Another Mistake

Some spilled ink that I may or may not turn into a novel. . .


I shouldn’t have come.

I knew it while putting on my clothes this morning. My reflection in the mirror screamed it back at me as I tried wrestling my mangled hair into a ponytail. I knew it on the cab ride over here, every bump on the road a signal that nothing good would come from this. My road was already rocky enough and coming here, seeing him, would only make things worse. But I ignored all sense of reason and that foolishly led me here, standing right outside the door, peering through the glass window and hoping that the lights in the hallway were dim enough to shield me from view.

And there he was.

Up on the stage, tuning his guitar. His brown t-shirt and denim ensemble, however simple, looked better than anything I had the patience or effort to come up with these days and his hair, unlike the shaggy mop I used to know, was cropped short. The vibrant red-haired girl on the drums must have cracked a joke because he looked back at her and smiled. The signature display of teeth that would have knocked the wind out of me had I not been holding it already.

I really shouldn’t have come.

That small voice in the back of my mind was still nagging me, although it changed it’s mantra from “Don’t go!” to “Leave now!”. I had just the ounce of sense left in me to listen to its orders this time before a pair of eyes found mine and pinned me to my spot.

It’s all over now, I thought as the figure placed his bass down, excused himself and briskly made his way over to the door where I was standing. Although the transparent rage blazing in his eyes was worsening my already troubled nerves, I held my head high and waited for the storm I knew was coming.

“What are you doing here?” He whisper yelled. He had gently closed the door behind him when he came outside but the force with which he gripped my arm showed that his current emotions were anything less than calm.

“Nothing, I–”

“You’re definitely crossing the line here. How did you even know where to find us?”

For a moment, I wondered whether he would actually let me answer or just turn me in on the spot but he seemed to be waiting for an explanation. One that we both knew he wouldn’t like.

“I saw a flyer. On the town bulletin board.” His grip wasn’t loosening and I might have been losing blood-flow in my arm but I didn’t dare mention that.

“No. Contact. Tari. We explicitly agreed that I wouldn’t tell Gabriel what you did as long as you left him alone.”

“I know, Jackson, and I am leaving him alone, both of you but I just–I just had to see him as all. I won’t try to talk to him, I swear.” Not that he would want to talk to me. In fact, I’m probably the last person on earth, Gabriel would want to see right now.

The fire was not dimming in Jackson’s eyes but he released me while still keeping a close distance between us. When he spoke, his voice took on a softly threatening tone. “You better not try talking to him. It was rough after you left. So rough, I wasn’t even sure he would fully recover from the shock alone not to mention the physical damage. He’s finally in a good place right now, back at doing what he loves without bad influences like you hanging around.” His pointer finger made its way up to my face during his speech and was now mere inches away from jabbing me in the eye. “You ruined everything, Tari. And any chance that you two might have had together.”

Any feelings of fear and nerves that were brewing in me before swiftly switched to anger. I’ve spent the last two years trying to clear my conscience. One year of completely hating myself and the other trying to convince myself that it wasn’t entirely my fault. That I did not intentionally ruin Gabriel’s life and that I was not at fault for what happened that night on the bridge. I let Jackson place the blame on me because it was his best friend who almost died that day but I’ll be damned if he makes me out to be the villain.

“You don’t think I feel absolutely horrible for what happened? You don’t think the only thing that I want is for Gabriel to be safe and happy?” I didn’t wait for an answer and Jackson curled his lips when I continued. “That is all that I want. So don’t think I came here for a reunion.”

Jackson opened his mouth to respond but the sound of Gabriel’s voice slipping through the speakers interrupted both our trains of thought.

That voice. How I terribly missed that voice.

It stripped my anger away piece by piece until all that was left was hopeless resolve. I stared pleadingly into Jackson’s piercing blue eyes, hoping–no, praying–that there was some compassion in him even for me. “Look,” He stared back, with a hardset jaw. “I plan to keep our agreement but, there are no rules against me staying here.”

Jackson and I were friends. Once. Maybe that was why he didn’t immediately yell at me to leave like he probably should have. But rather, stared at me a bit longer before sighing very heavily. “Just make sure he doesn’t see you because if he finds out you’re alive when I told him you were dead–” His words faltered.

I sighed in relief and nodded to make him know I understood. He backed up, while shaking his head before turning completely around and walking back into the performance room. Pulling the hood of my sweater over my head, I made my way back over to the window, only allowing my left side to be faintly illuminated by the light pouring out.

I promised both Jackson and myself that Gabriel would never see me or hear from me again but as I stood there observing the ease with which he slid his fingers over the guitar strings and hearing the melodious notes that echoed from his lips, I found that conviction slowly and dangerously chipping away.

Frigid by J. Lynn

Title: Frigidfrigid

Author: J. Lynn (a.k.a Jennifer L. Armentrout)

Genre: Contemporary (New Adult)

Edition: E-book

Just in case you thought the title was referring to the weather conditions…it’s not.

Jennifer L. Armentrout takes a break from her paranormal romance endeavors to write a contemporary novel based on the lives of two best friends, Kyler and Sydney. Basically this is a fall-in-love-with-my-best-friend type story and since I’m kind of a sucker for that trope, I was eager to read this. Also the fact that the setting is in the winter, at a ski resort, in the middle of a Nor’easter basically had me sold. I mean, who would disagree that snow is the most romantic weather condition? But what really drew me to this book among all other basic contemporaries at the time was that a crazy person was supposed to be chasing them throughout the whole story.

If this also struck you as the most exciting plot point of the story, I will save you the time because it was basically non-existent. Someone was indeed messing with them but there were maybe two incidents in the whole book that lasted about a page. It was like Jennifer added that part in for the sake of making this book less like any other best friend contemporary but didn’t spend much effort flushing it out. It was obvious that she cared more about developing Kyler and Sydney’s relationship. With regards to that plot point, I can’t say that it was quite my cup of tea. Kyler and Syd’s friendship was adorable in the beginning and I could totally see it becoming an adorable romantic relationship but then they got to the resort. And it just got straight sexual from there. I don’t particularly enjoy reading highly sensual scenes plus Syd was annoying the beejeebies out of me. Instead of expressing what she truly felt, she decided to steer Kyler in another direction which made absolutely no sense to me. I don’t see how she figured that, with Ky being her best friend and all, it would be more practical to go in that direction rather than straight out telling him the truth. (For those of you who read this, you can tell me if you thought that was logical but I digress.)

Although the ending was pretty darn cute, Frigid as a whole was a disappointment for me. This saddens me because Jennifer’s Lux series was just so good but maybe I’ll just stick to the paranormal romance.

If you’re a fan of best friends falling in love with each other, ten page sex scenes, and don’t care too much for a detailed, flushed out plot then you might enjoy Frigid. But if you want a better story, I would recommend something else. Tell me your thoughts on Frigid if you’ve read it, I would love to know!

Stay cool (seriously it is so hot) xx

Crown of Ptolemy by Rick Riordan

The-Crown-of-Ptolemy-Rick-RiordanTitle: The Crown of Ptolemy

Author: Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle-grade Adventure/Fantasy

Edition: E-book

 “My Big Fat Greek/Egyptian Crossover.”

In this Percy Jackson/Kane Chronicles crossover, Percy finally meets Sadie and Annabeth finally meets Carter to battle against an Egyptian magician named Setne. By putting their heads and their unique weapons together, the four demigods employ tactics to bring Setne down and prevent him from becoming an all powerful Egyptian/Greek God and doing very bad things. Since Rick Riordan isn’t a fan of bad endings, it wouldn’t be considered a spoiler to tell you that they succeed. The fun, of course, is in the “how”.

I’m not sure if I’m getting tired-slash-growing out of Rick Riordan’s writing style, but this novella was not as appealing to me as most of his works usually are. The plot was mediocre at best and the dialogue was absolutely ridiculous–kind of like a really bad comedy movie. I didn’t feel an ounce of adventure throughout (although my heart did almost stop when I thought Riptide was gone forever). The first two novellas in this crossover series, Son of Sobek and the Staff of Serapis, were really enjoyable but this just didn’t do it for me. All in all, it was really superficial without any real substance to the story or the characters.

I used to say that I would never be done with Percy Jackson. I used to say that Rick Riordan could write a hundred more books about him and I’d read them all but I’m starting to wonder whether that remains true. If I don’t think Rick is doing Percy Jackson justice (ahem heroes of olympus) or if I don’t like the way the books are written, I’d much rather keep my memories of Percy Jackson pure and untainted.

With that said however, Crown of Ptolemy was just a small, irrelevant novella so I can’t make any rash judgments based on it. Therefore, I’m still excited to read Trials of Apollo because Camp Half Blood needs to re-enter my life. Hopefully the gloriousness of Percy Jackson and the Olympians re-enters with it.

Peace. εἰρήνη. xx

Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Title: Invasion of the Tearling

invasion of the tearling

(I didn’t read this edition but I’m using this cover design because I mean look at it)

Author: Erika Johansen

Genre: Fantasy

Edition: E-book

After a brutal couple of weeks waiting for my hold at the library to be up, I finally got my hands on the second installment of Erika Johansen’s dazzling trilogy, The Queen of the Tearling. True to it’s title, this novel follows Queen Kelsea as she searches through every avenue for a way to prevent the Red Queen from invading her kingdom (queendom?). I had very high expectations for Invasion of the Tearling because the first installment blew me away. Thank goodness it was no less mind-wrappingly brilliant and feels-inducing.

Kelsea continues to awe me with her tactical intelligence and no-funny-business personality. When I say she gets stuff done, I mean, she gets stuff done. Although, she has every reason to cower in fear, she never admits defeat but instead just keeps plowing forward. Everyone always says they are a sucker for a strong female protagonist and Kelsea will definitely satisfy that search. And she doesn’t even need a sword to do so. As far as the plot goes, it was pretty much one of anticipation and revelation. Kelsea and her guards are aware of the looming possibility of a devastating Invasion that the Tearling might not be able to sustain. As they try to put together a strong army and gather any information about the Red Queen and her weaknesses, Kelsea’s magic starts to unfold. Magic that, for all intents and purposes, has a mind of its own. When it started changing her, I was not a fan. Yes, she was powerful, powerful enough to defeat Mort, but she basically morphed into a dark ruler whose methods were not admirable. Not to mention her extremely questionable choice for an ally. She said she had no choice but I really don’t think Finn’s involvement in her situation was so necessary to be worth the freedom of someone who was severely punished for doing who knows what. Furthermore, the uncontrollable desire she had for him every time she saw him freaked me out. To have no control over wanting someone that badly? I would be terrified. (And you wonder why I don’t trust attractive people…) This desire seems to mirror the oddly immediate feelings Kelsea had for the Fetch and there were hints at some relationship between him and Finn. I’m itching to figure out what that is.

Kelsea’s magic also provides a gateway for her to learn more about the history behind the Tearling. If I understand correctly, she travels through time, or at least her mind does, to the period before William Tear set sail to found a new world. That was a plotline I was not expecting but was greatly captivated by. [spoilers ahead] At first, I was confused because there was this random woman with an abusive husband who seemingly had no connection to the present current of events at all. But Erika, with her brilliant writerly self, connected all the pieces as we discovered Lily’s true role, which is a massive one, in this whole “revolution”. One that feels like it’s been barely touched upon and is going to be explored even more in the next book.

And finally–Pen. Ahh, Pen. What a wonderful human being he is.

Unless Kelsea met someone else, Pen was really the only logical love interest since he was the only one near her age. I never shipped Kelsea with anyone until Pen had that conversation with Lazarus. You know the one where he said, “It never mattered what she looked like,” and basically implied that he’s been in love with her ever since he met her. At that point I was just like I need it. I need it now. And I basically got it but not in the way that I wanted. Basically, she’s using him as a sex toy and he may be okay with that but I’m not. Sigh. Soon she will realize the error of her ways and recognize the beauty of the man in front of her. But until then, I wait. [spoilers end]

Golly, this novel was a journey. Adventure, magic, monarchies, character depth and sharp wit, otherwise known as everything I crave in a book, Invasion of the Tearling will probably be one of my favorite novels of this year. If you read this, let me know what you think in the comments.

With love, xx.

Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR

Thanks to The Broke and The Bookish for giving me something to do today with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. These ten books that I have chosen for my Spring TBR are just all the books that I have not read that are currently in my possession at college. Hopefully, since I ordered myself not to buy anymore books, I will finally manage to read them.

  1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah the nightingale
  2. Red Rising by Pierce Brownred rising.jpg
  3. A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriartya corner of white.jpeg
  4. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey5th wave.jpg
  5. The Night Circus by Erin Morgensternnight circus.jpg
  6. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Weincode name verity.jpg
  7. Landline by Rainbow Rowelllandline.jpg
  8. Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guinlavinia.jpg
  9. Paper Towns by John Greenpaper towns.jpg
  10. The Selection by Kiera Cassthe selection

 

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

the queen of the tealingTitle: The Queen of the Tearling

Author: Erika Johansen

Genre: Fantasy/Dystopian

Edition: Hardcover

“I want to be a different queen.”

That’s not an actual quote from the book. It was actually said by Mary Queen of Scots on the show Reign on CW and it was all I kept thinking of as I read. Kelsea Raleigh is the heir of the Tearling and the book begins with her having reached the age of nineteen when she is required to take the throne. With a branded scar and a precious jewel, she is a symbol of hope for the Tear people task with the burden of eradicating their sufferings and removing them from under the oppressive hand of the Queen of Mortmesne. Determined not to be the frivolous queen that her mother was, Kelsea begins implementing her plans to improve the state of her kingdom. To understand the Tearling, picture what would happen to the world as it is now if technology failed and everyone who knew anything about science died. First world advantages as we know it would end. Many of you are no doubt familiar with older generations complaining that digitization is ruining society and the lives of our youth. Well this guy, William Tear, decided to create a utopia on the basis of that mentality and well…let’s just say it didn’t turn out as planned. Naturally, the world reverted to the medieval age.

I was pulled into this story from the beginning. As soon as she left her cottage, Kelsea was thrown into conflict and the problems just kept piling on. It’s ridiculously amazing how she handled everything with finesse and didn’t break down hyperventilating like I certainly would have if I was in her position. Living in a cottage for her whole life, she was never engrossed in royalty life. Then she’s taken to the Keep and has everything under control. I actually adore her and how she can easily focus on what’s important. On the page she exudes confidence even though she’s “plain”–something, by the way, she would not let readers forget. Seriously, in every chapter, there was a sentence referring to her plain facial features. Like okay, I get it, she’s not very attractive, there’s really no need to keep reminding me. That was one of the few things that irritated me. That and her irrational affection for The Fetch. It wasn’t even 24 hours and she was talking like she was in love. He must be damn irresistible to make that happen. While we’re on the topic of characters, I have a strong appreciation for the Queen’s Guards, especially Lazarus and I don’t even know why. Something about their personalities appeal to me and during the various complications, I realized that I really don’t want any harm to come to any of them. I do wish, though, that I knew more about the others besides Lazarus but hopefully Kelsea will learn more about them individually throughout the next two books. Same with the Fetch, who definitely has a mysterious past worth exploring.

The Queen of the Tearling revolves mostly around the political aspects of the kingdom and its strained relationship with Mortmesne rather than the interwoven magic. I can’t wrap my head around it but the events in this book seem to set the foundation for many future revelations about magic in the kingdom. So I’m excited.

Last but not least, the wit in this book is amazing. Everyone’s sense of humor was so intellectually satisfying.

If any of you have read this, tell me in the comments so we can talk about it. If you have not read it…read it. If you just want to tell me how your day was, go right ahead.

Later xx

Yesterday’s History, Tomorrow’s A Mystery

I wasn’t going to post because I really haven’t read that many books this year that I can say I loved–whooping total of 3 at most–but I feel propelled to anyway. So here’s the 2015 End of Year Book Survey that I have seen floating around, originally created by Perpetual Page-Turner.

2015 Reading Stats

Number of books read: 32

Number of Rereads: 0

Genre you read the most from: YA Fantasy

Best in Books

1. Best Book Read in 2015?

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going to Love More but Didn’t?

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

3. Most Surprising (in a good way or bad way) Book You Read?

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I really expected it to be good because it was about a fangirl. If there is any character whom I would relate to a lot, it would be her, right? Wrong. This was honestly kind of a drag.

4. Book You Pushed The Most People To Read (and they did)?

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout; although this is kind of cheating because no one actually read it no matter how HARD I pushed…

5. Best Series Started in 2015? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender?

Series Started: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Sequel: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Series Ender: Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

6. Favorite New Author Discovered in 2015?

Sabaa Tahir

7. Best Book From a Genre You Don’t Typically Read?

Rook by Sharon Cameron. It’s considered steampunk which I never read and never knew much about but this book was amazing.

8. Most Action-Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book of 2015?

Six of Crows

9. Book Read in 2015 That You Are Most Likely to Reread Next Year?

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

10. Favorite Cover of A Book Read in 2015?

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier. I have absolutely no idea what possessed the publishers (or whomever the job falls on) to change the covers. I mean, I have seen worst cover changes (I’m looking at you Lux series) and the new covers aren’t horrible but I feel justified in my discontentment.

11. Most Memorable Character of 2015?

Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows.

12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2015?

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life Changing Book of 2015?

Good question. I’m going to say that I have no idea. The books I read this year weren’t very life-changing.

14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2015 To Read?

All of them LOL. Just Kidding. Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

15. Favorite Passage of a Book Read in 2015?

“The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.”

From Six of Crows.

16. Shortest and Longest Book Read in 2015?

Shortest: Flash Vol. 2: Rogues Revolution

Longest: Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

17. Book That Shocked You the Most?

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

18. OTP of the Year (you will go down with this ship!)

MAGNEO! (Magnus Damora and Cleiona Bellos from the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes)

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year?

Chaol and Dorian from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 from an Author Read Previously?

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

21. Best Book in 2015 That You Read Solely Based on a Recommendation from Somebody Else?

Throne of Glass. My sister practically shoved this down my throat.

22. Newest Fictional Crush From a Book Read in 2015?

Kaz Brekker. I’m not sorry. Although I’m not sure if I have a crush on him as much as I just love his character so much. So maybe Wolf from Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.

23. Best 2015 Debut Read?

An Ember in the Ashes

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting Read This Year?

Crown of Midnight

25. Book That Put A Smile on Your Face/was the Most Fun to Read?

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins = cuteness overload

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

I don’t think any books made me cry, although I might have shed a tear at how amazing Six of Crows was.

27. Hidden Gem of the Year?

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

An Ember in the Ashes. (Sorry to be repetitive.)

29. Most Unique Book Read in 2015?

True History of Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

30. Book That Made You the Most Mad?

Falling Kingdoms because the writing and characters were just so bad. It was seriously unbelievable. Just…read my review.

Blogging/Bookish Life

  1. New Favorite Book Blog You Discovered?

Um… Life and Other Disasters. You’re a cool Kat (pun intended).

2. Favorite Review That You Wrote?

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes

3. Best Discussion/Non-Review Post?

Disney Book Tag! Maybe. It was pretty fun to do and I love disney.

4. Best Event That You Participated In?

I didn’t participate in any events. Sadly.

5. Best Moment of Blogging Life in 2015?

When I finished my first term in college and I was able to resume blogging. It felt so refreshing.

6. Most Popular Post This Year on Your Blog?

Blogger Recognition Award?

7. Post You Wish Got a Little More Love?

Exciting Shatter Me News! Seriously, is no one else as excited about this as I am? I need someone to freak out with!

8. Best Bookish Discovery?

This ca-yute cafe I found in my city that is part book-store.

9. Did You Complete Any Reading Challenges Or Goals Set?

No. I can thank college for that.

Looking Ahead

  1. Number One Priority in 2016?

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman and The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

2. Book Most Anticipated in 2016?

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows #2)

3. 2016 Debut Most Anticipated?

The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan

4. Series Ending/Sequel Most Anticipated?

The Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes #2)

5. One Thing You Hope to Accomplish or Do In Your Reading /Blogging Life in 2016?

In my blogging life, I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, really. Post reviews of the books I read and movie-adaptations should there be any. In my reading life, I want to read more different books. YA Fantasy and Dystopian Fiction is pretty much my go-to and I’m cool with that but I also want to explore other depths like historical fiction and maybe more adult fiction. Just to see what it’s like, ya know? I’m also really in the mood to read a book with a dragon in it…

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend to Everyone?

Sorry, I’m not that privileged.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL! I hope 2016 has amazing wonders in store for all of you! xx