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Wine and Women Wednesdays

10 Apr

One of the best things about books these days is the amount of badass female protagonists there are. Long gone are the days the damsels in distress ruled society’s vision of the perfect woman and romance (not that we still don’t like handsome princes, mind you). But we are now living in an era where feminism has promoted independent, self sufficient, ass kicking girls into literary and cinematic limelight.

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Case in point – Disney‘s Brave.

We have all grown up with the idea that the fairy tale prince coming to rescue us is the way us weaker sex is supposed find true love. Let’s just all point our fingers at Disney for giving us that illogical idea. Thanks Snow White, Belle, Ariel for creating unrealistic romances for me to swoon over! You ruined my life! But not you Mulan, you…you’re effing awesome. Nowadays though our little princesses are being taught that “Damnit, you can save yourself! If you even need saving in the first place.” Which is pretty awesome. We can really start seeing this big transition of women taking the leading roll as heroes in the original Charlie’s Angels series. And from there… a great wide world of wonderful women emerged.

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But what type of morals are these strong women really teaching us? Especially in YA books, heroines have a lot of different takes on love, life and values.

Thus is brings me to wanting to create “Wine and Women Wednesdays” where we can focus on all different kinds of awesomeness of females in literature.

There’s going to be some good discussions so grab a glass of wine, settle in with a good book and get excited now because I’ve got some legit shiznat coming up.

cheers

So many books, so little time.

25 Mar

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Hello hello hellooooooooooo everyone!!

It’s been days, WEEKS really, since I have had a chance to sit down and think straight about something other then work. But now that my week long work conference is done and my brain has finally recuperated from the mush it became after the convention, I am finally FINALLY able to focus long enough to A.) finish a book and B.) write some reviews! Because that is the point of this blog afterall, yes? Yes.

So, in the next week or two I will finally get back into my flow of posting at least one or two reviews a week. So stay tuned and forgive me for neglecting you all. Damn work gets in the way of everything fun sometimes!

Upcoming Reviews:

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See?! I have been reading… just been slacking on reviewing 🙂

“The unfed mind devours itself” – Gore Vidal

Hear’s to books that get us through heartbreak!

25 Feb

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So after the heartbreak of last week, I spent a lot of time moping around, eating Taco Bell, drinking lots of tequila and vodka, and watching the entire series The Tudors on Netflix. I didn’t read a single page of a book for an entire week which is insane for me considering I read 15 books in one month… (hmm and I wonder why I am now single….)vBKMoVO

Anywho. So after my  week long cry/eat/drunk fest, I remembered that self pity is extremely unattractive. I mean how many times did I hate on pro-tags for doing exactly what I was doing?? I think we all need time to heal, but there are better ways of going about doing it then sobbing and shoveling food in your mouth. So I got my Harry Potter tattoo I always wanted on my ribs (hurt like a bitch!), planned a trip to New Zealand in November (chea!), and sat down Sunday morning with Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi and read it cover to cover in about 6 hours.

It. Was. Magical.

I mean the book was alright (three stars, review to come!) but the feeling of being immersed into books again, being captivated and transported to a world that isn’t your own, feeling and loving and living with characters that become real in your mind? *sigh* I missed it. I missed reading. I missed everything that is books. I actually got the chance to fall in love with reading all over again. Amazing!

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We read about breakups and heart breaks in books all the time. In many cases it’s much more tragic then what we experience ourselves. But rejection is NEVER easy. Whether its from a boyfriend, a publishing company or an employer, it just effing sucks major balls every time. But you want to know something? We have people around us that are always there for us, no matter what. And if you don’t want to talk to the people around you (me, sometimes I just want to ignore everything), we have the most incredible set of friends between covers of books. I have Sorcha from Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, I have Eragon from the Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini, I have Katna and Po from Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I have hundreds of friends that are stable and consistent.

“Books are my friends, my companions. They make me laugh and cry and find meaning in life.”
Christopher Paolini, Eragon

And how true is that? How many lessons have we learned by reading? We have soo many experiences as readers that others don’t. We have connections with characters and with each other in the bookworld that people outside it don’t understand. We experience love and passion, betrayal and victory, hate and pure euphoria, over and over again in different ways. We appreciate our human/real life experiences more because of this. We love harder, trust more fiercely, feel more.

I want to box up my memories and emotions of the last two years and shove them in my ex’s face (which is ok for me to say here because I doubt he’s even read my blog, boo!). Part of me wishes that he never happened (most of me) and part of me is thankful it happened (like 0.o1% right now).  But…

“This book taught me, once and for all, how easily you can escape this world with the help of words! You can find friends between the pages of a book, wonderful friends.”
Cornelia Funke, Inkspell

So cheers to authors, cheers to publishing companies, cheers to editors and publicists and printing companies! Cheers to all the wonderful people who create incredible stories that we can lose ourselves in.

And a special thanks so all those witty romantical authors who gives us delicious fictional men to drool over! Jane Austen, Kresley Cole, Nora Roberts! (If you mention 50 shades I will seriously punch you in your throat). Thank you for giving me men to fall in love with while I wait for my real Prince Charming.

Because…

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OH WAIT… MR DARCY IS!

“You must know… surely, you must know it was all for you. You are too generous to trifle with me. I believe you spoke with my aunt last night, and it has taught me to hope as I’d scarcely allowed myself before. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Busy busy busy…..

21 Feb

Sorry I have been absent from all you lovelies lately… work has been cra-zay and I’m pretty sure I am going through a quarter life crisis…and dramatic breakup. UGH! Basically it means booze and no books. And because of the no books it results in no reviews which means no posts…

 *sniff sniff*

Anywho… I was thinking about this quote during my mourning and thought that I should share it all with you because I think it’s uniquely wonderful. So enjoy it and I promise promise I’ll get back to my Adventures in Bookland and reviews next week!  Muah!

“Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that… there are many kinds of magic, after all.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Adventures in Bookland

13 Feb

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As a self proclaimed book nerd, there are things that spark my interest that most would glance over and dismiss as boring, dumb or just plain ole’ dorky. But the products, events, and people that some would label as unexciting, I find enticing and spectacular. You’ll come to find that the longer you join me on this book blogging journey, the more I will embrace, and encourage YOU to embrace, the off-the-beaten-track adventures in the great wide world of Bookland.

I like to say my first real “cherry popping” book adventure was about a year and a half ago when my co worker (the now infamous Ms. Amy) informed me of an upcoming book signing.  Now I had been to the midnight book releases of Harry Potter at Barnes and Noble, trekked through the movie theaters for the Lord of The Rings movie premiers with my father, been actively involved in scripting out light sabers duels to be performed at the theater while we nervously waited to watch the new releases of Star Wars (not really books but you see where I am going with this.) I had clearly defined my place as a lover-of-all-things nerdtastic. And I had spent more nights then I could possible count losing sleep over books that I just had to finish before I went to bed.  But I had never established myself as a Professional Book Lover (PBL). Those were juvenile and amateurish activities compared to what I could be doing to fulfill my PBL potential. So alas, I decided to push my myself to the next level, move my peg up on the board, take that next step on the ladder and commit to my true calling: Sydney, the Book Dominator. Conquer of YA Books, Writer of Rattle the Stars, Reviewer of Stories.

*dramatic cheer* Ahhhhhhh!!! *the crowds going wild* “Sydney, Sydney, Sydney!”

Ok…. got a little excited there. But I think it’s a great moment and everyone should be proud when they commit to being 100% their own person. Finally chucking all those insecurities out the window that have made them hide bits and pieces of themselves. That’s what I did in that moment. I bared my dorky, nerdy, geeky soul to the world! And I am so much happier because of it.

Back to the story!

So Amy and I went to go see none other then one of my favorite authors of all time: Christopher Paolini.

I swoon at his books so hard. The Inheritance series is probably one of the greatest YA series ever written. It’s incredible in it’s richness and depth and the world building is dynamic and captivating it takes my breath away. It has the epic qualities of LOTR and Dune without all the confusing side tracking and WSOD stretching worlds that can distract you from the plot. From the moment you open the book Eragon, the pro-tag, is vivacious, strong, and real. You follow him on his journey, watch him struggle, see him overcome, feel him become the person he’s meant to be. You bleed with him, you cry with him, you love him.  It’s been two years since I’ve finished this series and I still don’t have a way to fully articulate how much these books mean to me. And to think the Paolini wrote these when he was a teenager? A FREAKING TEENAGER! I was still writing essays for English class when this creative bitch over here is writing YA fantasy masterpieces. (Jealous doesn’t even come close to how I feel about this). But needless to say I was fangirling all over this guy at the book signing. We were waiting for hours in the Phoenix Public Library on the second floor for him to come out, give a talk, speak some Elvish (kinda hot in a very nerdy way), and sign the books.

When it was my turn to finallyyyyyyyy meet him and have him sign my well-loved copies, it was an amazing moment in my life. He signed his name in the first three books of the series and then signed MY NAME and HIS NAME in the fourth book. *faints* I was even able to stammer out my favorite part of the series and we had a mini convo about him writing it. Greatest. Experience. Ever.

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(I’m the blonde gawking at him, especially when he’s looking right at me. ERMERGERD!)

My main reason for telling you all about this is because I want people know that embracing who you are is as scary and wonderful as falling in love. Because essentially, you are falling in love with yourself. You are letting yourself be exactly who you are. That amazing, incredible, feisty, fiercely passionate about whatever it may be person that hides in your heart until you are ready to let it fly.

I love books. And I assume that most of you are reading this because you love books too. Or because you know me… (Hi Mom!!)  So for the next week I am going to take you on some of my favorite Adventures in Bookland I have had in the last year. Some were amazing, some were… uh…. different… but all were eye-opening! So hop on the train, my friends and let’s have some fun!

“Perhaps that was the point; life, if you did it right, meant learning and changing. If you didn’t, you died- or stopped growing – which amounted to more or less the same thing. So I would slide in and out of different roles until I discovered the one that fit me best.
Ann Aguirre, Outpost

Best Birthday Present Ever!

14 Jan

Today is my 24th birthday.

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On Friday, I posted a review drooling over The Crimson Crown and fawning all over Cinda Williams Chima. All my reviews are posted to Facebook and my Twitter account and of course I am following Chima’s Tweets.

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SHE TWEETED ME BACK. CINDA WILLIAMS CHIMA TWEETED ME BACK!!!

vaTIC

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Best birthday present ever. I can die happy now.

Best Of 2012 – Not just the boring categories!

2 Jan

Hello and Welcome to the year 2013!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! 2013 has some amazing book releases so I am SUPER STOKED for this year. Now, like all book lovers and bloggers, I just had to create a Best of 2012 blog. While most people do one in December, I read lots of books over the holidays so I wanted to wait until the year actually ended before I created my list. You never know what gems you can find in the last weeks of the year! I also wanted to add some variety to the blog so I asked my book soul mate Amy to pick her favorites in each category. You can read her Top Ten Books Read of 2012 here.

Please note that these books are not only the books that were published in 2012. We wanted to included all the books we read so some of them are a few years old. I hope you all enjoy and please add your favorites in each category in the comments!

Favorite Book of 2012

Sydney                     Amy

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The Selection by Kiera Cass     Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Favorite Author of 2012

Sydney               Amy

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Cinda Williams Chima         Neil Gaiman

Best Female Protagonist

Sydney           Amy

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Penryn – Angelfall by Susan Ee          Beatrice – Divergent by Veronica Roth

Best Male Protagonist

Sydney         Amy

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Han – Seven Realms Series        Po – Graceling Realms Series

Best Romance

Sydney         Amy

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America and Maxon, The Selection               Katsa and Po, Graceling

Most Resourceful

Sydney         Amy

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Gaia, Birthmarked  by Caragh M. O’Brien    Viola, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Best “Come to Jesus” Moment

Sydney         Amy

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James, Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater    Katy, Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Most Badass Character

Sydney         Amy

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Deuce, Razorland Series by Ann Aguirre       Katsa, Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Favorite Series

Sydney                Amy

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Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima      Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Best Fantasy Book

Sydney                Amy

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Graceling by Kristin Cashore            Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Best Dystopian Book

Sydney                Amy

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline      Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Best World Building

Sydney                Amy

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Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima         Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

Best Cover

Sydney                Amy

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Angelfall by Susan Ee                   Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Most Looking Forward to Release of 2013

Sydney                Amy

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Prodigy by Marie Lu                       Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Cuddlebuggery Book Blog

For badass reviews on all the best Young Adult books

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