Words & Sinew

Semi-occasional reader & blogger who just really loves Rob Kazinsky. My playstation is basically my child.

well then.

apparently there's some sort of shit storm happening at gr that i have no idea but I already am really like this place (hey tumblrrrr) so I may make a more permanent place here.


however, i'm not blogging here. I'm not importing blog posts here. (Well I mean let's face it does it even matter?) The only thing showing up here will be occasional text posts because how could I not, reviews, and quotes. And maybe whatever other random crap I want to put up. 


I like this place though. 

Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn)

Fire with Fire - Siobhan Vivian, Jenny Han The cover has instagram-hipster all over it but it's admittedly pretty. I was really hesitant over the sequel. The first novel, Burn for Bur, I felt had a decent conclusion. After all that went down, Mary, Kat, and Lillia were obviously going to be forever reminded of what they had and were going to live with personal guilt they feel over it. I just didn't feel like the first warranted a second book, much less a trilogy. Add on the fact that for some goddamn reason, Mary was still obsessed with Reeve. Like really? I wanna shake her, slap in her in the face. Her naivety frustrates me. She uses the, "He can be different," argument to justify her infatuation which I can't understand.Want to know what also frustrates me? The constant outfit description. I don't care if Lillia is wearing a blue silk dress shirt or a suede booties (that I want). Move on. Also, Kat's language is... eccentric. She shouts things that are over-the-top and out of place for the context and how others talk. Rennie also occasionally had dialogue that was jarring, taking me out of the novel. They also like to word the use baby a lot. Not in that mushy-couple-God-where's-a-bin-so-I-can-hurl way, but in a way of, "I'm a badass so I say baby because nothing says badass like saying the word baby a lot"? Putting it short (which I will never learn to do), dialogue needed cleaning up. It was just weird at times.However, despite all the rage, I really did enjoy the novel. It's a guilty pleasure to the core and rides that fact to the very end, just being a classic revenge plot with a slight twist that never seems to get old. Just look at all the teen dramas on TV. The characters are shallow as hell with you not really rooting for anyone as much as you are just wanting to see how everything plays out, even if you have a big honking idea on how. Speaking of un-twisty twists, I'm actually really glad Lillia + Reeve happened. I saw it Burn for Burn thanks to the somewhat subtle hints the authors dropped but damn, their chemistry was written really well. Their banters were complete foreplay with a push-and-pull that will end up benefiting them both at the end, simply because they challenge in each other when no one else absolutely will. I agree with Rennie on the fact that Lillia gets what she wants so seeing Reeve challenge that idea, not making it easy, is refreshing. Same with Lillia not always thinking Reeve is hot shit and calling him out on his bullshit. At the end of day, they're both really shallow characters, hopefully they'll both help each not be so shallow. Or at least not end up like their parents. Hah.While I'm raving about shallow characters, let's take a seat and talk about Lillia's sister, Nadia, for one second. I'm sorry but what kind of sister are you? There's not way in fucking hell you didn't know your sister's "best friend" is talking shit about her and yet you still go out of your way to help her? Speak to her? And then have the audacity to place the blame on your sister. "It's not about what she's doing, it's about what you're doing." While a decent point, you're basically saying that you're sister is a being a bitch for trying to defend herself against a group of the shittiest friends I've ever seen (except for Lindy who, while is a complete sweetie, is dense). A person only takes so much and even then it is your goddamn sister. You take her side and defend her instead of waiting hand-and-foot the bitch whose freezing her out! Nadia doesn't even know what Lillia did or that Rennie knows so she doesn't even have a decent argument on way she's taking Rennie's side. I'm a big sister whose little sister is my absolute best friend despite our age gap. Even though sometimes I feel like my sister was wrong, I take her side. I say, "Hey, what you did was messed up. I love you, I'm gonna support you no matter what, but what you did sucked." Nothing. Nada on Nadia's side. What the actual crap.With the last novel, I had problems with the supernatural elements of it and that still hasn't changed. I'm actually even more frustrated about it because it makes no damn sense. There are way too many plot holes for it to even work. There was zero explanation. They spent too little time investing on the idea in the first novel for it to even sell in here. There should've been build-up on the idea, not exposition. I definitely dig the idea of it but the execution was just no. No, no, no. I ended being so frustrated over it because of all the holes I kept seeing and all the questions but lack of answers it provided. Damn, it would've been so interesting if it was just fleshed out earlier. Ashes to Ashes, the final novel, I presume will provide all the novels but still, that is a lot of holes to fill. The same point goes for the secondary characters. I could not give two flying fraks about either of them. They had no personality, playing out every trope in the book, who serve no purpose. There's a realization that some of them only serve the purpose so that there's a posee surrounding Lillia and Rennie for both to manipulate, but some sort of plot or development would've been nice. Or at least more than a paragraph appearance for one of them. The supporting cast is to support the main cast, and usually steal the spotlight. But these guys? Nothing. On top of everything else, the will-they-or-won't plot line for Lillia + Alex is in play for no reason. Other than to make Reeve jealous? But that's a cheap shot at best. I feel bad for Alex, I really do. Way to screw over the only decent friend you have Lillia. (Even if he's only doing everything to impress you. But even then!)I seem like I'm complaining a lot. Truth to be told, there's so many things I can rave and nitpick on but I'd be flat out liar if I said I didn't enjoy it one bit. Like I said, guilty pleasure to the core. Not mean to be good or thoughtful, just a fast, fun ride. I'll say the three girls friendship is very fun to read. Despite being such different people, they find little things to have in common making it work enough to be believable and maybe the only thing you root for in the novel.

The Truth about Forever

The Truth about Forever - After like two years of putting I hold, I HAVE FINALLY FINISHED. At first, I was totally set on three stars but this romance! And the romantic lead! Deserves a star all of its own.It wasn't because it was bad I took so long, I was just never in the mood. But man, once I was, I stayed up pretty late to read and the first I thing I did this morning was to sit my ass down and finish this book. It's your a-typical Sarah Dessen read. Good, complex characters; a sa-woon worthy love interest (see what I did thar?); and a dictator mom. Okay, the last I'm not sure if it's a typical trope her in novels but my God, it's annoying. Every scene Macy's mom was in, I could literally feel myself get a headache. I just couldn't deal with it. What is it with YA contemp novels + dictator moms? Or overworking moms? It's heartbreaking, is what it is. I realize they're there for "conflict" and "character development" but I think Rory Gilmore has shown you can have an awesome, supporting mom and still have lots of "conflict" and "character development." (If if some of those developments don't make sense. Seriously, the DAR, Rory?) I would've liked to have seen a more fuller development for Macy's mom and for Macy to actually tell her mom what's up in her life but I suppose that would've been out-of-character for Macy (at the time). Easily, the best part of this novel was Macy + Wes's romantic chemistry and development. THEY'RE ARE SO ADORABLE TOGETHER, I CAN'T. Nearly every scene with them together was just so sweet, so electric, and just so damn adorable. And really, Sarah Dessen, you had to write such an adorable, sa-woon worthy lead? Wes is everything and more. If I was granted three wishes, the first one would be for Wes. Oh that boy. My other favorite thing in this book is the secondary characters. Oh secondary characters, how you always manage to win my heart. The group chemistry between the Wish Catering Crew is phenomenal. They mesh so well together, play off one another, and just really fun to read. These are some crazy developed characters with full personalities and hopes and goals. Can we please get some short stories or a series just around the Wish Catering Crew and their chaotic adventures? Because I would read those forever. Now contemporary kinda of demands you have at least one major introspective chain of thought (I mean, they're usually all about change and life, right?) but wow this book had A LOT. Like every other chapter, Macy would come to this conclusion about life or one of the characters would deliver "the life monologue" and it was just a lot. So much I rolled my eyes a couple of times like, "here we go again." I feel like some of those could've been cut out and it would've have majorly impacted the book. They could've been condensed or just non-repetitive because some of them I swear had the same message. It just hit the same points over and over again making it tiresome to read. And this is a really small nitpick but wow adverbs. Lots of them. Adverbs that could've been changed to verbs! Also there are mishaps in the editing department. Towards the end (huh how funny) there were a few sentence and grammar mistakes and unfinished sentences? The editing department is human, makes mistakes, I know but some of those were pretty big. This is a nice contemporary read that is repetitive but really, read it for the romance because W O W. It really is all sorts of adorable that guarantees to make you melt.
Lovely, Dark and Deep - Amy McNamara Enjoyed this a lot. A couple things that annoyed me but really lovely overall.Actually this is more like a 3.5.Review soon.
The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises that Transform Your Fiction - Brian Kiteley Super helpful book with so many wonderful exercises that your head will spin.

Burn for Burn

Burn for Burn - Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian Originally at:
Just One Day - Gayle Forman Originally at: http://wordsandsinew.blogspot.com/2013/03/just-one-day-by-gayle-forman.htmlYou should know that I read this book two months ago, therefore any sort of coherent or eloquent train of thought is gone. Long gone. Just bits and pieces here. I just put off the review because of laziness, really.What I do remember is being disappointed. I mean, you all know of my undying, overly professed love of Where She Went and this is where most of the disappointment stems from. Yes, I kept making comparison. Yes, that is completely and totally unfair which means anything I say about this book is biased, but hear me out anyway.I loved the second half of this book far more than the first half, which odd to say the least. You'd think the best part would be Allyson and Willem's one day together, which was romantic and all, but Allyson's self-discovery was far more interesting to me. Why? Because I connected with it on so many levels.I'm in college now. I have some vague sense of what I want my future to be but other than that, I have no idea what the hell I'm doing so naturally I knew exactly how Allyson felt. That feeling of loss, uncertainty.But like Allyson, you learn it's all about stepping outside of who you are and what makes you comfortable in order to actually figure it all out. Forman has that feeling of loss of identity and uncomfortableness down perfectly. She keys in on everything Allyson is feeling and is, so you connect with it fast. If anything, Just One Day proves how insanely well Forman knows her characters which is why her work is always so well-received. Despite connecting with it so well, I was disappointed. I wish I could precisely pin down why but alas, it escapes me. Totally have got it now! What bothered me was how obsessed Allyson got over Willem. In their one day together, she got irrationally jealous over other girls that talked to him, touched him, looked at him. Which was kind of insane to me. Plus, Willem serves no other purpose in the book other than being the guy who shows Allyson what's wrong with her life and makes her wanna shake things up. In other words: The Manic Pixie Person. You're all familiar with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, yes? (If not, just look at any role Zooey Deschenal plays. Seriously.) That's the role I felt Willem fulfilled here. Nothing more, nothing less.Obviously we'll get to read a lot more on Willem in Just One Year and his story, yes, but I was just hoping for more in here. My bet's on that Forman will deliver on Just One Year but for now, I am disappointed. Not by the writing because I will never, ever be disappointed by Gayle Forman's writing, but the content. Hopefully things turn around in the next one.
The Disenchantments - Nina LaCour This book is so honest it almost hurts. Didn't like it as much as her other book, [b:Hold Still|6373717|Hold Still|Nina LaCour|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1270305052s/6373717.jpg|6561348], but still just as beautiful, just as breaking, and just as real.And that's about it, because if there's one thing Nina LaCour does well, it's leaving you in a state of awestruck and breathless.

One Moment

One Moment - Kristina McBride I really wanted to finish this but I've gotten to the point where I have to force myself to read it which is never something I want.It just shouldn't be this predictable. I like the characters, though they could use more development, but they do a terrible job at carrying the story. The concept behind the novel I love but it just fails at moving the story along. The only thing I certainly like is the writing which has a lot of potential.
My Soul to Steal - Rachel Vincent The ending is what really salvaged this for me. I was becoming so very fearful that the majority of the book would be Sabine/Kaylee angst (which is was but that's something I'll talk about later) but, as always, Rachel Vincent has a way of intricately weaving so many things together that you can't help but be kinda knocked off your feet when it all comes together. This isn't my favorite at all in the series.

Book of Broken Hearts

The Book of Broken Hearts - Sarah Ockler I will read all the things Sarah Ockler.
Someone Like You - Sarah Dessen Also at: http://wordsandsinew.blogspot.com/2012/08/someone-like-you-by-sarah-dessen.html"Read her once and fall in love." So says the blurb in the back of this book. But honestly, I don't think truer words have ever been spoken. Dessen is like, the YA writer of all YA writers, and if you read her novels and see all that she's accomplished and been recognized for you just pretty much can't refute that. Someone pointed out once that though she uses the same devices in her novels, she makes them work. You don't question it. You don't roll your eyes and say, "Here we go again." You just read and you go, "That was your typical Sarah Dessen novel, and damn, it was good."Reading this novel is a lot like eating comfort food. You take the first bite and this sense of relief just floods over you. There's something entirely soothing about Scarlett and Halley's friendship in that way that they're completely willing to be there for each other, will sacrifice whatever to be there for one another no matter what the situation entails. As you read, there's no question about it how authentic and pure this friendship is -- and it's very comforting to read because you feel that close bond and tightness. It's lot like seeing a happy child laugh -- you laugh along with them because the joy is infectious. Seeing the loyalty and love between Scarlett and Halley, you can't help but feel that too and it makes you feel better. This is the kind of novel I'll read if I just don't feel good because like comfort food, I know it'll make me feel better.Halley, the main character, changes so much throughout the course of this novel. And it's not the atypical POINT A to POINT B kind of way. She goes from Point A to Point B to Point C back to Point A. She becomes this slew of various people, changing and learning and figuring out what kind of person she is. The thing that never wavers is her loyalty and love but she sheds things like her naivety, her innocence and gains things like a backbone and independence. When Halley finally stood up for herself, oh man, I wanted to cheer because it is a very defining moment for her. I remember just rereading that portion because to have a character change that much and to see such a defining moment, it's something worth reading over again.Everyone from Scarlett to Macum to even Micheal were are just so fleshed out and real. These characters are all real. And I don't mean real like I could imagine them wandering around town somewhere, I mean real as in they feel so real I could imagine what their reactions would be or what they would say to things outside the novel. They are just so insanely defined, but then again Sarah Dessen is known for her ability to over and over again create a cast of characters so well-developed that that's what makes you fall in love with her novels. Not only that, she is able to take real life feelings and situations and make them so simple that you feel she talking right to you. All the stuff tackled in here -- friendship, love, parents, identity -- it's so very well written which is where another reason as to why this novel is so comforting comes in.I'll be honest: I didn't completely understand the depth of the title, Someone Like You. I just thought, "What does that really have to do with the book?" Then I read one single line and it just all fell in place for me: "Not people like us, Halley. Not people like us." Throughout the course of novel, statements like that would appear. Like, people like Halley don't have people like Macum Faulkner chasing after them. People like Halley and Scarlett don't have sex without saying "I love you" first. They make it sound like if you're labeled a certain way, there are certain guidelines you have to follow and everyone knows who you are and the things you do because of them, which is bullshit. Just because you are a certain way, that doesn't restrict you from doing other things or finding love with people different than who you are. People change and become different people over time; they step outside of that "someone like me" perception and just become "me", doing whatever the hell they want. It really reminds me of a segment in the show, How I Met Your Mother. There are these dopplegangers of the gang around New York who are completely different from who they are. So Ted is talking to Robin, who has just gone through a break-up because she chose love over her career and it back-fired on her, and tells her, "We've all been searching for the five doppelgangers, right? Well eventually, over time, we all become our own doppelgangers. These completely different people who just happen to look like us. Five years ago? That girl was pretty great. But doppelganger Robin? She's amazing." This correlates really well with the novel. The exact same thing happens to Halley; she becomes doppelgangers of her herself as she learns how to be her own person outside. She is no longer Mom's-best-friend-Halley or Macum Faulkner's-Girlfriend-Halley. She just becomes Halley in the end.(Side note: If you don't How I Met Your Mother, I would highly recommend you do. In fact, you aren't allowed back if you don't. The show is so insightful, funny, amazing, and also has Neil Patrick Harris. You can't argue against Neil Patrick Harris. He is Neil Patrick Harris.)Someone Like You covers a lot of things from friendship to loss to love to especially identity. It has characters who breathe, live, love, and will make you feel like you knew them for a long time. Scarlett and Halley's friendship will reach out, wrap you around, and make you feel so much better than when you started this novel. Sarah Dessen is one of the most well-respected and beloved YA authors for a reason and if you haven't read one of her novels yet, well, what are you waiting for?

Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily - Jodi Lynn Anderson I was reading then noticed that one of the pages has a giant gaping hole in it.Well done, library.To whoever performed this atrocious act:
Hold Still - Nina LaCour http://wordsandsinew.blogspot.com/2012/10/hold-still-by-nina-lacour.htmlI'm not going to say much because honestly, I don't know at all what to say. I'm not going to go on and on and on, and even try to be eloquent, about how how beautiful this book is. About how real this book is. That would be a waste of time.It's about a girl who lost her best friend dealing with all the loss, anger, and sadness all built up inside of her, ready to make her explode into absolute nothing. It's about Caitlin, trying to find life again without Ingrid, and trying to learn how to let people inside her again.I don't want to over-analyze this book or break it down piece-by-piece. You can't, otherwise you just lose its entire purpose. It's like a song you really love. You don't have to analyze it, lyric by lyric to know why you love it or why it means so much. You just listen and get it and it's like it understands life and you. There's no need to dissect it; it just is and that's more than enough. This is a book that makes you lose words. Just read and feel it, because that I promise you will do.

Shatter Me

Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi & at: http://wordsandsinew.blogspot.com/2012/08/shatter-me-by-tahereh-mafi.htmlFirst thing: stunning writing. It just blew me away. Mafi's words just flow and there's this particular rhythm you can't find anywhere else. I could search all day for the right kind of words to describe her creative writing style, but it's better if you just experience it for yourself. Here's a portion I marked that particularly struck me:"The air is crisp and cool. A refreshing bath of tangible nothing that stings my eyes and snaps at my skin. The sun is high today, blinding as it reflects the small patches of snow keeping the earth frozen. My eyes are pressed down by the weight of the bright light and I can't see through more than two slits, but the warm rays wash over my body like a jacket fitted to my form, like the hug of something greater than human."And there's a hundred more lines like that which paint a picture so vivid, it makes you awestruck. Sometimes though I found myself lost in all the borderline flowery language. There's just too much going on. Too many verbs. Too many metaphors. Too many odd allusions that leave you scratching your head, wondering what it's suppose to mean.The one thing about this book that a lot of people were talking about was the use of strike-through. Normally, the only type of font format allowed in novels are italics. You never see words bolded or underlined, never mind strike-through. But damn, Mafi makes it work. The strike-through doesn't distract. It adds depth to the plot and Juliette herself. They are the secret truths of Shatter Me's universe and the secret thoughts of Juliette's head. Juliette is scared and angry and sad and there's so much she wants to say that she has to bury deep, deep, deep inside of her and all those striked-out words represent her anger, her sadness, her guilt, and everything else in-between. They also show her perceptiveness because she has learned to see through other people when others would not do so for her. Tahereh Mafi has introduced a very innovative writing technique and I'm excited to see more of it.Another technique I thought really brought me into Juliette's head was the sparse use of commas and periods. While technically they're run-on sentences, I say that they further emphasize the paranoia and frenzy Juliette has come to known due to her isolation. It brings you further inside her head, making your realize just how much the Reestablishment has warped her mind.Speaking of Juliette, her romance with Adam was intense. Their relationship falters, stops, and back-tracks but once it becomes established, man it's intense. For some, it could probably borderline insta-romance, but the history Juliette & Adam have pre-Reestablishment may salvage that thought. While I'm not in-love with the pair, it would slightly pain my heart if anything happened to them. And for whatever reason, I kept picturing Adam Levine as Adam. Look, they have the same name and everything.Juliette's relationship with Warner is far more interesting, however. The struggle for power between the two is fiery. Warner just keeps trying to push her over the edge so she can fully embrace this power she so desperately does not want. It's captivating to read Juliette struggle so much with this power and then to have this powerful person goad her into it through threats and fear. Juliette's relationship with both Warner and Adam are representations of the choices she has when it comes to her power. The gentle choice, Adam, tells her she is not a monster and that she has the power, with her touch, to help people. She is a loving, caring person. But then the other choice, Warner, tells her that her power is a weapon she can use to bring people to their knees before her. She can command people, get all the things she desires because it is clearly better to be feared than loved. Both of these boys tell her two different things, two different ways she can control her fate, and go so much more beyond than just a simple relationship: it's the two different lives Juliette could have depending on how she chooses to embrace her power.I'm afraid to say after I finished the book, I was left with far too many questions. I know it's a trilogy but there were just so many things buzzing in my head that just did not make sense. Like where in the hell did the Reestablishment come from? How did it start? Whose in charge anyway? There's just a lot of blanks in this universe that weren't filled in. Another is Juliette's power. It was never specifically explained and while we were shown it, there's still far too many blanks to paint a clear picture of what it is. If anything, her power reminds of of my favorite X-Men's, Rogue. There are just far too many important portions of the book that weren't properly explained or explained at all which unfortunately bothered me more than I wanted it to. There's a section in the book that perfectly described certain factors in the book: "She can't touch anyone except for you." "Right." "That seems awfully convenient." But I suppose a lot of things in YA are awfully convenient, aren't they?Shatter Me is a complicated, intricate, and thrilling read. While you may become susceptible to several holes in the plot, its painfully complex characters with humanities so apparent and Mafi's striking and innovative writing will swallow you whole.Also at: http://wordsandsinew.blogspot.com/2012/08/shatter-me-by-tahereh-mafi.html