in the mood" for random nonsense.

*The number detailed here is accurate to the time this post was written on. 
**The # is also based on the anime page and not the list, as MAL's Top List has a general view that includes movies, OVAs and the likes and a narrowed list of just the Anime. I go by the narrowed list, but the anime page goes by the general. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Ceremony in Death by J.D. Robb | Book Review

In Death #5
First Published: 1997
Adult, Mystery
Conducting a top secret investigation into the death of a fellow police officer has Lieutenant Eve Dallas treading on dangerous ground. She must put professional ethics before personal loyalties. But when a dead body is placed outside her home, Eve takes the warnning personally. With her husband, Roarke, watching her every move, Eve is drawn into the most dangerous case of her career. Every step she takes makes her question her own beliefs of right and wrong--and brings her closer to a confrontation with humanity's most seductive form of evil...
I swear, J.D. Robb keeps getting better!

This time the investigation centers around Wicca and Witchcraft, sprinkling the already wonderful mix of action, suspense and romance with a dash of fantasy; ensuring that everyone can find something to enjoy in the latest installment in Eve & Roake's lives.

I love watching how, with every case, Eve trusts Roarke more. This time, she openly makes use of his abilities as she can't use her department's. Eve just keeps evolving, and I love her so much! That's not to say I wasn't annoyed with her in this installment. I kept shouting at her to listen to what her heart tells her - but she just wouldn't do it! Damn it, woman!

Roarke is a dream boat as always, and this eye-candy multimillionaire just got a whole lot more interesting when we learn he believes in magic. I swear, the guy gets more enticing with each read. Where is my own flesh-and-blood Roarke?!

Feeney kind of broke my heart in this one. The friendly geek mentor is grieving, and Eve is forbidden from bringing him on the case. That creates a bit of tension. And what I mean by that is that I was about to cry. For him and Eve and the whole messed up situation. I was being gutted from the inside!!

And the villain? I don't think you can shout messed up loud enough to convoy the right level of messed up. This time, Robb didn't even try to hide the killers, going as far as to show parts of their pov. *shudders*

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Introducing #PAP: The Popular Anime Project

For those who don't know, I am a huge anime fan. My love for anime started years ago (ten? Twelve?), but has taken a blow since I started properly reading again in high-school. It seems I can't binge watch shows when I binge read instead lol 

Anyways, one thing that has always been true about my anime experience is that I tend to shy away from popular anime. I am just so... scared of them, I guess? I have the same trouble in books, but with books I usually crack and just read them.

Lately, I've been wanting to really get back to anime, especially since my brother got into it and won't shut up about it.

And what better way than to try all those A list anime?

The Popular Anime Project (or PAP for short) is fairly simple. On the site My Anime List there is a list of the top popular anime. Every time, I'm going to pick an anime from the top 50 (not necessarily by order, because some of these are sequels and continuations) and then review it.

I will not necessarily finish every anime. I may even review the same anime more than once as I move farther into the episodes. 

At the end of the day, you'll have a fairly good view on how I fare with popular anime, get quite a few recs (I would assume) and I get to finally be able to say "yes I watched it" when people ask me lol

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Heist Society by Ally Carter | Book Review

Heist Society #1
First Published: 2010
Library Paperback
Young Adult, Contemporary
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.
Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.
For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.
For a while, I've been meaning to read a Carter book. She just seemed like one of those must-read authors to me, you know? Between her Gallagher Girls series and Heist Society, Heist Society caught my attention. I just liked the idea of a young thief better than a school for spies (too much like Spy Kids, for me). I'm not entirely sure I made the right choice.

Because while I enjoyed the idea of this story, I was far from thrilled with the execution.

Heist Society begins at a prestigious school - and the expulsion of one student. Her name is Katarina Bishop, but everybody besides her great Uncle Eddie call her Kat -- including her best friend (and possibly more) Hale and their crew; the brothers, Simon and Gabrielle.

Throughout the entire read, I kept wondering who the hell are these people? All these characters appear one moment, disappear the second, return the next - but we never learn about them. They are so underdeveloped, we know practically nothing about them or their pasts, why they do what they do, nothing! We very occasionally see unexplained glimpses, little references to things we don't know.

The characters are very flat, in that way, and as I never felt like I knew them - I never invested in them either. All we know about them is what's happening to them right now, making them just two dimensional--if not one dimensional--decorations. 

The trickiest part in regards to this book is the writing. I liked certain aspects of it, and hated others.

I liked: - how Carter went from the present to the past or the future for a second, giving extra information and sometimes even outright telling us what to pay attention to. To me, it was an element that kept me reading and interested.

-How Carter kept dropping bombs out of nowhere, withholding information until a certain point. It kept the read interesting because you knew Kat found something - but you have to read on to find out what.

-How the pov switched between the various characters while in operation, so we could see all the position and roles. It flowed perfectly and made the whole thing a lot more interesting.

I didn't like: - how Carter jumped placed. One moment we're in England, the next Paris, the third New York, and it's all too fast, too abrupt and without explanation. You never once saw the travel, instead you were teleported in space with no concept of time or culture to it. In fact, if Carter hadn't written the location's name each time I would've never known we were someplace else.

- The counting clock, making me feel like I was dropped in the middle of a 24 episode or something.

-How even the action wasn't exciting, to me.

It wasn't the fun read it was supposed to be, you know? 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli | Book Review

First Published: 2015
Young Adult, Contemporary
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
Okay, so I admit I have been mostly hesitant to read this. I knew everybody and their dogs loves this, but I don't read too much LGBT novels (and maybe that's wrong of me), and so I was kind of afraid of this. I mean, what would happen if I didn't like it? *gasp*

But when it was on sale on kindle, I had to one click it. And then it was just a matter of time until I was in the mood for something I don't normally read, and so I opened it and... 


It was adorable! I was shipping Simon and Blue from the get-go (both e-mail Blue and who I hopped Blue was--and he was him!! Happiest happy dance ever!)

Simon was just funny and quirky and very teenager-y and real and he was such a strong person (I could never be this strong), and this whole story felt of first love and all the confusion and uneasiness that comes with it. 

And of course, there is the coming of age and coming out issues in this novel. I loved how this book didn't entertain the thought "being gay is wrong" for even a second. How it was never a matter of if but when with everything.

I loved the friendships depicted here and the familial relationship.

Honestly, this book has so much win and so much heart and so much soul in it and good and healthy relationships that are not perfect 'cause yo we're all human and it was so enjoyable!

This is the type of novel I feel like I would probably re-read when I need something adorable but also thought-provoking.  

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Rapture in Death by J.D. Robb | Book Review

In Death #4
First Published: 1996
Adult, Mystery

When the autopsies of three suspicious suicides reveal small burns on the brains of the victims, Eve's investigation turns to the provocative world of virtual reality games--where the same techniques used to create joy and desire could also prompt the mind to become the weapon of its own destruction. J.D. Robb is the pseudonym of author Nora Roberts.

With every book that I read, the In Death series seems to be getting better. Maybe I'm watching the growth of Robb as a writer in front of my very eyes. Maybe it's the characters developing. But whatever the reason, Rapture in Death is my favorite of the series so far, but something tells me it might not stay there for long--maybe not even as far as the next book.

We left Eve and Roarke finally married, and what comes after a wedding? a honeymoon! Only, a power couple like Eve and Roarke can't possibly have a normal honeymoon. Nope, their honeymoon has to end with a murder looking like a suicide.


If you don't know these books and are a bit confused, Eve is a tough homicide detective in 2058 New York whose sole mission in life is to bring justice to those who have been robbed of theirד. Her other half, Roarke, is the guy who owns half of this futuristic world. The guy who's picture you'd see in the dictionary underneath multi-billionaire. The guy who is the definition of wicked, smart and sizzling.

And if you're ever in search of a brilliant, sustaining, steady romance in books - this couple will always be at the top of my list.

The strongest part of this book was seeing the growth in Eve. She finally shows fear; both ordinary fears and emotional ones. That's a far cry from the detective we met in Naked in Death, who would've never even dreamed of letting someone else see her afraid.

Then there was the fact she finally trusts Roarke and his magical hands enough to go against procedures and the rules in exchange for a faster result. That is yet another thing she would've never done before.

But Eve isn't the only one developing - Roarke is, as well. We got to see a lot more of him and his past in this book, and we encountered his cruel and cold side when someone does something he can't forgive. Call me twisted or crazy, but I loved that side of him in this context. Sometime, a little evil is warranted.

And while this book deals with horrific murders, it never failed to make me laugh. I love that about J.D. Robb. The power to take something heavy and, without taking from it, make it into something a person can smile from is rare and valuable.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Should I Hide These Topics Under Spoiler Tags?

This discussion is basically thank to polandbananasBOOKS on Youtube.

You see, on Christine's Hamilton tag video, she got into a mini rant over one of the tag's questions, which was: a book with a twist you did not see coming.

Her point was that she always gets really upset when reviews talk about the twists in books, because by talking about the twist, the actual shock and surprise of it is negated, because you know it's coming. 

You basically expect it, you look for it. You start thinking outside the box at what might surprise you and looking for clues to see which option is the correct one... this is how I figure out 90% of the "twists" in books. Some books even have "with twists you won't see coming" on the cover. So, dude, now I'm definitely going to see it coming. 

Listening to her, I started thinking to myself... dude, she's right. Why aren't talks of twists marked in spoiler tag? Should they be? On the one hand, it's vague in the sense you don't say what the twist is, you just discuss the emotions it gave you. On the other... refer to the paragraph above.

Her mini-rant has made me decide to hide any talk of twists in my reviews under spoiler tag. Because, I am still going to want to talk about it. But I'm not going to "force" you to get spoiled, even in the "smallest" of senses, without your knowing consent.

However, when I started thinking about it, there was another topic I started thinking I should hide, for the same principle.
One of my pet-peeves is too much angst in a novel. Therefore, when there isn't any of it or very little of it, I tend to talk about it in my review. Favorably and loudly. Anyways, Christine's point made me think about this as well...

Aren't I ruining it for others by promising no angst? Taking away from the tension that might have been there otherwise? Think of a novel where one of the characters has a secret. The secret is there basically to create tension and stress for the reader, who knows it's going to blow up in their face.

Only you know otherwise, because you have just read my review, and I've promised you an angst free ride. So what might have been exciting or nerve wrecking is kind of just an annoyance for you know.

Same for the other way around - It takes away the surprise and wonder. 

What do you think? Should all the bloggers hide these under spoiler tag, or do they not bother you? Would you start hiding those under spoiler tags now?
And are there more topics you read in reviews that you wish were hidden behind spoiler tags? 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols | Mini Review

Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols
Superlatives #1
First Published: 2014
YA, Contemporary Romance
Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger.
As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…
Okay, I'm glad to say I have finally found the Jennifer Echols novel I truly and honestly loved. Like, with all my being loved. I have read two other novels by her and wasn't impressed, but this was what I was looking for: fun, sweet and funny!

First, I loved Tia. I loved that she was unabashed and unapologetic by her sexuality. I honestly find nothing wrong with that. And most of all, I loved that underneath everything she was just really afraid of letting people down... so she decided to never give them a reason to expect anything.

Then there's Will. Sweet, kind, considerate Will who basically decided Tia was it at first sight. Like, I would date him.

But this isn't insta-love, just insta-attraction and insta-possibility. And I acutally loved this about it. The more (flirtatious) conversations the two had, the harder they fell. And they had funny, cute, charming conversations. It's no wonder their teacher had to shout at them to get their hands off each other lol

Aside for loving Will and Tia (and even loving their drama, oddly enough), I loved the friendship between Tia and her two best pals - Harper and Kaye, and Tia's relationship with class clown and (unfairly) Most Likely to Go To Jail Sawyer. I am honestly so looking forward to the latter's story.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck | DNF Review


Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck
The Tiger's Saga #2
First Published: 2011
Young Adult, Fantasy
Back in Oregon, Kelsey tries to pick up the pieces of her life and push aside her feelings for Ren. But danger lurks around the corner, forcing her to return to India where she embarks on a second quest--this time with Ren's dark, bad-boy brother Kishan, who has also fallen prey to the Tiger's Curse. Fraught with danger, spellbinding dreams, and choices of the heart, TIGER'S QUEST brings the trio one step closer to breaking the spell that binds them.

DNF at 56% / p.273

When I wrote this review originally, I fooled myself into thinking I might one day finish this monstrosity, and I said as much in the review. I have since came into terms with the fact I wouldn't, and I am quite relieved. I just couldn't deal with this book, for the following reasons. Be warned, it's long. 

Reason #1: Kelsey 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

April Round Up! | Doing Things a Little Differently

My Life in April
April has been pretty swell, if I were honest. I briefly mentioned I've been interviewing for a job in my last round up, and I have been accepted! So far, I've been the equivalent of a secretary in my "company", but my next position will actually handle the money and budgeting of a branch of the "company".

It's a big step up and I have absolutely no background in it which means I am terrified. This is also the upside of this whole situation; my "company" allows to gain experience without studying for a degree in the subject beforehand. If this fits me, I'll know what I want to study (and could start studying while I'm working) and I'll have experience further on. If it's not a fit, at least I would've saved some money and could start working towards making my dreams come true.

If I were honest, I didn't think I'd get this job. My first interview didn't go too well, or at least I didn't think it did (the person that is going to be my immediate boss has a killer poker face) so the callback shocked me. I was a bit nervous because they asked me to come with a presentation (on any subject) into the second interview, so they could test my presenting skills. I chose to talk about Donald Trump and why such a controversial candidate is also so well loved. It was very interesting to learn on the subject, and that interview went fantastically.

Now it's just a matter of when my current working space will let me move unto the next. Hopefully soon because I need to start learning this!!

April is also a month of holidays - Passover just ended! That was fun and gave me lots of time to read and be with the fam! ;)

My Reading Month
I'm back on my reading wave, having read eleven novels this month, and I took off some of the short stories from my kindle (I don't mark those as read due to their low page count). I have dropped many other novels as well, helping dilute my kindle sea a little which is great.

My favorite reading of this month were definitely:

All were 4.5 stars reads! 
I'm glad to say I haven't read any book that I felt was less than a 3 stars this month (aside for the ones I dropped which I don't count!) so I don't have a "least favorite" section for this time :)
Best on the Blog 
In the past months, I pretty much listed every single thing that happened on that month in the round up. And you know what? I think I'm going to stop with that and highlight my favorite bits that happened on the blog. 
Though I'll have to admit, this month has been really slow. I have received maybe a total of five comments throughout the month and while this won't stop me from making content, it's a bit disheartening. I have to keep reminding myself I'm doing this for me ;)) 
Favorite reviews of the month
I really love this review! I tried really hard to make it Be-OOO-tiful and I love this story so damned much! I tried making this a bit different than usually which is why I love it so much I guess. 
Bromance is a Taiwanese drama about a girl masquerading as a man and her love story with a (nice) triad boss. It's a lot of fun and I enjoyed writing this review almost as much as I did watching the show! 

This is a link to the second part of the review. The first part is a spoiler free one star review, and the second is a gifed up summary of the fucked up romance in the story (forgive my language). I know it's mean of me to enjoy these rants, but I really do and I feel it's super funny and one of my better reviews this month! 
I love Dylan O'brian. I semi enjoyed The Maze Runner, so of course I had to watch and review this! This review details a lot of the changes made from the source material and whether I liked them or didn't. In the end of the day, this is more about how not liking changes does not equal not enjoying the movie (cause I did) more than anything.
Once again, this is the link to the second part in a rant review. The second parts are always the juicer! In this one, I pointed out every ridiculous plot hole (and there were plenty). If you've read this series and loved it - feel free to come tell me what I got wrong and if you hate it (like me)... feel free to drop by and discuss with me!

Favorite Discussions/Other posts: 
Well, there weren't many this month lol 
This post talks about my paralyzing fear of the second books in a trilogy due to the structure of it. It's not the regular second book syndrome problem where the second book is just filler, but something else completely... 
Err. Pretty self explanatory lol What's your stance on Sex in YA?

One Last Thing
I'm going to slow things down on the blog. So far, I have tried to have six to seven posts a week. I have been pretty good about that, actually. BUT, I can't keep up on social media with it. I am not sharing my posts on time, and then barely no one sees them and I feel depressed. I feel like maintaining a 4 posts week will help me out with that, letting me have two days for each post for the days I'm too busy to social media. 

Also: how pretty are the review banners??? *-*
Happy May everybody!