11/4/17

Día de los Muertos

“The cempasúchil, a type of marigold flower native to Mexico, is often placed on ofrendas and around graves. With their strong scent and vibrant color the petals are used to make a path that leads the spirits from the cemetery to their families’ homes.

Monarch butterflies play a role in Día de los Muertos because they are believed to hold the spirits of the departed. This belief stems from the fact that the first monarchs arrive in Mexico for the winter each fall on Nov. 1, which coincides with Día de los Muertos.

Calaveritas de azucar, or sugar skulls, along with toys, are left on the altars for children who have passed. The skull is used not as morbid symbol but rather as a whimsical reminder of the cyclicality of life, which is why they are brightly decorated.”

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Top Ten Tuesday

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TTT: Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish blog. They give weekly prompts for a bookish list of 10 items (more or less). The topic for this week:

Halloween Freebie!

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YA Books with Werewolves

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Paranormal creatures are a huge part of Halloween. Aside from vampires (YA Books with Vampires), werewolves are another popular Halloween costume and there is no shortage of werewolf characters in YA books. (I’ll admit, I had a thing for Jacob Black, especially because I’ve met Taylor Lautner once or twice and he is very nice.)

  1. Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer
  2. Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater
  3. Grey Wolves series by Quinn Loftis
  4. Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter
  5. Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
  6. Ancients series by Christine M. Butler
  7. Lacey Hannigan series by Elaine Pierson
  8. Raised by Wolves series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  9. Seasons of the Moon series by S.M. Reine
  10. Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer

 

 

{From: The Broke and Bookish}

10/29/17

Happy Halloween! 🎃

“‘THE LEGEND OF “STINGY JACK’

People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

 

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Which Cover Wednesday

I’M BACK!

Some of you may or may not have even noticed I was gone. Either way, I took an unannounced, two month blogging/social media hiatus—which ends today. I couldn’t stay away from the book community for too long. I missed my blog and I missed writing posts and I missed learning about new book releases and I missed interacting with all of you wonderful people!


Which Cover Wednesday

Which Cover Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sumaya @ Sue’s Reading Corner where participants show different covers of the same book and decide which one they like best.

The first cover in this trio in the old Kindle edition. I feel this design is maybe too dark for this book. Yes, Dessen does cover some deeper topics, but this is also a YA book about friendship and taking risks. And, to be honest, I’m not even sure what this cover is depicting? Is is a wintery forest? Is that a flower heart? Who knows? The main advantage is that this is the only book that emphasizes the title in addition to Dessen’s name.

The second book in the collection is cute. I adore the use of color and the focus on the flower. I’m not always partial to humans/human figures on book covers, but this one works fine for me. I like the petite orientation of the title and the overall simplicity of the design.

The last cover in this “list” is the paperback version I own, a reprint by Speak. Turquoise is my favorite color, so this cover has that going for it. What I love most about this cover is the wishbone attached to the bracelet, referencing Wish Catering; it’s almost like an inside joke or remembrance.

My ranking:

  1. flower cover
  2. bracelet cover
  3. heart cover

Here is my review for The Truth About Forever.

 

How would you rank these covers?

Waiting On Wednesday

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There are so many amazing YA releases coming up in September 2017. Here are a few:

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Warcross: For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.


One Dark Throne: The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.


They Both Die at the End: On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.


Before She Ignites: Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.

Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.


An Enchantment of Ravens: Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

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Girls Made of Snow and Glass: At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.


Hunting Prince Dracula: Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.


If There’s No Tomorrow: Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic—one of opportunities and chances.

Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.

Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.

For what she let happen.

With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when her and her friends’ entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?


Nyxia: Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family. Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden–a planet that Babel has kept hidden–where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.


Tower of Dawn: Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

 

For more, click here.

 

8/26/17

Many people stopped to watch the moon block the sun on Monday, Aug. 21 through special glasses or homemade contraptions. Many of those same people are sick of hearing about the total eclipse. But, here is a interesting fact about solar eclipses:

“Total solar eclipses won’t be around forever

There will be no more total solar eclipses in about 600 million years, scientists say. Because of the moon’s slowly increasing orbit, NASA believes the moon will have moved far enough away from Earth in that timeframe that it will no longer be big enough to entirely cover the sun. “It will be too small in the sky,” said Dr. C. Alex Young, the associate director for science in the heliophysics science division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The moon’s orbit is increasing by about 1.5 inches each year, Young added. The sun is also expected to expand slightly in the future but NASA has not yet seen a noticeable change, Young said. Partial eclipses will still exist in 600 million years.”

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Pick a Word and Pass It On Book Tag

Leonie @ Life Has a Funny Way created this original tag. Participants pick a word and then find all of the books that contain that word, either in the title or in the author’s name. The original word was king.

Rules:

  1. You can either take the word the person who tagged you used, or you can pick your own.
  2. You must list all the books on your read list which include that word in either the title or the author.
  3. Tag some friends and pass it on!

I found this tag here by Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books. So, I will use the same word:

Fire

Read

  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • The Fire by James Patterson
  • City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
  • Fire by Kristin Cashore
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling
  • Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
  • Forest Fire by Tenaya Jayne
  • Midnight Fire by Melody Anne

 

To-Be-Read

  • Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch
  • Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan
  • Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
  • Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

 

There are a lot of books with the word fire. Other words I considered were girl, daughter, and crown.

 

Tag

Top Ten Tuesday

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TTT: Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish blog. They give weekly prompts for a bookish list of 10 items (more or less). This weeks topic:

Back To School Freebie

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Assigned Reading for my “American Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults” College Course

  1. March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
  2. X by  Ilyasah Shabazz, Kekla Magoon
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Ellen Forney
  4. Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos
  5. Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  6. El Chino by Allen Say
  7. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  8. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
  9. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
  10. The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

 

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{From: The Broke and Bookish}