Monday, October 17, 2011

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Apparently, I am one of the last people to read The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. Most active YA readers are reading/ have read up to The Iron Knight. Anyway, I liked it. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it was still pretty good.

Things I liked: The Creativity! Ms. Kagawa must have one active imagination. The Fey world she created was insane, but at the same time it was perfect. It was exactly how you'd imagine a Fey world should be. It was almost like Alice's "Wonderland" on crack. Also, Meghan wasn't an awful MC. She was likeable. Lately, I've encountered some really annoying female protagonists, but Meghan wasn't of that mold. Grim was my favorite character though. Grim was made of awesomeness. He reminded me of a toss up between the Chesire cat and Garfield. Finally, Ash was a pretty great object of affection. He was oh so mysteriouso.

Things I didn't like so much: The pacing felt too quick, speedy-ish. Not in the best sort of way either. Maybe it was called for in a book about faeries, I don't know, I just felt like there could have been more time for character development. (Insignificant spoiler alert ahead) Also, in one scene Meghan goes from kitchen duty for days on end to partying it up at the faery ball? I was scratching my head at that. If that happened in real life, the girl would have been knocked out asleep until the next day. Just sayin'.

Overall, it was a cute story. I will probably pick up the next in the series. I've heard they get even better from here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

the best thing in the whole world

I have something to admit...

I was a closet writer for a very long time. And when I say a very long time, I mean years. I didn’t want anyone to know what I was doing with my spare time or why I liked it so much. Well, I finally figured out why. I realized that I’ve been so fearful about exposing my work. I mean, I thought I could write pretty well. But maybe the rest of the world wouldn't think so too. What if I was really awful and I was clouded by my own judgment? Like the singers people make fun of on American Idol, who truly believe they have talent, but should only be singing in the shower- I wasn’t one of those people was I?

That thought was unnerving, definitely. There isn’t anything else I want to do with my life. I don’t have another passion just as strong. So instead, I kept my writing a secret and gave myself the whole “one day” mental speech, where I promised myself that I would expose my writing when the time was right. Sidenote: I'm a perfectionist and a procrastinator, and those two traits do not go together in harmony. Anyway, I’ve faced my fears since then, but this is not exactly the point of the story.

The real point is that lately I’ve been receiving positive feedback about my work. Granted, I’m still a fairly new author, so I haven’t received a ton of feedback. But so far, I’ve been amazed each time it happens. And the very first time I read something nice from someone, I actually became a little teary-eyed- which is totally embarrassing and I definitely shouldn’t be revealing it here. But it happened. And it was the best feeling in the whole world. For me, it validated the hard work I put into writing Wanderlove. And it made me feel like I touched someone’s life, even if it was only in a small way. That was all I ever wanted from the moment I picked up a pen in grade school, scribbling secret stories in my notebook. I hope I can continue to do it again and again and again. Because it really is the best feeling in the entire world.

Quote of the day:
"We can do no great things, only small things with great love." ~Mother Teresa

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

Aloha, friends!

Today I am going to give you my thoughts on a recent book I read. Please don't mistake this for a review. My ramblings just aren't as streamlined as a real review would be. However, I still like to share...:)

Book: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Available Formats: Hardcover / Ebook
Publication Date: June 7th, 2011
How Did I Get This Book:  Purchased

Description: As a kid, Jacob formed a special bond with his grandfather over his bizarre tales and photos of levitating girls and invisible boys. Now at 16, he is reeling from the old man's unexpected death. Then Jacob is given a mysterious letter that propels him on a journey to the remote Welsh island where his grandfather grew up. There, he finds the children from the photographs--alive and well--despite the islanders’ assertion that all were killed decades ago. As Jacob begins to unravel more about his grandfather’s childhood, he suspects he is being trailed by a monster only he can see. A haunting and out-of-the-ordinary read, debut author Ransom Rigg’s first-person narration is convincing and absorbing, and every detail he draws our eye to is deftly woven into an unforgettable whole. Interspersed with photos throughout, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a truly atmospheric novel with plot twists, turns, and surprises that will delight readers of any age.

At a glance: Right away readers are intrigued by the cover of this book. It practically sells itself with the imagery it draws from the use of eerie, old photographs.

Opening Scene: Jacob’s grandfather calls him at work in a frenzied panic, and states that "they" are coming for him. He asks Jacob for the key to his gun room. The grandfather is perhaps delusional (we don't known at this point). Overall, it's an intriguing start! The story enthralled me from the first page.

MC: Jacob is curious, unabashed and brave. I liked his draw to his grandfather’s past. I enjoyed his relentlessness to see his journey through to the end. He also possesses a believable sense of humor one would expect of a teenage boy.

My Thoughts: It was extremely easy for me to relate to Mr. Rigg’s first novel. My grandfather also loved to spin fantastical stories to keep me entertained as a child. I think we all have one of those charismatic family members, who can almost make you believe the stories they weave. With that said, I enjoyed how the author created an entire world from this type of premise.

At first readers will believe the story to be akin to horror/ mystery. However, the story takes a surprising turn which reveals Miss Peregrine’s to be more of a fantasy. For the most part, the story is fast-paced (except for a few parts in the middle). Also, the imagery is drawn out nicely, especially the descriptions of the island and the peculiars abilities.

Downfalls: I only have a few downfalls to point out (which are easily redeemed by the rest of the story). The middle lagged a little. But it picked up again as soon as Jacob learns who his enemies are. Also, I thought there could have been more in the way of character development. I would have liked to have known more about Emma. She was very one dimensional to me.

Aside from those minor issues, I was very entertained by Mr. Rigg's first novel. His narrative flows very smoothly and the descriptions allowed me to envision his settings perfectly. The photographs only enhanced the novel and did not detract from it in any way.

Favorite Quote: “ one day my mother sat me down and explained that I couldn't become an explorer because everything in the world had already been discovered. I'd been born in the wrong century, and I felt cheated.”

P.S. I wanted to do a rating scale with this fairy. I think she's cute :~)