31 August 2015

Review: Yes, I Could Care Less: How to Be a Language Snob Without Being a Jerk

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Bill Walsh
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
Rating: 8 out of 10 (for interesting and learning); 6 out of 10 (for entertainment value in general)

Summary (I care about Goodreads): Calling all language sticklers—and those who love to argue with them! Usage maven Bill Walsh expounds (rather than expands) on his pet peeves in the long-awaited follow-up (note the hyphens, please) to The Elephants of Style and Lapsing Into a Comma.

Could you care less? Does bad grammar “literally” make your head explode? Test your need for this book with these sentences: 
"Katrina misplaced many residents of New Orleans from their homes."

"Mark had a full schedule of meetings. His first of the day was a small businessman, followed by a high schoolteacher."

"Betty was 100% percent wrong."
 My Thoughts: [I'm concerned that if this author reads this he will find something wrong with my writing but maybe he would be kind enough to not say too much about it. Here's to hoping that he is too busy to read book reviews.]

This book was hilarious. It got off to a scary start. Some of the topics at the beginning I found myself disagreeing with but I stuck it out. It was worth it. This author has A+ sarcasm and I learned things from this book too! I find myself suddenly into words and language and grammar (and generally sounding smarter) so this book fit into that perfectly. I'm well aware that most of what I learned won't stick in my brain but I also am certain that a lot of it will. I think that it was a fantastic idea to read this right before going back to school but it was also just funny. Did I mention that already? I thought that a book like this would be plain old boring but it wasn't. The examples were memorable and I laughed out loud at his comments. I found the tweets at the top of the page (from the author's twitter) to be just as entertaining as the content of the novel.

I would recommend this book to language snobs and language jerks and those of us who just like words and language but lack the jerk side of it. English majors, this one is for you too! I think that anyone interested in language could get something out of this book. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Could you care less? Personally, I couldn't.

26 August 2015

Review: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass 0.5)

Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Sarah J Maas
Pages: 448
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 10 out of 10

Summary (Goodreads, you the bomb dot com): 
Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

My Thoughts: I read Throne of Glass last year, I'm all caught up and EAGERLY awaiting Queen of Shadows, so you'd think that between these two events, I would have picked up the glorious book that is The Assassin's Blade to go with Celaena on a few more adventures before figuring out what happens to my precious babies (aka Dorian and Rowan and Celaena of course). But no, because I am, apparently, a certifiable idiot. This book is just as amazing - or probably more amazing - as you'd expect from Sarah J Maas. Each book keeps getting better, and this is absolutely no exception. Celaena is as sassy as you'd expect, the story is as tremendous as you'd expect, the plot is as heartbreaking as you'd expect. What I didn't expect? Was to fall even more in love with characters who I knew would break my itty bitty fragile heart (SAM), for the book to flow like it was an actual novel and not 5 separate novels, or for me to still be thinking about the events that took place weeks later. Each novella flows right into the next, and you follow Celaena as she conquers pirate lords, practices general badassery, is betrayed, and as she finds herself in situations she never thought she'd be in. This book tells the reader how Celaena ended up in Endovier (I hope I spelt that right but I am at Tim Horton's and don't have the book on me), and allows for huge insights into her character to be made. We see why Celaena ticks, we get a glimpse into her past, and if you loved the Throne of Glass series (if you don't, I'm assuming that's because you just haven't read it yet) this novel is a must read. A gut-wrenching, beautiful, must read. 

Final Thoughts: Sarah J Maas, who did you sell your soul to? How are you so amazing?

24 August 2015

Review: The Cure For Dreaming

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Cat Winters
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary (Dreaming about goodreads): Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

My Thoughts: This book was different. Even the cover was different. My copy has this weird ridged spiral (see the above pictures) over the whole cover that intrigued me. So, I judged a book by its cover...sue me (but actually don't because I don't have any money). It turned out to be a good thing that I picked up this book. 

I've been getting more into these historical fiction books. They show you a world that you don't get to experience every day. Modern novels are great but why not use books to really experience something new? I felt the same about the Diviners

Anyway, the characters. Well, I kind of hated Henri. I mean, really? You had to let this girl suffer? There was absolutely nothing that you could do? I call BS. If I were Olivia, I wouldn't have helped him. I don't think that I would have liked him very much. She seemed upset but oddly fine with the whole thing. That bothered me quite a bit. As for Olivia? I felt so bad for her. Even I was getting frustrated. Her life just wasn't fair and she couldn't even do anything about it. I thought that it was fantastic that she tried to follow the women's rights movement even though she had so little freedom and it caused her so much trouble. 

This is the first book I've read with a hypnotist and a dentist in it. It was a strange combination. This is one of those bizarre book things that makes me wonder what the writer was doing or thinking about while writing this book. Winters, if you read this, I'm curious how you feel about your dentist.

However, I think that I wanted more. I want more interaction between Olivia and Henri and I want to get a better conclusion. It was a good ending but it left me with too many questions about everyone's future. 

So: I thought this book was great. I enjoyed the uniqueness and the struggle that Olivia was facing. I've never read books about the women's rights movement or dentists or hypnotists and I haven't read much that takes place in the 1900's. All of these things together made for a special experience. Winters spins a wonderful tale with A+ writing and attention to detail. I would read this book again in a second. 

I think I will keep an eye out for Winters' other novels.

3 August 2015


It is my greatest pleasure to announce to you all that we now officially have an instagram HOLLAAAA! (ps. that was the link)
I know this is pretty exciting! Follow the account for reading challenges, real & reading life updates, and genuinely pretty pictures of books!
Also, did you know you can Instagram from your computer? Technology is wild
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