Tuesday, February 28

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: YA - Contemporary
How I Obtained Said Book: Library
Series: Stand-alone novel
The Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A. 

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

The Review: (This review will contain a minimum number of spoilers. Ha ha, bet you didn't see that coming...)

Seventeen year old Hadley's father is just about to be remarried to a British woman in England. Despite her obvious hatred for the marriage, Hadley decides to listen to her mother's insisting pleas and fly by herself to England to attend their wedding. But several things happen that change the course of her journey: 1) She misses her flight by four minutes. 2) She meets a British boy named Oliver. 3) Her next flight to England is the same flight as Oliver, and they are sitting in the same row. The relationship that comes to be from these events and this one particular encounter will change Hadley's reflection on her family, first love, and perhaps
her overall outlook on life.

I thought this book was wonderfully truthful when it came to showing the aftermath of divorce and death, when it comes to the people affected by them. I also thought this book was poignant, amusing, and startling (why the title of the book is what it is, for example; and no, it doesn't necessarily mean that Hadley and Oliver shared a "love at first sight" sort of thing, because if they had, then this review would've turned out a lot differently). All of this was made possible by Hadley's "voice" and personality. I mean, there are preppy YA contemporary main characters and there are the calm, sensible kind, and Hadley definitely falls in the second category (although there are definitely many more categories than just those two). And I liked that, I really did. I enjoy reading about calm, sensible characters. The thing is though, Hadley isn't completely like this throughout the whole entire novel. Some parts--like the words she said to her mother right before going to the airport, and how she behaved during the plane ride--definitely did not suit the whole "calm, sensible" sort of description. But you know, that was perfectly cool with me as well.

And then there's Oliver. Oh, Oliver. I'm not really a sucker for guys with accents; accents are pretty sweet and everything, but I'm not going to automatically like you if you have a super cool accent (I might be a tiny bit jealous though :P). However, even if Oliver hadn't possessed a super cool accent, I'd wager that a bunch of the readers would have liked him anyway. He's charming. There really isn't a better word for it, I mean. He made me crack a smile so many times throughout the book, and during the parts he wasn't present, I found that I really missed him.

The book itself is set in a period of twenty four hours, which upon first glance might make you doubt the plot's credibility, but no worries, it's perfectly credible. Transitions between each part were lovely and smooth, and oh, the pacing of the book was great: a little bit of Hadley, a little bit of Oliver, and a bit of Hadley's family all mixed together. Perfectly proportioned as well. So you know, it's pretty great.

In Conclusion...!

The Stat of Love wasn't necessarily as poignant or deep as The Fault in Our Stars but it was poignant and deep enough. It's a considerably quick read: honestly, the two hundred pages flew by so quickly, when I read the last page I thought, "Okay...wait. Seriously? This is it?" Which could be both good and bad, I suppose, but in my opinion it's very, very good.

Rating: 8 - Hey there. I think I'll read you again another time.

- E

P.S. Chapter 3 of A Rush of Needles is finally finally up. Please review? ^-^

Monday, February 27

Tagged -- #2

I have been tagged (again!) by Nicole from Fierce Butterfly (thanks Nicole ^-^ and also, I love the vocabulary you used in your questions!). The rules are the same:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've been tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you've tagged them!

1. What is the oldest book you've ever read?
I will admit right now that I have not read many old books, besides the ones I had to read for English. So I guess that means that the oldest book I've read--and finished--is A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. The oldest book I've attempted to read--but never finished--is either Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility. I can't remember which book was published first.

2. What was the first story you ever wrote and what was it about?
The first story I ever wrote was also the most stupid story I ever wrote. I have to admit that. I have come to terms with that. So, the first story I ever wrote was when I was seven, and it was about how my dad was out mowing the lawn and--SOMEHOW--mowed a gigantic hole in the grass, which strangely enough led to a secret passageway. And my protagonist (AKA my 7-year-old self) went down that tunnel and found a wonderful world (woah--Narnia). Like I said: stupid and silly :]

3. Who is your favorite author? If you have several, list them all out!
My favorite author right now is still J.K. Rowling. But I also love John Green and Sarah Dessen.

4. Tell me a little story about the significance of your birth date. Feel free to embellish.
I was born in Michigan in late July. My birth date really isn't that significant besides the fact that it's apparently a really hard number to remember (it took one of my past best friends an extremely long time to remember it). But I guess one significant story was that when I was finally able to leave the hospital, my dad brought me outside and it started to pour. I mean, the clouds were still there, the storm was obvious, but it hadn't started raining at all until I stepped outside*. No idea what this means. Hopefully nothing bad :]

5. What tropes are beginning to annoy you in steampunk? I know you have a few; I certainly do.
Okay, confession time: I haven't read many steampunk books. But if I do have to choose some cliches, I'd probably have to pick the whole "clockwork army" thing. That and if the girl is the main character, she feels like she must defy the social norm and become a non-lady.

6. Do you think a novel needs an idealized hero?
Hmm...not necessarily. I love characters who are flawed, but a character who is idealized would be great too. As long as they aren't Mary Sue's/Gary Stu's.

7. What do you think of gender roles in novels? Should they reflect reality, an ideal, or something in between? 
Probably something in between. I think gender roles should be able to be switched in novels, altered, and changed in any way to fit the plot and novel elements. Gender roles should also be, like, equal and interchanged. For instance, if a girl can be a damsel, so can a guy (although both would be a little annoying and eye rolling-worthy, in my opinion).

8. What makes a delicious villain?
Villains with a past! Villains with good qualities! Villains with a purpose besides just feeling like "being evil", or taking over the world, or something else that's common. Villains who are actual human beings. Or, villains who are so far from being human, they are absolutely unique and strange that they're considerably interesting.

9. Tell me about a lesser-known novel that made an indelible impression on you and why.
I would have to choose The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry (which I think was originally written in French). I read it in seventh grade for my English class, and it was probably the most meaningful book I've ever read at that time. It played with themes involving the behaviors and intelligence of children and adults, which, you know, definitely created a giant impact on a twelve year old who was just about to become a teenager. I highly recommend this book.

10. Early bird or night owl?
Night owl. I even have "Become nocturnal for one week" on my Bucket List. I love staying up late and I hate waking up early in the morning. So much.

11. Favorite mythological being? Feel free to pick an obscure one.
This is a hard one...but I'd have to choose an elf. Elves are pretty sweet.

Since I've already picked eleven bloggers in my last tagged post, I think I'll pass on this one (truth is: I can't think of eleven more bloggers to tag. It's very sad.) Thank you again Nicole!

- E

* 'Course, I couldn't possibly have "stepped" outside. I couldn't walk then. But you know what I mean.

Saturday, February 25

Things worthy of loving.

First, we have this song:

And this song (I LOVE Titanic):
(I realize it's only part 2 of the song. The original song is actually about 20 minutes long and Youtube doesn't typically allow 20-minute long videos...but you can still find part 1 by clicking on the link in the info box ^-^)

And this movie trailer (of course):

And this movie trailer:

And that is all.
(A pretty meaningless post...but I felt like I had to share all of this amazingness with someone. So. There you go.)

- E

Friday, February 24

Top 5 books I would take with me during a zombie apocalypse.

A midnight post because I just want to get this over with (considering it's been sitting on my Draft Pile for a few days now) I am so dedicated.


1. The Fault in Ours Stars by John Green.
You should know by now that I am currently obsessed with this book. If not, then this post proves it. I'm not entirely sure how helpful this would be during a zombie apocalypse, but hey, at least it might offer some encouragement and brief happiness.


2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling.
What to do when the zombies invade? Pretend I'm Harry Potter, grab a broomstick, and try to make it fly me away to a tropical, impenetrable island. Maybe figure out how to produce fire from a wooden stick while I'm at it. Of course, the book itself is pretty gripping, so maybe it'd be something to distract me during the lonely nights.

3. The Host by Stephenie Meyer.
Before everyone freaks out (what? A Stephenie Meyer book? You serious?), I'd like to add that I've enjoyed all of her books.
Actually, no, I take that back; I strongly disliked Breaking Dawn. The movie was so much better.
Still, Stephenie Meyer isn't famous for just the Twilight Saga. I thought The Host (soon to be a movie, by the way) was much better, the characters way better developed, and the plot far more interesting. Plus, it has to do with aliens taking over the world. Do I see a relation here with the zombies?

4. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.
A book for encouragements and snarky comebacks, in case I need them for the zombies. Also, a book for some fast-paced action. A book for a brief escape to a world without zombies and mummies (as Jace helpfully pointed out). And if things get bad, I could just pretend that the Shadowhunters would swoop in and save me (and then bring me to an Institute, where they would tell me that I'm actually a Shadowhunter myself. How cool would that be?*)

5. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.
It's a book on survival--even if it's fiction and has absolutely nothing to do with zombies--so it's pretty self-explanatory. Despite its lack of zombies and apocalyptic action (and the fact that it isn't an apocalyptic book at all), it might still be useful to me. I mean, if I happen to get stuck in the wilderness...

So that's it! The five books I would take with me if zombies were to come and decide to rule the world. What's on your list?

- E

To-Do List: Reply to Goodreads messages, contribute more to MRRC (*waves to Mag*), answer more Tag questions, alert the rest of the Tagged bloggers, GOD...
Oh. And I finished my pre-God.

* Upon second thought, being a Shadowhunter would not be all that cool. Aside from the fighting skills and seraph blades and steles and marks, I suspect it would be unappealing. Killing demons, and maybe dying at a young age? I think I'll pass right now...

Tuesday, February 21

An update on the WAPs and GOD, and everything else.

Over the weekend, I decided to get down to business.

There were several things I'd messed up on, when it came to following the Ink Timeline. According to the Ink Timeline, I have almost a week before I should be done with both my WAPs (Wikia-Article Profiles) and my GOD (Giant Outline of Doom).

Ha ha. Right.

Out of the twenty six WAPs I'm supposed to have finished by the start of March, I have written about fourteen of them. I have not exactly started on GOD, but Sunday night, I did start on the Pre-GOD, which is a timeline on What Happened Before the Start of the Series. Background information, basically.

This was a conversation I had with myself on Sunday night:

Me: No. Stop blogging. Write demon WAP.
Brain: Yeah, but you still have, like, two more of Mag's questions to answer for the tags.
Me: Nononono. Must flesh out info on demons. Must...flesh out...info.
Brain: Oh look. Susan Dennard is following you on Twitter.
Brain: Yeah. I'm surprised too.
Me: *flails arms* Thatisthecoolestthingever! I haven't tweeted a single thing about her though!
Brain: So how about those tag questions?
Me: ...
Brain: And that Spanish homework?
Me: No. Can't do homework. Write demon WAP.

A typical mental war I wage on myself^

Then, at around ten the same night, I started having second thoughts.

Me: Okay, so...elemental WAP, check. Demon WAP, check...WAIT A SECOND.
Brain: ...
Me: What came after Event X?
Brain: I dunno. How about you check that GOD you NEVER FINISHED?
Me: What are you talking about? It wouldn't be there in the first place....Oh.
Brain: Oh?
Me: Oh. I need to make a Pre-GOD.
Brain: So like...?
Me: So like a timeline on the events that took place before the start of Book 1. Like all the foreshadowing, background info, Reasons Why This Event Happened in Book 1 stuff.
Brain: Ohh.
Me: Yeah. Oh.

So basically, I have to finish my WAPs, my GOD, my Pre-GOD, and printing the other 200-something pages of my current Depravity draft. All in a week. Or, I could just not follow my Ink Timeline. That choice seems much better than the other one...

- E

Monday, February 20


  1. You must post the rules.
  2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
  3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
  4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!
Hey guys. I was tagged by the super cool Mag from Geek Chic, and here are her questions (with my answers) ^-^

1. Who is the author you own the most books by?
J.K. Rowling. I own nine books by her. But wait! you say. Harry Potter consists of only seven books! Well, yeah, that's true. But I do own nine of her books. Well, technically like 6.5. You can find out why here.

2. If you meet ANY author, who would you pick?
It's a tie between J.K. Rowling and John Green. Meeting John Green would be more realistic though, since I have absolutely no idea when I'll ever be able to go to England. And chances are, I probably won't be able to. *sulks*

3. What book have you reread the most times?
I think it's a tie between Twilight and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (How does that work out? o.o) Why yes, I did really enjoy Twilight. Why no, I am not obsessed with it.

4. What is your favorite book genre?
Young Adult. And I can't choose between its sub-categories, like urban fantasy or contemporary, or anything because they're all pretty great, and it really just depends on the books themselves ^-^

5. Do you ever listen to music while you're reading?
Nah, unless it's for homework. Like reading my AP U.S. History book. I sometimes listen to music while reading that. I do listen to music while I write though.

6. Who is your favorite character from any book?
Again, it's a tie between Percy Jackson (Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan), Isaac (The Fault in Our Stars by John Green), Dexter (This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen), and Wes (The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen).
...I really don't know why they're all guys.

7. If you could meet (and be friends with!) any character from any book in real life, who would you choose?
Ahh. This is really, really hard. But probably Isaac from The Fault in Our Stars. 

8. Five books that made you laugh?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson, and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

9. Five books with the hottest guys?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, Cross by Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter, Divergent by Veronica Roth, and The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen.
I think o.o

10. How many books do you read in the average week?
Like, one. It really depends on how much time I have and when I'm allowed to go to the library (because my parents think I "Read Too Much"). It's horrible :3

11. And now for the most important question ever: if you had to pick ONE BOOK, what would you say your favorite is (at least, as of right now)?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green ^-^

Soo...ah, right. Now I have to pick eleven amazing bloggers to answer my eleven questions below:

1. Mag (Geek Chic)
2. Hana (Love. Dream. Imagine.)
3. Brynne (Quite Ridden with Ice)
4. Riv (Riv Reads)
5. Brooke (Paper Mountain)
6. Jaclyn (Rambles From Insanity)
7. Bailey (Novel Nerd)
8. M. Nicole Cunningham (Fierce Butterfly)
9. Smiling_Ina (Smiling_Ina's Little Corner)
10. Dear Maria (Writers like Me)
11. Helen (Normal is Boring...)

And my questions are:

1. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
2. You are walking in a forest and you come across two different paths. As the poem by Robert Frost goes, the first path is one that appears to be worn and familiar. The other path appears new and unused. Which path do you take?
3. What is your opinion on love triangles?
4. What is your opinion on vampires, faeries, and werewolves being used in YA fiction?
5. What are some amazing books you have read this year (so far)?
6. Which is more important in a novel: the plot or the characters?
7. If you went to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which of the four houses do you think you would be sorted into?
8. What is one book and one movie you are looking forward to reading/seeing in 2012?
9. One book you would most definitely read again, and one book you would never read again?
10. What is your favorite comfort food?
11. If you'd been on the Titanic, would you have been: a) one of the first people to jump into the ocean, b) a person who waited and ended up in a small lifeboat, or c) someone who sunk nobly along with the ship?

Thanks for tagging me Mag ^-^ (and yes, I had to tag you back :P)

- E

Sunday, February 19

Book List: The Statistical Pandemonium of Love at First Sight (and Time) (#5)

My Ultimate Book List is a collection of books that I really, really want to read, whether they have been released or not. Some of these books might not be on the shelves yet; some of these books might have been on the shelves for ages. It doesn't matter. I just really, really want to read them.
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A. 

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

I first saw this book while watching this, and I thought, hey, if John Green loves it, that means it would be one of the most amazing YA contemporary novels I would ever read in my life. And I managed to get to that conclusion without even reading the blurb. (Which I actually don't recommend doing--assuming you'd like a book because one of your favorite authors likes it, I mean. You are not necessarily what you write.) But then I read the blurb, and I thought, "I MUST HAVE THIS BOOK." So I went to my public library database, searched it up, and put a hold on the book even when the books is actually available in the New Teens Fiction shelf right this moment, only because I know I won't be able to go to the library until some time next week, and no one else can get that book.
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, 
pushing aside thoughts of Alex, 
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, 
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.
I will admit right now that I don't remember much of what happened in Delirium. Except for that unforgettable ending with Alex. And by unforgettable, I mean 1) I totally didn't see it coming--I really didn't--and 2) How is Lauren Oliver supposed to write a sequel after that? I don't now who Raven is at all (should I know?), I think Hana was Lena's best friend, but I do remember the ending vividly. And I think I liked Alex. So with that being said, I also must have Pandemonium--once it comes out
You can read the blurb for the first book, Deliriumhere.

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan--an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and the dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home. 

Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers. Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind. It’s a race against time. The Circle is hot on their trail and willing stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.

Spies. Assassins. Plus, Zach. Man, I love Zach.  
Out of Sight, Out of Time is the fifth book in the Gallagher Girls series. You can read the blurbs for the previous four books in these areas: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill YouCross My Heart and Hope to SpyDon't Judge a Girl by Her Cover, and Only the Good Spy Young
What's currently on your book list? :]

- E

Saturday, February 18

I'll Follow You Into the Dark (Writing Prompt -- #6)

Let's all pretend that this actually happened to me, and that I have a high school job as a secretary for the C.I.A. (even though it didn't really happen to me, and I don't--and wouldn't want to--have such a job).

Brought to you by Creative Writing Prompts ^-^

It had been far too long of a day.
I leaned back against my chair and sighed, rubbing my hands over my eyes. Oh, thank God. I was finished. That report I had to sort through, the one filled with absolutely ridiculous intel on whatever was happening over in Greece, was finished. It was still on the desk in front of me, hot pink and scented, and I couldn't help but make a face at it and pinch the bridge of my nose. This report gave me so much grief, Connor had no idea. And if he asked me to sort through something else--
I exhaled slowly and glanced at the clock. 5:00, it said, and something exploded within me. Happiness and relief, morphed into one giant rush of emotion. No, Connor couldn't make me sort through anything else because it was time for me to go. It was bad enough that I had to work on a Saturday, and even worse when he told me I would be sorting through papers. The RP ones too, he had said. The Rubbish Papers. But my hours were up, and I was free to leave, free to return home and hopefully take a hot shower and stuff my face with clam chowder.
And what, exactly, had been the point of it anyway? If they were all really RPs--and even I was pretty sure that they were--why not just throw all of them through a shredder? It would've made anyone's life easier.
I could almost hear Connor's voice in my head. You don't know anything until you have double checked. Which was why we needed you.
Right, I thought. Then double check them yourself.
I stood up and grabbed my book bag, swinging it over one shoulder and striding over to the door as fast as I could. There were several things on my mind at that time: Car. Home. Shower. Food. Basic things for an average person, really, but not for someone who had a desk job for the C.I.A.
Shaking my head, I hitched the bag tighter against me and reached for the door.
And then I went blind.
The door had disappeared, the wall in front of me gone. In fact all around me, it was pitch black, the color of the darkest set of coal and charcoal, and I stood there for a moment frozen in shock. It wasn't until a few seconds later did I finally realize that the lights had just turned off; Connor had probably forgotten to tell someone to change the bulbs. It had to be it.
I sighed, exasperated, and reached out in front of me, my fingers digging around for the handle. But what they landed on was definitely not a handle. They touched flesh.
Immediately I pulled back, my feet backpedaling until I ran viciously into the edge of my desk.
What the hell? 
Someone chuckled. "What's the hurry, girl?"
I froze. The voice did not belong to Connor. It didn't belong to anyone I knew.
"Who's there?" And how did you even get in?
The floorboard creaked and the unmistakable sound of footsteps grew louder and louder as the owner of the voice made its way to me. "Pity it's so dark, isn't it?"
Again, I couldn't recognize the man. I swallowed. It had to be a joke. A test of some sort. I worked for the C.I.A.; this was a simulation to test me in case something did happen, something that required even a girl with a desk job to act.
So I did the only thing I knew how to do in times of action. I exhaled slowly once again and tried to make light of the situation.
"Uh," I said. "Who are you?"
The hidden man--how annoying--laughed out loud once again. "I can't tell you that."
Of course not. I went through the rest of the tactics, the seconds that ticked by eating away at my confidence. "Where did you come from?" 
I heard him walk towards me and I instinctively shifted to my right, putting myself hopefully farther away from him.
"I heard Greece is lovely this time of the year."
My body turned ice cold. 
Greece? Greece? As in the pink paper, the RP, the Rubbish I'd wanted to shred only minutes ago. 
For a brief second, almost as if there were a strobe light in the room, the lights flashed on, illuminating the man's face--a horrible, scarred face with a lopsided smile--before turning off again just as quickly. I had no idea if it had been intentional, the electricity suddenly flaring up again, but I wasn't going to stay to find out. I darted forward, concentrating on a mental picture of the room, praying that whatever was in front of me would be the door. But instead of running into the door, I ran into a pair of arms that wrapped around my shoulders, dragging me roughly to the side.
I screamed.
"Oh, for God's sake," the man muttered, and a hand worked itself to my mouth, muffling the scream at once. "You're an exasperating person, you know that? Makes my job just that much harder."
I shook my head and began swinging my elbows around, searching blindly for something to jab. Somehow I managed to make him let go of me but his free hand only moved up to my neck, fingers wrapping around it and squeezing tightly, cutting off my ideas of screaming again.
"Stop fighting, girl," he said, his voice unbearably close to my ear. "Or something will happen to you."
Something was already happening to me, part of me wanted point out, but I couldn't even move my lips. Stars danced in front of my eyes and a dull pressure erupted in my head, dark and throbbing, as if someone were shoving a hammer into my skull. I couldn't breathe. I needed to breathe.
I wrenched my mouth open and sunk my teeth into his hand.
He swore loudly and released me, and I stumbled blindly forward, my shoulder hitting something hard. With fire scalding through my arm, I slid my hand down the wooden object, closing around a cool, brass handle and turned it as fast as I could.
The door swung open with a burst of light, taking me with it. But instead of hitting the ground, I landed on something softer, something unmistakably familiar.
"Great," someone said. "Not exactly what I had in mind, but you know, it's all good."
My eyes flashed open and I jumped to my feet, wrenching myself away from--arms. Arms that belonged to him. 
Humiliation washed over me, and for a split second I almost forgot about the man in the other room.
"Connor," I said. "Oh."
Connor scratched the back of his head, and I randomly wondered where his father was, why he had come up here alone. This was a classified hallway. He didn't work here--he just monitored the area. And he was young, too young to be trusted with such information unless he had an actual desk job, which he didn't.
He turned around calmly, facing a different figure in the hallway. "Caleb. Get that man out of the room. Unless you want me to do it?"
He sounded much too hopeful, but the man--Caleb--snorted and strode forward, disappearing into the room. Connor glanced at me and grinned.
"I can't say we didn't expect this. Hey, you want to stay here for another hour?"
(Not one of my better short stories, I will tell you that.)
I should probably get Chapter 3 of ARoN up, since I'm about a week late--if not more. But that probably won't happen. I'm going with a friend to see The Vow today, and then there's homework...and more WAP stuff to do for Depravity. Which, you know, totally sounds like an ideal day. (The Vow part does at least, I have to admit.)

- E

Tuesday, February 14

Enter: The Maximum Ride Reading Challenge


Hey guys! Do you like James Patterson? Do you like action packed books? Do you like YA-sci-fi-type-fast-paced-tough-characters-based stories? If your answer to any of these questions was a, "Yes, of course!" then you should read the Maximum Ride series. Better yet--participate in the Max Ride Reading Challenge, hosted by Mag at Geek Chic and yours truly. Participate in discussions, take quizzes, and vote in series-related tourneys, starting in March and lasting until August, during the release of the last book of the series, Nevermore. 


The Maximum Ride series by James Patterson is a series of YA science fiction and fantasy books following the adventures of six fugitive kids who are 98% human and 2% bird, who are out to "save the world". It is, I assure you, action packed and fast paced, a quick read despite the whopping 300 or so pages for some of the books. If you're participating in this challenge and you've already read the series so far, then good for you--read it again! It'll be just as great, I promise. If this is your first time reading the books--well then, yes, I definitely encourage you to participate. And don't worry; spoilers will be carefully monitored.


The Maximum Ride Reading Challenge is to read all of the Maximum Ride books--including Nevermore--in the time span of six months and discuss them all. The challenge starts on March 1st and ends August 31st, during the release of the last book, Nevermore on August 6th. The schedule for the series is currently:

  • MARCH: The Angel Experiment and School's Out--Forever
  • APRIL: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports and The Final Warning
  • MAY: MAX
  • AUGUST: Nevermore
During each month, there will be a place on the MRRC blog where you can post your reviews, discussions, quizzes, games, etc. for the month's current book only. You will not be able to post anything about the future books in the series for fear of spoilers--and trust me, there are many huge twists within the books. If you read at a slower pace, that's perfectly fine. We welcome slow-paced readers. It's just the fast-paced ones we're worried about. You can read as many of the books you like--I mean, feel free to read all six in one month--but please follow the schedule, and remember: no spoilers!
And if you come in late to the challenge--no worries, you can still participate!


Plenty, plenty. Not only will you be able to post your discussions and reviews of the books each month, you will also be able to participate in the following activities per month:
  • Trivia & Assorted Quizzes
  • Debates & Tourneys
  • Polls & Fanart
  • Games & Any other fan-related activities

No. No giveaways. Giveaways are not everything, my friends, especially in a Reading Challenge which the sole purpose is to read and talk about the books.


Go to the Max Ride Reading Challenge Blog and follow! That's the only thing you really have to do. However, it would be lovely if you make a participation post on your blog/web site, or tweet about this, or make a Facebook status...or whatever. Advertisement is key and will make the challenge just more enjoyable! Also, you can grab a button from the blog and post it on your own blog. There is a button for each month (therefore, there is one for each book), so feel free to change the button per month or book. 

Good luck guys! 

- E

Monday, February 13

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre: YA - Contemporary
How I Obtained Said Book: Bought
Series: Stand-alone novel
The Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

The Review: (a whopping huge amount of spoilers below, all neatly organized into one paragraph in which you will be able to highlight to read)

At the age of twelve, Hazel Grace Lancaster was diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer. Two years later, after submitting herself to a new medicine, she was able to survive a desperate moment when the medicine took effect, gradually shrinking of the tumors in her lungs. Now, at age sixteen and armed with an oxygen tank, Hazel spends most of her time contemplating the side effects of cancer and death, watching America's Next Top Model, and trying to avoid going to a cancer Support Group which she believes to be absolutely ridiculous and useless. Her views of the world and everyone in it are about to be changed, however, the day she meets Augustus Waters.

Augustus is different. When he and Hazel meet for the first time at Support Group, Hazel knows he's different because he had stared at her--and what guy in his right mind would ever stare at someone like Hazel? But it's not just that. Augustus is smart. He's strong, gorgeous, and accepting. And his views of life, of sacrifice and scars, of infinity and everlasting memories, will eventually leave a mark on Hazel herself and change everything she had ever believed to be true with the world.

Let me just say, this was me after finishing the book*:

gross sobbing Pictures, Images and Photos

The Fault in Our Stars, to be put briefly, blew my mind. It was filled with so much mind blowingness (redundant, I know), so much awesome sauce, so much emotion and feeling that I have not ever read anything like it. Which, by the way, could be concluded in two different ways: a) I have not read many very good contemporary fiction or b) you completely and utterly agree with me/believe it to be probable.

And no one else could have put it in better words of why--why why why--this book was so amazing, other than Ana from The Book Smugglers:

'tis here
I love Hazel, present tense. I love Augustus. And Isaac, and Hazel's parents, and Gus's parents, and even the annoying Peter Van Houten. I love all of them because they were so real, so powerful, such amazing and influential characters that make me feel like utter crap sometimes. Cancer is a touchy subject. It is a very depressing subject, an extremely poignant one. It can make anyone living a perfectly normal life (such as me) to feel like utter crap. You have people like Augustus, who believe in heroic, memory-leaving sacrifices and deaths, who believe in mattering (which really reminded me of An Abundance of Katherines) and love and all of that good, pure stuff. You have people like Hazel, who believe in infinity but inevitable oblivion, who in the end will also believe in everlasting relationships and love. You have people like Peter Van Houten, scarred people, hurting people, but still people who are wise and passionate, even when these traits are hidden deeply within.

These are inspirational characters. Flawed, broken characters. And I love them all.

I suppose now it's my turn to leave an inspirational review to a very inspirational book, but honestly, I've got nothing. John Green wrote this book in classic John Green Style. He approached very sensitive subjects (the definition of infinity, the ability to leave memories behind, death, love, values, etc.) in beautiful ways, with very minimum preaching, which is frankly just very hard to do. I mean, I really don't know what to say besides all of this. I can't just list every single philosophical or meaningful aspect this book provided and try to explain them all because then that would be summarizing the book from beginning to end, which would pale in comparison to actually reading the book. Which, by the way, I strongly encourage. Because:

It's hard to bring so much into a novel and write it in a way that would make people understand, make people feel a certain way. But John Green did it. And may Hazel and Gus's epic love story live on.

Spoilers: highlight to read
And by the way, I will continue to believe that after the book, Hazel dies and joins Gus in some sort of Afterlife, just to keep me happy. And then Isaac, as John Green had presumed, will survive and end up telling their epic love story. The best parts of the book? Meeting Augustus Waters. The explanation of the book's title. Hazel's pre-funeral eulogy. Hazel at Gus's funeral. Gus's letter to Van Houten, revealed at the very last chapter--which about made me go on a rampage of tears and anger. When Augustus Waters died, when Hazel explained what a "ten" finally felt like...ohhh. The tears. Yes, THIS BOOK, this book, must be read. 

In Conclusion...!

I laughed. I cried. I cursed the world (and John Green). Perhaps the quote that describes this book the best is from the book itself:
"You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice."

Rating: 10

- E

* Actually, this might be exaggerating what I was like a little bit.

Sunday, February 12

A cloud of Who I Am.

First off:

Found here.
A reference to The Fault in Our Stars. By John Green. Review of this book coming tomorrow.


I actually got this blog post idea from I Eat Pringles While Holding a Picasso, even though I am not a tumblr person, and I might not ever be. This blog post will be short and to the point, because at this moment, I feel short and to the point having just finished The Fault in Our Stars about an hour ago which was a book that can make anyone feel short and to the point and absolutely enlightened. It's also a book that influences you to not use commas, as you can see. And I use PLENTY of commas. Or have used plenty.


Ella (<--pen name). Fifteen. Indiana. Writer. Bookworm. Ramen. Sushi. John Green. Harry Potter. Procrastinator. Band geek. Navy blue. Hayao Miyazaki. MathHater. Sarah Dessen. Cheetos. Food Network. DDR. Jack's Mannequin. Keane. Depravity. Spearmint. Piano. Ravenclaw-Slytherin. <--Somehow. 

That is all? ^-^

Like I said, my review of The Fault in Our Stars should be up tomorrow and you will all be able to read my genius thoughts of this genius book. I'm not sure when Chapter 3 of A Rush of Needles will be posted. And, I'm not sure when I'll get started on If I Die with my current homework load.

But that's okay :3 I'd love to read some of your clouds!

- E

Friday, February 10

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

Title: As You Wish
Author: Jackson Pearce
Genre: YA
How I Obtained Said Book: Public library
Series: Stand-alone novel
The Blurb: (from Goodreads)
Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing--to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again--until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes.
Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can't deny that he's falling for Viola. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn as well . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life--and her world--forever.
Jackson Pearce spins a magical tale about star-crossed lovers, what it means to belong . . . and how important it is to be careful what you wish for.
The Review: (Possibility of spoilers below)

Having recently broken up with her boyfriend due to his "coming out", Viola has spent her life feeling alone and invisible. Suddenly her boyfriend, Lawrence, is cool and one of the shiny "Royals" at her school (AKA: part of the top of the social chain) because he is, in fact, homosexual. Viola on the other hand is pushed to the side, not shiny and very dull in comparison. Because of this, Viola spends the majority of her time wishing and hoping that she would, somehow, become popular. And this powerful wish ends up summoning a young genie to her in the middle of class.

Jinn comes from a world named Caliban, of violet sunsets and beautiful weather, and flowers covering the roads. But he has a job; he's a genie, and when he's called upon by the Ancients to perform his duty, Jinn must carry them out obediently. He is summoned to the mortal world, where he must grant his new master three wishes--while following three ancient protocols--and cannot return to Caliban until he does. This greatly exasperates Jinn as he loves Caliban and very eager to return, but unfortunately enough, he is assigned to Viola. And Viola just doesn't know what to wish for.

The character development in this book is very similar to Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. For instance, Jinn and Viola start out disliking each other; Jinn, because Viola won't wish, and Viola because Jinn  was simply a nuisance. Eventually though, these two realize each other's issues, come to understand each other in a well developed and well transitioned manner, and become in fact very close. I had my doubts at first on whether or not Jackson Pearce would be able to pull off this development, but she definitely did: when Jinn started out acting like a tough guy, irritable and impatient, he ended up softening up and becoming open and modest.

I liked Jinn the most out of the two MCs, actually (and the POVs do switch back and forth quite like Under the Never Sky, except in this case, Ms. Pearce sticks to keeping it first person). His transitioning was the most noticeable. At first he complained about the changes that took place whenever he was in the mortal world; jinn in Caliban are immortal, but once they set foot in the mortal world, they begin aging--even faster than the actual mortals because "time is catching up with them", depending on the other times they've been in the mortal world--and eventually, the "time adds up", giving them an increased age. Throughout the book, Jinn has even pointed out that he's able to see very subtle changes in humans, including hair and nail growth. Eventually his opinion changes completely, as Jinn comes to realize that change is good, that it's vibrant and flowing. And this soon makes him want to be human and even, ironically enough, wish to be human.

As for Viola, she was all right. In the book she's an artist, though not very good compared to a girl named Ollie, who's the queen of her Royal group. Viola, however, also goes through a change in the book, though less noticeable than Jinn and on a much grander scale. Starting out she's insecure and invisible, always hiding, always doubtful, and always searching for that "missing piece" of hers that would make her stop feeling insecure and indivisible. When Jinn comes along, Viola begins to realize that she's been searching for that missing piece in the wrong area and that, in fact, she was supposed to fill it in herself. Somewhat cheesy, I know.

Right, and the plot: I mean, compared to Under the Never Sky, the world building is a little lacking. Though then again, As You Wish is a stand-alone, and therefore expanding the world building even more would just be a bunch of info dump on the reader throughout the book. So I honestly don't blame the author. I did love the description of Caliban, though--sounds like my ideal world (except for the immortal and emotionless jinn part). I also love how Ms. Pearce invented the idea of "the press", which takes effect only if the master of jinn take too long to wish, and enables ifrits (a certain type of job for jinn) to create situations that would press the master into wishing. And also, right after the master makes the last wish, his or her mind is wiped completely from the events with the jinn. Basically if Viola were to ever make her last wish (and I won't say if she does or not), she would forget everything about Jinn. Tragic, tragic, tragic.

Really, though, the main reason I liked this book so much was the, you know, emotion it made me feel. Once again, very similar to how Under the Never Sky affected me. The ending of the book was bittersweet in its own way, but it also made my heart swell because it was so great. You know a book is good when it delivers a BOOM ending--and by BOOM ending, I mean an ending that packs a great emotional punch.

In Conclusion...!

Though I really don't like the cover, As You Wish was an excellent book, and will definitely influence me to read more of Jackson Pearce's novels. Highly recommended if you don't mind reading a bit of YA romance.  Very touchy-feely for me in the heart.

Rating: 8 - Hey there. I think I'll read you again another time.
**I actually have read you another time. This review is based off my second re-read of the book.

Reviewing The Fault in Our Stars next!

- E

Thursday, February 9

I'm just a tiny bit late on this, but...

All right, I'm not even a tiny bit late. I'm actually very late.

Almost exactly a year ago, the lovely Brooke from Paper Mountain gave me two blog awards (the Versatile Blogger Award and the Stylish Blogger Award), and the amazing Riv from Riv Reads gave me the Versatile Blogger Award as well. All three I never officially received because of one reason:
  1. Both awards required me to list about 15 or so newly discovered/great blogs, which I definitely could not do because at that time, I'd taken pretty much no time at all to explore the blogosphere (and considering it was two awards, I literally felt like I had to list a grand total of 30 blogs. Which just wasn't going to happen. **
But now, it's different. It's personal. I will officially recognize these awards. I am grateful for these awards. Because honestly, I actually received a total of four awards (five, if you count the Versatile twice), which is just, plainly put, a miracle. Considering how much of a bad blogger I'd been :3

Thank you so much Riv and Brooke ^-^ I'm finally getting around to making your awards official.

And here they are:

- Link to the blogger who gave you the award.
- Share 7 things about yourself.
- Pass the award to 15 bloggers recently discovered. (<--I can do this now!)
- Notify the blogger recipients.

- Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
- Share 7 things about yourself.
- Award 15 or so recently discovered great bloggers.
- Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

All right, so I don't exactly have fifteen bloggers, but it's close enough, considering how many I would have put down about a year ago. 

So for the Versatile Blogger Award...

  1. My favorite drink is fruit punch. It actually changed from Sunkist to Sierra Mist to fruit punch, but still, right now, it's fruit punch.
  2. My favorite color is navy blue. Then it's forest green, then orange, and then yellow.
  3. My favorite fast food restaurant of all time is Wendy's. I don't know why, but their fries are absolutely phenomenal. And they're not as bad as McDonald's or Burger King (and when I say bad, I mean high in fat content and cholesterol). 
  4. I hate math with a passion. It is probably my worst subject--even worse than history, or any other social science. Math. *shudders*
  5. My favorite movie is A Walk to Remember--yep, the film based off of the novel A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. Who, in my opinion, writes the screenplay for his movies better than he writes his books. But! That doesn't mean he's bad at writing his books. His books are very good, actually. Just not quite as good as his movies.
  6. My favorite genre of music is alternative rock or soundtrack music. Because soundtrack music can be so epic sometimes.
  7. My favorite series will always be the Harry Potter series. 

And for the Stylish Blogger Award...

  1. I'm in the marching band at my school and I march mello, which is not an instrument many people know or recognize (which is also why I linked it to a Wiki page, just in case :3). 
  2. I have a necklace with a baritone on it, even though I've never really played a baritone. My older sister bought it for me thinking it was a mellophone. It was a baritone. I still wear it though.
  3. I live in the state that held this year's Super Bowl. It's also the state where John Green lives (!!!).
  4. I used to play the flute, but then I switched to French horn in high school. I sucked for a while. Badly.
  5. I'm not really a huge fan of love triangles or vampires or faeries anymore. Unless they're portrayed in a really cool way.
  6. I actually don't watch much TV. If I do, it'd be the Food Network, which is probably the only channel that will ever succeed in making me feel hungry.
  7. I am absolutely terrible at Just Dance 3. Terrible. And I just don't understand because I swear I'm doing all the movements and everything. But I'm pretty good at DDR. And the drums in Rockband :P
Thank you again Riv and Brooke! Aha. I think I'll put these lovely awards onto that sidebar -->

- E

** The only exceptions are the One Lovely Blog Award and the Blog on Fire Award, both from Brooke; the former I actually posted about and the latter didn't really have any requirements.

Wednesday, February 8

It's really not what you think it is (Writing Prompt -- #5)

Plus a subtle query letter writing exercise at the bottom of this post.

I usually try to not talk about myself too much on this blog. It should be a blog on my WIPs, my anticipated discoveries, writing, rants, and books. It shouldn't really particularly be about me, and my life, and how successful or ridiculous or absolutely fantastic I might be. But then again, if you look at the labels over there (--->) it does say that there are currently eighteen posts tagged "words of me", and counting. That, everyone, is the second most frequent label, right behind "writing" and just a few more than "Depravity". 

Confession: Do I rarely talk about myself? No, actually. I do talk about myself. A lot. But I'd like to say it's a healthy and average chunk "a lot", and not a completely self-absorbed "a lot". (But if I ever get too far into the self-absorbed section on this blog, let me know, and I'll switch back right away!) Yeah, that's great and all, right? But what does this have to do with this week's prompt?

Brought to you by Creative Writing Prompts ^-^

Fifteen year old Ella lives a hidden life.

In fact, her name isn’t even Ella. Raised in a society where math and science are encouraged and the arts squashed into a bloody pulp, Ella takes on a pen name and finds refuge in her writing, an unrecognized form of creativity that many people in her school view with eye rollings and scoffs. In order to avoid embarrassment and possible emotional-wrecking humiliation, Ella works in secret, driven to beat the odds and prove her worth to an unaccepting public. But with this goal comes three things: unexpected friendship, theoretical enemies, and a daunting deadline that will decide the rest of her future.

Inspirational and heart wrenching, It’s Really Not What You Think It Is will make readers sympathize with this young writer and egg her on as she approaches the most crucial period of her teenage life: high school graduation, and what comes afterwards.

Word count: 158. Close enough.

I actually exaggerated in that blurb. Like really exaggerated. I can promise you one thing though: my life really isn't that exciting. I didn't make all of that up, however; every word is true. But it's really not that dramatic. Trust me.

This is actually a pretty good way to practice writing query letters, blurbs...all of that good agentman-stuff. I mean it. Think of every single aspect of your life and try to put it in a way that people would want to hear about, to read about. Make it gripping, interesting. Use a subtle exaggeration if necessary (like I did!), but don't lie. This should be similar to your current WIP; though the genres might be different, the concept put into the query letters is still the same.

If your life were a book, what kind of blurb would you write?

- E

Sunday, February 5

In My Mailbox (#1)

Edit: Just kidding. Chapter 2 of A Rush of Needles is now up. I'm a day late and I'm very sorry :3


When I started the whole book review thing, I didn't think I would ever end up following all of the other bloggers by starting my very own In My Mailbox posts (a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren). And I probably won't do this as frequently anyway, considering I'm not really a book blogger, and the only reason I'm really doing this is because, for once (well, not really), I have more than enough books to read.

And I would love to share them all with you guys :]

"In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the "thing" inside her."
I have a confession to make: I'm not really a fan of Steampunk.
The idea in general seems appealing, but there's not much creativity to it. Not in the genre, but in the books--so far anyway, in what I've seen in bookstores and libraries. The Steampunk books out there at the moment are very similar to Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series--or Clare's ID series are similar to the other Steampunk books. Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle Trilogy is a huge exception.

But then I read the first sentence of the blurb of this book, and I thought, "Yup. I'm taking this."

So there you have it ^-^

I am not a huge fan of the cover...but bad cover aside, this book is in fact very good. Because in reality, this will be my second time reading it. And you know, it works; I don't remember much of it at all, besides that I read it, and it was very good. Almost Under the Never Sky - worthy.

Highly recommended. Though it's slightly cheesy.
And the cover... *shudders*

"He will remain until she makes three wishes."

"Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now."

The most highly anticipated book of the year on my list. Because it's John Green. And he's...you know. John Green. Amazing. Extraordinary. Life-changing. Somewhat.

Plus, I just love the cover. And the title. And the little blurb thing that Jodi Picoult wrote (even the only book I've read by Jodi Picoult was My Sister's Keeper, whereas my sister's pretty much read every single one of her books).

"After all, Kaylee's no ordinary high-school junior. She's a banshee—she screams when someone dies."

Finally finally finally finally finally.

I've been waiting to read this book for such a long time, ever since I saw it on the shelves of Barnes and Noble. And I couldn't because my public library failed me (not for the very first time)--because they simply didn't have it. 

I actually requested for them to get it. Twice. And now they have. And now I will read it. Yes. Yes yes yes.

This is also the fifth book of the Soul Screamers series, so if you haven't read the previous four books, well...you know. :3

--Chapter 2 of A Rush of Needles should be up some time tomorrow night :]

So what's in your mailbox right now?

- E