August 31, 2013

The Chaos of Stars


The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
Grade: B+
This book was an ARC provided by my local indie bookseller in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

The Good: Oh my gosh, I did not see part of the ending coming.  And that was one of the best parts.  I'm not going to spoil it for y'all, but I literally had to reread a section because I was so shocked.  Endings with such a twist are awesome.  The characters were good.  I would've liked to see a little more of Isadora's dad, Osiris, but I thought Isadora was well-developed (she had her faults, but she had her strengths and an interesting personality).  This girl loves interior decorating, for goodness' sake!  How many main characters are into that?  The plotline was intriguing and very good (I don't really want to spoil anything, so I can't say much).  I definitely didn't expect the climax.

The Bad: Pertaining to other characters, I didn't really like Isadora's first friend in San Diego, Tyler.  I don't know why, but that girl just got on my nerves.  Overall, the writing didn't really feel YA, but a bit more middle grade, and I really can't fully enjoy books that seem a bit below my reading comprehension level.  Technically, Rick Riordan's books are middle grade, but he doesn't write condescendingly, so I enjoy his novels. (Just an example to show that it's not middle grade fiction in general).

The Ugly: Definitely some foul language, although nothing was too bad, I believe.  In talking about the Egyptian myths, there is some talk of sex and that sort of thing.  Isadora and the characters in San Diego don't really go any further than making out, though.

Just a note: if you're uncomfortable with mythology and magic to an extent, then this book should be avoided.  I didn't find magic to be the main focus.  It felt very Percy Jackson-esque, like how the gods make random stuff appear, battle each other, etc.  Isadora and her family do use protection amulets, however.

Verdict: Good book.  I'd definitely suggest checking it out, come September 10th. ;)

August 30, 2013

Random Friday: Dream Jobs

Random Fridays is a new, original weekly feature on Bookworm/Future Author.  Each Friday, I'll have a random topic (I hope to get these topics chosen in advance and have a list for y'all to see) and I'll blog about that.  Y'all are welcome to join in, using my pre-chosen topic.  Just, please, use the image above and link back to my blog somewhere in your post. :)

This week, I want to talk about...dream jobs.

1. Assistant to Taylor of Taylor's Thingamabobs

Seriously, how fun would it be to be her assistant?  I'd go on supply runs for her, mail packages, handle orders (except custom orders, since she would need to discuss designs with those customers), and be willingly paid in bows.

2. Bridal Consultant

I love watching Say Yes to the Dress with my mom, and I think it would be really cool to help brides find their perfect dress.

3. Personal Stylist
I don't feature fashion too much on this blog because I'm too wrapped up with books and writing.  But I love figuring out what looks good on people and helping them shop.  This kind of fits with bridal consultant, too.

4. Professional Bookworm
Seriously, can I be paid to just sit around and read books?  Maybe bake once in awhile?  I could be paid in books and giftcards to bookstores.

5. Editor
My ultimate career goal, besides being a writer, is to work in the publishing industry and be an editor, specifically a copy editor.  Grammar and spelling are a couple of my strengths, but I do like analyzing content and making sure it sounds perfect.  Except for when it comes to my own books.  That's a headache. :P

6. So this one is going to be a combination of all my dream jobs from when I was little.
Ballerina.  I loved ballet class.  I had to take tap and jazz, too, but I really liked ballet.
Veterinarian.  A friend from second grade and I decided to be vets together and open a clinic.  That dream died long ago when I realized a) how much I hate science, and b) how squeamish I am.  Seriously, don't talk about your injuries around me.
Teacher.  This was during the period of about 3-4 years when I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life (mid-life crisis at age 10).
Interior decorator.  See below...

7. Interior decorater/designer.
I went through a phase where I was absolutely obsessed with interior design.  I think it started about the time we went to NYC and visited the Met and saw the gallery of furniture.  I would still love to do something like this, but that dream is deeply buried under my writing desires.

Hopefully, the first Random Friday is a success, and here's to many more!

August 28, 2013

North of Beautiful


North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Grade: A-
Summary: It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.

She's tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob's path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?

Written in lively, artful prose, award-winning author Justina Chen Headley has woven together a powerful novel about a fractured family, falling in love, travel, and the meaning of true beauty.

The Good: I found this book to be beautiful crafted.  Justina Chen Headley is a talented writer.  Her skills aren't John Green-level, but they're worth mentioning.  So many writers create a good story with their plot and characters but their writing is just so-so.  Also, every little bit of the plot is lovely.  There are so many little elements coming together to form the whole plot: Terra's harsh father, Terra's art, meeting Jacob, a trip to China, geocaching, etc.  I love how Terra discovered herself at the end and how she supported her mom.  I found Terra's brothers, Merc and Claudius, to be interesting characters who each reacted in different ways to their father.

The Bad:  The last chapter felt a bit off to me.  At least, the ending with Jacob.  I don't know, maybe I just didn't understand it.  Also, I think geocaching needed a bit more explanation.  It's widely gaining popularity, but not everyone knows what it is (I only know because of Switched at Birth).  I think the climax needed to come a little sooner.  There was a lot of build-up and it took too long to arrive with an ending that was a bit rushed then.

The Ugly: A wee bit of language.  Some sexual references, nothing vastly inappropriate, though.  Romance was pretty much PG.

The Verdict: Read this book.  It's not an epic like The Hunger Games, Divergent, or The Fault in Our Stars but it's still an excellent read.

August 27, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Secondary Characters

1. May from The Selection.  I love her exuberance and sweetness.  She seems like a futuristic fangirl, which I love.

2. Hazel Hale from Perfect Scoundrels.  We never actually meet her, but she plays such a huge part in Heist Society's third book, and I love the bits of her personality that we get.

3. Dr. Erland from Cinder.  He kind of irked me, but I ended up liking him in the end, and I have a feeling we're going to-and we need to!-see more of him in Cress and/or Winter.

4. Mrs. Bergson from The Mother-Daughter Book Club series.  She doesn't show up until Dear Pen Pal, but she is a wonderful character and a great female role model for the girls.  Loving, strong, successful...

5. Ella from Heroes of Olympus.  She is, without a doubt, the coolest harpy ever. (And I'm saying this like I've met so many.)  I like how nervous she is and how Hazel, Percy, and Frank care for her on their journey in The Son of Neptune.

6. Uriah from Divergent. He's just awesome in general, but I'm very bummed they've left him out of the first movie.

7. Hazel's parents from The Fault in Our Stars.  Supportive, loving parents seem so rare these days in YA fiction, although I can name some.  TFIOS is a good example of parents who are present in their children's lives and really care about them.

8. Emma in Time Between Us.  Kind of because she shares my name but also because she's a good friend to Anna, and a decision about her shapes a big moment in the book.

9. Catherine de Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice. Absolutely detest her.  But she's comical, memorable, and annoying all at the same time.

10. Valten from The Fairest Beauty.  I felt kind of sorry for him, but at the same time, I was rooting for who Sophie ended up with the whole time.

And there you have it!  My top ten favorite/most memorable secondary characters. :) Any you agree with?

August 24, 2013

Giveaway Winners Announced!

This is so exciting!  I can finally announce the winners of the giveaway (I decided to have it end a day early).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'll be contacting all three winners soon.  Your prize will be given based on winning order.  Sunny will get first pick, the first Sarah will get second pick, and the second Sarah will be getting whichever prize is left (and yes, they're different Sarahs).  Thank you to all who entered, congrats to Sunny and the two Sarahs, and I hope to have another giveaway eventually.  Maybe more bows... maybe an ARC... who knows?

August 17, 2013

Book Review: The Silent Swan


The Silent Swan by Lex Keating
Grade: DNF (Did Not Finish)
Expected publication date: August 26, 2013
Provided by NetGalley and All Night Reads in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Once upon a time – better known as “now” - Gabriel Pritz reigns as king of his high school. Easy grades, perfect baseball season, a pretty date for prom—he's coasting into a golden future. Until his parents demand he cook dinner once a week. Caught between kitchen fires and ballpark withdrawal, Gabe is thrown into Tam Swann's orbit. Hostile, friendless, and stubborn, she's exactly the sort of person he'd prefer to avoid.

Tam's sphere of influence expands beyond Gabe's sad domestic skills, rapidly invading everything from his favorite game to parts of his soul he didn't know existed. It's uncomfortable, it's hard work, it's...making him a better man. And that's just what she does to people she doesn't like. The better he gets to know her, the more he has to face the truth: this sharp, heart-breaking outcast is worth fighting for. How many families, fairy tales, and felons will he go through to ride to the rescue of the bravest person he's ever met?

This is going to be different than my usual reviews, solely because it is my first DNF.  I requested this book on NetGalley, based on the cover and the synopsis.  I thought it sounded sort of interesting and like it might turn into a good book.  But then, as I got into the story, I found myself thoroughly confused with each turn of the page (well, electronic flip, since I read this on my Kindle app).  It was hard to keep track of all the different characters.  For a while, I forgot Gabe was the male protagonist and thought the lead was one of his brothers.  Many characters' actions were befuddling, and not in a mysterious way.  They downright didn't make sense.  I felt like many scenes left out dialogue or action that would've helped things make more sense.

I wanted to enjoy this book, I really did.  Tam and Gabe sounded like they would be good characters.  But unfortunately, there's nothing positive I can say about this book, and I generally always find a couple good elements.

Ah, well.  C'est la vie.

August 15, 2013

Cover Love #5

Hosted by the fabulous Bookshelvers Anonymous.

I'm so excited for this week's Cover Love.  No, literally fangirling (imagine that Rapunzel gif here, which would actually be a very ironic gif to use).  I've been so excited about this cover since I first saw it two weeks ago.


CRESS!  Isn't it a beaut?  I actually predicted what the cover would look like.  I figured it would have some red on it, to echo the covers of Cinder and Scarlet.  And I guessed that it would be Cress's braid with a red ribbon. (Fun fact: I've predicted that Winter's cover's red element will be an apple.  But who knows? Guess we'll find out in about a year.)  I feel like we know so much about Cress already, yet so little.  February cannot come soon enough for me.

BTW, here's the synopsis for those who are interested. :)

Rapunzel's tower is a satellite. She can't let down her hair - or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker – unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

August 12, 2013

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars


The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Grade: A-
Summary: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

The Good: I went into this book expecting to cry.  And I did.  But I also laughed.  John Green infused melancholy with humor and created a masterpiece.  It's not just another cancer book.  Hazel and Augustus feel like teenagers.  They seem more mature than most kids their age, but who wouldn't, if they had cancer?  Plus, there are many real teenagers who act more like adults (I have moments like that).  I also liked that Hazel sounded feminine.  Oftentimes, female characters written by guys sound masculine.  Well, Hazel doesn't.  I mean, she's not overly girly, but I found she sounds a bit like how I do.  John Green was also good at dropping total bombshells.  I didn't see a major plot point coming, to be honest (although now that I've read TFIOS a few times, I definitely see it a bit), and the ending surprised me.  Finally, the parents (both Hazel's and Gus's) were well-written.  They were all present and acted like parents.

The Bad: Peter Van Houten was supposed to be a frustrating character, I get that.  But he was so frustrating that I wanted to jump into the book and yell at him (although, I'm sure it would do no good).  I also wasn't a fan of how Augustus and Hazel could get just about anything (champagne, for example) solely because of "cancer perks."  I'm sure it's pretty accurate, but the manipulation rubbed me the wrong way.

The Ugly: Language and romantic content is always a big deal for me.  I usually don't finish or enjoy books with too much swearing or romance that crosses PG-13 lines.  Surprisingly, I found those things easy to ignore in TFIOS.  The language didn't take away from the plot (partly because, I think, most of it wasn't too offensive), and the main scene where the romance is PG-13 doesn't tell too much.

Would I recommend TFIOS?  Most definitely, but I think it's best-suited for anyone 15+.

And now for my favorite quote from the book.
"I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly and then all at once."

August 9, 2013

An Interview and a Giveaway

So recently, I discovered Taylor's Thingamabobs on Etsy (I followed @RealLifeDisney on Twitter before checking out her shop, actually) and thus the fangirling began.  Taylor is an absolute genius when it comes to making bows.  She's creative, artistic, and really good at her craft.  Seriously, I wish I had her talent.  Then I could call this blog Books and Bows.  But I'll stick to writing and reading.

(That's one of my favorite pictures that she's Tweeted.)

I ordered bows from her, and they just arrived today.  I have Kiss the Girl, Peter Pan-inspired, Little Town Belle-inspired, and Ballroom Belle-inspired.  They're all beautiful and so well-made.

Anyways, I got to interview Taylor!

1. So how did you get started making bows?
I started making bows when I was a cheerleader. I would make bows for all sorts of events. I took a break for a while and when I started to buy bows again, I also decided to start making them again.

2. When did you decide to open an Etsy shop?
I decided to open one in about the middle of May. The idea was sparked when I was making bows for myself and someone tweeted me telling me I should sell them!

3. Could you describe the process for creating a bow, starting with when you get the idea?
Well when I first get an idea, I usually like to get inspired. For bows based upon movies or movie characters, I watch the movie, and for bows based upon WDW attractions I listen to the ride through. After being inspired, I look at a lot of pictures and sketch out a design. After I find a design that I am satisfied with, I buy supplies and create the bow!

4. What's your favorite bow that you've created?
Definitely my Kiss the Girl bow. I love how big it is.

5. If you could work as any type of cast member in Disney World, what would you choose?
I would LOVE to be a face character for Ariel. At my current job, I love making little kids happy. So I would find it amazing to get to make dreams come true everyday. Plus, Ariel is my favorite princess.

6. Favorite Disney movie?
The Little Mermaid has always been and always will be my favorite Disney movie.

7. I heard you work at Build-a-Bear Workshop.  What's your favorite part about working there?
Making people smile. I have some of the most fabulous guest experiences and at the end of the day, if I made just one little kid smile, I know I did my job.

8. What's your favorite fairytale - Disney or otherwise?
Besides the little mermaid, I love everything about Alice in Wonderland; the Disney movie and the book. Everything about her and Wonderland absolutely fascinates me.

And since I love Real Life Disney bows so much, I have two to give away to you! (Plus a random prize for those of you who don't really want a bow.  But who am I kidding?  Y'all are probably dying for a bow because they're gorgeous.)

So here are the two I'm giving away: the Tangled-inspired bow and the Cinderella-inspired bow.


And then for those of you who don't want a bow (first of all, I'm utterly shocked you don't want one), I have Angry Bird stickers.  Kind of lame, but still fun. :) Just enter below (the giveaway officially starts at midnight)!  There are a couple mandatory options, but the rest just increase your entries and chances of winning.
A lot of people are doing the comment entry option, but in reviewing entries, I've found that you haven't commented.  The comment may not have gone through, so please try again!  I'd hate to remove your entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

August 6, 2013

Teaser Tuesday and Top Two Tuesday

So this week is all about books I wish could have sequels.  I read a lot of series, it turns out, so I could only think of two books that I want to read more of!


1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
It's the #1 book on my list that I wish had a sequel.  Jane is so witty, and I am a proud Janeite.

2. Fifteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton
I just really liked this book, and I think, since it took Chelsea the whole book to figure out her "thing," she needs a sequel to continue to grow.  And of course more of a book-loving couple would be nice. :)

Hosted by Should Be Reading.

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Perhaps he's upset about my Lex-infraction.  But, how can he be mad about that, when he broke the Lex himself by coming here tonight?
-page 73, Relic by Heather Terrell (Note: my copy is an ARC; this book will published on October 29, 2013.)

So far this book has been good but confusing.  Y'all will understand more when I post the review when it gets closer to the publication date.

August 4, 2013

Five Random Things

So someone on asked me to post pictures here of five random things in my room.  So here we go...

My Parisien shoes.

My baseball signed by some of the 2009 Chicago Cubs and Lou Pinella.

Pretty much my favorite piece of art in my room.  It's a model of Degas' Little Dancer sculpture.

My name. :) The A is the Eiffel Tower. :D

A gift from Hannah.

So, yeah.  Five random things in my room for that anonymous inquiry on

August 3, 2013

This Janeite's Latest Obsession

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Janeite in possession of a love of Pride and Prejudice must be in want of more P&P remakes and retellings.
That is how I found The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, dear readers.  And they are quite delightful.

Exhibit A:

She likes movies with Colin Firth, for goodness' sake (*cough* 1995 P&P miniseries).  And rain and classic novels.  Lizzie is a true kindred spirit.

Exhibit B:

Costume theater is awesome. (Lizzie is portraying Darcy; Lydia is Bing Lee.)  Lizzie's portrayals of Darcy (and her mother, and frankly, any other character) are hilarious.

Exhibit C:

So I haven't gotten to this episode yet (I'm only at 76), but I've seen this gif all over We Heart It, and Darcy's reaction to Lizzie touching his shoulder... it's like Darcy's reaction to helping Elizabeth into the carriage in the 2005 version of P&P.

Okay, I'm going to stop fangirling publicly now.  I have a feeling my future children will either be embarrassed by this or will use it against me.  But seriously.  Go look up the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  There is a 99.9% chance you won't regret it.

August 1, 2013

Book Review: Eve

Eve (Eve, #1)

Eve by Anna Carey
Provided by ARCycling.
Grade: C
Summary: The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her. 

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

The Good: The whole concept behind this book is actually really smart!  I'm going to go ahead and spoil a plot point because it's revealed fairly early in the book.  The girls of this dystopian world are wanted to repopulate New America, so they are forced into constant pregnancy.  I mean, obviously that's a bad thing, but it's different and a new element to the all-too common overthrow of governments in dystopian novels.  But the only other good element was that Eve was a flawed character, which I enjoyed.  Too perfect heroines are boring.

The Bad: Too much insta-love between Caleb and Eve. :P Also, as a whole, I felt like this book just dragged on.  Books that focus too much on a journey bore me.  A couple obstacles that would stop the characters for long periods of time add interest.  I also didn't connect to any of the characters, even Eve.  There was also a lot of information that left me confused.  I didn't understand the dystopian world very well, and I think Anna Carey didn't explain New America enough.

The Ugly: It's been a couple days since I read the book, and I've read another book in between, so it's hard to remember much inappropriate content.  Romance teetered between the PG and PG-13 line, I believe.  I don't think I caught a lot of bad language.

I unfortunately found this to be a dull read.  The concept intrigued me, but the rest of the book didn't keep me interested.

Cover Love #4

Just realized this was my 250th post!  Excuse me while I go celebrate.

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

I'm so excited for Allegiant and very grateful I didn't join the fandom until a few weeks ago.  I don't have as long of a wait as most of the fandom.  But, yes, like I said, I'm very excited for Allegiant.  The end of Insurgent left us with a major cliffhanger, and I'm eager to find out what happens next.

As for the cover, well, I love how it echoes the previous covers.  The colors flow on this one, and the building on the bottom intrigues me.  I also like how the Chicago skyline is still visible.

I'm also very excited for the next Cover Love; since I already had this week's planned, I couldn't change it, but there's a new cover that was just released yesterday that I absolutely adore.