Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm A Psych-o And I'm Okay...

It's here! It's finally here!

The new season of Psych starts tonight!

If you're unfamiliar with the show, here's a brief blurb of what it's about: Shawn Spenser pretends to be a psychic and helps the local police department solve crimes. Always at his side is his best friend, Burton Guster. The friendship between these two is really the heart of the show, and if I had posted my Valentine Day's Couple Blog like I'd wanted, Shawn and Gus would've been at the top.

Anyway, I've been waiting so long for this new episode that's airing tonight. The last new episode aired April 11, 2012 and ended with one hell of a cliffhanger. I'm assuming Psych fans all know what I'm talking about, but in the event that you maybe haven't seen the Santabarbaratown epsiode, I don't want to spoil it for you, but...

COME ON!!! YOU CAN'T MAKE US WAIT THAT LONG TO FIND OUT WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT!

Except that's exactly what they did. Sigh.

In honor of the show's return, I thought I'd share some of my favorite episodes, quotes and moments from the show. There are many from which to choose, so obviously I won't share them all. If you're a fellow psych-o, and I didn't mention your favorite moment, please mention it in the comments below because I'm sure I love that moment too.

Favorite Episodes


1. Shawn Takes a Shot In The Dark- While investigating a crime involving an ice cream truck, Shawn is shot and taken hostage by the criminals. The car chase at the end is a riot.

2. Last Night Gus- Psych's version of The Hangover. The entire episode is hilarious, but the shoot out in the apartment scene at the end is even more so.

3. Dual Spies- Psych's homage to Twin Peaks. I've never watch Twin Peaks, and I found this to be an absolutely hysterical episode, so I can only imagine the hilarity that would've been mine had I actually watched Twin Peaks.

4. One, Maybe Two Ways Out- Shawn and Gus get involved with a spy (played by Franka Potente) and help her disappear off the grid.

5. Any episode featuring Cary Elwes as international art thief Pierre Desperaux.

Favorite Gus's Nicknames

Gus "Silly Pants" Jackson
Felicia Fancybottom
Gus T.T. Showbiz (the extra 't' stands for extra talent)
Ghee Buttersnaps 

And this one...

Shawn: This is my partner, John Schmit. His middle names are Jacob Jingle Heimer
Random Guy: You're saying his name is John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmit?
Shawn: Yes. It was my name too, but I changed it...because of all the people shouting when I went out.

Gus, Don't Be A... List

—Don't be such a gloomy you, Gus.
—Gus, don't be the ribs that flip over Fred Flintstone's Car.
—Gus, don't be the American adaptation of the British version of Gus.
—Gus, don't be the one game at Chuck E. Cheese that isn't broken.

And this one...

Shawn: Gus, don't be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Marzipan.
Gus: It's Azkaban.
Shawn: I've heard it both ways.


Oh, I am so looking forward to this new season. I hear there's a musical episode coming our way. And a Clue themed episode. It's going to be fan-freaking-tastic.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Feeling Good

I'm continuing my Monday music title run. If you're not a fan of this song, keep in mind that until about 4pm Sunday, I thought I'd have to go with "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and that wouldn't have been good on any level. Well, except for the sentiment of not worrying and being happy.

So now that I've gotten two more songs stuck in your head (Next week, I'll go for three...), let's take a look at last week's goals and where I ended up with them:
 
1. Read a book. Maybe two. I haven't read one single book this entire month, and now is the time to change that.


I read two books last week. I'd tell you what they are, but their titles escape me at the moment. Well, they'll be in my February book review at the end of the week, so I guess I don't have to worry about it right now.
 
2. Indie ReCon starts on Tuesday. Check it out and take copious notes.



I did this too. A big shout out to the organizers of that event. You are wise and wonderful.

3.  Take my niece to the mall and spoil her rotten.


Mission accomplished. If you ask her mother, she will tell you that I was perhaps a little too successful with this goal, but I had the best time doing it, and I have promised to not do it again for three months. Seemed fair.
 
4.  Implement changes to part one of Effigy. This is approximately 203 pages, so there will be no time for dilly-dallying.


Some way, some how, I managed to get this goal done around 4pm on Sunday. Considering I didn't even start it until Thursday, I don't know how that happened. I did pull an all-nighter on Saturday, and I'm sure that helped. It's crazy what I can get done when every other mammal in my household is asleep. And Buffy the Vampire Slayer is playing in the background. This week was season two. Next week, season three.



So you know what this means? It means that I have a 100% completion rate from last week. I don't remember off the top of my head, but I think this might be the first week this year I can such a claim. Nope, actually, it isn't (I just checked because I'm anal like that). It's the third week. Go me.

But however many weeks it is, I'm feeling good right now (hence the clever title). I'm feeling... Well, I wouldn't quite say 'confident' because saying that is kind of like being in Sunnydale or Mystic Falls, or road tripping with the Winchesters and saying "Wow, things sure have been quiet lately." So let's not say the C-word. Instead let's just stick with Good. Things are good, and I'm not going to worry about that.

Or at least I'm going to try real hard.

Here are this week's goals:

1. Implement changes to part two of Effigy. This is approximately 150 pages, which is still no small amount, so try not to put it off so long this time, okay?


2.  Attend my goddaughter's dance recital, which, normally, wouldn't appear on a goal list, but this particular recital is held in a location which will require me to drive to a city with more than two roads running parallel to each other, and possibly parallel park my car, which is a concern because I haven't parallel parked a vehicle since the day I passed my driver's test and my current car is a lot larger than the tiny little sedan I drove that day. But it'll be fine. I'm sure. Kind of sure. Have I mentioned there's a reason why I live in a tiny little town?


3. Read a book. I'll need something to take my mind off that whole parallel parking problem...

And that's going to do it for me today. What have you got going on this week?

Oh, and the inspiration behind today's title:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Versatility

Today's post is courtesy of Emily over at Emily Unraveled who was kind enough to bestow upon me the Versatile Blogger award.

Recipients are asked to share seven fun facts about themselves. Well, it doesn't stipulate that the facts need to be fun; that's just my spin on it. Fun, I find, is always more...well, fun. (That's right, people. Marvel at my command of the English language!)

But as I think I am rather out of facts to share about myself—fun or otherwise—I am, instead, going to share the last seven television quotes I scribbled down in my ever present notebook.

I watch a lot of television. I think everyone knows that by now, and I always write down the lines that make me laugh or move me in some way. Usually it's lines that make me laugh (because fun is more fun...). Here's my latest batch:

1.  Writers don't read. We write. ~Nick Miller on New Girl


2.  Imagine coming to the end of the book, and then just finding a lot more book. ~Jess Day on New Girl

3.  I can be flexible. I can. As long as everything is exactly the way I want it, I'm totally flexible. ~Lorelei Gilmore on Gilmore Girls 

4. You don't know what I look like when I'm not in love with you. ~Stefan Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries


5.  They tell you not to hit a man with a closed fist, but it is, on occasion, hilarious. ~Malcolm Reynolds on Firefly


6. Always, always call me. The minute anything happens that can't be answered by reading a Judy Blume novel, call me. ~Millie on Bunheads

7. Oh, please. Like you've never had a few cocktails and dyed a cat pink with cherry kool-aid. ~Mitchell on Modern Family 


This is the part where I'm supposed to pass on the award to five other people, but this is also the part that I always skip. So, if you're so inclined, please considered yourself tagged.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Hope you have something fun planned. As for myself, I'll be spending the time editing and then editing some more as I am woefully behind on the goal I set last Monday. But I'm also looking forward to the Saturday night/Sunday morning arrival of Winter Storm Q.


You know, the Weather Channel really needs to stop giving these storms cool geek names. I don't like a world where I actually look forward to snow.

Until next time, all...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We're Going On An Adventure!

Today I am taking part in the Level Up!  Blogfest hosted by Jamie from Mithril Wisdom and Allison over at Geek Banter. (click on the link for a list of all involved)

Participants are asked to share a favorite game. It can be a video game, card game, board game, party game, drinking game, whatever. It sounds simple, but it's been difficult to decide upon one game.

So here goes nothing...

I like video games. I'm terrible at them, but I've always liked to play them. Growing up, my siblings and I had an Atari 2600. Some of our favorite games were Pitfall, Stampede, Outlaw, and Combat. We also had a completely lame awesome game called "Plaque Attack" where you were a tube of toothpaste and had to destroy the junk food that was out to rot your teeth. Think "Space Invaders" but with donuts and candy canes (by the way, that candy cane level was super hard). Our neighbors had a high coveted smurf game. I don't remember much about the object of that game, except for avoiding Gargamel and Azrael, but I do remember being absolutely green with envy that we didn't have that game for ourselves.

A screen shot from Adventure
But my true Atari game love was a game called Adventure. It involved swords and dragons, so naturally, it was my favorite. Your character was a square. A little yellow square. Your sword was a golden arrow, and you used your sword to protect your little square self as you navigated your way through various random rooms and castles looking for the Golden Chalice (which, by the way, was always hidden in the black castle. Just a little tip from me to you). Once you found the Golden Chalice (again, in the black castle), and used a magnet to retrieve it from the wall in which it was hidden, you then had to bring the chalice back to the golden castle where you started the game. And while you were doing all this, you had to be on the look out for dragons (red, yellow and green. They had names, but I can't remember what they are) that would eat you if you didn't kill them first. On the upper levels, there was also this stupid bat who would swoop in at random times and steal whatever item happened to be lying around. He'd steal a key you desperately needed or a bridge (yes, I said a bridge) and put it somewhere else. Sometimes, he stole the bodies of the slain dragons and leave them in inconvenient places that would cause you to have to reset the game and start again because all you had was an arrow sword and poking an already dead dragon with it accomplished nothing.

That bat was a real bastard.

But the game was awesome, and I miss it. If it were possible to get it for my Wii, I totally would.

A while back, you could buy a retro system thing. It looked like an Atari 2600 controller and just plugged into your TV and came with a handful of the Atari classic games. Adventure was one of them, so one afternoon, my sister, B, and I took it upon ourselves to introduce a new generation of kids (who had grown up on the Playstation) to the magic of Adventure. Here's how that went:

Me: See that key on the left? Go get it.
Kid: Where am I?
Me: See that yellow square?
Kid: Yeah. What's that?
Me: That's you.
Kid: I'm a square?

Needless to say, she wasn't impressed.
 
For the literary minded, this game also receives several shout outs in the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It delighted me to no end. Of course, the whole book is one big 80's reference, but this one delighted me the most.

That's going to do it for me today. Thanks to Jamie and Allison for creating a very cool blogfest. Can't wait to see what everyone else had come up with.

Cheers!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday, Monday

We're going old school for today's title musical reference thing. If you know the song to which I am referring, please award yourself massive amounts of bonus points. If you're surprised that I used a Monday song for today's title and didn't go with the Bangles and "Manic Monday", please award yourself massive bonus points. If you're even still reading this post, please award yourself massive bonus points. You deserve them. Getting to the actual point of my posts is not my strong suit, and anyone who is willing to bushwack their way through the crazy in order to get to the actual point deserves much more than bonus points with no cash value (or any value, for that matter).

Anyway.

When I saw you last, I was in the middle of a major Freak Out. Tara Tyler had the very cool idea to name my freak outs like how the Weather Channel names winter storms, so I decided that last week's Freak Out shall henceforth be known as Freak Out ABBA because I love ABBA. And I'm not ashamed to admit it!

Anyway.

I like to think that the worst of Freak Out ABBA is over. She's moved out to sea or whatever, and I can begin the recovery process, staring with a review of the goals I set for myself last week, midst freak out.


1.  Finish your latest round of edits, and do not (at any point) attach any sort of incendiary devices or accelerant to the manuscript. (note to self: check highlighters for flammable material warnings...)


Done. Two red pens and three highlighters (not an exaggeration) later, it's done, and I am now the not-so-proud owner of a manuscript with pages that look like this: 


Yes, I mean I am glad that I did not actually publish my manuscript with this many stupid errors in it, but I also admit that it's left me feeling a tad stupid and incompetent. And also like I should send out apology letters to anyone who ever had to suffer through these pages. I really am sorry that I didn't have a better handle on things. I should have.

I can tell the exact moment that Irritated M.J. (again, not to be affiliated with Crazy M.J. or Not As Crazy M.J. or any of my other personalities) took over the edits because my margin notes went from things like "This isn't quite right. Please try again" to "Are you trying to kill me?" and "This is quite possibly the worst sentence ever written in any language"  (Yes, I am hard on myself. Perhaps too hard on myself, but that's not going to change any time soon.)

But because there is always a silver lining, at least the next draft is bound to be better. Right?

Right???


2.  Work out at least three times this week. See if you can't sweat some of this crazy out. (note to self: shoveling snow does not count)


Yeah. I didn't do this. I was in an editing cave all week long, so the only physical exercise I got was shoveling snow. I did tell Callie Leuck that I would begrudgingly count it but only give myself partial credit for doing it, so I'll give myself half credit for this goal.

3.  STOP FREAKING OUT. You're doing it for no reason, and it's twisting your stomach into knots and making you not want to eat chocolate, which really doesn't help with the whole not-acting-crazy thing. So cut it out already.

 
Not really sure where to put this in the success continuum. I don't want to blow my manuscript to smithereens anymore, so that's certainly an improvement. Mostly, I think I'm just too tired to freak out anymore. At least for a while. So hey, let's count it as a win, shall we?

And that sums up last week. Here are my endeavors for this week:


1.  Read a book. Maybe two. I haven't read one single book this entire month, and now is the time to change that.

2.  Indie ReCon starts on Tuesday. Check it out and take copious notes.


3. Take my niece to the mall and spoil her rotten. Unless her mother is reading this. Then I will definitely not be spoiling her rotten.

4. Implement changes to part one of Effigy. This is approximately 203 pages. No time for dilly dallying. Mall trip aside anyway.

Oh, and one last thing before I go... Andrew Leon has released Part Fifteen of his serial work The Shadow Spinner. You can download it (and a whole bunch of other stuff) for free from Amazon today, so please go check it out!! 
 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Freak Out!

(Before I get down to it, give yourself some bonus points if you now have a certain song by Chic stuck in your head!)

So.

Something funny happened this weekend. Well, maybe not funny so much as strange and stupid, but still, something odd happened this weekend.

I had a complete and total freak out.

About my book, of course, because what else would I freak out about?

Hmmm. When I put it that way, maybe it's not so odd.

Anyway, I also have to laugh at my use of 'had' just then, like it's in the past. Like I'm not still in the midst of a meltdown when I very much am. It's adorable how I say 'had' like I haven't gone off the deep end, or off the reservation or any other of those euphemisms for lost her freaking mind.

Which I seem to have done.

But maybe it's not a total freak out. There is, after all, somewhere inside me, one small part that realizes that perhaps this is a phase that shall pass. This is the part of me that has prevented Crazy M.J. (not to be affiliated with Not Crazy M.J. or Not As Crazy M.J.) from going through with my her plan of strapping some sort of explosive to the manuscript in question and blowing it to smithereens.

There's also the fact that I have no access whatsoever to any sort of explosives. Just don't tell Crazy M.J. that; she likes to think she has options, and it will do no one any good for her to find out otherwise.

So it's not a total freak out. It's just a...near total freak out.

And it will go away. Eventually. It will run its course like a really inconvenient flu and then disappear into the ether, and I will be back to normal.

Or, whatever passes for normal around here.

So,in the interest of Keeping Calm and Carrying On, these are my goals for the week (see if you can spot this week's theme!):

1. Finish your latest round of edits, and do not (at any point) attach any sort of incendiary device or accelerant to the manuscript. (note to self: check highlighters for flammable material warnings...)

2. Work out at least three times this week. See if you can't sweat some of this crazy out. (note to self: shoveling snow does not count)

3. STOP FREAKING OUT. You're doing it for no reason, and it's twisting your stomach into knots and making you not want to eat chocolate, which really doesn't help with the whole not-acting-crazy thing. So cut it out already.

One last thing before I go back to being crazy, I don't know why the Weather Channel is doing this (maybe just to have something to helpp differentiate between them?), but they're naming the winter storms this year. Nemo, you know, is the storm that just dumped record amounts of snow over parts of New England (not in my particular part of New England. Funny to think that the foot and a half of snow we received was on the low end), but I just learned that the latest storm is called Orko. And that just delights the geek in me oh so much.


Happy Monday, all.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Two Cats and a Vet


Today I am taking my cats to the vet.

This is a day that causes massive anxiety for all involved because one cat is evil incarnate, and the other cat has a mystery illness that three vets in two different states have failed to diagnose.

True story.

Fat Cat
Fat Cat really is a thirteen year old example of evil incarnate. I know, at times, I can be given to bouts of hyperbole, but this isn't one of them.

When she first arrives at the office, she seems perfectly reasonable and not evil. She purrs delightfully and looks at the vet techs with innocent eyes filled with love and playful curiosity.

Then you put her on the exam table, and her alter ego, EVIL CAT, comes out to play. And by 'play', I mean bite. And bite hard. One year, she bit my hand badly enough to send me to the emergency room. The following year, I asked the receptionist if there was some sort of big red flag on Fat Cat's record because I wanted any who had the misfortune to come into contact with her to know they were dealing with an EVIL CAT. The receptionist told me they didn't put red flags on the files because some of the owners were offended by this. Instead they highlighted the pet's name in orange. I told the receptionist to go ahead and put a warning in big, flashing neon lights because I did not want anyone else to get sent to the hospital just so my cat could have a rabies shot. We see a different vet now. She hasn't bitten anyone yet, but they still put on the armor when they hear she's coming. And probably draw straws to see who has to suffer through her appointment.

Zombie Cat
And then there's Zombie Cat.

Zombie Cat is my fifteen year old enigma. She is so named because there's no way this cat should still be alive. We don't know how she's doing it, but our theory is that whatever illness she does have actually killed her and turned her into a zombie, and we just didn't notice.
 
No one has been able to figure out what she has. We have had many theories and even more prescriptions over the years. Past (incorrect) diagnoses have included herpes and chlamydia. (I am assured that these diseases are different in cats than they are in people and is, in no way, an indication that my cat is a furry little slut who spends her evenings down at the docks, trolling for sailors.) Here's a short sampling of what happened at her last appointment:

8:50am: The vet, after having shaved Zombie Cat's neck to draw blood from her "old lady" veins (vet's phrase), recommends the cat have chest x-rays done ($110 a pop) because she suspects Zombie Cat's lungs are filling with fluid.


8:51am: I approve the x-rays, figuring that if her lungs are flooding, it's probably best I find out.

9:15am: They return from the x-ray experience (four x-rays total), and Zombie Cat looks ready to bite someone. She always looks like that though, and hasn't bitten anyone yet, so I'm not worried.


9:16am: Zombie Cat bites the vet tech.

9:30am: The x-rays results are in. The good news is her lungs aren't filled with fluid, and her liver looks fine. The bad news is that it could be cancer. Or lung worms. Or heart disease.


9:30:01am: I'm sorry— let's go back a second. Did you say lung worms? As in worms in my cat's lungs? And why can't you rule that out? They wouldn't show up on an x-ray? I mean, you can see the damn kibble in her stomach, for crying out loud. Why can't you see lung worms? Are they invisible? Holy hell, is there such a thing as invisible lung worms?


9:31am: But wait, it gets better because apparently brain fungus is also a possibility.

9:31:01am: Zombie Cat bites the vet.

9:32am: The vet recommends I get the cat a CT scan to  rule out brain fungus. An MRI would be better, but a CT would do. The MRI costs more, but the CT scan is only around $1000, and I'd have to drive approximately two hours to get to a facility that performs cat CT scans. Now I want to bite the vet.


9:33am: Out of curiosity, is there any disease my cat might not have?


9:33:01am: Cat herpes and cat chlamydia. Right. Forgot about that. Proceed.

Needless to say, I did not leave the vet's office that day in a very good mood. But at least our visits are never boring, right?

I'm very curious to find out what disease Zombie Cat shall be diagnosed with this time. I'm betting on syphilis. Or a government created killer nano robot infection. (Name! That! Reference!)

Hard to know which one to root for...

Have a great weekend, everyone. And if you're in the path of this mega snow storm that's engulfing New England, stay warm and stay safe.

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Keeping Secrets (An IWSG Post)

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, brainchild of über blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh. Click on the link for a complete list of participants.

I was on Goodreads the other day, checking out the reviews of Marie Lu's new book, Prodigy, when I came across one that contained a sentence that has stuck with me days later. That sentence was:



"I felt like Marie Lu was purposefully keeping secrets from me just to string me along."

And that got me thinking (so no, that smell wasn't your house on fire...) because I purposefully keep secrets in my writing. I'm attempting to write a fantasy series that, in theory, will contain six novels when finished, so I don't want to dump out all the bells and whistles in the first book. Instead I want to plant seeds; I want to create an air of mystery or something along those lines. Maybe I do just want to string my readers along—I don't know if that's the exact way to put it—but I personally love that moment when I'm reading a book and something sticks out as being odd (or incomplete or whatever), but later on in that book—or maybe its sequel—the author reveals something that makes me go "Oh snap!"

Do you do that too? Maybe you say something less dated than "Oh snap!" I don't know what you exclaim. Maybe you don't exclaim anything; it doesn't really matter. What matters is that because the author kept a secret from you, your mind is later blown by the awesomeness of some big reveal. It's a punch that might have been lacking had you been given the complete playbook early on.

Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that the person whose comment inspired this post is wrong. Everyone is entitled to feel however they want about the books they read. I'm just offering my opinion. And I'm pro secret keeping. You know, in case I wasn't clear about that.

I always start off giving an author the benefit of the doubt, that picking up on some small deviation—or maybe some incomplete information—isn't necessarily a sign that someone didn't do their due editing diligence (say that five times fast) or got lazy on the world building side of life. Sometimes that does turn out to be the case, but more often than not, I find it leads to something cool.

And I can only hope that when (if?) people read my novel, they end up feeling that way too.

But enough rambling from me. Let's talk about you. Are you a secret keeper in your stories? Do you love it or hate it in the books you read? And has anyone else had Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew in their heads since reading that 'secret keeper' sentence, or am I just the biggest dork in the world?

Not that I couldn't be the biggest dork in the world anyway.

Happy writing, all.

Friday, February 1, 2013

In Which I Apologize, and Then Review Some Books

This past Monday was the Please Allow Me To Re-Introduce Myself blogfest hosted by Stephen Tremp, Carolyn Brown, Mark Koopmans and Elise Fallson. I had signed up with every good intention of participating and then... didn't. There were some unforeseen difficulties that I really should have seen coming—especially because they involved The Store—and it just didn't happen. It was unintentional and I apologize to the hosts and to the participants who stopped by this blog expecting to see a certain post that just wasn't there. I shall do better the next time.

And now I'd like to move on to the reviewing portion of this post. It's the first of the month, which is oftentimes when I post reviews of all the books I read during the course of the previous months. I haven't done one in a couple of months but I'm going to try and get back into the habit. My reviews tend to be short and to the point and will occasionally contain spoilers. I try to avoid them when I can, but sometimes there's just no stopping a rant.

Here's what I read in January:

Reached- Ally Condie- The third and thankfully final book in the Matched series. A lot of people have enjoyed these books. I’m not one of them. I found this book—and the two before it—to be boring. The prose tries too damn hard to be meaningful, and the pacing makes a snail look speedy.  The three main characters are so freaking dull I don’t know why anyone cares what they do or how their ‘love triangle’ will turn out. Because I didn’t. Besides, it was painfully obvious how the ‘love triangle’ would turn out. Also, I’m not happy about what they did with Indie. I thought what happened to her was a lazy resolution to the series’s one interesting character.

Romeo Redeemed- Stacey Jay- I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The first book, Juliet Immortal, kind of bored me. The beginning made me swoon but what followed didn’t hold up. But its sequel was really quite good. There is some lovely prose to be found in these pages. There was a part toward the end where the story line got a tad confusing—things that happened “off screen” that maybe should have happened “on screen”, and I didn’t love the epilogue. I like the fact that we know what happened to the three main characters; I just didn’t particularly care for the way that information was presented.

Crash- Lisa McMann- Fun characters and a cool concept (a girl sees constant visions of a horrible accident and becomes determined to stop it from happening). I haven’t been a fan of the way the author ends her novels, but I did really like the way this one ended. I didn't see that ending coming. I had no idea where the story was going to do, and I was, honestly, expecting to be annoyed all over again, but was pleased with where the story ended up. I'm curious to read the next one.

Just One Day- Gayle Forman- Look, kids! Proof that I do not hate every book I read! The writing style is wonderful, and the characters are fantastic fun. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end, and I am very much looking forward to readings its sequel when it is released. When I read If I Stay by the same author, I liked it quite a lot but its companion novel, Where She Went, blew me away. I'm hoping that will happened again with this series.

Legend- Marie Lu- I’ve been reading good things about this book for a while now and decided that I just had to read it. And now I’m super glad that the sequel is coming out in a week because I want to know what happens next. It’s a very cool story. Day is a damn cool character, and I have to know if June is reunited with her German shepherd. I am a firm believer that no girl should ever be parted from her German shepherd.

1356- Bernard Cornwell- I bought this book because it was a Bernard Cornwell book, and I tend to enjoy his books quite a lot. What I didn’t realize when I bought it was that it was the fourth book in a series, which I think was my introduction to this author. And when I did realize that’s what it was, I was thrilled because I really enjoyed the first three books of the series, really loved the main characters, and I was so happy to find out what happened after the third book ended. So this book does not disappoint. Bernard Cornwell writes the best damn battle scenes ever, and the way he writes the main character of Thomas is how I want some of my main male characters to be. I thought there was a little rush at the end to get to the end but overall, I was very happy with the story.

Live Through This- Mindi Scott- A good book, well written and emotional (made me cry by the end) and moving and all that, but I wish there had been more to it. Pages wise, I mean. Things felt rushed. Considering the subject matter, I just wanted more. It's not an easy subject matter by any means—and bravo for tackling it at all and doing so well—but I guess  I just didn't want it to end where it did.

Finale- Becca Fitzpatrick- (PLEASE NOTE THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS AND A RANT) The final novel in the Hush, Hush saga. Thank goodness. I remember liking the first one and then it getting worse from there. But because I am a crazy person, I read the whole series anyway. And now I feel a rant coming on. It felt like there was a lot of story that didn’t need to be included. Like the convoluted pretend boyfriend storyline. I understand that she and Patch are on opposite sides of the war and to continue their relationship in the public eye is dangerous so sure, they need to do the fake break up thing (and then spend 90% of the novel together anyway so why bother?) but why do they have to start the fake story of Nora's new (fake) boyfriend (a plot line, which, by the way, doesn't go anywhere)? Why does Nora have to have a boyfriend? Can’t she just be her own woman? All independent and whatnot? And the Vee’s a nephil storyline. Why? Can’t a girl just be human anymore? And it’s not like Vee was really all that developed during the series anyway so I don’t know why she was made a nephil and what difference it made to anything except for me wondering what the hell is going on in the town of Coldwater that made everyone there have sex with angels. I mean, fine, have sex with whoever you want (so long as it's consensual) but did someone put something in the drinking water? And did anyone give the black dog a home? Did I miss that part? This dog comes to Nora’s rescue and gets mind controlled by Nora for its trouble and then she says something like “I should give him a bath before I take him to the shelter” and later on the dog is seen again, still not in a home nor the shelter, and someone again said “this dog needs a good home” but, as far as we know, the dog is never adopted. Just write a sentence about Nora buying some dishes and some food and a few squeaky toys and presto! Storyline resolved! Besides, if you're going to mind control some innocent animal, Nora, and make him bite people (or nephilim) on your behalf, the very least you can do is give him a home. In your house. And then there’s the epilogue. I have no problem with epilogues, especially in sagas where you maybe want to know what happened to everyone after the Big Event comes to an end. But the epilogue here is dumb, just dumb. It clumsily and lazily wraps up the fate of other characters and makes no sense at all. It is my opinion that this series really should have ended earlier.

Prodigy- Marie Lu- The sequel to Legend. I did enjoy this book but not as much as the first one. You do get a lot of great background information on this particular dystopian society that was very interesting to read, and I couldn’t stop looking at the map at the beginning. I am pleased to report that the question of June's dog was resolved in a satisfactory manner. It also has a great lead-in to the third book— a novel that I am looking forward to reading.

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Well, that's going to do it for me today. Read anything interesting lately? I'd love to hear about it. Until next time...