Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#9): Pretending to be Erica by Michelle Painchaud

Author: Michelle Painchaud
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Expected Release Date: July 21, 2015

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
We Were Liars meets Heist Society in a riveting debut!

Seventeen-year-old Violet’s entire life has revolved around one thing: becoming Erica Silverman, an heiress kidnapped at age five and never seen again. Violet’s father, the best con man in Las Vegas, has a plan, chilling in its very specific precision. Violet shares a blood type with Erica; soon, thanks to surgery and blackmail, she has the same face, body, and DNA. She knows every detail of the Silvermans’ lives, as well as the PTSD she will have to fake around them. And then, when the time is right, she “reappears”—Erica Silverman, brought home by some kind of miracle. But she is also Violet, and she has a job: Stay long enough to steal the Silverman Painting, an Old Master legendary in the Vegas crime world. Walking a razor’s edge, calculating every decision, not sure sometimes who she is or what she is doing it for, Violet is an unforgettable heroine, and Pretending to be Erica is a killer debut.

I'm really excited about this book because I like reading books about spies and thieves (hence the reason why I enjoy reading all of Ally Carter's books).

But the reason why I'm intrigue by this book is the entire premise. In Heist Society, Kat Bishop will do anything for her family- she'll even save her dad from being killed by the infamous Artuso Taccone. However, in this book, Violet is to become Erica to please her father. I'm really interested to read a reversal of Kat's super awesome relationship with her dad.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Monday Musings (#3): Writing Tips

Ever have writer's block? I know I have countless times. And it's very annoying when I get it, because it's usually during the worst times- like during writers' craft class.

But I have found some little tricks to help avoid this problem. It isn't a permanent solution, but it does help at times.

1. Follow a prompt blog or find a prompt generator

When I'm stuck in the middle of writing, I usually go to one of the tumblr blogs or Pinterest boards I follow to look for a prompt. I usually look for a word, phrase or a photo that relates to what I was writing about to help me get back on track. Note: don't spend too much time looking for a prompt.

A blog I recommend is WriteWorld. It's a blog on tumblr with both pictures and prompts that are posted frequently!


2. Always keep a journal on hand and write things down frequently. 

Keeping a journal and writing things down is something I picked up from my fifth grade teacher. He always told us to keep a notebook (or at least have paper and pen on us at all times) to write any little idea that comes to mind.

I always have a notebook in my school bag or purse when I go out, and write things down if something inspires me or if I suddenly get the urge to write.

Keeping a journal not only keeps track of your ideas, but can be helpful when writing something- you'll be surprised at what you can use!

3. Take a break

Sometimes, you won't be in the mood to write, even though you have to or if you promised yourself you will. It's not bad to actually take a break. Sometimes you need a breather, so go walk, or have a snack, or take a little nap. Note: try not to nap too long, or you might really avoid writing, and try to avoid social media as well.

4. Listen to music

I actually find listening to music might be helpful. For some people, this isn't the best advice, but it does get me in the mood.

Sometimes, if I listen to a song before I actually start writing, it can get me in the mood. There are times when I turn it off completely after listening it once, but there are times where I do leave it on while I am writing (but the volume is really low).

So those are some writing prompt tips, and I hope they help you with your writing! What are some of your writing tips to get the writing going? 

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


Author: Mary Shelley
Pages: 273
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.

In high school, everyone is forced to read a piece of old literature and analyze it for weeks on end. While most of theses books didn't really appeal to me (although, I always enjoyed the Shakespeare units in class), Frankenstein was that one book that made English class not so horrible- especially since we were forced to read Wuthering Heights (aka every soap-opera I've ever watched with my mom bundled up in words) afterwards.

For someone who really isn't into reading classic literature or the gothic/horror genre, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! 

What I liked about Frankenstein the fact Mary Shelley, an 18 year old who ran off with a married man to tell ghost stories in a castle with Byron, was able to write a story that not only brought to life our greatest fear (mankind being subordinate to other beings/being powerless), but the hypocracy of the world.

I mean, the person that wrote this was a woman, and she essentially was writing blasphemy during her time period. I think someone that can capture the fine line that we walk between science and religion, and the true corruption of mankind is amazing. 

What really made the book even more interesting for me, is how 1) the book REALLY varied from the movie (I now know that my mother was right when she said that the monster didn't have a name, and that Frankenstein was the name of the person who created the monster), and 2) how re-used the story is.

I never really noticed how many people drew their influences from Mary Shelley. I think the first series that comes to mind would be The Madman's Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepherd. While the book was based on various different works of classical literature, Frankenstein was spread throughout the whole entire novel.

The book was pretty great, and I would actually buy a copy of this myself. I actually used some of quotes from this book to prompt some of my writing!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

)Waiting on Wednesday (#8): The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh


Author: Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Expected Release Date: May 12th, 2015
Status: The Wrath and the Dawn #1

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

I have so many regrets for not asking for this book when the publisher was asking if anyone wanted any. 

SO, SO, SO, SO, SOOOOO MANY REGRETS. But whatever, I guess I'll just buy it.

I am really excited to read this book because it's based off of A Thousand and One Nights. Now, I'm not actually familiar with the original tale, just the Bugs Bunny version, but when I read the synopsis for the actual book, I was a little upset at myself for not getting this ARC. 

I want to read this book before I read the original, because I feel like whenever I read an original story and THEN read the book based off of it, I get really upset because I feel like the problems could've been avoided. Well, mostly because I don't want to clash with the MCs.

May seems so far away. I'm really upset now.
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