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!)

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Fill in the Blanks

So. Um. Hi. Still alive here, if anyone was curious.
Tumblr Life kind of happened recently. That and that occasional feeling of inadequacy you sometimes experience when you've been blogging for more than two and a half years and don't even have 150 followers to show for it, while other bloggers have twice that after six months.


That's not why I'm here! And don't worry (or maybe you should?) because I plan to be on much more often, especially after all the books and ARCS I received over the holidays. (I'm really excited to read them all, to be honest.)

I opted out of "Favorites" this year, because of how pitifully little I read, and because of how pitifully little time I have. Catching up on Doctor Who really fills up my schedule. But, I can't just let the year end, can I?

Last year and the year before (wow. it's been a while) I played this "Fill in the Blanks" game, where you answer the questions with titles of books you read over the year. I got this from a blog whose link no longer leads anywhere, so I don't know what happened to it, but I believe the site was called Brooke's Reviews. I claim no credit for the questions*, and if you like the game, please feel free to join in on the fun!

Describe Yourself:
Fullmetal Alchemist
I have self-confidence. Also, magic.

How You Feel:
*screeches off-tune* There's a fire starting in my heart...

Describe Where You Currently Live:
Into the Wild
Okay, I live in a city, but same difference...

If You Could Go Anywhere, You Would Go:
The Fault on Our Stars
Is there a rift in time-and-space up there, you think?

Your Favorite Form of Transportation:
Wings of the Wicked
Also, good ones. I'm not picky when I'm running late.

Your Best Friend Is:
Little Women (Woman?)
It's hard to be grammatically correct, sometimes...

The Weather Right Now is Like:
It's dark, but pretty clear, I guess?

Your Favorite Time of Day:
Graffiti Moon
Well, any moon. But Graffiti ones are the coolest.

Life to You Is:
A Game of Thrones
Yeah, I totally don't imagine the entire world is playing a game of political intrigue. Neeevvveer....

You Fear:
Red Moon Rising
You'd be scared to see a red moon rising too, don't deny it!

The Best Advice You Have to Give:
I am the Messenger
...so beware...

Thought for the Day:
Rules of Survival
No, I'm not telling you what they are.

You Would Like to Die:
Looking for Alaska
It would be a grand adventure, dontcha think?

Your Soul's Present Condition:
...but of what?

Well, that was fun. Have a lovely year, dearies!


*though this year I took the liberty to rephrase them a little bit, though they are still the same ones.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Currently Reading...

Hey Blogger Buds,
I'm pressed for time today (not sure if I'm going to be able to post on Tuesday, though I may be online Tuesday night...) so here is the loooong list of books I'm in middle of:

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynn Jones
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

What do all of these have in common? A lot of double-named authors. I'm on vacation, so here's to hoping that I finish at least two or three of them in the next few days.
You know what? Who cares about two or three? Let's hope I can just finish that monstrous tome, A Game of Thrones!

Read any of them? What'd you think? What are y'all currently reading? And why do I sound like a Texan?


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Character Comparisons

Hey Blogger Buds,
It's a writing post today. Or at least an attempt at one. As you guys may know, I give out the occasional tip on writing, but I'm pretty useless at it, which is why I usually try to keep my mouth shut. But, just a few minutes ago, I started a chart, comparing two characters. They grew up together, long-standing rivals that hate each others' guts. One is a "good guy" the other is a "bad guy." And I decided they were a bit too black-and-white, good-and-evil, for my tastes.
This is what happens when you have a Chromebook. You
spend obscene amounts of time on sketchy websites to blot
out things.
Hence the chart.

As you can see by my...lovely...work of art, I tried to cover as many bases as possible without getting insanely specific. (This chart is still a work in progress, bt dubs)

I want these characters to be incredibly similar, except for the small things, like habits, and the important ones, their cores. The only real difference, in my eyes, is that one of them has more of a capacity for "change for the good" than the other. I'll explain.
"A" (that's purple, if you're curious and can't see) maintains the core belief that the one should be sacrificed for the all. This is not in any way a good, redeemable quality, because we want our heroes to be good and care about people, but A, at least, believes in sacrifice, in the greater good.
On the other hand, E (Mr. Blue up there) lacks a [normal] moral compass and believes that it's each man for himself.
Both of these men will be driven to kill. But someone who doesn't care about anyone but himself can't turn into a hero.

What am I driving at? Good question. I'm just saying that I strongly believe in the shades-of-grey characters (not to be confused with the Fifty Shades of Grey characters), and making your bad guy and your good guy mirror each other, not in a cliche way, but in a "look what Mr. Antihero* could have been" way.

I'd really love to hear your opinions on this. Thoughts, anyone?


*No, that's not what the A stands for.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Iron Legends Review

Hey Blogger Buds,
As you know, from this post last week, I obtained a book. And I would have happy-danced when I obtained it, if not for the face that there were people around. You know, real people. The normal kind. But I've finished this book and, as expected, loved it. In case the title of this blog post didn't tip you off, I'm talking about The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa.
My review is split up a bit differently today, since The Iron Legends is an anthology.
I don't have time to get the "Add it on Goodreads" picture, so ADD ON GOODREADS.

The Iron Legends (The Iron Fey, #1.5, 3.5, 4.5)
Blurby (based on Goodreads summary, slightly chopped up):
Enter the world of the internationally bestselling Iron Fey series. Dangerous faeries. Heartbreaking romance. Thrilling action and limitless adventure. The world of the fey has never been so powerful. This collection includes three novellas set in the world of the Iron Fey plus the Guide to the Iron Fey with exclusive information about Julie Kagawa's unforgettable world of Faery.
Winter's Passage
Summer's Crossing
Iron's Prophecy
Three Iron Fey novellas for the first time in print!

tl;dr review: Two of these stories were a reread for me, and it was so sweet to revisit characters, especially to see Meghan how she was after only one book.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Who Done It?

Hey Blogger Buds,
Just wanted to let the writerly amongst you know that Figment, SoHo Teen, and New Leaf Literary have put together something epic: An alibi contest. You've been accused of murdering Herman Mildew, one of the nastiest people alive and the quintessential example of an editor.
You claim you didn't do it?
Prove it.

Write Right here. Right now.

Peace and love blood,

*note, only for peeps 13-18. And sorry, maturity level doesn't count, my adult writerly friends.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Croak Review

Hey Blogger Buds,
Today (*ahem* tonight) I'm reviewing Croak by Gina Damico! Gina is made of win (and she's one of those lucky people with a url that fits her name: check her out at ginadami.co)

Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex's parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape.
But Uncle Mort's true occupation is much dirtier than shoveling manure. He's a Grim Reaper. And he's going to teach Lex the family business.
She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can't stop her desire for justice - or is it vengeance? - whenever she encounters a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again.
Will she ditch Croak and go rogue with her reaper skills?

tl;dr version: Hysterical with a super unique voice and original plotline, Croak is an #epicwin

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Now Where Do I Put These? / My Visit to S&S

Hey Blogger Buds,
So I don't usually do those features/memes about weekly book hauls, since I don't get books too often (I still have a huge stack to read) but this week I ended up with seven new books, so I figured I would share.

First, I got this book, Daughter of the Centaurs, in the mail:
Daughter of the Centaurs (Centauriad, #1)
Daughter of the Centaurs by Kate Klimo
And you can add it on Goodreads.

Afterwards, I went to the bookstore. And found this gem, which I was super excited about. I was super excited, because I've been looking forward to The Iron Legends for a long time, and I can add it to my collection.

You can add The Iron Legends on Goodreads. And you really should.

Lastly, and this is even more exciting than getting The Iron Legends, I have a friend who has a relative who has a client that is the cover designer at this place:
Not at the website. At the building

And my friend and I headed to the Manhattan building, got a tour and saw his office. Oh yeah, and we got free books. It was like Christmas and my birthday, because I got this:

I know it's not super clear, and I did this into my webcam, without knowing how the program works. So I couldn't reverse the pictures. Here are the titles. (I don't have time to add Goodreads links, so sorry!)
Tilt by Ellen Hopkins
Identical by Ellen Hopkins
34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues (ARC, even though it's apparently out already)
White Cat by Holly Black (read it before, but now I own it!)
Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh (SO excited to own this. I didn't see Nevermore anywhere, unfortunately)

What did you guys get this week? Leave a comment so I can check out your haul!

Peace and books,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering Eleven Years

Hey Blogger Buds,
I don't know why, but there's been surprisingly little mention of 9/11 around the blogosphere today. Yeah, it's not exactly "one decade," but stil.
Maybe it affects me more, living in New York, than all of you in the mid-west because of the proximity?
I don't know.
I was going to take an inspiring picture of the twin columns of light, but my camera ran off, and I don't have a fancy iPhone (good thing, too, or I might spend all of my time on instagram*), so here's a picture I stole** from the internet.

So. No review today. Only a thought on what I just discovered is called the Tribute in Light.

Peace and love,

*Aw, who am I kidding? I want an iPhone, if only to nerd out about the iOS6.
**Kidding, of course. Creative Commons FTW! *cough*

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cover Unveiling: Canary by Rachele Alpine

Hey Blogger Buds,
I'm a tad sick, and I have my first gigantic load of homework to do, so I'm just going to through a really pwetty cover at you. Don't forget to add on  Goodreads!
Here's the summary:

If she stays quiet, it will destroy her. If she speaks out, it will destroy everyone.
Kate Franklin’s life changes for the better when her dad lands a job at Beacon Prep, an elite private school with one of the best basketball teams in the state. She begins to date a player on the team and quickly gets caught up in a world of idolatry and entitlement, learning that there are perks to being an athlete.
But those perks also come with a price. Another player takes his power too far and Kate is assaulted at a party. She knows she should speak out, but her dad tries to silence her in order to protect the team. The world that Kate was once welcomed into is now her worst enemy, and she must decide whether to stay silent or expose the corruption, destroying her father’s career and bringing down a town’s heroes.
Similar to Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Elsewhere, Canary is told in a mix of prose and verse.

Not my usual genre, but I'm intrigued.

Aaaaaaannnnd the cover:

Gorgeous, right? Very retro.
I love the colors. It's not something you see on the shelves very often--it sticks out.
There's a birdy! And it's crying! The only bit of blue on the cover, too.
The basketball is a nice touch, telling you what the deal is--a basketball team--without making you think that it's a book about a basketball team. Which it obviously isn't.

What do y'all think of it?

Peace and birds,

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cursed with Power: Behind The Magic (Guest Post)

(That title sounds like those featurettes you can get for free on iTunes, doesn't it? Like Harry Potter: Behind the Magic or Percy Jackson. I should really do featurettes. That's an easy business to break into, isn't it?)
Hey guys! Today I've got a guest post from one of my awesome online friends, Lindsey Sablowski, whose book Cursed With Power released today through Old Line Publishing! Check Lindsey out. (Not in that way! Minds OUT of the gutter!)

Hi everyone! My name is Lindsey Sablowski, and Riv has agreed to let me stop by today at her blog. For those of you who don't know me, I've recently become a published author. Today I'd like to tell you a little more about my new released book, Cursed With Power, and the story behind the magic.
(You can click to embiggen the prettiness.)

The Summary:
Celestria Hale learns that she is one of the last living Dark magicians. Upon leaving her hometown, she searches for others like herself to find out what has happened to her kind. She meets Alaire, another Dark magician with a dangerously sinister past. Through their travels, Celestria and Alaire come face to face with their enemies. The White magicians plot against them, developing a conspiracy that will overtake the last of them. While struggling for survival, Celestria must also come to terms with her sister's death. But is her sister dead?
There's no way out. The battle's already begun, and only the most powerful force will prevail. Everyone shows a longing hunger in their eyes, but their greed for power is only the beginning of a war raging between darkness and light. With the war approaching to determine the fate of magicians, Celestria fears for her and Alaire's existence. Destiny may find them, but will it be enough?

Today is a very exciting day for the book because though originally we were expecting it to release on September 7th, it released a day early -today!
But where did the story begin?
I actually started writing Cursed With Power two years ago. The idea came along when I decided I was tired of writing stories where the "good" magicians always won. I was tired of this idea that it was always good vs. evil, "black" magic or good magic....
It started with Celestria Hale, the narrator of this story, who was also the first name I decided on. Interestingly enough the name Celestria usually means "heavenly," though I'll leave that to you to decide if a word that defines a name actually defines the person.
Two years ago CWP was on inkpop (a writing site that recently was partnered with Figment.com), and writing for an audience made all of the hard work seem like it "paid off."

Now here we are, and at last the book has a home. Old Line Publishing may not be one of the "major six" publishing companies, but they definitely do know how to make you feel at home. The communication, the timing, the work effort... You and the publisher work hand in hand through everything. But please don't misunderstand; Old Line is a traditional publisher.

And now you can enter into Celestria's world...
This book has been a journey -for the characters, the author, the fanbase, the potential readers, etc. Now that the book is finally published I want to share Celestria's story with the world. Do you think you're ready for it?
Here's a short excerpt from the book:

I don't want to over-stay my welcome, but before I go I'll tell you how you can go about purchasing a copy of Cursed With Power if you're interested. It's available on my publisher's website, in 2-4 days the e-book format will be available (on Amazon and Barnes & Noble), in the next 5-6 days it will become available on Amazon (worldwide!), and in about 3-4 weeks it will be available on Barnes & Noble. Those links -as well as much more exciting news-will be posted on my personal blog. If you're interested in tweeting about the release hashtag #CursedWithPowerRelease and join in with the others who have already done so!
So a huge welcome to Riv for letting me stop by! Who knows... Maybe she'll review the book here on her blog and tell you what she thinks!

(Thanks for coming by, Lindsey!)

ETA 9/07: Cursed with Power just went up on Amazon! Checkit!
CWP paperback US
CWP kindle US
CWP UK kindle
CWP UK paperback

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Am the Messenger Review

Hey Blogger Buds,
I recently read I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. You may or may not know be aware I have a major author-crush on this man. So: review!

I Am the Messenger

Blurby (via Goodreads):
Meet Ed Kennedy—underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he’s hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That’s when the first Ace arrives. That’s when Ed becomes the messenger. . . .
Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?
Winner of the 2003 Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award in Australia, I Am the Messenger is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love.

tl;dr version: I am in love with this man, and this book. Shall I compare thee to it? Shall I compare it to a midsummer's day? (Shall I shut up?)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I Am a Whovian

Hey Blogger Buds,
I've briefly mentioned my Merlin obsession, as well as my Sherlock obsession.  This time: Doctor Who.
I'm only on the second season, but I'm in love. And I want a TARDIS backpack, so I can put all of my books in it and people can ask me how I fit everything.
Doctor Who is awesome. I love BBC.
British television is so much better than American.

Peace and Daleks,

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hot Off the Presses

Hey Blogger Buds,
As you probably know, Tuesday was one of those days, you know, the ones where you wish you had a million dollars to spend at Barnes and Noble. Here are a couple that I was super excited for. (A couple of them are sequels, so avoid the summaries! But I'm putting a quick line about each book below the blurb.)
Summaries are from Goodreads, and links go there as well.

Starling (Starling, #1)"Love is just the beginning... of the end."
Mason Starling is a champion fencer for Gosforth Academy, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Until now. When a ferocious storm rips through Manhattan and unleashes terrifying creatures onto Gosforth’s campus, Mason barely escapes alive. Without help from the mysterious stranger who appeared in the midst of the storm, she might not have made it at all. But now, in the aftermath, Mason’s life begins to spin dramatically, mystically out of control, and the only one who seems able to help her is the stranger who can remember nothing but his name: Fennrys Wolf.
As Mason and Fenn uncover more about Fenn’s past and the strange events that surround them, they realize that Mason’s family — and its dark allegiance to the ancient Norse gods — is at the center of everything. A predetermined fate seems to be closing in on Mason, but is it possible to change one’s destiny?
THOUGHTS: It's about sword fighting. And Norse gods. And it's by Lesley Livingston, who writes a killer New York story.

The Iron Legends (The Iron Fey, #1.5, 3.5, 4.5)Winter's Passage
Never make a promise to a faery. They always come to collect. Now Meghan Chase must fulfill her promise to Prince Ash of the Winter Court and embark upon a dangerous journey into the heart of enemy territory—while being pursued by a relentless new foe and guarding her own foolish heart.
Summer's Crossing
What can turn enemies into reluctant allies? A call from the Exile Queen, Leanansidhe, ties legendary prankster Puck to his archenemy, Prince Ash, on a journey that may end in betrayal and will set them both on an irreversible path.
Iron's Prophecy
Before she ever knew what she might become, Iron Queen Meghan Chase was warned by the oracle that her firstborn child would bring nothing but grief. And even as Meghan and Ash celebrate their long-awaited union, the prophecy stirs.…
THOUGHTS: It's nothing new that I'm probably one of Julie Kagawa's biggest fans. And I'm so excited to get a bound copy of this!

EnshadowedWhile Varen remains a prisoner in a perilous dream world where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life, Isobel travels to Baltimore to confront the dark figure known throughout the world as the Poe Toaster. This man, the same man who once appeared to Isobel in her dreams and abandoned her in Varen’s nightmare world, holds the key to saving Varen.
But when Isobel discovers a way to return to this dream world, she finds herself swept up in a realm that not only holds remnants of Edgar Allan Poe’s presence, but has also now taken on the characteristics of Varen’s innermost self. It is a dark world of fear, terror, and anger.
When Isobel once more encounters Varen, she finds him changed. And now Isobel must face a new adversary—one who also happens to be her greatest love.
THOUGHTS: The first book was amazing, and the ending KILLED me. I'm so glad this is finally available!

Embers and Echoes (Wildefire, #2)Ashline Wilde may have needed school to learn that she is actually a reincarnated goddess, but she’s ready to move beyond books. She leaves her California boarding school behind and makes for Miami, where she meets a new group of deities and desperately seeks her sister Rose, the goddess of war. But she’s also looking for love—because even though her romance with Cole had to be snuffed, Ash is a volcano goddess—and she doesn’t get burned.
This sequel to the edgy and action-packed Wildefire continues a fiery drama on an immortal scale.
THOUGHTS: Wildefire also had an epic ending. Also: These covers are gorgeous.

That's enough yapping. What books are you all looking forward to?


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The False Prince Review

Hey Blogger Buds,
I've got a book review today: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen. It was absolutely amazing.

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing.
The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)
To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.
An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

tl;dr version: Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Core of a Book

Hey Blogger Buds,
Today I'm going to try to talk about writing a bit. Now, now, before you get scared, I'm not going to try to give y'all advice. I don't think I'm nearly experienced enough for that. I also don't know why I said "y'all." I'm not a Texan in [poor] disguise. (Or am I?)
But I've stripped down books to the bare basics. This is something really obvious, and maybe some of you understand this already, and you're about to go "Duh" and click that little red X.

A book is a series of character interactions, and the shifting of relationships that results from those interactions.

A book is comprised of chapters, which is comprised of scenes, which is comprised of two or more characters* interacting. Animals are also characters, as is setting/nature. These interactions change characters' views and feelings, and further actions. Those are what further the plot, and carry the story through.

I haven't done this yet, but I do plan on making line graphs on character relationships. The lines will track character closeness as the story progresses, and I'm going to have it colored as well, for emotions they feel toward each other. And yes, there's a difference.

Now that I've simplified it, told you what I think of the bare basics of books, what's your opinion? Do you agree? Disagree? Agree to disagree? Was I at all helpful for once, or my normal, useless self, rambling on to bother you?


*Of course, there are scenes where a character is just thinking. And besides for the fact that those are few and far between**, we're going to pretend that the character's conscience or Evil Drive or whatever is also a character.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Return of the Jedi


AKA me. Riv.

Remember me? It's been a while.

How are you all? I'm fine. Worn out, but fine.

I read a few books in the past month. Johnny Tremain. I am the Messenger. The False Prince.

Two of those books were amazing. Take a guess at the one that wasn't.

I'll give you a hint:

Johnny Tremain.

In other news, I started a tumblr just yesterday. You're welcome to check it out. It's called Page 394. Books, writing, and subtlety, all by an angsty teen who happens to have a penchant for werewolves and the fantastical.
The direct url is http://rivre.tumblr.com/.

That's enough plug for one day.

Click to embiggen. And yeah, I have both.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Red Moon Rising Review

This post was scheduled in advance, but I employed some fairies to help me, and their glamour has a tendency to stop working at the most inopportune times, like when you're loading this blog post. It should run smoothly, though. I hope.

Hey Blogger Buds,
To continue the trend, I've got another gag-worthy book for review this week! It's called Red Moon Rising by Peter Moore.

Disclaimer: This is a review of an ARC. It may differ from the final book.

Red Moon Rising
Being only half-vamp in a high school like Carpathia Night makes you awhole loser. But Danny Gray manages to escape the worst of the specists at his school. Thanks to genetic treatments he had as an infant, most people assume Danny's other half is human. Which is a good thing.
Ever since the development of synthetic blood – SynHeme – vamps have become society’s elite, while wulves like his father work menial jobs and live in bad neighborhoods. Wulves are less than second class citizens; once a month they become inmates, forced to undergo their Change in dangerous government compounds.
For Danny, living with his vamp mother and going to a school with a nearly all-vamp student body, it’s best to pretend his wulf half doesn’t even exist. But lately Danny's been having some weird symptoms — fantastic night vision; a keener-than-usual sense of smell; and headaches, right around the full moon.
Even though it's easy to be in denial, it's hard to ignore evidence. There's only a month until the next full moon, and Danny's time is running out.

tl;dr review: Easily one of the worst books I've read so far this year. Granted, I've read an embarrassingly small number of books this year, but Red Moon Rising takes the cake. (And yes, I did just say "takes the cake.")

Full review: I don't even know how to preface this one. Just...I expected better judgement on your part, Disney-Hyperion.
We'll start at the beginning.

His name is Dante, and he goes by Danny. Who names their kid Dante? At least in some way acknowledge that Dante is a strange name. Just think of Samhain* "Sam" LaCroix! (No offense to anyone named Dante. It's an awesome name, and I think Mr. Alighieri was a brilliant writer.) And Dante was an alright, though pretty boring, character.
The only good part in the book (besides for one intense scene near the end, though my mood was spoiled by the non-ending) was Dante's best friend, Claire. Claire was pretty awesome.

The world-building would be funny if it weren't so terrible. There are mentions of McJagger, the Royalings Tones, and David-Bo E. I don't remember it exactly, but there's a Bob Dylan knock-off...with the first name Dylan.
But that's kind of avoiding the giant pink elephant in the room, isn't it? So let's introduce him. His first name is "Wulf." His second name is "Vampyre." I think he can finish the introductions by himself, but I don't think that's necessary. We all see his draw-backs. And the spelling is starting to make my eyes bleed.
From page one, you're assaulted with new terms, like "crit level" and "SynHeme" with little explanation. Some of the words aren't so difficult to understand, but it would have been nice to know about the glossary in the back before I finished the book.

One part of this book left me shaking in anger. For this reason alone, the book should not have been published.
The "vampyres" are all blond-haired and blue-eyes. And, once upon a time, oh, 70 years ago, the German "vampyres", who are the upper-class, decided to round up all those mangy "wulves" in concentration camps. Reference, much?
That's right. We just compared 10** million human lives to mythical dogs who don't even know how to spell. And yes, I'm aware that this book is trying to show that the way the "wulves" were treated is wrong. That's not an excuse to make Holocaust references. Jews have been called "cur" (though I wouldn't be surprised if this book spelled it "cir" or something else equally idiotic) enough without your help, thankyouverymuch.

*pronounced "Sow-in."
**I'm including the 4 million homosexuals and gypsies

Rating: 0*
Currently Song: I'm not even going to waste my time


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Possession Review

This post was scheduled in advance. Unless the robotic monkeys snuck in and messed with everything, the post should run smoothly.
Hey Blogger Buds,
Today, I have a review of Possession by Elana Johnson. Warning: Rant Ahead.

Possession (Possession, #1)
Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even thinkabout kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.
But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.
This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

tl;dr version: There are many better things I could have been doing. Like reading Fullmetal Alchemist. Or stabbing myself with needles.

Full version: This book was terrible. I don't even know what to say. It manages to be both formulaic and uniquely weird at the same time. You're about to find out why.

Violet. She's really bland. The most interesting part about her is that she supposedly has cool hair, which she obsesses over. And it's not even particularly intriguing. The characteristic that sticks out most is her stupidity. In the beginning of the book, Vi is locked up with a possibly-dangerous criminal with little-to-no security if he were to, say, try to rape or kill her. All "V" can think about is the way he says the word "nice" and shrugs his shoulders. Never mind that the boy she's been Matched* with--and loves--is waiting for her at home, she's got this hot criminal here who will lend her some hair gel so she can impress people! (Who exactly she hopes to impress when she's locked up with a maybe-rapist is beyond me.)
What else? Jag--the bad boy in our stereotypical love triangle--is hot. And that's pretty much it. Redeemable qualities? Well...he lies a lot. Wait. You're saying that's not a redeemable quality? But Violet does it all the time! And whenever Jag lies to her, she forgives him after approximately 5.3 seconds, so she must not care that much.
The only semi-likable character is Zenn. He's weak and vulnerable, though he's repeatedly called Violet's "sweet, wonderful Zenn." And he wasn't really. This guy has potential, but it's very very minimal.

Real "tech" (source)
The world-building is bland and unoriginal, except for this weird bit about character that have mind-control capabilities. What's with that? Is this Doctor Who, where humans have evolved and and interbred with other species to give them new powers? Because the book never mentioned anything like that. It's a futuristic world so...Did radiation alter everyone and magically give them superpowers?
Which leads to my next bit on world-building. They don't have technology and gadgets. There's "tech," also called "techtricity." And Violet can sense and control this "tech" with her mind. In fact, she takes little initiation unless she's sure that her powers are there to save her. Her strength of will and determination only takes her as far as her powers do.

There is, of course, a Resistance. Or Rebellion. Or something. And I learnt absolutely nothing about them in this book. I don't even care to remember their name**.
Violet keeps on mentioned "Vi Speak" and "Jag Speak." As though whenever they say certain things, they mean other things, and they can "understand" each other's double-meaning. Violet, honey, this is what we call subtext. Understanding subtext is part of what makes you a normal, social person.

*Yeah, I linked to that book on purpose. It's nearly identical to this one.
**I used to have a Resistance in my WIP. And then I realized that that is a completely boring name. So I thought up something better.

Rating: 0* No. Just no.
Song that Connects to the Book: I was going to say Me Against the World by Simple Plan, but none of the characters in this book have even close to as much determination and strength shown in the song.

So. That was a bit long.
If you read Possession what did you think? Do you agree with me, or like it for some reason?


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Rules of Survival Review and a Sort Of Hiatus

Hey Blogger Buds,
Those who have been following me for a long time know that I go away every August, to the middle of nowhere without internet. I've considered putting a sibling in charge of the blog, but the Blobfish (AKA: the sister) is super-busy. I try to schedule posts for you, even though I can't put together as many as usual. (I know my blogging has already been pretty...erratic...lately, but that's besides the point.)
I have 2 reviews going up next Tuesday and the one after. I hope to put up another review, though I'm super busy today and I'm leaving tomorrow. I do plan on putting together another few posts, to go up every Sunday (I can't do Sunday and Thursday), but I can't promise. (Seriously--CRAZY busy today.)
I will be back Tuesday, August 21 and I'll put up another post then, if I'm not completely exhausted.

I'm going to have brief internet access, hopefully, on Sunday, August 5th. If you would like to contact me about the blog, I can be reached at RivReads AT gmail DOT com. If you have a more personal, less-official message to send me (I'm going to regret sharing this, aren't I?), I can also be reached at RivReWrites AT gmail DOT com. Blog-related emails WILL NOT BE RESPONDED TO if sent to the second address*.

*Unless you're J K Rowling personally emailing me to offer up a signed ARC of The Casual Vacancy. In which case, maybe.

And, since it's Tuesday, I have a sort-of-mini review for you, as well, of The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin. (Recommended by the aforementioned Blobfish.)

The Rules of Survival
For Matt and his sisters, life with their cruel, vicious mother is a day-to-day struggle for survival. But then Matt witnesses Murdoch coming to a child's rescue in a convenience store, and for the first time, he feels a glimmer of hope.
When, amazingly, Murdoch begins dating Matt's mother, life is suddenly almost good. But the relief lasts only a short time. When Murdoch inevitably breaks up with their mother, Matt knows he needs to take action. But can he call upon his hero? Or will he have to take measures into his own hands?
A heart-wrenching portrait of a family in crisis, this is Nancy Werlin's most compulsively readable novel yet.

The Rules of Survival was pretty intense, I guess, but I wasn't overwhelmed by it. I do love the style. It was written as a letter (similar to Stolen: A Letter to My Captor) to Matt's younger sister, who was just a child when the book took place. You also, weirdly, know how the book ends before it does. Matt keeps saying how his sister is reading this "after," and she knows XYZ happened. But you still don't know exactly how it's going to go down (I'm reverting to the 80s) until it does, and I was definitely thrown for a few loops. There are multiple climaxes, and they are intense.
One small problem I had was that there was a "big reveal" about Murdoch in the end, something I was able to guess early on. But there was more to it, at least, which I didn't expect.
The Rules of Survival gives you a lot of great insights. Matt's mother wasn't exactly abusive on a regular basis. But that almost makes it worse, because she was unstable. You get inside of Matt's head, and you can understand and sympathize with him, living in a constant state of absolute terror.

I liked the characters well enough, though it's not really my type of book. It was okay, and that's pretty much it. A bit forgettable for my fantasy-centered mind. (I find it harder to care about individual characters when the fate of entire worlds hangs in the balance. And yeah, I'm completely aware that this book is realistic, and, sadly, very commmonplace.)

Rating: 3 stars. It was okay.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thoughts on Books I'm Reading

Hey Blogger Buds,
I went to the library twice in the passed few weeks (yay! the library!), and picked up a nice collection of books. I'm in middle of two, and I started (ie: read the beginning chapter-ish because I was curious) another two. I thought I'd share with y'all a few thoughts on them. I'll tell you how far in I am, too, before you get mad at me for judging a book without finishing it.

Drink, Slay, Love
Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Read: 10 pages (one chapter)
Definitely unique. I love that we finally have a vampire who, so far, doesn't have much of a conscience. Yes, she steals cars. Yes, she eats from people. No, she doesn't look back, except when she finds a nice, steady source of blood. She's nonchalant and a little bit jaded. The voice isn't necessarily funny, but I am still pretty entertained.

I Am the MessengerI am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Read: 14 pages (one chapter)
Although I am the Messenger isn't anywhere near as good as The Book Thief in the pretty writing category, it's still great. 19-year-old Ed Kennedy is very normal, as are all of his friends, who are all entertaining and distinct characters. Ed reminds me a bit of Sam LaCroix from Hold Me Closer, Necromancer in the way that they're both completely normal, unextraordinary (that's not a word, is it?) characters. I also love the formatting of this book. It has four parts, for the card suits, and each part has thirteen chapters, Ace through King.

Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1)Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Read: 18 pages (prologue + 1 chapter)
I kept on meaning to read this, and I was super happy to find it sitting on my library shelf. I haven't read much, but it's one of the two books I've started and plan to continue. Even though I haven't gotten far yet. It's so intriguing, and the plot is actually pretty complex already while still being easy to follow. There are a handful of characters mentioned that only pop up briefly, but I'm still interested. I love high fantasy like this. :)

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielson
Read: 116 pages (18 chapters)
This book is amazing. I flew through it. Sage is an amazing character, very entertaining and likable. The plot is really intriguing, and even the side characters, who Sage isn't exactly friends with, are likable. Words cannot describe my enjoyment of this book. Sage is one of the most brilliant, resourceful, relaxed characters I've seen in a while. And no matter how much he pretends not to care, no matter how sharp he keeps his tongue, he feels deeply about everything, including a pretty servant girl.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

More Angelfire Linkage!

Hey Blogger Buds,
We'll be back to your regularly scheduled programming next Sunday. But today I will [once again] direct you to The Little Reapers. A post of mine went up yesterday, and another today, and there's even more of me tomorrow, if you haven't had enough by then! (And then, on Sunday, there's a super super epic giveaway, too.) I spent hours, and swooned a bit, too, to bring you these two posts. I haven't spent this long on a blog post since my tFiOS review. (I know that was pretty recent, and the last time I can think of before that was probably my Iron Queen review back in January...of 2011.)


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Angelfire Review (Linkage)

The Little ReapersHey Blogger Buds,
Sorry for the late post! I'm halfway through Doctor Who (I've officially become a Whovian) and I realize: Hey! Today's Tuesday! I stopped my episode in middle to come here. That's how devoted I am. I put y'all before David Tennant. (This is saying something.)
I don't have a review right here, BUT I've been guest blogging over at The Little Reapers! Yesterday, I reviewed Angelfire and Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton, and today was my favorites list! I use the word epic a lot. Go check it out!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Idea Fodder

A small selection off my Pinterest board, Idea Fodder. It's a random collection of pictures that give me ideas, spark my imagination.
I put them in a specific order. Try to make a story out of it. Tell me what you end up with.

And there's this girl...
This secret is safe with me. *Super* safe.
Alchemy Kit, Magic
Lookin' good
Oooh, pretty dragons!

I've got my story. It's one of forbidden magic and fear. What's yours?


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Books In Your Pants

Hey Blogger Buds,
I've been watching some old Brotherhood 2.0 vlogs lately, and there were a couple on the infamous phrase "In Your Pants." Both Hank and John pulled out some books that would sound great in your pants (see what I did there? eh?) so I figured, as part of my eternal fangirling, I would give it a shot. I didn't go hunting on Goodreads, I just pulled some titles off my bookshelf and narrowed the list down to 16.
(I probably don't need to say this, but the post might be a little NSFW for those of you who have superbly talented four-year-olds who know how to read my blog.)

YA in Your Pants.
(Wow, that sounds bad...)

A Need So Beautiful
Beautiful Creatures
Too Far
Happy Families
Shatter Me
Lola and the Boy Next Door
The Scorch Trials

I'm going to leave it up to you to fill in the "In Your Pants" in your mind.
I just chose Trance because it rhymes. :)

I hope I was able to brighten your day a bit!
What do you think is the perfect book in your pants?


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Classics

Hey Blogger Buds,
This summer I'm tackling a few classics, so I figured that today I'd share with you the pre-2000 books I'm reading. I don't usually read classics, so I'm also going to mention my reason for picking these books.

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I'm reading this one for the Nerdfighter book club. John and Hank Green chose it because E. L. James sold more copies of Fifty Shades of Grey in a month than Ray Bradbury sold of F451 in his entire lifetime.
Right now, I'm 70 pages in, and it's amazing. Mr. Bradbury has an astounding command of the English language, and a way of just weaving words together to paint these astonishing pictures for you. The only author I've recently read who I could say the same thing about is Markus Zusak.
I'm not finished yet, but I still highly recommend.

To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To be honest, I don't really know what this is about. It seems that when a book reaches a certain status as a classic, it doesn't need a summary anymore, just stuff about how it's "compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving" and "takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos." (nabbed from Goodreads) I don't even know what "pathos" means*.
But it's a book that everyone just must read, supposedly. Also, it was one of my summer reading choices for school, so let's kill two birds with one stone, eh? (Pun intended.)

Johnny Tremain
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
This is my other school book. I read it a few years back, for a different school summer assignment, so hopefully I'll remember some of it, and just have to give it a quick skim. I don't know how to explain it, so I'll leave it up to Goodreads to provide a semi-ambiguous summary:

"Johnny Tremain, a young apprentice silversmith, is caught up in the danger and excitement of 1775 Boston, just before the Revolutionary War. But even more gripping than living through the drama of Revolutionary Boston is the important discovery Johnny makes in his own life."

Fire and Hemlock
Fire and Hemlock by Dianna Wynne Jones
Probably at least one or two of you are loading your guns and/or wands and preparing to come after me for including this book on a list of classics. But I said that I would be including pre-2000 books, and this one was published in 1985.

I'm reading it because my knowledge of DWJ's works is embarrassingly limited to Howl's Moving Castle and some other half-hearted attempts, so when I saw Fire and Hemlock on the library shelf I scooped it up without even reading the summary. For this reason, I don't really know what it's about, and I refuse to find out, because then I might change my mind. If I'm going read it anyway, is there even a point to knowing what it's about? No.

That's the plan for my summer classics! Wish me luck!

What kind of classics are you planning on reading this summer?


*pathos: "a quality that evokes pity or sadness" -Thanks, Google!