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!)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Character Dolls: Effie Trinket

Hey Blogger Buds,

"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!

Today, I've got a depiction of Effie Trinket. She's got a little bit of movie pink in her, and a lot of book psycho.

This week's character is Effie Trinket from the Hunger Games Trilogy.

(Drumroll please)

Not as much pyscho as I would have hoped, but still overwhelmingly pink.
1) I went looking for pink hair, but nothing was crazy enough. So I switched my whole color scheme to blue and purple. And being from the Capitol, I had to give her a healthy, round face. She does stuff her face, after all...
2) Once that was done, the clothes were easy. I wanted to match Effie's shoes from the movie, but there's no mimicking that. They were just too good.
3) Since this is Effie, and this is the capitol, I had to give her something weird on her face. Along with the cool tattoos, her eyes were automatically changed to green and blue, which I don't really mind so much.
4) If you're wondering, the orange sunglasses is (are?) Effie's subtle way of supporting Katniss, the girl on fire.

Overall: I'm pretty happy with the outcome, though I wish I could have portrayed her psycho a bit better. But I still think she's
(marvelous, if you can't see it)

What do you think? Does the beard approve?

Coming on Sunday: I'm joining the rockingjays (like Wrock and twi-rock) with a song parody! I'm not going to spoil it, but it's for the careers....
Though Songs from District 12 and Beyond still rocks my socks.

May the odds be ever in your favor,

Current Music: Songs from District 12 and Beyond (duh)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie Review

Hey Blogger Buds,
I almost wrote this review after I saw the movie on Sunday morning, but I pushed it off in hopes that I would be more coherent after a few days. I am not. (I'm also kind of tempted to go see it again, to catch those little things you miss the first time around. Alas, it was not meant to be. But I might convince some friends to go, and join them... Or, worse comes to worst, I'll rewatch it when the DVD is out.)
I'm doing a pretty detailed analysis, using an overview provided by The Hunger Games wikia and Wikipedia to help me.

Of course, if you haven't read the book, this is spoilery.
Fair Warning: I run out of synonyms for "beautiful," "amazing," "glorious," "fabulous," and "perfect." Sorry, there's going to be a lot of repetition.

If you'd asked me on Sunday morning what I thought of the Hunger Games, judging it by the trailers and clips I got online, I would have told you that it was going to be a terrible movie. I expected to completely hate it.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

I missed the first three minutes of the movie, but it wasn't much, and I caught it later. The best part: Buttercup, Prim's cat, gives Katniss a dirty look. And then there's a lot of walking, giving us a view of the Seam. It could have been better. It could have been worse.

She says a few words in the beginning, but the first thing I heard Katniss say was, pardon my French, "d@mn it, Gale!" (Yes, I did just put an "@," what makes you ask?) It was kind of an eye-roll moment for me.

Gale. Gale, Gale, Gale. I'm going to save Katniss for last, but I'm going to rant about Gale here: I love Gale. Before I was Team Seneca Crane's Beard, I was Team Gale. I imagined him as tall and lanky, with grey eyes (of course). Liam Hemsworth (though he comes equipped with a well-disguised steamy accent) is stocky. Peeta-stocky. Cato-stocky.
Result: Gale=bad

We go on, and Effie is awesome. Psychotic, OCD, and manner-obsessed, but awesome. And then she draws Prim, and there's DRAMA. And you stare in shock, cuz you had NO IDEA that was going to happen. And there's a sense of being alone, as everyone steps back, and a little 12-year-old is standing there, frozen in shock, terrified out of her wits and utterly abandoned.
And then Katniss. We've all seen this scene in the trailer, of course. Katniss volunteers, Prim cries, Gale takes her away, and Katniss goes up to Effie, who is wearing awesome shoes. Seriously. Go see the movie, and study Effie's shoes. You only get brief glimpses, but they're frawesome.

District 12's salute of Katniss was fabulous. (I was going to say something else, with a gif, but I'm saving that for last.)

I was a bad person about what happens next. Peeta is called, and I barely contained my laughter. He was about to cry, and I was giggling in my seat. For a while after, he was a nervous wreck.
The beautiful flashback shut me up, though. It was short, intense, and really whet the viewer's appetite. Fortunately, they deliver. But not just yet.

Haymitch was fantastic. I don't remember, but Google tells me that he had black hair in the book. I still loved him. I wish his hair was a bit longer though, his beard a drop scruffier. And, of course, I wanted him to be drunker than he was. ;)

The Capitol was beautiful. Though no one had eyebrows.
Cinna was...better than I expected. I'm still a little disappointed, but he could have been much, much worse.
The parade was disappointing. I was expecting flames. I got...sparks. It was very meh, IMHO.
Caesar Flickerman was every bit as slick as he was in the book. It was perfect. He was glorious.
I will critique the lack of explanation about the whole love-thing. Haymitch only spared it a one-liner.
One scene I didn't quite understand: Cinna dramatically helps Katniss put on her jacket before the games. He then fastens a Mockingjay to her shirt, concealing it with dramatic-jacket, and then he puts a finger to his lips. In the book, Katniss doesn't take the pin into the arena at all, it's forbidden. The pin isn't elaborated on.

The arena is amazing. You really get a feel for it, and it's beautiful, too. The gore in the bloodbath is kept to a minimum, as well. In a good way. But killing an adorable little boy, and a Career one, at that? Not cool, Cato. Not cool.
The cannons weren't very cannon-like, though. It made me sad. I wanted that boom.
Katniss grabs a non-orange pack, and heads towards the border. Bored, the Gamemakers raise the heat a bit. This part was really cool in the book, and I was really nervous it would get messed up. But it was perfect.
The silver parachutes were quite impressive, as well. Very cute. Well-done.
Rue was fabulous, of course. So cute I want to eat her, and a brilliant little thief too.
The tracker-jackers were so scary. And so cool. Katniss's hallucinations were artfully done, and still terrifying. Really sad, as well.
Ah! Rue! I totally teared up.

Am I the only one who thought the announcer would sound like that annoying guy who pops up when you're the millionth person to visit a web page, and says "Congratulations! You won!"?

I was curious as to how Peeta's rock disguise would turn out. In the book, I didn't quite get it. And lolz. When reading that scene in the book, this is pretty much what I pictured, and I was confuzzled.
Seneca Crane. He was amazing. Fo' realz. Wes Bentley is the newest love of my life. I don't think we'd work out though; he'd shave the beard to avoid the fangirls, and I'd leave him.
The cave was amazing. Sweet, soft, sensitive. All the things that Katniss isn't. Though it's sometimes the little things, like the lack of drugging Peeta, that bothers me. There was soup, of course. And they slept side by side. But there was no drugging Peeta to sneak out for his medicine. Which I would have loved. But she goes.
Gale's little scenes were a really great addition. I loved seeing him, his reaction to Katniss-Peeta kissy-kissy.
Katniss sneaks out and we, of course, have scary-killer-Glimmer who doesn't shine. At all.
Thresh was amazing. He was perfect, scary and forgiving both. Though we were missing emo-Cato when Glimmer dies. EMO-CATO FTW! But more on him later.

We only got emo-Katniss at one part. She goes hunting. She hears the cannon. She sees the berries. She flips. I die. (Well, more acurately, Foxface dies. Semantics.)
But past boring emo stuff. It gets dark. There's barking. A scream. Glorious, ferocious, muttations. They're not quite what I imagined, but they're fantastic still.

I don't need to explain to you what happens next, at the Cornucopia. But dfasdkfjadf OMfreakin'G.
Peeta, understandably, doesn't lose any legs in the movie. (Me? Sadistic? Noooo)

Some Things I Wanted to Mention Separately
Katniss isn't as morally ambiguous in the movie as in the book. She kills people, crushes Peeta, does mean things in the book. I've always loved how her first direct kill is to avenge Rue. But besides for that, she mercy-kills Cato and is pretty saint-like for the rest of the time.
Jennifer Lawrence was better than I expected. I was really annoyed, at first, by her lack of expression. Her face is frozen the entire movie. One expression. Like Emma Watson in HP7-2. And then you look at her eyes. And they betray everything. And you decide she's not as bad as you thought. Bonus points if every now and then you almost maybe a little bit forget that she's a 23-year-old Hollywood actress playing a 16-year-old Seam hunter.
Peeta was better than I thought. But J-Hutch (yes, I just said that) had too much hair gel. Seriously.

The CAMERA was TERRIBLE. Yeah, they want me to be as confused as Katniss, have the same rushed tunnel-vision as her. But dudes. I was ready to puke. So glad I didn't see it in IMAX. (I was probably sitting a bit too close, too, but whatever.)

Top 12:


I'm going to avoid pictures, so you, too, can be overwhelmed by the lolz. But it was beautiful. And a bit creepy.


You get a glimpse, and she's the wrong color, but in that moment you really understand her and Katniss's relationship.


Control Room
It was a very pleasing addition, seeing the Gamemakers. Really cool, and almost fun in a sadistic way.


Katniss vs Haymitch
They do scuffle, like in the books. And I was rolling. I'm not going to tell you they're little pokes at each other, because it'll ruin it, but it's great. Gif-worthy. But I'm getting to that soon.


President Snow + "hope" - evil bloody roses = Dumbledore
You think I'm joking. He just needs to grow his beard a bit.
I think I just ruined the entire movie for you.


The Capitol
Eyebrows and freakishness aside, the Capitol was beautiful.


Another one of those pictures kept under wraps, the Cornucopia was well worth the wait. I was surprised at first, but it's grown on me...like fungus.


The Muttations
I mentioned above how glorious they were. Glorious. Big, frightening dog-things. The only drawback was the cutting out of the creepy eye thing, but it's understandable.


This is what I was most looking forward to sharing with you. I'm not usually one for gifs, but there are some fantastic ones.
Two describe the movie perfectly:


The Beard
It's official. In part as an HP-HG crossover and in part because it's awesome, I'm officially replacing every occurrence of "Merlin's Beard!" with "Seneca's Crane's Beard!" Cuz it's awesome.


District 11
I don't want to ruin it for you, because this wasn't in the book, but District 11 has a cameo part, and it's fantastic. Utterly incredible. You should see the movie just for this reason, and #1.


Wow. Cato. I've actually heard of Alexander Ludwig, so I figured he was a good actor, as these things don't usually stick in my brain. Cato is seen as partially unstable, a ruthless killer. And then you get to that final scene. And I've been blown away. I still haven't fully recovered from that scene. It was...amazing. Ludwig was fabulous, and you almost cry for Cato, the central antagonist, when he dies. Those last few minutes... *shakes head in a failed attempt to clear it*
Oh, and Alexander Ludwig is very wise, too. He was asked what weapon he would take into the Hunger Games, if he could choose one:

What weapon would you choose to bring to The Hunger Games?

May the odds be ever in your favor,

PS: Thursday I have a THG character doll. Sunday I have a Hunger Games themed song parody!
PPS: Sorry for the late post. This took me hours to write.

Current Music: The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond album (Youtube Playlist)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hunger Games Week!

Hey Blogger Buds,
I'm declaring it Hunger Games week on the blog. Why?
Because I just saw this:

 No, Katniss! No! Please don't shoot me! I can't help
it if I'm Team Seneca Crane's Beard! It's just too cool!

And it was amazing. I thought I would hate it, but it was fabulous.

And my brain is totally fried.

Schedule for the week:
Sunday: Brain Fry
Tuesday: Movie Review
Thursday: Character Depiction of...someone. Maybe Katniss. Maybe Rue. Maybe Seneca Crane. (Or Snow? No...he's too creepy for even me.)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's Finally Here!!

Hey Blogger Buds,
I took off Tuesday, and I haven't finished any books recently, so sorry. :(
Today, I'm not here with a character depiction, I'm talking about something MUCH more important.
I think you know what it is.

If not:
I had to make it huge.

So. Who's going tonight? I wanted to go see it early in the morning or something, but I've got a huge test tomorrow that I'm busy studying for.
Let me know how it is!

Peace and mockingjays,

Team Seneca Crane's Beard - Hunger Games shirt ((Sm-XL / 2 Shirt styles))

PS: Clicky for a great $12 HG shirt.
PPS: I'm no longer Team Gale. I'm now Team Seneca Crane's Beard.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Hey Blogger Buds,
I'm taking the day off today, but there's one thing I need to tell you:

One episode (which is more like a mini-movie, but whatever) in, and I'm completely obsessed with Sherlock. What is it with the BBC and awesomesauce TV shows? First Merlin, now Sherlock.

Watson and Holmes don't have quite the chemistry that Merlin and Arthur do, but they still floor me. This show is brilliant.

Well, that's all today.

Peace and Merlock,

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Character Dolls: Puck

Hey Blogger Buds,
Today's depiction is of Robin Goodfellow, the infamous Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream.
...and The Iron Fey.

"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!

I'm actually cheating this week; I made Puck a while ago, and posted him then. But now is his official introduction.

This week's character is Robin Goodfellow (AKA Puck) from the Iron Fey trilogy.

(Drumroll please)

A little disappointed. The idea is right but Puck is just...off. The wings are ironic.
1) I needed red hair, of course. It was really a pain not to find anything any better than this. I'm not sure if I like how long it is or not. The face is mostly pretty good, except for the huge eyes and lashes. I was kind of overwhelmed by green, I think.
2) The clothes were pretty simple, once I found them. The goal was something very woodsy and simple, but I think it came out a little too old-fashioned. The boots aren't so bad though...when he's wearing shoes, at least.
3) The wings tempted me. I couldn't help but add them...
4) I wanted to add a small black raven, but I couldn't find any. I figured adding some sort of bird might be a nice touch, though. I think it is, especially with the sparkles around it.

Overall: The face and hair kind of puts the whole thing off. He's not so bad otherwise, though.

What do you think?
Peace and Fair Folk,

Current Music: Newsies

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Iron Knight Review (Spoiler-Free)

Hey Blogger Buds,
If you know how to read, you should read The Iron Fey original trilogy just so you can read The Iron Knight. I was completely blown away. This book was just...amazing. Gut-wrenching. Heart-twisting. To DIE for.

*I kept the review 100% spoiler free, so if you're new to the series you can still read this review. But, if you're new to the series, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Linkage here on the blog:
Letter To Puck (minor spoiler of The Iron Queen)
Fanfiction (minor spoiler of The Iron Queen)

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)
Blurby (blacked out for spoilers):

My name--my True Name--is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court.
And I am dead to her.
My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl...

To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought. 
Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive. 
With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan’s side. 
To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.


I'm dividing this review up into parts. like I did for The Iron Queen.
But first, there was one part that I hated:
Ash almost convinced me to switch away from Team Puck. Almost.

Ash is...amazing. Getting into his head is absolutely wonderful, and you really get to know him. His hopes, his dreams, his past. It's...astounding. He's such a fabulous character, so complex and swoon-worthy and...I don't know how to finish that sentence. His inner struggles are even harder and more trying that his physical ones, but they just make you love him more.
Puck will always be my number one book boyfriend. He wasn't portrayed as...kindly...in this book as in the original three, but that is, of course, all about the main character's perception. (And Ash really viewed him differently in this book. But more on that in a minute.) At one point, you get a glimpse at Puck's true nature, and it's bone-chilling, to make a huge understatement. That one scene gives you so much insight into the laughing prankster. And Potential. It makes you appreciate his jokes and carefree attitude even more.
Grim has always been my least favorite character. I've had an intense dislike for him since Meghan fell upon him in The Iron King. He just...irks me. In the end, you get a little insight into him, which is, surprisingly, not completely unpleasant.
Others: There were several other key character that I'm going to avoid mentioning for fear of spoileriness, but they're fantastic.

Plot and Setting:
It's very hard to analyze this plot without spoiling anything, but it was so original. I never appreciated Julie Kagawa's genius until this book. There's just so much that's to die for. There are no slow moments, only plot twist after plot twist. And everything makes perfect sense. This book is a work of art.
The setting was also ingenious. I don't know how Kagawa does it, but she puts you in the wyldwood, right beside Ash and co. You see everything they see, experience everything they experience. And man, what an experience that is. It's like you're there.
(Imaginary conversation between me and a friend:
Me: So what did you do over the weekend?
Friend: Hung out, went shopping, the usual. What about you? Did you do anything?
Me: Oh, not much. I just went for a little trip into Fairyland.
Friend: ...)

It's just amazing. Julie is a fabulous writer. You feel along with the characters. When they laugh, you smile. When they cry, you wipe away tears. You can't stop it. You're just one of the group.

The Covers:
Sorry. Just wanted to squee on this for a second. So. Gorgeous. And also, once you've finished the book, the little tagline on the cover makes perfect sense, more than you would think pre-read. "Soulless. Banished. But never forgotten."

Ash's Past:
It's tragic. That's all there is to say. One part I loved: A flashback to a scene mentioned in The Iron Queen. I actually wrote my own interpretation of that scene, and posted it on the blog a few months back. Nothing like the official story, Julie's, of course.

The End of the Book and Series:
This series was beyond amazing. I can't get over it.
One problem: The closing scene is focused on Grimalkin, the cait sith. I didn't understand at first, but I just now reread it, I got it. And it makes me really happy. It's the absolute perfect end for the series.
I can't think of any way these books could have gotten better. This series was perfect. (Oh, okay. It could have used more Puck. You can never have too much Puck.)

Ash-Puck Relationship:
I had to save this part for last. The two key characters have this bizarre connection, this history. Their relationship is a tenuous one, with Ash's vow to kill Puck, and the trickster's determination to annoy the winter prince as much as possible. But you can see, through it all, that there's a bond. It's just been worn away at, until it's just one nearly-invisible thread. And theirs is a relationship that takes a long time to rebuild.
Drawn by Julie
You can see the ghosts of their past everywhere, often in Puck's references to previous adventures, which I absolutely loved.
One thing that stood out clearly: The names they used for each other. Puck often called Ash "ice-boy." Ash, meanwhile, simply referred to him as "Robin Goodfellow" or just "Goodfellow," if he addressed him by name at all.
My favorite Ash-Puck scenes may have been when they were annoying the H-E-double-toothpicks out of each other, but, in close second, was when they used names. There were no scenes more tender, more emotional in this book (in a guy-love way, of course) than when they called each other "Ash" and "Puck" respectively. Those moments pulled my heart strings, and I wanted to wrap them both up in a huge hug. And try to avoid the pointy things jabbed at me.
Best. Bromance. Ever.

TEN STARS. Read this. NOW.

What did you think of The Iron Knight? Of the whole series? Are you sad to see the end? I definitely am. What did you think of Ash and Puck's bromance? Do tell.

Peace and happy fey,

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Soapbox Style Sunday: Copycats

Hey Blogger Buds,
I'm getting up on my soapbox today. I've done it three times before, once on announcing winners, again on blog music, and a third time on word verification.
But today, I've got a different issue.

Just to preface, my soapbox is not where I take a megaphone and tattle-tale. Trust me, I have better things to do with my life than go around naming names and spreading rumors. My soapbox is just a place where I can rant.
Get away while I'm still dragging out my soapbox. It's heavy.

I unfollowed a blog today. For a while, I was tempted to, but today was the final straw. There were some legitimate reasons at first. The blogger specialized in indie books. I didn't particularly care for their reviews. They like Twilight. They're a "publicity blog" (meaning that they pretty much only post giveaways and author interviews. Nothing really legit.)
Then they posted a comment on an author blog that I stalk religiously. A comment that spoiled the ending of a book that I was pushing off reading (patience makes it so much more enjoyable).

That got me really upset. But that wasn't the final straw. And, even without all of these aforementioned things, this last straw was heavy enough to break the camel's back all by itself.

I found an interview on their blog. And then I happened across a second blog with an identical interview. This second blog included a giveaway, supplied by the author's publisher.

I'm honestly speechless. I'm so mad, but I don't know what to say.
Get your own darn interview.
And, to further the point:
Write your own freaking reviews.

In short:

Don't be a copycat.

It's illegal, degrading to yourself, and just plain stupid.

*jumps off huge soapbox, banging knee*

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Character Dolls: Dria

 Hey Blogger Buds,
I'm back with another Character Doll! I'm not in middle of reading anything right now, so I thought I'd share one of my own creations!

"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!

Without giving too much away, Dria is a witch on the run from hunters...until she runs right into one. The story is medieval fantasy, so there's nothing too fancy with the clothes.

(Drumroll, please)

She's almost exactly like I pictured her!
1) The hair was the first thing, and it's pretty good. It's not fancy in any way, just long and black. A little bit wild, too.
2) I know it's a cliche, but I gave Dria green eyes. There's a reason for it. I wish I could have made her eyes a little narrower though, less innocent-looking.
3) Clothing was hard. I wanted to go with this seductress look, but still make her clothes simple and almost conservative. I finally ended up on a shirt, and two skirts. (This is from memory, I did this several days ago.) I had this brown skirt, and a red one. I chose the brown for simplicity, near-modesty, and because I just don't want that much red.
4) The shoes were hard to pick, and I'm still annoyed by them. As I said, I needed something simple and preferably brown. But they had to be good for traveling, hence choosing boots. I feel like they detract from the overall look, too.

Overall: Don't like the shoes, but I like how she turned out otherwise!

What do you think of my witch? Should I do more of my own characters in the future?

Peace and boiling cauldrons,

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rock On Review

Hey Blogger Buds,
Today I've got a review of Rock On: A Story of Guitars, Gigs, Girls, and a Brother (not necessarily in that order) by Denise Vega. I read it a while ago, but just came out yesterday.

 (<<<----Isn't that button SNAZZY?)

*My copy is an ARC. I wasn't given it so that I would write a positive review. This review is made up a thousand percent my own opinions.
I was gifted my copy of Rock On by the fabulous Sandy at Pirate Penguin Reads (isn't that the coolest blog name EVER?) Go check her out!

Rock On: A story of guitars, gigs, girls, and a brother (not necessarily in that order)Blurby: (from Goodreads)
High school sophomore Ori Taylor, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter in a nameless rock band, has always been known as the overlooked younger brother of Del, a high school sports star. But when Del suddenly returns home from college just as Ori is starting to gain some confidence in himself, Del expects everything to return to the way it used to be.

     The book opens straight into the action, and you immediately take a liking to all of the characters, and get a feel for them as well, both when they interact with each other and how they are naturally.
     The story remains tense, with stuff happening all the time. There are problems that crop up; some are solved quickly, some last until the end. You're kept invested the entire time.     There's some interesting formatting. Interspersed throughout the book are blog posts and text messages, putting you right there, making you a member of the band, or one of their fans.
     The ending got kind of predictable. I knew from page one why Del was being such a something-else-that-starts-with-"D". And I just wanted to get it out of the way, make the brothers buddy-buddy again.
     But Denise Vega saved her book. Because, as you can see from the book title, the brother wasn't the only problem.
But let's delve a little deeper.

A Story of a Guitar:
     GUYS. The guitar is FRAWESOME. I know nothing about guitars, but Denise Vega didn't make me feel stupid. A major PLUS!!
A Story of a Gig:
     Which is the best part. This saved the book. Because after Del's predictability, there was still the Battle of the Bands, and the lack of a band name. And they didn't do something cheesy and decide to name it "The Band To Be Named Later." It got an actual NAME. And the gig was fantastic. :)
A Story of a Girl:
     And she's perfect in an imperfect way. Just amazing. And the relationship is really healthy and sweet, and very 15-year-old type of normal.
A Story of a Brother:
     In the beginning, Ori and Del both bothered me a bit.
     Del I understood. He's an angsty college-dropout, who's completely lost.
     Ori is amazing in that fifteen-year-old, trying-to-figure-out-life way. But, as often happens when a female author writes about a boy, Ori is too girly.
     Rule of thumb: Girls writing from guys' points of view never ends well. Personal anecdote: I had to write a short scene from a boy's POV in my MS. For that one scene, I killed myself. I thought about each word before putting it down on paper. And then I went straight to my brothers. I plan on going back to them when I rewrite, and make them viciously tear apart my one little chapter.
     I had another issue with Ori: He sucked up to Del so much. But then, halfway through the book, something clicked and I really understood Ori. I got him. I may be a girl, and I may be tonedeaf, but I saw something of myself in him, hidden deep. That innate desire for approval, to be "cool" like an older sibling. (Of course, these days my sister tells people that I'm much cooler than her, but that's besides the point :P) And once I got Ori, he became a lot more likeable.
From the beginning, he was more realistic than I initially realized.

Rating: 4 stars

Rock on,

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Starling Cover Reveal

Hey Blogger Buds,
I feel like all I ever do around here is cover reveals, lately. But these covers are pretty, I'm having a bad day, and this is my blog, so you'll just have to deal with it, eh?

So you might remember this lovely lady:

She wrote this book:

And you can't mention that book without mentioning these books:

And she also wrote this one:
Once Every Never

Remember her now?

Excellent! Because Lesley Livingston is coming out with another book, Starling, in a few months! So add it on Goodreads!
When? you ask.
August 15, 2012
Perfect! Now that you all know, I can take my leave! Tah!

Oh. Wait. You were expecting something more? What? Oh. A...a cover? I can't imagine why you want a cover. I'll go look for one...


Oh! There it is!  I found it! Nice, ain't it? I love that dress, and that Mona-Lisa expression. The New York City background is gorgeous.

New York City? Of course! Lesley has these amazing NYC setting.

What'd you say? How did I know it was New York? Because I live there, of course! And I'm psychotic psychic!

Oh. And it's mentioned in the description. I'm assuming you want to read it, yes?

Well, if you insist...

"Love is just the beginning... of the end."
When Mason Starling rescues an unconscious young man from the ravages of a terrible storm—and he rescues her from the otherworldly creatures lurking in that storm—little does she know her whole life is about to spiral dramatically, mystically out of control. Someone is trying to kill her, someone else is trying to use her, and the only one who seems willing to help her is the tantalizing, dangerous stranger who can’t even remember who—or what—he is. All he remembers is his name: Fennrys Wolf.

What Fennrys doesn’t know is that, thanks in part to his past actions, a crack has appeared in the barrier between the mortal world and the Beyond Realms. The crack has opened up a nexus of dark energy in the middle of the East River and it’s attracting the attention of powerful entities on both sides of the rift.

Because of that, a longstanding truce involving the members of several ancient underworld cartels is now in jeopardy. Mason, Fennrys, and the students of elite Gosforth Academy—a neutral-ground “safe haven” for children of the Families—soon find themselves caught in the crossfire as the servants of the warring pantheons fight to see whose gods come out on top...and whose demons go down in flames.

Set in New York City, with all its dark, gritty sparkle, the STARLING saga explores the spaces between the worlds and the realms of the ancient gods… only a heartbeat beyond. It’s a tale spun from ancient mythologies—Norse and Greek and Egyptian—filled to the brim with adventure, danger, and romance, and played out against the backdrop of a city with its own siren-song.

From the universe of Lesley Livingston’s WONDROUS STRANGE, a new series and captivating heroine make their exciting debut.

Excited? Me too. Don't forget that date!

August 15, 2012

Peace and fairies,
Riv Re

Current Music: Soundtrack from A Very Potter Sequel (Not Over Yet + Harry Freakin' Potter)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Character Dolls: Cadan,

Hey Blogger Buds,
I know, I missed Tuesday. I barely even got today's post in, my life has been so crazy. And it's probably a really bad idea that I'm posting today, since I've got a mountain of work to do.
But I love you guys so much I made you a picture of Cadan from Angelfire and Wings of the Wicked.

If you've spent more than three seconds on my blog, you KNOW how much I love me some Cadan.

First, a meme reminder:
"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!

Wings of the Wicked (Angelfire, #2)
This week's character is Will from the Angelfire series.

(drumroll, please)

I had an idea of where I wanted to go with Cadan. Though I was scared I wouldn't be able to portray his steaminess, I don't think this one's an #epicfail.
1) The eyes were pretty easy to find, since Cadan's got this killer gaze, like all reapers. The rest of the face is pretty meh, and the hair wasn't too difficult either.
2) I added wings! I love them.
3) It wasn't so hard to find shirts and pairs of pants that fit, nor to narrow it down. Cadan is the classy kind of guy reaper, the kind who wears long-sleeve shirts and ties, or t-shirts with vests. I narrowed my outfits down to two: This one, and another that's pretty much the same with inverted colors, and a bit of blue on the shirt. I decided on this outfit for a few reasons: (a) I wanted white pants (b) I like the classiness of the checkered button-down and vest and (c) White is usually a sign of good. The facts that his whole outfit, including his wings, is almost confusing, since he's a demonic reaper. I wanted to raise the question on whether he's good or evil. He's all white, with that big black thing smack in the center, messing it all up.
4) In retrospect, I should have given him white shoes to go with the whole "good or evil" thing, but I instinctively chose black.

Overall: I don't really like his face, but I think Cadan is pretty okay. He also contrasts with Will quite nicely.

What do you think?