New to My Playlist

NMP = songs I've recently added to my never ending playlist of songs I'll play in a loop unless I have the master list on shuffle. If the song's legally available for free (usually for a limited time for promotional purposes) I shall provide a link.

"Life is Beautiful" by Vega 4. Dang, this is lovely.

Found: I heard it recently, but for the life of me I can't remember where. 
Resembles: Sounds way too much like Snow Patrol's (one of my all time favorite bands) "Chasing Cars,"but I'm still diggin' this one. 

"Shake Me Down" by Cage the Elephant. Ahh love! I heard a while back, but took forever to download it. I love their "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" song too. 

Found: Good ol' radio.

"Daisy" by Brand New. I adore the first half of the song the most. 

Found: Smallville, Season 9, Episode 5. (I'm SO far behind because it started sucking, but I'm giving the show another shot.)

Do you like? If you already knew these artists and like other songs of theirs, please share which. :)


Club Dead (#3 Sookie Stackhouse series) by Charlaine Harris // Book Review

Rating: 2/4; Okay read. Not a complete waste of time, but pretty close. Somewhat entertaining.

Release Date: 2003

**Beware of possible spoilers if you have not read the first two books**

I found this book to be so boring and I thought the way the antagonist was easily brought down was lame, which is a HUGE no no in my book. I'm thinking that maybe the antagonist didn't die because it was just too fast. There's no way right? The author couldn't have written her off that half assed could she? *shrug* I also despised that about half the book consists of guys wanting to bang Sookie. Okay we get it Ms. Harris, she's hot, now please, please get back to the story! The story can be so great, but the author continually gets sidetracked with boring sideshows.

There were some bits that I had fun with, but I must say, I'm most likely being biased as they include "scenes" with Eric Northman who I've always rooted for. I can't help it. I feel for the guy. He may be evil, but damn, he's hot (as a fan of True Blood, yes I do imagine Eric Northman as Alexander Skarsgard) and the only reason (that I can see or want to see) he is evil is because he does not have a love in his life! I am greatly hoping Sookie will fall in love with him. No, scratch that. I'm hoping Sookie will die a horrible death and a new protagonist will be introduced who is really awesome, not stupid, not "loose" with all the hot male characters, and is deserving of Eric's love and yeah, lust. I doubt that will happen though, but a reader can dream right?

Anyway, back to my thoughts on this third installment. I have always had a tough time liking Sookie as a protagonist; as a person. She is so flawed, which in a way I appreciate because it makes her realistic, but sometimes, she drives me nuts! Like I stated before, that chick is a "loose" woman. I'm sorry, but she is. I cannot find myself being okay when people are like that in real life so of course I can't accept this in fiction. These chicks break hearts and they don't care and I hate it! The same goes for guys. I just don't like it when the character/person is in love with someone and they let their lust take control. Hey, I get it. It's hard, but damn, at least TRY to control yourself!!

Okay, rant over.

The book was somewhat fun, I'd check it out of the library if I were you. I'm hoping this series gets better. I find that it is fun for the most part, but not amazing. There are certain aspects I love (the adventure, Eric Northman, and the comedy) and keep me turning pages until the dead of night (pun very intended). That is what mainly keeps me going. Additionally, I'm hoping that in the end Eric and Sookie will be together forever!! I love me some happy endings and it just seems like he is in love with the chick. He deserves to be happy I think. *crosses fingers*

Thoughts with possible spoilers (highlight to view):
Now, back to how I have a hard time liking Sookie, I hated how after Bill raped her all she thought to herself was "aww he was tortured." No you dumbass! Be scared! Be hurt! Be traumatized! Be human! Who can react like that after being raped?? She does acknowledge she's being led by her hormones, but she still does not seem fazed by the fact that Bill raped her. I can't get over this or begin to comprehend it. I get that she loves him, but he raped her. At the very least she should be upset about it. Or am I completely confused here and he didn't rape her? Did I read that passage incorrectly?? Don't think so.

Some of my favorite quotes:
"You are speaking of my future lover. Be more respectful. Why were you looking for us?"

"My Sookie hid a corpse?" "I don't think you can be too sure about that possessive pronoun." "Where did you learn that term, Northman?" "I took 'English as a Second Language' at a community college in the seventies."

"I think Bill is dead," he said. "And I'm trying to save my own life, and yours, you stupid woman."

Instead of saying goodbye to Sookie, Eric says:
"I don't like having feelings."


Waiting on Wednesday: Forgotten by Cat Patrick

RD: June 7, 2011

Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.

I'm dying to read this!! I really want to know how she deals with her retrograde amnesia. Reminds me a bit of the movie 50 First Dates (the protagonist had a fictional case of anterograde amnesia, but one of the minor characters had a fictional case of retrograde amnesia) and of course anything having to do with amnesia.

Check out more WoWs at Breaking the Spine.

What I Wore #1

If I feel like sharing what I wore on whichever day. I shall. This is what I wore this past Sunday.

I love this outfit!! I bought the shirt and shorts at a thrift store. The shirt I got on Friday for $1.25 and the shorts I got on Saturday for about $5. The shorts were actually brand new so that was pretty cool and they came with the belt! The fact that they were my size (8) made me so happy because as soon as I saw them I fell in love!

Here you can see them better. They were longer than they look, but I folded them from the bottom to make them shorter. I love the way it looks like that. 

I spent part of the day with my family that day. Not really celebrating Easter, just hanging out. I went to visit one of my cousins (he's eight) because I never get the chance to see him and I hear he misses me a lot. :( Three of his friends from across the street were there and let me tell you...they were armed. With confetti eggs. Guess who got attacked by 4 crazy kids? Yup. Me. I must say it was pretty fun, but wow those kids know how to throw an egg.

~~T.V and Book Addict~~

Picture: Funny fortune cookie

"About time I got out of that cookie."

Isn't this fortune hilarious?? I got it a while back. 


New to My Playlist + Free Songs

NMP = songs I've recently added to my never ending playlist of songs I'll play in a loop unless I have the master list on shuffle. If the song's legally available for free (usually for a limited time for promotional purposes) I shall provide a link.

"Would You Say Stop?" by Acid House Kings. So fun!!

Found: Amazon.
Resembles: "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!
Download: Free.

"Grey Ship" by EMA. Nice. Soft. Slow. Love love love the the middle of the song the most. You'll know what I'm talking about. Starts with the guitar then WOW. 

Found: Amazon.
Resembles: Azure Ray.
Download: Free.

"Learning to Ride" by Caitlin Rose. Ahh nice and sweet.

Found: Magazine at my friend's job. Can't remember which zine. Decided to check it out, so glad I did!
Resembles: Zooey Deschanel (vocals are similar)

Do you like? If you already knew these artists and like other songs of theirs, please share which. :)

Enjoy this.

Waiting on Wednesday: I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan

RD: May 17, 2011

Raised by an unstable father who keeps the family constantly on the move, Sam Border hasn't been in a classroom since the second grade. He's always been the rock for his younger brother Riddle, who stopped speaking long ago and instead makes sense of the world through his strange and intricate drawings. It's said that the two boys speak with one voice--and that voice is Sam's.
Then, Sam meets Emily Bell, and everything changes. The two share an immediate and intense attraction, and soon Sam and Riddle find themselves welcomed into the Bell's home. Faced with normalcy for the first time, they know it's too good to last.
Told from multiple perspectives, Holly Goldberg Sloan's debut novel offers readers fresh voices and a gripping story, with vivid glimpses into the lives of many unique characters. Beautifully written and emotionally profound, I'll Be There is a story about connections both big and small, and deftly explores the many ways that our lives are woven together.

Oh fate fate fate how fascinating you are. 

Check out more WoWs at Breaking the Spine.

Dandy Books

Dandy Books are books that sound pretty cool so I added them to my TBR list.

The True Meaning of Smekday // Oh joy!! Sounds super fun!RD: 2007
True Meaning of Smekday, The

It all starts with a school essay.

When twelve-year-old Gratuity (“Tip”) Tucci is assigned to write five pages on “The True Meaning of Smekday” for the National Time Capsule contest, she’s not sure where to begin. When her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended on the Earth and the aliens – called Boov – abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it “Smekland” (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod?

In any case, Gratuity’s story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo.; a futile journey south to find Gratuity’s mother at the Happy Mouse Kingdom; a cross-country road trip in a hovercar called Slushious; and an outrageous plan to save the Earth from yet another alien invasion.

Fully illustrated with “photos,” drawings, newspaper clippings, and comics sequences, this is a hilarious, perceptive, genre-bending novel by a remarkable new talent. 

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
RD: 2009
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat, returns with a wondrous story of happiness, family, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless adventure story in the classic tradition of The Wizard of Oz.

In the Valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli spends her days working hard in the fields and her nights listening to her father spin fantastic tales about the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon. Minli’s mother, tired of their poor life, chides him for filling her head with nonsense. But Minli believes these enchanting stories and embarks on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man of the Moon and ask him how her family can change their fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest.

Vintage Veronica by Erika Perl.
RD: 2010

Veronica Walsh is 15, fashion-minded, fat, and friendless. Her summer job in the Consignment Corner section (Employees Only!) of a vintage clothing store is a dream come true. There Veronica can spend her days separating the one-of-a-kind gem garments from the Dollar-a-Pound duds, without having to deal with people. But when two outrageous yet charismatic salesgirls befriend her and urge her to spy on and follow the mysterious and awkward stock boy Veronica has nicknamed the Nail, Veronica’s summer takes a turn for the weird. Suddenly, what began as a prank turns into something else entirely. Which means Veronica may have to come out of hiding and follow something even riskier for the first time: her heart.

A.L.I.E.E.E.N by Lewis Trondheim // Sounds fun!
RD: 2006
A.L.I.E.E.E.N.: Archives of Lost Issues and Earthly Editions of Extraterrestrial Novelties
Beaten up, tattered, and weather worn, this volume has crossed through space to become the first extra-terrestrial comic book in print on earth. The language and even the alphabet are alien, but as human readers will soon discover, the themes and stories are universal. These interwoven stories and vignettes start out quite simply, but a darker, more complex side is gradually revealed as alien characters act out very human problems, from peer pressure to intolerance to the challenges of friendship. Beneath its apparently childlike and cartoony style, A.L.I.E.E.E.N. explores human nature, cruelty, and kindness with surprising depth and loads of humor.
If you've read any of these or would like to, please share your thoughts. :)


Favorite Bad Guy of the Moment: Damon Salvatore

Siiiiigh. He's so yummy it hurts. And those blue blue eyes. I swear I've never seen bluer eyes. ;)

Got a favorite bad guy of the moment? 


In My Mailbox: "rhinos are just fat unicorns"

Got that quote from somewhere on the internet a while back. Can't recall where. I read it in two different places in the same week.

Big Fish.Smiles to GoThe Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

  • Big Fish by Daniel Wallace. RD: 1998. It was a dollar. I couldn't say no plus I adored the movie.
  • Smiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli. RD: 2008. I love his writing. Stargirl is one of my all time favorites. 
  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. RD: May 10, 2011. For review. I'm SO excited to read this one!! It sounds amazing and adventurous! 

Cute Murval (check out their site bc it's so cute and has "C'est si bon" playing) purse for review from CSN Stores. cute but not what I expected. Review coming up. 

Thanks to The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie for IMM.

New to My Playlist + Free Songs

NMP = songs I've recently added to my never ending playlist of songs I'll play in a loop unless I have the master list on shuffle. If the song's legally available for free (usually for a limited time for promotional purposes) I shall provide a link.

"Static Waves" by Andrew Belle feat. Katie Herzig. I'm loving the vocals (both of them have great voices) immensely. They work well together. 

Found: My ipod/Amazon. I'm ashamed to say I downloaded this song quite a while back and while on shuffle mode I discovered it. I hadn't listened to it when I downloaded it. I do that sometimes. I should stop hehe
Download: Free.

"Watch the World Go By" by Johan Agebjorn & Le Prix feat. Lake Heartbeat. I'm adoring the beat and vocals. Makes me want to just dance!!

Download: Free / or here

"C'est si bon" by Dean Martin (Angèle Durand cover). I also love Louis Armstrong's version

Found: Murval website. I'm not exactly sure that version is sung by Dean Martin though. Help!!

Do you like? If you already knew these artists and like other songs of theirs, please share which. :)


Sale: Bargain Books

Who doesn't love a good sale? I'm the type of girl that only spends a certain amount on everything. I'm just cheap like that. If you're similar, you might like these deals. s/h is not included. 

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel. $4.00. This one was an okay read, I didn't love it, but you might. (Read my thoughts on it.) 
Infinite Days (Vampire Queen)

Every Crooked Pot by Renee Rosen. $3.98. I've heard good things about this one. Has a 5 star average rating on amazon (18 reviews). Good sign. 
Every Crooked Pot: A novel

The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano. $5.38 I love this book!!! (Read my thoughts on it). 

If you know of cool online stores where they have a sale, feel free to share. 


Watch This: Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

If you haven't already seen this movie, you're a cold hearted person. It's great. It's full of wonder. It's heartwarming. It's heartwarming. It's heartwarming I say!! It's so beautiful and magical it hurts.

When Molly Mahoney states that Mr. Magorium may have had a stoke he replies with:
A stroke, you unbrookable ninny. The only stroke I have ever had is one of genius.

Love love love love love this movie.

Have I convinced you to watch it? :)

USPS mailing rates will increase on April 17, 2011

If you, like me, use USPS for mailing books via media mail, you better hurry and mail things out! On April 17th (this Sunday!), the rates are going up. Before media mail packages would go out for about $2.38, now they'll be shipping for  about $2.41

Go to their site for more rates.

I hate it when this happens.


Johnny English Reborn // Movie Trailer

I love anything with Mr. Bean in it. He's so kid-funny. I love it. Can't wait!


Waiting on Wednesday: Sparrow Road by Sheila O'Connor

Sparrow Road
RD: May 12, 2011

It's the summer before seventh grade, and twelve-year- old Raine O’Rourke's mother suddenly takes a job hours from home at mysterious Sparrow Road– a creepy, dilapidated mansion that houses an eccentric group of artists. As Raine tries to make sense of her new surroundings, she forges friendships with a cast of quirky characters including the outrageous and funky Josie.
Together, Raine and Josie decide to solve the mysteries of Sparrow Road–from its haunting history as an orphanage to the secrets of its silent, brooding owner, Viktor. But it's an unexpected secret from Raine's own life that changes her forever.
An affecting and beautifully written story of family and forgiveness,Sparrow Road is an incredible gift.

Sounds cute! I want to read it!

Check out more WoWs at Breaking the Spine.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre // Book Trailer

Check it out! Ann Aguirre's first YA book will be released April 12, 2011. You may know her as the writer of the Jax and Corine Solomon series for Adults.

Um the head exploding bit is...weird.

Anyway I CAN'T WAIT! I really want to read this since I'm a HUGE fan of apocalyptic stories. (That reminds me that I must catch up on the last few episodes of Supernatural). Dystopian novels are just popping up like crazy aren't they? Not that I'm complaining. :)

Here's an excerpt:


I was born during the second holocaust. People had told us legends of a time when human beings lived longer. I thought they were just stories. Nobody even lived to see forty in my world.
Today was my birthday. Each one added a layer of fear, and this year, it was worse. I lived in an enclave in which our oldest had seen twenty-five years. His face was withered, and his fingers shook when he attempted the smallest tasks. Some whispered it would be a kindness to kill him, but they meant they didn’t want to see their futures written in his skin.
“Are you ready?” Twist stood waiting for me in the darkness.
He already wore his marks; he was two years older than me, and if he’d survived the ritual, I could. Twist was small and frail by any standards; privation had cut runnels into his cheeks, aging him. I studied the pallor of my forearms and then nodded. It was time for me to become a woman.
The tunnels were wide and laid with metal bars. We had found remnants of what might’ve been transportation, but they lay on their sides like great, dead beasts. We used them for emergency shelters sometimes. If a hunting party was attacked before it reached sanctuary, a heavy metal wall between them and hungry enemies made the difference between life and death.
I had never been outside the enclave, of course. This space comprised the only world I’d ever known, cast in darkness and curling smoke. The walls were old, built of rectangular blocks. Once they had borne color but the years had worn them gray. Splashes of brightness came from items we scavenged from deeper in the warren.
I followed Twist through the maze, my gaze touching on familiar objects. My favorite item was a picture of a girl on a white cloud. I couldn’t make out what she was holding; that part had worn away. But the words in bright red, HEAVENLY HAM, looked wonderful to me. I wasn’t sure what that was, but by her expression, it must have been very good.
The enclave assembled on naming day, everyone who had survived to be named. We lost so many when they were young that we just called all the brats Boy or Girl, along with a number. Since our enclave was small—and dwindling—I recognized each face shadowed by the half-light. It was hard not to let the expectation of pain knot my stomach, along with the fear I would wind up with a terrible name that would cling to me until I died.
Please let it be something good.
The oldest, who carried the burden of the name Whitewall, walked to the center of the circle. He stopped before the fire, and its licking flame painted his skin in terrifying shades. With one hand, he beckoned me forward.
Once I joined him, he spoke. “Let each Hunter bring forth his gift.”
The others carried their tokens and piled them at my feet. A mound of interesting items grew—and a few of them, I had no idea what purpose they might’ve served. Decoration, perhaps? People in the world before seemed obsessed with objects that existed simply to look pretty. I couldn’t imagine such a thing.
After they finished, Whitewall turned to me. “It’s time.”
Silence fell. Cries echoed through the tunnels. Somewhere close by, somebody was suffering, but he wasn’t old enough to attend my naming. We might lose another citizen before we finished here. Sickness and fever devastated us and our medicine man did more harm than good, it seemed to me. But I’d learned not to question his treatments. Here in the enclave, one didn’t prosper by demonstrating too much independent thought.
These rules permit us to survive, Whitewall would say. If you cannot abide by them, then you are free to see how you fare Topside. The eldest had a mean streak; I didn’t know if he had always been that way, or if age had made him so. And now, he stood before me, ready to take my blood.
Though I had never witnessed the ritual before, I knew what to expect. I extended my arms. The razor glinted in the firelight. It was our prized possession, and the oldest kept it clean and sharp. He made three jagged cuts on my left arm, and I held my pain until it coiled into a silent cry within me. I would not shame the enclave by weeping. He slashed my right arm before I could do more than brace. I clenched my teeth as hot blood trickled downward. Not too much. The cuts were shallow, symbolic.
“Close your eyes,” he said.
I obeyed. He bent, spreading the gifts before me, and then grabbed my hand. His fingers were cold and thin. From whatever my blood struck, so would I take my name. With my eyes closed, I could hear the others breathing, but they were still and reverent. Movement rustled nearby.
“Open your eyes and greet the world, Huntress. From this day forward, you will be called Deuce.”
I saw the oldest held a card. It was torn and stained, yellow with age. The back had a pretty red pattern and the front had what looked like a black shovel blade on it, along with the number two. It was also speckled with my blood, which meant I must keep it with me at all times. I took it from him with a murmur of thanks.
Strange. No longer would I be known as Girl15. My new name would take some getting used to.
The enclave dispersed. People offered me nods of respect as they went about their business. Now that the naming day ceremony was complete, there was still food to be hunted and supplies to be scavenged. Our work never ended.
“You were very brave,” Twist said. “Now let’s take care of your arms.”
It was just as well we had no audience for this part because my courage failed. I wept when he put the hot metal to my skin. Six scars to prove I was tough enough to call myself Huntress. Other citizens received less; Builders got three scars. Breeders took only one. For as long as anyone could remember, the number of marks on the arms identified what role a citizen played.
We could not permit the cuts to heal naturally for two reasons: They would not scar properly and infection might set in. Over the years, we had lost too many to the naming day ritual because they cried and begged; they couldn’t bear the white-hot conclusion. Now Twist no longer paused at the sight of tears, and I was glad he didn’t acknowledge them.
I am Deuce.
Tears spilled down my cheeks as the nerve endings died, but the scars appeared one by one, proclaiming my strength and my ability to weather whatever I found out in the tunnels. I had been training for this day my whole life; I could wield a knife or a club with equal proficiency. Every bite of food I ate that had been supplied by someone else, I consumed with the understanding it would be my turn someday to provide for the brats.
That day had come. Girl15 was dead.
Long live Deuce.
* * *
After the naming, two friends held a party for me. I found them both waiting in the common area. We’d come up together as brats, though our personalities and physical skills put us on different paths. Still, Thimble and Stone were my two closest companions. Of the three, I was the youngest, and they’d taken pleasure in calling me Girl15 after they both got their names.
Thimble was a small girl a little older than me, who served as a Builder. She had dark hair and brown eyes. Because of her pointed chin and wide gaze, people sometimes questioned if she was old enough to be out of brat training. She hated that; there was no surer way to rouse her temper.
Grime often stained her fingers because she worked with her hands, and it found its way onto her clothing and smudged her face. We’d gotten used to seeing her scratch her cheek and leave a dark streak behind. But I didn’t tease her anymore because she was sensitive. One of her legs was a touch shorter than the other, and she walked with a whisper of a limp, not from injury, but that small defect. Otherwise, she might easily have become a Breeder.
Because he was strong and handsome, but not especially bright, Stone landed as a Breeder. Whitewall figured he had good material in him, and if matched with a clever female, he should sire good, solid offspring. Only citizens with traits worth passing on were allowed to contribute to the next generation, and the elders monitored births carefully. We couldn’t allow more brats than we could provide for.
Thimble rushed up to examine my forearms. “How much did it hurt?”
“A lot,” I said. “Twice as much as yours.” I gave Stone a pointed look. “Six times as much as yours.”
He always joked he had the easiest job in the enclave, and maybe that was true, but I wouldn’t want the burden of making sure our people survived to the next generation. On top of siring the young, he also shared the responsibility of looking after them. I didn’t think I could deal with so much death. Brats were unbelievably fragile. This year, he’d sired one male, and I didn’t know how he dealt with the fear. I could barely remember my dam; she’d died young even by our standards. When she was eighteen, a sickness swept through the enclave, likely carried by the trading party from Nassau. It took a lot of our people that year.
Some citizens thought the offspring of Breeders should stay in that role. There was a quiet movement among the Hunters to take their number from their own—that once a Hunter got too old for patrols, he or she could sire the next crop of Hunters. I’d fought my whole life against that thinking. From the time I could walk, I’d watched the Hunters going off into the tunnels and known it for my destiny.
“It’s not my fault I’m handsome,” he said, grinning.
“Stop, you two.” Thimble got out a present wrapped in faded cloth. “Here.”
I hadn’t expected this. Brow raised, I took the parcel from her, hefted it, and said, “You made me new daggers.”
She glared. “I hate when you do that.”
To appease her, I unfolded the fabric. “They’re beautiful.”
And they were. Only a Builder could do such fine work. She’d poured these just for me. I imagined the long hours over the fire and the time in the mold and the tempering and the polishing and sharpening afterward. They gleamed in the torchlight. I tested them and found them perfectly balanced. I executed a couple of moves to show her how much I liked them, and Stone jumped as if I might hit him on accident. He could be such an idiot. A Huntress never stabbed anything she didn’t intend to.
“I wanted you to have the best out there.”
“Me too,” Stone said.
He hadn’t bothered to wrap his gift; it was simply too big. The club wasn’t Builder quality work, but Stone had a fair hand with carving, and he’d taken a solid scrap of wood for the core. I suspected Thimble must’ve helped him with the banded metal along the top and bottom, but the fanciful figures cut into the wood came from him, no mistake. I didn’t recognize all of the animals, but it was lovely and solid, and I would feel safer with it on my back. He’d rubbed the carvings with some kind of dye, so they stood out from the grain. The decorations would actually make it harder for me to keep the weapon clean, but Stone was a Breeder, and he couldn’t be expected to think of things like that.
I smiled in appreciation. “This is wonderful.”
They both hugged me and then produced a treat we’d been saving for my naming day. Thimble had traded for this tin long ago—in anticipation of the occasion. The container itself offered unusual pleasure in that it shone bright red and white, brighter than most things we found down here. We didn’t know what was inside it; only that it had been sealed so thoroughly that we needed tools to pry it open.
A lovely scent drifted out. I had never smelled anything like it, but it was fresh and sweet. Inside, I saw nothing but colored dust. Impossible to tell what it might have once been, but the aroma alone made my naming day special.
“What is it?” Thimble asked.
Hesitantly, I touched a fingertip to the pink dust. “I think it might be to make us smell better.”
“Do we put it on our clothes?” Stone leaned in and gave a sniff.
Thimble considered. “Only for special occasions.”
“Anything in there?” I stirred, until I touched bottom. “There is!”
Elated, I drew out a square of stiff paper. It was white with gold letters, but they had a funny shape and I couldn’t read them. Some of them looked like they were supposed to; others didn’t. They looped and dropped and curled in ways that made them confusing to my eye.
“Put it back,” she said. “It might be important.”
It was important, if only for being one of the few complete documents we had from the time before. “We should take it to the Wordkeeper.”
Even though we’d traded for this tin fair and square, if it yielded a valuable enclave resource and we tried to keep it for ourselves, we could wind up in serious trouble. Trouble led to exile, and exile to unspeakable things. By mutual agreement, we replaced the paper and closed the tin. We shared a sober look, aware of the potential consequences. None of us wanted to be accused of hoarding.
“Let’s take care of it now,” Stone said. “I have to get back to the brats soon.”
“Give me a bit.”
Moving at a run, I headed to look for Twist. I found him in the kitchens, not surprisingly. I still hadn’t been assigned a private living space. Now that I’d been named, I could have a room of my own. No more brat dorm.
“What do you want?” he demanded.
I tried not to take offense. Just because I’d been named didn’t mean his treatment of me would improve overnight. To some, I’d be little more than a brat for a couple of years. Until I started edging toward elder territory.
“Just tell me where my space is?”
Twist sighed, but obligingly he led the way through the maze. Along the way, we dodged many bodies and wound through the layers of partitions and makeshift shelters. Mine sat in between two others, but it was four feet to call my own.
My room had three crude walls, constructed of old metal, and a ragged length of cloth for an illusion of privacy. Everyone had more or less the same; it only varied in terms of what trinkets people kept. I had a secret weakness for shiny things. I was always trading for something that glittered when I held it to the light.
“That all?”
Before I could answer, he went back toward the kitchen. Taking a deep breath, I pushed through the curtain. I had a rag pallet and a crate for my meager belongings. But nobody else had the right to come in here without my invitation. I’d earned my place.
Despite my worry, I smiled while I stowed my new weapons. Nobody would touch anything in here, and it was best not to visit the Wordkeeper armed to the teeth. Like Whitewall, he was getting on in years, and tended to be strange.
I didn’t look forward to this interrogation at all.


Dark Places by Gillian Flynn // Book Review

Dark Places: A Novel
Non-YA book

Rating: 4/5; re-readable. worth buying.
Release Date: May 4, 2010 (U.S)

Libby Day, the protagonist of Flynn’s disturbing second novel, was, as a seven-year-old, the only survivor of her family’s brutal murder by her older brother, an event dubbed by the media the “Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” Twenty-five years later, she has become a hardened, selfish young woman with no friends or family. Since the tragedy, her life has been paid for by donations of well-wishers, but, with that fund now empty, Libby must find a way to make money. Her search leads her to The Kill Club, a secret society of people obsessed with the details of notorious murders. As Libby tries to gather artifacts to sell to The Kill Club (whose members, it turns out, doubt the guilt of her brother), she is forced to reexamine the events of the night of the murder.

As with Gillian Flynn's debut novel, Sharp Objects, in Dark Places, the author also deals with the psychology of someone who is mentally unwell (among many other issues including a farmer's tough life and the way things were in the 80's for them). In this case, the protagonist, Libby, is mentally unwell because of the trauma she suffered as a child. Her family was murdered by not just anyone, her brother. She was the only one that managed to escape. Since then, she has become very bitter,  uncaring, lonely, clinically depressed, has developed kleptomania, and seems to have a difficult time forming healthy relationships. She believes all of these will keep her from functioning enough to get a job. In my opinion she should have seeked therapy as it might have helped her function. Because she does not think she can get a job where she won't get fired and is running out of the money she's been living on (money sent to her by well-wishers who know about the murders of her family), she winds up selling family memorabilia to the Kill Club. The Kill Club is a horrible group of people obsessed with murders. They challenge Libby's idea that her brother was the murder that fateful night of January 3, 1985. Throughout the book the readers are told (in flashbacks) about the events of that night and events leading up to it. All is told through the point of view of Libby, Ben, and Patty, their mother. Readers, like Libby, will begin to question whether Libby at the young age of 7 was correct in stating her brother was the murderer. I know it seems as if just by knowing that readers will think "okay so then Ben probably wasn't the killer." Trust me, there's a lot you won't see coming and it's all worth the ride. The fact that it's so fast paced and makes you turn the pages like a madman/madwomen, adds to the enjoyment level.

I must state that this book had its merits, but it also had its downsides. I found myself unable to like the Kill Club, including Lyle. No matter what any of them say, they're just using Libby for their own entertainment and that is effed up. I will never find myself being okay with that. Libby played along because she wanted the money, which I think was horrible, yet I can see where her thought process was on that issue. Either way, she should have seeked therapy to help her. She did not need to resort to selling her family's items.

Concerning Libby's entire family; they are so flawed. All of them. I liked that. Don't get me wrong, it was unfortunate for them. For their flaws, I can understand why readers might find the family (even the younger sisters) unlikeable, but hey! People are like this in real life! I liked the honesty in this book. No matter how "messed" up everyone in this book was, you will find people like this in real life. Hopefully someone can come into their life and help them.

When I think about it, Libby and her family were not the only ones with mental issues. Pretty much every single character in this book had a problem.

In reference to memories, I had never thought about this issue before until I volunteered with an organization that helps children who have been abused. another organization had spoken to us about how back in the day, children who have gone through a trauma, were interviewed incorrectly. this led to false testimonies and many other consequences. one of the worst things that occurred was that the child would be forced to relive the trauma over and over because they would have to retell their story to numerous people like the local policemen, FBI, mother, father, aunt, etc. obviously this was not a good way to go about things. not only does it negatively affect the child, but what the child is saying may gradually change. it's not that the child is lying, but memories change the more you conjure them. It does not help when cops (they shouldn't do this anymore) used to ask children questions phrased in a way that would cause the child to believe something else occurred. for example, a cop may have asked a child "that man touched you didn't he? he hurt you? where did he hurt you?" the child might then start to believe that an event that did not occur, did in fact occur. the child will start to think that they were hurt by someone. If someone keeps repeating the same question to the child, "did you get touched by that man?" the child may end up giving the "right" answer, or the answer they believe the adults want to hear. they may then end up thinking the event really occurred. memories are a fragile thing. fascinating though. you're supposed to ask a child something like "what happened that day?" not "did he touch you?" I learned a lot of this from my psychology classes and research by Deborah Poole (among others). Look at something interesting a professor of psychology, Stephen Ceci, stated:
Our review of typical interviews from the 1980s shows many investigators blindly pursued a single hypothesis: Sexual abuse occurred. They would reinforce that hypothesis to the children, who would be led to believe in it.
It is essential to keep in mind now that most children with such implanted memories will have believed in their allegations of abuse for far longer than they were alive before those allegations first surfaced. Those 'implanted' memories are no less visceral than real-life memories.
Remember, this book took place in the 80's.

Libby's father, Runner, talking to her:
"How long it's been since I seen you, little girl? You get that flamingo ashtray I sent you?" The flamingo ashtray I got more than two decades ago, when I was a nonsmoking ten-year-old.

Possible spoilers (highlight to view):
I feel that if Ben hadn't continued to be in an effed up relationship with Diondra, maybe he would have been better off. He may not have been as angry. All she did was tear him down. She and her step-brother Trey continually lowered his self-esteem. There is a reason that shouldn't happen to people. it can make them ANGRY! Anger leads to violence. Bad, bad things.
As for Michelle, I can completely see that girl growing up to be just like Ben. Demented, almost. By the end of the book, I wondered if there was a mental illness running in the family. Maybe not Patty, or their father (although alcoholism is technically a mental illness I don't mean that kind), but someone before them. Or maybe there was something in the water. *shrug* It's just interesting how Michelle, Ben, Trey, Deondra, and Crystal, were all off the wall. Okay, it was pretty much everyone in this book. 

Movie News:
October 2010 - Movie rights to DARK PLACES sold!
I’m thrilled to announce that the movie rights to DARK PLACES have been sold, with French director Gilles Paquet-Brenner to adapt and direct. Gilles’ most recent film is a beautiful (and harrowing and suspenseful and elegant) adaptation of Tatiana de Rosnay’s internationally bestselling novelSarah’s Key, to be released in the United States in 2011. More news soon!
-Gillian Flynn

  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (read this T.V and Book Addict's mind) - If you liked S.O, you will like Dark Places. Psychological thriller + family issues = fun reading times. Well, not "fun" like jump up and down on a moonwalk but you know what I mean. 
  • Criminal Minds (T.V show) - also deals with the workings of the inner mind
  • Dexter (T.V show) - ditto

Gillian Flynn / Dark Places FB / Buy @Indie Bound


Mind-Boggling: New baby in my family!!!

All I'm telling you is his middle name: Angel. 

Yes this picture is real. I took it myself :) PERFECT SHOT!!! :D

Ahh I love babies! I'm so happy it's a boy. No offense to girls, but we have way too many of those in my family. Gettin' old hehe I can't wait till he gets bigger so I can play and laugh with him. :)


Love It: Dandy Vintage Finds

I bought these at a thrift store recently. Ahh love love love and super cheapo too ;)


In My Mailbox: shark attack!! ___\o/___/\___


This is what I received this past week (click for more info plus reviews):

NumbersThe Chaos (Numbers)HuntressThe Scorch Trials (Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 2)Between Here and Forever

  • Numbers by Rachel Ward-- sounds a lot like Death Note so I'm very, very curious!
  • The Chaos (Numbers #2) by Rachel Ward -- both won over at Bewitched Book Worms. Thanks again!
  • Huntress by Malinda Lo - from publisher. Thank you! Sooo excited!!
  • The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner -- got the ebook bc it was cheapo, but I reeeeally want it in book form :'
  • Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott - ebook galley. Started reading it already. Interesting. Interesting. Reminds me of Gayle Forman's If I Stay. Find it fascinating that Scott and Forman are friends. 

Don't forget! Tonights the deadline to enter for my current book giveaway! Hurry scurry! Click on the link at the top of this page.

Thanks to The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie for IMM.

New to My Playlist + Free Song

This is a feature where I share the new music that I have come across recently. If the songs are available for free, I shall provide a link. 

"The Indie Queens are Waiting" by Dan Mangan. Someone commented on YT that he looks like a sexier Seth Rogen hahaha

it's not nice to piss you off 

Found: Amazon free download.
Download: Free here.

"Tree by the River" by Iron & Wine. I'm so happy Sam Beam released another album! I love him/his music so darn much! This is my favorite song in Kiss Each Other Clean.

Found: Obviously in Kiss Each Other Clean.

"Codex" by Radiohead. Siiiigh. One of my favorites off their new album. 

Found: On The King of Limbs of course.

"사랑은 없다/There is No Love" by Gummy. I love her voice! 

Found: My sister's ipod. 

Feel free to let me know of any songs you've recently "found."


Free Young Adult eBooks!!

You can download any of these on any computer (some are also compatible with the Kindle and Nook).

I don't know how long these will be free for so hurry scurry! Just click on the book covers. 

Young Adult:

Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words. Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings. In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Note: This is a free pre-order. You won't receive it until April 12. 
When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.

Lovely by Allison Liddelle
"What if you had the chance to go back and change everything? The chance to alter one day, one evening, that would set the stage for your entire life? What about ten times? Ten times to take that same instant..."

If you've read any of these please share your thoughts. 

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