Tales For the Fae Inclined (The Poison Eaters – A Book Review)

The Poison Eaters And Other Stories
Author: Holly Black
Published: 2010

Poison Eaters

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Holly Black, the queen of fae, and probably best known for her Modern Faerie Tales trilogy, brings forth a collection of twelve short stories ranging from a prom gone wild because of the Latin club invoking Bacchus (also known as Dionysus) to a tale about a group of girls with poisonous kisses of deadly proportions. Magic comes in all shapes and sizes and variations in this book.

Poison Eaters

Whether this is the first book you’ve read by Holly Black or just one of the many, you’re in for a treat. All of the stories were magnificently written. They range from many different settings—a trailer park, medieval castle, to a fae café. And I really loved the specific details so subtly added to the characters.  Each story was beautifully constructed with the right amount of imagery and struck me with wonder.

While one or two of the stories can be connected back to Modern Faerie Tales, all of them can stand alone so you don’t need to worry about whether you’ll be missing important parts from her other novels or not.

For me, the most interesting stories were In Vodka Veritas, Paper Cut Scissors, and The Land of Heart’s Desire.

In Vodka Veritas followed a kid shipped off to boarding school. He’s discovers that not everything is as it seems and he’ll have to decide whether he wants to save his best friend from the effects of a wild prom turned Bacchanalia (crazy, violent, orgy; season two of True Blood anyone?).

The lore of Dionysus and Maenads have always been fascinating and to come across a story dedicated to that was an utter joy. I may have squeed. Holly Black didn’t have to get extremely vulgar and revealing to get across what kind of parties the god liked to throw. I loved the odd anti-hero coming to the rescue. Really showed the great debate of a teenager knowing what kind of person they really are. It’s a debate that follows a person for the rest of their life.

Poison Eaters

 

Paper Cut Scissors is unlike anything I’ve ever read when it comes to complete originality. My bookworm nerdiness and love for libraries really came to the surface. Imagine being able to change an entire book by putting something in it. Imagine being able to put yourself into any book. What about an epic party with characters from books all over? As I read this, it was like a dream come true. I wanted to be in this story. From Dr. Watson to Anne of Green Gables to Wolverine, this is a party I would definitely attend.

Poison Eaters

 

The Land of Heart’s Desire. I was instantly taken back to a place I know well and that I was more than happy to return to. Back to Modern Faerie Tales (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside). In a fae run café, Moon in a Cup, which is also populated by fae patrons among the good ol’ fashioned human ones, Corny puts out a little advertising to get some business. And he gets just that albeit not in the way he expected. Roiben, the faerie king, is put work with the overflow of customers. The two have an unexpected conversation.

If I’m honest, Valiant is my favorite out of the trilogy and I know that isn’t the case for a lot of people who are fans of it. I loved Val and Luis and Ravus. To see Val and Luis again and the other characters of Ironside made me all giddy. My eyes did a little bugging out.  This story really gave a great overview of how far each of them had come since the trilogy. There was heartache, struggle, and a bit of funny.

 

This book was a delightful read. It definitely left me wanting to read more. Not one story was similar to another. Something different for every occasion. That little book for when you want magic and by now you should know that I love magic.

I could see a Netflix show taking this book on like The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror, shows that have new stories every episode. It would be invigorating to see a new POV of the fae world. Faeries aren’t all light and sweet.  They can get nasty if you aren’t careful and I love that Holly Black shows this while making it fun. It would be interesting to see on the screen.

 

Quotables:

“I’m a collector. I have to have the whole set—complete. All souls. They’re going to look spectacular all lined up.” (A Reversal of Fortune-The Devil to Nikki, p. 41)

“A crow doesn’t rip out the eyes of another crow. Nice.” (In Vodka Veritas, p. 113)

“The Latin Club is totally evil.” (In Vodka Veritas, p. 118)

“He was just a read and readers can’t do anything to make the story stop—except close the book.” (Paper Cut Scissors-Justin, p. 152)

“I don’t think people usually have terrible secrets the way characters do, but people often aren’t amazing, either. We’re watered down.” (Paper Cut Scissors-Justin to Sarah, p. 164)

“I envy what I fear and hate what I envy.” (The Land of Heart’s Desire-Corny to Roiben, p. 178)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? The Great Escape by Boys Like Girls.

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Midnight Tease

Midnight Tease - Giphy

 

Hello my bookworms! It is the witching hour and with that hour I bring the list of what’s coming up on my reading queue, what’s currently being absorbed by my eyeballs and brain and what is up for review.

I just realized that I got quite a bit done in August. 8 books. Like whoa!

I’ve got more reviews coming and even a book list that I’ve been working on. I’m very excited about this list actually. I’ve asked people across social media to tel me what their favorite book is and the answers are phenomenal and surprising.

Anyhow….

Here we go…

 

Coming soon…

Ghost_atniquity - LiveJournal

 

Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Author: William Shakespeare

I do love the occasional play and I have read this before. It’s my favorite by the famous playwright actually. I look forward to  rereading and reviewing this play.

 

Poison Eaters

The Poison Eaters and Other Stories
Author: Holly Black

I’m a fan of Valiant so I was curious about this book, but when I read the back cover I was intrigued. Holly has a knack for impressively bringing fairytales and fantastical creatures to the modern age.

 

Princess Saves Herself in This One

the princess saves herself in this one
Author: amanda lovelace

I’d heard about this book while I was browsing around on Goodreads. I became interested because of the theme of girl power.

 

Lord of Misrule

Lord of Misrule
Author: Jaimy Gordon

This book was a gift during the Christmas season last year. I received it from a professor of mine and I have been looking forward to reading it all year. It revolves around the horse track and I LOVE the races. It’s on my bucket list to attend the Kentucky Derby at least once.

 

Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman

I found this around the bookstore that I work at and after reading American Gods, I had to snatch it up. Neil Gaiman has proven to be a phenomenal icon in the world of modern literature. I suspect that I won’t be able to put this book down just like American Gods.

 

 

Currently…

Currently

 

 

Triple Moon

Summer on East End: Triple Moon
Author: Melissa De La Cruz

 

 

Twilight

Twilight the Graphic Novel: Vol. 1
Author: Young Kim

 

 

Diary of a Sex Fiend

Diary of a Sex Fiend
Author: Abby Lee

 

 

Up for Review…

Up for Review

 

 

Triple Moon

Summer on East End: Triple Moon
Author: Melissa De La Cruz

 

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Author: Truman Capote

 

Twilight

Twilight the Graphic Novel: Vol. 1
Author: Young Kim

 

Diary of a Sex Fiend

Diary of a Sex Fiend
Author: Abby Lee

 

Looks like September aims to be a busy reading month as well.

If you’d like to be a part of my next book list (I would certainly love it!) then tell me your favorite book and why it’s your favorite. That’s the only guideline. Genre doesn’t matter.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

Librarians Like No Other (The Librarians and The Lost Lamp – A Book Review)

The Librarians and The Lost Lamp
Author: Greg Cox
Published: 2016


My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

The Librarians, Jake, Cassandra, and Ezekiel, are back to solve the mystery of Aladdin’s lamp. Yes, that one.  Like so many other stories this one is real and the Library could be in some serious trouble. And the Forty AKA the forty thieves of The Arabian Nights are hot on the Librarians trail. With legendary creatures, high-tail adventure, a little gambling and a flying carpet, the Librarians look to find the lamp that Flynn Carsen (The Librarian before the three arrived) lost ten years ago before a powerful Djinn can be released to seek revenge on those who wronged him.

Jafar

 

First off,

PUNNY!

Being a major fan of the movies and the TV series, I was beyond excited to get this book. And I have to say, it does a magnificent job of following the tone of the show. The imagery was phenomenal, just like watching an episode of the show. And since the show hasn’t started the new season, this was perfect to tide me over for the time being.

The book carries each of the characters’ POV very well. I was surprised. The amount of detail didn’t feel overwhelming at all, though a little longwinded from time to time. I did feel like I learned a ton, like I always do with the Librarian(s), and I couldn’t control my geek-out. I’ve actually found myself wanting to be a Librarian. Just adding it to the list of things I want to be when I grow up. And yes, when I grow up. You only have to grow up when you want in my opinion.

Librarian

The pacing was very quick, but not in the sense that the story was rushed because it most certainly was not. This story will keep you on the edge of your seat with all of the action, proving that librarians are more than just books.

Librarians & Liam Neeson

Something else I enjoyed about this book, for those who’ve not seen the TV show, you are given a great overview of who the characters are, and what the Library is all about: finding magical artifacts of the world and protecting them.

With adventure, wit, and those darn one-liners, it’s easy to get hooked. I recommend this book for those who have a love or even a guilty pleasure for each of these things.

 

Quotables:

“If there was one thing he’d learned as the Librarian, it was to check his twenty-first-century skepticism at the door when it came to fantastic stories from bygone days.” (Flynn, p. 56)

“Trust me on this, Colonel, Luck is anything but a lady. More like a two-faced trollop who will stab you in the back and break your heart when  you least expect it.” (Jenkins to Baird, p. 81)

“Didn’t anyone tell you it’s not polite to skip ahead to the end of the book?” (Shirin to Flynn, p. 147)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Off We Go by Trent Dabbs.

Ever the Cursed (Shadowland – A Book Review)

Shadowland (The Immortals)
Author: Alyson Noel
Published: 2009

Shadowland - Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

This book is third in the series: The Immortals which follows Ever Bloom and Damen Auguste, two teenagers who have struggled to be together over the centuries. They face constant obstacles that threaten their true love.

Shadowland leaves off shortly after Blue Moon. Ever and Damen have been cursed by Roman. And there’s nothing like a good curse to keep lovers apart.

They can never touch each other, not kiss or even a brush of fingers. Should they touch, Damen could die. Ever is determined to find a way to break the curse and has little regard for the rules of magick. She’ll break all of them if that means she and Damen can finally be together. But will she stop when it risks the life of her best friend?

indecisive - Tumblr

This was certainly the best one that I’ve read out of the series so far. I’m not sure if that says very much though. Ever is still full of assumptions about people and self-pity. Both qualities are nasty, but! There’s a but! She’s given a purpose in this installation I feel. She wants to save Damen from a curse that is technically her fault so there’s more than just her wallowing and unending longing.

Ever thinks she knows everything which only gets her into more trouble. It’s terribly frustrating. I’ve yelled at this book a couple of times. And you know the saying about assuming. She makes an ass of herself A LOT.

donky - Giphy

The love between Ever Bloom and Damen Auguste is what I would describe as all consuming. And while that is something to behold, it is also utterly consuming. By that, I mean that is Ever points it out constantly. While eternal love is the subject of this series as well as the complications of being able to have it, I wish it hadn’t been so repetitive. There has to be more than just being told about this everlasting love right?

blah - Goodreads.gif

(Love this guy by the way. He’s fantastic.)

Moving away from the everlasting love (much like the song that never ends even though you wish it did), I have to mention Ever’s friends. I have to mention them because while Ever deems them her best friends, they act like anything but. To them it appears like she’s a burden. Like she’s only good enough because of the house her aunt owns. It’s pointed out that she’s a freak over and over. They might as well join in as antagonists because the actual friend moments are so small you need a microscope for them. It’s tragic.

The story is fast paced with twists and turns that’ll certainly keep you reading even though you’ll be shaking your head, wondering how the heck Ever Bloom made it this far. On top of that I found myself wondering why three-fourths of the details in the book was listed off. Personally, I don’t feel like you can see everything better by reading off a list. It’s less natural. Less smooth.

More so, the story is all over the place. It feels like you make a sharp turn at fifty miles an hour when you shift from one problem the character faces to another one that she nearly forgot about.

While I do believe it’s the best one in the series, I still couldn’t get on board with this book though it did better in adding drama. The writing still felt stiff because it kept  telling me what was happening instead of showing me. There wasn’t a lot happening and the way the characters came across was deeply unappealing.

Quotables:

“And even though you prefer not to believe it, take it from someone who’s been there all along. Damen waits for no one. And he certainly never waited for you.” (Roman to Ever, p. 25)

“We always want what we can’t have. It’s human nature. We’re hardwired that way…” (Roman to Ever, p.80)

“I’ve already tried a life without you, when I went back in time, and guess what? Fate sent me right back!” (Ever to Damen, p.238)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Eternal Flame by The Bangles

It Calls Her… (The Siren – A Book Review)

The Siren
Author: Kiera Cass
Published: 2009 (though I read the 2016 edition)

Siren- Adweek

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

A girl, Kahlen (which is pronounced Kā-len not KAh-len, and I didn’t know this until near the end of the book), is saved by the Ocean when the ship she is on sinks into its waters and takes away her family. For decades she has served the ocean in repayment for its mercy by singing and brings boats and ships to their doom. But while staying in Miami, Florida, she goes out exploring and meets a young man, Akinli. She doesn’t mean to be, but is taken with him instantly and even though she can’t speak, he is as well. But there’s a problem. She is not allowed to love anybody, but her sisters and the Ocean. It is simply forbidden otherwise. This doesn’t stop her from contemplating her loyalties and duties to the Ocean.

After only a couple of encounters, she can’t get away from him and her heart can’t bear it. With a couple decades of repayment to go, what can she do? What will she do?

Ocean - Funnyjunk

This book was so sweet and cute, which is odd for a book about a siren since their looked at as horrible creatures that yearn for nothing more than to drown men. So it was refreshing and new. I never would’ve envisioned sirens in a light where they’re actually good. That being said, I did feel like it was too much like a fairytale book. There wasn’t enough time interaction between Kahlen and Akinli. I ached for more and for deeper emotional attachment.

Want More - TenorGIFKeyboard

More so, I just couldn’t fully dive in. I just felt like there wasn’t enough to keep my attention half the time and I feel like that’s because it felt drawn out just a tad too much.

BUT!! There is a but. Because I did find this book to be lovely contrary to previous words.

The tone & style of the story was my favorite thing about this entire book. It was light and beautiful and I swear I could see it all perfectly. It made me miss the ocean and wish I could sink my toes into soft, white sands. Kiera Cass created a breathtaking tale of love spanning more than just time, but across oceans. And the bond of family that Kahlen has with her sisters is something to behold. A bond such as that is certainly unbreakable and can weather anything and Miss Cass really gave me that. That alone is magic in my eyes.

It’s a book I enjoyed reading this summer. It really opened my eyes to the idea that even deadly creatures have capability to love and the struggle with living among humanity and yearning for that life. I’d recommend this for anyone who is looking for that love at first sight kind of book that’ll make your heart float, you know, much like that one scene from Titanic when Jack sees Rose up on the deck and not even his friends can break his gaze.

Jack - The Odyssey Online

 

Quotables:

“I smiled. For a minute, I admired myself, too. He didn’t know how deep my problems ran, but he was right all the same. It was no small think to try, to find out what you care about in life. Even this moment, with this wonderful, temporary boy beside me, was a tiny miracle. I ought to give myself some credit.” (Kahlen, p. 72)

“I couldn’t stay forever. But at least I could stay for a day.” (Kahlen, p. 161)

“There’s always room for love. Even if it’s as small as a crack in a door.” (Padma, p. 307)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Gemini Feed by Banks.

Living Forever Isn’t Everything (Evermore – A Book Review)

Hello, my clan of bookworms! Hope all is well. Truly. Today I’m looking at Evermore by Alyson Noel.

Evermore
Author: Alyson Noel
Published: 2009

Evermore

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Spaz. Freakazoid. These are names that Ever Bloom has become accustomed to hearing from her classmates and even her friends. They’re not wrong. If they knew why she spaced out half the time or tuned out the world with music on high blast then they might understand. Might. After a near death experience and leaving everything behind that she’s always known, Ever hides under a hood, wishing she couldn’t hear people’s thoughts or see their auras or have them touch her, allowing everything about them to be known to her, even what they had for breakfast. Nobody wants to know these things.

Damen Auguste is the new kid of Laguna Beach and has all of the girls fawning over him, but he only has eyes for Ever. He’s always giving her red tulips and finding reasons to talk to her. There’s something off about him right from the get-go though. Unlike everybody else, he doesn’t have an aura. The more time she spends with him, the more she wonders if he knows about what she is capable of, but she can’t seem to stay away from him. He has secrets too and she’s determined to figure them out regardless of how drawn to him she is.

Can't look away - Tumblr

Symbolism stuck out to me the most in this book. There was so much of it from the auras to the meaning of flowers to the status of the high school hierarchy, and I enjoy that every once in a while. I wish there had been a deeper meaning to bits of these parts however. I only felt like I was at the brim and that there should be more to the tidbits I did get.

The book holds so much originality. It’s not your typical love story. There are blockades keeping it from happening and the story behind it all makes it quite beautiful. That being said, I had trouble with the style in how it was written. It felt like there wasn’t enough said. Whenever I felt like I could’ve used more information, the character moved on with a simple “blah blah” and “this is hokey”. If you tell the reader it’s hokey then they can’t believe in the magic you’re trying to create. And it was so beautiful and fantastical. I just wished for more, kind of like Peter Pan when he calls out, “I do believe in fairies!”

Believe in magic - Tenor GIF Keryboard

This book had me hitch of some parts, but the story itself truly was special. Like a dream of elegance and heartache and loss. The bits I did get caught on didn’t stop me from continuing the series. However, I can’t say I’ll return to it in the future.

 

Quotables:

For those of you just joining in reading my reviews and craziness, this is where I give you a couple of quotes that really stood out to me in the book and made an impact on me. I feel like they can help make a difference in whether you want to read a book because it doesn’t give the book away, but it doesn’t give a small piece of its heart.

 

“Before Damen came along, I’d resigned myself to a solitary fate. Not that I was thrilled with the idea of never having another boyfriend, of never getting close to another person again. But how can I date when touch feels so overbearing? How can I be in a relationship when I’ll always know what my partner  is thinking? Never getting the chance to obsess, dissect, and guess at the secret meaning of everything he says and does?” (Ever, p. 78)

“…Sinking down into a happier place. A world without memories. A home without loss. A life where I only see what I’m supposed to.” (Ever, p. 228)

“I hold on to that moment, cradling it in my mind, experiencing the feel, the scents, the sounds, the emotions, as though I’m right. Wanting this to be the last moment I see before I go, reliving the last time I was truly happy.” (Ever, p. 242)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Idle Worship by Paramore.

Fairytale in the Big City (Valiant – Book Review)

Valiant
Author: Holly Black
Published: 2005

Valiant - Goodreads

Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Valerie, betrayed by her mother and cheated on by her boyfriend, runs away to the city that never sleeps. New York City. Slumming in an abandoned subway with a group of squatters, she tries a new drug. One that nobody knows about and is referred to as Never.

“There are three rules: Never more than once a day, never more than a pinch at a time, and never more than two days in a row.”

Its seductive pull is addictive and magical, making almost anything possible with a little glamour. When going out to find some more of the Never, one of Val’s new friends is put in danger by a monstrous creature she only knew to exist in books. In exchange for her services, he lets her friend live.

Soon enough Val discovers there is a thin veil between the realm of faerie and the realm of ordinary humans. The more she grows closer to her monstrous employer, who turns out to be more different than she imagines the more she becomes submerged in all of the magic around her and the more she begins to forget about her previous life.

This is a tale I come back to from time to time. It’s a beautiful twist on the fairy tale creatures that we’ve come to know as children. Trolls in the subway system. Fairies in Grand Central Park. This book brings us back as young adults to such fantastical magic, and for yet another lesson that only fairy tales can bring. Only this time it’s not about a moral code. It’s about the complications we begin to face when we begin to come out of childhood, heartache and acceptance.

Buffy - Once More with Extreme Prejudice

This tale was just what I needed when I was in high school and there are times when I need it these days. I was such a sucker for magic and to this day I still am. Bold, strong and determined, Val became the unsung heroine of the iron city. While she’s no Buffy, she could certainly compete.

nothing-compared

(And I’ve realized that I’ve gotten carried away with the Buffy gifs. I couldn’t help myself.)

I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves fairy tales, magic and even true love. I believe that this is the magic we all need in our lives to help us find ourselves as we continue to grow because even though we grow up, fairy tales still have a lot to teach us. Holly Black did a beautiful job in creating one where the monster is capable of love and the ordinary is capable of being a hero.

 

Excerpt Favorites:

“You know,” Lolli said, “the thing about drugs is that they make things kind of shift, go leftwars and sideways and upside down, but with Never, you can take everyone else upside down with you. What else can do that?” (p. 96)

 

Were they sweet tooths? Human thralls willing to do anything for a taste of Never, not even knowing what it was to stick it in your arm or burn it up you nose.tick it in you arm. (p.226)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Today’s song? Real Life Fairytale by Plumb.