Currently Reading

Tegan Mae's bookshelf: currently-reading

Witch Finder
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tagged: currently-reading, historical, queens-and-kings, ya, the-tudors, an...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fresh Start

Hi everyone!

Here is my most recent update. These past 5 months have a been a little crazy. I've been in and out of the hospital and taking classes and starting a second job.

I have also decided to start posting these reviews, and other YA related activities, at my new blog The Rowdy Librarian.

I will still post the links on here for you guys coming up, to help with the transition.

I will still be posting at The Founding Fields as Lady Salvatore. I will also be recording reviews for a fellow reviewer's podcast! So keep an eye, or ear, out for those!

Thank you for being loyal readers and for joining me on this new venture!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu

Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Type: Young Adult
Genre: High Fantasy
Tea: Hot water with a plain teabag that didn't sit in it for very long.
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars.

"I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt." (from
This book is a joke. A big joke. But not a funny one. One of those unfortunate ones that physically hurt you when someone tells it. One that you never want to hear again and will run from if it shows up. Yes, this was that bad. I couldn't even finish it. What was bad about it, you might ask. EVERYTHING. ALL OF IT.
Adelina was boring. She was a piece of cardboard. Yes, it's terrible what her dad was doing to her. But all she did was feel sorry for herself. And then when she accidentally kills someone all she does is go on and on and on about how horrible she is. And she has the weirdest flashbacks. I just...everything in here is accidental and she just gripes about her life. She makes mopey Katniss in Mockingjay look like a ray of sunshine. I don't know. She was boring and not even remotely badass like the description says. They say it's like a high fantasy X-Men. If this was an X-Men movie, I'd be pissed.
Her "love interest" is bizarre. He's a jerk and not interesting at all. He's just an excuse to have a romantic storyline in this book. And that storyline can't even save it. Her sister was a spoiled brat and...can you tell that every character sucked?
And what kind of place is she living in? I've had authors reimagine our world and make it their own, prime example being Jacqueline Carey in her Kushiel's Universe series. You know what country it would be if it was in our world, but she makes it entirely her own and you're sucked into this amazing land. But in this book she basically takes Renaissance Italy and renames stuff. It was awful. This was NOT high fantasy. This was a train wreck.
I've heard good things about her Legend series and I will give that one a chance. But never again for this one. 

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Title: Illusions of Fate
Author: Kiersten White
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Tea: Golden Mojito, sort of good, but sort of lackluster.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

"Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.
Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray."

This was my first Kiersten White novel, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but the description intrigued me. The description is a liar.

First off the only thing Downton Abbey (which I LOVE) related is the fact that this girl works at a hotel. For like 2 seconds. Then suddenly she is lavishly taken care of by some random stranger. Yeahh...that doesn't happen to Daisy or Anna or any of them in Downton. Cassandra Clare could've been a warning sign, as I wasn't the biggest fan of City of Bones. Another thing that sucked me in is I loved The Madman's Daughter and I love, love, LOVE Libba Bray. The Gemma Doyle trilogy is one of my favorites! This was NOTHING like those books. A pale imitation maybe, but not much more than that.

The world confused me a bit. I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be like an alternate version of our world and where she lived was maybe supposed to be London and the island she is from is supposed to be...somewhere? It is kind of vague and you get lots of description of how crappy it was for her at home, but not much more.

This fell into every trope a YA book can fall into. Insta-love, love triangle, "my boyfriend is actually an asshole", poor-little-girl-gets-turned-into-a-"princess". Just everything you could think of. The only thing that I really enjoyed was the magical aspect. There was some actual thought put into that and is honestly what saved this book from getting a worse rating. My favorite was the book that could turn into a bird...or is it a bird that can turn into a book...? Either way, that was awesome. That bird saved Jessamin more times than not. She'd be dead without that bird.

And the ending. Oh the ending. When I was reading and saw I only had a small portion left, but nothing was resolved yet, I was worried. I didn't want to read a whole second book as this one was giving me a hard time. But I wasn't worried for the reason I should've been. This was the most hastily, sloppily tied up ending. It was a rush and a mess. It was like she just realized she needed to end the book. It did nothing for me. I was really let down.

I will try giving another one of her books a chance because they intrigue me, but this one just had too much going on and nothing really developed. It's like everything kind of started to develop, but then tapered off.

This one is up to you, but don't go in judging it from its description, you won't get that.

MARY: The Summoning (Bloody Mary #1) by Hillary Monahan

Title: MARY: The Summoning
Author: Hillary Monahan
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Horror
Tea: Haute Chocolate, something you think you know, but full of surprises.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
"There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them--Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna--must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: "Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY." A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though--at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary's wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary--and Jess--before it's too late?"

MARY: The Summoning is the first in a series entitled Bloody Mary. I was really excited when I saw this. I haven't read a good YA horror story since I picked up Katie Alender's Bad Girls Don't Die trilogy. Those books scared me, and I was not disappointed with this one!

The story of Bloody Mary always freaked me out anyway. I was never one of those girls that went to the bathroom and tried saying her name three times, just not worth it! So I live vicariously through books when it comes to horror, especially the stories that really freak me out. This book had such an interesting take on the story. You got Mary's back story in journal entries scattered throughout the novel, I was so excited each time I came across one, I just had to know what happened to her!

Mary's manifestation was also really interesting. Clues were given based on her appearance as to how she died, which was a lot of fun while reading the journal entries. She was also REALLY scary. She didn't just show up in mirrors, she was in ALL REFLECTIVE SURFACES. WHAT?! I kept thinking how if she latched onto me, I'd be in so much trouble. There are reflective surfaces EVERYWHERE and I don't think I could handle that.

I also really liked the characters and the one's surprise connection to Mary. I think it was an accurate portrayal of friendship and loyalty in a messed up situation. The ending was also very surprising and had me itching for the second book once I was done! Unfortunately that will not be released until (hopefully) the fall of this year.

Definitely check this book out, but you may to want to cover your mirror.

The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass

Title: The One
Author: Kiera Cass
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian/Romance
Tea: Silver Yin Zen Pearls, a step up from other similar teas, top of the line (plus silver cover!)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

"The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants."

This book is the third in Kiera Cass's The Selection series. If you haven't read the first two, be forewarned, here be spoilers for those. This book is SO much better than the first two. I, obviously, really enjoyed the first two or I wouldn't have kept reading the series. But this one blew them out of the water. The first two were a lot of set up and a lot of America going back and forth between Maxon (swoon) and Aspen (yuck!). This book brings us to the end of the Selection, and it's time for Maxon to choose a bride. If you think it's going to be easy and simple and you know what's going to happen, you're wrong.

There are so many twists and turns in this book! There are familiar faces finally brought back that really surprised me! This book made my heart hurt at some point and I'm not ashamed to say that I cried. Aspen somehow makes me sort of okay with him, but I still am in a rage over that whole situation. He's the jerk, but makes America feel like it's all her fault...Okay...I digress.

I went through a whole range of emotions reading this book: happy, sad, angry, nervous; you name it, I felt it. I read this in a day. When I finished it was really glad because I enjoyed it, but really sad since I thought it was over. Turns out it's not! There's going to be a 4th book called The Heir, but don't read the synopsis yet unless you want the ending of this one ruined.

If you enjoyed the first two, read this one, it is above and beyond those! And if you still haven't read the series, pick them up!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Funday List: Funniest Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes

Hi everyone! I know I've been slacking on my lists, I'm sorry! This week I'm changing it up a bit, since I do do more than read! Buffy the Vampire Slayer is probably one of my favorite TV shows, if not THE favorite. I didn't feel well last night and the first thing that popped into my head to watch was funny Buffy episodes. Below are my favorite, funny, episodes. I have other favorites, but they definitely aren't funny, haha. All synopses courtesy of IMDb.

Here they are by season:

Season 1:

While there are funny moments, I don't think I would specify any of the first season episodes as strictly funny.

Season 2:

Episode 6: Halloween: "On Halloween, Buffy and her friends patronize an unusual costume shop where customers turn into whatever costume they are wearing." 
What happens to them is a scary thought, but the episode cracks me up. Seeing these characters we know so well as someone very not like them is great fun. Also, when Willow scares Giles by walking through the wall is priceless.

Episode 16: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered: "As Valentine's Day approaches, Xander tries to improve his love life through witchcraft and finds himself with too much of a good thing."

This episode kills me. Poor Xander gets his heart ripped out on Valentine's Day, so of course in typical Xander fashion, he casts a poorly thought out spell. Drusilla is my particular favorite in her affections for Xander. And the Buffy-rat is also highly entertaining.

Season 3:

Episode 5: Homecoming: "As Buffy and Cordelia vie for Homecoming Queen, a group of killers gathers to participate in SlayerFest '98."

Buffy and Cordelia's rivalry is the best part of this episode. And it makes the latter part of the episode even more entertaining. The highlights would be Faith ruining Scott's homecoming date, Cordelia trying to kill a vampire with a spatula, and her speech at the end in the library. Just a fun episode all around.

Episode 6: Band Candy: "Adults throughout Sunnydale behave like immature teenagers after they eat cursed candy"

Only two words needed: Principal Snyder. Seeing him revert to teenage form is hilarious.

Episode 16: Dopplegangland: "While casting a magic spell, Anya and Willow accidentally summon Willow's evil double from an alternate universe"

We met Willow's vampire doppleganger in a previous episode, but in this one we really get to know her. Watching the two of them interact is a lot of fun. And how vampire Willow handles Percy is fantastic.

Season 4:

Episode 5: Beer Bad: "Xander finds employment as a bartender at a pub where some of Buffy's friends turn into terrifying Cro-Magnon creatures."

The funniest part of this episode is when Buffy turns into a cave woman. She talks to the little people in the TV, falls off of her chair, and is just very un-Slayer-like. I can't stop laughing the whole time I watch it.

Episode 9: Something Blue: "One of Willow's spells causes her statements to become reality, with consequences both entertaining and life-threatening."

This episode is proof that words are stronger than we think they are. All of Willow's words come to life with some really funny consequences. One particular highlight being Spike and Buffy getting engaged.

Season 5:

Episode 1: Buffy vs. Dracula: "Buffy finds herself pitted against the legendary Prince of Darkness, Count Dracula."

The best part of this episode is Dracula turning Xander into his minion. And Xander's reactions to being said minion. As well as his "distractions" from anything related to Dracula. Just watch it.

Episode 11: Triangle: "While Giles is in England meeting with the Watcher Council, a bickering Anya and Willow mind the magic store and inadvertently conjure up a fearsome troll."

Anya and Willow's feud creates some pretty entertaining moments in this episode. I also really like seeing more about Anya's background, including the fact that she wasn't always scared of bunnies.

Season 6:

Episode 5: Life Serial: " The Geek Trio begin their plans by testing Buffy's abilities and subsequently ruining her attempts at employment."

If I had to pick the funniest episode of the series, this would be it. I LOVE this episode. The Troika (Jonathan, Warren, and Andrew) try to find ways to ruin Buffy's life without her noticing. Poor Buffy is trying to get back on track and trying various ways, but keeps being thwarted. My favorite scene would be Buffy's monologue at the end where she calls Spike a neutered vampire that cheats at kitten poker. Or the whole scene in the Magic Box.

Episode 14: Older and Far Away: "After Dawn talks to a guidance counselor about her feeling lonely, she accidentally puts a spell on Buffy and her friends, trapping them inside the Summer's house with a sword-wielding demon."

While this may not be the funniest of funny episodes, it has its moments. There are some one liners and scenes in here that do not deserve to be missed.

Season 7:

Episode 6: Him: "Dawn's simple crush on Sunnydale High's star quarterback RJ starts to become obsessive, leading Buffy to investigate the boy herself. When Buffy, along with all the other women who see RJ, also fall in love with him, Spike and Xander must team up to discover the source of this attraction. But first they have to keep the women from doing anything crazy in their competition for RJ's affection."

This episode is priceless. This is another love spell gone wrong a la Xander in season 2. But this time we see the effects from the women's point of view. Favorite scene has to be when Spike and Buffy are attacking each other outside of Principal Wood's office, which he can't hear due to classical music.

Episode 16: Storyteller: "Andrew creates a documentary called "Buffy, Slayer of the Vampyres", a record of the current situation in Sunnydale to show to future generations. He manages to capture many important moments, and to annoy almost everyone in the house. But Buffy needs to tear him away from his filmmaking because the Seal of Danzalthar is active and Andrew may hold the key to closing it before it destroys the town."

Andrew is hilarious. He was always my favorite of the Troika and this whole episode is perfect. His humor makes this episode. His storytelling is great. I love getting a look inside his mind.

Well there's my list! Anything you guys would change? 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tarnish by Katherine Longshore

Title: Tarnish
Author: Katherine Longshore
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Historical
Tea: Raspberry Black Tea, can be subtle, but also full of zest.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

"Anne Boleyn is the odd girl out. Newly arrived to the court of King Henry VIII, everything about her seems wrong, from her clothes to her manners to her witty but sharp tongue. So when the dashing poet Thomas Wyatt offers to coach her on how to shine at court—and to convince the whole court they’re lovers—she accepts. Before long, Anne’s popularity has soared, and even the charismatic and irresistible king takes notice. More than popularity, Anne wants a voice—but she also wants love. What began as a game becomes high stakes as Anne finds herself forced to make an impossible choice between her heart’s desire and the chance to make history." (

Tarnish is the third book I read by Katherine Longshore. It is a companion novel to her two others, Brazen and Gilt. This novel is predominantly about Anne Boleyn, though she does play a role in all three books. There have been tons of books written about Anne Boleyn. "Not another one!" you say. But this is not your typical Anne book. In Tarnish, Katherine Longshore gives you a look into Anne's history and what her daily life is like living at the castle as a ladies maid to the queen. Also what it is like to live in her sister Mary's shadow, who also happens to be Henry VIII's mistress.

I really enjoyed this portrayal of Anne. Katherine Longshore doesn't show her as a power hungry, man-stealing girl. She's your typical teenager that just wants to fall in love, preferably with the right man. Unfortunately her goals start to shift when other people try to meddle with her love life, among them her father and the poet Thomas Wyatt.

All I can say is I'm so glad I didn't have to deal with the drama of living in court. We think school is bad? That's cake compared to what these people dealt with on a regular basis. Anne's tribulations echo a lot of what teenagers go through in school: do I listen to what everyone else says? Do I follow my own dreams? How doe these rumors even start? And what do I do if that older guy that I think is cute starts giving me attention?

I liked seeing Anne in a different light that she is often written. Katherine Longshore does a fantastic job of getting insider her head and giving the reader lots of information while still telling a compelling tale. If you are interested in Anne's beginnings, I would suggest this book. It can give you a taste and you can decide if you want to learn more about this doomed queen, who really was just a girl like everyone else.