quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Review)

Title: The Raven Boys
Author(s): Maggie Stiefvater
Edition: Audiobook, 11 hours/10 cds
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Source: Library
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Book Depository

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.
My Opinion

I want to preface this with the fact that I "read" The Raven Boys on audio.  My first foray into audiobooks in fact, which may have not been completely the best idea as Maggie Stiefvater's books tend to be very detailed and complicated.  I would suggest reading a hard-copy of the book because those details and complexity was sometimes overwhelming at times when listening.  And while I realize there are probably a million reviews out there for this book, I think another one won't hurt.

Blue Sargent comes from a family of female physics, but she is the only one without the gift.  Within the town she live in, Marietta, her family witness the crossing of the dead, and each year Blue goes with, never seeing the souls as her family does.  Except for this year, when one soul walks towards her and whispers his name. And Blue is told by her Aunt Neeve: “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said.  “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”  (pg. 16 of the hardcover).  This one sentence pretty much sets the tone of the book, and the action takes off.

Rich in detail and mythology, Stiefvater's Marietta is a character in of itself, and seems like a beacon gathering the 5 main characters together.  As with all Stievater books, the mythos within The Raven Boys is rich, pulling from legends existing within the real world.  Each boy, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah, is multi-layered and complex.  Sometimes you hate them, but more often you love them, much like Blue herself.  With each new turn of the story, you sink deeper and deeper, becoming a part of this quest that Gansey and his fellow Raven Boys are on.  And while this is one quest, you find yourself on a simultaneous journey with Blue, navigating the possible result of her predicted future.

Lyrical, complex, and compelling, The Raven Boys delivers a story steeped in magic, both of the fantastical and the ordinary.  This is sure to pull you in and not let you go!

Final Rating

Book Cover: 5/5 

Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 8/10
Overall: 45/50: A


Book Trailer

Other Books in Series
Photo credit: Maggie Stiefvater


BLOG TOUR --- USELESS BAY BY M.J. BEAUFRAND [Spotlight + Giveaway]

I love a good mystery, and this one is particularly twisty!  While a quick read, you'll be hooked right away.  Darkly atmospheric, Useless Bay is a great new book from Edgar Award Nominee M.J. Beafrand!
Title: Useless Bay
Author(s): M.J. Beaufrand
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, 240 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble - iBooks - Book Depository

Tour Schedule

 Week One:
10/10/2017 - The Autumn Bookshelf - Interview
10/11/2017 - Zach's YA Reviews - Review
10/12/2017 - The Alchemy of Ink - Review
10/13/2017 - Bean's Bookshelf and Coffee Break - Review
10/14/2017 - Curling Up With A Good Book - Interview

Week Two:
10/17/2017 - Michelle4Laughs: It's in the Details - Excerpt
10/18/2017 - In a bookish world - Excerpt
10/19/2017 - The Bookworm Central - Review
10/20/2017 - Eli to the nth - Spotlight (ME!)
10/21/2017 - Owl Always Be Reading - Excerpt

The Summary

A gritty, psychological thriller about a mythic set of sixteen-year-old quintuplets searching for a young boy, Useless Bay is sure to bring the twists and turns.

On Whidbey Island, the Gray quintuplets are the stuff of legend. Pixie and her brothers have always been bigger and blonder than their neighbors, as if they were birthed from the island itself. Together, they serve as an unofficial search-and-rescue team for the island, saving tourists and locals alike from the forces of wind and sea. But, when a young boy goes missing, the mysteries start to pile up. 

While searching for him, they find his mother’s dead body instead—and realize that something sinister is in their midst. Edgar-nominated author M. J. Beaufrand has crafted another atmospheric thriller with a touch of magical realism that fans of mystery and true crime will devour. 
Other Books by Author

                              Dark River                         The Rise & Fall of the Gallivanters

About the Author

Mary Jane grew up in Gresham, Oregon. She’s a graduate of Wellesley College and has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Program. Currently she lives in Seattle with her husband, two children, and dogs. In the eighties she had a bad perm.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


BLOG TOUR --- ROSE & THORN BY SARAH PRINEAS [Spotlight + Giveaway]

I am very excited to bring you a spotlight on a deliciously twisted retelling of Sleeping Beauty.  Set in the same world as Sarah Prineas first YA book, Ash & Bramble, readers will re-visit the world of fairytales in Rose & Thorn.  Imaginative, Prineas manages to invoke the feeling of the original story but give it a modern update.  Fans of fairytale retellings will be in for a treat, and lovers of dark fantasy will fall in love as well!
Title: Rose & Thorn
Author(s): Sarah Prineas
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, 416 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble - iBooks - Book Depository

Tour Schedule

 Week One:
10/10/2016 - Novel Novice - Interview
10/11/2016 - A Dream Within ADream Review
10/12/2016 - Seeing Double In Neverland Guest Post
10/13/2016 - Mom with a ReadingProblem Review
10/14/2016 - Two Chicks on Books Interview

Week Two:
10/17/2016 - Once Upon a Twilight Review
10/18/2016 - YaReads Guest Post
10/19/2016 - Eli to the nth Spotlight (ME!)
10/20/2016 - The Cover Contessa Interview

10/21/2016 - Mundie Moms -  Review

The Summary

This beauty isn’t sleeping!  Sarah Prineas’s darkly imaginative retelling breaks down the classic story of Sleeping Beauty in a big, bold way. Brimming with action and romance, beautiful Rose must escape the curse that will force the kingdom to fall into a century-long slumber and fights for the freedom to find her own happily ever after.

After the spell protecting her is destroyed, Rose seeks safety in the world outside the valley she had called home. She’s been kept hidden all her life to delay the three curses she was born with, curses that will have drastic consequences if they take effect. Accompanied by the handsome and mysterious Griff and Quirk, his witty and warmhearted partner, Rose tries to escape from the ties that bind her to this forced fairy tale. But will the path they take lead them to freedom, or will it bring them straight into the prescribed story they are trying to avoid?

Set in the world of Prineas’s Ash & Bramble fifty years later, Rose & Thorn is a powerful retelling of Sleeping Beauty. If you like your fairy tales dark, your heroines daring, and your suitors dashing, this is the book for you.
Other Book in Duology

About the Author
Hi there! I'm Sarah Prineas, author of the Magic Thief series published in the US by HarperCollins and in 17 other languages around the world, and the Winterling trilogy. I live in rural Iowa with my mad scientist husband, two kids, and two cats. My latest book is called Ash & Bramble, and it's a YA; with it's companion, Rose & Thorn, out in 2016.



Title: Sometimes We Tell the Truth
Author(s): Kim Zarins
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, 448 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble - iBooks - Book Depository

Tour Schedule

Week One:
8/29/2016 - Novel Novice - Guest Post
8/30/2016 - A Gingerly Review - Review
8/31/2016- Twinning for Books - Guest Post
9/1/2016- The Petite Book Blogger - Review
9/2/2016 - BookCatPin - Guest Post

Week Two:
9/5/2016 - Just Commonly - Review
9/6/2016 - Wandering Bark Books - Guest Post
9/7/2016 - The Reading Nook Reviews - Review
9/8/2016 - Literary Meanderings - Guest Post
9/9/2016 - Eli to the nth - Review (ME!)

The Summary

In this contemporary retelling of The Canterbury Tales, a group of teens on a bus ride to Washington, DC, each tell a story—some fantastical, some realistic, some downright scandalous—in pursuit of the ultimate prize: a perfect score.

Jeff boards the bus for the Civics class trip to Washington, DC, with a few things on his mind:
     -Six hours trapped with his classmates sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
     -He somehow ended up sitting next to his ex-best friend, who he hasn’t spoken to in years.
    -He still feels guilty for the major part he played in pranking his teacher, and the trip’s chaperone, Mr. Bailey.
    -And his best friend Cannon, never one to be trusted and banned from the trip, has something “big” planned for DC.

But Mr. Bailey has an idea to keep everyone in line: each person on the bus is going to have the chance to tell a story. It can be fact or fiction, realistic or fantastical, dark or funny or sad. It doesn’t matter. Each person gets a story, and whoever tells the best one will get an automatic A in the class.

But in the middle of all the storytelling, with secrets and confessions coming out, Jeff only has one thing on his mind—can he live up to the super successful story published in the school newspaper weeks ago that convinced everyone that he was someone smart, someone special, and someone with something to say.

In her debut novel, Kim Zarins breathes new life into Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in a fresh and contemporary retelling that explores the dark realities of high school, and the subtle moments that bring us all together. 

My Opinion

If you were one of those students in English Literature who dreaded reading The Canterbury Tales, well then I suggest that you crack open Sometimes We Tell the Truth. Kim Zarins does a masterful job of taking the great literary devices and structure of The Canterbury Tales and translating them into an amazingly refreshing and accessible novel, one which will make you appreciate The Canterbury Tales, erasing bad memories.

The overall premise of the book is a class trip/road trip tale filled with students from the same Senior civics class, on their way to Washington, D.C.  You see each of the characters through the eyes of the narrator, Jeff (get it like Geoffrey Chaucer), and then the book is interspersed with the "tales" that the students are set to do to keep busy by their teacher Mr. Bailey.  Each of these stories reveals something new about each character, creating a rounded experience without detracting from the main plot.

There is a little bit for everyone, and I think the heart of the story really shines through.  Each character is loving and hatful in their own way, and really reflects the dynamics of high school in a way that I feel reads very true.  I don't want to give a lot of the story away because it is a journey that builds as you travel along with the group, but it is encompassing and epic.

For both lovers of Chaucer and no-nothings about his work, Sometimes We Tell the Truth has something to hook all readers, and Zarins tells a romp of a good story!

Final Rating

About the Author

Kim Zarins has a PhD in English from Cornell University and teaches medieval literature and children’s literature at Sacramento State University.  Her debut novel, Sometimes We Tell the Truth, retells Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with modern teens, and she wrote it with a gigantic smile on her face (there are funny bits).  She also published two picture books for very young children.  When she isn’t reading or writing or teaching, she is feeding peanuts to a very hungry scrub jay named Joe.
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