Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #7

Nine Authors I’m Dying to Meet  

1 Marie Lu

            The ending of her Legend trilogy is one of the only times a book has ever made me cry and her next trilogy with the main character being the villain of the story is so awesome. I’m excited for her next book to come out in October! She’s never let me down as an author and It’d be so awesome to meet her and have her sign my books.

2 Rick Riordan

            I’ve seen Rick Riordan at a book tour previously, but he signed all the new books in advance and left directly after the event unlike the other 3 authors on the tour. It was super cool to hear him talk but seeing him from stage is a different experience from meeting someone! I’ve been reading his books since The Lightning Thief was a Nutmeg Nominee back in 2008. It’s been almost 10 years of amazing books since! I’ve gotten a couple books signed, but not personally signed for me so that’d be pretty cool to met him for real.

3 J.K. Rowling

            No list would be complete without her. I have never lived in a world without Harry Potter, I grew up with these books coming out and watching the movies. Being able to meet the author of my childhood would be a dream come true.

4 Neil Gaiman

            His books are so detailed, imaginative, and gritty. It would be pretty fantastic to even attend one of his events, let alone meet the guy. He came to Boston for the Boston Book Festival and tickets sold out before I could get my hands on some! I’ll just have to be satisfied with reading his books and following his social media *sighs*

5 Carrie Fisher

            I don’t care if I meet her via séance or her reanimated body, she just seems so amazing and left us too soon.

6 Robert Kirkman

            Author of The Walking Dead, it’d be so cool to be able to ask him questions about his inspirations and how he comes up with the storyline’s direction.

7 & 8 C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien together

             I’m just trying to imagine the two of them together at a dinner party. Both geniuses in the fantasy genre who seem to be a little petty and funny to be around. The two of them together must have been quite the experience!

9 Christopher Paolini

            Reading his books as a kid was so inspiring because he started writing this series so young! He also sorta fell off the map and only recently started posting and answer fan questions on goodreads which has revitalized my interest in him and his books. I just missed his book signing in New Zealand a couple summers ago, so I have a signed copy of Eragon, but not a personalized one.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ode to Cookies by Nikki King

Your dough made of flour, eggs, sugar and salt
Your sweet scent knows no bounds and makes me come to a halt.
Perfect little spheres all in a row,
Tucked into the oven and starting to grow.
10 minutes go by and you’re a perfect golden brown.
I immediately take a hot, gooey bite.
Maybe I should have let it cool off on the tray.
Yet even when burning my mouth you won’t find a frown
The taste of heaven is quite a respite
This is why molten cookies will always be bae.

The survivors of my pillage pile up on a plate
The sweet melted chips sitting pretty like bait
Just crisp enough to stay in one piece
I blink and the numbers start to decrease
There is no loud crack, crumble, or crunch
With these cookies- no, no
Even after their proper cool-down they are a smooth delight.
These buttery creations continuously getting munched
Three then four then six until I have to slow
Saving them for a snack at midnight.

The golden ratio of sugars exact as usual
Create that wafting fragrant aroma that’s crucial
Melted down and foraged to perfection
This kind of homemade excellence can’t escape my detection.
It’s hard to imagine the separate ingredients from just 3 hours past
Slowly churning, slowly earning their spot in my tummy.
Not-so-slowly disappearing as I consumed raw brilliance
I gaze remorsefully toward my hand at the last
The beads of chocolate embedded in an ambrosia of yummy
Then ‘snarf’, the last cookie (for now) is out of existence.

This is something a little different than normal. While I am definitely mainly a review blog, I thought here might be a good place to post some of my writing! Reviews will be tagged 'review' was well as getting tagged by the number of stars I give it, and my writing will be tagged 'nikki writes' for easy navigation if you want to avoid posts like this in the future! Have a great week everyone :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sula's Voyage by Catherine Torres

Sula’s Voyage
by Catherine Torres
Publication Date: May 2016
Publisher: Scholastic
Find This Book: Sula’s Voyage
Rating: 4/5

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’m not sure if I was in the position to truly comprehend and appreciate the culture represented in this novel, but I loved to try. The novel included beautiful portrayals of the Philippines and their culture, though some of it might have gone over my head. Divine superstition, kissing elder’s hands and the food is mainly what I got from this novel. I’d only read one other book set in the Philippines before, so it was great to leave the usual American setting (Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant by Alex Gilvarry for those interested).

This was a great coming of age book about the main character, 15 year old Sula, with some fantasy elements and romance swept in for good measure, which was really cool. The book wasn’t particularly focused on Sula’s magical healing powers; in fact they weren’t even 100% confirmed until the very end of the book. Instead it was about Sula’s self-identity and family. As the daughter of a marine science researcher she constantly moves and changing schools which can’t be easy when searching for stability and a place one can call home.

On a different note, a major plot point was that Sula was made fun of for her dark skin, which contrasts starkly from her family’s pale skin. Her father’s parents even seemed to disown them because Sula was a “bastard” child. This plot point left me extremely confused. Maybe it’s a difference of culture? I don’t understand why Sula’s parents didn’t just admit and say that she was adopted to begin with. Obviously she is not theirs, so why pretend up to the point where you have a fake story of her birth and the father’s parent’s believe you has an affair with a dark skinned man? Does it really matter that she’s not their flesh and blood? That’s pretty much the only thing that bothered me with this novel, but again it could just be a cultural thing that I’m not getting? But at the end this was kinda swept under the rug really fast and they became a happy family again without much discussion about them lying to her about her heritage after all these years. This is the one thing that detracted from the book for me.

I thought that Sula’s relationship with her parents, especially her dad, was really cute. The story starts out with Sula being in her father’s college classes because she decided to not go back to her high school. She hits it off with another student named James until he mysteriously disappears and her mother sweeps her off to The Cove, the home of her Mother’s best friend. More characters are then introduced including the best friend, her husband, and their three children, which whom Sula has intricate relationships with. My favorite was probably her newly formed relationship with the daughter, Mira. Beach bonding and fire dancing was just so sweet and fun to read. It wasn’t even a big part of the book but it really is all about the little moments adding up, and this was done really well by Catherine Torres! This was an extremely enjoyable and easy read and my biggest problem with it is that there should be more! There’s lots of nice details in the book and it overshadows the relationships a bit, but I wouldn’t want the details cut either. Making the book a bit longer would have been worth it to show off the different relationships at a deeper level!

I don’t normally do this, but a quote really got to me and this review wouldn’t feel right without me sharing it. The quote was Tita Lupe’s (who is dying of cancer) last words:

“The sea had salt enough without us adding our tears to it”

This simple eloquence really made me think, which is exactly what a great book should do!

Another thing that I loved was Sula’s relationship with James. He was mentioned before as her fellow classmate and love interest in the novel. I felt like their relationship was important to the novel, but it didn’t become the center point or take over the plot. Furthermore, they actually had interesting and intelligent conversations instead of the clichéd jabs-back-and-forth-until-the-inevitable-kiss. This as not only refreshing, but also extremely thought-provoking to read. Particularly their first conversation alone when James discusses his project about turning the sea waves into music. This reminded me of the sort of smart, creative, weirdness that my own friends get into. It again wasn’t a huge plot point in the novel, but it was probably my favorite part. I love getting to learn new things and the second I read this I immediately texted them up about what a cool concept this would be!

All in all, I'm glad I had the opportunity to read this book and it's no surprise this was an Asian Book Award finalist!