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!)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Am a Bad Blogger...So Here's a Cover!

Hey Blogger Buds,
I feel like a really bad blogger. *shakes fist at self* My Sunday posts are kind of lacking. I'm proud of myself that I'm still pretty much maintaining my Tuesday reviews and Thursday meme, but I've got so much else going on in my life that I can't think about Sunday posts, and take the time to write them.

So instead I'll just leave you with two things:

1) My writing is going wonderfully. Remember my post on goals a little bit ago? Well I just reached my goal of 3,375 words for the second time, and earned my second episode of TV. It's very satisfying, in multiple ways.
I just finished this insanely emotional scene. Like, emotional-hurricane type.

2) You probably saw it already, but the cover of Crown of Embers was released! You know, Crown of Embers. The sequel to Girl of Fire and Thorns. Oh, you forgot what Girl of Fire and Thorns looks like? Here's a reminder:
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)
Aaaaand here's the new cover:
The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)

Side by side:
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)

Adios, stalkers followers.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Character Dolls: Will

Hey Blogger Buds,
I'm back with another character this Thursday! Today, I've got a picture of Will from Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton. I read Angelfire a while back, and I have Wings of the Wicked sitting on my shelf right now, waiting for me to start. (Oh Em Geeeee, my hardcover set is GORGEOUS.)
First, a reminder what this meme is about:

"Character Dolls" is a weekly meme here at Riv Reads every Thursday. Doll-making websites, like elouai, are my guilty pleasure, and I figured that while I'm on them, I might as well fan-girl a bit! And while I'm doing that, why not share some of my creations on the blog?
Please don't use this meme without express permission from myself first.
Unless otherwise stated, all dolls are made with elouai.
And, of course, I ask that you don't alter my dolls, or claim them as your own. If you like one of the dolls, and want to spread the love, please don't post the picture on your own blog, but instead link back here! And you're welcome to give it a go, of course, and create your own dolls. If you do, let me know so I can check it out!

Angelfire (Angelfire, #1)
This week's character is Will from the Angelfire series.

(Drumroll please)

Will was really easy and really hard at the same time. I don't really like the shirt, but the wings were definitely fun to add. :)
1) I did the head first, as usual. It was very easy. I found a good pair of green eyes, a normal nose and mouth (I'm not into giving guys girly lips. I can't handle it.) The hair was also pretty easy, since there are surprisingly few normal brown hairstyles, which is what Will has. I also picked out a nice, strong jaw for him.
2) The shirt is what most annoys me. I wanted a t-shirt, maybe sleeveless, maybe not. I found this one, and I first took it as a pretty average shirt, with the bonus of having Will's tattoos. Looking at it again, I don't really like the shirt, though the tattoos are still great.
3) Pants and boots are pretty average, with a tough-guy feel.
4) The wings, which I actually did before even the shirt, are my favorite part. It's not every day I get to design a character with wings, and aren't these just so cute and fluffy?

Overall: The shirt's a little too...I dunno, modern?....for my tastes, and he has kind of boring features, but he didn't come out so bad.


Current Music: Dance with the Devil by Breaking Benjamin

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Les Miserables Mini Review

Hey Blogger Buds,
Sorry, I haven't finished any books lately, aside from Les Miserables, which I had an Midway Mention of last week.
I finished it over the weekend, and I have two words for you:

(Sorry, I wanted to find you guys a gif, but that's not where my talents lie)

In other news, I just got Courtney Allison Moulton's Wings of the Wicked in the mail today, and I almost died.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nothing To Say

I really should be writing, so I'm going to not-blog today.
But, like I said, I SHOULD be writing. What am I doing instead, you ask?
Watching Hank Green make a bunch of awesome ten word videos on Youtube. PRECIOUS.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Character Dolls: Prince Ash

Hey Blogger Buds!
Last Thursday, I posted a picture I made using one of the online dress-up websites. Last week, I showed you Lola Nolan, from Lola and the Boy Next Door.
This week, I have Prince Ash from The Iron Fey books. (Don't worry, I also have a Puck, but I think I'll save that for next week.)

"Character Dolls" is a weekly meme here at Riv Reads every Thursday. Doll-making websites, like elouai, are my guilty pleasure, and I figured that while I'm on them, I might as well fan-girl a bit! And while I'm doing that, why not share some of my creations on the blog?
Please don't use this meme without express permission from myself first.
Unless otherwise stated, all dolls are made with elouai.

And, of course, I ask that you don't alter my dolls, or claim them as your own. If you like one of the dolls, and want to spread the love, please link back here! And you're welcome to give it a go, of course. Let me know if you do. :)

This week's doll is Prince Ash from the Iron Fey series.

(Drumroll please)

I made Ash a little bit differently than usual. I generally avoid extraneous things, like penguins, and I never put backgrounds in. But I was so tempted.
My thought process as I designed Ash:
1) I think I began with the eyes on this one. Even though the cover of The Iron Knight features him with blue eyes and short hair, their both incorrect. He has silver eyes. So I found grey ones. The rest of his face I kind of pushed off.
2) And then, of course, the hair. Like I said, he doesn't have short hair, so I went looking for the longest black hair I could find that was still shiny and pretty. I mostly succeeded, though it's pretty short.
3) I had no idea what I wanted for the clothes. A starched white shirt? A tee? A coat? A cape? (Shirtless?) Pants were relatively easy, though you'd be surprised how many pairs of black pants this site has. The boots were probably the easiest part. I eventually settled, as you can see, on a coat, even though I didn't really want it. (Just ignore the metal chains.)
4) I went back to the face then. I didn't do it before because it was surprisingly hard. Finding grey eyes and a hard jaw isn't a big deal, but I wanted to get the expression right. And the nose. I think I broke a record with the amount of time I spent on getting the perfect nose. And it was really hard to get an expressionless mouth. And eyebrows. I'm pretty happy with how little emotion is visible. Is he happy? Or angry? I could imagine him as either.
5) The background I just HAD to add. He's...he's Ash! Winter prince!
6) Oh, and the penguin was just too freakin' adorable to leave out. I'm sure Ash just wants to turn it into a shish-kabob, though. PENGY.

I'm pretty satisfied with Ash. I wish the coat didn't have the chains, but it's not a big deal. And I HEART the pengy!

I'm still looking for any ideas on what to call this meme!
And, for those of you who have read The Iron Fey books, what do you think of my depiction of Ash?
Leave a comment, or Ash will freeze you with that stare. (Wait. That's not a very good threat, is it?)

Peace and Penguins,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Les Miserables Valentines Day Midway Mention: An Open Letter to Jean Valjean

Hey Blogger Buds,
Happy Valentine's Day! Well, if that's how you roll, at least. Don't forget that your valentine isn't limited to your SO. On the day of love, you can settle down with Blue Bunny, and Ben an Jerry's. Or a sappy romance novel. Or Merlin. Or a book about people killing each other.
Whatever floats your boat.

Anyways, for the occasion, I've got a Midway Mention, Valentine-style!
First, a reminder of what Midway Mention is:

Midway Mention is a feature here at Riv Reads in which I say a few words on the book I'm in middle of reading, and let you know my thoughts when I'm around halfway through. I ask that you please don't use my idea without explicit permission first.

Now that that's out of the way:

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Abridged version, translated from the French by Charles E. Wilbour

Up to: Page 131 of 321, Marius: The Grandfather and the Grandson: End of the Brigand

Les MiserablesAn Open Letter to Jean Valjean:

Dear Jean Valjean,
When we first met, I really expected to dislike you. Sure, you're not as long-winded as usual, and you speak fluent English, but you're also ancient, bent on reminiscing your days as a convict and Holy Man.
But when you started speaking, I was captivated. Your story is a tragic one, a noble one, and you are amazingly, dazzlingly (and not like a sparklepire) eloquent.
You started off as a recently freed man, scorned by everyone for your status, and then you turned into a good person, only met with unfortunate circumstances, invoking my pity only pages into your tale. You are wise, and noble, and generous. You're a martyr who completely embodies charity and goodness.
And, most importantly, you're a likable and still flawed protagonist. Your story is one I enjoy hearing, as much as I expected to hate it. It is no wonder that you are responsible for turning many people onto the joys of reading.
I may be less that halfway through your life's story, but I wholeheartedly expect to enjoy the rest.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

On Meeting Writing Goals

Hey Blogger Buds,
There are different ways of rewarding yourself for writing. Some people will look at kitten pictures if they've written. (That doesn't exactly work, since I just get distracted and start Googling baby animal pictures.) Other people eat chocolate. And yet others just try not to die.
I use my favorite forms of procrastination as rewards.
Meaning I do the cruelest thing imagineable:

I stop watching Merlin. And Glee.

I KNOW. It's torture. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on the blog yet or not, but I work on a reward system of TV. For every 75 words I write, I get a minute of TV. So, in order to watch a 45 minute episode of Glee or Merlin (as a bonus, I let myself go back to rewatch all of the Merlin-Arthur scenes without having to write for them) I have to write 3,375 words.

I just completed my first set. It only took me a few days. And now, I have to pick Glee or Merlin. Ah, #firstworldproblems....


In other news: If you missed it, I had a picture I made of Lola Nolan from Lola and the Boy Next Door up on Thursday.
On Tuesday: I have a Valentines Day Midway Mention coming up (hopefully) for Les Miserables.

How do you reward yourself for reaching writing goals?

Peace and kittens,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

When I Play With Doll-Makers: Lola Nolan

(from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins)
Hey Blogger Buds,
New weekly (hopefully) meme (hopefully) time! I have no idea what to call it, so PLEASE leave me any name suggestions!

"When I Play With Doll-Makers" is a weekly meme here at Riv Reads every Thursday. Doll-making websites, like elouai, are my guilty pleasure, and I figured that while I'm on them, I might as well fan-girl a bit! And while I'm doing that, why not share some of my creations on the blog?
Please don't use this meme without express permission from myself first.
Unless otherwise stated, all dolls are made with elouai.

There you go! A virtual doll every Thursday, special for YOU my blog readers. I ask that you do NOT claim these as your own, or alter them in any way (of course, you can make your own, and if you do I'd love for you to link them in the comments!) that they can pass as your own while still being mine.
Please don't use my pictures without my permission either. If you want to share some of the dolls, you can link here, or you can ask and I'll be happy to let you share them. If I allow the latter, I ask that you do NOT cut off the "elouai" label-thingy.

Now, on to the fun part!

Lola and the Boy Next Door
This week's doll is Lola Nolan from Lola and the Boy Next Door.

(drumroll please)

My thought-process as I designed Lola:
Instead of starting with the face, like I usually do, I started with hair. I knew that I wanted Lola to look different, original, I wanted her mostly to stand out. I wanted her features to be very plain, as well.
1)So I began with hair. I found some big stuff, some loud things. The whole time I thought: wig, wig, wig. Big wig. Big wig. Big wig. Man, that's a tongue-twister...
And then I went on to clothes.
2)I found a handful of shirts that were far from normal, and I kept those at the side, to go back to later. That's what I usually do.
3)When I moved on to bottoms, I knew I wanted either (A) A long skirt to go with a "regular" top (B) Normal jeans with an outrageous top or (C) leggings with a long top.
As you can see, I chose the third option. And it matches the wig, too!
4) At this point, I had gotten bored of my faceless Lola and took a break from clothes. I chose understated eyes, nose and mouth, and I think I wanted a "heart-shaped" face.
5) Shoes. I knew I wanted something loud, of course. And then it hit me: red boots. It matches the sweater-thing, goes up to the leggings, and is loud to perfectly off-set the black of the dress. When I realized I wanted red boots, I refused to settle for anything less. And I found something perfect.

I'm overall very happy with how Lola came out. Looking her over, I can't think of anything I wish I had done differently.

So any ideas on what I can officially call this meme? I'm clueless.
And if you've read Lola and the Boy Next Door, what do you think of my depiction of Lola?

Peace and costumes,

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On Sekrit Project

So Blogger Buds,
I haz a Sekrit Project. Yup, it's so cool, it's not secret. It's Sekrit (with a capital S, too!).
I've heard people talk about their secret/sekrit projects, but I could never imagine writing something and not wanting to show it to the world.
And then it hit me. (And this time, I'm not referring to the Frisbee getting bigger and bigger.)
I got the idea that's total cliche, as well as contemporary (and remember, I wasn't known as the Fantasy Fanatic for nothing). It's a funny, romantic, full-out chic-lit which, in a way I can relate to.
I'll share it with you, because I don't care if everyone knows the idea, because you've heard it already, and the Sekrit part is how it's written, not the basic idea.

Take the biggest city you've ever been to, the craziest one. You've got it? Imagine how hectic it is and multiply it by ten. You're getting closer to NYC. And if that city you're thinking of is NYC, multiply by ten anyways. It's grown since last time you looked.
Our male MC comes from New York.
Now take the smallest town you've ever seen, and divide it by ten. Then you'll have the setting. And if the town you're thinking of is this setting, head to a doctor, because this place doesn't exist.
Our female MC lives here.

It's the story of big-city boy coming to small-town--um--town. And he pretty much gives FMC PTSD from meeting a New Yorker, rated the second-rudest city in the US, just behind LA.

And I've said enough ;-)

Good luck with your novels, too! Whether they be agented, unagented, going through ARCs, being edited, being drafted, being planned, or something else!
Or, if it's for you only, be it secret or Sekrit, good luck! And if you're trying to find a Sekrit Novel idea, good luck to you too! I hope the weird little clues stuck in here did some good!


Current Mood: Not feeling well
Current Music: Taylor Swift by Tim McGraw (wait, that's not right...)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lola and the Boy Next Door Review

Hey Blogger Buds,
I hate opening up blog posts with apologies. It feels like such a negative way to start a post, especially a post about a book you didn't actually like. But...
I'm sorry.
My school has this production thing that's kind of a Big Deal. It involves A Lot of Practice. And one of my house computers broke. And I've been pushing myself to finally finish my first draft, after three years.
All in all, I'm a bad person blogger.
BUT, today I have a review for you.
And on Thursday I have a new meme planned, and I really hope this one works out.
Let's get to the review, shall we?

Add Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins on Goodreads!
Bonus: Even though, as you're about to see, I didn't like the book, I have something extra-special and Lola related coming on Thursday!

Lola and the Boy Next DoorBlurby:
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Preface: I'm not someone who went into Lola expecting a bad book. And my expectations weren't through the roof. But I know that Stephanie can write really well, and I expected this book to nearly live up to the standards set with Anna. This isn't a review by someone who hates/loves anything and everything Stephanie Perkins.
Anna and the French Kiss was one of the best contemporary romances I read in 2011. The characters were all real, hysterical, adorable, and the chemistry between Anna and Etienne was amazing. I was scared to touch their names with my fingertips, in case touching both at the same time would electrocute me. Perkins even had one of Anna's cutest lines in this book, as well, as a treat for fans, I guess. :)
Unfortunately, Anna and Etienne were the best part of this sequel.
I wasn't feeling the romance in this one. I didn't even like the love interest. And both boys were really poorly written.
But I'm jumping ahead a bit.
San Francisco. Awesome setting, definitely.
Lola. Cute, spunky, quirky, and original. Great main character, though sometimes annoying.
[Rant ahead.]
Parents. Well, Dads. I have absolutely no problem with Lola being brought up by two gay men. I think it's a pretty interesting twist and, being a Gleek, it's very Berry-esque. And Stephanie Perkins, as Lola of course, keeps on saying that just because they're gay doesn't mean one of them is the "woman." Lola/Stephanie says that they're very equal.
Except: Nathan is the lawyer, who "brings home the bacon" and cracks down on Lola about rules, the "bad cop." Meanwhile, Andy bakes pie, and is always on Lola's side, telling her he'll go talk to Nathan when something happens. He calls Nathan "honey." Although Lola is trying to phrase it not in a negative light, with a really frank view ("and I don't use this expression lightly") she admits that ice-skating is "the gayest thing about him."
You want equality? Make Nathan the one who likes figure-skating. I've met gay men; some are gayer than others. I know someone who looks and acts like a completely normal, decent person (no, I'm NOT saying that gay people aren't "decent") who could be straight.
Perkins took a perfectly nice trope and messed it up royally.
[/End rant]

I really like Max at first. He started out sweet and sensitive. Perkins deliberately changed his character in middle of the book. If how he acted in the beginning is anything to go by, he's a good person. He must have hit his head, or become bipolar or something... And you know me, I always root for the underdog.
Cricket really, really annoyed me at first.  As much as I liked Max I disliked Cricket. And then, like Max, he underwent a completely change into a less-annoying person. And yes, I understand that he was smitten, but he was such a push-over. There was ZERO chemistry.

(And notice how I just used a sentence in all-caps? The book has that too. Sure, it's a writing style, but it comes across as incredibly unprofessional.)

Besides for Max (at first) and Anna-Etienne, the only good part was...
Wait. Scratch that. Anna-Etienne was the only good part that lasted the entire book. They're just cuteness times infinity.

Rating: 2 stars It was a bad book. I don't recommend it.


If you've read Anna and/or Lola, what did you think of them?