Monday, June 30, 2014


I know we haven't exactly been punctual lately, but there's one thing that I still take deathly serious.


That's right, I'm sitting here counting down the hours, artfully arranging the first five books on my list, ready to snatch up the first one and start reading. I'm so pumped for this. I don't get pumped for anything except marathon reading.

For those of you who may not know, RAMFAP month is Reread As Many Favorites As Possible month. Technically, you don't have to read fifteen thousand. You can just read one, and you'll still have participated. I encourage everyone to participate, because sometimes you just need to sit down and read an old favorite, y'know?

So let me know if you take part in RAMFAP 2014! What are you reading this July?


Monday, June 2, 2014

Persy -- Starlighter by Bryan Davis

What's this?? A REVIEW??? Did anyone else know those ever happened here? Seriously, it's been like, two or three months. Sorry about that. My bad.

Jason's a young man living on the human world where few people still believe the stories of dragons and human slaves. But his brother is one of those few, determined to save the people who, a century ago, were captured by dragons and taken to another world as slaves. Jason himself isn't sure he believes the stories, but when his brother disappears in search of the lost ones, the quest is left up to him. But first he must rescue Elyssa from the dungeons and accept her strange, perceptive abilities...

Meanwhile, Koren lives as a dragon slave, prized for her red hair and green eyes and bewitching storytelling abilities. But what do the dragons really have in store for her? And is it true that they were enslaved against the will as the humans say, or did the dragons really rescue them from an even worse fate?

It's not a bad fantasy adventure. It's a relatively fast read, so it doesn't feel like you've wasted your life away reading it or anything. Honestly, it's just not good enough to spend a ton of time on. Aside from Arxad the dragon, all of the characters are very one-dimensional and flat. Don't get me wrong, plenty of them are likeable. I honestly love Randall and Tibalt, but they're still pretty flat, plus they're only secondary characters. Jason and Koren certainly aren't bad for main characters, in fact they're pretty cool themselves. And Elyssa's not awful or anything. But... they're all just pretty boring. The character interactions as well are just kind of... flat. 

The plot doesn't really make up for it, unfortunately. Lots of the adventure seemed pretty pointless, making the whole thing unnecessarily complicated. The whole mess with them falling down the bottomless pit and floating down the river and everything totally went over my head and I had no idea why any of it was happening. And then Elyssa's always coming up with "brilliant" schemes that seem totally pointless, like sending Jason out to die while she works on stopping the flood. Why didn't she just try to stop the flood first and then send out Jason? She's supposed to be super smart, but she just strikes me as kind of distracted.

If I were to sum up this book in two words, they would be "needlessly complicated." I think if it had been edited down a bit more it would've been really something, but as is it kind of reads like an early draft I wrote when I was twelve. Tons of twists and turns and delays and puzzles and not much else.

I will say that the Black Egg gives me genuine creeps. That part was extremely well done. When he's trying to convince Koren, I actually wasn't sure for a minute if the Black Egg was good or bad. And the fact that I was so unsure and on edge made it so much more interesting. It's honestly one of the few reasons I'm looking forward to finishing the book series.


You might like this if you: like dragons; like Christian fantasy; like simple fantasy adventures; don't care about the characters; have time to kill; or if your ancestors were kidnapped by dragons.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday Scrolls -- March Review

My how time flies. But here we are in April, and here I, Persy, am to start off the review of March!

In March, I read 7 books (two of them being manga...) totaling 1811 pages. Not all that impressive, but still better than February, so I'm content.

Best March Book: It's gonna have to go to Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis. Such classic. Such awesome.

Honorable Mention(s): Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning was fantastic, as was Volume 10 of Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori.

Worst March Book: I suppose Dayhunter by Jocelynn Drake. Honestly it wasn't bad, just kinda tedious.

Dishonorable Mention: There isn't one! I had a pretty good month!

Pretty excited for April!


Welcome to April! Arty here.

In March, I did a bit better than in February - 13 books in total. Lucky thirteen!

Best March Book: Probably How To Betray A Dragon's Hero, by Cressida Cowell, the eleventh book in the How To Train Your Dragon series. Let me tell you - I never expected this kind of plot progression when I read the first book. It's still hilarious but simultaneously heartbreaking - and there's actually a death in this one.

Honorable Mention: Tossup between Coaltown Jesus and the first volume of Nabari No Ou. Coaltown Jesus was a very short poetry-book about a young boy who, after his older brother overdoses on drugs, gets visited by Jesus. For real. The first volume of Nabari No Ou is, well, Nabari No Ou, the anime for which I adored and the manga of which is so far just as adorable as the beginning of the anime was.

Worst March Book: Civic Agriculture by Thomas Lyson. As the title implies, it is a treatise on civic agriculture, which I read for honors class. It was... difficult.

Dishonorable Mention: Divergent. Sorry - wasn't quite my taste.

Here's to an even more successful April!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wednesday Scrolls -- February Review

So my plan to get back on the ball with reading hasn't really succeeded. Of course, I'm keeping up with my actual goal for the year, but I was hoping to exceed that goal by quite a few. Oh well. Persy here, ready to admit some more embarrassing book figures.

In February of 2014 I read 5 whole books with a total of 1731 pages. Eheh.

Best February Book: I'd have to say Singularity by William Sleator. Love me some time travel.

Honorary Mention(s): Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling and Lord Sunday by Garth Nix.

Worst February Book: The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer. A very disappointing sequel to Life As We Knew It.

Dishonorable Mention: There isn't one. I just didn't read enough in February. Yikes.

Here's to March being better.


My February was about as dismal as Persy's. I have 7 books on my Goodreads account, and one of those I didn't actually finish. I fail.

Best February Book: My Most Excellent Year, by Steve Kluger. Great, funny, sometimes devastatingly emotional - yeah, definitely the best.

Honorary Mention: Wise Blood, by Flannery O'Connor. I mean, it's Flannery O'Connor. Obviously.

Worst February Book: Well, if I can count the one I didn't finish, then Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Didn't get quite 60 pages into it before I fell asleep.

Dishonorable Mention: I had to read Human Ecology: A Theoretical Essay and unless you're into ecology, it's about as dismal as it sounds. (Though there were still one or two interesting snippets that made it less dishonorable than Shiver.)

Maybe this year just needs a bit of time to pick up speed. Here's to March!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Persy -- Singularity by William Sleator

Sooo I really was going to write this on an actual weekend day, buuuuut my dorm kind of flooded last night and it threw off my schedule just a tad. I'm also super sleep deprived and loopy right now, so this is going to be an awesome review! Yay college!

Harry and Barry are sixteen-year-old twins. Harry is smart, Barry is athletic and popular and generally gets what he wants. Their family randomly inherits the old house of a crazy uncle, and Barry gets it into his head to spend a few weeks there while their parents are away. Harry thinks it's a bad idea, but Barry convinces their parents.

There they meet Lucy, a teenage girl, and hear stories of animals wandering onto the property and then disappearing. When the trio unlock the playhouse, they slowly discover that inside time passes differently. Once you step inside, the outside world practically stands still. You could spend a year in there and mere hours would pass outside.

There is a singularity inside the playhouse, a portal to another world that is affecting time. Harry finds their uncle's journal and begins to get worried about what might come through the singularity. He wants to tell someone, but Barry threatens to lock himself inside the playhouse if Harry does anything.

This is a really lame summary. Sorry, I'm really just out of it.

Basically, the point is that there's a singularity and Harry is super awesome. And there's a dog, Fred, who's cute. And there's a singularity. And it's awesome.

But really though, I love this book. There's a very eighties feel to the writing and yeah, it starts off pretty slow in the beginning, but it definitely pays off. I mean, talk about character growth (this should make you laugh if you've already read the book).

Yes, I would've liked even more time travel play and that kind of thing, but this isn't meant to be an indepth, hard scifi novel. It's basically a quick, young adult read, and it functions very well as such. Because it's not super hardcore, readers who don't normally like scifi can probably still enjoy it, while there's still enough awesomeness for scifi nerds to get into. It's a very nice balance.

So, y'know. Read it.


You might like this if you: like time travel; like science fiction; like hard science fiction but want a quick read; only like soft science fiction; aren't normally a huge fan of science fiction; like character growth; like awesome books; or if you feel like time passes super slowly sometimes and are worried about the possible causes.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wednesday Scrolls -- January Review

I'm honestly not sure when we last did one of these. Maybe...2012? Well, whatever. It's a new year, and I've made it my goal to get back on this kind of stuff (and my my partner do it too). Persy here, with the January review!

In January, I read a total of 14 books counting 3 graphic novels/anime, adding up to 3206 pages, which is actually really good considering 2013 as a whole.

Best January Book: Definitely The House At Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard. It's just really hard to beat Winnie-The-Pooh and the gang.

Honorable Mention: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This was the second time reading it, and it's still as beautiful as it was the first time.

Worst January Book: The Highlander's Touch by Karen Marie Moning, third book in her Highlander series. I hate it when people mess up time travel.

Dishonorable Mention: Cleanup by Norah McClintock. It was just really boring and too short to actually be an interesting mystery.

My school schedule still hasn't settled (snowmageddon?), so I still don't actually know how much reading time I'll have on a weekly basis. But I'm pretty hopeful. I might even get to start going to the local library. Dang, I miss libraries.


Better late than never, right? Don't answer that.

January saw a grand figure of 10 books read, two of which were manga. Sigh. Oh well.

Best January Book: Probably The House of Hades, just because Percy Jackson and Nico. And Annabeth. And Leo. Percy Jackson, man.

Honorable Mention: The two manga I read, the first two volumes of Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan. The art is (if I may say so) kind of a struggle to look past, but the story and characters and world are all fascinating. (Armin Arlert forever.)

Worst January Book: Nevermore, the final (thank goodness) Maximum Ride book. It's about as good as you could expect it to be, which is not very.

Dishonorable Mention: Not to say I didn't like it, but The Lord of Opium, sequel to the breathtakingly wonderful House of the Scorpion, was kind of a letdown after the masterpiece that came before it. It just... didn't have the same mystical quality. 

Stick around for the upcoming February review and (hopefully) a normal review this Saturday!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Arty -- My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

Look who's finally getting around to appearing again! Sorry, I had an influx of homework and suddenly all I was reading was stuff that you can't really review on a "fluffy stuff you read to feel good" sort of review blog. Also, look for the review of January this Wednesday, because I am slime who can't keep a deadline.

Anyway! Let's talk about happy things, such as books that make me laugh out loud. My Most Excellent Year is one such book.

In it, we have Anthony Keller, aka Tony C, aka T.C., aka Tick, a crusader for baseball rights and the love of the new girl in town; Augie Hwong, obsessed with and knowledgable about all things related to classic movies and musicals; Alejandra Perez, the above-mentioned new girl in town who also happens to be the daughter of a UN ambassador, a crusader for social justice, and a closet singer/dancer. Throw in a small deaf child named Hucky with a serious addiction to Mary Poppins, budding romance between kids and adults alike, and enough baseball and cinema references to choke a Wookie, and you have My Most Excellent Year.

Firstly, the writing is excellent. Like John Green, there tends to be one overall tone for the characters, without much deviation in terms of character voice; unlike John Green (I'm so sorry), Kluger manages to pull it off. Maybe it's because the subject matter is more lighthearted than JG tends to go for. Anyway, with such smooth, natural writing, it's kind of a given that it'll succeed at the emotional/comedic points it attempts. And it does, for the most part (no novel is perfect).

The characters were, on the whole, loads of fun. T.C. starts out as a pretty flat, clichĂ© character, but by the time the novel ended, he'd uncovered his secret stash of complexity and emotion and won my heart, succeeding where most characters like him don't (his mother is dead, he's chasing after a girl who doesn't like him, et cetera et cetera). AlĂ©, on the other hand, never really got much affection from me. Maybe it's because I know/have experienced people like her in real life and it's never been fun (people who can make a social issue out of a tissue box). She got more bearable towards the end, and she did have her moments of fun, but overall, she was probably my least favorite character (along with Wei, Augie's mom, who had the same problem).

The characters who really stole the show, though, were Augie and Hucky. Augie, unlike T.C., spouted off trivia I could appreciate - old classic movie trivia. Some of his references I got ("The Cub Room. Where the elite meet.") and some of them reminded me of movies I have to watch soon. His whole thing (all of the characters in this book have a thing) was practically perfect in every way; he managed to be obsessive and a little neurotic without being overbearing, and, indeed, typically being adorable. I would have appreciated more substance in his relationship with Andy, and after a certain point I didn't want them to end up together as much as I had before, but the whole relationship was handled in a sensitive and yet hilarious way, so I don't have much to complain about.

(And I can't say anything about Augie without saying something about his All About Eve addiction. Just wait until you get to the part where he retells the Tooth Fairy story. If he were straight, I would have married him on the spot.)

There's also Hucky, the six-year-old child living in a home for deaf children. I was skeptical of Hucky at first - little kids with disabilities usually end up getting used as emotional props - but he was actually a really adorable character. He's testy, obsessed with Mary Poppins (how many times can I use the word 'obsessed' in one review?), and he helps T.C. cheat at informal baseball games. What more can you say?

The story is rambling, in a good way. There's no real point to the plot, though there are some longterm goals set by the story. And in the end, they're all met. There's a beautiful sense of closure that a lot of 'genreless' novels like these don't have. And that makes a huge difference. Putting down a book with a smile on your face - priceless.

So if you're in the mood for some fun, light-hearted rambles through Boston with a handful of quirky ninth-graders (and a six-year-old with an attitude) (and some hilarious and extraordinarily human parents) (and an older brother who will surprise you) (and a dog named Nehi) (and a lot of references to All About Eve), then I'd definitely recommend My Most Excellent Year.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Persy -- The Highlander's Touch by Karen Marie Moning

Here's the thing, Karen Marie Moning: you write a story in which time travel plays a significant part, and I'm GONNA be harsh.

This is actually the third book in Karen Marie Moning's historical romance Highlander series, but you don't have to read them in order, so don't worry about spoilers for other books. However, if you don't know the standard plot to a romance novel and/or don't mind discovering one or two minor plot surprises, you might not want to read this review.

Lisa Stone is working two jobs, struggling to support her cancer-ridden mother. Her father died long ago, and now she's all Catherine, her mother, has. She works as a night maid for a museum, and one night she happens upon a mysterious artifact and... well, touches it. She is instantly transported back in time to the Scottish highlands... where she comes face to face with Circenn Brodie, a deadly man who is a stickler for rules. But will his unquenchable love for Lisa cause him to break . . . every . . . single . . . rule?

Sorry, I get super dramatic when I review romance novels. Dunno why.

Let's start way back in the Prologue. Circenn curses a flask so that once it is touched it will be transported back to him, effectively returning the lost flask. Unfortunately, it will also return whoever touches the flask. Adam gets pissy and makes Circen swear to kill the bearer of the flask to protect all the secrets, or whatever. After a lot of arguing, Circenn makes the oath. But here's the thing: Circenn swears to kill the MAN who touches the flask. MAN. MALE. Guess who brings the flask? Right. A woman. I totally expected this to be the loophole. And it would've worked SO WELL because Adam knew who would pick up the flask, and Adam didn't actually want her dead, and even if Circenn forgot he said man, Adam could've been all, "Remember, you swore to kill the MAN. AHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA."

But that's not what happened. Oh well.

Moving on. I don't see what the big deal is about Circenn being immortal. I mean, yeah, I get not wanting to curse anyone else with immortality, but still. Do you have any idea how much trouble would've been saved by him just spilling the beans? "Oh, Lisa, your mother is going to die alone in the future? WAIT, I'm IMMORTAL. I promise to seek her out and take care of her. Heck, I'll even throw my sexy bod into the equation."

But that solution never occurred to anyone. Whatever.

Moving on. Perhaps this is a small detail, but it seriously bugs me. The longer Lisa spends in the past, the more upset she gets because every day she spends there is a day her mother is alone. But... she's not on another planet. She's in the past. So if she were to find some sort of way to time travel... she could just travel back to the moment she left.

But maybe I'm just being nitpicky about time travel.

But now that we're on the subject, the ending. Oh. my. gosh. the. ending. Romance novels are notorious for magical, happily ever afters, but THIS? SERIOUSLY? You are taking it TOO FAR, here! You can't just DO THAT.

There are also some absolutely random parts that I don't understand. There's the stereotypical best friend Ruby, who gets left behind in the modern day world. She has a total of two scenes, and afterwards she's sometimes referenced but never more than to explain away bits of knowledge or clothing that Lisa possesses. There is never any sign that Lisa misses her best friend. But this isn't a major issue.

What strikes me as REALLY odd is the redhead who snubs Duncan. I mean, what the crap? She and her brother hint at some malicious intent and there's the insinuation that they're even lying about their names. Moning goes into such detail about her appearance and the scene seems so dadgummed important... and then she disappears completely. Maybe it's a reference to another book in the series? I don't know. But it's just plain weird.

And my final irritation... the first time Circenn sees her in her undies, she says that he caught her in the one fancy pair of underpants she happens to own: a set of lacy lavender lingerie. The ONE pair she owns. But then at the very end, she rushes to get dressed and we find out later that she is now wearing a set of lacy PINK lingerie. What.

Oh wait. Of course. Of COURSE she'd have more lacy lingerie, because THEY CHANGED THE EFFING FUTURE. Naturally, that would result in her having more pairs of flirty underpants.

All that aside... I mean, the characters weren't bad. I guess. I didn't think the book was too awful until I started writing a review of it. Let's be honest, this isn't much of a review... more like a rant. But I can't think of anything so awe-inspiringly brilliant that it would make up for all of my little pet peeves that showed up in the book. I swear, when I was actually reading it, it wasn't awful.

But she messed with time travel. How can you expect me to not be harsh?


You might like this if you: just really like historical romances; like time travel, but don't like it when it's complicated; have an afternoon to kill and don't want anything serious; or if you work as a night maid in a museum and wonder what would happen if you inspected all the artifacts yourself. That's right, bad stuff would happen. Don't do it.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Arty -- 2014: ...And This Time It's Personal

Okay, that was lame. I'm sorry. But in a way, it's sort of true, because my failure of a reading year is something of an insult to my reader's pride. So 2014 will be a throwdown between me and my ability to balance reading with school, writing, relaxation, and the dreaded new enemy - TV shows. (By the way, Hannibal is really good so far.)

My goal in 2013 was to read 125 books. Surprisingly, I managed to make it and go a bit over to 151. Whoo! The first book I read was I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak (a very good way to start the year); the last was How To Twist a Dragon's Tale by Cressida Cowell (also a very nice way to end the year).

Like Persy, I didn't have too much trouble with picking out favorites - I actually had to go back through my records to supplement my list of "yes, these are my favorites." So, without further ado:


The End of Time by P.W. Catanese
If you've known me for any length of time, you'll have heard me raving about The Books of Umber. This year was the third time I've read The End of Time and it's still just as beautiful the third time around. Fantasy

The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
The Thief books have some of the best characterization/character development I've ever seen. The prose can be a bit tricksy but it's totally worth it - Gen and Irene have such arresting chemistry, while still claiming great personalities when they're by themselves. Ultimate love story. Not to mention the worldbuilding is good. Fantasy

The Selection by Kiera Cass
This is, unlike the above two books, on my list because of outstanding literary quality, but because it was just fun for me to read. It didn't take itself too seriously and the characters were still entertaining. What more can you ask a book? Dystopia (I think)

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Where do I even start with this hilarious book? While the majority of it is really, really good, the best parts happen when Aziraphale (chubby bookish angel of the Lord) and Crowley (a demon "who did no so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downward") get together and banter. Greatly recommended. Urban/apocalyptic fantasy? (I'm grabbing at straws for genres for some of these; give me a break)

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The second book in the Ascendance Trilogy, this book not only continues the story in The False Prince but makes it even better. Suspense is raised, characters are developed further, and a cliffhanger of agony is delivered. Fantasy

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Not many classics really stand up to the hype (in my extremely humble opinion), but the beautiful prose and the sheer atmosphere of this book raise it to artistic levels. Classic

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
While The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was almost as good as I'd been led to expect, the second book was better. Funnier, more interesting, more thought-provoking - and, of course, really, really fun. Science-fiction (I guess)

The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
Another book that stands up to the 'classic' label. JUST FOR THE ENDING. (Excuse the caps.) After I finished it, I just sat and tried to absorb it. Classic (because I have no idea what this would be classified as otherwise)

Surprised By Laughter: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis by Terry Lindvall
I'm not usually one for thick nonfic, but comedy plus Lewis is sure to be a winner, and this book did not disappoint. While I don't think it would be nearly as interesting if you're not a Lewis fan, for someone who is, it's barrels of fun. Nonfiction

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Atmospheric. Haunting. Tragic. It's hard to describe A Monster Calls. Easier to say read it. (I don't even know what genre this is. I suppose Fantasy is as close as it gets)

This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel
Frankenstein is forever one of my favorite classics and Oppel's take on Victor's backstory is fantastic. The writing is just Shelley enough to be reminiscent but not enough to be frustrating; the characters strike the balance between original and respectful. (Well, except Konrad, the completely original twin. I have no problems with him, though.) The second book didn't quite live up to the first's standards, but the first still retains its awesomeness. Science...fiction?

Kings and Queens of Great Britain by Eric R. Delderfield
Obviously I'm not a history scholar (yet) so I'm not certain of the accuracy, but this book seemed to do a very nice, tidy job of summarizing the history of the English monarchy. It was easy to read, and the facts I do remember seem to line up with later research. Do recommend. Nonfiction

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
Hello. Lewis fan here. Believe it or not, this is the first time I've read The Great Divorce and it was... unexpected. Melancholy, subtly heartwrenching. Convicting, I suppose. Classic

One Hundred More Poems from the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth
I suppose that should be 'collected by' instead of 'by.' Again, I'm no Japanese poetry specialist (yet) but on a purely aesthetic level, these were some of the most beautiful poems I've ever read. Definitely recommended, especially to highschool teens who've read "The Road Not Taken" one too many times. (Nothing against Frost, of course. "Flower-Gathering" is my second-favorite poem. But "The Road Not Taken" is seriously overhyped.) Poetry


The How To Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell; Scarlet by Stephen Lawhead; the 43 Old Cemetery Road series by Kate and M. Sarah Klise; Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad; Red Dragon by Thomas Harris; The Tempest by Richard Appignanesi (manga Shakespeare); I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga; Jinx by Sage Blackwood; UnWholly by Neal Shusterman; Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz; Scarlet by Marissa Meyer; If I Found a Wistful Unicorn: A Gift of Love by Ann Ashford; Mythologies by W.B. Yeats; Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot; Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde; Pocket Guide to the Afterlife: Heaven, Hell, and Other Ultimate Destinations by Jason Boyett


Bluestar's Prophecy by Erin Hunter
Oh, Warriors. This past year was the year of kissing my childhood goodbye. Fantasy

The Prince and the Snowgirl by Simon Cheshire
Mindless fluff in every possible way. Forgettable. Realistic fiction? What is the name for this?

Mortlock by Jon Mayhew
I don't even remember what happened in this book. I do remember wishing it was going to be over. Pity - the book is lovely, and the pages are edged in black. Fantasy

One Year Gone by Rebecca Dessertine
Supernatural supplemental novel by someone who works on the set. One word: ouch. And not in the "ouch, my emotions were compromised" sense as I was expecting. Urban fantasy (fanfic? bad fanfic?)

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
The ultimate "HECK NO" of the year. It's bad enough to read poorly executed run-of-the-mill YA dystopia; it's unbearable when it's based off of a story like "The Masque of the Red Death." I feel like going to leave consolatory flowers at Poe's grave. Dystopia

Here's to having a better 2014!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Persy -- 2014: We're Back

So did you like how neither of us were here at all in December? And most of November too? We planned that. Really. Okay, so we suck, get over it. We're busy college students. BUT we've been talking and we're both hopeful to get more reading done this year and write more about what we're reading. Hey, I'm even sucking up my pride and showing you exactly how badly I did in 2013...

My reading goal for 2013 was to read more books than I did in 2012, so 187 books. How many did I read? 56. 15,764 pages. Almost a 4th of what I read last year. I am ashamed. But I'll do better this year!

The first book I read in 2013 was Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome, and the last book I finished was the 9th volume of Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya.

Because I read so little this year, it was painfully easy to narrow down the Best Of list to 14 books. And most of them were during RAMFAP month, and have thus been mentioned numerous times already... but I'm sure y'all can get over it.


The Grace Effect by Larry Taunton
Maybe I'm biased (I know the Tauntons), but this is such a good book. Mr. Taunton skillfully weaves the story of Sasha into the effects of Christianity and grace, and I was never bored by the story or the lessons. Definitely a book to study in detail a second time through. Nonfiction/Religion

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Easily the best war novel I've ever read. Not only is it interesting, but I also found it enjoyable. The writing is amazing, and the story gripping. What really makes it brilliant is the fact that it's told by German soldier. Historical

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
It's both serious/thought-provoking and funny/light-hearted. The light tone is maintained all throughout the story, whether the main character is discussing philosophy or bugs. Definitely a book I'll read again and again, always finding something new. Science fiction

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Oh my gosh this book. OH MY GOSH THIS BOOK. Classic

A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken and C.S. Lewis
Normally I don't get super excited about biographies and memoirs, but this is simply beautiful. Vanauken's writing is gorgeous and I'm pretty sure he's kind of brilliant. Anyone who has been or is in or thinks he/she's in love should read this. Nonfiction/Autobiography

I think I've mentioned this book before. Zombie/Romance

Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
I just don't get tired of Shenfu and Mara and Egyptian revolutions. Historical

Dragon Flight by Jessica Day George
While it doesn't quite live up to the brilliance of Dragon Slippers, the sequel is still pretty dang good. Getting to meet a bunch of cool new dragons basically saved the somewhat ridiculous plot, and let's not forget Jessica Day George's magical ability to write perfect endings. Fantasy

Flora Segunda by Ysabeau S. Wilce
I love almost everything about this book, especially the world and the characters. How can you not like a pudgy, lazy, pacifistic 12-year-old main character? And I'm still shouting for a movie with Gary Oldman as Hotspur. Fantasy

Everyone knows this is one of my all-time favorite books. Fantasy

Another old favorite. Road trips, Norse gods, punk angels, mad cow disease . . . this book is basically irresistible. Fantasy/Surreal

Yet another book that everyone has heard me talk about. Franklin' adorable, that's all I have to say. Fantasy

The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
A very very old book on depression and grief in the Christian life. It's amazing and beautiful, and I wish it was more well-known because I think everyone should have access to this. Nonfiction/Religion

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
I wasn't sure what to expect from the third book in the Seven Kingdoms series, but I was not disappointed. In fact, I was seriously scared, and could not put it down. Kristin Cashore amazes me yet again. Fantasy

**HONORABLE Mentions**

Ouran High School Host Club series (Bisco Hatori); The Passage (Justin Cronin); The Hiding Place (Corrie Ten Boom); Maid-Sama series (Hiro Fujiwara); I, Claudius (Robert Graves); Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters (Lesley M.M. Blume); Fruits Basket series (Natsuki Takaya).


Eh, y'all remember this absolute gem, I'm sure. Fantasy

Escape from Warsaw by Ian Serraillier
Boring. Not painful to read, but only because it's an easy read. Basically, it's just boring as heck. Historical

Ancient Rhetorics by Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee
Well, it's a textbook. And it's not written overly well. And it was for a writing class. Nonfiction

I seriously hope your 2013 was better than mine.