When We Aren't Lazy: Team Lilac

Sunday, September 27, 2015
Lilac Team.png

Welcome to my post for #TeamLilac! (We're the best. Admit it. You know it.) Our team decided to make a bucket list! (Because we all have ambitions.) And we call it...When We Aren't Lazy! (Even though I typically am. I'm a sloth. No no. I'm a potato.)

The objective of this project is to create an ultimate bucket list - created and compiled by all the team members, which will motivate us all to blog more efficiently and achieve our blogging goals.
Bloggers in the team can set their own variations and limits to the list. As they complete each task, they strike it off from their list, while discussing and sharing their progress throughout the month of October.

We’ve also planned to help each other in the most possible way - by sharing tips and working together. The goal is to obtain our blogging resolutions while keeping it fun.
While you're at it, check out the rest of my lovely team. 
Mishma / Sam / Emily / Pamela / Claudia / Leigh / Fatima / Rhea

My Bucket List: 

-Cross Post all reviews ( GR, Amazon): I really suck at this, so I got to hop to it. And I have some books that I got as ARCs that can't be posted on Amazon until later, and by then, I forget. YEAH.
-Get ahead on posts: Regarding reviews, I'm like at the end of October. Regarding discussions and Wren Rewrites and The Connection? Barely making it.
-Blog hop weekly: Not sure how my laziness is going to let me do this. I CAN TRY. I'm not even sure what blog hops I can do. Yikes. I need to meet more bloggers and find more blog hops.
-Use more photography in posts: My photographs suck. I have two options: my phone or my iPad. And my iPad is an iPad 4, given to me by my school. The quality is meh at best. I can't always trust my Mi3 either! So my photos suck.
-ALWAYS double-check and triple-check posts for spelling, grammar, etc: I actually try to edit, but it gets hard sometimes. Not enough time and all.
-Make a dent in my Netgalley pile: I can do this. Sorta....maybe... -looks around- Kinda? And it's not like my Netgalley is anything special. It's only twenty books long. Plus, it's hard to read ebooks and tangible books. I can't have both.
-Make new friends & interact more with other blogs: I'm trying, but I'm not social. And my humor is quirky at best and dry at worst. Plus, I like sticking with my friends. (You know who you are.)
-Engage more in twitter: I try to go to #RQWN, but my WiFi sucks. That means no Twitter chats for Wren. Sobs...
-Reply and comment back on all the comments without fail: I DON'T GET COMMENTS, SO THIS IS EASY.
-Try to manage time between blogging, reading, school and life efficiently: Which is hard for me. I'm in Calculus (and currently failing, thanks for asking!) And it's hard to study for my tests and all AND blog AND read. I end up blogging on weekends mostly, and even then, I'm studying too.
-Host at least one guest writer on the blog: Which I should do more often. I do a LOT of interviews, though. SO YEAH.
-Try out more bookish challenges: I can try this. Definitely. But I'm mostly trying to update my challenges. Which I haven't done in a while. WHOOPS.

So there you go. My bucket list and my excuses to go along with it.

Eight Reasons to Love 'Spinning Starlight' by RC Lewis

Friday, September 25, 2015

Spinning Starlight
RC Lewis  

Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it's hard to escape it. So when a group of men show up at her house uninvited, she assumes it's just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired.
Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi's vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead.
Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home-a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers' survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back?
Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen'sThe Wild Swans strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for survival in this companion to Stitching Snow.
Note: I got this as an eARC from NetGalley. 

Eight is an important number in 'Spinning Starlight', so I decided to make this post about eight things to love about this book. (Not that I don't have things I disliked.)

1) The Retelling
I really liked the comparisons to the original fairy tale. I like the original 'The Wild Swans'. It definitely is a fairy tale about family.
The comparisons were pretty simple. Missing brothers. Lost voice. Etc etc etc. The fact that the fairy tale was adapted was pretty awesome in my book.

2) Liddi's personality
I truly loved Liddi's character. She was brave. She went into the unknown for her family. She was dedicated. She gave birth to some awesome ideas. (Non-fashion related, of course.) She was a great and admirable character. Definitely not the usual ditzy heiress. (Or even the rude one. Ehem Eadlyn ehem.)

3) Romance's slow build
I hate insta-love. Hate it. When this book introduced a slow-moving romance, I was thrilled. 'At last,' I thought, 'a slower romance!' (Not that I haven't read slower-moving romances before. I have. This was just nice.)
I may not have loved the romance, but I loved the slow build.

4) Tiav's love for Liddi without knowing who she is
He didn't care who she was before they met. He could barely communicate with her. He loved her anyways. I thought that was interesting. He saw past the Liddi Jantzen everyone else saw. He saw her. (Cheesy, I know. Spare me.)
Isn't that romantic?

5) Brotherly love
I'm an only child. I don't know how older brothers are supposed to act. If I had older brothers, though, I wish they were like Liddi's. These guys were cool. Smart and kind. Warm and loving. They are what I think older brothers are supposed to be. I loved it.
And I appreciate it when books have an emphasis on familial love. Family is forever, you know?

6) The memories
These memories really gave depth to Liddi's relationship with her brothers. (All of them.) They showed family. And love and care. The brothers' love of Liddi really showed.
It was a nice peak into why Liddi cared so much about rescuing her brothers. (Other than the fact that they are her brothers.) Without it, I might have wondered why. (Only child thinking.)

7) The world and tech
The streamers. The Khua. It was so cool. I loved it. The futuristic world was interesting. I loved the advancements in technology. I wanted to live in this world. (After the book, of course.)

8) Liddi's growth
Liddi really grew in this book. She was some paparazzi girl in the beginning. She went to fashion shows and wore expensive jewels. As time wore on, she discovered her potential. She discovered her genius. I really admired her transformation. It was truly amazing.



Ask the Blogger: Asti from Oh, the Books!

Ask the Blogger

This time on Ask the Blogger...
I'll be interviewing Asti co-blogger on Oh, the Books!
Who is Asti?

Twitter / Instagram

I attended Kingston University to pursue a Publishing MA in 2014.
Prior to deciding to pursue publishing as a career, I wanted to work in elementary education as a reading specialist.
I completed numerous work placements with publishing companieswhile in London, including Random House Children’s Publishers, Little, Brown, Bloomsbury Children’s and The Orion Publishing Group.
I started a book blog, A Bookish Heart, on 2 March 2013 where I reviewed books, led interesting bookish discussions, moderated games based off of books I have read and shared book-related finds. I still do all of that stuff, but on this group blog instead.
The only gifts I tend to request for holidays or birthdays are clothes and (you guessed it) books.
Even when I moved to London and knew I might have to leave after a year there, I still acquired over 80 books. It made moving back to the States just a little more difficult than I wanted.
I tend to carry a book with me everywhere I go. (My number one criteria for buying a purse is whether or not I can fit a book inside it.)

Note: I do not own any of these images. All rights go to their respective owners.
    Why did you start book blogging?
    My initial motivation behind book blogging is much more selfish than everyone else’s. Most bloggers start blogging because they love books and want to be in a community where they can discuss their favorite books, characters, authors, etc. Me though? I started my book blog because I thought it would help me get a job in the publishing industry. Right before I started my original book blog, A Bookish Heart, I had got accepted into a Publishing MA program in London and decided I wanted to do something else in my spare time to help flesh out my resume and book blogging ended up being that thing. (But hey, I may have started my blog so it would look good on my resume, but I kept it because I love the community. Book lovers for the win!)
    Who are your top ten book characters? 
    Ten? So many! Let’s see here… In no particular order: 
    1. Buruu from The Lotus Wars by Jay Kristoff.
    2. Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
    3. Iko from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
    4. The Darkling from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
    5. Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
    6. August Pullman from Wonder by R.J. Palacio
    7. Death from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    8. Sirius Black from The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
    9. Sybella from Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
    10. Victor Vale from Vicious by V.E. Schwab
    What's the coolest thing that has happened to you because of blogging?
    Hm… I don’t know if anything cool has happened to me because of blogging, but the one thing that has been my favorite thing about blogging is the fact that it’s allowed me to make so many friends around the world. It was really exciting that when I went to London for my Publishing MA degree, I already had a small group of friends there that I knew through blogging who were willing to take me in and invite me out to their bookish gatherings. And just recently, being back in the States, I was able to drive over and spend the day with a friend who I built a connection with because of blogging. Blogging is just amazing for the connections it provides. It’s my favorite thing about it, and the thing I’d consider the coolest.
    How did you find your co-blogger(s)? 
    My co-blogger Kelley and I originally met when we were running our separate solo blogs, A Bookish Heart (mine) and Another Novel Read (Kelley’s). I remember we initally bonded over the fact that for St. Patrick’s Day we each wrote a post highlighting our favorite green book covers (we thought it was a fun coincidence) and then between commenting on each other’s blogs and exchanging regular emails, we just became really close. Once I moved to London to pursue my Publishing MA and my ability to blog regularly suffered, I brought up the idea of co-blogging with Kelley and she (eventually) agreed to give it a go. I think the fact that we were already good friends and had similar content/readership ensured that our co-blogging experience would be a smooth one, and I haven’t regretted the choice a single day since. 
    If you could have dinner with two authors and three book characters, who would you choose and why?
    What a good question! Now, I think most people would automatically assume I’d choose Patrick Ness because he’s my favorite author, but I actually think I’d go with Jay Kristoff and Maggie Stiefvater. Why? Because they seem like a lot of fun! And character-wise would be similar: Carswell Thorne, Zuzana, and Buruu – three characters who have never failed to make me smile. I’m not the most outgoing and social person in the world, so I would want fun characters who can make me laugh at a dinner party and I think with these five there’s no way my dinner could do wrong.

    Image result for carswell thorne
    Who is your OTP? (Other than you and Dave, of course.)
    I don’t really feel like I have one! (Well, of course me and Dave, as you said ;)) Maybe Cress and Carswell Thorne? I mean, part of me wants Carswell for myself, but I really did love those two characters together in Cress. Maybe because Cress reminded me of myself in some ways?
    Which book boy is the most swoon-worthy? 
    CARSWELL THORNE! (I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I sort of love him.) He’s the one smooth-talking guy in YA that I have completely fallen for. Dorky, has a great heart, and just a bit of a fail. In other words, my kind of guy. ;)

    Image result for carswell thorne
    What's your favorite TV show?
    Oh gosh, I’m a reality TV junkie and not ashamed to admit it. If I had to choose ONE favorite TV show, I’d say it’s MTV The Challenge. I absolutely love reality TV competitions and I’ve been watching The Challenge (called Road Rules vs. Real World back in the day!) since I was a teen and I don’t know, it just never fails to get me involved every season. I love that the same reality stars get sucked into participating year after year, and it’s fun trying to root for your team to make it until the very end.
    What's your favorite movie?
    I’m going to say Lord of the Rings. That trilogy holds a special place in my heart. I was obsessed with it as a teen, to the point where I even tried learning Elvish, and yeah. I’m all about those hobbits, dwarves, elves, and men. (And Gandalf. Gotta love the G-man.)

    If you could un-read one book, which would you read again?
    THE WOLVES OF MERCY FALLS SERIES. Okay, it wasn’t the most absolute horrible series in the world by any means, I know there’s readers out there who like it, but I struggled so hard reading it and almost refused to give Stiefvater another chance after forcing myself through that series (I’m glad I did though because I loved The Raven Boys). I just found the characters ridiculous, the plot silly, and could not get into it whatsoever. Meh.

    How do you create your features? 
    I don’t have a secret to creating my blog features! Every once in a while inspiration just strikes, and I run with it! Not all my ideas work out, and some I only use sporadically, but I like having a variety of features in my toolbox. At least one of them will get me excited about blogging when I’m running low on energy.
    White chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate?
    Milk chocolate for the win. Or, even better, milk chocolate with caramel inside. Mmmm….
    What's the funniest thing has happened to you when drunk?
    Haha, I don’t get drunk THAT often to have too many crazy stories, and when I do get drunk I usually just dance, dance, dance and not much else, so I really don’t have any funny stories. >.<

    What's the cheesy pick-up line you've heard?
    Nobody uses pick-up lines on me! I’m always the one doing the work when it comes to relationships!
    Thank you, Asti!

    Wren Rewrites: 'The Cage'

    Friday, September 18, 2015
    If the Cage was Alice in Wonderland

    The first thought that went through her mind was Where am I? The girl with blond hair neatly pinned underneath a ponytail holder slowly sat up. The landscape wasn't recognizable. There was no one around.
    What's going on?
    Her eyes drifted towards the water. Salty air kissed her cheeks. She frowned. She hadn't been near water in a long time. She slowly scooched away, soggy sand staining her outfit.
    Cora looked down at her ensemble. Not something she would typically wear. A thin tank. An odd pair of uncomfortable pants.
    She squirmed before rising to her feet.
    A flash of red in the current caught her eye. She turned her attention to that. "Hey," she called out to the person. "Hey, where are we? Who are you? I'm Cora. Who are you?" She slowly apporached the floater, water lapping at her ankles. "Hey..." she said slowly. "Hey!"
    That's when she realized what the crimson was.
    She shrieked in alarm, darting back.
    "Get away from the water," a gruff masculine voice said from behind her. She whirled around, baring her teeth in anger.
    "What?" she hissed, nails out and prepared to kill.
    The male donning a silky blue shirt stared at her. As if she was the weirdo.
    "What are you trying to do?" he asked, stretching his arms above his head. The shirt lifted a few inches, exposing a toned stomach. Cora blushed, looking away. He yawned softly.
    "Where am I?" Cora demanded.
    "Where else?" the male replied.
    "Who are you?"
    "I am a person."
    "Where are my old clothes?"
    "Where would they be?"
    She growled in frustration, and the person smirked at her.
    "I'm Lucky, nice to meet you, Alice," he finally introduced.
    "Alice?" Cora exclaimed. "My name is not Alice, dimwit. It's Cora."
    "Ah, Alice, you're always lost." Lucky shook his head, tsking at her. "The Hatter's waiting for you, though. Better hurry, little pretty." He gestured at the wooded area behind him. "He doesn't like lateness."
    Cora shuffled out of the surf, but she paused. "What about...her?" she asked tentatively, gesturing at the floating body behind her. Lucky just shrugged. "A minor detail. Now, scooch!" He waved a tan hand at her and stepped back into the shadows.
    Cora growled in annoyance before steeling her resolve and heading into the woods.

    "S-She's co-coming," a meek voice said.
    "Why, she's always late," another replied.
    "She's always late. Off with her head!" one shrieked.
    "My my, Queeny, do calm down."
    Cora pushed her way through the leafy greens and emerged into a clearing. She froze, seeing the eclectic mix of people before her. An imposing man in a top hat sat at the head of the table. Discards cups and treats were strewn about across the table. A shy-looking male was nibbling on a wafer. A girl with angry eyes was standing, and a male to her side was patting his hair. Another girl clad in white smirked at Cora.
    "Look who has finally arrived," the girl in white said sarcastically.
    "And it's nice to see you again," the male next to the angry girl added.
    The top hat man smiled kindly.
    "How nice of you to join us," he said. "Alice."
    Cora gritted her teeth. "I'm not Alice," she cried in annoyance. "Stop saying that. It's getting on my nerves."
    "Oh? Is it?" the angry girl said. She strode towards Cora, gripping the other girl's chin. "You don't look special. Are you special?" Cora spluttered in confusion at the sudden question, but the other girl had sat down and was sipping something from a cracked teacup before she could answer.
    The top hat man gestured at an empty seat. "Come. Sit. We have some rules to discuss. And people to introduce."
    Cora glanced at the ratty chair before strutting over and sitting down. She grasped the chair's arms tightly.
    "Oof. Not so tight," a voice said from underneath her bottom. Cora shrieked and jumped out of her seat. A serene face stared at her from the seat cushion.
    "Do sit, Alice," the chair said. "We're waiting."
    The top hat man cleared his throat.
    "Introductions!" he declared, clapping his hands together.
    The angry girl stood up. "Mali.."
    The male next to her smirked. "Leon."
    The shy boy slowly waved hello. "Rolf."
    The one who wore white smirked even more. "Nok."
    The top hat man nodded curtly. "I'm your Caretaker. Welcome to the Cage."
    Cora frowned. "What? What Cage? Where am I?" she demanded, leaning forwards.
    "The Cage," the top hat man said, waving one hand. "It's the Cage. Did no one tell you?" He sighed, rubbing his temples. "Lucky Lucky Lucky! Where are you? Little rascal he is. I'll say!"
    "Coming, asshole," a disembodied voice replied. A face appeared in the edge of Cora's vision, and she stiffened. It was that boy from the beach. She gritted her teeth.
    "Am I supposed to know more?" she hissed.
    "Of course," the Caretaker said. "Always. Sometimes. Maybe?"
    "Just tell her," Mali hissed, tossing her crimson locks back.
    "Calm down, Queeny," Nok replied, petting a baby pig's snout. "It's not you we're here for. It's Alice."
    "Again, not Alice. Cora," Cora corrected.
    "Same thing," Nok sniffed.
    Lucky sat down on the edge of the table, picking up a rotting scone. "Mmm. Delicious," he said, popping it into his mouth. Bile rose in Cora's throat. "That's sick," she grumbled. Lucky shrugged before jumping off the table and wandering around the others.
    "Now, time to tell you the rules," the Caretaker said.
    "Is no one going to explain?" Cora cried, looking exasperated.
    The Caretaker tsked at her, shaking his head. "Hush, Alice." He grinned at the others. "There are three rules you have to follow. Only three. Lucky you! One. Solve the puzzles. And eat cake! Because cake is good. But that's not the second rule. Two is to be healthy! Eat and seek pleasure! And rule three," he said, taking a pause. "Pro...cre...ate!"
    "What?" Cora cried in alarm.

    The Caretaker beamed at her.
    Cora scowled, resisting the urge to flip the bird at him.
    Nok started to stare at Rolf, and Leon ran a hand through his messy hair, his armor clanking.
    "Well," the Caretaker said. He grabbed the edges of the table cloth and yanked it from underneath the dishes. The silverware clattered to the floor; the plates broke and spewed porcelain all over.
    Cora shrieked in alarm.
    "And here is your bed," the Caretaker said. "Enjoy." He winked before placing a hand on his hip and fading out of existence. Cora stared at where the Caretaker had been. Where had he gone?
    Lucky cleared his throat, snapping Cora back into reality. Rolf and Nok were shedding clothes. Nok looked unabashed; Rolf looked woozy and was swaying. Leon had taken off his battle armor, and Mali was messing with her crown.
    "Well," Lucky said, "get one with it." He gestured at her skimy clothes. Cora threw an arm over her chest. "What are you implying we do?" she hissed. Lucky smiled, a dimple taunting her. "Procreation," he replied calmly. "Rule three."
    Cora's eyes widened, and she turned away from the spectacle. "I am, in no way, having sex with any of you. So bugger off!" She stomped off into the woods, leaving the now-naked Nok and Rolf to enjoy their third rule.

    Thank you for reading another installment of Wren Rewrites. In case you didn't get the who's who, I'll give you the list.

    Cassian/Caretaker: Mad Hatter (Because why not?)
    Cora: Alice
    Leon: The Knave of Hearts (Fighter)
    Rolf: The White Rabbit (Timid and shy. And twitchy.)
    Nok: The Duchess (Changing personality)
    Lucky: The Caterpillar (Guiding her and being with her. Her being Alice.)
    Mali: The Red Queen (Crazy!!!)

    I kinda rushed this one so yeah. Also, I wrote this idea when I finished The Cage. I wrote this fan fic after I finished it. So my mind was a bit fuzzy.
    Thanks for reading, though!