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

4.28.2016

The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden (Review)

Title: The Casquette Girls
Editor(s): Alys Arden
Edition: Paperback, 565 pages
Publisher: Skyscape (imprint of Amazon Publishing)
Publication Date: November 17, 2015
Source: Won through Goodreads Giveaways
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Book Depository












The Summary

Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.


After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal needs a new definition.

As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless . . . you’re immortal.
My Opinion


I had never heard of this book before I won it from Goodreads.  The premise sounded interesting, so I figured why not?  Not a bad decision because The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden was excellent.  Set after the desolation from Katrina (though the hurricane is never named), Arden pays homage to the macabre history of the city, and the resilence of the people of love New Orleans.

The story follows two girls living centuries apart, Adele and her ancestor Adeline, both destined to save their loved ones from a supernatural threat: vampires.  Yes, this book does have vampires in it, but that falls in line with the history of New Orleans.  As the title of the book suggests, young brides sent from France, came to the new world with nothing but their "hope chests", a box that resembled a coffin.  Hence the name Casquette, or Casket, Girls.  Legend has it that vampires stowed away in these boxes to come to New Orleans and started feeding on the people.  This is the lore that Arden works with, changing some of the origins for her own purposes, but still keeping her vampires close to the traditional vampires of old (no sparkling here).

Vampires aren't the only supernatural element either.  Arden also incorporates New Orleans long history with magic, both voodoo and witchcraft.  These are the two forces working against each other, with both Adele and Adeline learning what they are capable for through trial and tribulation.  Both girls have a journey of survival and rebuilding, one trying to build her home back from destruction and another trying to build a new home in a completely new place.  

To tell both girls stories, Arden uses alternating chapters, which I thought was done very well.  I was never confused about who's point of view I was reading from, which can sometimes happen when their's alternating narrators.  Her prose was beautiful, the description of New Orleans obviously lovingly crafted, but the pace was slow, so don't expect a fast resolution.  This books comes in at a whopping 565 pages, and most of that is setting up the last quarter of the book.  I personally don't mind a slow build when the pay off is good, so if this bothers you keep that in mind.

The each character was much more complex than at first glance, and I loved them all...well the mortal characters.  I did not like any of the vampires, which is good because honestly why should I like murderers (think about it, they drain people of their blood; that is NOT sexy)?  But man, of course there is a romance, which I don't think will ever be written out of supernatural books nowadays.  So while I really liked the characters and the plot, the romance aspect annoyed me.

I got really into this book right away: Adele is a great leading lady, the plot is engrossing and has many twists and turns, the setting paints a picture of New Orleans both pre- and post-hurricane, and I love the lore within it.  It was slow, but with all the twists it still kept you on your toes.  I'm trying not to reveal too much because I think it's really important for you to discover everything that happens for yourself.  I know this is a big book, but it is very good.  Also fun fact: this is a part of a series, which is another reason why I'm cool with the slowbuild.

If you love the supernatural, if you love New Orleans, if you love kick-butt leading ladies, and if you love the slow build, then you have to check out The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden!
Extras



Final Rating

Book Cover: 3/5

Book Title: 4/5
Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Endings: 8/10
Overall: 41/50: B-

4.27.2016

Past. Present. Future. April Edition


This feature hightlights the books I've read, the books I'm reading, and the books I'm going to read for each month! 

I'd love for you all to join in if you want! Leave me a comment to your post or just let me know in the comment what's your Past. Present. Furture. in books!


PAST:
These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas - I read this as a part of my bookclub, The Prose Hoes for our March read.  It was a fun book set in Victorian times.  There are powers, kidnappings, and hijinks abound.  A fast read (read it in 3 hours), and while it is a little light in the plot, this is going to be a trilogy!  Wooh!







PRESENT:
The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins - Another book for my bookclub, this is our April book pick.  So obviously April is almost over, therefore I need to get my butt in gear and finish it!  It is good so far; I love a good fantasy and I loved Wendy's other books, so high hopes for this one!

FUTURE:
The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder - I want to change genres after so much fantasy lately.  I've heard mixed things about the book, but I'm a sucker for a beautiful cover.  So we'll see how it is.  I know that it's not a light read, so at least I won't be surprised by that.  But I try not to completely judge a book on other's opinions.






If  you've read any of these books, let me know what you thought (but NO spoilers) down below in the comments!

Waiting on Wednesday (94) - Summer in the Invisible City by Juliana Romano

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming/recent releases that we seriously can’t wait to read

Here's my pick for the week, that I seriously can't wait to read:




Summer in the Invisible City
Publication Date: June 21, 2016


A sparkling coming-of-age story about self-discovery, first love, and the true meaning of family, perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen.

Seventeen-year-old Sadie Bell has this summer all figured out: She’s going to befriend the cool girls at her school. She’s going to bond with her absentee father, a famous artist, and impress him with her photography skills. And she’s finally going to get over Noah, the swoony older guy who was her very first mistake.

Sadie wasn’t counting on meeting Sam, a funny and free-thinking boy who makes her question all of her goals. But even after a summer of talking, touching, and sharing secrets, Sam says he just wants to be friends. And when those Sadie cares about most hurt her, Sam’s friendship may not be enough. Sadie can see the world through her camera, but can she see the people who have loved and supported her all along?

Set against a glamorous New York City backdrop, this coming-of-age romance is a gorgeous summer read—one whose characters will stay with you long into the fall.

(Summary from Goodreads)


This sounds like a great contemporary: romance, discovery, heartbreak; all the pieces for the perfect book.  I've been in a mood with wanting to find some good contemporary fiction, so this will definitely fit the bill for me.  I love books set in New York because that is my ultimate dream city.  I just want to go on crazy adventures through the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn and meet amazing people and do amazing things (oh the dreams), so I tend to try and live vicariously through stories.  Super excited to pick this up when it comes out!

What book are you waiting for?

4.25.2016

Visual Inspiration - The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden



Pictures/Art/Photographs all help me see the books I'm reading.  Often, while I'm online, I stumble upon images that remind me of the book.  These visuals add layers to the stories, and can be used to offer hints to the plot.  So I've decided to put out "Visual Inspirations" in order to spark readers' interests in those books that I love.  Please feel free to join in; hopefully you'll get some new books to read in the process!



Love the supernatural?  Love witchcraft?  Love New Orleans?  Then this is the book for you!  So without further ado, I give you inspiration this week from:


The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden




Oh, what could all of this mean!?


Get your very own copy of the book, the slow build will pay off!  Make sure to check out my review, posting later this week!

If you liked this, keep an eye out for more posts and check out my other Visual Inspirations!

4.21.2016

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tucholke (Review)

Title: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys
Editor(s): April Genevieve Tucholke
Edition: Hardcover, 385 pages
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers (imprint of Penguin)
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
Source: Self Purchased
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Book Depository













The Summary

For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lois Duncan, and Daphne Du Maurier comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best writers of YA thrillers and horror 

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

Fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story will tear through tales by these talented authors:

Stefan Bachmann
Leigh Bardugo
Kendare Blake
A. G. Howard
Jay Kristoff
Marie Lu
Jonathan Maberry
Danielle Paige
Carrie Ryan
Megan Shepherd
Nova Ren Suma
McCormick Templeman
April Genevieve Tucholke
Cat Winters
My Opinion


This collection of stories was so very deliciously eerie.  Some were more frightening; some were more sinister.  But no matter what, they were all unsettling.  This is the hallmark of a fantastic horror story, and this anthology is jam-packed.

What is best about this particular horror anthology, is that it is strictly young adult, which I haven't seen before.  Also, each story is inspired by classic films, books, or songs.  Some of the films/books/songs are already horror-based, but others are not.  This makes the interpretations to horror that much better in my opinion.  I think this also adds an interesting look into the way something can be interpreted, and had me researching some of the originals that inspired these stories.

For instance, my absolute, hands-down favorite story, "In the Forest Dark and Deep" by Carrie Ryan, is based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  This story follows a young girl who is a victim and a witness to a horrible crime that is conducted by a mysterious figure: the March Hare.  The events of the story flash back and forth between when Cassidy is a child and when she is a teenager on the brink of adulthood.  It is very creepy and beautiful all at once.  The use of the mad tea party is expertly done, and I just loved it so much.  I would encourage you to either read this one first, or save it for last.

Of course, while this was my favorite, it is far from alone.  A couple other real stand-out stories include "Verse Chorus Verse" by Leigh Bardugo, "Stitches" by A.G. Howard, "Sleepless" by Jay Kristoff and "On the I-5" by Kendare Blake.  Each of these are just so chilling and do the best job of making shivers go down my spine.  But, all of the stories are worth reading for sure.

I will say that I couldn't read this book at night.  After I read the first two stories I tried to go to bed.  Unfortunately, I have an over-active imagination and scared the living daylights out of myself, jumping at each creek and groan of my house.  I had to sleep with my bathroom light on!  So if you're braver than I am, definitely enjoy this anytime, but if you're a scaredy-cat like me, then I suggest full sunlight when enjoying.  If you're a horror lover, you will not be disappointed with the stories collected in Slasher Girls & Monster Boys.
Extras



Final Rating

Book Cover: 5/5

Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Endings: 10/10
Overall: 50/50: A+ (perfection!)


Celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day for National Poetry Month

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!!

Today, April 21st, is the day to go around with an awesome poem in your pocket and share it with EVERYONE!!  This is a fun way to participate in National Poetry Month, even if you don't usually read poetry.  The poem can be anything from a nursery rhyme to your favorite rap song.  

I find that this is a super fun way to expose yourself to new poetry, and also to remember the impact that poetry has on everyone's lives.  Trust me, there is poetry in all things, and even if you don't consider yourself a "poet" or a "poetry lover", you at one time were effected by a poem.

Below I've listed some poems recommended by Poets.Org and ones I think you should check out for sure!

If you want to learn more about Poem in Your Pocket Day or National Poetry Month, head over to Poets.Org and check out the different ways to celebrate for the rest of April!

















4.19.2016

Top Ten Tuesday (44) - Ten Books That Will Make You Laugh (or at least chuckle)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because they are particularly fond of lists there at The Broke and the Bookish. They'd love us to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week they will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of their bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on their post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share.  If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. 
The topic this week is:
Ten Books That Will Make You Laugh (or at least chuckle)

Each of the books below have made giggle, chuckle, laugh or out right guffaw.  So I hope I can spread some of that to all of you!

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy - This book is brimming with humor.  Dumplin, the main character, is super witty and just cracks the jokes.  Sometimes this is to hide insecurities, but who hasn't used humor in this way.  She is also surrounded by a funny supporting cast, so there is no lacking of the funny even during the drama.

Hellhole by Gina Damico - I can't talk about funny books without mentioning Gina Damico.  Every single one of her books is hilarious, but Hellhole had me laughing out loud through most of it.  Poor Max, the main character, goes through so many trials and tribulations all thanks to the "devil" that he uncovers in his hometown.  This is a delightful romp, and I can't recommend it enough!
Mothership by Martin Lecht and Isla Neal - Just think about this, pregnant teenagers in space fighting aliens!  I mean, how can that not be funny?  This was a really hilarious situational story with a main character, Elvie, who is over this s***.  Really funny, and an strong premise.  Loved it!
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling - Now this is a non-fiction book of essays written by a hilarious lady, the one and only Mindy Kaling.  If you've never heard the name, then just think Kelly Kapoor from The Office (if you still don't know, get out of here!).  Mindy recounts stories from both her personal and professional life that will have you crying with tears.  Even if you don't know her as an actress, get to know her as a writer because she is a gem!
The Straight Road to Kylie by Nico Medina - When I first picked this book up, I did not expect to love it as much as I did.  The main character, Jonathan, is trying to finagle his way to Kylie Minogue tickets and the journey he takes is filled with ridiculous situations.  Very giggle-inducing and a quick-read!
Sex Criminals: Volume One by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky - WARNING: THIS IS A HARD R-RATING BOOK!!  Now I don't always read YA books, and when I don't I like my adult books, adult.  This one is certainly that, as it is a comic book set in a universe where the two main characters can stop time when they have sex.  Yup, you read that right: when they have sex.  Because of this, it can get graphic, so not for kids.  I'd say 17 and older for sure.  But boy is it freaking hilarious!  I mean...come on the premise alone is cause for laughter!  Worth checking out if you're old enough and love comics!
Winger by Andrew Smith - Can't have a list of funny books without Andrew Smith being on it!  I adore all his books, but Winger has a special place in my heart.  Funny and heartbreaking, Smith hits all the notes with this one.  Ryan Dean is that little brother that everyone knows and the atmosphere of an elite boarding school makes for some interesting situations.  Like I said, it is both heartbreaking and hilarious, which most great books are, and this one is fantastic.
Scary School by Derek the Ghost - Okay, so this is such a cute middle grade book that I had to include it!  Narrated by Derek the Ghost, Scary School recounts the misadventures of the students of Scary School.  Monsters are mixed with human students, sometimes there may be some "accidents" but it all turns out alright in the end.  Really funny and appropriate for all ages, loved this one a lot!
Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres Sanchez - Dark humor ahead!  Those are the types of books I like the best because that's how I deal with things.  Frenchie, the main character, is dealing with being the last one to see a classmate of her's alive.  And as she is trying to deal with that, she also has to acknowledge the reality of high school graduation.  While it is not the classic kind of funny, the outlook Frenchie has on life is very poignant and really strikes a cord with the reader.  Dark humor indeed, but still funny!
Zombies Vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier - I'm rounding this out with an oldie but a goodie.  This book is chock-a-block with hilarious stories involving two of my favorite things: unicorns and zombies!  Each contributing author has a unique perspective, but it is really the commentary sections by Black and Larbalstier that makes this gem.  If you haven't had a chance to read this one, go and get it immediately!

There you go, 10 books sure to make you laugh in one way or another.  Humor, for me, is essential to living, and that includes reading!  So if I missed any books that you think I absolutely need to check out, leave a comment below, or do your own post and link me!!


4.18.2016

Visual Inspiration - Slasher Girls & Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tucholke




Pictures/Art/Photographs all help me see the books I'm reading.  Often, while I'm online, I stumble upon images that remind me of the book.  These visuals add layers to the stories, and can be used to offer hints to the plot.  So I've decided to put out "Visual Inspirations" in order to spark readers' interests in those books that I love.  Please feel free to join in; hopefully you'll get some new books to read in the process!



If you're a horror nut, or just like to scare yourself, then this book is definitely for you! So without further ado, I give you inspiration this week from:



Slasher Girls & Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tucholke 



Oh, what could all of this mean!?


Get your very own copy of the book, but beware of reading this at night; I guarantee nightmares will be prevalent!  Make sure to check out my review, posting later this week!

If you liked this, keep an eye out for more posts and check out my other Visual Inspirations!

3.02.2016

GUILE by Constance Cooper (Review + Giveaway)




Title: Guile
Author(s): Constance Cooper
Edition: ARC, 384 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books (An imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Source: Rockstar Book Tours 
Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble - Book Depository













The Summary

Yonie Watereye lives in the bayou. The water there is full of guile, a power that changes people and objects. Yonie, 16, makes a living investigating objects affected by guile, but in fact it’s her talking cat, LaRue, who has the power to see guile.      

Yonie becomes aware that someone is sending harmful guile-changed objects to certain people, including herself. Her investigation becomes entwined with her hunt for the secrets of her mother’s past and leads her to discover dangers hidden within her own family.

In the suspenseful adventure that follows, Yonie and her furry sidekick face challenges that could end their adventuring forever.

My Opinion

When I first read the description for this book, I knew it was one I wanted to read.  I love the idea of guile, and it effecting the people and objects it encounters.  And I love the idea of this teenager going on investigative adventures with her talking cat.  This sounded like such a fun and different fantasy book, that I knew I wanted to get my little paws (hehe) on it!

Yonie is definitely a great heroine!  She cares about people, shows compassion and tenacity, and just wants to help; a good character for young girls for sure.  She as a strength about her all through the book that helps her push through different circumstances and still be okay.  I really loved that about her, and made me really invested in her journey to find out more about her past.  Of course, LaRue was fabulous!  She, even while being a cat, gives off a definite big sister vibe.  She is there to help guide Yonie and support her.  she protects Yonie, just as Yonie protects her, creating a really deep bond between the two, which I loved and makes you sometimes forget that LaRue is a cat!

The world that is built in the book is fabulous.  I love the whole idea of guile, especially because I was taught at a young age that objects hold memories of the people who posses them and can reflect those memories/emotions/whatever you want to call them.  This is definitely seen within the different guile-effected objects that Yonie and LaRue encounter.  The bayou itself is so full of life and different people, that you really start to see yourself in this world.  I love such intricate and imaginative worlds and makes me want more!

There are a lot of twists throughout the book, some of which you can see and others smack you upside the head!  I love a mix of genres, and Guile was a total mashup with the perfect amount of fantasy, thriller, and mystery thrown together.  If you've been looking for a fresh new book, then Guile is a MUST-READ!


Final Rating


About the Author

Constance's fantasy novel Guile will be published March 1, 2016 by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Guile is set in the Bad Bayous, where the water makes strange and unpredictable changes to things (or animals, or people) that soak too long.

Constance's short stories have appeared in Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and various other publications. Her work has been podcast, translated into Swedish and Hebrew, and included in “Best Of” anthologies. She also writes sf poetry, and has twice been nominated for the Rhysling Award.

Constance grew up mainly in the San Francisco Bay Area, with one year spent in Surrey, England and a chunk of another spent in Newfoundland, Canada. She studied journalism at UC Santa Cruz, where she hiked to class through redwood forest, explored secret caves, and helped edit the college newspaper. Later she earned an MA in Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, and stayed on in Philadelphia working on a linguistic research project before getting sucked into the brand-new world of website design.

After Constance met her husband, they moved to Edinburgh, Scotland for two years, where she morphed into a software engineer. Just as she'd acclimated to saying “beeta testing” and “proh-cessor,” she and her husband returned to the Bay Area to work for a natural language search company.

Now Constance lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two children, and is enjoying ever-increasing time to write the kind of stories she's always loved. Her published science fiction so far has all been set on alien planets, and often told from alien viewpoints (including reptilian, mammalian, and crustacean analogues.) In writing fantasy, she's attracted to inventive, nonstandard settings, light touches of humor, and just pure adventurous fun. Constance's writing also shows the influence of her love for mysteries.

Giveaway

3 winners will receive a finished copy of GUILE

Giveaway is open to US ONLY

Tour Schedule

Week 1:
2/22/2016- Seeing Double In NeverlandInterview
2/23/2016- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
2/24/2016- Take Me Away To A Great ReadGuest Post
2/25/2016- 5 Girls Book ReviewsReview
2/26/2016- Curling Up With A Good BookInterview

Week 2:
2/29/2016- A Dream Within A DreamReview
3/1/2016- Twinning for BooksGuest Post
3/2/2016- Eli to the nthReview3/3/2016- Good Choice Reading - Interview



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