yarn along

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Reading: I have an interesting collection of books on my bedside table. And I’ve finished three of them since taking this picture. To be fair, I was nearly done with The Elite, Bleach took just a bit to read, and Scarlet I was most of the way through. I picked up The One from the library but I only got a couple chapters in before I had to put it down. I just got so frustrated with the main character!! I’m finishing my reread of the Lunar Chronicles with Cress. As soon as I can, I’ll see if I can find Winter.

Knitting: A Man Hat with some rockin’ hot pink Malabrigo! I’m so in love with this color and this pattern. The pattern is super quick and simple. I’m really happy with the combo!

Linking up with Jenny!

Cinder ~review

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living with her guardian and sisters in New Beijing. As a cyborg, she doesn’t have the same rights as ‘normal’ people. She is a hard worker, but gets no respect from the people around her. She tries to not let it bother her, focusing on her work instead. Until a chance meeting with Prince Kai, her sister’s sudden illness, and her subsequent voluntelling to join the cyborg draft, that is. Things get a bit complicated after that… And that’s not even mentioning the Lunar Queen and the lost princess!

I’ve heard of Cinder and Marissa Meyer from a few other bloggers. When I saw Cress at the store, I decided, Okay, I think I need to find these books. And I am glad I did! I love sci-fi and I love fairy tales. Cinder is a great mixture of both. Actually, it’s like Cinderella met Star Wars, fell in love, and had a baby. The futuristic elements were really well done. Nothing too far-fetched or unbelievable, for me at least. But I read copious amounts of Star Wars, so it may be different for other people.

As for the characters, they were well thought out and full of depth. I liked that the POV wasn’t all just Cinder. Kai gets a bit of page time, too. Also, there was no Insta-Love! That, I think, more than most other elements, drives me insane with YA novels. Guy meets girl, then BAM! Insta-Love! It’s like they put it in an aerosol can and just spray when applicable. But with Kai and Cinder, they barely got time together, so there may have been some attraction, but it wasn’t the focus of the story. Kai is a great character. It’s nice to see a male character in a YA novel that isn’t just a pretty face and muscles. Kai has a brain and uses it. Cinder is a more complex character who really grows in confidence as the story progresses. Oh, and the great, important secret that is revealed in the second to last chapter? Yeah, I guessed it a third of the way in. 😉

 Aside from the sci-fi stuff, there was more to the story than just a romance. Kai is having trouble with a hostile queen, so there are politics and character growth. The rights of cyborgs get brought up, as well as medical issues.

I really enjoyed Cinder. I haven’t read Scarlet yet, but I have read Cress which I also enjoyed very much, so look out for that review soon. Hopefully.

Recommend? Yes.
Rating-5/5

Insurgent ~review

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth

{I apologize in advance if this is a bit jumbled and confused. I’m fighting a nasty cold that’s left me a little woozy. Sorry for any madness outside of the norm.}

Set immediately after the events of Divergent, Tris and Four are running for their lives. Again. They really don’t get a break, do they? Run, fight, run some more. (Sounds kind of like a recent movie series…) Tris has been hit hard by the death of her parents and still tries to come to grips with it. She, Four, and the remaining Abnegation take refuge in the Amity compound, hoping that the Erudite, the city’s new leaders, won’t think to look for them there.

Yeah, right.

When the Erudite and traitor Dauntless show up, it’s time to move on again. Our daring heroes spend some time in the Candor complex and with the factionless. But after a threat from Jeanine, Tris decides to turn herself in and of course doesn’t tell anyone. She should’ve known that wouldn’t go over well. 

Chases, escapes, rescues, betrayal, and secrets revealed, Insurgent has it all. The pace and writing of the sequel has sped up. It is also more confusing. There are so many sub-plots and Tris’s guilt-tripping make for a head scratching read. And about Tris. She seems to be wallowing in guilt the whole story. Yes, she has done bad things, but devoting pages and pages to her tortured musings does not a story make. She seems to have become more of a two-demensional character than she was in Divergent. Honestly, what is it with people not sharing potentially life-threatening secrets? Like, you know, running off to turn yourself in to your enemy? Yeah, honey, not a good move.

I don’t know. I was underwhelmed by Insurgent. It was just eh. Even more than I thought Divergent was.

Any thoughts? Leave a comment.

{PS. I changed the theme of my blog, in case you didn’t notice.}

RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{A once-a-week post about what I’m reading, knitting, listening to, and watching.}
{Joining Ginny for YarnAlong.}

Reading: Okay, I somehow missed the fact that I had not put my books into this picture. What?? I’ll just say that I thought y’all were getting tired of seeing War and Peace. I’m getting closer to being done! Wahoo!!!! I’m also reading more Star Wars. Of course. I’m a Star Wars Nerd with a capital N. It’s bad…

Knitting: …which brings me to my knitting projects! I decided I needed a travel gnome. Okay, let’s knit one. Looking through the doll patterns, I found Yodagurumi. Cutest. Pattern. Ever. He’s moving kinda slowly, but moving. You know what they say: as soon as you finish a knitting project, time to cast on a new one! (Do people actually say that?) I’m trying to get a jump on Christmas/birthday knitting. And I have to say, YarnAlong has been good encouragement to finish projects. 🙂 I finished my Honey Cowl last week. Do you see that orange yarn? That’s my first handspun! Oh my goodness!!! It’s really over twisted and bumpy, but I made yarn!!!!!! Yes, it deserves a billion exclamation marks. 🙂

Listening: Everything.

Watching: Persuasion starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds (1995). 2 dollars at the thrift store. Yes!

What are you reading, knitting, listening to, or watching? Leave a comment!

Zita the Spacegirl Trilogy~ review

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Zita the Spacegirl, Legends of Zita the Spacegirl, and Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

 I love graphic novels. There’s something really different about reading what is practically a picture book for older people. And I really love Zita the Spacegirl. I’m not sure how I was introduced to this series, but I think it might have been through Regina Doman, who is a good friend of Ben Hatke’s. She used him as her fight expert in a few of her novels. 🙂 Anyway, the story is this: Zita, the heroine, finds a strange device that, when activated, sends her and a friend to a different universe. She and her friend, Joseph, are separated when Joseph is kidnapped by alien robots. Zita teams up with a man named Piper and a giant Mouse to rescue him. I won’t tell you how it ends, but the stories keep getting better. Sadly, there are only three Zita books. More! Give me more!

Ben Hatke’s art is amazing. There’s so much detail in just a few pencil strokes. As for the characters, I love Zita, Piper, Mouse, Madrigal, Strong Strong, and One. They are all unique and laugh-out-loud characters. When I read, I rarely laugh out loud. I’m more of a silent laugher. So if they make me howl with laughter, that’s saying something. I highly recommend these books to all ages. Oh, and Ben quotes G. K. Chesterton in the front! LOVE!

RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, and watching}

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{A once-a-week post about what I’m reading, knitting, listening to, and watching.}
{Joining Ginny for YarnAlong.}

Reading: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I started it on Monday and am s l o w l y slogging my way through it. I am glad that it stays open on its own so I can knit at the same time. You’ll probably be seeing quite a bit of W&P over the next few weeks as I work through it. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book so large. It’s 1386 pages long, to be exact. Whew…talk about a brick of pages!
I decided I needed a little fluffy reading to counter W&P. Time to scan the shelves! Enter Shadow Games. Yes, I consider Star Wars to be “fluffy”. No using of the over-used brain here. It’s silly and crazy and Star Wars. Yeah, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to Star Wars. (read: I’m obsessed and have been for more years than I care to count.)

Knitting: The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief is a first for me. I never knit a shawlette before and I’m really liking it! I think the yarn I’m using might have something to do with it. Smooshy, squishy, purple perfection. It is a little darker than it is in the picture.
I really, really, REALLY have crafting ADD. I bounce from craft to craft to craft and back. Some days I’m content to play with Miss Singer (my sewing machine) all day. The next, my hands ache from knitting so much. Do I finish projects? Sometimes… Eh, that’s just how I roll. 🙂

Listening: My music tastes are also all over creation. Movie soundtracks, piano solos, rock, singer/songwriter, a cappella, more movie soundtracks, just about anything. 🙂

Watching: Downton Abbey!! Just now finishing up season 3. Oh, I’m excited for season 5!

This is my first time joining Ginny for YarnAlong. I was so glad to find her!

What are you reading, knitting, listening to, and watching? Leave a comment below!