Sunday, December 30, 2012

"The Outsiders" - Book Review

 
Synopsis:
According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.
 
 
My Review:
 
One day I decided to go to my local library to see if they had any good books. It's pretty small and has the lowest funding in probably the entire state so my library tends to not have very many new books if any. That day The Outsiders was sitting on the shelf all alone and I snatched it up immediately. In middle school one of my literature teachers recommended that my class read The Outsiders over summer break stating it as her favorite book of all time. Other teachers I'd had didn't much care for the book and wouldn't let us read it as part of the curriculum, some stating that it was inappropriate for us to read.
That day at the library when I brought the book up to the front counter the librarian saw the cover and smiled at me, "Now that's a real good book," she said. Now that I've read it, I say that she was absolutely right.
The Outsiders was about gangs, two different social classes clashing, feeling lost as a teenager, friends, loyalty, love, hardship, and being an outsider. S. E. Hinton did such a phenomenal job setting the perspective of the 'greaser' boys' perspective, you'd have to think that she had to have been writing about her own life. I'm still in shock at the fact that she wrote this at the ripe age of 16 creating an instant American classic. She captured emotion so vividly, and portrayed the struggles of kids growing up on the streets and getting caught up in gangs to feel a sense of belonging and family. The love between the three brothers in this book was beautiful, they fought a lot and struggled to remain strong in the wake of their parents' deaths but try hard to stick together.
I feel like I can't do this book justice with any fancy words I could think of to describe  just how much I like this book. Truly, I wish that I had read this book back in middle school though looking back I may not have understood the book's significance quite as well back then as I do today. It  is no wonder how this book became an instant classic, it touched my heart and had me mourning with the losses that Ponyboy had to go through. Sodapop, Darry, and Johnny were my favorite characters of the lot, but even then I still love the rest of the gang including hot-headed angry Dally.
Apparently this book was also made into a movie which I'm super stoked about and want to watch ASAP, and not just because Tom Cruise and Emilio Esteves are in it. If you haven't read The Outsiders, trust me you've been missing out on a really good book. Five stars, hands down.
 
 
HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

"Blindsided" - Book Review

 
Synopsis:
In many ways, Natalie O’Reilly is a typical fourteen-year-old girl. But a routine visit to the eye doctor produces devastating news: Natalie will lose her sight within a few short months.

Suddenly her world is turned upside down. Natalie is sent to a school for the blind to learn skills such as Braille and how to use a cane. Outwardly, she does as she’s told; inwardly, she hopes for a miracle that will free her from a dreaded life of blindness.

But the miracle does not come, and Natalie ultimately must confront every blind person’s dilemma. Will she go home to live scared? Or will she embrace the skills she needs to make it in a world without sight?

 
 
My Review:
 
This book was very different than other books that I've read. For one, it's about a girl who loses her sight and now that I think about it I think it's really weird I haven't read a book about someone with a disability. Ever since I was little I've always thought about the perspectives of other people and wondered what it felt like to not have one of your senses.
Blindsided opened my eyes to so many things about the perspective of being blind that I had never even considered before. Aside from the obvious side effects of losing your sight; not being able to see color anymore, not being able to see other people's expressions, or not being able to see if it's dark or light out. But then there were things that had never occurred to me before like how people unable to see have trouble dealing with money here in the States because we're one of the only countries with discriminatory currency unlike other countries that have bills with braille or textured foil. Having to create a system to tell what color each article of clothing is so that they can match, even though they can't see them, but because of how society can be, and to avoid being made fun of. Blindsided was such an enlightening and inspiring book that opened my eyes to a lot of things and empowered me to want to be a stronger person like Natalie.
Cummings did an amazing job taking us along Natalie's journey from having her sight to losing it by the way she wrote. In the beginning we could see the things Natalie saw but as time progressed and her glaucoma got worse we started to see less and less of the surroundings and Cumming's focused more on imagery using the other senses. She began to mainly describe what was going on with sounds, smells, touch, and taste as Natalie started to transition to being completely blind. It was such an interesting and new way of looking at things, and I have greater and stronger respect for people who are born blind or lose their sight and start from scratch.
 
 
 
HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

"Graffiti moon" - Book Review

 
 
Synopsis:
"Let me make it in time. Let me meet Shadow. The guy who paints in the dark. Paints birds trapped on brick walls and people lost in ghost forests. Paints guys with grass growing from their hearts and girls with buzzing lawn mowers."

It’s the end of Year 12. Lucy’s looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about.

His work is all over the city, but he is nowhere.

Ed, the last guy she wants to see at the moment, says he knows where to find him. He takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.

But the one thing Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.
 
 


My Review:

Amazing. Heart-warming. Beautiful. Poetic. Artistic. Wonderfully written. Gorgeously written. Sensational. Lovely. Original. Unique. Awesome. Those are just some of the words that I would use to describe this book. I know throughout the year I've said that some of the books I reviewed were instantly a favorite but this book became a favorite before I even read it. When I first heard of this book I squealed in excitement like a little girl because the synopsis of the book was the description of my dream fairytale love story.
I'm an artist and this book is filled with art; not only visual but literal poetry as well. Cath is by far one of the most eloquent and poetic writers I've ever read a book by. From the very first page I was in awe, this isn't a spoiler don't worry but the quote "The heart, a fist-sized forest in your chest." really spoke to me and I thought it was really beautiful. Throughout the book graffiti paintings by the mysterious Shadow are described in detail it's as if you're looking at the artworks yourself.
Graffiti moon is such a beautiful love story with coming-of-age themes, deception, betrayal, being an outsider, having a passion for art, and being immersed into the real world of college and opportunities. The characters were so wonderfully crafted and none of them were plain Janes or Susie Q's or Slim Jims, they were filled with flaws (not over the top though) and they were very real.
I have always been drawn to books that take place only over the course of one day or even one night and this book is no exception. I loved how the entire adventure took place in less than 12 hours, it makes you think about how so much could happen in so little time and how your life can be changed forevermore in less than an instant.
I think this book has something to teach everyone, that life can be screwed up but still good, that we're all a little messed up and have flaws, and that we never really know what we want until it's standing right in front of us.


 
HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

"Wake" - Book Review

 
 
Synopsis:
Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.
 


My Review:

Ever since I first read Amanda Hocking's Trylle trilogy I was hooked to her writing. She has an amazing gift for storytelling and I was stoked when I heard that she was coming out with a new book series. Wake was way better than I had expected by a long shot. In all honesty I had been a little scared that this book series might not be as great in comparison to the Trylle trilogy but Amanda delivered another great adventure from the inner-workings of her awesome mind.
The characters in Wake were unbelievably real and believable, sometimes while reading the book I felt myself wanting to stick up for the characters like they were old friends. Just like in the Trylle trilogy there was a lot of Amanda's witty humor and pop culture references that made the book all the more awesome-sauce. The plot of the book was so intricate and well thought out it had me turning pages all night long and sneaking in some reading time every chance I got during my busy college schedule.
Amanda took the concept of sirens, man-eating mermaid type chicks, and gave it a unique twist. With hunky guys, mythical monsters, mystery, romance, adventure, chilling discoveries, and beautifully described nature I fell in love with this book from the start. At times I could taste the saltiness of the air and felt like I was really there with the characters trying to figure out the mystery.
I could really relate to Harper, the older sister to the main character, because for a while I had to take care of my younger sisters by myself and it was difficult to try and be their older sister while being in charge 24/7.
I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the Watersong series! As if you guys couldn't tell already I completely recommend this book to pretty much anyone, it's got something in it for everyone to enjoy. :)




HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

"Paper Towns" - Book Review

 
 
Synopsis:
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life–dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge–he follows. After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues–and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.
 


My review:

For the longest time I had wanted to read a book by John Green, not only because of the great reviews I've read by other people of different books by him but because of John Green himself. A while ago I started watching Youtube videos by the Vlogbrothers (A.K.A. John and Hank Green) and I adored their witty, geeky humor and felt the need to try to read one of John Green's books because I liked his personality.
To be honest I wasn't let down in the least bit. I loved Paper Towns, it was filled with equal parts humor, mystery, and beautiful writing. The plot was absolutely brilliant, I was constantly making theories about how I thought the mystery was going to be solved or what meanings I interpreted from Margo Roth Speigielman's clues left for Quentin Jacobsen. Though some of the main characters in the gang were more admirable than others I still found myself liking the relationship between them all.
I could really relate to Quentin on different levels; not really liking high school, being in the middle  of nowhere of the social caste system of high school, and having a huge crush on someone you hardly know that everyone considers way out of your league.
Paper Towns was a literary adventure and definitely a page-turner that kept me up all night long, trying to sneak in some reading during class-breaks, and whenever I got the chance.

If this book taught me anything at all, it was about the way I perceive people. Whether it's a celebrity crush, or someone you've heard countless rumors about and seem to think you know them through and through yet have never even spoken a word to them, or a crush you may have on someone at school, at the end of the day they are a person. I used to have a problem with my imagination running away and twisting and contorting the way I perceived people; mainly my crushes and turning them into something almost superhuman much like Quentin did in Paper Towns. John Green teaches that though Margo is awesome and seemed as some kind of amazing she still is a girl, and that really opened my eyes to some things. I actually had a crush on a guy at school that I hardly even knew and I was terrified to even approach him and say hi but this book helped me realize he's human and chances are he won't eat me if I tried to talk to him.

 
"What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person."
-John Green, Paper Towns
 
 
 
HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

"The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight" - Book Review

 
 
Synopsis:
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?




My Review:

Last week I was strolling through my local library's Young Adult section trying to find a good book to read. College has been overly stressful and I needed to find a great book to escape during class breaks and in between several hours of homework. As soon as I saw the title on the spine I wanted to jump up and down and squeal until I remembered that I was, in fact, in a library.

The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight was a really great book. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face because the story just has that affect on me. There are all kinds of books out there about love, fate, soul mates, and other variables of true love, but never have I read a book about the statistical probability of love at first sight. I've always been a skeptic of the whole love at first sight concept, but surprisingly enough my parents' love story began that way.

Jennifer did a wonderful job balancing the story's plot line with memories and flashbacks to create a wonderfully told love story. The humor was incredibly witty and had me smiling like a fool while reading it in my school's courtyard. Oliver was really charming, and an instantly lovable character, how could anyone hate him? It reminded me of a 'chic flick' movie at times but the story was unique and new. The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight was told from a time period of only one day, which I think is really cool, because not every author can write a story that takes place over the course of a single day without dragging on and growing boring. Props to Jennifer.

The moment I read the words THE END I closed the book and said "That was a really good book." Very few books have had that effect on me in my life. One thing's for sure, as soon as you finish reading this you're going to want to hop on a plane to Britain.



HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"Witch & Wizard" - Book Review

 
 
 
Synopsis:
The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they'd never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents--and maybe the world?
 
 


My Review:

I really liked this book, it had a unique story and the characters were very relate-able. With pop culture references and lots of attitude and spunk there was a lot of humor to spare. It was really light-hearted and definitely a timeless book than anyone of any age could enjoy. It was filled with magic, adventure, suspense, family, love, and friendship. As a kid and even as a young adult today I can say that wizards have always been a huge part of my life, from reading books about them, watching wizard movies and shows, and playing wizard pretend games with other kids my age.Witch and Wizard has a world created within it where people that do magic are persecuted much like what happened during the Salem Witch Trials.
This definitely is a book series I wouldn't mind continuing to read whenever I get the chance on a rainy day.
The day that I picked Witch and Wizard up I also got the comic version of the story. Ever since I was a little girl I always loved comic books and I'm always looking for certain things whenever I read one to determine whether or not I consider it good. The style of the comic was manga/anime (Japanese animation) and the artist did a wonderful job conveying the story through their style. What really surprised me while reading the comic was that everything was drawn out the way I had pictured the story in my mind (architecture, angles, design, etc). If you're a fan of comics/graphic novels and have read Wand W I completely recommend you check out the comic of the story.



HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Sorry for disappearing again

Hey everyone!

It's been so long I feel so guilty for not posting reviews and updates. I'm really, really, really, really, really sorry. School this semester was a killer and I was constantly being slammed with work, projects, and tons of tests to study for. But the semester is officially over!

Freedom!

Having only been on break for about a week I have been super busy writing my novel, it's almost done! I'm really excited because I have never written this much of any of the novels I've started in my life. I'll definitely be keeping you guys updated with anything new going on with my novels.

However, even though I was gone I have been reading every chance I get, so there will definitely be a lot of book reviews coming your way within the next to week to wrap up the year. How have you guys been?

I hope you all are safe, warm, and surrounded by those you love this holiday season. Take care!


HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" - Book Review

 
 
 
Synopsis:
Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.
 
 
 
My Review:

I'm not even sure where to begin with how much I love this book. A few months earlier I was at the movie theater going to watch some film that I can't even remember the name of and I saw a cardboard cut-out of Abraham Lincoln with an axe that read 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'. I stopped in my tracks and immediately thought "Seriously? I wonder what Abraham Lincoln would think if he saw that." Then I found out that it was based off of a book by Seth Grahm-Smith
But once I had gotten home I immediately logged onto Goodreads to check out what people were saying about the book. Apparently it was pretty awesome and people couldn't get enough of it. So I decided to keep an open mind and thought 'well it is a cool concept, original even.'
One day at the store I was lucky enough to pass by it and snatched it up so that I could read it before the movie came out.
Being a huge history buff I was extremely excited to read this book and especially because of the fact that it had vampires in it. I'm not a die hard vampire fan, I used to be one in the pre-twilight era liking blood-suckers like Nesfaratu and Dracula.
This book was a beautifully woven tale of well researched history intricately embroidered with a vampire tale. The history of the book was surprisingly almost like a biography if you didn't count the journal entries and vampire theme. Smith brought Honest Abe to life in this book and made him so real and admirable. I hadn't even been three chapters into the book when I started to really like Abraham Lincoln more because of the book. The introduction of the book that wasn't part of the story was odd but once I went along with it it definitely was ingenious. One thing is for sure, I definitely learned a lot about history after reading this book, especially about the Civil War and the history of slavery. The journal entries and pictures that were geniusly edited and photoshopped to put Abraham in scenes with vampires were my favorite parts of the book. They made the book more interactive and definitely made me laugh a few times. Though the book is told in third person narration Abraham's journal entries give insight to what Abraham was going through during his vampire hunting and presidential campaign, giving more depth to the overall story. Smith also undeniably has a talent for characterization and character build up. I loved the character Henry, he was very admirable and I instantly liked him as a character during his introduction into the story. You don't have to like vampires or history to love this book, it's definitely an original idea that is worthy of all of the rave and attention it is receiving. Smith definitely has a gift for story telling and I definitely am going to check out his other books.
I liked the movie, however the book is WAY better, even though I absolutely love Tim Burton.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A little bitty update!

Hey everyone!

I'm so sorry for being MIA these past couple of weeks, college is starting to pick up its pace of stress so I've been busy, busy, busy. But I have been reading! There are a few book reviews that will be coming your guys' way shortly.
Thank you for being patient with me :)




HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

"Generation Dead" - Book Review




Synopsis:

Phoebe Kendall is just your typical Goth girl with a crush. He’s strong and silent…and dead.
All over the country, a strange phenomenon is occurring. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. But when they come back to life, they are no longer the same. Feared and misunderstood, they are doing their best to blend into a society that doesn’t want them.
The administration at Oakvale High attempts to be more welcoming of the “differently biotic." But the students don’t want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn’t breathing. And there are no laws that exist to protect the “living impaired” from the people who want them to disappear—for good.
When Phoebe falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids, no one can believe it; not her best friend, Margi, and especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team. Adam has feelings for Phoebe that run much deeper than just friendship; he would do anything for her. But what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy?




My review:
When I first spotted this book on a shelf at the bookstore I wasn't really sure about it. It was on one of the furthest shelves in the back with the rest of the mainstream YA novels that have similar plots and over-used cliches. Every time I went back to the bookstore there it was...just sitting on the shelf as if to say "Will you buy me today Noel?" So one day when I went to pick up a book that had just come out I decided I'd give it a chance because I was really in the mood for something about Zombies...don't ask me why.

I don't really know where to begin about this book. I really liked Pheobe, she was a relate-able character and I loved how nice she was to everyone and accepting of the 'zombies', or in the book what is considered politically correct; differently biotic. It was really suspenseful and at the beginning of the book I developed  my own theories of who I think the mysterious zombie killers were though I won't say a word!
Out of most of the undead, vampire, zombie books I've got to say that this book really is unique in its concept. I really liked the idea of all of the zombies not being the same and that they had emotions, and thoughts while society thought they didn't.

Daniel Waters was so good about making us feel for the zombies that I was rooting for them throughout the book while people in their town thought they were signs of the end of the world or monsters. Sometimes I'd get so engrossed in the book I'd have to remind myself that zombies don't exist haha. But on the news during the summer they did a zombie special, which was so ironic considering it was the day I started reading the book. Apparently there were too incidents of people eating random people's faces (I know really gross, and I won't go into detail) but it has convinced people that they think zombies are out there. Stores and hospitals are now preparing each other for a zombie apocalypse...I don't really even know what to say.
But if the zombies from Daniel Water's book were to live in our world I'd want to give them all a big hug because they're so lovable. The one thing I didn't like about this book though was the fact that the author had broken my heart at one point in the book. I'm excited for the next book in the series because I'm dying to know if my theory is correct. This book really reminds me of the writing style of (The ghost and the goth) mixed with the Maze runner. I'm not sure why but it does. And isn't the cover just beautiful? :)



HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Hush Hush" - Book Review





Synopsis:

A SACRED OATH
A FALLEN ANGEL
A FORBIDDEN LOVE


Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.
 
 

My review:
A couple of years ago my sisters had bought this book from a store and wouldn't stop raving about how amazing it was for weeks. We would be in the car driving to school when they'd practically plead and beg me to read it as soon as possible. At the time I never followed my sisters' book recommendations because one bad recommendation had led me to a book I absolutely could not stand. (I won't mention any book titles...)
Forward to three years later and I'm standing in the grocery store's book aisle while my mom browses the vitamins and I'm trying to decide which books I want to buy. I hadn't bought any books in a while but I didn't want to splurge my monthly savings in one go. They had a sale going on for Hush Hush since the final installment to the saga would be coming out in July and it was only five bucks. I heard my sisters' voices pounding in my head shouting "you better buy that book noel, you better get it now!" so yeah... I listened to the voices, they told me to get it.

This book was alright. I'll admit I'm not ecstatically impressed with it but it wasn't boring to read at all. I really liked the chemistry between Patch and Nora from their fateful moment in Biology. The plot was really well thought out, props to the author for the intricate web of the story, and I loved following the mystery. I was constantly guessing who I thought the ...shall we say criminal?... was and who I thought was behind the whole thing. It was the beginning of summer and I was in desperate need for a good summer opening book. I hadn't read a suspenseful book like this in a long time. The ending greatly reminded me of the Kissed by an Angel series (that I only managed to read up to number three of, oh dear I seriously have to catch up on that series) which I really loved so I am definitely going to be reading the other books whenever I get the chance to.

I called my sisters the day I started reading Hush Hush and told them about the great deal I had gotten on it and the moment I heard their voices in my head urging me to buy it. Apparently I had been mistaken and they were quick to let me know what an idiotic idea that had been considering that they have the first three books on their own bookshelves and said I had wasted my money by buying a second copy. But it wasn't a waste, I totally recommend this book!



 
HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Novel Update!

Hey everyone!

So I've got some pretty cool news. Lately, I've been working a lot on my novel as a way to unwind and de-stress from all of the stuff going on in school because this semester's been pretty rough. However, because of that it's paying off! The book is almost done!


Word Count Totals:

  • Chapter 1: 5,320 words
  • Chapter 2: 3,695 words
  • Chapter 3: 5,439 words
  • Chapter 4: 3,614 words
  • Chapter 5: 6,674 words
  • Chapter 6: 6,407 words
  • Chapter 7: 7,046 words
  • Chapter 8: 2,242 words
  • Chapter 9: 4,917 words
  • Chapter 10: 6,311 words
  • Chapter 11:7,355 words
  • Chapter 12: 4,704 words
  • Chapter 13: 2,760 words
  • Chapter 14: 4,078 words
  • Chapter 15: 3,491 words
Total Word Count Thus Far: 74,052 words!





Gosh, I'm really excited :) I remember when I posted about how excited I was about 30,000 words haha. It's all starting to come together and I'm really anxious to finish writing the ending. I'm thinking their may be 30,000 words left to write though I'm still not sure yet, it all really depends on how things work out.



HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

In My Mailbox - Summer Book Haul!

 

Hey everyone!

Once again it's time for an 'In My Mailbox'. In My Mailbox is a book blogging Internet meme started by Kristi over at The Story Siren. In My Mailbox is a meme where you talk about books you receive in your mailbox, giveaways, books you bought at stores, borrowed from the library and etc!
Now that summer's officially over and autumn is breezing in I wanted to do a summer haul of all of the books I got over the summer. Since I hadn't blogged over the summer the books accumulated to a great big pile and now take up a couple of shelves on my bookshelf. However, a few of the books I did get over the summer ended up being donated to the library or given to friends and family so they won't be showing up in this haul. (But their reviews will be posted up very soon!)

So without further ado, here are the books I got over the summer;


It may be a bit hard to see all of the titles because this was the closest I could get to include all of the books in the picture.

(In order from top to bottom, starting from the left)

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
For years I was dying to see the movies and while at Target one day I stumbled across this gem and decided I'd give the book series a shot since the Hobbit will be coming out to theaters on my birthday this year!
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) by Rick Riordan
I've been dying to read this book series for the longest time and my sister got it and let me borrow it (thanks sis!)
Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
I wanted to read this book after reading Elodie's review of it on her blog! :)
Magic of the Moonlight (Full Moon, #2) by Ellen Schrieber
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
Something Wiccan This Way Comes (Rhiannon Godfrey, #2) by Traci E. Hall
Her Wiccan Wiccan Ways (Rhiannon Godfrey, #1) by Traci E. Hall
Daughters of the Moon by Lynne Ewing
Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2) by Aimee Carter
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Fated by Alyson Noel
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (#2) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (#1) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (#7) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (#6) by J.K. Rowling
I had the last two Harry Potter books already and only read the sixth one and half of the seventh and never finished it. I've always loved Harry Potter but have only read a few of the books that I borrowed from the library, but about a month ago I felt the urge to reread the series and relive the magic of my favorite book series EVER. Hopefully that will happen next month in time for Halloween! :)
 
 

That's the book haul for what's in my mailbox. There were a lot of other books I had gotten that didn't get the chance to show up in this haul but I did get the chance to read them and the reviews will be up soon!


HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Once in a full Moon" - Book Review

 
Synopsis:
Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever.

Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves--Legend's Run is famous for them. She's used to everything in the small town until Brandon Maddox moves to Legend's Run and Celeste finds herself immediately drawn to the handsome new student. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend or just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight.

Her best friends may never forgive her if she gives up her perfect boyfriend, Nash, for Brandon, who's from the wrong side of town. But she can't deny her attraction or the strong pull he has on her. Brandon may be Celeste's hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend's Run.

Psychic predictions, generations-old secrets, a town divided, and the possibility of falling in love with a hot and heroic werewolf are the perfect formula for what happens . . . once in a full moon.
 
 

My Review:

I don't even know where to begin with how much I love this book. But first and foremost I made sure that I wasn't being biased by how much I like Ellen Schreiber as an author. When I began to read Once in A full moon I cleared my mind so that I could remain unbiased while I read the werewolf tale. It easily became one of my favorite books along with the Vampire Kisses series. I just love Ellen's writing and story-telling style and couldn't help but fall in love with this series as well.
Ellen really has a gift for making irresistible guys, I immediately fell in love with Brandon Maddox just as I had with Alexander Sterling from the VK series. Many people have said that the story was overly cliche and cheesy but I don't really disagree, however that isn't a bad thing. At least not in my opinion, I'm a sucker for cheesy, sappy cliche books. :) Bite me.

When reading this book I noticed a pattern in Schreiber's writing style. She tends to make social conflicts within the towns that she creates in her novels. The east and west siders don't get along, being on different sides of the tracks and social scale. But it makes the book all the more interesting. I loved the immediate chemistry between Celeste and Brandon, you could tell that they were perfect for each other from the get go. I could literally not put this book down when I read it, shutting out the rest of the world. It had been blowing crazy winds around here (if you guys hadn't heard we got about 6 tornadoes out here in Colorado :S yeah...yikes but thankfully no one got hurt) but the day before the tornadoes and floods happened, I was planted outside in the gusting wind just reading along. I didn't even bother going inside because I was just too immersed into the howling good book.

What I like about Ellen's paranormal stories is that she sticks to the very basics of the creatures and doesn't alter the paranormal beings. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of paranormal books that I love that have had the author switch up the creature's characteristics. But I really love how Ellen made the werewolves purely werewolf as in transitioning at the full moon, turned by a wolf bite, lethal 'allergy' to silver and the eternal bond of a mate who accepts them in their true form.
The book cut off at one of Ellen's infamous cliff-hangers making me thirst for more. I am dying to run to the bookstore to get the sequel to the Full Moon series, Magic of the moonlight to find out what happens to Celeste and Brandon's budding romance. Once in full moon is MTV's Teen Wolf meets the magnificent story telling of Ellen Schreiber to create a story that will really knock your werewolf socks off.


HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Guess who's back?!

Hey everyone!


I know, I know, I know. I've been gone for an eternity and a few months and I'm really sorry. Things have just been hectic and I didn't get to start blogging again when I wanted to because more chaos ensued. However, now I'll try to blog more actively because I've read a lot of books over the summer that I get to share with you all!

A lot of new things have also happened. :) I got my license! Haha after almost a year of practicing how to drive I can now officially drive on my own, though I'm not doing much of that because college just started for the semester. It's kind of so-so this semester, I have some stickler teachers that drive me nuts and have to make a scene of every little thing. However, I do have a nice new teacher and he's pretty mellowed out so it helps even things out in the long run. My novel is coming together! :D There are only about four more chapters left to write! I tried to write as often as I could but I was vacationing with my sisters this summer so it was hard to write their surprise novel while they were always around haha. But don't worry, I didn't blow the surprise. :)



How have you guys been? I've truly missed you all! I hope you all had an amazing summer, please leave comments below letting me know how you spent the last three months; swimming with dolphins? Interning at a new job? Celebrating at a wedding?


P.S. Have any of you guys heard of the new Disney cartoon Gravity Falls? It's a cartoon but my younger sister was watching it and I immediately fell in love. It's full of humor and really cute, Mabel's pretty awesome.


 
 
HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

News of good things to come

Hey everyone!

I'm sorry I've been MIA for a while now but don't fret, my absence has been for a good reason! I've been writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, and did I mention writing? ;)

So FINALLY I'm going to tell you all about the mystery novel I've been writing for the past five months that you guys still don't know anything about yet! Without further ado, let me introduce you to my debut novel;



Soul What?!


After several cover design drafts that exceeded well into the double digits I can finally say that I am pleased with this cover. Thanks to all of my friends and colleagues that helped with the design process, you saved me from pulling my hair out! :)

Synopsis:

Val’s officially a junior. It’s a new school year, and another chance to try and be invisible. Being in the spotlight with the popular crowd wasn’t as glamorous as she had once thought, and Val had to learn the hard way. But her plan for invisibility shatters when the school’s most feared bad boy Nathan Alexander steps into the picture. Any sane person would’ve been afraid of him, but having daily conversations with Lucian, a talking cat Val fatefully rescued, doesn’t help prove she hasn’t lost her marbles. Forced to tolerate each other’s presences during after school detention every day Val learns there’s more to Nathan and his motorcycle than meets the eye. In a sea of rumors and quick wildfire-spreading gossip it’s difficult to tell truth from fiction. Val begins to question if Nathan’s really the cold-hearted delinquent that the student body is convinced he is. Just when Val thinks everything is almost normal again Lucian lets her in on a little secret; he knows who her soul mate is. All Val wanted was to lay low but she can’t help that her heart beats like a drum whenever she’s around Nathan.

You have no idea how excited I am about all of this! For the past couple of years I have started writing several novels only to eventually scoot them to the side, start another one, and continue the infinite process. This is the first time I've almost finished a novel except for that time in third grade when I wrote a story about an evil grim reaper and a wizard that made magical armies and fought until the death alongside unicorns. But that wouldn't really count...would it? The draft is almost complete and once I hit the last word on the keyboard I'm going to close it up and hide it away for a month. What?! Why?! You're probably wondering. Well because if I straight away begin the editing process of the novel right after I finish writing it the chances of me missing mistakes are greater than if I wait a month prior to scavenging for grammatical and spelling errors. It will then be edited a few more times by other people and then will be in the publishing process! I'm not going to ship this book off to any publishers because I'd prefer to self publish it. If everything goes well and the feedback is great then I'll consider sending it to a publisher, but I don't want to count my chickens before the eggs hatch.
I originally wrote this book for my sisters to give them for Christmas this year and the submission process for most publishers requires up to six months of waiting to hear back and I just can't afford that kind of time with this book. I know there are a lot of people who wouldn't even consider to touch a self-published novel but I don't care, I'm always rooting for the underdog. I'll let you guys know when I decide on the official publish date and possible free pdfs for book bloggers that would like to review the book. I've grown attatched to a lot of the characters in the book especially Nathan, sweet, sweet , misunderstood Nathan and I can't wait to share the story with you guys too!

So far at this rate it looks like the book may be published by November! I'm just so pumped. Currently I have over 70,000 words! Almost done! :D


I hope everyone's having an awesome beginning to their summer!



HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A little escape

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to let you all know that I'm going to be taking some time off from blogging over the summer. I've got college courses to take, a novel to finish writing, relatives to visit and universities to apply to transfer to. Don't worry I won't be completely MIA. It's just that lately things have kind of been...
(Crazy)


So I wanted to relieve some stress from my very full plate. I might be posting a review up once a month because I'm way ahead (like 8 books) on my 2012 reading challenge so it's not super imperative for me to read a lot of books over the summer. I also wanted to let you guys know that the book cover art for my novel is in process so that's pretty exciting. Once the cover s finished I'll post it up in its own special tab with a synopsis to let you guys see what all the hullabaloo is about.



Oh! and to any seniors that just recently graduated, CONGRATULATIONS!! Welcome to the big world now :). Happy summer everyone! See you...when I see you ;). Which hopefully won't be during a zombie apocalypse...I'm not ready!





HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"The King Must Die" - Book Tour Stop

Hey everyone!

Today's the day that the The King Must Die book tour stops here at the Into The Literary Forest blog. Today I have the very special honor of having author N. Gemini Sasson do a guest post for us today about how she finds inspiration for her novels.



Finding Inspiration from History



N. Gemini Sasson



A lot of people wonder where writers get their ideas from. Really, how do they come up with all those ideas? Wait for the Muse of Creativity to alight on their shoulder and whop them in the noggin with the Wand of Inspiration? Here’s the boring truth: writers aren’t as much creative geniuses as they are observers of human nature and the world around them. They don’t produce completely original ideas; they absorb their surroundings, transform them into words and reflect them back in a different form. They see similarities in seemingly unrelated things and pay attention to details that others, in their busyness, gloss over.

 A long time ago, back in my high school days, my best friend was an aspiring artist. She taught me to paint and while I never had the passion to pursue art, she said one thing to me that has stuck with me through decades: “There’s more than one color in a sunset, if you look for it—there’s yellow and pink and lavender. And shadows are not just black, they’re shades of blue-gray, moss green and muted brown.” That was an epiphany. It changed the way I saw everything.

 That led to other realizations—about how things move, their shapes, how light changes throughout the day, and how the weather not just looks, but feels. A medieval soldier trudging through the Highlands of Scotland on a wintry day wasn’t just out for a stroll. He was hungry, windbeaten, and footsore. The scenery around him may have appeared monotone at first glance, but it’s not—it’s a patchwork blend of purple and gold dusted with pure white, under an endless steel-gray sky. Sometimes, if I’m stuck writing a scene, I turn to photos for inspiration.

 More than just the physical world, I am an observer of people’s emotions—how the pitch of their voices change when they’re excited, how they avert their eyes when they’re lying, how their shoulders slump when their burdens weigh them down. I put the things I see into words so that someone else can envision the same thing. 

 But a story isn’t much of a story without characters. This is where I feel like a cheat, because my characters come from history books. They were real people. I’m only retelling the happenings of their lives in a way I hope today’s readers can relate to. Life in 14th century England or Scotland may have been very different from 21st century America, but it’s the novelist’s job to make a story relevant and that’s what I strive to do. I don’t have any readers who are kings or queens (as far as I know), but in The King Must Die one thing I tried to highlight was the bond between a mother and her son and what happens when outside forces test those bonds. A question any of us who are parents can understand is: To what lengths would you go to protect your child?

 So I get an idea, latch onto a character and then what? Those ideas get jotted down in a notebook and they can percolate for months or even years before I have the time to turn my attention to them fully. Meanwhile, I bookmark web sites and collect biographies and non-fiction books on anything related. I’m constantly thinking and planning several books ahead, even though I’m actually only writing one book at a time. It’s a very layered and drawn-out process. Throughout process, I just keep asking myself questions, the most important of which is why?

 There is no magical formula to finding inspiration. It’s everywhere. You just have to look.



N. Gemini Sasson is also the author of The Crown in the Heather (The Bruce Trilogy: Book I), Worth Dying For (The Bruce Trilogy: Book II), The Honor Due a King (The Bruce Trilogy: Book III) and Isabeau, A Novel of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer (2011 IPPY Silver Medalist for Historical Fiction). She holds a M.S. in Biology from Wright State University where she ran cross country on athletic scholarship. She has worked as an aquatic toxicologist, an environmental engineer, a teacher and a track and cross country coach. A longtime breeder and judge of Australian Shepherds, her articles on bobtail genetics have been translated into seven languages.
 Links:



Thank you so much N. Gemini Sasson, that was really inspirational. Everyone don't forget to read my review of The King Must Die (here) and grab your own copy to read and enjoy the story for yourselves. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So don't forget to comment!



HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)





"The King Must Die" - Book Review

Hey everyone!

Today I'm going to be writing a review of the novel The King Must Die for the Book Tour hosted by GoddessFish. It wasn't until after I read this novel that I realized that it was the sequel in a book series, though I still managed to read it just fine. :)








Synopsis:

What is done cannot be undone.

 England, 1326. Edward II has been dethroned. Queen Isabella and her lover, Sir Roger Mortimer, are at the pinnacle of their power.
Fated to rule, Isabella’s son becomes King Edward III at the callow age of fourteen. Young Edward, however, must bide his time as the loyal son until he can break the shackles of his minority and dissolve the regency council which dictates his every action.
When the former king is found mysteriously dead in his cell, the truth becomes obscured and Isabella can no longer trust her own memory . . . or confide in those closest to her. Meanwhile, she struggles to keep her beloved Mortimer at her side and gain yet another crown—France’s—for the son who no longer trusts her.
Amidst a maelstrom of shifting loyalties, accusations of murder propel England to the brink of civil war.
In the sequel to Isabeau, secrecy and treason, conspiracy and revenge once again overtake England. The future rests in the hands of a mother and son whose bonds have reached a breaking point.



My Review:


There are so many historical fiction renditions of Edward II's attempted murder and Isabella's supposed involvement. However, N. Sasson has portrayed a different perspective and shone light on the possibility that Isabella didn't try to murder her husband. The dialogue was powerful and N. Sasson brought each of these historical figures to life in her novel The King Must Die. Even though the book is historical fiction and based on an event in history it is still a work of fiction and the author managed to create conflicts, inner turmoil and other conflicts going on around the characters' center issues that they were facing throughout the book.
N. Sasson  has a gift for story-telling and her talent of imagery made the story so vivid it could easily be interpreted into a visual picture within the imagination. I enjoyed this book, at times it felt rather slow but I would continue to read nonetheless and it would pick up pace again. The dual first-person perspectives between Isabella and her son Edward III was a great way to see both sides of the story and see how much Isabella cared for her son and what great lengths she went to, to protect her child even if he was king.
It would be really great to see this adaptation of Edward II's 'murder' to be turned into a movie, through the perspective N. Sasson had painted it in.



Excerpt:


Edward III – Stanhope Park, July, 1327



“Douglas! Douglas!”

Praying it was only a nightmare, I slapped at my cheeks to bring a rush of blood to my hazy head.

Hooves clattered. More shouts. Then ... sword clanged against sword, struck flesh. Chaos. The cries of the wounded.

My heart clogged my throat. The realization struck me with the deadly force of one of Sir John’s cannons: we were under attack. Swallowing hard, I groped in the darkness for my sword. Frantic, I flailed my hand in a wider circle, my palm swatting at a mat of crushed grass. Then, my fingers smacked against my shield. My bones screamed in pain. Great, burning throbs. I pulled my hand to my chest and tried to move my fingers, but couldn’t.

The sounds were coming closer, growing louder.


Kyrie, eleison,” I chanted. “Kyrie, eleison. Kyrie —”


A dull glint caught my eye. I flexed aching fingers, wrapped them around the hilt and pulled my sword to me. Then I grabbed at the edge of my shield, dragging it over a crumpled shirt, and slipped my left arm through the loosened straps. No time to pull them tight. Rolling over onto my knees, I scooted around the center pole toward the opening. My blade clunked against metal—my helmet. Tucking my sword on my lap, I reached out, grasped it, and settled it snugly onto my head.


The shrill neigh of a horse ripped through the night air. Hooves crashed to a halt just outside the opening of my tent. I froze.

“A Douglas!”



Don't forget to get your own copy of The King Must Die and stay tuned for a guest post by author N. Gemini Sasson coming shortly! I had a lot of fun with this virtual book tour.


HAPPY READING EVERYONE! :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Immortal Hearts (Vampire Kisses #9)" - Book Review



Synopsis:

Athena "Stormy" Sterling is coming to Dullsville, and Raven is both excited and panicked in anticipation of Alexander's little sister's visit. Alexander tells Raven that she and his sister have a lot in common, but can the mini-Raven be everything she hopes for? Alexander calls her Stormy for a reason.

Stormy's visit stirs up the perfect immortal whirlwind. Raven is forced to take a good look at what it would really mean to be a vampire in the Sterling family, aside from some of the things she already loves, like shunning the sun and sleeping in a coffin with Alexander. When Raven compares her life with Stormy's, she can see that it's not all starry skies and black roses. But Raven knows she's always wanted to be a vampire.

Alexander is as romantic and dreamy as ever, and though he keeps showing Raven how much he loves her, will she ultimately be able to convince him that it's the right thing to turn her?

This final chapter of Vampire Kisses' nocturnal romance will keep all mortal and immortal hearts racing.






I don't even know where to begin about how much I love this book. After reading the eighth book in the Vampire Kisses series and having heard that the ninth installment would be the last I was terrified. Mixed emotions had coursed through me; joy at finally finding out what Alexander and Raven's futures would hold and heart-wrench that something could go terribly wrong. Even though I had picked this book up from the bookstore just days after its release I was reluctant to read it, not knowing what to expect. Every time I saw it on my bookshelf it was just beckoning me to read it. I felt a pull to read it straight away and find out the ending of the Vampire Kisses series.
But today I finally mustered up the courage to sink my teeth into the conclusion to the Vampire Kisses series and finished Immortal Hearts in one go, unable to put it down just like every other book in the series. Raven was as spunky as ever and I fell in love with Alexander all over again, he truly is any girl's dream vampire. I loved it when Ellen Schreiber would introduce new characters into the series (Like Sebastian who I had instantly loved) and Stormy was no exception. Alexander's little sister was wonderful and she really brought life to the story and showed another side of Alexander. The strength of the friendship between Raven and Becky was evident in Immortal Hearts and made us see that true friendship can be strong enough to surpass anything.
At the turn of every page I was kept on my toes dying to know if Alexander would finally give in and change Raven or if fate had something else in store for the ravishing ghoul couple. Trevor, as menacing as he always is, remained Raven's nemesis to the very end, allowing us to enjoy more of their bickering throughout the book. This is one of my favorite books in the series now along with the first, second and fourth, though I love the entire series. Ellen Schreiber has easily become one of my favorite authors and she didn't let me down with this last book.
A few years ago in my freshman year of high school was when I had originally discovered the Vampire Kisses. I was going through a really tough time and got into loads of trouble, messed up in a really bad crowd, and was put into tight spaces by people I had thought I trusted. I felt like I couldn't trust anyone anymore and felt alone because of what I was going through in real life. At the time I had hated reading and wouldn't touch a book unless I was forced to by my teachers with a looming threat of a bad grade that would appear on a report card if I didn't. It was no accident that Vampire Kisses had been sitting on a library bookshelf waiting for me to pick it up. As cheesy as it may sound, Vampire Kisses helped me during that dark time and I really connected with Raven and suddenly didn't feel so alone. Vampire Kisses isn't a classic or an all-time best seller but Ellen had touched me through her words and I will always look back at the series with fondness. Because throughout the years as the books to the series would come out I can see how much I've changed from the first book to this last book and I know that Vampire Kisses had changed me in some way. You understand if you had connected with a book in some way, it's kind of indescribable. (Okay I'll cut the cheesiness now ;))
The ending was perfect and warmed my heart and was a fitted conclusion for Alexander and Raven. I loved how the audience was left off able to imagine for themselves what they would expect to happen afterwards. Those are the best endings, the ones that bring a smile to your face and have you saying "and they lived happily ever after" at the end.
But the adventures aren't over, we can relive them over and over again by rereading the wonderful story of Vampire Kisses. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good light-hearted, easy read with sappy romance, spunk and a hot vampire. You may not get all emotional about the book but you'd still love it, I assure you. If not then you must have something wrong with you...just kidding...actually, no I'm not.



Thank you Ellen from the bottom of my heart.

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