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, June 30, 2011

My Summer Reads (Part 1)

Hey Blogger Buds,
Today I'm going to tell you about the massive stack of books I'm planning to get to in the next few weeks.There are too many  for one post, so I'll pick up on Tuesday. On Sunday, when I post for my new meme, Summer Sunday, I'm going to do some mini-mini-reviews on the books I've finished, so I'm posting regularly on Tuesday.
I'm embarrassed to admit it, but this summer I'm reading a lot of...contemporary. *hangs head in shame* There are a couple of fantasy and paranormal books I plan to tackle, either because I hope they'll be light and fun, or because they're just coming out and I'm unbearably excited, or they're beach-y, or because...well, just because. I'm glad that contemps are often stand-alones; many of these are. So I'm not forcing myself into too many new series (though I expect to go become obsessed with Sarah Dessen.)

Soooo, in a sort of particular order (Not all of these are at my library yet, if ever, so they're lower on the list. Links go to Goodreads. (Because the awesomeness that is the Chromebook makes it amazingly easy for me to write a blog post while staring at my Goodreads list.):

Forever Summer by Alyson Noel
I won this two-in-one from Adventures in Children's Publishing, and what better summer read than a chic-lit with "summer" in the title? Forever Summer is Laguna
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)Cove and Cruel Summer in one novel. I haven't read anything by Alyson Noel (plan to read her Immortals series...eventually.)
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I've yet to read anything by Cassie *hangs head in shame again* because, although I was interested, I never had the time, and was never so into it. But my sister, T, owns the trilogy, so I plan on borrowing the first book this summer. And, a friend of mine recently told me that a character in my book has some similarities to Jace, so that really piqued my interest. Plus there's the movie in the works ;). Really excited to get to this!

Babe in BoylandThe SECOND I saw the title of this book, I knew I wanted to read it. You ever get like that? A single title shows you how much awesome is going to be packed into one stand-alone novel? (Well, everyone freaked out over Veronica Roth's "Insurgent" if I recall.) This book is based on a true story and it's about, well, the misadventures of a teenage rock star. (I'm not quite sure how else to explain it...)

Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
This one I also wanted to read practically as soon as I saw the title. The main character, a girl goes undercover at a girl school. I'm hoping for plenty of laughs. The cover is awesome, as well.

Forgive My Fins (Fins, #1)Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Um, hello? Paris? This one has been called adorable so many times, and I really want to meet Etienne St. Claire (because I love guys with names I can't pronounce). Goodreads had 19 single star reviews. And 3182 five star reviews...and counting.

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
Water. Mermaids. Awesomesauce bookmarks. What's not to love? Especially as Fins Are Forever just came out, and the bookmarks are more gorgeous that FMF's.

Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
Kirsten's really sweet, and there's been a handful of buzz about this one. And I really haven't seen that much YA about 14 year olds, if I remember correctly.

Rival by Sara Bennet Wealer
Apparently this one is Glee meets...I don't remember what Glee meets, but I don't care. Glee! And for all you fellow Gleeks-Chris Colfer's writing a book, The Land of Stories.

Beauty QueensViola in the Spotlight by Adrianna Trigiani
More names I can't pronounce! I really liked Viola in Reel Life, and this one takes place in Brooklyn! I have a soft spot for characters that are Big Apple Natives. There's just something awesome about us. ;)

Beauty Queens by Libba  Bray
I don't think I've read any of Libba's books yet, shamefully. I've actually seen her, though her line was really packed, and I didn't have a chance to say anything to her. But this is a deserted island!

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
Nightspell (Mistwood, #2)A contemp I wanted to read when it came out. I don't exactly know why this one piqued my interest. I actually found it on my library shelf a while ago, but my friend was with me and she gave it one look and begged me to let her read it first.

Nightspell by Leah Cypess
Leah is a bundle of awesome (and apparently she was signing in New York today. *facepalm*) I didn't love Mistwood, but I heard a ton of awesome about Nightspell!
Roadside Assistance

The Truth about ForeverThe Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
My pick to start with, and apparently a good choice. Not one of her older books, not one of the newer.

Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston
Another contemp that just caught my eye. Probably because of the girl who likes cars. (So cliche it's not one.)

What are you planning on reading this summer?


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure Review

Hey Blogger Buds,
Wow. I feel like I haven't written a review in ages. Today I have Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure by Allan Richard Shickman. The book has some pretty impressive awards, and a very original world that I was excited to read. (Uh, hello? Prehistoric?)
{I received Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, as well as the sequel Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country in exchange for an honest review of Zan-Gah: A prehistoric adventure. All opinions expressed here are my own, and were not influenced in any way.}
Linkage below, as usual.


Blurby (from Goodreads):
Zan-Gah, seeking his lost twin brother in a savage prehistoric world, encounters adventure, suffering, conflict, captivity, and final victory. In three years hero passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes include survival, brotherhood, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, and nature's wonders and terrors. This is the electronic version (ignore that bit) of Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, which has been awarded Mom's Choice Gold Medal for Series, the Eric Hoffer Notable Book Award, and was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year.

With an original premise and a simple writing style, Zan-Gah is great for younger kids. Zan's determination really shines through. It's an interesting, quick book, with a bittersweet ending.

Full Review:
Right off the bat, the tagline throws me off. "How could Zan fight...what he couldn't see?" I believe everything is pretty clear and visible.
It's a brilliant premise, with really high potential. It just didn't pull through. The characters could have had long, arduous struggles, but I didn't feel Zan's pain. Anyways I'll start at the beginning...
I'm willing to suspend belief, especially seeing as this is for kids. I can totally see a lioness attacking Zan and him accidentally-on-purpose killing her. I can totally see Zan being named "Rock"  by the head chief of the tribes. What I can't see is Zan's brother, Dael, getting angry and stalking off to go on his own adventure. I can't see Zan getting all chummy with the aforementioned head chief.
(Character time)
But I can see Naz, a warrior from an enemy tribe that captures Zan, treating Zan like garbage. Let's back up a bit; I need to rant about Naz a bit. Am I the only one who, the second his name is written on the page, said, "That's Zan backwards. That's gotta mean something." And it's very on purpose. In the end, Zan-Gah says to himself, "Maybe I'm not so different from Naz." I was like, "WHAT? You're very different from Naz!"
Anywho, that threw me off. But. Zan time.
Zan is a pretty good character. Strong, brave, slightly faulty. He's brave, and goes after his brother, even though he doesn't know where he's going. Zan is also amazingly resourceful. He made his own sling!
Other characters: I have a tendency to like supporting characters more than MCs, and this book was no exception. Rydl, a young boy who accompanies Zan, is so adorable and smart. He's just cute. Chul, Zan's massive uncle is like a simple child. He's nice and selfless, and does anything for his tiny little wife. It's a bit cliche, but cute anyway. And Dael...I'm not going to give anything away, but he was a nice surprise.
(Plot and writing)
The plot had a bunch of little stories scattered throughout it. Each chapter had something happen in it, a nice little story. Zan killing the lioness, Zan leaving, Zan making a sling, etc. Cute, but a bit chunky.
The writing was very simple and clear. A bit too much Tell, not enough Show. (yes, they get capitalized, because I said so.) But this makes it much easier for younger kids.
And the last page was...interesting. (I really don't know if I liked it or not.)

I don't really recommend books for a certain age, usually, but I would recommend this for younger kids, 8-10. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if I was younger.

I may give away my copy, so be prepared for that.

Rating: 3 stars Mediocre book. Not compelling, but interesting.

Linkage: Goodreads Book Site Amazon Book Depository (want more links? let me know, and I'll add them in the future!)

So, have you read Zan-Gah? What did you think of it?


Current Music: Land of Youth (Tir Na Nog) by Máire Brennan (I know, it's random. But I was looking for music for a fairy project I started.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Reads Sundays

Hey Blogger Buds,
I'm starting a weekly meme on my blog for July, and possibly for August. (I'm going to be out of town again.)

Summer Reads Sunday is a weekly meme throughout the summer in which you post about the books you've read last week and will read next week through July and August. This is a summer meme, as that is when people have the most time to read, usually, and get through more books.

Last week I planned to read:

Last week I read:

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)Forever Summer (Laguna Cove & Cruel Summer)Next week I plan to read (6/26-7/03):
Forever Summer by Alyson Noel
Babe in BoylandWhat better summer read than a chic-lit about summer?
My Misadventures as a Teenage Rock StarCity of Bones by Cassandra Claire
Because it's supposedly awesome.
Because the title screams fun.
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
Forgive My Fins (Fins, #1)Anna and the French KissIt sounds like it'll give you plenty of laughs.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
An adorable book for a wonderful summer.
Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
Mermaids=Water. Summer=Water. Therefore Mermaids=Summer.

*I plan to post a full list of what I plan to read this summer on Thursday. Sorry! A lot of stuff came up today.

You're welcome to participate in the meme if you'd like! Please just let me know, and give credit in your Summer Reads Sunday post!
I may even be hosting giveaways for participants ;)

Peace and beaches,

PS: I'm looking once again for guest bloggers! If you're interested, email me or comment below and I'll send you a line, but please leave an email along with your comment.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I'm Back!

Hey Blogger Buds,
I'm back and still alive! If you're tuning in today for the first time, here's whats's going on:

~I blogged about the Wall Street Journal article, and #YASaves, HERE.
~I squeed over the cover for Julie Kagawa's final book in her Iron Fey Series, The Iron Knight, as well as an Iron Fey novella titled Summer's Crossing HERE. (Summer's Crossing was amazing, by the way. I love Puck.)

~Today is national faerie day! Here are two of my favorite faerie quotes. Both are, obviously, from Robin Goodfellow.
^_^The first is from A Midsummer Night's Dream:
"Up and down, up and down
I will lead them up and down
I am feared in field and town
Goblin, lead them up and down"
If you liked this quote, add it on Goodreads HERE.
^_^ The second is from the the third Iron Fey book, The Iron Queen
"I learned long ago that you don't get in the middle of a lovers' spat. Nothing EVER goes as planned. People fall in love with the wrong person, someone ends up with a donkey's head, and then it's a whole big mess."
If you like this quote, add it on Goodreads HERE.

~On Sunday, I'm talking about what books I plan to read this summer. I think some of you will be surprised ;)
~On Tuesday, I hopehopehope to have up a review for Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure
~On Thursday, I have no idea what I'm doing. But I never have any idea what I'm doing, so that's nothing new.  I'll figure out something awesome, don't worry.

Peace and TGIF,

Friday, June 10, 2011

On #YAsaves

Hey Blogger Buds,
I wish I could say that I'm the least bit sorry for posting on a Friday, on a hiatus day. But I'm too busy.
I'm too busy trying not to cry. Or scream. Or punch a certain so-called reporter in the face.
I'm too busy trying not to do all three to care that today is Friday and I'm on hiatus.
(Also, I publicly apologize to my keyboard, for the abuse it's going to suffer as I write this.)

You've most definitely heard about that sorry excuse for an article, "Darkness Too Visible" by the Wall Street Journal. And I'm not even going to give you a link to it, because that would help its Google Page Rank, and possibly subject more people to that absolute garbage (and garbage isn't my preferred word) by bringing it higher on the Google Search List. (It's at 8 out of 10 already.)
I'm a teen. And I could rip this article apart. Viciously. Because I can speak. And I can speak loudly. I can scream it all at that witch, that so-called reporter, "She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-Without-Feeling-The-Need-To-Wash-My-Mouth-Out-With-Soap Gurdon". I recently read through a handful of articles and blog posts about it. I have Twitter open right now, in a separate tab, searching #yasaves and every couple of minutes it tells me there's another 5 tweets, and I should refresh the window to read them.

I pity She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. I pity her and her sick, twisted, corrupted little mind.
Because #YAsaves.

I have no personal stories I would like to share, but I do have a few choice words on a few lower-than-dirt words from that thing called a well-researched article that the WSJ should be ashamed to have published. I'm trying to read the article again. It's painful to get through. *Takes a deep breath* Here's a "favorite" paragraph of mine:
If books show us the world, teen fiction can be like a hall of fun-house mirrors, constantly reflecting back hideously distorted portrayals of what life is. There are of course exceptions, but a careless young reader—or one who seeks out depravity—will find himself surrounded by images not of joy or beauty but of damage, brutality and losses of the most horrendous kinds.
I'm so tempted to throw this analogy back in her face. Okay, I will, I can't hold myself back. "A hall of funhouse mirrors" is really the best You-Know-Who can come up with? (Sorry, Voldy, for degrading you so by sharing the fond nickname.) Her brain is a hall of fun-house mirrors! YA books reflect the world better than the highest quality mirror. Miss Gurdon, YA is clearer than you. You may have lived the perfect life and, maybe, compared to your life of perfection and naivety, YA lit is dark. But for the rest of us, the books just help us see the world in a much clearer way. YA sharpens the blurry edges, and shows us the real word, because the real word is "dark" and "edgy," like those two stupid labels you give it. You are the fun-house mirror, twisting the world into the perfection you believe it is.
Next, she talks about how teens are either careless or "seek out depravity"? First off, teens are not careless. They know exactly what the book they're picking up is about. So they must be depraved,right? Well, newsflash: That's not called depravity. That's called help. That's called identifying with a character in a book who goes through the same thing as you.

And then? Then She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named attacks Rage.
In Jackie Morse Kessler's gruesome but inventive 2011 take on a girl's struggle with self-injury, "Rage," teenage Missy's secret cutting turns nightmarish after she is the victim of a sadistic sexual prank. "She had sliced her arms to ribbons, but the badness remained, staining her insides like cancer. She had gouged her belly until it was a mess of meat and blood, but she still couldn't breathe." Missy survives, but only after a stint as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
I'm sickened. This is not called gruesome and inventive. THIS IS CALLED REAL LIFE.

This next bit really stuck out for me, on the first read.
The argument in favor of such novels is that they validate the teen experience, giving voice to tortured adolescents who would otherwise be voiceless...Yet it is also possible—indeed, likely—that books focusing on pathologies help normalize them and, in the case of self-harm, may even spread their plausibility and likelihood to young people who might otherwise never have imagined such extreme measures. 
YA novels help teens identify with others like them. A teen who is happy but enjoys reading about girls who cut isn't going to start cutting. It doesn't normalize it. Self-harm was normal long before cutting became a popular subject in YA lit. Oh and trust me on one thing, Miss Gurdon: we're not spreading it to anyone who has never imagined it already. It's a fact of life. A sad fact of life, but a fact of life, and self-harm is nothing new for teenagers.

I can't. I can't go any farther in the article. It's making me sick. This "reporter" makes me sick. The 400 people who said, on the poll, that YA is harmful not helpful don't make me sick, though. Because I want to give them a hug. Because there's something wrong with them if they say that.

I'm done, but check out what others have to say.
Click to embiggen
YA Highway's Roundup
#YAsaves Twitter Feed
Sherman Alexie, Author of Diary of a Part-Time Indian on Why the Best Books Are Written In Blood

I'm going to ask a question, as I sometimes do, but this one isn't directed at all of my readers. Its directed at one individual:

Meghan Cox Gurdan, how DARE you?

*goes to wash mouth out with soap*

And I'm going to close off with a last link, to Barry Lyga, because he said the three words to Miss Gurdon that I'm too polite to say.

Peace and YA forever,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Only Puck Can Pull Me Back

(Well, Ash too, I guess.)
Hey Blogger Buds,
I was so good about it, not breaking my hiatus, but I just had too. For Julie.
You knoooow, Julie Kagawa.
*gasps* You forgot?
Oh, phew, you remember. But I'll refresh your memory, anyway. I wrote about a million and seven blog posts squeeing over Julie's Iron Fey series.
Still doesn't ring a bell?
For the one or two of you who don't quite remember, I reviewed the Iron Daughter HERE and the Iron Queen HERE. I also squeed a ton, but you can see a list of all my Julie posts HERE.
Anyways, there was a bundle of faerie awesomeness released today, involving two of my favorite fey.

Summer's Crossing (Iron Fey, #3.5)
First up, Puck! Because I hearts him. Summer's Crossing, an e-novella, was released today. Get it FREE HERE, or, for you Kindle users, buy it HERE! Haven't added it on Goodreads yet? What's wrong with you? It's right HERE.
I love Puck, as you well know, and I'm putting off reading Summer's Crossing to share my next bit of awesome news with my awesome followers!

Next up, Julie released the cover for the IRON KNIGHT!!  And I can barely COnTroL mYseLF!!!!!!1 (Yes, that "1" was very cheesy, and it was on purpose.) I was a bit scared and nervous to see the cover, but I ADORE it! I'll cut to the chase, now.




He goes well with my blog. I should keep him around more often. *stares*
Cover analysis?
  • "Soulless. Banished. But never forgotten." Definitely impossible to forget.
  • The model is a bit young, and I thought Ash had silver eyes, but this cover almost maybe a little bit made me consider possibly converting to Team Ash for a bit. I'M SORRY, PUCKY!!!!
  • It goes so perfectly with the rest of the books!
  • I'm going to cry. It's really, really the end. No more Pucky after this book is out. I'm having second thoughts about wanting to read this one.
  • I don't know why the Ice Prince is wearing a coat. Oh, and him being an ice prince isn't the reason. I figure the snow would have looked at him and melted. Kind of like me. Or the Wicked Witch.
  • I can't look at this without my breath catching, and I'm not exaggerating here. I love this cover so much!
  • It's BLUE! I need to keep Ashy-poo* around more often. He goes with the furniture. :P
  • Ash+Meghan+Eternity=Meghash! Hellooooo, I want to see the two cover models do a shoot together! (I wonder if they know each other? Maybe they're friends. Maybe they're more than friends...?)
  • He fits the other covers sooooo well! I'll show you!
The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1)The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, #2)The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, #3)The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)

And, for awesomeness's sake:
Winter's Passage (Iron Fey, #1.5)Summer's Crossing (Iron Fey, #3.5)

Don't even TRY to tell me that these aren't the best thing since white bread.
So what do you think of them?


*You'll have to read Julie's blog, particularly THIS post, to know what I'm talking about.