WIP Wednesday: The Blanket Grows

Knitting:
The blanket has grown a bit, the sections aren’t feeling impossible yet but I can tell the difference. Now if I could just remember consistently when I’m supposed to do the yarn over row. I always catch it about 2-4 sections in. Luckily it’s an easy fix.

Sewing:
The plan is to start cutting the fabric for an altered version of this overdress. I’d like to have it done by this Saturday since we have an event and I’d like pretty, plus my current overdress is in need of alterations and repairs.

Thought, because I want a new overdress I need a new rank device. And now that we have an embroidery machine I have a better chance of creating what we want So .. I designed a thing!! It needs a little cleaning up of threads but I’m still pretty stoked about it.

Reading:

The Last Paradise by Antonio Garrido. I only just started it yesterday so I’m not very far but it’s interesting and based in a time period I enjoy reading about.

However! I just finished Nora and Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor and … wow! It’s a broken girl and broken boy story, and at times it feels a touch slow moving. But the story was just so compelling and wonderful that I didn’t care. I felt that I had plenty of time to learn each of the main characters before they meet each other and then we’re shown how they both grow brave. I loved the writing and the story itself. I’d certainly recommend this to pretty much anybody

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Books: Lady of Devices

Lady of Devices of Shelly Adina

A strong female lead in a steampunk world? I’m all over that. This was a fantastic read. The characters are dynamic and so much fun. The Lady is an awesome person to follow as she makes her own way in life rather than following the path expected of her by society.

I’d recommend this to many other readers, be they young adult or lovers of steampunk. I’ll certainly be picking up more of her novels.

Book Review: Legon Awakening

Legon Awakening Book 1 in the Legon series by Nicholas Tayler

This book was such a hard read for me. It’s not that it was over my head but it was incredibly hard to get into, to stay interested in. About halfway through I figured out why. It’s a Marty Stu story.

The main character and all the people surrounding him are perfect for the most part. If they have faults then they are small and quickly corrected so the perfect group is complete. Any problems they come across are quickly overcome. Any short comings are fixed, typically by “Oh, here, use some magic and all is well”. The main character, Legon, is surrounded by pretty people, nice people. Legon is pretty and nice .. and part way through the book he becomes nicer. The huge ethical crisis that he has to resolve within himself is solved in about 3 lines.

There’s no tension to the story. Oh there’s an evil queen trying to take over the world and she must kill Legon to do so. But Legon is perfect and has the magical elves and the dragons and the humans behind him. How could he fail?

I think the main reason I finished is because leaving things unfinished bugs me. I certainly wasn’t invested in the story. By the third time that Legon was magically extricated from trouble I’d lost the little interest I had.

I’m sure it’s a great book for somebody, somewhere. It just wasn’t the book for me. I’ll be passing on the following books in the series.

Books: The Hunger Games

        

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

I went into this with a mild case of trepidation. Everybody was going crazy for it but then everybody also went crazy for Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey, neither of which were what I’d call well written or compelling. I devoured the first two books in a couple days. With the first chapter I was hooked.

The story of Katniss Everdeen and the changes in her world that she sparks is an amazing journey. The first book was a whirlwind of change for a poor girl on the edges of civilization. She’s forced to suddenly make life or death decisions in a world that is new, and scary.

The second books does suffer a bit from the typical middle book problems, rehashing the first book and ending up in the same situations, but it also sets up quite a bit of the plot for Mockingjay. All through the story of them rebuilding a rebellion I was constantly on edge. Can they trust him? Is there another hidden game or layer in that phrase. I changed my mind half a dozen times before I finished the series.

I’d certainly recommend this series to practically anybody that enjoys reading and plenty that don’t. It’s easy to read and just complicated enough to keep interest.

Books: Fairyland

  

The Fairyland Series by Catherynne M. Valente

Books 1 and 2 of a YA series that was completely enchanting and I’m eagerly awaiting book 3.

September is a girl who is rather ordinary, but when adventure comes calling, rather than staying home and missing out, or being taken unwillingly, she says Yes. In a reading with Cat Valente that was one of the things she talked about. She wanted a heroine who said yes, who gladly went after adventure. She has certainly managed that beautifully here. The stories are magical with fantastical beasts. She stretches our imagination to just this side of improbable. After the last page of the story I was sad to leave Fairyland, but happy to know that I could open the book at any time and revisit them.

In the first book September makes many friends, loses a couple things, and completely changes the world of Fairyland. In book two she returns to find things very much not how she left them and at least one of her lost things have caused problems.

I dearly love these books. They have easily found their way onto my favorites bookshelf and will be read many times. I’ve already shared them with Miss Kid and she loves them just as much as I do.

Books: Scary Mary

Scary Mary by S.A. Hunter

It’s another somewhat predictable teen romance but with an element of the supernatural to it.

I like how the supernatural is handled here, it’s not just around for the kids to make fun of, though it does start out that way. By the end of the story more than one of the teens has a newfound respect for the things they can’t always see.

The story is a bit formulaic but not to the point where it’s not enjoyable enough, at least for the YA crowd it’s intended for. There are a couple of plot holes at times but nothing that ruined the story for me.

All in all a good story, one that I’d recommend to a reader that’s not sure they want a deep story but something to pass a few hours with.

Books: The Ugly Step Sister Strikes Back

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson.

I really enjoyed this teen romance. I think we all know somebody who just lives a charmed life and everything comes easily to them. Such is the case for Mattie Lowe. Her stepsister is the pretty one, the smart one, and the popular one all rolled into one. Because of her sister’s encouraging, Mattie finally gets the courage to go for what she wants.

Ugly Stepsister is a great novel for young girls (and boys who are interested). It speaks to not sitting back and letting life happen to you but stepping up and taking charge. Mattie takes chances and steps out of her comfort zone to get what she wants. As with many YA love stories this one winds up a bit predictably but that’s not always a bad thing. In this case the premise of the story is different enough that it keeps things interesting.

I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more by this author as a great story to spend a relaxing afternoon reading when I’m taking a break in between the more involved stories. It’s the perfect palate cleanser.

Books: Little Bad Wolf; Turds in the Punch Bowl

Little Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood by Timothy Tocher. This was a super quick read as it’s only one story out of a selection of various twisted fairy tales. Twisted fairy tales are a favorite of mine, to read as well as writing them myself. I love the quirky take on the wolf as well as Red not being the weak girl that she’s been shown to be in other versions. Judging from this one story the book will be a great read as well, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it too.


Turds in the Punch Bowl by Jen Ashton. I blame the “purchase” of this book on being tired, tiny pictures, and “New Toy Syndrome” (NTS). It was one of the first purchases I made from the Kindle I got for Christmas and the picture was tiny so it looked like and was similarly titled as one of the YA novels I’d been somewhat interested in. Sad to say, I was mistaken. This is a collection of crazy drunken stories of a girl and her best friend / roommate. The stories are usually in poor taste, badly written, and riddled with grammar errors. Had I actually paid for this and not gotten it from the free list I might have rather upset over the cost. As it is I just wish I had those hours back.