Friday Reads | My Attempt to Complete Some Books

downthebookhole

 I have been put in charge of another area at work and have to now do the work of 4 people. It has been completely draining me and making it nearly impossible to get any reading done. It is almost the end of the month and I would like to complete some of the books have started as well as read as much as I was at the beginning of the month. I am still listening to When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I am also over halfway done with Never Apart by Romily Bernard. I am really hoping to spend some time on these books and get them finished. I am also planning on creating my October/Creepy/Spooky reading list this weekend. After I do that I might pick a book up from the list. Or I might pick up the next book in the Mercy Thompson World Series, I just haven’t decided yet if I am going by publication or chronologically. I also am planning on starting another audiobook I just haven’t decided which one. 

What are you reading this weekend?

 

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Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel | Author Interview


BLACK BIRD OF THE GALLOWS BY MEG KASSEL

Synopsis:

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

INTERVIEW WITH MEG

Top 5 Things readers need to know about the book

  1. It’s a standalone novel with a companion coming out next fall.
  2. It’s a paranormal romance with a hot harbinger of death.
  3. The antagonist is a deeply misunderstood guy.
  4. The antagonist is also a deeply scary guy.
  5. The cover is beautiful and I had nothing to do with the design of it.

 Who/What was your inspiration for becoming a writer? How long have you been writing?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but it seemed so unattainable for so long. I always wrote, but it wasn’t until I finished a whole novel, one rainy Maine summer, that I realized if I could do it. And if I could write one book, I could write another. And so I did. It took me seven years from that first (truly horrible) novel to holding a finished book in my hands. Seven or eight complete manuscripts didn’t make it to publication. Lots of fragments of ideas never even made it to the planning stage.

Did your story end up differently then what you had originally imagined?
Of course! Initially, the house next door was haunted and the harbingers of death cleared out the ghost. I had this whole idea of a ghost story weaving in with the plot and by the end of the first draft it was completely cut. There was enough going on without a subplot about ghosts that didn’t do anything but slow everything down. I don’t hesitate to cut what isn’t gelling.

Which of your characters would you say you are most like?
I’m mostly like Reece. We both dislike keeping secrets, love hockey and are fiercely loyal to those we love. Also, we are both not always the best judge of character.

If your book was to be turned into a movie who would you cast as your leads?
I have no idea. Honestly. A decade-younger Scott Eastwood would be the closest fit to Reece, I guess? And for Angie, I can’t even. She’s a colorful mix of personality and characteristics, but in my mind, her face is different to me every time I’ve revised her.

Did you have to research anything for your book?
I researched the lore of crows with human culture—why they are associated with doom and evil in western societies. I also read as much as I could about the myths of harbingers of death, although there isn’t much concrete stuff on them. They aren’t an established creature, like bigfoot, or anything. I also did extensive research on the nature of a certain geological event, but if I get more specific than that, it will give too much away.

What is the one book you recommend to everyone?
EVERYONE? That’s a tall order. Don’t laugh: A.A. Milne’s, Winnie the Pooh. For real. These short stories are funny, sophisticated and expert examples of character development. Ignore Disney and go with the real deal. The writing is superb.

In 5 words how would you describe Black Bird of the Gallows ?

Creepy love story with bees.

 If your characters were in the hunger games who’d win?
Rafette would win, that jerk. It helps to be able to turn yourself into bees and turn everyone else mad.

Which Hogwarts house would your main character be in?
Angie is solid Gryffindor.

 What’s on your playlist?

Milosh: Couldn’t Sleep

Unclubbed2 (feat. Zoe Durant): Need To Feel Loved

London Grammar: Hey Now

SOHN: Bloodflows

The Presets: Promises (Nils Frahm Rework)

First Aid Kit: My Silver Lining

Does the music go with your book?
Eh, not all the lyrics, but the vibe does. These are just some of the songs that I listened to while writing and revising the book.

Meet the Author: 

Website: megkassel.com
Twitter : @megkassel
Goodreads
Amazon

 

Top Ten Tuesday| Top Books On My Fall TBR


This weeks Top Ten Tuesday topic hosted by Broke and Bookish is The Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR! I have been putting a lot of books aside waiting for fall/winter. Fall books are those that are either fantasy/paranormal or thrillers!

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

I have been meaning to read this book for a long time. I have heard such good things and really want to pick it up!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K Rowling

I know, how have I not read this yet. Life has gotten in the way the past few years and I never picked them up when I was younger, but it is time.

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawerence

Because dark fantasy series are best read in the fall!

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

This has been on my radar for awhile. It looks like a good fantasy!

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

This is about boarding schools. I thought it gave that real fall vibe with the back to school.

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

I just feel like reading a YA Western is appropriate in the fall. I have never read anything like this and cant wait to pick it up!

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Because I started this series and I am already hooked. It is a great urban fantasy that not only has a great cast of characters but an interesting plot and overall story.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

I think this would be a good thriller going into the halloween season!

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

I have picked this book up multiple time in order to start it and haven’t actually gotten around to it. It seemed like a good book to read in the fall.

The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

Fall is the time to read weird and creepy books.

What are some books you plan/ want to read this fall? 

Friday Reads | What Are Weekends Edition

downthebookhole

Work has really been getting in my way of doing any reading this week and I have a feeling that is going to be the case through the weekend too. I am still listening to When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I usually listen to it as I go to sleep each night, but I have been so exhausted that I have been falling asleep with the light on. Last night I decided to take a break from my Mercy Thompson World binge read and pick up a book I received from Entangled Teen that comes out in October. It is called Never Apart by Romily Bernard. I haven’t looked too much into what this book about, but so far I am 20 pages in and it is for sure fast paced and a lot is going on that makes me want to know more.  I feel like if I actually get some time to read this weekend it will be a fast read for me. If I do get this finished I plan on picking up the next book in the Mercy Thompson World I haven’t decided which direction I want to go yet with the 2 series. I am trying to decided between publication and chronological date order. I also really have been wanting to pick up Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut and reread Looking For Alaska by John Green, but who knows what is going to happen.

What are you reading this weekend?

 

Anthem by Ayn Rand | Book Review

ANTHEM BY AYN RAND

Genre: Classics, Fiction

“My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.”
― Ayn Rand, Anthem

Synopsis:
He lived in the dark ages of the future. In a loveless world, he dared to fall in love. In an age that had lost all trace of science and civilization, he had the courage to seek and find knowledge. But these were not the crimes for which he would be hunted. He was marked for death because he had committed the unpardonable sin: standing out from the mindless human herd. Ayn Rand’s classic tale of a dystopian future of the great “We”—a world that deprives individuals of a name or independence—anticipates her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

This seventy-fifth anniversary edition of Anthem, celebrating the controversial and enduring legacy of its author, features an introduction by Rand’s literary executor, Leonard Piekoff, which includes excerpts from documents by Ayn Rand—letters, interviews, and journal notes in which she discusses Anthem. This volume also includes a complete reproduction of the original British edition with Ayn Rand’s handwritten editorial changes and a Reader’s Guide to her writings and philosophy.

Goodreads | Amazon

I am. I think. I will.

I know there are a lot of thoughts about this book. It was my first time ever reading it and I did not know much before jumping into it. It focuses on self-identity and freedom in a collectivism society. This book came at a time of when I was trying to find myself again and the philosophy behind the words really resonated with me. This was not the best book I have ever read and felt like there was true character and plot development that was lacking. It was more of the underlying meaning that had me enjoying the story.

Rand has a way of turning a dystopian type society into parallels of our own society and what happens when the government has too much control on individuals. We face it all the time of being put into a box and sometimes that limits our full potential and even our passions. It happens with women, people of color, those who are in poverty. When the government tries to make a system that works for everyone and the whole as a collective it take away from self identity and freedom from the individual.

This book although short, was filled with ideas and concepts that make you think. It reminded me to be myself and be true to my own identity. It made me feel a lot of things and emotions that I was not expecting and not totally sure was the intention of the book.

You might also like:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Top Ten Tuesday| Top Ten Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog

2015 BOOKS READ-5

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday topic hosted by Broke and Bookish is Top Ten Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog. It seems like so long ago. And not that my reading has changed so much from then, but I have definitely broadened my reading horizons.

 

♥  Divergent by Veronica Roth

 

 

♥ Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 

 

♥ Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

♥ Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

♥ Looking For Alaska by John Green 

♥ Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson 

♥ City of Bones by Cassandra Clare 

 

What are some of the top books you read during your first year of your blog?

Friday Reads | I Have To Work All Weekend Edition

downthebookhole


I am loving listening to  When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. It is cute, fun and light, which makes for a good listen as I am clean my apartment and while I am going to bed. I am also on a Patricia Briggs kick! I flew through Moon Called last weekend and quickly followed that with the Alpha & Omega Novella both by Patricia Briggs. I have been on a big Urban Fantasy binge reading wise and have found these two series to be so addictive. I might switch to a different book before continuing with these books just so I do not burn out on them. Maybe I will reread Looking For Alaska by John Green. 

What are you reading this weekend?

 

#OTSPSecretSister August Package

In case you aren’t aware of what #otspsecretsister is:
The Secret Sister project is essentially a cheer club. Think Secret Santa but all year round (in 6 month intervals) with less emphasis on big presents, and more thoughtful notes, cards, small somethings sent just to let your secret sister know that you are thinking about her!

This is my second round participating in the #otspsecretsister project. The first time I did the pen pal tier and really enjoyed it! There is nothing better than receiving mail! This round I am participating in the top tier. So far I am really enjoying it and love doing the shopping and putting together packages for my secret sister. This is the first package I received from the person who has me and I absolutely love everything that I got.

Green Rider by Kristen Britain – I love that my sister got me a fantasy book that I have never heard of before. I really do love fantasy and I am always looking for new recs.

♣ Mad Hatter Coffee Mug- I am obsessed with Alice in Wonderland if you didn’t already know. I have had various Alice themed mugs in carts online for quite some time but never got around to buying one. This was just perfect and I have used it almost every day since.

♣ The Philadelphia Story- I am a sucker for classic movies and this is one I have never seen before. I do adore Cary Grant so I am excited to watch it! And to know my sister adores this movie is awesome too!

♣ Wizard and Dragon Bookmarks- These are just adorable and so perfect for a lover of fantasy!

♣ White Pumpkin Pie M&Ms- I do love chocolate and although I am trying to cut sweets I have to admit I ate through this bag quite quickly. I love everything fall and pumpkin spiced etc. These were just perfect!

I am excited for Septembers gifts and cant wait to share them and my journey with #otspsecretsister with all of you! 

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel | ARC Review

BLACK BIRD OF THE GALLOWS BY MEG KASSEL

Genre: YA, Paranormal

Publication Date: Sept. 5, 2017

Source: Entangled Publishing in return for an honest review

Synopsis:
A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Goodreads | Amazon 


*I would like to thank Entangled Publishing and the author for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

A love story in the midst of mass chaos. A interesting and creative YA paranormal read that presents unique mythology and characters. It dove into the world of Harbingers of Death, beekeepers, and the hidden magic within.Angie is no stranger to traumatic events, but life has been going so much better for her, that was until a hunky boy moved in next door.

I enjoyed Kassel’s writing a lot. She uses great details and paints a beautiful picture. The way the story unfolds was a great pace although I feel like the ending was a little rushed. With 20 pages left I was unsure how she was going to wrap everything up. I liked what Kassel did with the characters and mythology. It was a unique curse that I haven’t read about before in a YA novel.

I did find Angie a little annoying at times. She carried on this whole “woe is me” a little too much. I understand everything she went though and she did have a right to some of her actions and feelings, but she really hid herself too much because of this suppose title of “freak“.I thought Reece was a great character and was really complex. Kassel did a good job at filling out his character and giving him those emotions and feelings that should be associated with someone with his curse. I also found the romance to be very typical of a YA novel. It was too fast and unrealistic. It went from a crush to madly in love in 0 to 60 seconds. The romance felt very Twilight to me. One of the notes I made multiple times while reading was this reminded me of Twilight. It just has the same vibe and a similar type of storyline.

Overall I found this to be an enjoyable and fast read. The unique mythology really intrigued me and was what sold me on the story. I loved the cast of characters and the friendships throughout the book. The reason it did not get a 5 star rating for me was because of the unrealistic romance and Twilight vibes. Although the story was different then Edward and Bella’s I could not stop comparing them and thinking about it throughout the book. The mass chaos and effects of the curse were fantastic additions that added to the overall atmosphere of the story. I recommend this to those who enjoy dark paranormals with mythology and romance.

You might also like:

Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

The Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

RoseBlood by A.G Howard