Friday, May 31, 2013

Fabulous Finds Friday

Hey everyone!

Check out this beautiful fountain in Cincinnati! I love fountains and I love books so this is super awesome-sauce.

I think it's something any book lover can appreciate. :)


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"The Kindness of Strangers" - Book Review

A young widow raising two boys, Sarah Laden is struggling to keep her family together. But when a shocking revelation rips apart the family of her closest friend, Sarah finds herself welcoming yet another troubled young boy into her already tumultuous life.

Jordan, a quiet, reclusive elementary school classmate of Sarah's son Danny, has survived a terrible ordeal. By agreeing to become Jordan's foster mother, Sarah will be forced to question the things she has long believed. And as the delicate threads that bind their family begin to unravel, all the Ladens will have to face difficult truths about themselves and one another--and discover the power of love necessary to forgive and to heal.

My Review:

Every year I try to read books that make me grow by teaching me, enlightening me, and opening my eyes to things I have never thought about before. That includes reading books that make me uncomfortable. I try to read one book a year that makes me uncomfortable because if we don't step out of our comfort zones how can we ever grow? The Kindness of Strangers makes all of the uncomfortable books I have ever read seem like child's play compared to it.
Right off the bat you need to know that The Kindness of Strangers deals with really heavy subject-material including sexual abuse, incest, and child pornography.  The synopsis of the book doesn't hint about what the 'big secret' Sarah discovers is and I had no idea what I was in for when I began to read the book. I had been under the impression that this book may have dealt with abuse and drug use but that wasn't what I discovered.
There were times when reading this book that I felt sick and disturbed by the content and had to put the book down. In the beginning it was hard for me to pick the book up again but I felt like I owed it to poor Jordan to read his story. It sounds weird; owing a fictional character something, but Katrina Kittle has an amazing gift for storytelling and her characterization was impeccable. Jordan felt as real to me as a friend. The book was told in third-person perspective of three of the characters; Sarah, Jordan, and Nate. She did a fantastic job voicing each of the characters you never would have known that they were all written by one person. 
This book brought tears to my eyes numerous times and broke my heart. Though this book deals with really bad things it's a really good book written with compassion and poise. 
If I would have known that The Kindness of Strangers was about sexual abuse, child pornography, and incest I probably would not have picked it up off of the shelf and given it a second thought. But I am glad I did. Kittle brought to light that there are so many false stereotypes regarding sexual abuse and pedophiles that most of us have it entirely all wrong. We usually think of a 40-something year old white male with a creepy mustache when we think of pedophiles, but they can be 'normal' people too and often are. I never would have imagined that there are parents that sexually assault their children, but tragically that is the case for some children all across the globe. But it isn't an issue we should turn a blind eye toward just because it's hard subject-material. Silence is the heaviest form of oppression for children that are sexually abused and we as adults should look out for children and be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.
This book will teach you that tragedy can tear one family apart and pull another together. 


Wordless Wednesday

I know this is supposed to be a wordless Wednesday where I don't yap and blab along but I just needed to explain the picture. Some of you are probably wondering 'what does that have to do with books?' Well, this is fanart for Harry Potter done by the wonderful Brigid Vaughn, also known as Burdge, (Check out her art website) . I really love fanart and I absolutely love Harry Potter. This is a scene from the fifth book in the series Harry Potter and The Order of The Pheonix (Which is actually my favorite book in the series). It's simple and intricate all at once and that's why I love it so much. Check out her website, she does loads of different fanart for books, movies, and TV shows. 


Monday, May 27, 2013

Super Exciting Fantastical News!

Hey everyone!

I am just bouncing off the walls in excitement right now! Just last week the editing of my debut novel Soul What?! was completed. The cover is done and everything is good to go. The publishers are going to be sending me a proof copy in the mail that I should be receiving sometime this week. I am just way too excited. I'm going to be going over the book to make sure that the printing goes smoothly and there aren't any typos that may have been missed during the editing process...because most of the time there are.

I'm just so happy, relieved, excited, proud that I actually followed through with a novel and finished it, and feeling a whole bunch of things all at once. The release date for Soul What?! has been picked and it will be available to the public on June 16! :D I can't express how happy I am, I'm probably just rambling on and being redundant about my emotions, but I just really wanted to share this with you guys since you've been with me the entire journey of Soul What?!

Soul What?! now has its own GoodReads page too!

Don't forget to add Soul What?! to your 'to-read' list.
Thank you for all of your support, I truly appreciate it. 


Friday, May 24, 2013

Fabulous Finds Friday

Hey everyone!

So considering we're all book lovers I think it's safe to assume we all own bookshelves. Some people may not because they don't have enough books to put on a bookshelf, and others may prefer ebooks. But if you're into real books and love your bookshelf you're in for a really cool treat. I found a really cool article that lists 18 cool bookshelves that were found all over the internet.

Inspired by the article linked above I wanted to list some of the coolest bookshelves I've found online. 

(In no particular order of awesomeness)












Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"City of Ashes" - Book Review

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

My Review:

Engrossing. I am seriously hooked on the Mortal Instruments series. Cassandra Clare's City of Ashes is a masterpiece, I'm in love with her writing style. The sequel to the Mortal Instruments series was no disappointment. I enjoyed reading more of Clary and the gang's story unfolding, and about Valentine's impending uprising. 
After the first book I was pretty shell-shocked from a major plot-twist (though between you and me, I don't believe it at all) but City of Ashes helped me get over that drastic turn of events (well, sort of). This is one of those book series that gets you wanting more and the books don't get worse as you continue on through the series, actually it's just the opposite. The Mortal Instruments series has easily become one of my favorite book series.
City of Ashes was packed with action from cover-to-cover and filled with a hefty dose of suspenseful drama, just the way I like it. Jace is as charming as ever; his sarcastic mouth is something you could never get bored of. This book was filled with a couple of plot-twists that made me put the book down in shock, it's that good. After being left with a huge cliffhanger I'm excited to see what Clare has in store in City of Glass. If you  haven't started reading the Mortal Instruments series, what are you waiting for?


Thursday, May 16, 2013

"City of Bones" - Book Review

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . . 

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

My Review:

Awesome! City of Bones is a great start to the Mortal Instruments series. It's jam-packed with action, demon-fighting, sarcasm, romance, suspense, drama, and everything else you could want in a paranormal  YA book. Cassandra Clare has a unique writing style that's very different from other young adult writers, but different in a good way. Eloquent is the word that comes to mind when I think of her writing style. Clare's writing is so vivid and descriptive I didn't get lost once during any of the fight scenes. Some of the fight scenes I've read in other books had me lost in the middle of it because of the authors' writing styles. Cassandra, however, managed to write out the fight scenes perfectly.
I liked Jace right from the get-go. He's a smart-mouth and has endearing qualities I won't mention to prevent spoilers. You know how sometimes you read a novel and you really like a character? Maybe you and that character wouldn't get along very well in real life because your personalities would clash but you still enjoy reading scenes they're in. I smiled whenever Jace made an entrance because regardless of what was going on you could always rely on his smart-mouth to lighten up a situation a bit. He actually really reminded me of the character Loki from Amanda Hocking's Trylle trilogy.
At the beginning of the book I already knew what team I was rooting for in the little love triangle going on in City of Bones. However, as the plot progressed...things happened. I won't tell you what things happened, if you want to know you'll have to read the book yourself. The falling action leading to the conclusion of the book left me so confused. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about what happened, I think I'm still in shock and processing all of the information. I'm angry and sad for sure.
I'm still on the same team I was on at the beginning but I need to read more of the series to make sure my theories are true. I recommend City of Bones to anyone looking for a good summer read now that schools are coming to an end in time for summer fun. 

I cannot wait until the City of Bones movie adaptation comes out this summer! :D It looks really promising and I think the guy they cast to play Jace suits him perfectly. 


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Things, things, and well....things

Hey everyone!

This post is kind of going to be an explanation of a few things, an update of things, and an explanation of things to come. For starters, it's finals week. I'm almost done with my second year of college! Just one more final to go!

I also wanted to apologize for having missed Wordless Wednesday and Fabulous Finds Friday about three or four times within the last couple of weeks. The impending finals had me all stressed out and I couldn't focus on anything else, and happened. Today I got my hardest final, Calculus, out of the way and I feel so relieved even though there's a chance I could have flunked the test entirely. I'm just glad it's over.
As some of you may well know, or may not, I'm studying to be a veterinary technician. I recently got accepted into the school of my dreams!! :D *happy dance* and I will be starting in the summer. That means while I'm in that school most likely The Literary Forest will be on hiatus.

I'm sorry, but medical school is tough and I'll have to give my undivided attention to school in order to do the best that I can. However, that's  about two months from now so don't worry! After my last final coming up next week I will be more active on this blog and have far more time to read, which means more reviews.
Speaking of reading, that's a good segue to get onto the next topic I wanted to talk about. Since my last post regarding the book ban I have borrowed and purchased books. I know, I know, go ahead and throw your tomatoes at me. I'm weak and can't resist books, though, having met so many people in the book community, I know I'm not the only one. I am reading a book off of my shelf right now (well not at this moment since I'm typing up this blog post) so that's got to count for something? I'll be doing an In My Mailbox post here soon to show you all the goodies I couldn't resist getting.

Next on the things to talk about would be the progress of Soul What?! my novel. Soul What?! is in the process of being edited, quite rigorously I might add, and is close to 80% done. If everything goes swimmingly I hope to have Soul What?! released this summer! I'm super excited, and cannot wait to share my debut novel with you all.
I think that's pretty much all I wanted to talk about today. It's currently raining here and I'm so very happy about that. Also, I've recently gotten into Doctor Who....and I'm kind of obsessed.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Fabulous Finds Friday

Hey everyone!

I know I missed last week's Fabulous Finds Friday (FFF), I'm really sorry. It's the end of the semester and so much has been going on it's hard for me to keep up with what I'm forgetting to do. On Friday I had a feeling that something was off and that I was forgetting to do something. It wasn't until Saturday that I realized what I had forgotten. Unfortunately, I also forgot this week's Wordless Wednesday because of a huge exam I was studying for.

Today's Fabulous Finds Friday is about the funniest, saddest, and scariest books people in LA that were randomly interviewed on the street have read. I really liked this video, being the obsessed reader that I am, because you can see how one book can have different effects on different people.

  • The funniest book I ever read would probably have to be Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy #1) by Jennifer Estep. Her sense of humor is so dry and quirky and her books always have me laughing out loud.
  • The book that made me bawl my eyes out was A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks, that man knows how to tug at your heart strings.
  • The scariest book I've ever read would probably have to be Uninvited by Amanda Marrone. It wasn't a really scary book, I just don't really read scary books. But the boyfriend in the book was a creep. It kind of reminded me of the movie Fear.

What is the funniest, saddest, or scariest book you've ever read? Leave a comment down below. If you want to watch more videos like this Barnes & Noble have a 'Why I read' series on their YouTube channel.
Check it out here!



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