Friday, December 2, 2016

I'm Moving... Blogs

Times are a-changing, people, and so will this blog.

Hi. I am here to announce that I will be moving this blog to Wordpress- and to a new address. 

My new blog name is going to be called Blots of Ink and Words. 

And DON'T WORRY, because I will move ALL of my posts there, and I will be keeping the posts here for anyone who stumbles upon it and likes the taste of my pumpkin pie posts. If you like the taste of my cheesecake (wait, which was it again?) posts, then head to my url: Blots of Ink and Words

I'll call it "Blots", because I AM COOL and I shall coin the term. From now on, I declare that my blog shall be nicknamed Blots. 
What's that? You don't like the name? (SPOILER: You actually do, my sweet and foolish lamb. *clap* Get *clap* with *clap* the *clap* times, *clap* people.) WOW THAT WAS EXHAUSTING.


Well, I felt like my page needed a touch-up, and frankly, I don't really like the template of my blog. I also don't really appreciate how dang hard it is to format a post. Wordpress will be MUCH, much easier. Also, I wanted to change my name.

Also, I feel like Google doesn't really concentrate on its blogging product- I mean, it has so many other products to man. Wordpress is all about the bloggin, man.

Another announcement:

You can find me on War and Tea now. It's a new blog- also on Wordpress, and I am collaborating with my friends. We're going to be reviewing YA/fantasy mostly, but we shall dabble in the dark magic of suspense, paranormal, mystery, and horror as well. No, I'm not going to read horror. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

How To Legally Get Books For Free (Or For Really, Really Cheap Prices)

Well, it's the holidays, and everyone's in a festive mood, right?
Yeah, well that's actually totally irrelevant from my post, but whatever.

I know we're all thirsty books, so I wanted to show how you can get/read books for free- and completely legally.

First, let's start with the sites that offer free books:

Project Gutenberg: A digital library of free ebooks. Includes Book listings, search engine, newsletter, articles and information on how users can help create more free ebooks.

Basically, this site has a lot of different ebooks, but it mostly has classics, like The Wizard of Oz, and things like that.

Baen Books: Baen Books. The best in Science Fiction and Fantasy publishing.

This site offers a lot of free fantasy books, but it also sells books, as well. They also have eARCS (advance reader copies) for sale.

Feedbooks: Discover thousands of eBooks, including new releases and the best collection of free public domain books, that you can read on any mobile device.

Feedbooks has a wide selection of books. It varies from classics, such as Pride and Prejudice, to Sherlock Holmes books by Conan Doyle.

Bartleby: publishes thousands of free online classics of reference, literature and nonfiction.

Bartleby is more of a reference site, where you can go to find a lot of classics and political books.

Open Library: The World's classic literature at your fingertips. Over 1,000,000 free ebook titles available.

Open Library has a lot of non-fiction and classic literature. 

Many Books: Thousands of free e-books available in multiple formats, including specific e-reader and PDA formats, epub, HTML, PDF, large print PDF, and plain text.

Many Books has a lot of fiction and different mythology-type books. It includes tales, such as Aladdin.

Wattpad: Wattpad is the best place to read and share stories.

Okay, you most likely know about this site. It's a hub for fanfiction and cliche romance stories. But this actually has several already published books- for free. I know that it has a free copy of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, and it also has either a preview or the whole copy of The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. I was actually upset when I found them because I already had read the books.. Wattpad also has excerpts from books by Youtube stars like Joey Graceffa and Grace Helbig. Also, I read a book on there, The Cellar, and it actually went on to become published by Sourcefire Books, so that's an interesting part. I'm sure it has more books that I don't know about.

There are many many more ways to get free books legally, including just getting free books from the online store; or reading books while on a free trial. If there are any that aren't this list, feel free to post them in the comments below!

Book Depository:Book Depository is the world's most international online bookstore offering over 15 million books with free delivery worldwide.

You actually probably have heard of Book Depository. It actually offers great bargains- and they actually have some bestsellers on sale. 

Thrift Books: Cheap new and used books are available with free shipping within the USA on orders over $10 at Thriftbooks. Millions to choose from for the cheapest prices ...

Thrift Books has free shipping, which is completely awesome. The actual prices of the books usually go near about $15 USD, so that's around 20% off the normal price. There are some books that go down to around $3 USD, but they're mostly used. Used books have a scale- good, very good, etc.

Book Outlet: Bargain Books at 50% to 90% off every title everyday. New Bargain Books arriving daily with monthly specials. Over 500000 ft2 of discount books.

Book Outlet has really cheap books.This is actually the one I've used the most, so far. They don't have that much of a wide selection, but they do have some bestsellers, like The Girl on The Train and A Court of Thorns and Roses. The Scratch and Dent books can be really cheap, and they actually are all pretty good quality. Some have a sharpie dot on them, or maybe one or two pages is cut. The books I've gotten so far have been great quality for the prices you're getting them for. The small catch, though, is the shipping. The shipping actually costs like $4 for the first two books, and then $.50 for each book after. Basically, you have to get a lot of books in one go. You also get a free bear if your order hits $50 USD, so that's cool.

I hope you all benefited from this post, and discovered some new books!

If there are any free/cheap book obtaining sites, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Hallo-read!

It's that time of year! When you go outside and force people to give you free candy! Fun!
It is never too old for you to go trick-or-treating, fyi.
Or, at least watch some kids or something so you have an excuse...

If you want to read some spooky, scary books that make you shiver down your spine while sitting in front of the fireplace (or a desktop screen), instead of drinking a ton of Pumpkin Spice Lattes or watching a horror movie with your friends, here are some:

Image resultThese are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthorpe, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet. A gothic tour de force that explores the darkest heart of man and monster and asks the question: When does man become the very thing he hunts?


When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she's ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother's voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin's sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.

Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They're inseparable—a family.  

It was only an accident -- but it would change their lives forever. Last summer, four terrified friends made a desperate pact to conceal a shocking secret. But some secrets don't stay buried, and someone has learned the truth. Someone bent on revenge. This summer, the horror is only beginning....

If you don't want to read any horror stories, then you can check out some of my reviews for young adult books on the homepage.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

Image result for empire of stormsThis series is one of my favorite series of all time. (CAUTION: This is the FIFTH book of a series, and I have not reviewed the second, third, or fourth book. But I HAVE reviewed the first book, Throne of Glass, so if you want to check that out, here's the link.) ANYWAYS, I was so excited to read this book, and after I finally got it, I pretty much read it in one sitting. (Or two. That book is long, okay? Stop judging me.)
Aelin Galathynius, or Celaena Sardothien (her alias), used to be an assassin. It turns out she's actually the heir to the throne of Terrasen. She's extremely arrogant, but honestly, you can't help loving her fiery personality and how skilled she is. I love a strong female heroine. You can't help rooting for her as she, with her "gang", or "Court", travel different kingdoms for their quest to find the Wyrdkeys. Aelin is actually extremely kind, but she acts confident, is confident, and is going to rule the world. Figuratively. Unless she is? (Sarah J Maas, are you there?)
Aelin's Court is made up of Rowan, Aedion, and Lysandra (primarily). Rowan and Aedion are Fae warrior princes. Rowan is Aelin's mate, while Aedion is Aelin's cousin. Lysandra is a shape-shifter. I really love the side characters (there are SO MANY SHIPS!), and Dorian, Elide, and Manon also join the crew. Aedion, at first, is in that "you're perfect" stage, but as he gets to know Aelin more, they become closer and he stops worshiping her. I really think that Aedion's character development was pretty good, but some of the other character's don't really change that much.
There's also a side story/perspective going on during the beginning of the book with Elide and Lorcan, who band together and travel on their quest. They are mysterious and secretive towards each other, but they slowly become closer friends. I think that everyone starts to form tighter bonds, rather than being a suddenly assembled group.
I give this book four stars. This book is in third person, and switches perspectives almost every chapter, until the end of the book where the peak of the plot comes. I recommend this for people who love fantasy with a skilled and feisty heroine

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

Image result for the impossible fortressI think that this book was clever.
The romance was sweet, awkward, and they were misunderstood.
However, there were no consequences and there wasn't much character development.
Billy faced no punishment (other than the utter rejection of his first love, but that's not the point). It's his fault, he gives vitally important code to his friends, yet he doesn't go to jail? It is literally all his fault. Yet Mary pretty much easily forgives him in a snap.
What happened?
Mary is character that stays the same. She is completely static, yet she is one of the main characters. I mean, yes, she's... skinnier at the end of the book, but we are talking about personality. She stays the same. She doesn't really make any other friends besides Billy, and it's not like she took a whole new aspect to life or anything. She just stays the same.
In the beginning she's cheerful. In the end she is cheerful. What is the difference here?
Also- I feel like Bill's affinity for coding is not really represented here, it just describes himself as lazy and always thinking about drawing 8-bit characters. He's technically "not smart", right? Or is he secretly smart, but he doesn't try? This is not clarified in the story.
His friends aren't really alive. Clark is extremely insecure, but this hardly delves into anyone else's problems, just the romance. I feel like there should have been more context, and Clark's insecurities about his misshapen hand should be expressed more clearly. Other than the fact that he shoves his hand in his pocket, he seems pretty much fine.
Also, Bill describes girls as getting a look at Clark's hand, then suddenly shutting up in fright and dismay. This never actually happens in the story.
This definitely needs to go deeper into the stories of his friends and the people around them, it's too focused on coding and romance.
There needs to be more action. A lot of the story is just Bill saying it. Don't tell, show.
However, this book was good for several reasons.
I appreciated the style, it was consistent. Bill seemed like someone practical.
I liked the setting, where they have floppy disks and hard drives.
The romance seemed slow, and not too sudden. They seem to have a "love at first sight" experience, but it's not really developed. Their relationship as friends into a couple seems quick and choppy, but their friendship seems realistic.
This book definitely could be better, but I think that it's sweet in its own way. It definitely holds a lot of promise.
I give this book two stars. It had a lot of flaws, but I do recommend this for people who are into coding, and slow romances. Also, heists, I guess?

I received a free advance reader copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

Image result for the wicked will riseFirstly, this is a sequel. I did not review the first book, Dorothy Must Die (sorry!), so if you don't want spoilers, look away!(Here's a little backstory~.) Amy Gumm is "trash". This modern styled retelling of the story, Wizard of Oz, is about another girl who goes to Kansas, after Dorothy. Back at Kansas, Amy was trash, with a single parent (one abandoned them), and a bunch of kids who make fun of her and call her Salvation Army. She's treated like trash, and everyone hates her. But suddenly, she's swept up by a tornado, and lands in the land of Oz. She finds out that Dorothy is evil, and Amy is supposed to kill her- there's a prophecy- yada, yada, yada. She is MAGICAL. And there is a love interest, Nox. Also, Pete is secretly Ozma. Basically, she pretends to be a servant, gains info, all that good stuff. In the end, she tries to kill Dorothy, but FAILS, thus leaving with a gigantic cliffhanger and all of us wondering what to do with our lives. Okay, moving on.
I feel like Dorothy's character development was great, but there was a lot of caution on the "too much magic is a no-no" rule. Foreshadowing much? Anyways, she has to find the rest of the gang so that they can reunite and figure out a plan to try to kill Dorothy. Again. Let's hope Amy doesn't fail again. (I should really stop throwing shade.) Anyways, it turns out that she was given more steps to her mission to kill Dorothy, which was to take the Scarecrow's brain, the Tin-Man's heart, and Lion's courage, in order to kill Dorothy.
Dorothy herself becomes more courageous during the story, although she's set back on the self esteem a little, after she failed to kill Dorothy in the first book. She also learns how to wield her magic more. I also think that the empathy of other characters really resonates with you. You can really relate, and not all of the characters themselves are perfect. They have stupid and irritating moments, but they also have genius and loving moments. I think that the characters really do represent the feelings of an actual human.
I loved the settings in this story. They all seemed wonderfully magical, and they travel a lot. I loved the wicked setting and the different magical objects that they encountered.
The plot was less interesting than the first, because in this she's more traveling and exploring other's characters, but it's still intriguing nonetheless.
I give this book 4.5 stars, and I definitely recommend this for those who love fantasy retellings, dark world building, and magical fighting.

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Image result for a torch against the nightI liked this book. It was fast-paced, quick, and got your heart racing within a few minutes of cracking open the cover. However, this book was definitely disappointing. This sequel definitely didn't match with the first book, An Ember in the Ashes. 
Elias is an ex-Mask, running away from Blackcliff, from the Commandant, from all of the government that he so desperately hated. Paired up with Laia, he was running for his life. Elias is a careful and skilled fighter, while Laia is only a Scholar, one of the lower-class people. Laia is part of the rebellion, while Elias... is rebelling. In my own opinion, I don't like Laia. She seems too annoying to me. During the book, she was overestimated and for some reason, people liked her. I didn't really understand why people apparently gravitated to her, she wasn't charming or funny. She didn't really have any likable personality traits, except for the "determination" Elias loves her for.
In this book, they're traveling across the country to run away from the Emperor, and also to free Laia's brother. Many different people help them along the way, with mysterious and endearing personalities.
There's a love triangle in this book. And I was honestly so disappointed by this. Laia liked both of them? No, she did not. It was obvious that she was gravitating towards Love Interest A, but she still "fell in love" with Love Interest B. Although, this love triangle seemed to end near the end, so at least we (hopefully) don't have to deal with a love triangle in the third book.
This book had a lot of action, at least, and I absolutely loved Helene. She was, by far, my favorite character. She had gusto, she had nerves, and she was skilled. Also, she had MAGIC. She has to deal with a lot of suffering, since she is now Blood Shrike to her enemy.
This book encounters a lot of death, but I think that it's handled very tastefully. The world building was magical, and you could really feel the characters' emotions. Despite my loathing mixed feelings for Laia, I still appreciated the other characters and felt like the plot was very thorough. There was a LOT of foreshadowing.
This book is in first person and switches POVs about every chapter, between Laia, Elias, and Helene. Did I like this book? Yes, I definitely liked this book. I would probably give this book three stars. A good read, if you don't hate Laia. I definitely recommend this for whoever read the first book, and loves escape books and fantastic mythological worlds.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This novel takes so many elements and just- whoosh- whisks it all together into a batch of goodness.

This book is beautiful, with its exciting and suspenseful plot guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. This book is science fiction, fantasy, and romance all mixed together. This book is in third person, from Cinder's perspective, occasionally switching perspective.
Cinder is a retold fairy tale- Cinderella, but in this case, she's a cyborg set in futuristic times. There are the Lunars, who live on the moon and are ruled by the "evil queen", Levana. There's the plague, which is threatening to destroy all of humanity, Cinder is also a very skilled mechanic, and the beginning throws you into a bustling street with booths. The ball from the Cinderella story is also included in this story, although Cinder doesn't want to go.
Cinder is a likable, sarcastic character that will leave you rooting for her every step of the way. She makes mistakes, and is disliked by most of society. Her family, like in the Cinderella story, hate her. Except for Peony, one of the sweetest characters, who actually appreciates Cinder.
Iko is an android and one of the most lovable characters. She has an evolved personality chip, and wishes to be human. She also has a major crush on Kai, the prince of the Commonwealth. Kai is a prince who feels hopeless and all alone. When he meets Cinder, he finds someone that he can trust and speak to easily.
This setting is set in the Commonwealth in futuristic times, where Kai is loved and Cinder is despised, where Iko isn't appreciated and a dark plague is threatening to kill all Cinder loves.

Did I love, hate, like, or dislike this book? Yes, I liked this book. I would give it four stars. I think that Marissa Meyer showed the fact that Cinder is a cyborg wonderfully, giving a nice and smooth plot, without any awkward writing parts. I recommend this for those who love science fiction, retold fairy tales, and complicated romances.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

This book is amazing and wonderful and composed of so many beautiful elements.
Alwyn Hamilton takes a romance, a desert, a couple of guns, and mixes it all together! This book is in first person from Amani's  perspective.
Amani is exceptionally skilled at shooting a gun, because she grew up in a place where they have a weapons factory. She longs to get out of Dustwalk, and she tries to. Multiple times. She's great at deceit and trickery, capturing the heart of Jin, a foreigner. Amani is one of my favorite characters ever, because she is clever, sassy, and actually made me laugh out loud a couple of times.
This book is different from many other young adult fantasy books because the main character, Amani, actually makes mistakes (gasps and shudders). The character development is evident, and yet subtle. It's also difference because Amani actually saves her own skin and risks others, knowing fully what she is doing. She's not some self-sacrificing girl, she actually cares about herself and wants to survive. Another thing that sets this apart from other books is that she's not magically skilled. She actually tries, and fails the first couple of times.
The plot isn't the fastest, but it gets faster near the end, with exciting conflicts for Amani to tackle.
The setting is mainly in the desert, and the imagery is wonderful. This book is nerve-wracking. This is the type of book that you eagerly turn the next page, but you want to slow down and savor every last detail.
Do I like, love, or hate this book? Well, I love it! I would give it five stars. This is definitely for people who like a middle-eastern~ Wild West~ sort of feel.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Rose and The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

This book is awesome. Well, all books are awesome. 

This book is beautiful with it's stunning romance and intricate magic. This time, it's more action rather than romance, but it's a beautiful, in third person and switching perspectives between Sharzad and other characters. 
Sharzad and Khalid are lovers, and they are separated because of the storm that was caused by Jahandar. Sharzad is testing her magic along while Jahandar is plotting an evil plan. 
This book introduces new characters and lets you get to know Sharzad's sister more. It also introduces a new romance, with it's tantalizing secrets. You really get to know the relationships between the characters and how they feel about all these events. 
Shahrzad is extremely clever and talented, but she has to learn some new tricks. She is loyal, but lies within a web of deception (which sometimes annoyed me). Sadly, she has to lie to keep her secrets and to protect her friends. Tariq is still in love with her (which is persistent and sweet but hopeless), but her love is still for Khalid. 
You really get to know Irsa and Tariq more. Tariq is a very innocent person hopelessly in love, and he would go to war for Sharzad (which he did). Irsa is extremely sweet and she is also smart with helping others. She's surprisingly wise, and yet Shahrzad treats her like a baby until she realizes that Irsa has grown up. Irsa is one of my favorite characters, being so kind and so generous to others. 
This setting is mainly in the desert, where instead of finding yourself in a courtyard drinking wine, you'll find yourself in the sand dunes with a scarf wrapped around your face.

Did I love this book? Did I hate this book? I liked this one. I wouldn't give it five stars, but four and a half. This included less romance than the first book, sadly, but it was still beautifully portrayed. I recommend this for those who have read the first book and love enticing mysteries where secrets don't always lie on the surface.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

This book is awesome. Well, all books are awesome.

Sarah J. Maas captures the darkness of a suspenseful action mystery and the light of a beautiful romance- or perhaps two, and somehow twists it all together to make this book.
This book is in third person in Celaena's perspective, with occasional perspective changes.
Celaena Sardothien is no ordinary person. She is an assassin- the most feared in the land. But, she was captured, and sent to Endovier, a prison camp, to suffer. She is extremely talented and skillful with the art of killing. But that's not her only strength. She is offered a chance for freedom, to win a competition against twenty three others to be the King's Champion. Being the King's Champion would mean being his own personal assassin- and to work for him. Celaena is charming and gives off a very open and cheerful vibe, but is very temperamental and holds a lot of dark secrets inside. I personally love Celaena, she is a very cheeky and arrogant person, but she has the skills to make up for it.
In the plot, two men fall in love with Celaena, but they don't even figure it out themselves. One is hardened and callous, and the other is flirty and flamboyant. However, they both gradually open up to Celaena as they get to know her more.
The setting is in a glass/stone castle. There are secrets inside the walls, and it gives off an ominous and mysterious feeling. I was really nervous while I read it, slowly and agonizingly turning the next page.
Did I love it? Did I hate it? I loved this book! (Well, I love all books...)
I recommend this book for readers who love action mystery and romance all mixed together!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

This book is awesome. Well, all books are awesome.

This book is mainly composed of romance and a bit of action. It is in third person but is in Shahrzad's perspective, mainly. It also switches points of views.
 This book takes you into the story and leaves you wondering what will happen next. I found myself honestly very confused and lost after the prologue, but of course being who I am, I am always lost. Later on, though, I found myself thinking, Ohhh. However, you may get lost because there is a lot of new terminology, as this is supposedly set in an earlier time period. It also uses plenty of figurative language, which is wonderful, unless you don't understand figurative language all that well.
  This book is also very mysterious, and it builds up a lot until the end. I had so many questions exploding within me, and not all of them were answered at the end. (Ahhh!)
  The main character, Shahrzad is extremely clever and headstrong. She keeps a lot of secrets. She is very loyal and always tries to stick to her first intent. You may find yourself groaning like I did at her thoughts (depending on your ship, of course). She is also skilled, and has a very quick and sharp tongue. I found myself laughing at her smart retorts. You could say she has a silver tongue. She has a figurative wall around her, and is usually quick to strike others verbally.
   The other main character, Khalid- the boy-king, as others call him, is also very mysterious as well. He is very irritating at first, but when you get to know him, he is very different than what you might imagine. He is very closed at the beginning of the story.
   You may get frustrated with the movement of the plot (It's going too fast! It's going too slow!), and I got extremely frustrated with Shahrzad because of her thinking and whatnot. (Of course, frustration is definitely okay. How else would there be a plot?)
   Do I like this book? Hate it? Well~, I loved it! (Then again, I love almost every book, so...)
If you like different POVs, wonderful imagery, action, and romance, this book is most definitely for you.