Coffee & Rant

Life & Blog Update

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Hellooooooo my precious geeks!

I know it’s been awhile since I have updated this blog and I have reasons so let’s jump right into those.

LIFE:  In February I was working an internship for a mobile games company that shall remain nameless. They screwed me over a couple of times mainly the fact that I went in for a full time contract( interview process was all about full time ) but they only offered me an internship in the end paying me peanuts for 40 hours per week. (they did this to a few people) I ignored my gut instinct and took it anyway. In a way I am glad I did because I met some lovely people, and 3 out of the 5 co founders were professional and cool. Then they told me my work was great but that I was too straightforward. Yet they let my coworker go because she was too shy and quiet.

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Needless to say it aggravated me. Aggravation tends to push my anxiety sky high. I am glad that is over but felt the need to put it here because it needed to be said. The aggravation they made me feel exhausted my brain completely. I barely read any books during that time. It’s a company that I feel has a lot of potential, but only if they start to learn from their mistakes.

To the present:  I found such a wonderful company to work for. Not only have they been kind and understanding, they are not afraid to take criticism. I feel for companies to move forward, you need to listen to your employees, and have them listen to you. Mutual respect and Real genuine communication is what will allow everyone to succeed. I enjoy the work I am doing, and am looking forward to helping them move forward. My gut instinct says this is a good lot of people. I have been reading more, and I genuinely feel happy.

Writing: I changed some aspects of the novel I am writing so it’s been consuming quite a bit of my time. If you think writing a book is hard, wait till you have to edit it.

This Blog: For a while now, I have been a little unhappy with the way I do things here. I also feel I have outgrown the process of using WordPress.com and will be moving it over to .ORG. I want more control over my blog in many aspects that this WordPress doesn’t quite allow. It’s a good starting point for anyone who’s new to blogging, but I am confident now that I can move it. SO this means for the next couple of weeks you may once again not see much happening here. My apologies in advance, but my idea is to better this for myself and for everyone! So don’t go anywhere and please stay tuned!

NOTE: to those of you who are waiting for me to review your books, those reviews are coming, I PROMISE!!

See you soon GEEKS!!

 

Books

May Reading Wrap Up

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In the month of May I read a total of 10 books. Yup, I was a little sad in the month of May and had some free time to really read whatever I wanted. So let’s go through it.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

EveryHeartI really enjoyed the idea behind this novel. It deals with all those children that went through magical portals into other lands but don’t know how to live within the real world anymore when they return. It’s a little gruesome in some parts but I really liked the writing. It left me wanting more, and the shortness of this novel is what made it lose a star. I really wish it had been a full book.

I gave this book four out of five metal horns!

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Grit by Gillian French 

Grit was a good little mystery novel following Darcy, her cousin, and her sister as they work in blueberry fields during the summer. GRITThe story includes the mystery behind her best friend who went missing the summer before. It has a wonderful cast of characters, but I had some issues with the writing. All in all it was still a good story, and if you’re looking for a YA mystery then give this one a shot. I have a full non-spoiler review on my blog as well.

I gave Grit three out of five metal horns:

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The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

One thing you should know about me is that I absolutely cannot stand Cassandra Clare. 23299980I will leave it at that because I know so many of you love her. I gave this book a chance because I have been looking for a fun middle grade read. This was fun, but not a fresh idea (surprise surprise) I also didn’t care too much for any of the characters. I tried to focus on the fact that someone other than Clare also worked on this novel because if I focus too much on Clare I realize just how much she doesn’t have a single creative thought that is all her own.

I gave this three out five metal horns.

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The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

I continued onto the second book in the series hoping it would get better but I was in for 13612962a rude awakening. This second book felt like such a blatant copy of Harry Potter (flying car included) that it made me cringe the entire time I was reading it. Once again proving that anything written by Clare is just not for me. I despised this second book with every fiber in my body. I have read many magic school books that have received great reviews from me (Black Magician Trilogy and The Name of the Wind) This isn’t a case of “you compare every Magic School book to HP” it’s a case of lazy writing.

ONE out of five metal horns for me

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Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb 

This was one of my absolute favorite reads this month! The world that Robin Hobb has 77197built is so fascinating and beautiful. This is the start to her massive series that is made up of a few different trilogies if I am not mistaken. The Farseer trilogy is the beginning of it all. It’s where you meet Fitz for the first time and become so engrossed in his life and story. I loved every page.

I gave this a full five out five metal horns!

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Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O’Malley &others

This graphic novel has been popping up all over the place in the book community. In snotgirlother words, it’s been really overhyped, and maybe that’s why I didn’t like it so much. The story follows Lottie who is famous online. She’s also vapid and shallow beyond belief, and I understand this is a flawed character but she irritated me and made the entire story less enjoyable. This story has some potential, so MAYBE I will continue it later on, but for now I am not that interested.

I gave this three out of five metal horns.

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How to be a Bawse by Lilly Singh

This is not a self help book, but it is a wonderfully empowering book from a female 31202835who’s had to overcome her own issues and obstacles to reach the top. While some aspects of this novel were repetitive, I think Lilly Singh’s advice is coming from a place of love and experience. Her success didn’t happen over night, and she let’s you know that right from the beginning. Anyone who’s trying to follow their dreams should give this a shot.

I gave this four out of five metal horns

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Chew by John Layman

This graphic novel follows Tony Chu who is cibopathic, that basically means he gets chewpsychic impressions from what he eats, and as a detective he starts to eat bits of people to solve crimes. SOUND FAMILIAR? yea, to me it’s iZombie without the zombie factor. Chew is a great graphic novel on it’s own, but the idea isn’t fresh. It takes a pretty gruesome turn, and if you do not like really graphic stories with tons of blood and such I would keep away from this one.

I gave this four out of five metal horns.

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The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

I needed another mystery/thriller in my life this month so I picked up The Woman in Cabin10Cabin 10. In the story you follow Lo who is on a small cruise ship for a job assignment as a journalist. It is on this trip that she wakes in the middle of the night to screams and witnesses a body being thrown overboard. Or so she thinks? She is supposed to come off as an unreliable narrator and she certainly is, but I had the ending figured out about half way through, which took the fun out of the book.

I gave this three out of five metal horns.

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Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

This is the second book in the Farseer Trilogy and we now follow Fitz as he’s getting a bit RoyalAssassinolder. The political intrigue of this novel has grown a lot and had be hooked right from the start because I was so desperate to know what happened after the ending of the first novel. I have to admit that I am ashamed that it has taken me so long to become a Robin Hobb fan, but a fan I have definitely become. I have started the third in this trilogy now, and I can’t wait to read them all!!!

This was a five out of five metal horns for me

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That’s what I read in the month of May. Tell me what you read in May, or comment and leave links to your own wrap ups!

Book Reviews

Grit – Book Review

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I received this book from the publisher, this in no way impacted my opinion of the novel. 

Grit by Gillian French follows Darcy as she deals with an “easy girl” reputation and the aftermath of the fact that her ex-best friend Rhiannon went missing the previous year. The story follows Darcy as she works the fields with her sister and cousin raking blue berries. Within this story line comes an interesting message because the owners of the fields always hire foreigners and outside help, which Darcy’s aunt seems to have an issue with when someone states that the migrants need the money:

“So do the people of this town. People who live here year round and pay their taxes.”

“You see about as many year round residents turning out for berry raking as you do ditch digging. It’s hard work, and most people don’t want to do it.” 

This made me smile, because it is the most true statement I have seen in a YA novel in a while. While the book had a few “hell yeah!” moments, something about French’s writing kind of muddled the important messages within the book. The plot felt a bit disconnected  at certain points, not just disconnected but it felt like there was A LOT happening with a lot of different characters which made me unfocused.

The writing was good, but I think some more editing could have been involved to make it better. Still I would say the story is a good mystery and I enjoyed it for the most part.

This book will be released on May 16th. I gave it three out of five metal horns!

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Book Reviews

Exit West – Book Review

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Summary: In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through.

Exit West follows these characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.

Review: The relevance of this book is why I decided to read it, and I kept reading because of the beautiful story. It’s poetic in a way I have never seen before. Exit West has an element that feels a bit like magical realism, but what was gripping was following Saeed and Nadia through their journey. Journey feels like too light of a word to use here though. The book isn’t very long and I flew through it. It’s heartbreaking, horrific, and motivating all in one go. The talks about refugees are so prevalent right now, especially here in Europe, and I have felt empathy beyond words for everything that’s been happening, but this book opened the flood gates. It may be a fictional story, but good fiction will further open our eyes to the truth that surrounds us.

This book got four out of five metal horns!

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Books

Try a Chapter – March

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Try a Chapter is a tag that was going around Booktube for a while, and I decided to bring it over to the blog. Every month I will pick four books, read the first chapter in each, and decide what I will read next. This month I picked four books I have been meaning to start, but February was a terrible reading month for me. I was in one of my worst reading slumps I have ever been in, and I am still trying to fully shake it off.

Here are the four books I read the first chapter of, and read till the end to discover which book I decided to read next. I try not to give away too much in my thoughts on the first chapters I read.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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Summary: Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

1st Chapter has 14 pages

Thoughts: At first the chapter started off and I was instantly a little confused, that quickly went away. Todd is the last boy in a town that has no women, and only men. His 13th birthday is nearing and that is when he officially becomes a man. There was some kind of germ that killed off all the women and gave the men the ability to hear everyone’s thoughts. In this first chapter, as Todd is out with his dog, he discovered a hole, or a silence in the noise he’s been living in. It feels really weird, but I love Patrick Ness’ writing so much! I am really interested in finding out what this silence actually is.

Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin

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Summary: Her story begins on a train.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.

Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

1st Chapter – 7 pages

Thoughts: The beginning is intense. Yael is on a train with her mother and tons of other people. Not a regular train, but one meant for transport of objects and not people. She’s huddled close to her mother when the doors fly open and they’re being yelled at. Yael gets picked out of the crowd for an experiment. She’s only 6 years old. It’s definitely left a mark on me, and I love historical fiction especially when it’s an alternate history kind of tale.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

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Summary: A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, from which enough ash spews to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

And it ends with you. You are the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where orogenes wield the power of the earth as a weapon and are feared far more than the long cold night. And you will have no mercy.

Prologue – 14 Pages

Thoughts: The prologue jumps around a bit, but this story is beautifully written. You jump around and get introduced to different aspects of what is happening, which I imagine will be important knowledge to have moving forward. I glanced at the beginning of the actual first chapter and noticed it is written in second person point of view. I am not a huge fan of this point of view, but with the way the prologue kicked off it feels like a fresh way to write this fantasy novel.

The Way of Kings: Part One by Brandon Sanderson

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Summary: SPEAK AGAIN THE ANCIENT OATHS,

LIFE BEFORE DEATH.
STRENGTH BEFORE WEAKNESS.
JOURNEY BEFORE DESTINATION.

AND RETURN TO MEN THE SHARDS THEY ONCE BORE.

THE KNIGHTS RADIANT MUST STAND AGAIN.

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars are fought for them, and won by them.

One such war is about to swallow up a soldier, a brightlord and a young woman scholar.

Prologue – 16 Pages

Thoughts: Well this wouldn’t be a Sanderson novel without a long chapter, or in this case prologue. The prologue kicks off at some kind of feast, and the character we are following is wearing white, which he was told to do even though he’s on a mission to kill. The idea of wearing white is you give your enemy a chance of seeing you coming in for the kill. It has really gripped me, but the issue is that this is just Part One of the first full book, and I am not sure I can make the commitment at this very moment to jump into a Sanderson book.

Decision: This was really difficult because every single book I chose to try a chapter for sounds amazing. I have decided on Wolf by Wolf though, mainly because I am only now slowly getting out of a reading slump, and the others are bigger undertakings and commitments right now, but I AM going to read the others after this. Such incredible choices!!

Till next month!!

 

Books

Book World Tour

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Recently I went on Twitter and asked for recommendations for authors that aren’t American. Not because I dislike American authors, but because I want to learn more about different countries and cultures and just be able to find brilliant writers from all over the world. The tweet was semi-popular and I GREATLY appreciate the people who took the time to respond, but in the interest of full disclosure, I was also extremely disappointed. I only received recs for authors that are from Canada, UK, or Australia, Most of which were already familiar to me.

This is no ones fault but my own because I wasn’t really clear about what I wanted and what I was personally looking for. So here is my clarification:

I want to create a list of books and authors from around the world, but I don’t need recommendations for countries where I already have a sense of familiarity with many of their authors, namely USA,UK,CANADA, and AUSTRALIA. I want to step away from those borders and enter new areas. So I created a google form, where you can go in and leave the name of an author, the country they’re from, and the title of the book. I will then compile a massive list and create the Book World Tour challenge. Where people can pick out a few books from authors they may not be aware of, who are telling stories that we can learn from and be able to spread the word about different books and cultures.

The Google form can be found here: https://goo.gl/forms/SUNoPnoM64WJcWlv1

And I really hope you can share this through the online book community so we can all start reading fresh and new stories from all over the world!

See you soon!!

Books

The Dramedy of Book Twitter

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Man, I hope I write this in the best possible way. Intent  doesn’t mean shit if you trample over everything like a drunk giant. Get ready for a rant.

I haven’t updated my blog in a while because of LIFE. I already promised myself I wouldn’t apologize anymore for this. I started this for fun, and it will only continue to be that way as long as I don’t feel like I HAVE to update this place all the time. Sure I’d like to be more consistent with my blogging, but I am merely human and truthfully, I don’t give a shit what you think about my lack of updates.

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I have been active on Book Twitter and it’s kept me informed of all the book releases, conflicts, drama, and comedy. It’s also made me laugh, frown, and made me want to rip my hair out all in one go. That is the dramedy that is Book twitter. I follow some great people. They’re intelligent, they’re fierce, and they are also opinionated. I am here for all of it. I want to know what people think about different books. I want to see people point out when things bother them in a novel and I want to listen and learn.

Recently though something has made me want to throw books around. TWO things have crept up on book twitter like the plague. One of those is the super fangirls who attack like little trained minions whenever you comment on their favorite books or authors. You see it A LOT with Sarah J. Maas and Cassandra Clare fans, but also with JK Rowling and others. People have yet to learn that you may love something dearly but that does not mean the entire world will feel the same. I have yet to finish the throne of glass series and her other series. You can love those books till you’re blue in the face but if you call me an idiot for the fact that I don’t find them as interesting as you do, you’re not doing Maas any favors. Stop bitching at people for their opinions. Also, this goes for you people on the other side of the coin too, whether you just didn’t enjoy the story or find it problematic don’t tell people they are morons for reading it. I am at fault for this too once or twice but I am learning how to just let people enjoy things.

The second thing that’s crept up on book twitter, is the conflicting and hypocritical talks about problematic content in books. To clarify, I absolutely stand with people reserving the right to call authors out on their problematic content. I think if something is bothersome to you, there is a way to reach out and speak politely and openly with an author about it. Being more critical of the books you are reading is a good thing. What has bothered me is that the same people who were out there with pitchforks, yelling for the book The Continent to be reedited because of its problematic content, are seemingly okay with Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth who’s book apparently has similar problematic content. Not only is the issue similar, the authors’ explanations and “apologies” are similar too and yet only one of them has their book on hold, and the other one was on the NYT best sellers list. I will let you guess which one.

I haven’t read either one, but I am commenting on the hypocritical bullshit that comes out of book twitter quite often these days. I think diversity is important, But I also think a lot of the white people yelling about diversity use the term loosely and only use it when it suits them. Many of them were ready to stand up for Roth when just a few months ago they were vowing to burn copies of The Continent. Diversity and respect for marginalized voices isn’t a bag of trail mix, you can’t just pick and choose the parts you like.

I like the book community and especially book twitter, but there are some aspects of it that have started to mold the way I read things and what I choose to read. I think I would have continued with the Throne of Glass series had the overly aggressive fans not annoyed the shit out of me. I had no interest in reading Carve the Mark or The Continent but now because people have been such hypocrites about these two books, I want to read them so I can compare and contrast and form my own educated opinion.

I think a lot of the Book Twitter drama could be minimized if we could all just stop calling each other names and respected one another. I think people need to start thinking before jumping on the mob mentality that takes over twitter sometimes, and I really do think we need to let people enjoy things. Truth is a person can find something problematic but still enjoy its entertainment value, and I don’t see an issue with that.

This of course is MY opinion, and you may not share the same view, but please comment down below and share it anyway.