Welcome! I'm Riv Re, teenager and aspiring author. I post Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Tuesdays are for book reviews; Thursdays are for a weekly meme called "Character Dolls," which showcases character depictions I made online; and on Sundays I just wing it.
This blog is for my writing misadventures, my reviews, ramblings, and rants. My favorite genre is fantasy, so expect a lot of the unusual.

Warning: I've got an awful sense of humor. Don't blame me if you keel up and die from reading the jokes I crack.
Notice: I hold no responsibility for any deaths caused by previously mentioned jokes.

Enjoy and happy reading!

Current Book Showcase-Starling by Lesley Livingston Trailer!
(What's Book Showcase? Click HERE!)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Hey Blogger Buds,
I'm getting a bit personal today, talking to you about more than just the surface, the cover. (That was a [bad] pun. This is a book blog. Covers don't even affect my ratings!)

Anyways, I'm going to tell you a bit about me. What I fear. It's only a bit, nothing major or profound (I don't do profound.)

On My Blog:
That I'll start a blog hop, or a challenge, and my readers will roll their eyes and press the little red X in the corner.
That my readers will all lose interest.
That I'll lose interest or run out of time to post.

In My Reading:
That I'll fall out of love with books.
That I won't find any incredible books anymore, when, in a few years, all the series I love are over with.
That I'll stop having time to read. I used to read nightly, now I only read on weekends, pretty much. And I can't go back to a favorite and reread because I have this massive stack I still have to get to!

In My Writing:
That I'll stop loving it.
That I'll stop being able to do it, and everything I put down on paper will be trash.
That I'll stop having time to do it, and enjoy it.
That, when I'm finally finished everything and can start querying, an agent will send me an email saying, "Read the book ___ by ____. Your novel is an exact copy of it.

Peace and Bravery,

PS: Sorry about Tuesday, I was busy. Next Tuesday I hope to review either Jane Eyre, or Zan-Gah. Beware...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Quick Plug

Yeah, I know I already posted today, but I'm plugging (and trying not to get electrocuted).
As you probably know, Inkpop/Harper had a writing contest, about Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. I, of course, wrote my entry from Puck's point of view. There's still two days left to go vote on entries, so please check it out!

The contest is here, and my entry is right HERE.

Peace and fey,

Boys in YA

(First links go to Amazon, second to Goodreads)
Hey Blogger Buds,
So. Boys in YA. To be blunt:
I hates them.
I find myself always rooting for the underdog, the one she's not going to pick, obviously. So, in the Hunger Games, I knew in my gut who she'd pick, because it's just the way YA books go, but I found myself rooting for the other one. In Firelight, I was hoping she'd turn around and return to Cassian. Cam had my vote in Fallen. And I was hoping that Bethany would turn around and walk away from Xavier in Halo.

Because they're all handsome, popular, funny, smart, caring, considerate, strong, and perfect. Plus, they all have a tendency to smell wonderfully without wearing cologne, even after they were sweating through a football game in which they were the quarterback that helped their team win. And they always have dark, haunted pasts. (Do all guys need baggage?)

Take my former examples:
  • In the Hunger Games, the one she picked was sweet and caring and sensitive. I won't continue, for those of you who have yet to read Mockingjay, in which case, what's wrong with you?
  • Sophie Jordan's Firelight had Cassian and Xander. Xander was perfect, and Jacinda had a "magnetic pull" towards him. But of course she doesn't care that he might kill her. It would be incredible stupid if she went for the safe, caring boy who doesn't want to kill who she is, and who likes her for being what she is.
  • And then Lauren Kate's quartet. I have other problems with Fallen, but mostly the way Daniel acted right off the bat. He's so mean, and Cam is so nice. And then in Torment I was right beside Shelby rooting for Miles.
  • Last up: Halo. Beth knows to stay away from him, but does she? Nope.

I can go on and on, but I'd rather make a pledge:

  1. I will not give my male characters an irresistible smell. If they smell, they will smell of sweat and blood, and it will not be attractive.
  2. When my female character sees my male character's scars, she will not find them 'hot'. At best, she will see him as strong and fearless. At worst, she will find him repulsive. But ideally, she will not care in the least.
  3. My character will not fall head over heels for a boy as soon as he pushes his floppy hair out of his face and/or takes his shirt off to reveal his always muscled chest.
  4. The leading male will not make my female character sizzle when he stares into her soul with his intense, beautiful eyes.
  5. My male character will not have disturbing pasts, and if they do, they will be emotionally scarred for life, and won't just be sharing their story to get some pity.

Anyone else care to take the pledge?

Peace and Boys,

Thursday, April 21, 2011

TAP Button Winners!!!

Hey Blogger Buds!
Soooo I had a button contest, hosted by The Amanda Project, and I'm here today to announce the winners!



I'm going to announce them now.


Just kidding!


You really thought I'd tell you so quickly?


How about a joke first?


Why do seagulls live by the sea?


Because if they lived by the bay they'd be bagels!




*waits for laughter*


*still waiting*


Nobody appreciates my humor


Anyways, winner time!


Remember what the winner gets?


Quick reminder time! 


All the contestants filled out a poll


They said which animal totem they were


The following four winners receive...


Personalized pins, depending on their totem!


I'm a dolphin which is a carefree spirit


I only got five people entering
Animal totem badge




But they all racked up a lot of points




So random.org exacted four winners


Four winners to my four prizes


Three out of five entrants were the tigress 


The tigress is the individualist


One was the dolphin (woot!)


The last was a raven, an intellect 


I wonder if it's coincidence that the raven was the first option of the list?


Anywho, time for winners!


But first


Did I ever tell you about my Auntie Flo?


She's a...


Oh, alright. I'll just post the winners already


By the way


Two drums and a cymbol fell off a cliff


Bad-dum pun!




Fine, fine


Winner number one




the one


the only


I'll get to it already




Animal totem badge
I won't


It's late here, so I'll just tell you




And the winners are




Khadija of Black Finger Nailed Reviews! A tigress! (Khad reviewed a book for us once)


Brittany of Brittany's Fantasy! A dolphin! (High-five!)


Teri C/Teril of Snarky Mama! A tigress! (Pile on the snark!)


And last but certainly not least


Ella of Winter Fey! A raven! (And she's very smart for loving the fey!)


Party time!

The Amanda Project

You guys'll all be emailed, unless you can get to me first, and I'll send you over to my TAP correspondent.

Happy reading everyone!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Secrets and Shadows Review

Hey Blogger Buds,
I just finished Secrets and Shadows, the sequel to 13 To Life, and it was absolutely fantastic. I wasn't so wowed by 13 To Life, but I really like S&S, so I decided to share the love. Remember, if you haven't  read 13TL yet, this review contains spoilers from it! (13 To Life: Goodreads Amazon)
So if you read 13 To Life and are having second thoughts about buying thee sequel, read on!
Other books/characters mentioned in review: Severus Snape, Mockingjay, Phantom Tollbooth
(Linkage below)

Secrets and Shadows (13 to Life, #2)
Blurby (not sure if this is the official one, but Goodreads had this one, and Goodreads knows All):
Nothing's simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she's seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she's suspected. With Jess' realization that the Rusakovas' mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group's choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite to free their mother - and those who Jess thought to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more...

I read 13 To Life several months ago, so when I started S&S I was a bit disoriented, (Who's that character again?) but I got an idea pretty quickly, and the book proceeded to blow me away.
Character time...
~Jessica is so strong and intelligent. When Pietr starts to pull away, she does her best to get over him. Even in stressful situations, Jess keeps her head, and is absolutely devoted to her friends.
~Pietr and Max kinda switched places in my heart. Pietr was the sweet, devoted boyfriend in 13TL, but I just wanted to smack him, or shake him roughly by the shoulders throughout this book. Max I loved though. He used to be the obnoxious, dumb player, but Max did a complete turn-around. He's like a loyal dog (pun intended), always watching out for Jessie, even hopping in his car to pick her up wherever she is, no questions asked. Max is just sweet :) and Pietr is just a jerk until, of course, you find out why.
~Derek is the Snape of the book (before you find out where Snape's loyalties truly lie. I'm not spoiling anything about Derek!). Of course, as fantastic as this book was, it can't be equated to  Harry Potter (but what can be?). I think calling him the Snape pretty much sums it up, though.There was one scene with Derek that I did not like, as I was totally disoriented, but I think that's what Shannon Delaney was driving at...?
~Jess's Father bothered me.  He kept on jumping to conclusions, from right in the beginning all the way to the end. A couple of pages in, he sees a bruise on Jessie's face, and his reaction is to ground her and refuse her from seeing Pietr, because a bruise has to mean that she went to see him and he's abusing his girlfriend. I wanted to slap some sense into him. He was very bothersome (enough so that I actually said 'bothersome').
I love, Love, LOVE some of the issues addressed in this book. Namely, abusive relationships. I don't want to give anything away, but, ironically, I like to see taboo subjects un-tabooed. (Yes, I'm aware it's not a word.) There was also some great other topics.
It's funny. As a joke, Jessie, in several places, refers to Max as a loyal dog, or teasingly, just a dog. She even, in a mock-fight, says to Cat, "You're brother, Max, is such a cur." Jess has a great sense of humor in general, and Pietr has a tendency to state the obvious. ;)
The ending was awful. No. Wait. That came out wrong. It wasn't awful in a Mockingjay way, it was awful in a "Noooooo! This can't happen to Jess! No, Jessie! Nooooooo!" Shannon Delaney did nothing wrong. :) It was a bit weird, though. Again: Daddy's acting like Milo and Jumping to Conclusions. After I finished the book I took a nap, and my dreams were filled with saving Jessica. A warning to readers: In the back of the book, there's a page about Bargains and Betrayals, the third book. On that page, there's the hook, which spoils the last chapter. So don't read that big sentence.
Although very little bothered me about this book, unfortunately it was more than just Jessica's dad. I love the scientific explanation of the Rusakovas' shifting,  but once you start to introduce real paranormalcy into the world, it gets a bit too iffy for me, and it detracts from the book.
Overall, book love. I was very impressed, and I really liked it, even more than 13 To Life. This is a surprise, as sequels usually aren't so great.

Rating: 5 stars

Can't wait for the last book! Bargains and Betrayals available August 16!

Linkage: Goodreads Amazon BookDepo Author Site Book Site (I'm lessening the links. If anyone uses Borders or B&N, let me know, and I'll put the links back!)
Already read S&S? Add the third book, Bargains and Betrayals: Goodreads Amazon BookDepo

Peace and wolves,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Top Five Sunday (Contest Closed)

top 5 sundays image 2011 simplerHey Blogger Buds,
I'm not big on weekly memes, but a blogger I follow, Larissa, has one on her blog, Larissa's Bookish Life. Every Sunday she posts her Top Five on different subjects. This week is Top Five Paranormal Powers you'd like to have, and I decided to partake!
(Just a short post today!)

1. Super-Speed
Always useful.

2. Telekinesis
So I can be even lazier. Sometimes, this would just be so handy!

3. Mind Reading
Yeah, sometimes I just want to know what someone's thinking! Reading people can be hard...

4. Extra Sensory Perception
Wouldn't ESP be awesome? To know stuff for no reason?

5. Astral Projection
This is a cool one, though I haven't heard too much about it. It's when a person can sort of project their spririt into the air, and go anywhere, leaving their unconscious/sleeping body behind.

In other news: The TAP contest is closed! I'll try to get the winners by Thursday.

What's YOUR Top Five Paranormal Abilities?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dear Ash Iron Fey Contest

Hey Blogger Buds,
It's no secret that I'm obsessed with Julie Kagawa, author of the Iron Fey trilogy. I reviewed her second book, Iron Daughter here, and her third book, Iron Queen, here. She's writing another novella, too, about everyone's favorite trickster, with info here. She's fantastic, as an author and a person. But, surprisingly, I'm not here today to praise her to the high heavens. I'm here to enter another of her contests.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a story about Ash, the chilly winter prince, for Julie's The Queen is Coming contest, here. (Which Julie liked, by the way.)
Anywho, I'm here today, for Julie's latest contest, Dear Ash. The info is right here, but the gist of it is that you write to your favorite IF character. (Puck has, so far, received more entries than anyone else.)
I'm adamantly and ardently (Welcome to the Department of Repetitious Redundancy Department that welcomes you.) Team Puck, so my letter is to the One and Only!

THIS POST IS SLIGHTLY SPOILERY TO THE IRON QUEEN. Read the entire trilogy before reading my letter.

Dear Carrot-Top Puck,
This is probably going to be slightly awkward, as you're the first character I've ever written to. (You're feeling flattered and full of yourself, aren't you?) Puck, if I were asked about my "book boyfriend" yours would be the first name out of my mouth. You're the Kindly One that gets me through all of those annoyingly chilly scenes with certain princes you fondly refer to as "His Royal Iciness".
Of course, I don't only think of you when I'm reading. When I'm not (which is rarely), you're constantly on my mind. An instance which I can distinctly recall is walking home one day. I small a small black bird, your signature avian form, and falling to the ground beside it, a single green leaf. Maybe the leaf reminded me of all the sticks and leaves you glamour into boars and doppelgängers?
Ah, your glamour. Mr. Goodfellow, you're brilliant, not to mention hysterical. I love humor (I've been told that I'm funny, as well [though "funny" may or may not have been followed by "looking". *shifty eyes*]).
What was the best prank you've ever pulled? Your best joke? And what was your most artful "not-lie" that you've ever told? One last question for now, (I promise!) why do you change into a raven if your name is Robin? Is it to avoid all things cheesy?
Wait. Wrong Puck.
Puck, you inspire me. I love to write (I don't think I'm too shabby at it either) and you've taught me plenty. I write high fantasy, and my main character's preferred weapons are--I'm sure you guessed it!--two daggers. I spent plenty of time trying to decide what she should fight with (she's not a sword person) and then I figured it out, inspired by m favorite red-headed Good Neighbor (by the way, I wouldn't mind if you decided you wanted to be a closer neighbor!). So thank you, Puck, for your great fighting.
Now, onto some more...personal *eyebrow waggle*...things. Although you are, thankfully, not as cold as His Royal Iciness, you are still so mysterious. Meghan said that she doesn't remember when she first met you, only that you've always been there. How long have you known her, really? But Meghan's not the only one you've known for a long time, is she? What about His Royal Iciness? I know you two haven't always been trying to kill each other. How long have you known him? (Yes, I know there's no time in the Nevernever, but what about taking into consideration what happened in the human world?) Do you have any fond memories of your time with the ice prince? And fond memories can't include stabbing him, or watching him in pain.
But, to stop dredging up old memories, I'll look for older ones. In the Iron Queen, you told Meghan and His Royal Iciness that there were giants in the Nevernever long before Ash was born. So...how old are you, really? Are you from before humans roamed this earth? And if you know when Ash was born...who's his father? Wait. Forget that. Who cares? I only want to know more about Puck.
But I'll stop prying now. Though before I sign off, I have to ask one final question...
What's it like being a red-head?

Love ya carrot-top,
Riv Re

PS: If you're ever looking to set up a New York trod (emotions run high here in the city that never sleeps; there's glamour everywhere!) send me a message. My email's rivkarno1(at)hotmail(dot)com. Wait. You probably don't have computer access, being a Summer Fey and all. (So this letter is counter-productive, isn't it?) But you can come hop through my bedroom closet any time you want! (Just be careful of the skateboard, I think there's some iron on it.)

Peace and Glamour,
Riv Re

Current Music: Various Simple Plan Songs

ETA 4/22: I changed my entry a bit, somewhere around the middle.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Steel Review

Hey Blogger Buds,
Over at Riv Reads today we are [read: I am] reviewing Carrie Vaughn's latest book, Steel! I was really excited to finally get my paws on it, and I really liked it. The characters and the voice and....I'll save it all for the review.
(Don't forget, linkage below.)

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.
The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.
Time travel, swordplay, and romance combine in an original high-seas adventure from New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.

I was mildly disappointed upon finishing Steel, but I still really enjoyed it. Unless you count Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I've never really read anything that deals with time-travel. And I was wondering how the time-traveling bit would actually happen, but it was very neat. And Jill took everything in stride, but not too much in stride.
Jill was portrayed well. She was a typical angst-ridden teenage, and, even though I feel like the sulking was taken a bit too far, that's what teenagers are like.
Henry, the "love interest" wasn't much of a love interest. He was sweet, and charming, and everything good besides for brooding, with a dark past. But...
The cover of the book calls this "a swashbuckling tale of  magic, romance and pirates". Definitely got the swashbuckling pirates and the magic right, but the romance was severely lacking. I didn't read this book for the romance but there was, I dunno, one quick kiss. Carrie Vaughn alludes to romance, but there wasn't much of it. But as I said, my motives had nothing to do with the kissy-kissy.
I wanted to see how well Carrie would handle the necessary dueling bouts. I'm very interested in action and sword-fights and the like. My writing has plenty of hand-to-hand combat, and I like reading it, when it's done well. And while all the dueling description in the book is very concise, I was hoping for a bit more. But I liked it.
The ending was just so sweet, too.
Why it's not 5 stars: I really liked Steel, but I wasn't completely wowed. I can't put my finger on anything that I disliked, besides for the romance thing and my own person expectations, but it wasn't fantastic. It was just a good book.
I read Steel over a week ago, and I still really like it. It was original, well-written, and the main character is just awesome!

Rating: 4 stars


Current Music: Back to December by Taylor Swift

PS: Don't forget, my contest to win some awesome TAP swag is open for a few more days! Hurry, hurry, hurry! It's right HERE!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

On Good Reviews

Hey Blogger Buds,
I've recently noticed that there's some buzz about the excellent reviews on some blogs, and certain questions arising about them. Besides for the fact that most of my books I choose to review, I want to clear up any question that someone may have.
I do write positive reviews. I do rate books well. I ranted about a certain book once here on the blog, and a different book I've brought up several times in a not-so-positive light. And I regret that. Because I'm more than just a reader. I'm a writer. I know how hard it is to write a book. And though a negative review may help a reader, "criticism" without "constructive" before it is useless. I point out flaws in books. But I dislike writing negative, ranty reviews.
I don't tell you guys what not to read, but I do tell you what you should.

Because you know?

Writing a book is hard.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why Review

Hey Blogger Buds,
Today, as you can see, I'm reviewing Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I highly recommend this one; it's gotten fantastic reviews, and the message is brilliant. I'm mostly reviewing this book to get it out there to those of you living under a rock. You'll see why in a moment.
(Linkage below)
Thirteen Reasons Why
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

I wondered how Jay Asher was going to support the dual narratives and it was done very tastefully, with very little confusion.
I totally felt both Clay's and Hannah's emotions, though I had some problems.
Clay was incredible. He was "that good guy" who everyone likes. He was just..the perfect character for this. He was so genuine.
I didn't like Hannah, though. Whenever she went onto the next tape, the next reason, I was so hopeful that I would get it. But I didn't, and the entire narration just screamed "angst". But a little bit...I got it. We're teenagers. Teens blow everything out of proportion, and I can...excuse...Hannah's behavior, I suppose. But she didn't make sense to me.
And then we got to the reason that Clay got these tapes and it felt like...like such a cop out.
Not to offend Jay Asher, but one thing about the book reminded me of--dare I say it?--Twilight. Twilight was incredibly addictive for no reason; I couldn't put it down, and I didn't even like it that much. I like 13 Reasons Why more, definitely, but not enough to read it at 2 am. But I was glued to the book until I realized how late it was and summoned all my willpower to stop.
The ending was incredible, though. My favorite part was that last page. It got me thinking, huh. Maybe that ball of angst did some good in the end and I'd love some sort of epilogue, to see if it's true, but that ending was so hopeful, and put this big smile on my face.
Sidepoint, no reflection on review: Curious, I decided to hear the audiobook. Right now, I'm listening to a free sample from Random House, and--honestly?--I recommend you pick up the book, even if you usually listen to audiobooks. Clay sounds like the guy who did voiceover for Hiccup, from How To Train Your Dragon (yup. just listened to a bit of the HtTYD trailer for a comparison, and it's uncanny). And Hannah sounds like a 30 year old chain smoker. No offense, but I recommend the paper book.

The book wasn't bad, it just wasn't my cup of tea. I highly recommend it, though. This is a book that needs to be read, thus why I reviewed it. Though I can hardly handle the fact that it's going to be movie-fied, and by Selena Gomez.

Rating: 3 stars. Mediocre book.

Linkage: Goodreads Borders Amazon B&N BookDepo Site (go to it!) Hannah's Blog (wait, what? Oh)


Current Music: Soul Sister, Gleekified
Current Mood: Meh

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Friday Wrapup

 Hey Blogger Buds,
There was tons of exciting--and tragic--news posted this Friday. So for your viewing entertainment, I'm posting some of what I've discovered happened last week. If you have more updates, you're welcome to share them in the comments!

So let's get down to it...

I was ecstatic to find out about Maggie Stiefvater's fourth Shiver book. She posted the title and cover on her blog. It's a long wait till July 2012...

And then, I was overjoyed when Holly Black changed the title of the third Curse Workers book. This is soooo much better than Black Heart.

But my mood changed majorly and I almost cried when I found out what's happening in the Iron Knight, Julie Kagawa's fourth Iron Fey book.

*wipes away a tear*

But we all have to get past it, and to help, YA Highway brought us the latest news on the Hunger Games movie. The casting! Yayzez!
We've already got Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, but there's more! Gale is Alan Rickman, everyone's absolute favorite Potions Master, and Peeta Mellark is going to be played by Augustus Gloop, from Willy Wonka.
But my favorite one? The one that could not be beaten to the part of Effie Trinket?
Ms. Piggy.
Hunger Games cast
How ever will Katniss choose?

And by the way, I have discovered the genius that is Apple, also via YA Highway, though this one is courtesy of TechSplurge.
iPad vs Rock iPad vs Rock Comparison   Funny!

Don't forget to try out the latest from Google! Google Motion can be downloaded here!
Gmail Motion - Motion Guide

Happy Belated April Fools! Did you spot any great spoofs that I missed? Leave 'em in the comments!

Peace and Jokes,

PS: Don't forget to enter my CONTEST HERE.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Script Frenzy

Hey Blogger Buds,
Happy May 1st!
A little heads up; I'm participating in Script Frenzy this April. For those of you who don't know what it is, the maker's of NaNoWriMo have an April challenge: write a 100 page script in 31 days.
Since I NaNoed on the adult site last November, I have an account of Screnzy's regular site. I'm HERE. (HERE for NaNo.)
Those on the YWP site, I'm HERE for Screnzy.

My script is a character exercise. I've taken a main character from Eberheardt, and plopped him down in middle of the US, leaving him to face his greatest challenge yet: High School.

And that's  all I'm saying about it ;)

So as I quest to write my first ever script *gulp* I may miss a day of blogging here or there.

By the way: So sorry about Tuesday! I should probably write, like, 30 reviews so I can post them whenever...

Peace and Movie Scripts,