In Which I Poke Back on Here Before Monday Comes

*clears throat* Yes, I will be back, and I’m still trying to keep my resolutions NOT to procrastinate (which, ya know, I’m already breaking…I should be doing APUSH notes), but I just had to make this announcement.

There’s a cool contest going on over at Shooting Stars! This is a blog run by two authors, Bethany Wiggins and Suzette Saxton. What’s really cool about this duo is that they’re actually sisters. If I had a sister, I might, you know, try to make her do some writing, too. Or at least share my blog or something awesome like that.😉

Anywho, Bethany and Suzette are holding a “wicked awesome” (very appropriately titled, I must say) contest where you can win:

  • A query critique
  • A critique of five pages of your work
  • An autographed AND inscribed copy of The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

What do you have to do? It’s pretty easy: the deadline is tomorrow (sorry for putting this up late, folks, but this was the only time I had😛 ), Monday, January 11, but if you get this before then…

  1. Follow their blog.
  2. Write up a post.

Easy? Absolutely. So go for it! And…see you around…soon. Stay tuned, and NftN will be right on track in the near, near future.😀

edit: I’m such an idiot!! I forgot to give the link to find the contest. It’s here.😀 I do this all the time with e-mail attachments…I forget to send the actual attachment, which is the exact reason why I would e-mail that person at all!😛 In my defense, I HTMLed the link like a true computer nerd/tech pro.😉

January 10, 2010 at 10:02 pm 2 comments

Happy 2010!

Isn’t this terrible? I haven’t blogged in like…forever. And the year/decade is almost ending. *cries* (At least I did change the layout and the header accordingly! I say accordingly because I had to adjust the header a little to make it fit, so it got slightly moved, enlarged here and there with the text, et cetera.)

I’m still working on the upcoming movie review, and my posting schedule is looking *something* like this:

  • Up (2009, film)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (1986, book)
  • Play On (2009, album)
  • Enna Burning (2004, book)
  • A possible movie review (I’m thinking 2004’s North and South)
  • Love on the Inside (2008, album)
  • Prada and Prejudice (2009, book)
  • Another possible movie review (Inkheart from 2008, maybe?)

(Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve totally gotten addicted to putting asterisks even when I could easily bold a word like *this*. Heh. It creates a different emphasis than actually bolding.)

After Prada and Prejudice, I’m not quite sure what to review next. I’ll leave that up to you guys with another poll.🙂

I love doing this every year and go completely insane about it because as much fun as it is to compile this list, it’s totally guilty-inducing when I break them (and you guys know I do). So my first resolution is….

  • To keep following my resolutions

Good, right? Carrying on…

  • Write at least two reviews every week (maybe first start off with one, what with school and all)
  • Comment more on other blogs
  • Be more prompt (aka snappy😉 ) with e-mails (sorry, guys!)
  • Read FASTER
  • Finish Draft One (and maybe Draft Two) of my current “super secret” novel
  • Actually accomplish the 50K goal of NaNoWriMo
  • Start a blog challenge and enter a few (and actually accomplish them)
  • Write more songs and poems (and for the former, enter FAWM)
  • Actually WRITE something for Script Frenzy (heh)
  • NOT PROCRASTINATING. MORE DOING WORK FASTER AND LESS GETTING DISTRACTED BY THE COMPUTER/MY STORIES/MY IPOD/WHAT-NOT. (Sorry to yell at you guys. Trying to get this through my head.)

Good goals, eh, you guys? What are YOUR resolutions?😀

And, of course, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!😀

P.S. I forgot to add that a new feature coming up on NftN is cover reviews! I review covers of books (not necessarily books that I’ve read), so I’m taking any suggestions and then, when the time comes for me to write the review, I will use Random.org to choose which title! You can suggest on in the comments, or shoot me an e-mail. But don’t be shy! You will also be recognized as the “suggester” (heh) of the title. Ask your bookish friends, too! Horrible AND fantabulous covers are both being accepted (but please no self-published covers). Thanks!😀

January 1, 2010 at 11:28 am 5 comments

Quick, Quick Announcement

‘Kay, folks! I know I promised that I would post a movie review, which I am in the process of writing (and I really love it so far, and I hope you all do too when I post it), but as for now NftN is going on hiatus until Thursday, December 17, 2:55 pm (that’s the minute after I get out of school, not necessarily when I will post; and yes, my school does get out at 2:54, which is the most random time to do anything on the planet). I will probably be finishing up the movie review that day, but first post a cool little thing that has been sort of rampant in the book blogoverse (not exactly a meme, but…you’ll see), AND change the blog layout (as much as I like this one, I’m having issues with it).

Reason for the hiatus? Three guesses. If your first (or second or third) guess was finals, you are absolutely correct. Monday is a regular day, but Tuesday is when the you-know-what starts (I have APUSH and AP Lit these days; it’s absolutely nerve-wracking that I have both of these on the same day, since they’re the hardest classes I have this year!). Wednesday is another you-know-what day (I have AP Psych, which I’m kind of nervous about though not as much as the other two, and Spanish, which shouldn’t be too bad, I hope), and Thursday is the last day (just one final–Trig–and a yearbook party right before it! w00t!). So…wish me tons and tons of luck and say as many prayers as you can for me! I’m so, so nervous for these, and for all of my lovely readers who are about to be eaten by the finals-week monster next week or whenever, I wish you luck as well! Can’t wait until Christmas break (and doggone it, it’s CHRISTMAS break, not winter break! And yes I did just say “doggone it” like old folks do) and to read/watch movies and DVDs/relax/sleep/blog again!

See ya ’til Thursday!

(Oh, and one last thing: this is officially my official blog. I decided today that I won’t be posting over at Blog of a Thousand Days anymore.)

December 13, 2009 at 12:40 am 1 comment

Just a Quick Head’s Up for the Week…and a ROLL CALL!!!!!!!!

Ack. Last week flew by so fast! I had to go back to school today. Yuck!

Anywho, I hope you all like my new blog header!! It took awhile to make it, and was a rather tedious business, but I’m pretty proud of the result, especially since I changed the girl’s hair color to one similar to mine. I’m designating her as NftN’s mascot.

A few things for you all to expect: I’m going to start writing a few reviews (a couple of movie reviews, an album review, and two book reviews), but in the meantime, I want to get a better idea of my reader’s opinions and tastes. I have a bunch of books that I want to review, but I can’t possibly review them all! After I’m done with those five reviews, which are you interested in reading a review about most (pick as many choices as you’d like).

Also, check out NftN’s very first FUN POLL OF THE WEEK!!😀

And…a word taken from Jaclyn Dolamore’s blog…

Want to win a hardcover of MAGIC UNDER GLASS by Jaclyn Dolamore plus more prizes? See http://fabulousfrock.livejournal.com for details!

I have the ARC for Magic Under Glass already, but I simply am in love with this trailer! Look forward to a review on the book soon (after I get done with the other reviews, phew).

edit: Okay. Main reason why I posted. If you have a blog–ANY blog–and it’s not in my blog roll and you think I should add it, LET ME KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love discovering new blogs! It can be a review blog, personal journal blog, photo blog, author blog, anything. Just comment, and be sure to add me to your blog roll, too (it’s only fair)! Thanks!

November 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm 2 comments

New Tunes #1 – Feist and Vanessa Carlton

Hope you folks had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’m hoping to post every two or three days when I’m free, but once the week is over (*cry*) I will be doing scheduled posts (I hope) so that this blog isn’t totally dead. Woohoo! Also, be sure to check out my contests page later today!😀

Anywho, I’m sure you noticed the new font. Like it? I’m simply loving it!

Another new thing! I’m adding a new feature. I think below it says it’s called something like “Unconscious Mutterings” or whatever, but just ignore it. For now, I’m calling it “New Tunes”. Basically, I list the songs that I recently downloaded (for me, it’s iTunes. For others, it may be Napster, Limewire, Amazon, whatever; it must be DOWNLOADED, not hardcopy albums you bought from Target or Wal-Mart or Costco), and I give mini reviews for them. If you’d like to participate in this meme, just make a post called “New Tunes” (with or without a schnazzy title; I’m just always going to put the artists’ names unless I encounter a stroke of genius for the title), write about your new songs (or podcasts, apps, iTunes games, whatever), post, and come back over here and go to Mr Linky below (after saying “hello” to him, of course. I think he’s going to be my new online BFF, seriously. It’s so AWESOME!!). Be sure that you link back to my blog in your post!! If you don’t, I will bother you about that for the rest of your life!!! (Kidding, kidding…sort of. No, but really. Do it.) Now, my turn!

“1234” by Feist from The Reminder (2007). I first heard about this song thanks to my dear friends Summermoon and Jess (love you gals!) on Twitter. At first, when I listened to it on Project Playlist, I thought it was a little too odd and quirky for my taste. But for some random reason, months later, I wanted to listen to it again and decide what I thought of it again. I guess I started liking odd and quirky, because I loved it the second time around. I simply couldn’t get it out of my head for days on end, and finally decided to buy it. SO glad I did. Loved the songwriting–pure genius. And I simply adore the jazzy-twangy sound it has to it. It’s like KT Tunstall, Norah Jones, and Alison Krauss mixed in to one song. (P.S. I have yet to watch the video that the title links to.) Score: 10/10

“Nolita Fairytale” by Vanessa Carlton from Heroes and Thieves (2007). I randomly found this song on Project Playlist when I was trying to look for more Vanessa Carlton songs. The name struck me as interesting (and you all know my penchant for fairytales), and I loved it from the start! If there is an award for “Best Use of Instruments”, this should win it. I love how the piano mixes in with the funky percussion beat of the drums. The piano totally reminds me of some Internet game I used to play…I forget what’s it called, but anyway, I love everything about this song! The uneven rhythm, the poetic lyrics (Vanessa is fab at this), you name it. Go! Listen to it! Score: 10/10

“White Houses” by Vanessa Carlton from White Houses – Single (2004). I found this at the same time as “Nolita Fairytale”, and I was quite eager to listen to this one, as I think it was either Anilee or Erin who had this as their tweet or their gchat status update once. From the start, I loved it. I never knew Vanessa had such a wide range with her voice, and the lyrics pretty much sell, although if you find out what it’s about it’s not very clean. I love songs that I can relate to, and this one I definitely couldn’t until the very last verse, so I actually rewrote it so that it’s cleaner–and relatable! Anyway, I thought this song really exemplified what GOOD music is about, and the kind of talent that a REAL singer should show. If there is only one song Vanessa shines in, it’s this one. Score: 10/10

“Heroes and Thieves” by Vanessa Carlton from Heroes and Thieves (2007). Okay, one last Vanessa song! I heard this also on Project Playlist at the same time as the other two, and thought, “Wait a sec–doesn’t this sound like ‘Ordinary Day’?” And it does. But it’s…different. It’s quite set apart from “Ordinary Day”. Sure, the melody is strangely similar, but it’s such a lovely waltz-y song that it’s easy to tell the two apart and still tell that it’s a Vanessa song. I’m still trying to figure out the meaning of this song–whether it’s a pure love song, or more like a diss-the-ex-lover song–but either way, it reminds me of Robin Hood in that the speaker is having trouble distinguishing heroes and thieves. I dunno about you, but this sounds like story material to me! Score: 10/10

Now, it’s your turn! Again, make a similar post to this one (you don’t need to have a link to the song on Youtube, or even put a score out of ten) with mini-reviews to a few songs you bought, click on MckLinky below, and enter your name and the URL to your POST (NOT your blog!). Happy listening!

Powered by MckLinky

Click here to enter your link and view the entire list of entered links…

November 25, 2009 at 6:04 pm Leave a comment

Featuring…PRIYA OF “BOOK CRUMBS”!!!!

Priya rocks. I heart this chica (and I am jealous of her. This picture is of her in New York City!! So lucky!!!!). Frankly, this bibliophilic blogger is the epitome of awesomeness. Not only is she the first Featured Blogger/Reader of NftN, but she: (1) went out of her way to contact me to be featured, and (2) despite her busy schedule, she took the time to answer my interview questions. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, PRIYA!!!!!!!!! I got the chance to ask my pal about her fantastic blog, which you should all check out (it’s quite eclectic: it includes snippets from her life and well-written book reviews to boot!), and other random and fun questions about her. Readers, new and old, behold her words of wisdom:

ON HER BLOG AND BLOGGING:

Describe your blog in a couple sentences (or a few words).

My blog, Book Crumbs, consists of Middle Grade and YA book reviews (with a few classics and children’s books thrown in); poetry and other writing; information about recent book releases, internet giveaways/contests, etc.; movie reviews (and trailers); interviews with authors and bloggers; arbitrary musings on absolutely nothing at all; and more.

How long have you been blogging?

I started blogging in 2006, but only started serious book blogging in 2008 (around fall).

How did you get started on blogging?

One of my friends, who was a published writer at age seven, told my sister and me all about blogging and showed us her blog. I thought it sounded interesting and so I started my own. At the beginning, I only posted my poems, but as time went on I started posting the weather forecast🙂 Then last year, I discovered some amazing book blogs and decided to focus my blog in that direction.

Do you prefer writing reviews or writing about your life/thoughts?

I like writing both! Reviews are really fun to write when I LOVE the book (or hate the book), but I also like posting pictures, poems, and random everyday stuff.

ON ALL SORTS OF RANDOMNESS:

If you could see anyone in concert,who would it be and why?

Good question… I’d love to go to a Carrie Underwood concert because I enjoy her music, but I’ve heard that Taylor Swift concerts are amazing as well (all the costume changes and everything!). But Taylor sounds horrible singing live from what I’ve seen…

What are some of your hobbies?

Other than blogging and reading, I play the piano, write poetry, play tennis, bike and swim occasionally, travel(usually every summer), and participate in math competitions… I think that’s most of them!

If you could meet anyone–real or fictional, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Hermione Granger! It would be really fun to talk about all her classes and everything! (This is coming from the person who immediately wrote out an algebraic equation for Golpalott’s Third Law (the potions law from the sixth book which stated “the antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separate components”) and researched Arithmancytolearn more about it. By the way, the Arithmancy website is REALLY cool and shockingly accurate!)

It would also be fun to meet the Gallagher Girls and see what their life is like.

If you were left alone on an island for five years, who and what would you bring with you?

If they wouldn’t mind, I would bring my friends and family. And I would bring LOTS of supplies. But assuming that all my essential needs would be automatically taken care of, I’d bring a TV, a laptop, and tons of books.

If you could have any magical power, what would it be?

Invisibility would be fun to have, and flying sounds great too. But I think I would choose reading minds. Not the kind where everyone’s thoughts are constantly plaguing me, but the kind where I could choose whose mind I want to read and zone in. I know that everyone has secrets, but there are a lot of times where I really want to know what someone is thinking!

If someone did a biopic about your life, who would you want playing you?

If possible, me. It would be weird to see someone else try to look and act like me.

If you were an animal, what kind would you be?

An eagle! I think it would be awesome to fly.

FAST FACTS ON PRIYA:

Favorite animal:

Any feline.

Favorite color:

Purple!

Favorite movie:

Hmmm… I can’t decide on a favorite, but I love animation and 3D.

Favorite book:

Don’t ask me to choose! I love so many books, and my favorites keep changing based on my mood :) Here’s the link to all of my 5-star reviews on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/1964044

Favorite song of the moment:

Unapologize by Carrie Underwood

Pet peeve:

People who say one thing and then contradict themselves the next day. And then, pretend like they never said the original thing in the first place.

Oh, and people who tease others about “being too nerdy.” Grrrrr.*

Favorite TV show:

I like watching American Idol (but only after the bad contestants have been eliminated). Sometimes, I also enjoy (shhhh!) Hannah Montana and Arthur. They can both be pretty funny and entertaining.

Favorite food:

Oh wow, where to start! I like Italian, Mexican, Indian, Thai, and lots more. And for desserts: cake, brownies, cookies, ice cream, muffins, donuts, etc. I live to eat 🙂

Dream vacation spot:

I’ve never been to Hawaii! So I’d enjoy going there during spring, when it isn’t too hot. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia as well. And I think that it would be fun to go up to the Arctic for a month or so.

Dream job:

This keeps changing! Right now, I have absolutely no idea.

*Nerdess says: It’s okay, Priya. *pats shoulder* Only cool people are nerds. Those idiots who tease us for being nerds will never be worthy enough to be a nerd.🙂

I’m going to admit though, Priya…sometimes, you freak me out. Like seriously, reading these answers, I start thinking I wrote them. Great minds sure do think alike!😀

To everyone else: want to be the next awesome person to be featured on NftN? Everyone–that is, all book nerds and nerdesses!–are invited to be featured. You don’t have to be a blogger, or an author (though both are welcomed any day!). You’ll probably have a different batch of questions–possibly with some of the one’s used in Priya’s interview mixed in. So are you cool? Then contact (see sidebar for my e-mail)!

Thanks a TON again, Priya!

November 25, 2009 at 1:30 am 3 comments

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Where I Got the Book From: Bought the hardcover version (seen left) from Barnes and Noble.

Ever since I was able to read (when I was about four years old, I believe), I always found something admirable about authors. Perhaps it was just so magical the way they picked out words, stuck them here and there, sewed them together, and, voilà! had their stories collected in nicely-bound books. It was as if they were a sort of literary witches and wizards. But now, they also strike me as chefs; some give you a tasty but calorie-packed hamburger with deep-fried French fries that fill you up but make you want something more (your everyday fluff fiction—which I’ve read none of), others cook up a plate filled with a perfect piece of filet mignon along a delectable side dish of vegetables (beautiful classics, e.g. Pride and Prejudice), and a few serve way a Thanksgiving dinner-type meal with too much to take in but are very good otherwise, like a Thanksgiving dinner (War and Peace, A Tale of Two Cities—not that I’ve actually read or finished either). If this was so—if those cheesy YA lit authors flipped burgers at McDonald’s and Jane Austen was the Julia Child of this world—then Shannon Hale would most likely be a sous-chef of the latter. Or perhaps I’ve just been watching a tad bit too much Food Network and cooking-related shows.

Everyone gets grounded by their parents for misbehaving once in awhile; sometimes a ten-year-old can’t watch his or her favorite TV show for a week, or a teen is forbidden from calling their friends every night for a month. What would you do if you had the option to stay with a friend who was to be grounded for seven years in a tower, and if you didn’t step up to stay with her, no one would? This is exactly the question that Dashti, a young mucker living in medieval Mongolian times, faces when given the chance to become the maidservant of Lady Saren, who is given this sentence for refusing to marry a man she has feared ever since she was a young girl. If Dashti said no, this story would be nonexistent; but she said yes, and thus, an adventure began. I really can’t say more than that, or I’ll give it away, but if you read the “recipe” above, that is exactly what this three hundred-odd paged book contains: an intriguing plot, marvelous lyrical writing, characters you feel like you’ve known all your life, and fantastic adventure fantasy with the right amount of romance that will keep female readers young and old swooning (here’s a secret: I totally LOVED the romance and swooned for days on end😀 ).

I’ll be honest. I love fairy tales, especially Brothers Grimm ones. But never in my life had I heard of “Maid Maleen”, not until I heard about this novel. So after reading the synopsis of it on Wikipedia, you’d think Hale’s version of it would be exactly the same, just written and lengthened in typical Hale flair. In reality, it’s almost as if the author combined “Maid Maleen” with a trillion other classics: Mansfield Park, Persuasion, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Jane Eyre to name a few; in addition, there is a scene towards the end that is easily comparable in artistry and intelligence to the famous pivotal trial in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Even if you don’t know me very well, you would—and should—be aware of my secret and unbearable obsession with this book, which I recommend to even the most reluctant readers. But allow me to put it this way: if you hate plots that are absolutely stunning, if you hate fantasy with a classic feel to it, if you hate heroines who have a little naïve goody two-shoes side to them, then you won’t like this book. But really, who doesn’t want at least one of those things?

Pros: Pretty much everything and anything about it, but see below for the one thing I didn’t like.

Cons: As much as I rave about this book, I may honestly say that there was one part near the ending that turned the story into complete YA (which is a little shocking, being that this is a Hale novel) and almost adult; it was a somewhat edgy scene (I don’t know if that’s the right word), and it totally came as a surprise for me. I wasn’t fond of it, and I think it could have been done without and changed.

Red Flags: As stated in the “cons” section, there is a tad bit
of weird stuff that those desensitized to edgy stuff will totally ignore and
those not desensitized (like me) won’t.

Grading:

Plot: 10/10

Characters: 10/10

Writing: 10/10

Overall:
10/10

Tidbits

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Original Release Date: September 30, 2007

Also Recommended:

Check It Out!

November 22, 2009 at 3:50 pm 2 comments

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Reviews and Thoughts Written by a Nerdy, Random, Book-Obsessed, Anglophilic, Country Music-Loving Teen

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Questions? Comments? Suggestions? An ARC or extra copy of a book? Or do you just want to be featured as a reader, blogger, and/or author? Please first consult my policy page (if you want me to review a book), and then e-mail me at lady [DOT] dashti [AT] gmail [DOT] com.

Thanks! :D

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Please remember that all opinions voiced on here are solely my own opinions. The use of my reviews as links are allowed, but please contact me first before doing so. Also, any comments attacking my opinions in an offensive, inappropriate manner will not be allowed or tolerated. It is perfectly fine to state your opinion, even if it contradicts my own, but please do them in a considerate way. Thank you.
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