Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Room By Book Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor book cover
Diamond Ikat Indigo Rug from Dwell Studios
Chesterfield Sofa Duck Egg- Devon Linen from Canvas
'Queens Jubilee' tea tray tin retro style from It's Vintage Darling 
Red Wood table Tall from Treasures of Morocco
Peridot Wallpaper- Bark from Serena & Lily
Eye Teapot from Astier de Villatte

I really liked putting together this Room By Book because I loved Dreams of Gods & Monsters. I wanted Akiva's simplicity to be seen through the geometric pattern of the table and wallpaper, but has Karou's artists eye in the rug. Karou's individual style is seen in the retro tin tray and eye teapot. The couch was a compromise with a vintage look, but a modern indigo color. This furniture would be their room on earth.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor  Goodreads|Amazon

Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers April 8, 2014

624 Pages

Last (Third) Book in Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy

Source: Bookstore (bought)

Bookologist Analysis: This book brought a wonderful finality to the end up of the story, yet it was a story all in itself. We met characters that find the reason they are alive, and some characters become a part of our lives. Dreams of Gods and Monsters was a magical thread that was pulled by a needle threading through the plot and world of Eretz.

In this thrilling conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Karou is still not ready to forgive Akiva for killing the only family she's ever known.

When a brutal angel army trespasses into the human world, Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat--and against larger dangers that loom on the horizon. They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love.

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera, and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters proved that not all trilogy books have to end with heartbreaking and heart wrenching conclusions. The story all started out with Brimstone and Karou in Prague. This was before we knew about angels and wars and were just following Karou around as a concentrated art high school student. Then Akiva walked in with Liraz and Hazael. We had a brief romantic overture followed by death, destruction, and loss of hope in Days of Blood and Starlight. In Dreams of Gods and Monsters we follow our characters on their journey with Jael becoming a threat as he invades earth. Eliza is having increasing difficulty with her nightmares and balancing them with her work. Dreams of Gods and Monsters was breaking you piece by piece to build you back together into a more complex puzzle piece than before you read the Saga.

In this book I loved the back and forth between Akiva and Karou. We saw them want each other, but be afraid to offend the other one and then be too shy to meet each other’s eyes. Then we saw Mik and Zuzanna come back because they love their friends so much. Karou has become a deeper person with the layering of Madrigal's personality onto her own. Akiva is also pushing deeper and deeper into his "schemes of energies". The characters have choices to face, but they are also realizing that with these choices that they have to learn from the past and can't just kill for the sake of killing. You have to a justifiable plan and know that the least amount of harm is the best option.

The eloquence matched with the characters and plot became the heartbreak of it all. We watched Karou grow from being a shy, class clown art student to a  flying, resurrectionist was a journey that I am honored to have gone on. The conclusion of this trilogy/saga had me realize what an experience this has been for me. I read Daughter of Smoke & Bone just when I was getting into YA novels and had just moved. My days fantasizing about monsters and angels have not stopped even now. I fear I might not do this books justice with all its roaring cliffs and quiet valleys, from the girls of Zuzanna and Karou, to the boys Mik and Akiva, with the magical worlds of Prague, Morocco, and Eretz, and the supporters Issa, Liraz, and Eliza.  My Rating «««««

Monday, April 21, 2014

Room By Book Valkyries RIsing

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson book cover
Verna Pinwheel Rugs- Blue from Pier 1 Imports
Noguchi Coffee Table with walnut base by Isamu Noguchi from MOMA store
Pierced Ginger Jars from C. Wonders
Norwegian Horse Decoration from Ryder Antiques (19th Century)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Review Valkyries Rising

Valkyries Rising by Ingrid Paulson Goodreads|Amazon

Published by HarperTeen 2012

352 Pages


Source: The Europe YA Map from Epic Reads (heard about it), from the library

*There is a lot of offensive language in this book. So please do be careful if you are going to pick it up.

Bookologists Analysis: Valkyries Rising is a book that makes you see the world through the eyes of a girl that has a crush on her over protective brother’s best friend. I was branching out in terms of my mythology (I usually prefer Greek/Roman/Egyptian), but I decided to try something in Scandinavia. The book was okay, but everything can have improvement, right?

Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she'll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she's there.

What Ellie doesn't anticipate is Graham's infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect that something powerful and ancient will awaken in her and that strange whispers will urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, suddenly there's a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it's up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring, Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl's unexpectedly epic coming-of-age.

Let’s be honest. Fishing villages?? Who thought of the idea to come up with fishing villages? (My rant is now over. Merci for listening). Valkyries Rising made you feel the over advertisement of coming-of-age books. Realistically you hope all books have characters maturing, but in this book it felt a little overdone with the whole "your family is secretly part of a secret mythological society and so is someone very close to you" (shhh). The book had the feeling of wheel turning and turning never stopping.

Valkyries Rising had the positive air to it with the coming-of-age thing. When a book advertises itself of a coming-of-age book, it is overdone with the whole idea of wanting to be more grown up. These books are almost desperate to become inspirational.  Growing up and being mature is a lifelong journey. Ellie forgets that just because her grandmother is a super powerful Valkyrie doesn’t mean she has to give up her life and just become a badass fighter.

Valkyries Rising is about the hope you have to have to persevere. No matter how many twists there are from older college guys, girls in hardcore leather boots, or from friends that tap on the roofs and on walls with you. Ellie took everything that was thrown at her with her head held high (because nothing lasts forever- you know I love my song references) and took everything with a grain of salt because you never know who your enemies are.

This book makes you want to have a cool grandmother that never leaves you wanting. The power of family and friendship is portrayed as something that is either constraining or freeing, but most of the time it is a tug of war between both variables. Her brother Graham constrains her to be the little sister of nine not the young lady of sixteen she is. Her Grandmother however want s her to step up to take the responsibility of being of a Valkyrie. She doesn’t have a lot of friends only a sort of sarcastic banter between her and Tucker.  Valkyrie Rising is about rising up to the moment that when your call rings no matter how you are brought up because you can overcome anything.  Rating: «««

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Fairytale Survey

This feature/survey is done by The Daily Prophecy that I first heard about on Feed Me Books Now.  The survey questions are based on fairytales to books based on questions. I thought it was super cool to include fairy tales with books.  Leave your answers in the comments below.

Pinocchio – The boy whose nose grows when he lies.
Is there are book you lie about, because you feel ashamed for liking it?
Well I read The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer a while and for the longest time, I was embarrassed that I actually liked it because I read it in the fifth grade and I heard all the crap about it, but not anymore!

Beauty and the beast – The girl who fell in love with personality.
Which book do you love that has a hideous cover?
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead- Angelina Jolie doesn’t work
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare- A shirtless dude with tattoos is how you get crap (in fact one of my guy friends was halfway into the book, but was too embarrassed to continue because of  Jace on the cover)

Snow white – Hunted down for her beauty.
Do you ever buy a book based on the cover alone and if so, what is the last one?
Well, the last book I picked up for the cover was the Valkyrie Rising (it’s from the library), but I was looking through a list of YA books in Europe and it looked cool.

Sleeping beauty – Cursed to sleep, awakened by true loves kiss.
 What is your favorite book couple?
Darkling and Alina (they’re technically not a couple, but wait till Ruin and Rising comes out) from Shadow and Bone/Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo they are the perfect example of light meets dark
Warner and Juliette from Ignite Me {Review}/Unravel Me/Shatter Me  by Tahreh Mafi- You never know when the author decides to make an  unlikely love triangles end up

Little Mermaid – Gave up on her old life for love.
Do you ever branch out to new genres or do you like to stick with the ones you know and love? If you try new things out, what is the latest book?
I usually stick with what I love- historical fiction/fantasy sci-fi/thrillers. My most recent branching out was reading What I Eat Around the World in 80 Diets by Faith Menzel & Faith D’Aluisio, which is about what different people around the world eat in one day, very coffee table, but a good read.
Cinderella – Who lost her shoe after midnight.
What is the last book that made you stay up all night?
The Gathering Storm {Review} by Robin Bridges, I stayed up till about 11:30 pm (I rarely stay up later than that) reading about evil vampires and princes.

Rapunzel – locked up in a tower.
What are the worst books you’ve read last month?
Ohh tough. Most books I don’t like I don’t continue reading, but the worst book I’ve read is probably I am Rembrandt’s Daughter {Review}by Lynn Cullen. I didn’t find it terrible, but I’ve just read so many good books this past month.

Aladdin – The poor boy who found a genie.
What is the latest book treasure/gem you found?
The best book that I found by chance just by skimming shelves not from web sources was The Girl with Borrowed Wings  {Review} by Rinsai Rossetti. I was just browsing at library and bam a good book.

Alice in Wonderland – The girl who fell through a rabbit’s hole. 
Which book made you really feel like you landed in another world?
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers- you feel like you’re in a world of old gods and Britanny
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling-  some of the best fantasy books ever written
Legend {Review} by Marie Lu-  wins for dystopian because of so much world building

East of the sun and west of the moon – where a girl embarks on a journey to save her love.
Who is one of your favorite kick-ass heroines?
Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead- She just wants to live on the edge after ‘dying’, I personally like her because she knows what she wants
Sydney Sage from Bloodlines by Richelle Mead- She’s a close genius and still has the guts to go after Adrian Ivashkov
June from Legend  {Review} by Marie Lu- She takes her  intelligence for a mostly nonviolent approach to the war and realizes that she can move on from Day
Ismae from Grave Mercy b Robin LaFevers- Killer, she just thinks like me plus I’m such a romantic and Duval is cool
Extra-Karou from Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor and Annabeth from Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan and Hermione from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

The Frog Prince – where an enchanted prince becomes human again.
What is a book you thought you would hate, but end up loving?
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen- it was terribly dull at the beginning but got better
Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling- first chapter was really weird

Hansel and Gretel – left alone in the woods and captured by a witch.
Which duo (sister/sister, brother/sister) is your favorite and why?
Kate, Michael & Emma from The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens- They just care so much about each other that it touches you to see their relationship develop with other character after depending on each other for years

Little Red Riding Hood – almost eaten by a wolf dressed as her grandmother.
What book disappointed you after falling in love with the cover and blurb?
The Blessed  by Tonya Hurley- I will write a review for that soon, but the book was just all over the place

Rumpelstilskin – nobody knows his name.
Which book do you love that doesn’t get enough attention?
Does Shadow and Bone count? Shadow and Bone by Liegh Bardugo- I know online a lot of people have read it, but in real life I don’t know anybody who has read them along with Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. A real answer though is Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review The Gathering Storm

Yeahh... I finally quit procrastinating! Though it took a power outage (thank you Word for not needing wifi and that laptops have battery).

The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges Goodreads|Amazon

Published by Ember 2012

 400 pages

Book One in Katerina Trilogy

Source: The Europe YA Map published by Fierce Reads (heard about it), book from Library

Bookologists Analysis: The Gathering Storm is the embodiment of my new obsession of historical fantasy. I liked the new take on the vampire myth and inclusion of fae courts. I can probably now chalk up the rest of the romance, but the plot with the question of necromancy will be interesting to explore in Unfailing Light.

As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue--and pulled between two young men who belong to very different and warring royal bloodlines. The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power as a necromancer, but which side will she choose--and to whom will she give her heart?

The Gathering Storm definitely had a kickass heroine that was at first timid then knows that she can’t let her powers control her. Katerina has hopes of attending medical school; but she can’t do that because Russia doesn’t allow women to attend medical school, so she goes to find one in Switzerland. She had a proposal with Danilo who is beautifully viciously dark, but realizes despite the darkness in herself she is drawn to the light, so she turns her back on the dark. Being a necromancer isn’t really the best surprise, but Katerina going and fighting the evil residing in her because it doesn't feel right. I really enjoy feeling the vibe of girl power in a time just when women’s rights were blossoming. The book also explores the definition of gray area between good and evil, seduction and love, and dreams and reality.

The Gathering Storm is also about drawing something in. I mean you feel the wonderful 
worldbuilding with tenseness between Light and the Dark Court. The fact that the book takes place in Russia is a huge bonus, but with the addition of the visit to Montenegro (that’s what I’m considering it in the Europe Challenge 2014).  You feel the shock of learning about the supernatural world and its intrigue (Montenegrins are idiots- lesson from the book).  Thankfully it was still easy to follow all these new complex characters like Danilo (why must there always be a love triangle), George (another arrogant royal boy), Elana (there’s a reason it was called Mean Girls), and Katerina (what would a book be without a main character). Throughout, the book I  had to remind myself that the book was not real, but rather a world built upon glittering royalty and under the hand traded fae secrets.

I felt frustrated though by the lack of growth after the middle of the book. I felt by then I was comfortable enough to be able to predict the book. I could tell you which guy Katerina would choose. You could tell who was evil and who the heavenly angel was. I will tell you however that the book didn’t hit a complete wall there. After that I felt the book was okay, but not terrific.

This book throughout itself made you see the mess of humanity and the unnatural (what the supernatural is called). It makes you see that fantasy really isn’t fantasy, but rather a group of people with messy situations put in some weird incredible worlds who try to do their best. The Gathering Storm really spoke to the truth in that and how despite books being fantastical they're also about people based on their feelings and lives. Rating: «««« ¼

Monday, April 7, 2014

YEAHH Review System

Note* I use ½ stars when I can’t pick or choose between levels. This rating system is  for fiction books not nonfiction. When reading nonfiction books and I put a rating of the book; it is more of a standard based  general ratings similar to ratings on Goodreads or Amazon.

«This book disappointed me a lot. I found the characters shallow and unrealistic. The plot seemed twisted or not clear. The book has a huge gaping hole where the writer should have added more detail or depth. I regret picking up this book.

««This book filled me with indifference and could have used a bit of work. The characters were a little bit all over the place. The plot had me lost and could have been explained better or more interesting. The holes should have been filled out with more solidness and clarity. This book is something that I didn’t enjoy and will most likely not see again.

«««This book filled me with the term meh… It was just a solid not really great or really bad; it was a dead center. The plot was predictable, but had a few unexpected small things on the side. The worldbuilding was okay, but could have used more detailed. The characters were complex at times, but didn’t entice you. I felt like reading this book would be a good fallback if you were bored.

««««This book was on the edge of glory (sorry for the song reference). The characters had the complexity that we all crave when reading. The plot was twisty and blew the unexpected at you. The only thing that kept the book from being really great was because once in a while it would get confusing, weird, slow, or redundant. I would recommend this book to just about everyone.

«««««This book blew me away and had me slack jaw at the end. I might’ve had to remind myself not to catch flies. The characters were utterly complex and had wonderful thought processes. The plots are intricate, well detailed, and have twisted plots. The worlds were original and had you enthralled the entire time. I recommend you drop everything you are doing and read it.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Something I found, not bookish
So, yes I know I haven't been posting lately. I am about two posts behind books. I've been procrastinating the entire time because Spring Break was coming up, and I thought I'd do it then. Then I found out Putin had daughters (as you see I am very distractable) and I had to 'stalk' them. Turns out they don't have any published photos besides a maybe one, no confirmations.But I promise I will go into crisis mode tomorrow and type something out. I already have one  paragraph. My style will be changing so can't wait to see what you guys think.

Check out She's cool.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick

Lomonosov Cup and Saucer Made in Russia from One Kings Lane
A Very Fine of Antique Russian, Empire Period Patinated and Core Bronze Candlesticks made in 1810 from Alexander's Antiques dealed by 1st Dibs
Side Chair by Conrad Henninger made 1887 from Metropolitan Museum of Art
Card-Table Decorated with Marquetry Showing a Chess Board and an Architectual Landscape from Hermitage State Museum (Made in Russia Late 18th Century)

Since Tsarina was all about moving form the old to the new I wanted to show how that happens. The table, candlesticks, and teacup are all fairly traditional from before 1900 to show where Natalya comes from. The yellow chair symbolizes the dawn of the new age with new ideas. Natalya in this book grows from being a spoiled rich girl to knowing that wanting something means sometimes standing up for something. Natalya embodies the lesson we all need to learn, to acknowledge our history, but to also stand up for and embrace the present.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March in Review


Uhhhh.... March has been so stressful. I have spreading myself way too thin in terms of blogging, 
although my New Year's Resolution was to blog way more. I have had play practice, got more serious about fencing, I was getting in season for track, finishing up Algebra, and an ELA project to end hunger.I also ended up picking up some not so good books. But all in all it was just so fast. Over all this is just the rewind:



Books I've Read and Post on (links are to Goodreads):

The Girl with Borrowed Wings by Rinsai Rosetti
The Shadowhunter's Codex by Cassandra Clare and Joshua Lewis
Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
The Wanderers by Jessica Miller
The 100 by Kass Morgan
I am Rembrandt's Daughter by Lynn Cullen
Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick

Room by Book (Link to Room by Book)

The Girl with Borrowed Wings by Rinsai Rosetti
Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
The 100 by Kass Morgan
Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick (coming out soon)

New things this month:
1) Over Spring Break I will be updating the blog, I have already put up a new background, but I need to get rid of some high lights, so be patient if it looks crappy
2) A rating system that I will get running soon.... after I write it
3) My review of the Vampire Academy Book and how the movie lived up to the book
4) More Room by Book (yayy!!)
5) More non-review posts 


Books I'll Be Reading in April (and a review from one or two of them)