Saturday, April 15, 2017

Camp NaNoWriMo!



I mentioned this in my last post, but I figured I'd make an "official" announcement (even though April is halfway over).

I'm doing Camp NaNoWriMo this April! My goal is a little over 20K words, which is reasonable considering all the stuff that is currently cluttering up this month. The people in my cabin have been incredibly helpful and supportive, and it makes me wonder how I ever did my first Camp NaNo without a cabin.

NaNoWriMo is doing daily Camp Care Packages, something I absolutely love. If I remember correctly, last Camp they only set out the care packages every few days. The Camp Care Packages help me stay motivated and excited to write.

If you are looking for an opportunity to stop procrastinating and start writing, I highly recommend Camp NaNoWriMo! Every experience I've had with them has been incredible.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Review: SCYTHE

Well, it looks like 2017 is going to be the year of the MIA Birdie. I hit a huge reading slump coming out of 2016, and it stuck with me for a couple of months. But I'm starting to get my hands on some books I'm excited to read, so I hope that there will be more reviews on the way!

I want to let you know that I'm doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month with a goal of around 20K words. But I'll talk more about that in another post! Today I'm reviewing SCYTHE, a book by Neal Shusterman.

(Source: Goodreads)

For those of you unfamiliar with the author's name, Neal Shusterman is not new to the writing game. According to his bio on the book, he's written over thirty books and is the New York Times Bestselling author of UNWIND. I haven't read UNWIND, but I did read his book EVERLOST a few years ago, which means I am familiar with his writing style.

By now, you're likely asking yourself what Scythe is about. Here's a quick summery (written by yours truly):

SCYTHE takes place in the future, when humanity has conquered death through technology. People can only be rendered "deadish" by falling from buildings or being shot. The only way people die in the traditional sense is if a Scythe ends them.

Citra and Rowan are selected to be apprentices of a Scythe, and it's decided that only one of them can be a Scythe. The other will be killed. 

Despite this, Citra and Rowan begin to fall for each other. But the Scythedom is beginning to fracture into two sects, and Citra and Rowan are being pulled apart with it.

A LOT happens in this book, so it was a little hard to give you the stakes while not spoiling the book. If you want to read the Goodreads summery, you can check it out here.

My review:

Before I begin gushing about SCYTHE, I feel like I have to start with a little disclaimer. I'm not a huge fan of Shusterman's writing style. It's very formal and can be a little awkward at times. I've read books where I feel like I'm experiencing the story alongside the characters. Not so with SCYTHE. The writing distanced me from the action, and I never felt like I was part of the story. I was simply a spectator rather than part of the adventure.

Those of you who have read my other reviews know that I can be incredibly forgiving when it comes to reviewing a book if I love the writing. Even if a book has sub-par characters and a mediocre plot, I'll still give it a good review if the writing is amazing and addicting. The fact that I enjoyed SCYTHE enough to review it shows that the book's other qualities were wonderful enough to overcome writing that falls in to the "meh" category. That's no easy task.

The plot is full of twists and turns, making for an incredibly entertaining journey. While the reader gets to see quite a bit of Citra's background, very little of Rowan's is revealed. While this works within the confines of the story, I felt like I was left with more questions than answers about who he is.

But what really makes this book stand out are the ideas. The premise is fascinating, and the story prompts questions about when death is merciful and when it isn't. The world has lots of really cool elements to it that I wish I'd thought of first.

In sort, I recommend SCYTHE. If you read it for the story and the ideas it contains, you'll enjoy it. Just be prepared to find the writing a little clunky.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Review: DARK DAYS PACT

Hello! I did a review on THE DARK DAYS CLUB, the first book in the Lady Helen series, back in December. Today I'm here to review the second book in the series, THE DARK DAYS PACT.

Warning...spoilers ahead! (and lots of fangirling)

(Source: Goodreads)


Goodreads wants you to know:

June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen to spend the summer season in Brighton so that he can train her new Reclaimer powers. However, the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work have taken hold, and his sanity is beginning to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are even higher for Helen as she struggles to become the warrior that everyone expects her to be.

The fangirling:

I started this book YESTERDAY and finished it this morning. For another (shorter) book, that's not a big deal. But keep in mind that this puppy is 483 pages long. I seriously could not put it down. 

One of the reasons I haven't been writing many reviews is because I haven't really been reading books good enough to warrant a review. I know that sounds harsh, but it's true. But DARK DAYS PACT is not like the other books I've read this year. It's pretty much perfection in book form.

There's a sort-of love triangle, and I know that Lady Helen isn't going to end up with the guy I'm rooting for. Trust me when I say that the shipping in the Lady Helen books is strong. There was shrieking when I was reading this book. Not going to lie. I know there are some of you out there who can't stand love triangles, but this one is well done. 

I loved how Alison managed to make this book even better than the last one. The world pulls you right in, and even though the writing is in third person, you still feel like you're there in Helen's head. The dialogue is great, and I love the way Alison writes her characters, although there are A LOT of them (maybe--dare I say it?--too many).

If you have not read this series, start immediately. You don't know what you are missing.  

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Blogging Woes

Okay...where did the time go?!

Last time I checked, it was the middle of January. Now February is almost over, and I haven't done a single book review, a post about writing, or even statement explaining just how far behind I am with life.

I wish I could say that you'll see a huge improvement on the blogging front, but the thing is...I haven't really been reading very many good books lately. There's been a lot of picking a book up, sort of wading my way through the first half and then putting it down because it doesn't grab me. There's no pile of books screaming "REVIEW ME!!" It's quite the opposite, actually.

Which leads me to ask everyone out there reading this to consider commenting or sending me a message suggesting a book. Seriously. I need every recommendation I can get.

Thanks for popping by! I hope you have a wonderful evening.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Reflecting On 2016 Goals

Happy New Year! That's right...it's officially 2017! It feels absolutely unreal to write that.

At the beginning of 2016, I wrote a post outlining my goals for 2016. If 2016 has taught me anything, it's the power of reflection. It's when we look back that we learn the most about ourselves and are most able to make changes. (Plus it's always fun to celebrate when you reach a goal!)

Without further ado, let's get to it!

First, I want to make forty or more posts over the course of 2016. That sounds doable for me, and I hope that it'll still give you new content every so often.

During 2016 I was able to post a total of...

*drum roll*

FIFTY TIMES!

That's right! I surpassed my goal by exactly ten posts. To be honest, there was a point in June when I thought that there was NO WAY I would be able to meet this first goal, so surpassing this goal is extra-sweet for me. 

Second, I do a great job of vanishing without warning, so I'll try to put out warnings when I'm going to disappear for a week or two.

Um...well...

I did TRY to do a better job, but I don't think I really met this one. There were a lot of periods during the year when I disappeared without a trace. I guess this is a good thing for me to keep in mind when I make my list of goals for 2017, eh?

Third, I'm going to try to read more MG so I can do MMGM. I'm hoping to do one MMGM post a month. That will be difficult because the local library is lacking in that area, but I'm going to try to make it work!

I freely admit that MMGM just didn't happen around here. In fact, by the end of April or so, I pretty much decided that I wasn't going to stress myself out about trying to fit in MMGM. I'm enjoying a lot of YA books, and since I like to keep things pretty fun around here, I think I'm going to read whatever grabs my interest...within the YA and MG categories (for now). 

Fourth, I want to do more posts about writing. I think I did exactly one in 2015, so I have lots of room for improvement in this area!

I just did a quick click through of the posts labeled "writing," and it looks like I did twelve posts about writing in 2016 (plus two posts that I wrote but never hit the "publish" button). That's eleven more than in 2015, so I think I definitely met this goal!

Lastly, I want to hear more from you. This is more of a wish than a resolution, but I want to receive feedback from you. I hope your suggestions will help The Reader's Perch improve.

When I posted a small sample of my writing in February, so many wonderful people sent me kind emails or posted comments. I was quite nervous to share my writing, and all of your amazing support means the world to me. I would love to receive more emails and comments in 2017, so don't be shy about sending me a quick note!

Thank you so much for reading this post! Are you taking the time to look at your 2016 goals and reflect on them? How did you do?

Friday, December 30, 2016

Review: THE DARK DAYS CLUB

I'm back today with a review about Alison Goodman's book THE DARK DAYS CLUB, which was published in January 2016.

The cover of the hardcover that I have is absolutely gorgeous, but it doesn't really capture the action feel of the book.




Here's the little Goodreads blurb:

New York Times bestseller Alison Goodman’s eagerly awaited new project: a Regency adventure starring a stylish and intrepid demon-hunter!


London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap? 


...and my review!

I really enjoyed THE DARK DAYS CLUB. It takes a while for the action to start, but the plot is so thick and interesting that I didn't mind at all. Goodman does a great job weaving in historical facts. I don't know very much about the time period, so I like how much historical background she provided.


Based on EON and EONA, I expected THE DARK DAYS CLUB to have a little bit more romance than it did. Lady Helen has two love interests, and I did feel like her choice of one man over the other could have been a little better explained. Goodman did foreshadow that one wasn't the right choice for Helen, but I think I looked upon the spurned love interest with a tad more favor than Goodman wanted me to.

An excellent read! I'm really looking forward to the next one. Which leads me right into something else...

The sequel to THE DARK DAYS CLUB, THE DARK DAYS PACT, comes out at the end of January 2017. I'm so excited! Here's the cover:



It bugs me because it doesn't match the cover of the first book AT ALL, but that's not going to stop me from buying it. I mean, I've been waiting for book two FOREVER (or it feels that way).

That's it for today! See you soon!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays!

I'm wishing you all a fun and safe weekend surrounded by family and friends! I really appreciate all of your support in 2016, and I can't wait for another great year of blogging and bookishness. Blogging wouldn't be the same without you!

Best,
Birdie