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Because I am away and I know you guys miss me, I have a glorious surprise for you. IT IS CALLED: AMANDA.
She's guest posting today with many wonderful thoughts. I, on the other hand, am probably stumbling about Sydney hiding from crowds or eating. (I predict I'm eating.) Thank you, Amanda, for coming by! You are fabulous.

charactersvsmeAs a book reviewer and reader, one of the biggest features for me is the characters and how well I can connect and relate to them.

Whether it's Katniss from The Hunger Games (whom I couldn't connect to well), Caymen from The Distance Between Us (who is essentially my spirit) or Scarlet (from Sister's Red, not the amazing Lunar Chronicles), but no matter who it is, they're personality traits and decisions are something I tend to think about more often than I should, and sometimes through reading, I consider whether I would do those things, or whether I would follow through with those actions, and so I thought I would unload my brain full of questions and and see just how like my favourite fictional characters I really am.
 

Cammie Morgan - Gallagher Girls

Cammie, according to her Wiki page, is smart, but doesn't appreciate being in spotlight, hence she is known as the Chameleon. She's also a pavement artist, which means she has the ability to naturally blend into her surroundings, making her difficult to track and follow, but great at tracking and following others. Overall, she's known as being brave, compassionate, dedicated, loyal and strong.

Now, I'm not a trumpet blower, (in fact, I tried once, totally couldn't do it) but I do think I'm smart to a degree, and I also think I'm quite good at blending into crowds, (because I hate being in public) as well as compassionate, loyal and dedicated to protecting and caring about people. In some ways I think I'm like Cammie, but I definitely couldn't be a spy for a living. 007 I am not.
 
 

Scarlet Benoit - Lunar Chronicles

Scarlet, unlike Cammie, doesn't have an extensive Wiki page, but if I were to describe her, I'd say she was heavily loyal and compassionate for her friends and family, not afraid to speak her mind and has a nack for getting herself close to extremely dangerous and not always, honest people. She's brave, but has a weakness for furry animals, especially one's that mope after she's been gone for a while.

I know, that part of about the weakness for furry animals is a little harsh, but it's true, and it's true for me too. Cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, you name, I like it. Even Lions, roar! Anyway.. I think I'm similar to Scarlet in a sense of loyalty and compassion, as well as speaking my mind and being blunt, I'm amazing at that, but brave, not so much, at least, not to extent of making out with wolf-men.
 
 
 

Valkyrie Cain - Skulduggery Pleasant

According to Valkyrie's Wiki page, she displays intelligence, high detective skills and martial arts techniques. She also has skills of that of a Necromancer and Elemental, as well as a possible source of Ancient Magic when she allows Darquese to take over her body and mind. She is also compassionate and loyal towards her family, however, lacks morals when it comes to relationships.

Well, I'm totally magic too, duh! (of course I'm not, I'm dreaming, obviously) However, I am similar to Valkyrie in that I have, in the past, lacked morals and honesty in relationships, and definitely have a very violent, very evil and very angry side to me. I'm not quite a detective yet, however, guessing CSI murderers and whodunnits, I'm pretty good at. If only I had magic too...
 
 
 

Caymen Meyers - The Distance Between Us

 
Like Scarlet, Caymen doesn't have a Wiki, but she's pretty judgemental of people and relies on first impressions much more than she should. She worries and takes care her Mother, is unsure of her plans for the future and doesn't or want to know much about her Father's side of the family. She's independent, confident and has a sarcastic, flirty attitude.

I've already told you that Caymen Meyers is my spirit. It's almost impossible for me not to see the similarities. I'm embarrassingly judgemental, flirtatious and sarcastic and also care a lot, physically and mentally for my Mother. Independent, yes I am, confident, I'm getting there and when it comes to Daddy issues, I have a whole history book full of them, so really, we'd be best buddies.
 
 
 
According to her Wiki, Annabeth is very caring but also pretty possessive over the people she loves and cares about, and can sometimes be very harsh and judgemental to those she doesn't know well. She's also a fan of architecture, enjoys building and creating things and believes that she is the bets at everything and can do anything, which is her fatal flaw. Above all, she's brave, daring, has a lot of nerve and is very analytic, strategic and wise, inherited from her Mother, Athena.

Annabeth is probably the character I have the least amount in common with, but there's still some things us girlies share. I'm very artistic and appreciate art in it's highest form, especially buildings, I just find them beautiful, and I'm also very judgemental, much like Caymen, over people I don't know yet. I'm also extremely possessive over family and friends and those I love, but brave and wise? Maybe not so much.. But I definitely am the best at a lot of things for sure (I kid I kid..)
 

Faith - Faith Trilogy

Faith also doesn't have a Wiki page, but if I were to describe her, I'd say she's a free spirit, a girl who enjoys using her sense of humour and to impress and feel involved with people, but she also has a sensitive side that she shows through her love for her family, and her firm attitude towards her friends and her emotional attachment to boys. She's easily swayed by the attractive and sometimes misses something beautiful that's right under her nose.
 
I think I probably have quite a lot in common with Faith, it would explain why I loved reading about her so much, but definitely when I was younger, I used my humour and snark to impress people and I also didn't always see the beautiful when it was right in front of me, but I'm also pretty fond my family in the way that Faith is, and I definitely have a slightly overbearing Grandmother (but don't we all?) I may have grown up, but a younger me definitely wishes she could have driven headteachers cars into bushes...
 
 
 

I could have delved into more characters, but strictly speaking, these are some my favourites, so it's only fair, but the question is, how like your favourite fictional characters are you? 

Do you share their humour, or you judgemental and vain like them, or do you think you're nothing alike them? Huge thank you and lots of cuddles to Cait for allowing me to guest post today and I hope she's having a fantastic, well deserved break and brings back plenty of Sydney-style cake. Yes, lots of cake.
 

 
10390397_618255508281871_5757085749894326098_nAmanda is a nineteen year old British blogger, designer and craft maker. She's also pretty susceptible to watching obsessive amounts of Strictly Come Dancing during Winter and likes nothing more than never leaving her bed. Right now, she's working on client designs and putting the finishing touches a big project coming in the New Year, but when she isn't doing that, she's wrapping her Christmas presents (yes, she wraps her own presents), settling down with a good YA read or convincing her Mum to allow her a cat. She's failing. Epically. She really hopes you enjoy this post, and has sent thank you Cait cake for letting her stealing the limelight. Find her on twitterinstagram, and her blog.

How do I really feel about The Iron Trial?

Excellent question. I'm glad you asked that. And we're going to talk about this completely logically...but first...

Thank you, Harry. I'll take it from here. (But, just so you know, I'm making a similar face and flailing like Harry in the above gif. Although I'm shorter than he. Just by, like, 3 inches.)

I half loved it! And I half loathed it.

It dabble deep into Harry Potter territory, but at the same time absolutely smashed stereotypes and cliches. Particularly at the end! Seriously, whatever you do, do NOT stop reading this book halfway. The fabulousness is at the ginormous reveal at the end.

I'm so torn, I'm just going to write a list, okay?! WE ALL LOVE LISTS. (Don't roll your eyes at me.)



THINGS I LOVED

- Call was a very unique narrator. He's 12. Angry. Bitter. Troublemaker. (He's like the magical equivalent of Ramona Quimby...trouble, but usually accidental.) Call also is crippled in one leg.

- The book begins with a BANG. Usually I'm not a fan of prolgues, and when I saw there was one...I sighed. BUT THEN IT WAS AWESOME. Call's father walks onto a battlefield and discovers his wife dead and his baby son's leg smashed. His wife carved in the ice KILL THE CHILD. Well, okay then. What wizardry (literally) is this?? 

(Although, I was thinking about all the routes you could go with a delicious phrase like that, and I coincidentally thought about what I would do if I was a writer. And I accidentally I predicted the ending from page 5...but I don't think that'd happen to everyone.)

- THE ENDING. OH, PEOPLES, THE ENDING!! It was so unique and so utterly unprecedented and I...I'm still reeling. The ending blew my previous growling glances into oblivion. It knocked me down. IT MAKES ME WANT TO RECOMMEND THIS BOOK FROM THE ROOFTOPS. 

THINGS I WAS UNHAPPY WITH:


- Okay, so there's a lot of subtle child abuse. It frustrates me because the "good guys" are the ones being cruel and downright wrong to children for the pure fact that...they're adults. They have power over children. I find this unacceptable and wrong. I don't think it's fair or okay to write books for 12-year-olds where the adult figures are doing WRONG things, but it's written in a "well that's just how it is". Kids do not deserve to be treated poorly. And I think the more society underlines that "eh, yeah, whatever, that's just how it is...adults have more power and can wield it" then the more it become "acceptable" for us to continue it. IT IS WRONG! STOP WRITING ABOUT IT LIKE IT'S FINE.

Call gets dragged away from his father, kicking and screaming, at the beginning of the book. He doesn't want to go to Magic School. His father doesn't want him to. Call is begging to stay. And worse still, they take him against his will to this school and then do not let him speak to his father. Not a phone call. Not a visit. THE KID IS 12 FREAKING YEARS OLD. Am I the only one really traumatised by this? I was angry. This is never ever indicated as "wrong" later. 

Master Rufus clearly wasn't going to let him [Call] communicate with Alistair until Call settled in as an apprentice. pg. 85

- The Magisterium (magic school) basically lies to the parents. They say the school is for anything that will make the kids succeed. So you go there thinking it's "ballet school" or "pre-med school" or..."pony school" (that happened) and then it turns out to be magic school where you'll never see your kids for a whole year. THAT IS ALSO WRONG AND SUFFICIENTLY SCARY. And I didn't understand how this even worked, because most parents were magicians or came from magical families...so wouldn't they know how the school worked?? Still, the school effectively lures children in and kidnaps them.
"Do they all know they're here to try to get into magic school?" [Call] asked quietly.
His father shook his head. "The parents believe whatever they want to believe and hear whatever they want to hear. If they want their child to be a famous athlete, they believe he is getting into an exclusive training program. If they hope she'll be a brain surgeon, this is pre-pre-premed. If they want him to grow up to be wealthy, then they believe this is the sort of prep school where he'll hobnob with the rich and powerful." (pg. 17)

description- All the Harry Potter similarities. Not limited to the trio of Call, Tamara and Aaron (respectively Call is the troublemaker, Tamara is the studious uptight girl, and Aaron is...there.) They pick themselves up a Dobby like creature. Call has Hagrid tendencies with all the crazy creatures. There are ghosts flitting around. The "bully", Jasper, is Draco Malfoy.

- The writing felt thick and I struggled to stay engaged. It's definitely MG, so this confuses me! Most MG books I read have short paragraphs, funky voice, and keep things on the humorous side (with good dashes of scariness and evil villains). But The Iron Trial honestly felt slow. Even their training wasn't very exciting. They moved grains of sand. Hip, hip horaaah...Let me sleep.

- Too many unanswered questions. Like how the school functioned? How much magic is in the world? Is the test of "are you a wizard, 'Arry?" mandatory or optional? Why do they keep ferocious monsters in the school? (Just to lure kids in to be possibly eaten?) What are the Chaos-ridden exactly?? I have too many questions. I feel like the world needed so much more building. 

But through all this...it's the ending that brings me back to flailing.

I love both the authors and I'm so so excited they wrote together! I'm definitely reading the rest of the Magisterium books because DID I MENTION THE PLOT TWIST AT THE END IS FREAKING FANTASTIC??!!! IT IS! GO READ THIS BOOK! It sets up to be full of cliches and then smashes them at the end...but I wonder if it should've been more original all the way through?



Thank you Random House Australia for the review-copy! The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black came out in September, 2014.
Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.
Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.
All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.
So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.
Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.
The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .


Cait is still away. There, there, she knows you miss her. She is, of course, not commenting on everyone's blogs or replying to tweets or emails or...anything. Keep calm. She'll catch up when she's back. Since she's scheduling this post, she has no idea what she's currently doing...but probably reading RED GLOVE because Holly Black is her literary hero.
As you read this, I'm traversing the world (well, okay fine, one city of Australia) seeing marvellous sights. I asked my fabulous friend Adiyl if she wouldn't mind babysitting while I was gone. She agreed. (Honestly, I know the nicest people.) SO! Enjoy!
wanderlust
Hey everyone! I was one happy little blogger when Cait asked me if I wanted to help babysit her blog while she was traversing the world. And, since she’s gone I thought traveling would would be a good subject to run with.
I’ve had the happy privilege of getting to travel quite a bit in recent years, which is pretty cool, because to me Traveling equals Story Ideas. And of course story ideas equal inspiration and inspiration equals happy and happy... Ahem. Well, anyway, you get the idea.
So, today I decided I’d make a list of my top ten places I’ve been that I’d be absolutely delighted to have as settings for a book. (What can I say? Cait isn’t the only blogger who loves lists!)
St. Stephens

1. Vienna, Austria.

Let’s face it, this city is amazing. Music, ancient, towering buildings, music, palaces, delicious food, and, well, music. The very best part about Austria though (in my little ‘ol opinion) was St. Stephens Cathedral. More specially what is under the Cathedral: Catacombs. I don’t know if I’d ever seen a real human skeleton before, and definitely not thousands of them. Nor had I ever seen human bones stacked up like firewood to make room for more bones. Or thousands of them just tossed into a hole in the ground because the plague had come through and killed more people than the city knew how to deal with.
The best part though? The area in the catacombs that had been cleared out part-way so they could use it as a bomb shelter in WW2. Instant story right there, folks. Just throw in a music-loving-pet-rat-totting-girl who makes her living helping out in one of the fancy restaurants, stir for several months and you’re set to go.

2. Hawaii, USA.Hawaii

If we want to talk about beautiful, this is the place to do it. Both Maui and Oahu (the only two Hawaiian Islands I’ve been on) had their own unique brand of delightful ocean views. What better setting could you ask for, for a sweet family-centered-contemporary story when you have a quaint little beach house within twenty yards of the pounding ocean with sea turtles and sharks swimming by? (Ok, ok, in reality, the only shark I saw was a dead one that had floated near shore and a stranger and I had fun carrying around, but still...)
 

3. Creation Museum, Petersburg, Kentucky, USA.

This is one place where I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time and I never grow tired of being there. It’s almost bursting with ideas and practically whispers them to me at night. My current idea revolves around a dinosaur model with a hidden message Morse-coded into it’s skin texture.

4. Switzerland.

Yes, it’s true I only spent a day in Switzerland, but that doesn’t undermine the awe and delight I felt while sitting in a field overflowing with wildflowers and gazing up at the Swiss Alps.

5. Ohio, USA.

This would happen to be my own territory and it will always be very close to my heart. Rolling hills, deep woods, acre after acre of hayfields, all four seasons. Pretty much anything could happen in this magical place.

6. Colorado, USA.

As much as I love where I live, if I had to choose another state to live in and people weren’t factored into the equation, I’m pretty sure Colorado would win. I have this idea in my mind that a road trip through Colorado would make a great story because of course I would have to research it...

Heidelberg7. Heidelberg, Germany.

Can we take a moment to all sigh in delight about this wonderful place? We’re talking about ancient castle ruins set on a hillside overlooking a sprawling city situated around a winding river. That doesn’t even sound real, folks.
It would make my little heart jump for joy if I were able to go back and spend a month sitting in the castle ruins, writing a book that took place there. (The fact that I got to explore an old bookstore and eat ice cream while walking down the cobblestone street in Heidelberg doesn’t have anything to do with me liking the city so much. Nope, not at all...)

8. England.

The week I spent there was breathtaking. Stone cottages, thatched roofs, fish and chips, sheep grazing in lush fields... Let’s just say I’ve read so many books that take place in this exquisite country that my brain went haywire while there, begging me to travel back to the friendly, British-accent-filled land and spill my thoughts onto paper while sipping tea in a garden surrounded by roses.

9. Peru, South America.

I’m guessing it has something to do with the three months I spent in the country, but there’s something about Peru that makes me wonder how I spent the first half of my life with little knowledge of it’s existence.
High mountains. Moon-like desolation. People striving day in and day out just to eke out a meager lifestyle. Dirt houses. Chilling rains. Raggedy children living by themselves. Hollow knocks on the door as another child begs for bread. Vicious dogs. Wind-chapped-skin. It’s a story swirling around in my head, seeking freedom.

Netherlands10. The Netherlands.

This country has filled my imagination since I was just a little girl. Going there this summer and exploring a windmill that used to house a family of 14 only concreted the yearning to write a story with such an amazing setting.
 

Alright! Now it’s your turn! Where have you been/would you like to go that you think would be a good setting for a story? What places set your brain off with an explosion of ideas? Which of the places on my list sound the most exciting/interesting to you?



Aidyl in Asia
Hi, I'm Lydia Howe, aka Aidyl Ewoh. I write Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction, live life with passion, enjoy making lists and blog over at Noveltea.  Find her online at her BlogFacebookTwitter Google+,Goodreads and Pinterest.
Dreams fulfilled:
Travel through Europe
Live in a barn
Publish a book
Hike up a mountain in Asia
Dreams yet to fulfill:
Own a skunk
Camp in Alaska
Become a best selling author
Go barefoot for a month

I'm leaving you.

But only for a few days, I promise. And, because of this very sad leaving*, I'll write you a list of things to keep in mind in my absence**.

I'll (probably) return on the 1st of December.

* Well sad for you. I'm going on a holiday. I'm having fun. 
** Because, I confess! I do mildly panic over my blog when I'm not around. Yes, I'm that kind of obsessed blogger. Gee. Now you know all my secrets. 


1. I have two guest posters coming to keep an eye on you. 

The fabulous Aidyl and Amanda will be babysitting you! Well, babysitting my blog. Look out for them on Monday and Wednesday. A review might also pop up at some point, so you don't forget me. (I really am insecure, aren't I? But also, because I have a lot of reviews. That's the real reason. Of course.)

2. Despite the quote at the beginning of this post, I do not consider you blogglings wild things.

I have a deep interesting in that book Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendek. Yes, it's a child's picture book, but do you have any idea how freakishly fantastic kids books are?! I wrote an entire novel inspired by WTWTA...and also The Scorpio Races. And also Sherlock, actually. It was a weird book.

3. Where am I going on this hiatus?

Sydney, actually. You may have read this in my weekly wrap-up. I shall be seeing the Sydney Opera House and I shall strut the streets the convicts used to own. That sort of thing. Embracing my convict roots, you know?

Fun fact: There is a very famous convict with the same name as my mother (maiden name, that is). We would like to think there's a connection. 

4. BOOKS, peoples, BOOKS.


You know me. No holiday is taken without a mound of books. In this case, because we'll be driving for a million hours to get to Sydney and then there'll be train rides while we're there, I've stocked up on audiobooks.

I am wise.

5. Have you even packed yet, Cait?

No, no I have not. But thank you for your concern. I really feel packing is best left to the last minute to increase a) traditional holiday panic, and b) minimise the amount of time I repack because I'M SURE I'VE FORGOTTEN SOMETHING. 

Spoiler: I always forget something.


6. So what happened to paperfury.com?

Ah, yes, I thought it might be live by now, but there have been small problems. Mostly a) we ran out of time to finalise everything, and b) notebooksisters.com is a gargantuan blog and importing posts from 4 years of every-single-day blogging takes a LONG TIME. I did not count on this. So! Paper Fury is coming. 

While I'm going, everything should be normal in notebooksisters.com. But when I get back the switch should happen imminently. 

If you don't hear anything from me by December, check on twitter! Because I'm probably around. Lurking. Posting. Flailing. Normal stuff.

7. What about a sneak peek then?

OH OKAY, FINE.

This is how it looks on my iPod so far. (It'll be different on full screen, of course.) ISN'T IT MAGNANIMOUSLY WONDERFUL? I am so happy. I did draw the header. Zentangled it, actually. But I will miss my little cartoonish Notebook Sisters header.

8. When I get back I'm having a Rather Large Christmas Party

You might remember last year when I did an End Of Year Books And Writing Insanity Linkup. Do you? It was glorious. It was a linkup to recap on bests and worsts of the year. Favourite OTPs. Best covers. Tearful editions. And series wonders. 

I really really want to do that again this year! 

There will be a super awesome (international giveaway) to go with it, and plus, I can celebrate my new domain and we can discuss BOOKS together. That is our favourite thing. 

So mark it on your calendars. Off you pop. 

9. Also, this needs celebrating...

In 5 months I went from 600 followers (via Bloglovin') to 1,010. This...oh my gosh...I CANNOT EVEN EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE. 

I started this blog not knowing how to blog. Up until this year, I was lucky to get 5 comments on a post. NOW LOOK AT THIS BLOG. I have met the most amazing bloggers and friends and fellow bookworms and writers who share my posts and comment and tease me on twitter and fangirl with me incessantly. 

You guys are literally the best

And, honest, if you haven't gotten up the courage to comment or tweet me or message me...please do. I blog to TALK to you. (Although getting free books is kind of awesome too.) My ultimate blog ambitions is to a) talk to you, b) make you laugh, and c) basically have you bow and pledge allegiance to me so when I take over the world it'll be swift and painless. 

I'm very good at a) and b), so I assume c) is coming.

But, um, remember...if you do talk to me this week and I ignore you: it's because I have no WiFi. I will get back to you. Eventually. 

10. WELL. GOODBYE, THEN.

See you in a week or so! I will miss my blog. And you. Of course. I will miss the blog and you. Ahem.


Cait is reading and X-Men comic instead of, you know, packing. Although she will get to throwing her clothes in the caravan at some point. (The comic is hilarious, though. WOLVERINE. Also Captain America. In the same comic?! This is brilliance.) She's still reading Egg and Spoon which makes her hungry. 

I read a lot of books this year. 

200 to be exact. A lot of them were freakishly amazing. Which leads me need to categorise all these books in lists (you know how I have this mild infatuation with lists). Lists of best books. Lists of worst books. Lists fabulous debuts. You get the picture.

I'm teaming up with Bookworld today with a (glorious) list of my favourite 5 debuts of 2014.

And, I might add, if you're Australian and have not yet popped by to see the glorious things Bookworld offers, you are clearly missing out. They have fabulous sales and when you're a member you get discounts. Can it be any more awesome?!

I bought Heir of Fire from Bookworld at a fabulous price and it arrived in 2 days! (Heir of Fire was also so gorgeous I hugged it a lot, but I digress.)


1. Half Bad by Sally Green


If I could only pick one book for the entire year, there's a huge chance it'd be Half Bad. I don't even know how to handle this book! Do I slap it for the pain it's caused me? Do I hug it? Do I kidnap poor mistreated little Nathan and hide him from his author until she promises to be kind?! 

The writing is perfection (I love short choppy sentences and lists I really love lists and prose so vivid it's like someone's talking). The characters are meltable. Except for the ones, you know, that are viciously cruel. Half Bad is about "good" and "bad" witches, but it should really be titled "Grey Area" because no one is just good or just bad. 

It's incredible. Why are you still here? GO READ IT. 

Wait! I forgot. I have other books to throw at you.

2. The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco

This one is about a dead ghost. Seeing as I have no experience about being a dead ghost, I feel like it's wise to read up on it. (The book is also like a glorious extended episode of Supernatural and if that doesn't convince you to go read it now, what will?)

There are numbers! Murders! Plates! Wells! Japanese mountains! And a ghost that is a little bit loving and a little big psychotic. 

3. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge


Despite the author's name reminding me of characters from The Mortal Instruments, I loved this book. I have only one phrase for you, my friends: FAIRY TALE RETELLINGS. They are life! Or death! In this case, lots of death. This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and it digs more into a mythological side too. It's quite disturbing. A 17 year old girl (Beauty!) is married off to a demon (Beast!) in a magical house (I like!) with a sneaky shadow to aid her (well, hello there!). It's gob smackingly unique. 

And the ending? There's this twist. AH. I won't say! But I may have screamed a little. 
 

4. Bird by Crystal Chan

Diversity! Family! That's what I adore reading about. Bird is a real feels-twanging book about Jewel who's living in the shadow of her dead brother. Okay, that sounds weird. But imagine if your brother had died when he was just five-years-old....the same day you were born. You can imagine Jewel gets shoved in the background. 

Plus it begins with this sentence: Grandpa stopped speaking the day he killed my brother, John.

Do you need any other reason to read it?!

5. Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang 


This book is beautiful. That's the only way to really describe it. The writing is just gorgeous and it flows off the page in absolutely quotable lines. The book's also totally awful too because it's about mean characters who destroy their own lives and take down casualties with them. Highschool. Heh. Never say it's easy. 

And it's written by a teenager. A TEENAGER. Amy Zhang writes so well, so beautifully, and with such depth, I could nearly cry. 

Except I'm 1/3 Vulcan and do not lubricate my tear ducts very often.



Don't forget to check out Bookworld, fellow bookworms.

And if you're looking for bookish Christmas presents, Bookworld has a very interesting gift guide for your perusal (including Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Long Haul which is 35% off). Because we all know that books make the perfect presents, despite family members saying either a) "you have too many books" or b) "just read the books you've got"...because they are clearly missing the point. TO OWN BOOKS IS TO OWN WOLRDS.


talk to me, my fluffy blogglings...what are your favourite debuts of 2014? (it's actually hard to track down debuts specifically...i wrote this list like 3 times because i kept accidentally using authors who had published before) have you read any on my list? i recommend them all. and tell me which debuts i need to read asap.


Note: I'm about to change to paperfury.com! (As I've said like, a million obnoxious times, but hey, at least you'll all know, right?!) If you don't hear from my blog in a long time, type in paperfury.com. Otherwise, all feeds should be redirected!

Even though I suck at finishing series (as you know) I still have voluminous dreams of reading sequels.

Because what is life without impossible dreams?

Oh, ho! But WAIT. There are some sequels that I will read. There are some sequels I will read because my life cannot continue if I ignore them. THERE ARE SOME SEQUELS I AM LITERALLY SCREAMING ABOUT AND CANNOT SURVIVE IF I DO NOT READ THEM.

I'll tell you about those. (Although they're not all strictly "sequels", but rules are made to be twisted. I do what I want. I am partly Loki.)

This week's prompt is: Top 10 Sequels I Can't Wait To Get


1. Ensnared (book 3) by A.G. Howard

Because, obviously.

This is the 3rd and final book in the Splintered trilogy. And yes, I have been suffering while I wait for this book, thank you for asking about my wellbeing.

But I'm also terrified of this book because look at that cover. Just LOOK. It's Jeb. If it's Jeb there is an awful and highly possible likelihood of him winning Alyssa. And I can be okay with that as long as Morpheus wins The Entire World. I don't really understand why they don't just lock Jeb in another Jabberlock box and let Morpehus and Alyssa marry for ever and have little blue haired children.

2. Corruption (book 2) by Jessica Shirvington

I have not shipped a ship like I ship Maggie and Quentin before. Sure there's Morpheus and Alyssa like I just ranted on above. But this is different. THIS IS MAGGIE AND QUENTIN. They hate and love each other. They complete each other. And Maggie totally lied, manipulated, and was horribly mean to Quentin...and accidentally fell in love with him.
Quentin and Maggie-if-she-were-a-goat

Awkward.

But adorable.

Also this book contains Gus, who hates Maggie a lot too, which makes for the best banter in the history of the world. (Actually, come to think of it, everyone hates Maggie. Huh. Interesting.)

3. Untitled (Starbound book 3) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner 

I don't know what this book is about. 

I don't know what the cover is. 

I don't care. 

I need it like a whale needs a delicious conglomeration of krill. I need it like Kirk needs his BFF Spock. I need it like I need cake. That really sealed the deal, didn't it?

4. The Death Cure (book 3) by James Dashner

I actually have this on my shelf and it's glaring at me quite woefully. And the only reason I haven't eaten it yet is because I saw a spoiler. A deathly spoiler. 

Now I just want to cry and deny the truth that I know. 

5. Half Wild (book 2) by Sally Green

OF COURSE. Be honest with me now: does anything on my list so far surprise you? No? I thought not. I need to be a little bit more spontaneous, don't I?

But Half Wild. Let me hug you, poor, poor little book. I'm sure it'll be full of dangerous and awful things and if Nathan isn't insane already (I think he is) then he'll lose his crackers in this one for sure. And besides, half wild

Nathan is the ultimate villain. I'm positive this is a villain origins series and it will end with Nathan smiting the world in revenge. And I'll just let the poor baby do it with no questions. 

6. The Ask and the Answer (book 2) by Patrick Ness

I really love Patrick Ness' books. I've read A Monster Calls and More Than This and The Knife of Never Letting Go, so obviously I need to continue the Chaos Walking series, right?

I have no idea what this book is about. I suppose I could read the blurb like mere mortals do, but pfft. I'd rather be surprised. I hope it has answers because I have a heck of a lot of questions.

7. Salt and Stone (book 2) by Victoria Scott

Despite not being the world's hugest fan of Fire and Flood, I am still hugely keen to know what happens in this book. 

A huge part of this is because of the covers. What?! Stop judging me. They're all icy and survival-ish, and that just cheers my heart greatly. (I love survival stories.)

Also I want to see Tella finish this race already. A race that last longer than a book seems very wearisome. 

8. Winter (book 4) by Marissa Meyer

WHY IS THIS NOT OUT YET? And worse still, it doesn't come out until November. Oh, the world hates me. Don't get me wrong, I am keen for Fairest. But Fairest isn't Winter and there are things I desperately need to know about Winter, like:

a) What's happening to Scarlet?
b) Is someone going to eat a poisoned apple?
c) Is anyone really awesome and fabulous and special going to DIE?!

9. Untitled (book 4) by Sarah J Maas

Again. I don't know the cover.

I don't know the blurb. 

So why on earth do I know I desperately want to read it?

BECAUSE IT'S SARAH J MAAS PEOPLE. She is a notorious bookworm-life-ruiner and I will never get out of this fandom now that I'm in it. Reading Throne of Glass (book 1) was a lot like attempting to eat one chip. There is no feasible way to eat ONE chip and walk. You have to consume them all. Sarah J Maas' books are like salt and vinegar chips - painful and utterly delicious. 

10. Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

And I call myself a fan? Pfft. I haven't even read this book yet. BUT I HAVE REASONS. It was extremely expensive, so I cried a lot and wailed and then finally the Ruler of the Internet heard me and instructed Book Depository to have a sale. A wonderful sale. I ordered it for just $11 and my heart may have wept a little with joy. 

This is basically how I feel about Blue and Gansey. 
It is, as we speak, chugging across the ocean on little postal wings (I imagine my packet has wings...basically like the Golden Snitch, but a parcel) to land in my grabby hands. Then I'll devour it. My life will be infititely better. 

Or infinitely worse, because feels after all. Especially if my ship sinks.


how about you, my fiendish friends? what sequels are you desperate or dying for? any of mine on your list? and can we talk for a minute about how freakishly awesome 2015 is going to be for sequels?!! (especially with Marissa Meyer and A.G. Howard finishing up series, and then Sarah J Maas and Maggie Stiefvater continuing? OH MY GOSH. HOLD ME.)


Cait is busy flailing. She's also busy tripping over all the books on her floor because she, logically, decided to empty her bookshelf and dust it. Pictures of the chaos will come. She's also reading WINTERSPELL which is a terrifically beautiful but boring book, and she's still listening to WHITE CAT which she pitched to her sister as "Supernatural meets the Mafia" and coincidentally convinced her sister to read it. Cait is fabulous.