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I Belong

Must-Read Series: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

May 1st, 2015 Kaitlin Posted in Discussion No Comments »

Gosh, I know. I should have been reading review books. All the books I have to review right now, though, don’t interest me.

I mean, I didn’t go into the first book expecting to read the entire series. I just wanted the first book, because I thought the movie was funny. But then, that urge crept over me and grabbed me and pulled me under. Five days later, I was done.

VampireAcademy-NewCoversI just could not stop. I flew through these books. They had everything. They had magic. They had heart-stopping, perilous, squeal-inducing romances. Dimka+Rose forever. They had a badass heroine, an awesome best friend, plenty of danger, and infinite plot twists. This series never failed to surprise me or keep me on my toes. And it was hilarious, the whole book through!

Richelle Mead is brilliant. She is a wordsmith. She is witty and powerful and gosh, I want to read the Bloodlines series now. But no. I will reward myself with that series once I’ve read more review books.

If you have not heard of these books, I have two things to say. A) Have you been living under a rock for the past ten years?, and B) READ THEM. Take it from me. They’re worth it.

sig-DFT

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Charming Covers #3: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

August 23rd, 2014 Kaitlin Posted in Book Talk, Discussion 1 Comment »

This week’s cover, The Sin Eater’s Daughter, was talked about in Bridget and I’s first video in which we talked about recent cover reveals, and I mentioned how amazing it looked and sounded. Looking through the long list of recent reveals, however, it caught my attention yet again.

The Sin Eater's Daughter

This cover altogether is incredibly intriguing. I love, love, love, the creepy tone that overall is shown in it. The disturbing, yet bright, color scheme just makes me love it more. Look at the way the red contrasts the beautiful blue! Look at the black vines snaking through the water, the way they stand out! And the way the color seems to bleed from her very coat, plus those orange shapes snaking their way into the top of whatever it is she is in. This cover did it’s job: It made me want to read the book. The first line of the synopsis, the words they used “dark”, “delicious”, it made the writing inside sound just as rich and colorful as the outside.

What is she in, now that I think about it? A flask? Some sort of fishbowl? That would explain the water, in the least. I’m not sure, but whatever it is, she is trapped inside and doesn’t look happy about it. This probably symbolizes her feeling stuck or controlled in the book. And the red that comes from her coat, it looks a lot like . . . blood. She is the executioner, so perhaps it is blood. She’s isolated on what seems to be a little island in a sea of fog,

When I look at this cover, my hands start to twitch, reaching for a book that comes out in 2015. So far away! I want to own this book, to display it proudly on my shelves…

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

sig-DFT

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7 Days of Book Photoshop

April 26th, 2014 Kaitlin Posted in Discussion Comments Off on 7 Days of Book Photoshop

So I decided to try something different this week. I love playing around with photoshop, and I love books, so why not mesh the two together? There are 7 pictures. I give you…the Week of Book Photoshop!

Each picture is taken by me and edited in an app called superimpose. They are explained in the captions. Enjoy!

Divergent

The fire represents Dauntless, one of the five factions, and bravery.

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Harry Potter

Here I am waving me finger like a wand, as bright colored smoke rolls from it! Think of it like a colorful patronus blob.

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Splintered

This is the scene in Splintered where (minor minor spoiler) Alyssa drains the ocean of tears. I loved this scene, it was brilliantly written.

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Across the Universe

This quote from the book says it all: “there was something more beautiful than the stars in her eyes”. I love Beth Revis and the way she illustrates a picture in your head as you read.

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The Selection

Another inspired by a quote. “Love is a beautiful fear.” I think this is an amazing sentence. The heart I’m holding is riddled with bullets but I am smiling faintly.

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Twilight

Vampires, fangs, that’s all I have to say.

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The Hunger Games

Clone 1 holds a knife to clone 2’s neck. In the Hunger Games, there were lots of deaths, so this represents one of the many deaths and the horrific nature of the tradition.

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YA Crush Tourney: Vote Maxon!

June 12th, 2013 Angela Posted in Discussion Comments Off on YA Crush Tourney: Vote Maxon!

YA Crush Tourney

First we would like to introduce ourselves. We (Bridget, Emmy, Kayla and Michelle) are so excited to be advocates for the wonderful Prince Maxon from The Selection Series by Kiera Cass. We are all reviewers of YA Fiction for the awesome blog Dark Faerie Tales. This blog is dedicated to reviewing YA/NA fiction books (primarily paranormal) and spreading the news of upcoming books coming out or making it in the movie world.

Maxon badge

It is custom that whenever the heir to the throne in Illea is a boy, a Selection is held. In this Bachelor-esque competition, 35 girls are chosen to fight for the prince’s heart – and the crown.  Prince of Illea, Maxon Schreave, must look for a wife out of the 35 advisor-chosen girls from all kinds of backgrounds. Despite his reluctance and doubt that he would actually find “true love” in this political game, Prince Maxon is pleasantly surprised when an unusual girl steals his heart. Trust us when we say he is definitely a bachelor worth winning.

Personality:

Let’s start off with the easy stuff: Prince Maxon is smart, kind, funny and all the “golden guy” characteristics that every girl swoons for. Now, as cliche as all of that sounds, this is the foundation of Maxon’s personality. But what makes him stand out from every other good guy out there is his deep loyalty, affable/witty banter and compassion. We can always depend on Maxon to lighten the mood with light hearted jokes or sarcastic comment, but the most memorable conversation was Maxon’s bet with America Singer (the reluctant true love). *TINY SPOILER AHEAD* During breakfast with all of the Selected, Maxon bets that the food is so delicious at the castle that America’s sister would shed tears of joy if she tasted it; if he wins then America would have to go on a walk with Maxon, but if he lost, America can wear jeans on the weekends. Even with his funny personality, Maxon is also the most compassionate person in the entire series – and possibly in anything we’ve ever read. He cares when nobody else does and forgives when the king refuses to. Still not convinced to vote for him? Keep on reading.

~~~

“Forgive what? Our stupid fight? It’s already forgotten.  Your feelings being a little slower than mine? I’m prepared to wait,” he said with a shrug.  “I don’t think there’s anything you could do that I couldn’t forgive.  Need I remind you of the knee to my groin?”  The Selection pg 321

“It wasn’t like I made his world better.  It was like I was his world. It wasn’t some explosion; it wasn’t fireworks. It was a fire, burning slowly from the inside out.”  The Elite pg 298

Looks:

He’s swoony. ‘Nuff said. Well since there’s no exact picture of him, you’ll just have to be satisfied with Michael Malarkey. (This picture
is the closest we can get since he’s playing Maxon in the CW’s version of The Selection currently in the middle of filming.)

~~~

“His hair was honey colored, and his eyes were brown.  He kind of looked like summertime, which I guess was attractive to some people.  His hair was cropped short and neatly done, and his grey suit was perfectly fitted to him.”  The Selection pg 40

“I had been raised a musician, but I was surrounded by artists.  I’d once seen a sculpture that was hundreds of years old of an athlete throwing a disk.  I’d thought to myself at the time that only an artist could do that, make someone’s body look so beautiful.  Maxon’s chest was as sculpted as any piece of art I’d ever seen.”  The Elite pg 284

Talents:

As a prince, one must be a competent diplomat. Maxon has that down pact. He displays wonderful skills in negotiating and leading. Also, if listening could be called a talent, Maxon has it down to a T. There isn’t a single thing America can’t talk to Maxon about (besides their relationship) and even if he doesn’t have any advice, he’s always willing to lend an ear.

~~~

“Maxon’s face was a shallow echo of my own pain. He looked absolutely brokenhearted for me.  More than that he looked angry. ‘I’m sorry America. I don’t…’ His face shifted a little ‘Is this a good time to pat your shoulder?’” The Selection pg 196

Attributes:

If you’re still not confident you should vote for Prince Maxon, let’s summarize his best characteristics: compassionate, funny, loyal, smart, diplomatic, handsome… But for one second, let’s drop all pretenses and forget that this is a competition and we’re only supposed to point out all of our boy’s good qualities. But it’s really Maxon’s flaws and negative characteristics that make him stand out above any other.

He can be selfish.

“Honestly? I was trying to give the other girls a sporting chance.  From the beginning, I’ve really only looked at you, wanted you.” I blushed.  “When you told me how you felt, I was so relieved that a part of me didn’t believe it.  I still have a hard time accepting that it was real.  You’d be surprised how infrequently I get something I truly want.” The Elite pg 79

He can be naive.

“What have I done to offend you? Did I not just give you the very thing you asked for?” He was genuinely confused by my response.  I suppose he expected us to adore him and thank our lucky stars for his existence.  The Selection pg 113

He can be utterly frustrating.

He shook his head, irritated, and stood. “Fine.” He walked across the room in quick, angry strides. “I’ll just go see what Kriss is doing.”  The Elite pg 244

But it’s how he reacts and pushes on when something bad happens or when he’s wrong that makes this boy the best YA crush we know.

~*~*~*~

And if you won’t take our word for how amazing Prince Maxon is, here’s America’s view:

“And I couldn’t poke fun at him, not when I had a chance to say what I’d really started to think now that he was my friend. I couldn’t joke about the person who’d saved me from facing absolute heartbreak at home, who fed my family boxes of sweets, who ran to me worried that I was hurt if I asked for him… Maxon Schreave is the epitome of all things good.  He is going to be a phenomenal king.  He lets girls who are supposed to be wearing dresses wear jeans and doesn’t get mad when someone who doesn’t know him clearly mislabels him. Whoever he marries will be a lucky girl.  And whatever happens to me, I will be honored to be his subject.”

~*~*~*~

Vote here!

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Crossfire Series Discussion: Holding the Fort for Sylvia Day

June 7th, 2013 Angela Posted in Discussion 4 Comments »

Holding the Fort for Ms. Sylvia Day

I want to ensure that everyone knows I have never been part of Sylvia Day’s personal staff or even met her.  I look forward to meeting her on June 28th in Kissimmee, FL.  I am also not part of Berkley Publishing or any of its subsidiaries.

There have been many posts on Amazon and Goodreads about the third book in the Crossfire Series, Entwined with You, that were negative and plain nasty and I couldn’t let Ms. Day continue feeling like she is holding the fort on her own.  I had to weigh in and give her my heartfelt support.

Much has been said and posted that readers have felt that Entwined with You was a “money grab” by Ms. Day and that the book is “more filler” than Gideon and Eva’s story.  I would like the opportunity to disagree with both statements.

Many of you may not know this, but when Ms. Day originally started writing this series, it was intended as a quintet or in other words a 5 book series.  However, the book publisher decided they only wanted to sign up for a 3 book deal.  I understand the logistics of not wanting to tie down an author or publisher for an undetermined length of time, but unfortunately as this series has shown there was a definite need for 5 books.  I would have been sorry to say goodbye to Eva and Gideon after Entwined with You, but thankfully that is not the case.  Not to mention I still have questions about many of the threads that are continuing to ravel and unravel if this had been their final chapter.

In regards to the story being “filler”, I disagree with this vehemently.  The story continues to unfold and the people that are in Eva’s life are being highlighted.  Some of my favorite laugh-out-loud moments were between Eva, Mark and Steven.  In other words, if Eva cares for them, we are learning to love and support them as well.  This is a great way to not only tell a story but to draw in readers like me into the world wholeheartedly. 

Part of the problem that we are seeing played out here, I believe, is the transition period between people that only get their news via traditional means: e.g. newspapers, TV, and magazines and people who get 99% of their news via social media: e.g. Twitter, Facebook, video chats, etc.

I am quite happy to be in the camp that relies on social media in part because of its immediacy.  For example, when I saw Ms. Day post she was going to be interviewed via Google Hangouts one evening, my immediate response was — I will check that out.  So I was aware prior to the release of Entwined with You that this was not the final chapter.  Some of this could have been better managed I believe by the publishing side, but as always — hindsight is 20/20.

But what happens if tomorrow or the day after, a lost book from Jane Austen, J. R. R. Tolkien, William Shakespeare, or Charlotte Bronte was found and it was another book in one of their previous stories?  Would you decide that just because you read the original you would refuse to read another part of the story?  I, however, would be thrilled and delighted to read more about Emma’s life, another story in the Lord of the Rings series, an additional sonnet or two from William or a side story for Jane Eyre.  You would see me heading to my local bookstore or downloading it as quickly as I could to read the new story.  I believe that we should give the same respect and appreciation to authors today.

If you are in the camp that didn’t like or enjoy Entwined with You, that is fine and you are entitled to say that in whatever format you want.  But please don’t proceed to smear the author’s name and reputation with nastiness.  The old adage is true, if you can’t say something good don’t say it at all.

This has been written in part because of the gracious way that Ms. Day has handled herself throughout this entire process, as a great example of class and womanhood.  There have been times in my life were I have been faced with struggle and counted on my family as my only lifeline and support through the struggle, but longed for some from the outside forces to say “That is enough!”  I want to be that voice here. 

Ms. Day, please know that there are many of your loyal readers out here looking with great anticipation for the next book to be released and I am quite happy to be in their number.  We have your back!

Just in case you are wondering what I would give Entwined with You if I reviewed this book, it would be a 6 out of 5, which is our way of saying this book is MADE OF AWESOME!

One last thing regarding the series being 5 books instead of 3 books.  Ms. Day is a woman and it is her God given right to change her mind.  I will defend that to my dying breath.

You can reach me through this blog or via Twitter at @Shirene_DFT.

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