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A Written Rhapsody: November 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tune in Tuesdays: You Make Me Feel...ft. Sabi by Cobra Starship

Tune in Tuesdays is weekly meme brought to this lovely blog by Ginger at GReads! Love books and music? Check it out!

Something about Cobra Starship has always made me happy. Gabe Saporta always makes me feel like having a good time. He's especially been helpful while I've been stuck at home and super bored. I love that Starship's music has always been about fun and not taking things too seriously. Saporta plus coffee on early mornings are like the perfect morning pick me up. Seriously, you guys should try it!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

In My Mailbox #3

Hosted By:The Story Siren

Random FREE Buys:

Barnes & Noble




Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend in the states! Can't wait to see what goodies everyone else received!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book Notes: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

"Mara Dyer doesn't believe life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.     
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.   
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong."

I've read a lot of great books since starting this blog and this may be a big statement, but Mara Dyer has got to be one of my favorites. I was so wrapped up in this book that I actually forgot to write notes as I read. I knew the book was somewhat mysterious going in, but I didn't really know what to expect. Not only was this book enigmatic, it was also haunting. It's hard to explain, but all throughout the book the story has this very ominous feel to it. It's as if this book were a haunted house where I was always kept on my toes waiting for something to jump out and surprise me.

I loved how the time switched between current and past; it made the book feel like a puzzle I had to put together.  What really helped this book was the the amount of detail that went into each character. Even if the characters didn't have a big role, Michelle Hodkin still did a great job of fleshing out characters to make you connect with them. Mara, our main character, is who we follow throughout the book. Though battling through a lot of inner demons, she's wonderfully snarky and captivating. The reader is pretty much put in her shoes as she figures out what's happening to her. She's surrounded by a loving family who have their own dynamics and storyline throughout the book.

As Mara moves to a new school, we're introduced to a number of other colorful characters as they enter Mara's life. Noah freaking Shaw. I'm sure this probably isn't the first time you've heard of this book or even him so I'll spare you on ranting about how amazingly beautiful this man is. I'll also stay away from mentioning how much we need to find a way to clone him so every girl can have one for Christmas. Instead I'm going to say kudos to Hodkin once again. Why you ask? Well because I won't lie, Shaw is one hot piece of literary eye candy. However, I'm saying kudos for there being a nice build up to his character. Mara doesn't see him and fall instantly in love! We also aren't thrown into this unrealistic love story when he suddenly comes up. Hodkin actually lets the story develop with him in it, but with a pace that stays realistic to the other pieces of the story.  Also, I don't think I've ever had a book guy make me blush like a little schoolgirl just by reading about him. Shaw has this confidence about him that really makes you kind of want to just be like, "Okay Noah Shaw...Just have your way with me already!" I love when authors make two characters have great chemistry together and make you painstakingly wait for that moment they're together.

I will say that there are a few confusing parts in the book that complicate the storyline, but it wasn't anything that was too distracting for me. I think this book is a must-read that will have you addicted to the very end. With an ending that is nothing but evil torture, I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tune in Tuesdays: Austin by One Hot Minute

Tune in Tuesdays is weekly meme brought to this lovely blog by Ginger at GReads! Love books and music? Check it out!

One Hot Minute has been one of my favorite bands for a few years now. They don't have much of a presence, but I adore their old album, so much! Something about the lead singers voice just hits me so much. What attracted me most to their music is their lyrics. The lyrics are so heartfelt, I don't know how you can't love them. Okay, maybe I'm more of a sap than the average person. Anyways, the above song is one of their newer released songs. I was unable to choose just one song from their old album since I heart it so much. If you can get your hands on a copy of their old album, The Story So Far, I highly recommend it. Here are some extra links I rounded up to listen to with free downloads! Who doesn't like free music?

Free Download of Chapter 1 by One Hot Minute
One Hot Minute Myspace Music
Buy The Album

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Notes: The Brenna Blixen Series by Liz Reinhardt

"What happens when you fall for the perfect one day? Brenna Blixen spent her freshman year homeschooling in Denmark; now that she's back in the States, she's determined to make her sophomore year unforgettable. And by unforgettable, she imagined awesome classes, fun friendships, and maybe a little romance. What she got was a whole lot of romance, and all at once. The same day that dark, brooding Saxon Maclean charmed her with his killer good looks and whip-smart wit, Jake Kelly stole her breath away with his heart-wrenching smile and intelligent, thoughtful focus. But Saxon is a proud player who makes it clear that he doesn't know why he can't get Brenna off of his mind and out of his system, and Jake's sweet and humble attitude hides a secret past life that might be darker and more complex than Brenna is willing to deal with. Complicating the matter is the fact that Saxon and Jake were once best friends and are now arch-enemies...and the more Brenna finds out about their connection to each other, the more intrigued and worried she becomes. Between keeping the peace with her lovingly over-protective parents, designing t-shirts for her high school's rising punk band, keeping up her grades in classes split between academic and technical high school, and running the track like a maniac, Brenna has enough to worry about without juggling two guys who make her heart thud and drive her crazy all at once. She has to make a choice, but how is she supposed to do that when giving her heart to one of them might mean breaking the other's?"

Jake.Saxon. No wait, Jake. Damn you Brenna Blixen! Yeah, Saxon. Never mind, Jake.

That was pretty much my train of thought while reading these two books. I've been done for a few days now and I'm still just as lost about who to pick.

I don't know how Reinhardt did it, but I've never wanted to kick, hug, punch or do naughty, naughty things repeatedly with so many characters.

Brenna, Brenna, Brenna. I love her. I hate her. She's pretty awesome overall. I see her appeal, but I also have this need to punch her throughout the books. I don't think I've ever yelled at my iPad so much as when reading this series. Now my yelling isn't a bad thing; it's just that Reinhardt has this way of getting you so involved with the characters that you can't help but feel for them throughout their experiences.

These are the types of notes I take while reading.
The boys. Oh mylanta! Jake is the hot artsy boy who I just wanted to cuddle throughout the book. He's just such a sweet guy! He has a dark past, but he's getting through it and trying to better himself. Saxon is just pure...I can't even come up with the proper word. I want to smack him upside the head sometimes, but also have his beautiful dark-haired babies. I can usually pretty easily pick a side in book love triangles, but I can completely understand why Brenna is so torn between them because I still can't make a choice.

Be forewarned, these books have some minor sexy time moments in it. However, if you're looking for a series with great realistic characters that will pull you in from the very beginning, you should definitely check this series out!

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

In My Mailbox

Hosted By:The Story Siren

It was a light week for books this week, but I'm still just as excited to read the few I received. What did everyone else get this week?


Junk Miles (A Brenna Blixen Novel)- I did a happy dance when I saw this release this week.

NetGalley Reviews:

Exclusively Yours (The Kowalskis)-Yes, I indulge in my cutesy love stories through NetGalley; don't judge me!
Busted in Bollywood-I felt being Indian made it mandatory that I read this.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Music Notes: Drake- Take Care

  1. Over My Dead Body
  2. Shot For Me
  3. Headlines
  4. Crew Love ft. The Weeknd
  5. Take Care ft. Rihanna
  6. Marvins Room
  7. Under Ground Kings
  8. We’ll Be fine
  9. Make Me Proud ft. Nicki Minaj
  10. Lord Knows ft. Rick Ross
  11. Cameras
  12. Doing It Wrong
  13. The Real Her ft. Andre 3000 & Lil Wayne
  14. Look What You’ve Done
  15. HYFR ft. Lil Wayne
  16. Practice
  17. The Ride

I don't know why so many people have an issue with Drake. I've been a fan of his for a while, and I actually enjoy that he doesn't try to be something he isn't. He's never tried to fit in as a "hardcore" type of rapper while being in the limelight. He sings about his life whether it be hardships, relationships or his mom.

This album took a different route and leaked a few tracks before the album was released to let listeners get a taste of the album. "Take Care" has definitely taken a darker turn than compared to his other releases, but it isn't any less amazing than his other albums. Drake changes from his battling ways with slower and smoother beats where he's just as honest about his life and thoughts.

Drake opens the album with his usual lyrical swag as he expresses his struggles and thanks. As the album continues, he puts a pause on his rap flows and takes a softer and deeper approach to various relationship issues he's had in the past. After the first half of the album being full of emotastic gloom, we start hearing heavier beats with tracks like "We'll Be Fine" and "Underground Kings" that are more reminiscent of his earlier albums. As the album comes to a close, we begin to mellow out once more with songs featuring light backgrounds with harmonica solos by Stevie Wonder.

Though this album is a bit more emo than his other albums, Drake was pretty ballsy to release this type of album. It's a definite change from his usual rapping ways that made him a star, but still has something for his usual and new fans combined. By mixing his usual rapping word play and not witholding from sharing his softer side, Drake's able to create a balance that's refreshing from typical hip-hop albums.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Follower Fridays


Q: What books do you want for Christmas from Santa?

A: Oh man. Why do you guys do this to me? The Future of Us is pretty high on my want list right now. I'm really wanting to finish all the series I've started! The Mortal Instruments, Matched, The Soul Screamers, Intertwined, The Lying Game, Pretty Little Liars and The Iron Fey series. I won't even try to  get started on the other random books I want. What are all of you looking forward to?


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Giveaway & Book Notes: Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson

"Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Aptos, California. Just a few weeks after moving to the beach town, sixteen year-old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can manage to survive her increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might just be able to unlock the mystery of her past and learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her... and maybe even find true love along the way."

I haven't read too many books about mermaids, but the stories have always been pretty fascinating to me. Marina, our main character, is someone who is strong, smart and has a lot going for her. As she moves to a new area she goes through the normal adjustment issues, but makes the best of her situation.

The overall story moved a bit slow for me, but it never failed to stay interesting. Anderson filled her book  with colorful characters who you couldn't help wanting to know more about. My personal favorite was Meghan. I was attracted to her most because she was shy, but I saw her develop as I got to know her. I will state that I did have an issue with the character of Evie. I know I haven't read the rest of the series, so my opinion on her could change as I continue, but I really don't get why she's there. I felt her character is in the story more for the convenience of having things work well for Marina and people around her.

An aspect I really appreciated was how Anderson didn't focus on the love story so much. Though it's a large plot point, she keeps more focus on the story of mermaids and how Marina is coping with finding out information. I was actually disappointed that there wasn't more mermaid interaction in this book.

Though I had a few minor issues with the storyline, this book is an enjoyable read for new and old mermaid lovers. I look forward to seeing what happens to Marina and all her friends in the following two books in the Marina's Tales series that are out!


Derrolyn has been awesome enough to give me two ebook copies to give away! All you have to do is leave a comment below with your name and email! Contest will end on November 27th at 12 a.m. Go!


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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tune in Tuesdays: Cinema by Benny Benassi ft. Gary Go

Tune in Tuesdays is weekly meme brought to this lovely blog by Ginger at GReads! Love books and music? Check it out!

This song has been my tune on repeat for the last week. I originally heard the dubstep remix version first, but I honestly love the original more. Something about Gary Go's voice always gets to me. I feel like his songs have this way of sort of creeping up into your head and getting stuck there. The song can oddly put you in that sappy mood and hype you up at the same time. I want to hug people and jump around when I hear it. I don't do this since people would look at me funny, but know I'm thinking it if this song is on and you're around me! 

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox

Hosted By:The Story Siren

Thanks to a giftcard from a contest at O'Boyled Books, I had a book buying extravaganza this past week! Okay... Maybe not extravaganza, but a lot more than I usually buy. Anyways, I thought I'd share my goods for the week!

Ebook Reviews:(High five for NetGalley!)

Obsidian (A Lux Novel, Book One)


Friday, November 11, 2011

Music Notes: Gavin DeGraw- Sweeter

This album has been out for a while, but I wanted to take my time to review it since I heart Gavin's music so much. I honestly haven't been ecstatic about some of his other albums, but this one reminded me why I've hearted this guy for years. The opening song and album title song is just pure SWAG. Really, I bolded and capitalized that word for a reason. It opens with this rugged guitar sound that just sets the tone for what the song expresses. I was honestly disappointed this song doesn't have a music video yet. I don't know if it's just me, but I just picture this guy on like a hunt for a girl that's in his sight.I can't imagine any person hearing this song and not getting slight butterflies in their stomach from his voice.Gavin could get pretty much anything he wants from me if he used that voice on me, just saying.

"Not Over You" is another song that stood out to me. The lyrics are kind of heartbreaking as he talks about a girl who he'd always return to. What makes this song stand out to me is the piano. Though he's saying he's not over her, the piano gives the song this edge and makes it sound like he's fighting the urge to go back. It's almost uplifting in a way.

I'm glad Gavin didn't get rid of complete sappy love songs! I don't care what anyone says, they're awesome. Sometimes you need to just listen to those songs that make you feel like someone is there for you. "Soldier" is definitely one of them with lyrics stating, "You're thirsty,I'll be rain,
You get hurt, I'll take your pain." It may be a little corny, but aww!

If you don't know about Gavin already, the one song on this album I demand to check out would be "Spell It Out". I think this song pretty much sums up the awesomeness of Gavin DeGraw. It's raw, simple and beautiful. It shows what's always made him great. He can do those pop type of numbers and then turn around and do such a bare and vulnerable type of song. He's an artist I hope never stops making music. I'd really be a sad girl if he did.

Check out more of Gavin DeGraw


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book Notes: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

"Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart."

As usual, I'm late to the reading of awesome books party. I've had a copy of this book staring at me on my desk for the last few weeks, and I just now got to reading it. I don't know if it's because it was overly hyped in my head, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I should clarify that I didn't think it was a bad book; I see why the series has done so well. The first book just left me wanting something more. It also took me a while to get through, but that could've been more because of me than the book.

I did love how jam packed this book was with different lore. The number of creatures in this book is insane! I also liked how Kagawa didn't try to make the fey all sparkly wonderful creatures. She always showed the good and bad with everything.

As far as characters go, Meghan didn't too much for me. I didn't dislike her, but I also didn't like her. She was just sort of there for me. I know there isn't any story without her, but she didn't make me feel any strong emotions while reading. Grim was pretty much the Cheshire Cat in my head throughout the book. I did enjoy his attitude throughout the book, but I hope he doesn't end up being a douche later on because I want to like him.

I'm still stuck on who I like more in the Puck or Ash showdown. They both have their plus points. Puck is a total snarky jerkface that makes me laugh in pretty much every scene he's in. However, Ash has that whole broody badboy image going for him that I can't help but gravitate towards. Plus you know, Puck actually wants Meghan to live so he kind of gets plus points for that.

My favorite idea in the book was how Nevernever was being destroyed because more and more people weren't believing and using more technology. Yeah, I know the idea has been done a lot previously, but the idea is so messed up that I can't help but be kind of fascinated by the idea.

Throughout reading the book, I couldn't stop thinking about how everything would look if they made it into a movie. It'd be so fantastical!(It's a word, you don't own this blog!) The company would have to give millions of dollars, but the movie would be pretty awesome.

If you're looking to be thrown into a world of fantasy and don't mind being punched in the face by a crapload of different creatures, you should definitely check this book out. The story and characters don't disappoint. I look forward to continuing the series down the line!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tune in Tuesdays: Cowboy Bebop Introduction

Tune in Tuesdays is weekly meme brought to this lovely blog by Ginger at GReads! Love books and music? Check it out!

So, I don't even care if anyone makes fun of me for using this as my song of the week. Instead of studying yesterday, I started watching this anime throughout the day. I've never really watched any animes, but I've been told by some of my besties to check certain ones out. The introduction to this show just makes me smile, and I have absolutely no idea why. It's reminds me of 80's television theme songs. I also kind of want to do something like the jive, or some Austin Powers related dance moves. If I ever had a walking theme song, I think I'd pick this to be it. 

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Book Notes: Post-it Note Diaries by Arthur Jones

"When Arthur Jones cocreated a reading series centered around ubiquitous Post-Its(r), the series struck a chord. It grew in popularity and was ultimately featured on a This American Life live simulcast broadcast across the nation.
Inspired by the series and spanning a wide and weird range of topics from an A-list roster of contributors, Post-It(r) Note Diaries captures everyday occurrences from a job interview gone hilariously awry and a nude run-in with a neighbor to hair-raising events like an overnight encounter at Nicholas Cage's house (it's not what you think!), and nearly drowning while trying to paddle across the East River in a homemade canoe. Post-It(r) Note Diaries is perfect for NPR addicts and fans of unique graphic favorites like Postsecret and Blankets.
Diarists include: John Hodgman, David Rakoff, Hanna Tinti, Arthur Bradford, Chuck Klosterman, Andrew Solomon, Starlee Kine, Kristen Schaal, Mary Roach and Andrew Bird."

I wasn't sure if I was going to review this book since it's kind of different. It's hard to review, but I decided to tell you guys about it because it was such a fun read. I don't read too many books with illustrations, but it worked really well with the stories. I thought the concept behind the book is such a great idea.

While reading some of the stories, it's hard to believe some of them are real with how random and outrageous they are. The stories jump from funny to sad and thought provoking. With how short each story is, it's easy to read this book in pieces if you're looking for a break from doing work. I think it's definitely worth checking out for how unique it is, and I look forward to reading more in the future if they come out. Thanks to NetGalley for letting me check it out!