~Mairéad's Reading List~

The ever elusive Magpie. An English Major University Student that has forever dreamt of becoming an author. The road has been long and hard but this little Magpie remains ever hopeful that one day a story of her own shall join the greats. Reads all sorts and she's forever up for the challenge and never backs down from one either. 

So it seems...

Reblogged from Scarlet's Web:

 

I have been banned from goodreads for placing a book on my "nope" shelf. No warning, no nothing. Banned.

ダメな私に恋してください (Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai) 1.

ダメな私に恋してください (Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai) 1. - 中原 アヤ manga-and-manhwa (#579), read-online (#130)

Happy Belated 2015 New Year EVERYONE!!!

 

...although it's already February. *coughs sheepishly*

 

Hopefully everyone's doing well. I've been sooooo busy, it's not even funny. Besides trying to find a job (that wasn't a Christmas gig because I was away at Christmas at Disney World and Universal Studios Harry Potter World). I've been mainly doing errands and a bunch of things for people around the house and helping with various chores and whatnot. I won't bore you with the details because it was draining--both mentally and physically, hell even emotionally. As you might have guessed, I did not nab a job although I was close multiple times. I just keep getting the short end of the stick and bad luck mainly. But I haven't given up yet, I will get something at some point! And it will have been worth the struggle...I hope? o-o;

 

Also November I finally participated in NaNoWriMo and yes, I did complete 50K of words (actually 52K but that's besides the point). Although I'm not done with it, I'm still trying to finish it. Unfortunately my brain's been on vacation along with all the pressure and stress I've been getting concerning job-wise among other personal issues (very emotionally draining kind, I'm sure you understand).

 

BUT I am starting to write again despite everything. Sure, it may be my crappiest but at least I'm writing and making some progress even if it's only a few sentences here and there plus ramblings, lots and lots of ramblings. But I digress, I feel like Anna (from Frozen) right her every time I write because I am persevering regardless of everything, and hopefully it's only going to improve and get better.

 

 

On the other note, I'll be taking a Librarian Tech course(s) soon as I figure out what college is best for me, whether in person or online is the best course of action. I'm leaning towards online so I can have a job and do everything at my own pace (to a degree). Not sure where I'm squeezing in reading and writing, etc into it but I'll manage somehow I'm sure.

 

Also 2015, gosh, it really had quite a few surprises, a shock among other things, but I've survived them thankfully. One major one was mainly a misunderstanding and my being so busy over the course of 2 months. And others, let's just say I'd love to shove them aside and go "NOPE" but I can't...as well as other matters...

 

BUT any ways, moving on!

 

 

Yes, it's February 2015, but I'd figured it was time to update this with what I've been doing and will be doing over the course of the year. I do have some goals I want to reach and achieve by the year's end, but it's only the beginning still. Lots of things can change at a moment's notice--both good and bad. I'm looking forward to a lot of new things to happen this year, it's a good feeling staying positive and whatnot.

 

Hopefully my next update is soon, not late like this one was, just NOPE.

 

 

 

The City of Ember

The City of Ember - Jeanne DuPrau {February 2nd, 2015} MINI-REVIEW

2.5 stars.

“The day had a strange but comforting feel to it, like a rest between the end of one time and the beginning of another.”

Considering I've seen the movie in bits and pieces, I could remember the scenes as I read through the book. There are differences between them for sure (what doesn't when there's a book and a movie adaptation?) but regardless, I wasn't so enthralled as I should be, I guess? I mean there was still the mystery but I knew the answer (again, the problem with only realizing there's only a movie and forgetting there's a book lol). Also how did I not know that this was a series? yup, still baffled on that note myself

I also blame my remarkably good memory for these things, which is why I try not to play, watch, read things so soon (I tend to have to wait a while like a year or so). Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. In this case, it didn't. But that's not a bad thing, it just means I'll notice scenes and events better and browse through faster (if that's the best way to phrase it? idk). There's only so few books that I'd actually reread and won't remember too much about it, this one sadly isn't that particular kind of story for me. I don't know about you.

But don't get me wrong, the setting alone is unique and interesting as you follow Doon and Lina across their doomed City of Ember. Let's face it, it's seriously going to ruin. Most of the stores of supplies and untold riches in food are depleted. Many foods being mere myths and legends among the residents of Ember. Although the question of how these foods remained in 'good' conditions all these years (we're never really certain how long it's been time frame-wise, but it's safe to assume a good chunk of time has passed).

At age 12, you're assigned duties or jobs which range variously. Both Lina and Doon end up switching (this is not spoiler since it's in the blurb btw!) and getting jobs they either dreamed their whole lives for (Lina with Messenger) or one that will satisfy in hopes of finding a solution to helping their failing city (Doon with Pipeworks). Both begin to unravel a mystery that has been ever present since the prologue as the city and everything start going more wrong to the point you can't really look the other way. The darkness will consume, unless something is done--in an essential sense.

While I do have the other two, the fourth is not available at the library I'm at. Not sure if we're even getting it either, but who knows, I'll be asking about it soon enough next time I'm in. That said, I will be reading the next two--I read the excerpt of the second in this book and it felt interesting enough to encourage me to venture forward.

“They lifted their faces to the astonishing warmth. The sky arched over them, a pale, clear blue. Lina felt as though a lid that had been on her all her life had been lifted off. Light and air rushed though her, making a song, like the songs of Ember, only it was a song of joy. She looked at Doon and saw that he was smiling and crying at the same time, and she realized that she was, too."

Leave the Window Open

Leave the Window Open - Victoria Schwab {February 2nd, 2015} MINI-REVIEW

4 stars.

I think it would have been better for me if I had read the book first. Nevertheless I'm curious to read this series now. Hopefully I can get my hands on a copy soon! :DD

The Good Earth

The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck {February 2nd, 2015} MINI-REVIEW

3 stars.

“The rich are always afraid.”

Showcasing the struggles and hardships that many Chinese and China as a whole overcame. Truly shows the whole difference of being a girl or boy there, and the importance of having a boy over a girl. It's a very interesting perspective outlook into the overall aspect of China and its people. Pearl S. Buck really knew what she was dealing with her and wanted to portray and display for her readers to read, grasp and understand as they finish.

It's sad how sparsely I've been reading this that it's hard for me to think back. It's truly lyrical and really just carries you along. And clearly illustrates the hardships that Wang Lung endures and strives throughout the course of the story.

“I am always glad when any of my books can be put into an inexpensive edition, because I like to think that any people who might wish to read them can do so. Surely books ought to be within reach of everybody.” --Pearl S. Buck

Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11

Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 - N. Griffin, Kate Hindley {February 2nd, 2015} MINI-REVIEW

I received this ARC from a Goodreads Giveaway.

3.5 stars.

Truly a delightful read and introduction to the mystery genre for age 7-10+. Really kept me guessing until a certain point, before the end. Smashie and Dontel were truly superstars in this. Their friendship and interactions really help balance each other out. Smashie is rash, impulsive and bold while Dontel remains level-headed, collected and thoughtful. Both of them have been best friends since ever, even their grandmothers are best friends before them--must be fate lol. It's been a while since I've enjoyed a kids mystery novel or read one it seems. And the illustrations are superb!

While there are some editing mistakes and some spaces that I didn't understand why was there (I assumed illustrations were supposed to be there?) this really went over well for me.

I'm looking forward to more Smashie and Dontel if there are anymore of these books, especially since I'm highly curious about this 'suits' they speak of--I mean, come on, designing your own investigation suit? How cool is that?!

My Sunshine Away A Novel

My Sunshine Away A Novel - M.O. Walsh {January 21st, 2015} ARC RECEIVED + THOUGHTS THUS FAR

Although I received this the other day, it is an ARC copy I received via a Goodreads Giveaway so I will be reading it, and posting the review later and closer to the release date me thinks. I'm enjoying it so far though!


{January 23rd, 2015} FINISHED READING

Holy... *brains shuts down as she absorbs everything*




{January 29th, 2015} MINI PRE-REVIEW

4.5 Stars.

I finished it before I left for my short trip, but didn't update because short on time and because it'll still be some time before this is officially released so I'm waiting a bit.

Although I will say this at the moment it's one hell of a ride. Definitely will be an intense read for anyone I think with the subject it deals with. Although it deals with the subject via an outsider, the impact is so intense that it carries the story through and there's twists that when finding out that I should have realized via the tiny clues given and sprinkled throughout. There's also the aspect of issues that the main narrator progresses through as he looks back at his past over the duration--I was quite impressed with how smoothly the character growth he displayed and yet surprised at times. It was definitely a read worth while. o:

Mind you there's a lot to say, the main narrator isn't without flaws and whatnot. The story really begins at a naive place until you dive further into the subject and the intensity that lies deeper than we actually talk about the said subject these days--without things getting out of hand (trust me, I've been there way too many times and people just either get uncomfortable or awkward or childish or very rarely can it be discussed about truly in a way that it is civil enough to think about).

I could go on and on, but I think it's better to discuss and think about the subject upon finishing the book itself. It really leaves you speechless at what you just finished. Will reread this again to provide a better review hopefully.


Golden Son

Golden Son  - Pierce Brown {January 21st, 2015} WHAT BLOODYDAMN REVIEW?!

***STILL NO BLOODYDAMN SPOILERS TO BE FOUND HERE OTHER THAN MY BROKEN HEART OR WHAT'S LEFT OF IT***

5 BLOODYDAMNED STARS.


“Wise men read books about history. Strong men write them.”

I remember once upon a time reading the first book Red Rising and giving all the stars of the sky, when really I did not even dream that already this series already carved itself its own star for Golden Son --I can only imagine what the final book Morning Star will craft and take for itself as its reward...

But in all honesty at the moment, this is currently me:



I literally sat there, staring at the floor as my eyes burned with the tears that wanted to fall but couldn't. Golden Son rose to my expectations and flourished my hopes a multitude that I could never fathom, and it did not fall into the pit fall that so many sequels tend to do in a trilogy--it triumph where very few have done for me.

Now I couldn't update with my notes (not that I really have any)...I have so much to say but at a loss on where to even start, or if I can even tell of it, or do this review justice for this book. I like to think I did my best with Red Rising but even now I feel so small as the book's story's presence still looms over me. There is too much to take in to breath. Too many places where waxing poetic justice and weaving the right words together would go astray and wrong. Too less of something that I can actually do at the moment other than wait, brood, and think as my own mind stands in the middle of its own battlefield among the stories I've read and written for years...



The words will not come at this moment so instead I'll repeat myself again--Pierce Brown you have successfully, not only ruin this entire genre for me, but shattered beyond everything I've ever known. It also reminds me that my own writing has a long way to go. After finishing with my heart in my throat, it wasn't until I read the author's own words at the end that made me cry finally...because he understands, he has put into words the kind of dream I've always had for myself secretly--and this debut series is the product of that euphoric enlightening he has attained.

Will be doing a reread of both books soon at some point, perhaps then I'll be able to do this justice at last? Probably will be after my boyfriend reads them, he's interested lol. But in the meantime, I just cannot fathom anything into words other than shaking my head and trying not to tear up while working on my own stories, and polishing them tenfold. A story needs to be emotional, needs a narrator that you, the reader, can connect with and relate, needs to be gripping, needs the best of the best in descriptions of painting an entire world that only you the writer knows of in his/her head. In other words, Golden Son has become what it was supposed to do.

Red Rising stirred the rebellious fire in us, driving us to take up arms with Darrow at the helm, cheering him on even as the last moments raged around us...

Golden Son cemented this fire and became the very representation of the Red turned Gold Darrow we needed to see unfold and become the very change that this corrupted society so desperately needs and Eo's last and only hope to her dream...

Morning Star will be the twilight peak of Darrow's story as we struggle to hold on as our Helldiver dives once more...

I await these bloodydamn hellish unknowns with bated breath.



“Home isn't where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.”



PRE-RELEASE

{February 2nd 2014} UPDATE

[takes notes that it'll be probably released January 2015]

JANUARY 2015. A YEAR FROM NOW. *CRIES FOREVERZ*



Nonnie and I

Nonnie and I - Savannah Hendricks {January 23rd, 2015} MINI-REVIEW

4 stars.

Endearing and sweet, definitely a good story in the sense of beginning school and starting to grow, but you can always return to your roots. Growing up doesn't mean you have to leave everything and everyone behind. And the illustrations are gorgeously beautiful as it paints the landscape of Botswana, Africa. <3



{January 19th, 2015} RECEIVED

Got the book today, unfortunately it got bent in the trip up here, but I'm very excited to see how this unfolds!

Who By Fire

Who By Fire - Fred Stenson {January 13th, 2015} MINI-REVIEW

3 stars.

Wow, to think it took me this long to actually get to this book (so sorry!).

But man, this story was so draining most of the time. Was following along rather well, although at least 64% into the story, I realized there were two separate storylines....and here I thought it was just another character with the same name lol. It had a good pace most of the time or else it just dragged. By the end of the book I was just sighing because it just got more and more painful the more I read--story-wise, it feels as if there was nothing but pain in this family. I honestly felt bad. Even at the end I felt bad but it really let me think about environmental matters, like I was in my Environmental Literature class again, which was a weird feeling to have lol.

It wasn't bad but not as good, the writing was nice but I was left besides myself by the end.


.-.-.-.-.-.

{August 8th, 2014} BOOK RECIEVED

Can I say, holy smokes, THAT WAS FAST?!

.-.-.-.-.-.

{August 5th, 2014} UPDATE

Oooooh, I won this in a giveaway! So exciting. o:

Brimstone and Marmalade: A Tor.Com Original

Brimstone and Marmalade: A Tor.Com Original - Aaron Corwin {January 7th, 2015} MINI-REVIEW TIME

3.5 stars (because that ending)!

“Shall we collect some souls?”

It was such an adorable short story (sorry Ix’thor, but it really was). Just reading this made me want a demon of my own!

You see, I'm allergic to cats and dogs, plus I was never allowed to have a pet, not really. I was always that girl that would go over to her friend's place when she was little and play and see her friends with their own pets and want one for herself. Especially when their pets wanted to play with you more than their owners at times lol. (I know a cat that LOVED playing with me whenever I was over)

I don't think I ever wanted a pony though (sorry Mathilde).

Although the details are short, they truly pact punch with them and Ix'thor the Dark Lord demon truly lights up (or rather darkens) the room whenever he appears in the story. I really enjoyed the spin on the classic I-Want-A-Pet story that you're used to either seeing or reading when you were young, especially if your own parents didn't let you have a pet of any kind.

But that ending...

The Wishing Well (The Lone City, #0.5)

The Wishing Well (The Lone City, #0.5) - Amy Ewing {January 7th, 2015} MINI-REVIEW

4.5 stars, because if only it was longer...felt really too short for me, ugh!

What is it that attracts me to these kinds of fairytale-like stories? I just adore them. Maybe how they're written? Or maybe what morals they hold? Perhaps it's the feeling of reading a fairytale as opposed to an actual story for once is appealing because you know it couldn't possibly true--just maybe, of course.

If anything, there's something whimsical about these kinds of tales...

This is the tale of two sisters that are granted one wish and what happens in tune to what makes us human--the positive and the negative. I just wish this was longer so my cracked heart would have more to weep over and gleam from this tale. But some tales are like that, short and sweet (or rather bittersweet in this case).

The School for Good and Evil

The School for Good and Evil - SOMAN CHANIANI {January 6th, 2015} THE REVIEW

“What's the one thing Evil can never have...and the one thing Good can never do without?”

4.5 Stars, really loved it though despite a few things problems.

This book was meant to be the final book read in 2014 but unfortunately I didn't make it before I left on my trip, whoops. Either way, I've finally finished it and now gotten around to reviewing at last! I've had high expectations going into this book and it didn't let me down, which I'm highly grateful for since I really love how it unfolded. <3

A school for good and evil -- for villains and princes/princesses. This is almost nostalgic deriving elements from the classic Disney animated films, trust me, I just came back from meeting with a few of the lovely Disney Princesses there--Cinderella and Rapunzel! Truly a beautiful book that captured the delights and wonders of these fairytale elements coupled with the moralist horrors these tales are also infused and ingrained within it's plotline.

We meet Agatha and Sophie, our two heroines of unlikely personalities and friendship. They grow over the course of the story, as their own fairytale unfolds (as if you didn't guess would happen in these kinds of books). Good and Evil will clash as both Agatha and Sophie strive to find their places in a new world that they've been thrown into and trapped inside of--or can they break from tradition and rewrite their fairytale?

Oh, before I forget...problems that I encountered is probably the pacing at first before you launch right into the heart of the story itself. It's slow but forge on, your efforts will be rewarded! Other than that, it just seems rather long although it's not entirely a bad thing. It just takes a while to read but it definitely has a lot of moments to be read and enjoyed.

Honestly, I'm not exactly sure which school I would be dropped into--but if I hazard a guess it may be a mix of the two or wherever I may be dropped would be the answer I seek.

Drop in yourself if you want to see how this fairytale unfolds, all I know is that I cannot wait for the second one (which is already out) and the third which arrives later this year.

“In the forest of primeval
A school for Good and Evil
Twin towers like two heads
One for the pure
And one for the wicked
Try to escape you'll always fail,
The only way out is
Through a fairytale.”


Keys to the Demon Prison

Keys to the Demon Prison - Brandon Mull {December 19th, 2014} MINI-REVIEW

4 to 4.5 stars, I want MOAR.

“Try as we might to postpone them, days of reckoning inevitably arrive.”

Well this was certainly quite the ride. Everything really managed to be covered in almost 600 pages and in a smooth way to almost. I'm surprised how much work went into this final book. After the last book, I was wondering how it would hold up. Thankfully I was surprised again, especially since I finished this within less a day. Pretty insane, huh?

Now what to say about this final installment that probably hasn't been said?

The final chapter was a troll ending response from the author, had me going NOOO I WANT MOAR FABLEHAVEN though lmao. But that's the thing about good series, you're supposed feel that way by the end. I'm glad I stuck with this series despite my first thoughts and impressions.

I do hope Mull returns to this world in some form, it really is sound and magical.

“Some imagine the difference between heaven and hell to be a matter of geography. Not so. The difference is much more evident in the individuals who dwell there.”

Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary

Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary - Brandon Mull {December 17th, 2014} MINI-REVIEW

3.5 stars, would have been 4 to 4.5 originally--reason why in spoilers.

“What you call idiot points, I call awesome dollars."

DRAGONS. This has certainly been one of my fave books but something happened with dinged some starpower for me. Idk. It just made me go NOPE. Honestly it wasn't Seth--Seth, oh he's definitely grown and I've gotten used to his unique brand of stupidity. And everyone else is just perfect as well. The story itself just continues to build and expand in ways I'm pleased to be a part of. There's just something magical about this series...

So where did this go wrong for me, inevitably making me dock points?

Mull, this series was doing SO well until...THAT.


WARNING.

DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE READ SAID BOOK.

BIGGGGGGG SPOILERS AHEAD PLUS RANT RAGE.


No, seriously it's a MAJOR spoiler, m'kay? I didn't see it coming until too late and instead of being OMG WHAT A TWIST, it was more of a facepalm moment for me... I honestly can't believe Mull pulled a Professor Quirrell with Gavin. GAVIN. Like sure, make all readers know the poor individual with a stuttering problem will be the bad guy. I mean sure JKRowling used it, but come on! It's kind of one of those one time deals where if it's been done before by someone popular and/or famous, don't attempt it because you might induce rage and frustration in readers like me, that ADORE Harry Potter, especially when Gavin was such an endearing character compared to Professor Quirrell--let's face it, I never really trusted that guy where I trusted Gavin. It's a deep betrayal and I would have preferred it to happen differently, preferably without the stutter being a key aspect to the character that is fake. It just sends a wrong message for me, hence why I feel so irked.

I'm torn and disappointed with that specific part. While it was brilliantly done, I just feel like it fell short and made me rage thus taking away my enjoyment. Hell, it even ripped me out of the story to rage about it for a few minutes.

Anyways, the race is on to finish the final book!

Let's see if I can succeed in finishing before I have to hand it in by the end of the day!

“....there is a difference between hearing and listening. You can't always help what you hear. But you can control what holds your interest, what you choose to dwell on.”