Random Thursday

The Little Book of Answers by Doug Lennox is proving to be quite the interesting read! I love learning these random little facts about things you might not give a second thought to or perhaps always wondered about but never really knew the answer either!

(image borrowed from La Brea Bakery)
Ever wonder why high society is also considered the "upper crust"? Well in the days of feudalism when all the noblemen were gathered at the dinner table, the higher ranking people sat at the head of the table and the line would continue to go down to the lower class along the table. When these gatherings happened, yard-long loaves of bread were made and the honor of making the first cut when to the highest ranking person at the head of the table. He would then pass the bread down in order of rank, but kept the "upper crust" for himself.

I am no craving bread! Lol!

(image borrowed from Jay P. Greene's Blog)
Shift has gotten quite the story and meaning behind it. Those who were used to working during different blocks of time were called "shift workers". Shift can also apply to one's ability to adapt. So the opposite of that would be considered "shiftless" which would be a lazy, irresponsible person for they lack the resources to change with their circumstances. But then we have a "shifty" person who adept at change and that isn't someone you should trust!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
"Family circle" dates back to when the early Normans built an indoor fireplace in a semicircular open area. The family would sit in a semicircle opposite the one formed by the hearth which would create a complete circle. They would sit like this whether to keep warm at night or when the air was cool and spend time singing or telling stories. Hence, "family circle" and when neighbors came by to join them it would then be called "a circle of friends".

(image borrowed from CareerLancer)
"Freelance" dates back to the period between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries when a knight with no allegiances to a kingdom would battle for the highest paying prince or king. They were called freelancers by authors in the nineteenth century and were similar to gunfighters in the American West. Now a freelancer is considered anyone who works independently.

That's rather interesting!

(image borrowed from Youtube)
Ever wonder why enthusiastic amateurs are called "buffs"? Firstly, to explain, someone with a keen interest in a subject outside their profession is called a "buff". The term was coined by New York firemen around 1900 when they were hindered by crowds at fires who either wanted to help or were just there to criticize. During the winter of that time, the coats by the spectators were made from buffalo hide and from that, the firemen got the term "buffs". It then became the term used to describer their amateur critics.

That was definitely new to me information!

Review--The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

Richelle Mead’s The Glittering Court was not what I expected to be. When it first came out, I saw an array of mixed reviews and it left me hesitant to start it right away. I think for me what kept holding me back was not knowing what genre this fell into. It’s clearly not a paranormal or fantasy read. It’s a world without magic. It doesn’t really seem to be historical fiction kind of read because despite a great deal of it feeling like old timey ways, there were moments when the speech took on a modern tone. Dystopian perhaps? One of those dystopians where the setting is reverted back to the past’s ways? This struggle with just the mere genre held me back for awhile. I kept expecting something to happen, something that would shift the tides and allow some sort of hint to come to light…I think I might have missed if it did happen.

Our story begins when a young countess learns that she is being forced to marry a cousin. She’s in financial need and his was the best offer that came through. Though I am not clear how what relation of cousin he was, I suspect it was some sort of distant one. She however has other ideas for her future and decides to take her maid, Adelaide’s place in what’s called The Glittering Court. It’s a business of sorts that takes young women, common women, and train them to be ladies and whatnot and then basically sold to a husband. Though the girl does have a choice in who she marries and may refuse an offer should she not want to be with said man.

This was another bit that sort of confound me. Adelaide, as I’ll refer to her as since she’s called this the entire book practically, wanted to escape an arranged marriage and yet she’s still willing to jump into a marriage with a stranger? Seemed odd, but I guess it was the idea that she’d still have a choice in the matter that enticed her to the idea. The girls are also sort of in a competition with one another as they are ranked by their performances in learning how to be proper ladies. This is when Adelaide meets who will soon become her closest friends, Mira and Tamsin.

The young man who recruited her, Cedric, naturally becomes a potential love interest and yet proves to be problematic since he’s technically her owner? Procurer? It’s a messy situation no doubt since he recruited her and knows that she’s not in fact, a servant, but a countess.

The story moved at a slightly slower rate, which is what led me to believe that the big conflict or turning point had to be around the corner. Adelaide soon finds herself on a boat to the New World where she and the other girls would meet the prospective husbands. The pacing really drags, to be honest. I guess this book would appeal to readers of a more sedate read, but I can’t really say what kind of book as I don’t read those and have no clue as to what kinds of readers would appreciate this book. For the most part I liked it, I didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. It very much falls under a middle sort of read.

Cedric and Adelaide end up getting their own kind of adventure in this one when there’s a pesky potential suitor who won’t leave Adelaide be and things continue to spiral further out of control. It’s a messy situation and I guess this is where the big conflict came into play. I was honestly expecting there to be more of a scandal or conspiracy, but I guess I was reading into things that truly didn’t exist.

Was this a perfect read? For me, sadly no. Was it terrible? No, it just wasn’t what I was expecting from a Richelle Mead book. I am likely going to give the rest of the trilogy a try because the next two books are supposed to center around Mira and Tamsin respectively and I felt like they had a lot of things going on for them during this one that wasn’t really explained all that much. Perhaps for good reason.

The Glittering Court was definitely new territory for Richelle Mead and while it wasn’t a favorite of mine, it was still an intriguing read for the most part. It’s my hope that the next two installments will help build upon some of the other intriguing characters and mysterious events that popped up towards the end of this one. I would consider caution with reading this one if you like fast paced reads with action or romance or intrigue. While there’s some intrigue in this one, I can say that the action was pretty nonexistent, although the romance was pretty spot on in true Richelle fashion!


Overall Rating 3/5 stars

Let's Discuss: Favorite Classics

Going back to a list of helpful topics I found one that I really feel like discussing! I might have talked about it in passing once or twice over the years on the blog, but let's give it its own little topic post!

Favorite Classic

As you might know, I am not really a "classics" reader. Unless you want to count Fairy Tales as classics, because I do read those every blue moon or so! Lol! But there was one classic that I read in school, it was actually the last year of school and after having been forced to read dozens and dozens of books that just bored me to tears but I read anyway, because it's homework, I finally found one I really, really enjoyed...

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas was a book that had nothing paranormal or creepy in it. There wasn't really any mystery so much either, more of a conspiracy which is possibly where the draw began! But I think the main reason why I enjoyed this one was the revenge that Edmond planned out as he sat in prison.

He had help of course, but maaaaaan...his plan was awesome! He doesn't kill anyone because where is the revenge in that? Instead he destroys them. If memory serves, one did commit suicide and another may eventually be killed, but it wasn't by Edmond's hand.

And unlike the crappy movie that I only caught that last twenty minutes or so of, this book was truly awesome. That movie made me sick and I literally only saw a handful of minutes at the end and it totally changed everything because they wanted to make it all romantic. While this may have started out as a love story in part, it really didn't keep up as one. 

Though again, I haven't read this one in many, many years, so I could be forgetting some subtleties about any romance--though I do recall he and another girl were likely to get together without it being said, unless it was said. Again way too much time since I read it.

I think it was the revenge plot that kept me reading! Who doesn't love some justice served when the people who should've helped you were the ones hurting you? Yeah, so this one definitely made my list of favorite classics. It just took nearly all of my young school life to find it!

What is your favorite classic read if you have one?

COVER COPY REVEAL--Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

Are you read to see the cover for Evelyn Skye's next release? Prepare yourselves...

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied behind his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging to the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark. So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group.Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart.

Circle of Shadows releases January 22, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.

For most people, nightmares always come to an end. But for Cata, Ant, and the others, there may be no escape from theirs. After an experimental treatment meant to cure their insomnia went horribly wrong, the teens were dragged into a shared dreamworld where their most terrifying fears became reality.

The six of them have no way of waking up. And they’re beginning to realize that if they die here, they might actually die in the real world. One of the dreamers is already gone, and anyone could be next. The only thing they know for certain is that they have to work together to survive. But as they learn the truth about one another’s pasts, they soon discover they are trapped with something far worse than their nightmares….

Omg omg omg!! I need this book already!! I read the first one last year as an ARC and LOVED it! I thought it was just the right amount of creepy and weird! And naturally there was a whopper of a cliffhanger and this delay/push-back has been killing me!! 

TITLE: Neverwake
AUTHOR: Amy Plum
GENRE: Thriller YA
RELEASE DATE: August 7, 2018 

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker.

Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.

"As soon as I brushed his lips with my fingertips I felt my pulse quicken and a flush of heat sweep over me. Unable to resist, I traced the edges of his lips, suddenly wondering if they would taste just as sweet as the honey." p 139

TITLE: The Glittering Court
AUTHOR: Richelle Mead
PUBLISHER: Razorbill
GENRE: Historical Fiction YA--really struggling to categorized this one!
RELEASE DATE: April 5, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week's topic is: Books to Read By the Pool/At the Beach aka My Summer TBR Pile

*in no particular order

10. THE GLITTERING COURT by Richelle Mead--either this is my next read or I am reading it and you'll see a teaser above and I was just too lazy to change this! Lol!
9. GIRL AT THE GRAVE by Teri Bailey Black--one of my review books that awaits me!
8. GRIM LOVELIES by Megan Shepherd--so this will likely be my first Megan Shepherd book despite having her previous trilogies on my TBR pile waiting to be read! Lol!

7. THE RETURN by Jennifer L. Armentrout--still determined to read this series!!
6. TIGER'S DREAM by Colleen Houck--This read is actually coming up closer for me! I'm trying to plan on reading it around the fourth of July. Just so I can have that nice solid day of uninterrupted reading. I don't expect to finish it, but I am hoping to get a good chunk read!
5. SHATTERED SOULS by Mary Lindsey--another duology I want to start soon! I need to get going on my Origin Event books! I haven't touched them in weeks!

4. 99 LIES by Rachel Vincent--consider this my new release section! These three books release in the summer and are among my most anticipated ones for the coming months! Thankfully this one and the next release in June! 
3. MOONLIGHT SEDUCTION by Jennifer L. Armentrout--loved Moonlight Sins earlier this year and I cannot wait to read the next one in this series!!
2. SEA WITCH by Sarah Henning--I feel like everyone is waiting on this one! I love me a good fairy tale retelling or another character's side to the story we all thought we knew!

1. A COURT OF FROST AND STARLIGHT by Sarah J. Maas--I can never seem to stay on top of this series! I said I'd read this in May and then it was June...now maybe July? Probably more like August! Lol!


Let's Discuss: Book Ratings

I think I saw this post topic somewhere in the past week or two and it made me twist into my own making!

Why I Rate Books So High

I feel like on average I rate the books I read somewhere between 4-5 stars, with a great majority end up being a 5 star read. And the thing is, I really do think these books are 5 stars! I've seen people rate books I love somewhere between a 3 or 4 which isn't bad, depending on their rating system.

For the past few years I've been very picky about the books I read...though I still find plenty that I want to read and that speak to me. But there are times I have hesitancy and doubts, so those tend to go on a wishlist for a maybe someday. But I won't buy a book unless I know it's one I would want to read and enjoy.

And for the past 9 years I've been doing pretty well at this! Sure I still might stumble upon a book I thought I would love but didn't and it'll get a 3 or even rarer a 2 or lower. But the majority of my books get rated on the high side because I tend to know what I will like. Even when it comes to trying new to me authors, there will be something about their book that makes me think it's a me book. Maybe it was other reviews or just the description alone--as I had to go on in the years before blogging.

So the reason why you will see such high ranking books on my blog is because I know what I like! And if I like something I'm going to give it high marks and not just give it lower ones to make things look even or whatever. I'm not going to say a book I thoroughly enjoyed was a 3 star to mix things up or demote points because there was one or two things I didn't like. Unless those things really extended and took over the story in some fashion, I'm still likely to rate the book highly. Those books with the one or two things I didn't like may end up being 4.5 stars or the awkward 4.75 or higher but still under 5! Lol! I never shy away from the completely awkward rating!

Have you ever looked at how you rate your reads? Is there an average or a number you tend to give out more or less? Why is that? What do you base your review rating on within the book?

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.

Last Week I Read:

Campfire by Shawn Sarles (ARC)--Review to come at a later date
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Thair (4.5 stars)

Review that was Posted:

Stray Magic by Kelly Meding (ARC) (4 stars)

About to Start Reading:

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

What I Hope to Start this Week:

Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black (ARC)

Other Posts of Interest:

Review--A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister's life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she'd have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias's devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.

After what was almost a two year wait I finally, finally read Sabaa Tahir's A Reaper at the Gates that continues the story of Laia, Helene, and Elias that left us pretty much hanging at the end of A Torch Against the Night! The wait was well worth it indeed, though sadly, even with recaps and my own notes, I still couldn't quite remember everything. But that's a problem I've become use to, lol!

Helene is intent on helping Markus kill Keris, for she wants to protect her sister, Livia more than anything. From both Keris and Livia's own husband, Markus. But it doesn't simply due to murder Keris, she has to get the people who support her to see her for what she truly is. Her first step in doing that is to find Elias, who everyone believes dead but Helene knows he's not. If she can prove he's alive that's one step in showing how incompetent Keri is.

Elias is struggling to adapt to his new Soul Catcher status, Shaeva is trying to teach him what she can, but he's wanting to be back with Laia more than anything else. Meanwhile we have Laia trying to do what she can to help the Scholars and also stop the Nightbringer from freeing the jinn. Laia is still reeling from the betrayal that was Keenan, but she moves past her old feelings remarkably well. Though the anger of said betrayal is still there.

I'll admit that things were pretty intense and slightly chaotic in this one. It took me a good couple of days to read it and throughout I was doing what I could to remember the past book which honestly, I need to work on not doing. There's no time for re-reading anymore, especially books of this length and quality. But as I was reading I was still able to follow the story along well enough, it's just trying to remember people other than our three narrators that made things slightly difficult.

I think the one thing that upset me about this book was the fact that our main characters had very little interaction with each other this time around. There were moments here and there when two of them were together in some way. But I miss that togetherness that Elias and Laia had in the previous two. Yes, they weren't always together back then but there were still enough moments of them being there together that helped keep me engage. This time it almost felt like we were reading three different stories going on with each of the characters because of that lack of interaction. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy the book, because I did! I really, really liked this one, I just wish the characters could've been together more. I have a feeling though that might happen in the next and final book, so I am eager for that one to release! Hopefully the wait for that one won't be as long.

Since the characters weren't together all that much, there wasn't much time for romance. Happily though, I will say there are a few stolen kisses in a place or two in the novel. I've become a sap now. I need to have just a little, tiny bit of romance in my novels now. I can't help it. It's become a sickness! Lol! It was sad that there weren't more, but there were some, so that's better than none I suppose. My heart aches for Laia and Elias' situation though.

I feel like in this one, our three favorites all undergo a transformation of sorts. They all change, whether it will be for the better or not will remain to be seen in the next book. I feel like we're at a good place for 2/3 the characters, the third remains unclear and heart-wrenching because of it.

The pacing was spot on in this one! There's a great deal of buildup and delivery to the events that are happening. It's hard to really get into detail about it because I don't want to lean towards spoiler territory, but I can say that the characters moved forward quite a bit. Of course there were the obstacles that were constantly tossing them back, but it made for great storytelling. 

There were some surprises along the way with this one as well. There was one that I can't say if I saw coming or not. It's possible. I think it was even thought upon at one point but it's been so long I can't remember if it's true! Lol! I'm eager to see what will happen in this final book to come! There was a great deal of action happening at the end of the novel that had me in a tailspin wondering what this will mean for the next step in the journey.

I wouldn't really say it ended with a massive cliffhanger. I've been seeing people agonizing over it and wanting the final book asap. I'm thinking it was more just for the love of the story than anything detrimental. Yes, things were happening quickly and we get a startling revelation at the end, but it's not a cliffhanger that had me screaming in agony. So that tells you while the wait for the final book will be long and painful, I won't be slowly dying and feeling as if my soul were being crushed day by day, piece by piece. Just your average agonizing wait for the next installment in a series! Lol!

A Reaper at the Gates was a read well worth the wait! It was as exciting and splendid as expected! The rich culture and exotic environment Sabaa has created is only the start of the appeal to this magnificent series! It's been quite the trip and I cannot wait to see how it will all come to an end! I can only hope that Sabaa won't crush my soul in the end! 

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

Stacking the Shelves--The Legendary Pt 2 Edition!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.

Whoa. This week was just whoa!! Real life wise nothing exciting happened or changed. Just the same old blahness, but book wise? WHOA!! 

Here's what I bought:

Legendary by Stephanie Garber--US edition SIGNED!!
Legendary by Stephanie Garber--Goldsboro edition!! Check out those shiny silver edged pages!! GORGEOUS!

Tell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger
Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh
The Little Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen & Ill. by MinaLima
The Merciless IV by Danielle Vega
Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

Then I participated in two trades and my books came in this week! I was super excited to get these too!

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas--SIGNED and it's the Target edition! I initially gifted mine after I got it and when wanting to help someone get an ARC from their wishlist I decided to obtain this copy back! It's signed to a Melissa which is pretty close to Jessica when you think about it! Lol!!

THANK YOU Nikole!!

The Beast's Heart by Leife Shallcross--the UK ARC! I still need to read this one but I really liked this ARC cover and when I saw it up in the #booksfortrade I decided to put my offer in! 
THANK YOU Bridie!! 

Then the biggest surprise of the week was this little beauty...

My first ever ARC box!!! I was soooooooooooooo excited to receive this! For years I've longed to earn one of these! And I am so excited to read Grim Lovelies too! I love a good twisted read that has fairy tales woven in somehow! Can't wait to read this one!!

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd (ARC)


And then my Esty addiction came about again this week and I bought a few things! To be fair I bought most of these awhile back but one was a preorder and the other was bought over a holiday weekend...so they took awhile to process and ship! They just all happened to arrive this week!!

 I got this fabulous Mermaid Scales book sleeve from Story Time Sleeve--yes another book sleeve, but I didn't have a mermaid themed one yet and I was on the hunt for one! Of course I was sent in a tail spin this week when I watched my item ship from my own state and was sent ALL THE WAY TO NORTH CAROLINA for reasons unknown! I had to wait extra days for it to be sent back to me! It was scary because the print was so exclusive and I was panicking by it being sent elsewhere! Whew!!

Then I got two candles--finally picked some--from Cornerfolds Candles, who's also my good friend Tracy from Cornerfolds! I picked out Caraval which smells really good! A good mix of vanilla sweetness and strawberries! And then I got Warbringer which was Wonder Woman inspired and also vanilla based. It has a coconut smell to it too which makes me think of beach-y things! Can't wait to burn them...but might have to wait for fall weather when my ceiling fan gets turned off for the season! Lol!

And then I finally was able to buy the Night Court pin from Dust and Pages! It sold out the first time before I could decide to buy it, so when it came back in stock I impulse bought it! Lol! Now I just need to buy a banner for all these bookish pins! And here's a closeup of the gorgeous pin:

And that my friends was my amazing haul this week!! I was pretty surprised of how much I got in this week alone! Though 4 books were preorders, 3 were ordered last week, so those were preplanned buys while the last one was an impulse buy in anticipation of the Richelle Mead signing I plan to attend later this month! Then you know, trades, review books, and Etsy goodies! So yeah...this was a wild week, but I loved it--book wise!

Still working on finding my last 2 UK Legendarys which I am in a blind panic over since the second print run has begun! Wish me luck!!! I WILL NEED IT!

What did you all get this week?