What I've Read

What I’ve Read: Wool by Hugh Howey

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This was completely out of my comfort zone. I have lurked in the YA fiction section for what feels like my whole life. Then, one day, I stepped out of that isle in Barnes & Noble and saw this beauty.

Why did I pick this book you may ask?

First, check out that beautiful cover. The colors pop. Then, I remembered hearing about this author and this book. He self-published, much like myself. Finally, this book is super hyped. At least it is on my Google+ page, anyway. So, I figured I’d hop on the hype train and see what it was all about for myself.

I’m so glad I did.

Wool is actually an omnibus of a series Howey wrote based in the walls of an underground silo – a single marker in the vast, desert landscape surrounding it. The people within are a memory of what humanity once was. These people live on separate floors of the silo, and each floor has its own purpose. There’s a floor for the hydroponic farms, a floor for maintenance, IT, ranching, butchering, etc. As one might imagine, there is also a hierarchy built within the confines of this silo. The middle floors would be considered middle class, the upper floors are higher class, and the bottom floors are- Well, you get the picture. Ultimately, everyone functions within the same guidelines everyday. If one doesn’t, he/she gets sent to do the cleaning.

The story starts by following a man who has elected himself as a cleaner. The cleaning is essentially someone leaving the silo and wiping off the cameras outside, which are covered in grime from never ending dust storms outside, so that the people in the silo can see the outside world on the giant wall screens on the top floor. People get anxious when there hasn’t been a cleaning in a while. They suit him up in a very astronaut-like garb and send him outside. However, when he makes it out, he sees that the world around him is lush, green, and very much alive, unlike what is projected to them through the cameras. The man, joyous with this discovery, cleans the cameras in sympathy for those who will never see the outside. Then, he makes a run for the hills. However, before he can reach the top, the screen in his suit goes black, his oxygen tank stops working, and the wind outside rips the very suit and skin from his bones. The world around him is dead.

And this is only the beginning of the story. The remainder follows a young mechanic named Juliette (or Jules, as she prefers). That is where the story really takes off as she discovers hidden truths within the confines of her silo.

This is a book I couldn’t put down. There was never a slow moment, and I couldn’t seem to turn the pages fast enough to see what happened next. Definitely one for the bookshelf.

Purchased? Oh yes.

What do you think? Will you be adding this to your TBR pile? Have you already read it? What did you think? Let me know, and comment below!

Thanks for reading.

-Lissy

Want to review my books? Click here!

These posts are for book discussion and to express my overly-fangirly nature over certain books and series. Though I already have an extensive library with plenty of reading material, I’m always looking out for new or interesting titles. Not only is this for me, but for other writers! Often times, writers forget they started off as readers. Support your fellow authors and read!

WARNING: SELF-PROMO IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS
It will be considered spam and deleted immediately. However, if you would like me to buy and read your book, I’ll gladly take recommendations on this page. Fill out the contact sheet with a link to your book, and I will get to reading! While I will read most recommendations, I won’t review them all. If the book in question would probably get less than three stars, I’ll simply keep the review to myself and either email the author directly (if they themselves sent me a contact sheet), or just not discuss the book at all. I want to recommend books that I will read, and that I think others will enjoy. No need to embarrass someone in the name of reviewing.

Thank you for your understanding.

What I've Read

What I’ve Read: Ico Castle in the Mist by Miyuki Miyabe

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As I’ve written before, Ico is one of my favorite video games of all time. Video games and books have taught me so much about myself and about writing, it would be foolish to try to separate one from the other. When I discovered that an author had been given the rights to write a book based on the story and world of Ico, you can imagine my excitement. My favorite video game in book form? What is there not to love?

Well, let me tell you, this book is nostalgia goodness. I felt like I was playing the game again. A lot of the puzzles showed up in here, and even the descriptions of the castle mimicked a lot of the stages of the video game. The lore she layered onto this world is an absolute treat for anyone who has played the game and wants to strengthen their immersion while playing.

For those who don’t know the general premise:

Ico Castle in the Mist (and Ico the video game) follows a young boy, born with horns, as he traverses the mysterious castle he has seemingly been sacrificed to. There, he meets a girl by the name of Yorda who is unable to speak to him. She has been trapped here in a giant metal bird cage, and, once freed, she is too weak to travel alone. Ico must take Yorda by the hand and lead her through the castle to save both himself and her. Fighting off shadow creatures with horns much like his and solving strange puzzles, Ico learns the secrets of the castle and of Yorda, all while trying to find his way home.

Will people enjoy this who have played it or who are playing it?

Absolutely.

Can people who have never played the game still enjoy it?

… meh? Is that a good answer? It’s hard for me to say since I have played the game. So, I read it from the perspective of a gamer playing a game. This isn’t like reading a walk-through, but it’s got a few moments where it feels like I should be playing while reading. There were moments where I thought the author might be playing as she was writing certain scenes. Those sections would probably drag to those who haven’t played the game. While it helped me immerse myself in the world again, and it tickled my giddy, nostalgic self, the stage descriptions and puzzles may seem trivial and unnecessary to newcomers.

I think you could enjoy it if you like high fantasy writing without the high fantasy elements. Otherwise, you may get bored.

Even so, this is definitely one that goes on my “favorites” shelf.

Worth the Purchase?  Most definitely.

What do you think? Based on this description, would you read it? Have you read it? Have you played the game? Let me know, and comment below.

Thanks for reading!

-Lissy

Want to review my books? Click here!

These posts are for book discussion and to express my overly-fangirly nature over certain books and series. Though I already have an extensive library with plenty of reading material, I’m always looking out for new or interesting titles. Not only is this for me, but for other writers! Often times, writers forget they started off as readers. Support your fellow authors and read!

WARNING: SELF-PROMO IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS
It will be considered spam and deleted immediately. However, if you would like me to buy and read your book, I’ll gladly take recommendations on this page. Fill out the contact sheet with a link to your book, and I will get to reading! While I will read most recommendations, I won’t review them all. If the book in question would probably get less than three stars, I’ll simply keep the review to myself and either email the author directly (if they themselves sent me a contact sheet), or just not discuss the book at all. I want to recommend books that I will read, and that I think others will enjoy. No need to embarrass or completely wreck someone in the name of reviewing.

Thank you for your understanding.

Personal Posts

My Birthday Giveaway (21 years in the making)!

Howdy y’all!

Today just so happens to be my 21st birthday, and rather than drown myself in legal alcohol purchases, I have decided to give a gift to YOU… er, well, FIVE of you, that is.

My book The Mind, the Body, a horror short story collection, came out last year in October. I purchased five author copies, signed them, and have started a Goodreads giveaway. Anyone living in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia can enter for FREE to receive one of the five copies. All you have to do is make a Goodreads account and enter here: CLICK ME!

And while you’re there, add me as a friend (if you want to become a fan, that’s cool, but I’d much rather make ya my friend, ya know?).

Help me celebrate my birthday by making this the best birthday book giveaway in all my 21 years on this Earth (this is my first birthday giveaway, but who’s counting?). Enter, share, and let’s have fun!

Don’t have time to enter today? That’s okay! The giveaway ends March 27th, so you have plenty of time! Just make sure you enter by then, or you will miss your chance at FREE BOOKS!

Finally, thank you all so much for the emails and the posts, wishing me a happy birthday. I can’t thank you all enough for all the kind words and well wishes. You make my heart full.

Thanks for reading and/or entering!

-Lissy

Original Work, Personal Posts, Short Stories

The Mind, the Body: Dig my eyeball out with a spoon, and love it

The Mind, the Body
Out today!

Want to read a bit before you buy?

The Mind, the Body: Heterochromia – A short story teaser.

The_Mind_the_BodyThe Mind, the Body
by Alyssa Hubbard
Cover Art by Cover Bistro (Jessica Richardson)

eBook Versions: Kindle: $0.99!
Nook: $0.99!
Kobo: $0.99!
Apple: $0.99!
Smashwords: $0.99!

Paperback: Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Reviews: 

Rating: *****
“I’ve never been able to say that I actually felt emotions when reading a story, but I did with this one. The detail that Alyssa includes in her books can make you feel like you are there in that exact moment. I had to stop reading this book and come back to it because of the great detail that overtook my emotions. I have read it again since the initial reading and still enjoy it. If you are looking for a very detailed, in the moment story, you’ve got to read The Mind, the Body!”
-GoodReads Review

Genre: Horror

Published: October 1, 2014

About: Perhaps what people fear isn’t hiding in the shadows, but standing in the light.

The Mind, the Body is a collection of short stories, featuring a rusty spoon, a crow-nosed piano player, a starving wolf, two sets of fingernails, a pair of best friends, and a man made of ash. A bit of blood and folklore tied together to make a little book of horror. Fear is more than monsters and ghost stories. What we fear most is often times what lurks within us.

Personal Posts

What your desk says about you

As a writer, we all have our special place. The place we feel the most creative and inspired, the place where writing is as easy as breathing, and mine just happens to be my desk.

The Creative Space
The Creative Space

This is my desk. My laptop next to my notepad, a cereal bowl, a coke with my name on it, a TV, and if I had moved a few more inches back you’d see my PS4. Something about this area is just me. I’ve written all of my books at my desk, and what about you? What is your area of choice?

What does your area say about you? Let me know, and comment below! Pictures are always fun, too.

Thanks for reading.

-Lissy

Want to be a beta reader? Click here to fill out the contact sheet, and let me know!
Want to guest post? Want to trade posts?
Same goes to you! 
Don’t be shy!

Want to check out some books?
CLICK HERE

 

Personal Posts

Parents, please read to your children

Dear Parents;

  • Children who are read to have larger vocabularies.
  • Children who are read to tend to continue to read into adulthood.
  • Children who are read to have higher comprehension skills.
  • Children who are read to develop writing skills much earlier.
  • Children who are read to tend to have higher grades throughout their schooling.
  • Children who are read to often become writers.
  • Children who are read to will read to their children.

Parents, please read to your children.

Sincerely,

A person who was read to as a child.

Want to be a beta reader? Click here to fill out the contact sheet, and let me know!
Want to guest post? Want to trade posts?
Same goes to you! 
Don’t be shy!

Want to check out some books?
CLICK HERE

 

Personal Posts

APOCALYPTIA (Sci-Fi/Romance/YA) is Here!

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Today is the day everyone! All available purchasing options can be found here:

My Books!

More should be coming up as the days go by, but for now Smashwords is the place to go for all downloading options, and my book will always be free!

Thanks for reading and for your support!

-Lissy

What I've Read

What I’ve Read: The Society of S by Susan Hubbard

These posts are for book discussion and to express my overly-fangirly nature over certain books and series. Though I already have an extensive library with plenty of reading material, I’m always looking out for new or interesting titles. Not only is this for me, but for other writers! Often times, writers forget they started off as readers. Support your fellow authors and read!

WARNING: SELF-PROMO IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS
It will be considered spam and deleted immediately. However, if you would like me to buy and read your book, I’ll gladly take recommendations on this page. Fill out the contact sheet with a link to your book, and I will get to reading! While I will read most recommendations, I won’t review them all. If the book in question would probably get less than three stars, I’ll simply keep the review to myself, and either email the author directly (if they themselves sent me a contact sheet), or just not discuss the book at all. I want to recommend books that I will read, and that I think others will enjoy. No need to embarrass or completely wreck a book’s reputation in the name of reviewing.

Now, with all of the “rules” and “disclaimers” out of the way, on to the books!

I read the first book of the Ethical Vampire series, The Society of S by Susan Hubbard.

Genre: YA/Paranormal
Rating: 3/5

Let me start out by saying, there is no doubt that Mrs. Hubbard knows her craft. She’s a master at it, but, in saying that, she spends far too much time showing it off and not enough time on showing me what the book is about. To be honest, most of the book could’ve been summed up in about 100-150 pages, but Mrs. Hubbard spread it out to a nice 304.

But, like I said, she is a master at her craft. The gothic descriptions reminded me so much of Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire, and they had me enthralled from beginning to end, but I also said that drug out the plot. Thankfully, I did eventually figure out what the book was about.

Ariella, nicknamed Ari, is an intelligent thirteen year old, whose days are spent reading about the world she has never experienced and having her fill of a poorly prepared vegetarian diet.  Her mother left her and her father the very day Ari was born, and though she has never met her, Ari feels a strange connection with her mother.  In an attempt at discovering more about herself, her father, and the answer as to why her mother left, Ari finds herself face-to-face with the realization that she’s not quite the human she had always assumed.

She’s a vampire. The series is called the Ethical Vampire series. She’s a vampire. I couldn’t help, but laugh at all the obvious references to her being vampire, but without her blatantly saying so.

Her father’s basement kitchen had a very “gamey” odor to it. She is lucky that she has “strong teeth.” They’re vamps, my darlings! Vamps!

But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t question myself at some points. It’s obvious that she’s a vampire, but my paranoia had me wondering if she was actually another creature. It would be my luck that she actually was just a human,  or a werewolf. Thankfully, the paranoia didn’t last long, and I was reassured in my assumption.

The book has plenty of drugs, teen-drinking, and other things young kids do while trying to find out who they are, and I’d be lying if I said that my friends and I didn’t also want to dye our hair black and become pagans, but we certainly didn’t party as much as these kids did at their age. Regardless, when I finally made it to the plot, I felt as hazed and nauseous as the MC. Mrs. Hubbard is fantastic with weaving descriptions and feelings together. It was realistic and interesting. Love, love, loved it.

At this point, the book probably would have gotten a whopping 4/5, but as quickly as I had gotten to the plot, more descriptions were dumped on me. It messed up the wonderful pacing that had been built up, and also left me hanging as far as where the next book was going to go. There was no hint or even indication of a sequel. If I hadn’t already bought the entire series, I might not have even checked for another.

This book teased me, pleased me, confused me, then hurt me, but I loved every second of it, or at least I loved most of it. I would recommend this book in a heart beat.

Purchase Status: Purchased

Thanks for reading!

-Lissy

What I've Read

What I’ve Read: Matched by Ally Condie

After some thought and endless back-and-forth with myself, I’ve decided to start a little mini-series of posts, if you will, of some of my favorite books from month to month, always posted at the end of the month in question (or at the very beginning of the next month. I’m lazy, and it will probably happen).

These posts are for book discussion and to express my overly-fangirly nature over certain books and series. Though I already have an extensive library with plenty of reading material, I’m always looking out for new or interesting titles. Not only is this for me, but for other writers! Often times, writers forget they started off as readers. Support your fellow authors and read!

WARNING: SELF-PROMO IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS
It will be considered spam and deleted immediately. However, if you would like me to buy and read your book, I’ll gladly take recommendations on this page. Fill out the contact sheet with a link to your book, and I will get to reading! While I will read most recommendations, I won’t review them all. If the book in question would probably get less than three stars, I’ll simply keep the review to myself, and either email the author directly (if they themselves sent me a contact sheet), or just not discuss the book at all. I want to recommend books that I will read, and that I think others will enjoy. No need to embarrass or completely wreck a book’s reputation in the name of reviewing.

Now, with all of the “rules” and “disclaimers” out of the way, on to the books!
I read the last book of the Matched Series by Ally Condie: Reached. While I only read Reached this month, I will only be doing a review of the first book. Mainly to prevent unnecessary spoilers, while introducing the series to new readers. I will review the others upon request or recommendation.
1st Book in the series: Matched
Rating: 4/5
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Matched is about a futuristic society, appropriately named the Society, which was formed after a vague technological disaster. The MC is Cassia, a teenage girl, Society-molded, and on her way to her Match Banquet, which is the ceremony that puts teenagers together with their soul mate. Though, in my opinion, it’s just a prettier version of a breeding ceremony – moving on!
At the banquet, Cassia is surprised to find that her match is her longtime best friend Xander Carrow. So many cuddly feels at this point, other than my disgusting image of a breeding ceremony *shiver* – moving on!
Cassia is happy and comforted by the fact that she already knows her match and even lives in the same borough (town, basically) as he does, which is rare, as most of the teens going to be matched don’t already know their matches nor do they live near each other. After receiving her match, she is given a microcard, something the Society creates in order for matches to get to know one another before meeting.
Cassia rushes home and pops that puppy in and everything is going hunky-dory-lovey-dovey until another face pops up on the screen. A face that isn’t Xander’s. Somehow she has been matched with two people, and the book has Cassia trying to figure out how and why this happened because the Society and supposedly perfect – the Society doesn’t make mistakes.
I’ll stop there, since most of the information I’ve given can be easily read on the back of the book, and I’m tired of info-dumping. *shrug* Onto the review portion!
This book completely gripped me. The world it built had me floored, and all of the wonderful technology involved was wonderfully crafted. The only reason this book didn’t get a full on 5/5 was because there have been many reviews saying this book is identical to Lois Lowry’s The Giver, I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to. I can’t really judge Matched on that because I have no idea if it is or not. So, just to be safe, I ticked off a star. Still, a great book.
This is your classic love triangle, though, in my opinion, the winner is apparent from the beginning of his introduction. I could just be biased, but I knew she would choose him. Anywho, in all honesty, I probably would’ve given this book a 4/5 anyway just based on the love triangle. I have nothing against them, and they definitely sell books, but I feel like they follow a similar formula every time.
Regardless, I love how Cassia grows from the love triangle. While most love triangles are just for the romance factor, with the MC barely growing as a person, Cassia actually takes the fact that there is a choice to make her more independent. The Society wants everyone to rely on them, obviously because they want control. Well, Cassia wants control, but of her own life. The revelations she goes through are very thought-provoking, at least in my own opinion. It had me turning pages and wanting to read self-help books. Condie needs to write a book called How to Take Control of Your Life by Using Love Triangles: Love is a YA Learning Device. Condie, if you’re reading this, you can find my contact page above. Let’s talk pages.
But the pacing is slow. While the revelations are thought-provoking and beautiful with their metaphors and symbolic meaning, they tend to be dragged on. The plot and pacing suffers for it. The only thing that kept me reading them was because they were well-written and beautiful, so kudos to Mrs. Condie.
All-in-all, it’s your fun run-of-the-mill YA romance book with a fun dystopian twist. Not exactly the quick kind of read, but one I would recommend to buy and add to your collection.
Purchase Status: Purchased
I hope you enjoyed my first review. This is far from perfect and a major experiment, but I hope you still find it interesting. I hope enough people like it enough to keep me writing more. Now, for questions, what did you think of the review? Did you agree, disagree? Any recommendations? Anything you’d like to add? Let me know, and comment below.
Thank you for reading!
-Lissy