Writing Wednesday! (5)

It’s that time of week again! I always look forward to Wednesday’s; I love sharing my writing with the world. This week, I worked on a Truthseer quite a bit, even though I have finals on Thursday and Friday that I really need to be studying for. I’m getting really excited about the story.

The part that I’m going to post is right after Spider and Finn leave the cave and Spider insists on walking Finn home, even though she can’t stand him and wants him to go away. As they approach, Finn’s mother bursts outside and says that Thorn, Finn’s little brother, has been kidnapped. Finn, of course, resolves to go find him. This has probably been my favorite part to write so far.

Her mother was still yelling as she stalked outside, toward the pasture. Caro was still saddled but she seemed agitated by the wet saddle pad rubbing against her back. Finn led her toward her father’s workshop, under the thatched roof, and pulled her bow and arrow from her hiding spot. Her father’s sword lay in its sheath where she’d left it the other day after she’d practiced her dismal sparring with an oak tree, and she strapped it to her waist. Its heaviness felt comfortable against her thigh.

It had begun to rain again, drizzles of water splashing in the puddles that had already formed. Finn changed Caro’s saddle pad, but they didn’t have another saddle, so she tacked in the one already slick with rain. As she was about to mount, Spider came flying from the house. She’d completely forgotten about him and he seemed just as annoying now, when she actually had somebody to go save, as he’d been in the cave. “Finn! Stop!”

He halted before her, sliding on the wet dirt. “Where are you going? You can’t just leave!”

“I’m going to save my brother,” she said calmly as she tightened the girth.

“Your mother is in pieces! You can’t leave her like this!”

Finn rolled her eyes and turned towards him. “Listen, gypsy boy. I don’t know who you are or why you suddenly think that you have authority over me, but I don’t care. I’m going to find my brother. I know why they have him and I’ll slaughter each and every one of them until they give him up.” She felt strange; sentences so long usually never left her mouth. But needed to get away from this boy. She needed to save her brother from these men, who must think that Thorn had inherited her father’s powers. Could they be the same ones that had killed her father? It didn’t matter. She needed to go after them while they were still close.

“Finn, stop! You don’t know who these men are!”

She turned, her nostrils flaring. “Who are they? Your brothers? Did you lead them here or something?”

Spider rolled his eyes. “No, they’re the Rightful King’s men, not bandits! They’d kill you as soon as set eyes on you. You have to think about this, Finn. You can’t just run after them and demand your brother back and expect they’ll give him to you. They must’ve taken him for a reason and they won’t let him go for some blacksmith’s daughter, I can assure you that.”

The rain was getting harder now, but none of the usual panic flooded her body. Instead, there was anger: anger at this boy, anger at those who took her brother, anger at her uncle for not doing anything, anger at everything. She’d felt it before, this overwhelming  feeling, but she’d never given into it. But this boy, this stupid gypsy boy with his stupid tattoo and his stupid voice, he pushed her over the edge.

She twisted the collar of his shirt in her hand and jerked him, hard, against one of the support posts of her father’s workshop. “You shut your mouth! You shut your goddamn mouth right now! I’m going to rescue my brother and you have no part in it!”

He was too shocked to do anything that she mounted while his mouth still stood open. “You go home!” she screamed and kicked Caro, too hard. But she was galloping away, down the rocky path, with the rain screaming in her face.

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Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Title: Cracked Up to Be
Author: Courtney Summers
Page Count: 214
Summary: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?

When “Perfect” Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter’s High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher’s pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn’t want to talk about it. She’d just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her counselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there’s a nice guy falling in love with her and he’s making her feel things again when she’d really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she’d turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault. (Summary from GoodReads)

Review: I read Cracked Up to Be in one sitting because the power in my house went out all day and I didn’t have anything else to do but read, but I definitely don’t feel that my time was wasted. Lately, whenever I’ve read books that received a lot of hype, I haven’t understood why they were so popular. With Cracked Up to Be, it was totally the opposite.

From the moment I started reading, I was thrown into the life of Parker, who is probably the most real character I have ever encountered. She was funny and rude and bitchy but at the same time, I couldn’t help but like her and I was so intrigued as to why she was broken. I read this book in one sitting (which may or may not have to do with the power going out and no internet for me browse) and that’s something I haven’t done in a long time.

I think it’s kind of funny because I related to Parker so much: she doesn’t hold back what she thinks, even if it’s rude or not something that should be spoken aloud. And she was hilarious. She has the kind of dry humor that I strive to perfect. I probably shouldn’t admit that I’m too much like her, because she was a real bitch, but I don’t know.

Cracked Up to Be was short, at only 214 pages, but it definitely packed a punch. That is why I’m going to give it my first ever, in the history of Read Sam, Read, perfect rating:

Rating: 5/5 stars

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In My Mailbox (5)

To make up for last week, here’s a very exciting list of things that I actually receieved in my mailbox this week!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge

Jessica’s Guide to Dating the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

What did everyone else get this week?

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Awesome Contest!

Attention all aspiring writers! Steph Bowe from Hey! Teenager of the Year is having an awesome contest that anyone who writes should totally know about. There’s going to be five winners and she’s going to critique the first five pages of a story for those winners!

Everyone go enter, now!

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Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier

Title: Heart’s Blood
Author: Juliet Marillier
Page Count: 402
Summary: Anluan has been crippled since childhood, part of a curse that has besieged his family and his home of Whistling Tor. But when the young scribe Caitrin is retained to sort through family documents, she brings about unexpected changes in the household, casting a hopeful light against the despairing shadows.

But to truly free Anluan’s burdened soul, Caitrin must unravel the web of sorcery woven by his ancestors before it claims his life-and their love…

Review: Juliet Marillier is one of my favorite fantasy authors, right there next to JK Rowling and Cecilia Dart-Thornton, so when I found out she had a new book coming out, I made my sister get it for me for Christmas. She wrote the Sevenwaters series, which is a must-read for anyone who likes fantasy.

At first, Heart’s Blood didn’t capture my attention, but most of Marillier’s books take a little while to get into. The main character, Caitrin, is a bit hard to relate to at first, but her character becomes very well-developed as the book goes on. All of the characters, in fact, are very well developed, and the plot is really interesting and unique. One thing that did annoy me, though, was that Caitrin came from such a terrible situation and she was so hopeful and optimistic that it didn’t seem real to me, at least in the beginning.

One of the best characters, in my opinion, is Anluan. Marillier’s love stories always tug at my heartstrings and the fact that Anluan was so flawed made it all the better. At first, I didn’t like him at all, but, since the story is in first-person, I got to like him as Caitrin did. Still, I thought their love story was a bit underdeveloped – there wasn’t enough of them bonding for my tastes.

The ending was amazing. I’m trying to so hard not to give anything away, but I will tell you this: the ending made me cry. (Well, almost. I was holding it back so I’d keep my dignity.) It was super sweet and made me feel all gushy and happy inside.

Overall, Heart’s Blood is definitely one of my new favorite fantasy novels. The love story is cute and the plot, though a bit slow in the beginning, definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat near the end. I’d recommend this to any fan of fantasy.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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Writing Wednesday! (4)

So, it’s the first week back to school, and I feel like killing myself. I have no motivation whatsoever to do anything, so I’ve just been playing Bejewled Blitz on Facebook and wasting my time not doing my homework. I think it’s because it’s so cold here that I’m all foggy; it’s been in the forties the past few days and how WEIRD is that for Florida? It actually feels like winter for once in my life!

Anyways, I’ve only written bits and pieces of Truthseer, but I thought I might share something from it. The context of this is, if you’ve read the other part, Finn comes home and her uncle is there, who proposes the idea that she get married to her cousin (non-blood-related). Finn gets all pissed off and storms off, but alas! It begins to rain!

The threat of rain hadn’t alarmed her, but with the sensation of the drops hitting her skin, soaking her hair, her breathing quickened. Soon, it was almost as though her lungs were going to explode from lack of oxygen. All the while, she urged Caro on, her eyes closed tightly, begging for the cave to be near. And then, when she braved them open, Caro was trotting past the opening. It looked strange in the darkness of the torrential downpour, not at all like the inviting place where she’d pretended that she could be a soldier, just like her mom, just like her dad.

She hopped from Caro’s back before she even had a chance to stop and stumbled on the wet ground, but she didn’t care. She could hardly breathe and this rain and her eyes were open and she needed to get away before she had another vision. She dove into the opening, grinding her palms on the cold, wet stone, and curled up against the cave wall, shivering with panic.

After a while, when her breathing had slowed and she was sure she was safe, she heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps from within the cave. She stiffened and turned her head, but the fear inside of her was still there, beating with her heart. She could hold her own against anyone, she knew, she hoped, but it was still alarming.

But then a boy turned the corner and she wasn’t scared.

He was scarcely taller than her, but that wasn’t strange for a boy. Finn was too tall, too unfeminine for most males her age. It didn’t help that she always kept her hair down, even in the depths of summer, instead of succumbing to the strange fashions of hairstyle that kept popping up in the marketplace. She figured that she could easily beat him in a fight; he seemed lanky and gawky, not at all a warrior. A gypsy boy is what he looked like. He had an earring and flashes of gold twinkled from his wrists and fingers. His skin was dark, but tanned that color, not naturally so.

She thought all of this in about half a second. Before she knew it, she was standing up, in fighting stance. “Don’t come any closer,” she growled. She wished she hadn’t forgotten her dagger; she’d left it at home when she was skinning the turkey.

The boy stopped in his tracks, blinking. The light was dim in this part of the cave, but she could see his surprise. “I thought I heard someone come in here,” he said cheerfully. “Did I startle you? I was only using this cave to shelter from the storm. I assume you’re doing the same?” He stepped closer, just as she’d told him not to, and grinned, his teeth too white in the dimness of the cave. “I’m Spider, by the way,” he held out a hand, like he wanted her to shake, like she was a man.

Finn remained stiff, staring at him. He seemed to pose no immediate threat, but she was wary. Why would he be in this part of the forest? In her cave? It wasn’t as if this was heavily traveled territory. The only reason he’d be near here is if he had used the mountain pass to the north or if he was traveling toward it.

He dropped his hand after a moment, staring at her. “I’m not going to hurt you, don’t worry. You look as though you want to attack me or something.”

She wanted to laugh; the boy didn’t look as if he could hurt a fly, let alone a girl almost his height and daughter to two Rorian soldiers, but she remained still. “What are you doing here?” she asked, and her voice sounded too quiet coming from her mouth, not at all loud and menacing like she’d meant.

He smiled again. “Told you, shelter from the storm. I’m just a wayward man, passing through the area, you know. Selling my wares and such.”

She looked about his person for his wares, but he was only carrying a small pack, something with enough supplies for a few days.

He chuckled quietly. “I don’t have any wares, lass. I was just joking. You know, a joke? One you laugh at?” He narrowed his eyes. “Are you alright? I mean, I know those weren’t knee-slappers, but I assure you, they usually get some reaction from strange, soaking wet girls who wander into the caves I happen to be in.”

She sat back down on the floor. This boy was very strange. He certainly didn’t pose a threat, though, so she’d wait out the storm and be on her merry, already-betrothed way once it let up. Maybe she was being grumpy and unsociable, but she didn’t really care. She didn’t much like gypsies; they’d stolen a boatload of her mom’s dresses before. If it hadn’t been for Finn’s nimble legs, they would’ve gotten away with it, too.

He sat down across from her, his mood undampened by her spirits. “This storm doesn’t seem to be letting up. Would you like some cheese? It’s a bit moldy, but you can just brush off those parts and it tastes alright. Almost like real cheese should taste.” He didn’t wait for her reply but pulled off his pack and withdrew some food wrapped in a mountain of cloth that had obviously held much more food before. He’d been traveling for some time, then. He must be on his way from the mountain pass, not towards it.

He offered her a scrap of cheese, but she just stared at it and didn’t take any. She wasn’t hungry.

“Well, you’re a talkative one,” he said through a bite of his moldy cheese. “Tell me, are all the lasses around here quite so effusive?”

He was beginning to get annoying. “Yes,” she replied, just to shut him up.

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In My Mailbox (4)

So, this week was a sad, sad week.

I didn’t get anything to review! However, I have a bunch of books coming in the mail for certain next week, which I’m super excited about, but this post is a bit of a letdown. I actually did get some books, but they aren’t really YA so I’m not going to review them. They’re from my boyfriend’s mom (how schweet!) and there’s a ton of them, so I’m kind of excited to have so much new material.

Anyways, I hope everyone has a good day! It’s my last day of winter break and I’m not really excited to go back to school, but I’ll live. 🙂

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