Book Review Tuesday (2/20/18)-Thunderhead

HEY EVERYONE!

Again, I’m home sick, (I SWEAR TO GOD, THIS COLD WILL NOT LET GO), but don’t worry-this time, I’ve got a book review!

This one’s a book I’ve been anticipating eagerly since October of last year. It’s the sequel to Scythe (If you want to see my review for that one, see 10/17/17), and boy, if the first book was mind-blowing, Thunderhead BLEW IT OUT OF THE WATER! Which, honestly, was no surprise, as Neal Shusterman is a spectacular author, but let me just warn you that the ending left me…

…how should I say this?

Speechless. Mentally unstable. Shook. DEADISH.

Alright, I had to throw in a Scythe joke in there at some point. Not sorry. Here’s your review!

No spoilers. Promise.

 

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Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2)

Since their apprenticeship, Citra and Rowan-now Scythe Anastasia and Scythe Lucifer-have gone in wildy different directions. Scythe Anastasia has remained within the Scythedom as it slowly crumbles into corruption. She knows something must be done, but everything she tries is blocked from all directions. Even with the help of her mentor, Scythe Curie, it seems that the Scythedom is doomed. Scythe Lucifer, after failing his apprenticeship, has broken off from the Scythedom, snuffing out all of the Scythes he deems corrupt. He’s now one of the most wanted people in the Scythedom, but thusfar, he has evaded them for almost a year. Through it all, Scythe Anastasia isn’t the only one with it’s eyes on the Scythedom’s path. The Thunderhead, the digital ruler of the new world, is not pleased with what it sees. But is there anything it can do?

 

Okay, THIS BOOK IS A MASTERPIECE. FIVE BIG FAT STARS. SOLID TEN ON MY SCALE. JEEEEEEEEEEESUS, I LOVE THIS BOOK.

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(SIDENOTE-I’m pretty sure I looked like Chris Pratt here a few times while reading Thunderhead. No joke.)

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Yep, I think the Arc of a Scythe series is now up there right next to The Search for WondLa and Keeper of the Lost Cities as one of my favorite book series of all time.

 

Well, thanks for reading, and stay warm/healthy/sane!

 

*mic drop*

 

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Twin Fantasy (2018 Re-release) album review

Yep, that’s right, everyone! Here is your promised Car Seat Headrest album review!

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Let me just start this off by saying…

There is not a single bad song on this album. 

 

Okay, that’s probably a teensy bit biased, but that’s what I’ve truly come to believe. I had bought a few songs off the original album, and they blew me away, but this re-release truly blew it out of the water. Don’t believe me? Here’s my review!

 

TRACK 1: “My Boy (Twin Fantasy)”-8/10

Though it’s only around two and a half minutes long, this song is a beautiful mix of simultaneous hope and poignancy, with consistancy and slowy building vocals and instrumentals. *sad smile* Aww, Will…

 

TRACK 2: “Beach Life-In-Death”-7.5/10

Normally, my patience for songs runs out at about eight minutes. “Beach Life-In-Death” clocks in at about thirteen. But the good thing about this song is that it’s like three different songs. The first five minutes or so have lyrics that reflect a sense of boredom and redundancy. Then, it changes to melancholy and regret, then slowly transitions back into fast-paced instruments similar to the first third of the song. Me gusta.

 

TRACK 3: “Stop Smoking (We Love You)”-8.5/10

 

 

This was one of the songs I initially bought off the original version of the album. A beautiful, pleading melody with a great message to top it all off. This new version backs up the instrumentals in the background a lot, making the song almost more powerful and meaningful, in some strange way.

 

TRACK 4: “Sober to Death”-10/10

 

This was the second song I bought off the original album. And OH MY GOD, Car Seat Headrest blew it out of the water EVEN MORE with the new version of this song! I loved the original the second I heard it, but this version makes me want to jump out of my chair and scream, cry, and dance. It really stirs up my soul and makes it want to burst at the very seams with pure joy. I swear I’m not overexaggerating-THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST SONGS IN RECORDED HISTORY. PERIOD.

 

TRACK 5: “Nervous Young Inhumans”-9/10

(This is the greatest music video ever. I gotta learn Will Toledo’s little dance.)

This song was the other one that I bought off the original album. Though I miss Will Toledo’s little rant about galvanism and Frankenstein and whatnot, I loooooooove the new version of this song. The lyrics (slightly changed) are easier to understand now, and their cleverness and wit truly shines through with this track.

 

TRACK 6: “Bodys”-7/10

Not the best track on the album, but a fun, catchy, and at times a bit hilarious song.

Okay, I’ll admit, the first time I heard Will Toledo say “Is it the chorus yet?
No. It’s just a building of the verse…” I cracked up. No joke. It’s almost like he wanted the song to end…God, I love Will so much.

 

TRACK 7: “Cute Thing”-9/10

 

Aaaaaah! Lovelovelovelove! Such a beautiful, quirky, song-something about it feels like a sort of anthem. An Indie-Rock love anthem. Also, kudos for the They Might Be Giants references.

 

TRACK 8: “High to Death”-7/10

This song moves about like a lazy river, foggy and misty, almost like a kind of wistful dream. Almost beautifully melancholy, and in the slightest sense, almost dirge-like. The lyrics of “Stop Smoking (We Love You)” are hidden in there too, but they’ve been twisted a bit, which I thought was interesting.  I didn’t like the random samples and looped vocals for the last two or so minutes of the song.

 

TRACK 9: “Famous Prophets (Stars)”-7/10

 

Like the track prior, “Famous Prophets (Stars)” has a dream-like quality, albeit a 16-minute long dream. It’s a pretty song, but after about around ten minutes, you kind of get the feeling like, “Jesus CHRIST, is this song ever going to end?” Like “High to Death”, there were some odd samples, and more lyrics from other songs (this time, slowed down lyrics to “My Boy (Twin Fantasy)”.

 

TRACK 10-“Twin Fantasy (Those Boys)”-7/10

With some lyrics borrowed from one of their older songs (“Sunburned Shirts”), more looped vocals, more brief Will Toledo musings, and an air of melancholy, regret, and almost jealousy, “Twin Fantasy (Those Boys)” makes for an interesting track. I like it about the same as I did “Bodys”. A sweet, wistful kind of song.

 

Just like I did with MASSEDUCTION, I averaged all of my scores for each song, and came out with a solid 8. Overall, pretty dang close to a masterpiece as far as albums go. An amalgam of melancholy, angst, hope, and poignancy that I doubt I’ll get tired of in the near future.

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I hope you enjoyed my album review, and have a great rest of your day!

 

Welp…

Yeah, sorry, I forgot to do the BRT this week, sorry. I was home sick, and I kept thinking of  doing it, but I never ended up doing it. I’ve been reading some really good stuff lately, though, so you can expect something good for next week’s BRT. 😉

 

Also, Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day! (Believe it or not, I had something of a date…if you can call Neal Shusterman’s Thunderhead a valid date…)

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Don’t worry, I’ve got something good up my sleeve for either tomorrow (or sometime in the very near future), because Car Seat Headrest’s Twin Fantasy review came out today, and boy, am I pumped! I’ll probably do a review of it, and you can expect that it’ll be far less salty than my MASSEDUCTION review I did last year. (Such a disappointment…)

 

 

HAppY vALentIMeS

Book Review Tuesday (2/6/18)-Kat and Meg Conquer the World

Hey, everyone, and welcome to the first BRT of February 2018!

Pretty much the most boring month of the year. There’s Valentine’s Day, but that’s pretty much all that goes on. Plus, Valentine’s Day is basically for stuffing yourself with overly sweet chocolates and insincere, fill in the blank cards.

*Will Toledo voice* “I’m so sick of…fill in the blank…”

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Aaaaaaanyway…

PLOT TWIST-I got the following book from an internship I had at my local bookstore. I got to pick out seven Advanced Reader Copies in exchange for a review of all of them. (The best part? If I didn’t like the book, all I had to write was “Would Not Recommend”!)

It seemed that this ARC had been in there a little while, as it came out last November, I believe. But anyway, it was the first really fantastic one that I came across. Enjoy my review!

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Kat and Meg Conquer the World

Though Kat and Meg are both freshmen in the same high school, they couldn’t be more different. Kat just moved, and she’s introverted and suffers from an anxiety disorder. Meg is far more extroverted, but she has ADHD and her parents just divorced. But when they’re partnered for a science fair project, they discover that they have so much more in common than they thought-in particular, their shared love of the video game Legends of the Stone, and a YouTube star who plays it. Soon, they become immersed in their LotS-oriented project, but it soon takes them down roads they’ve both never traveled before-be it a LotS convention, boyfriends, and even the YouTube star himself.

 

 

Squee! Even if you’re not a gamer, you’ll have no trouble understanding or (thoroughly) enjoying this book. Very realistic, diverse characters, fast-paced and well written, and all around fun! (Also, the back of the book said that it’s perfect for “fans of Nicola Yoon’s ‘Everything, Everything’, which I adored, so that’s a plus.)

 

Thanks so much for reading, and have a great evening!

Book Review Tuesday (1/30/18)-Fairy Keeper

Hey there, fellow bookworms, and welcome to the last BRT of January 2018?

Is it just me or did this month fly by super fast? Come to think of it, that’s probably a pretty good thing. I’m kinda tired of nuts and tide pods and Somebody Toucha My Spaghets. (The latter wasn’t even that funny to begin with.) Gah.

Anyway, I actually bought this one on my Kindle while in Florida almost a month ago. The author had a very intersting take on mythical creatures, and a society that almost revolves around them.

Okay, now I’ll get to the review before I spoil anything more!

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Fairy Keeper

In the world of Alluvia, many resources come from magic and mythical creatures. One of those is fairies-not the beautiful, dainty creatures you’ve been led to believe in, but more like bees than anything-used to produce nectar. The special humans who tend for them are the Fairy Keepers, marked by a butterfly-shaped birthmark on their necks and gifted with the ability to communicate and control a hive of fairies. Fourteen-year old Sierra is one of the Fairy Keepers, but she doesn’t enjoy her sacred job. But her opinion is soon shifted when she finds all of the fairies in her hive dead and the queen missing. She soon learns that this is no coincidence-fairy hives across Alluvia have been wiped out, and every queen gone with them. Will she find the source of these mysterious deaths, and stop it before every last fairy is gone?

 

Though this book wasn’t outstanding, it was certainly a very interesting and inventive take on magical creatures, and an alternate world that revolves around magic itself. The characters were very realistic, and it was easier to relate with their struggles.

 

Thanks so much for reading, and have an amazing rest of your day!

 

 

Elves and Such

On January 8, 2018, I had absolutely no idea whatsoever what to draw.

So, I started sketching the outline of a human face in my sketchbook.

Slowly but surely, it morphed into a kind of ethereal being, adorned with delicate jewelry and simple makeup. This was the finished product.

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I decided that she was some sort of elf. Overtime, she began to capture my imagination, and became obsessed with sketching these beautiful elves.

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My second elf. I really enjoyed working with her hairstyle and circlet.

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This might be my favorite out of all of them. I especially enjoyed the thorn-like piercings at the top of the ear and the feather woven in her hair. I imagined that it might be from some sort of hawk or falcon.

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This one sorta looks like she has KISS makeup. Oops. 🤘😜

She’s also the only one of the elves who has…

…drumroll, please…

…eyebrows.

I don’t know why, they’re kind of prettier without them. With this particular one, I felt that it kind of fit, but otherwise, I nixed them out of the other drawings.

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I really enjoyed this one’s expression-curious and a little pensive at the same time. I also used the same technique for the curly hair as I did when I drew Annie Clark and Dustin Henderson.

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My final elf, so far. I thought of giving her more of a flower crown, but I decided that the whole concept was rather overused. The little blossoms and petals in her hair and the twin roses on either side seemed better, anyways.

 

Have a favorite? Feel free to comment! I hope you enjoyed my elves!

 

GUESS WHO’S BAAAAAACK? (This is Me from Now On)

That’s right, the octopus girl I mentioned a few months earlier has RETURNED! (See I Know You’re Sick of my Weird Mermaid-Like Things By Now, But…)

Oh, and did I mention, she has a name?

Pearl.

 

So anyway, I’m assuming you guys really want an explanation as to why the heck Neon Cheetah has been replaced as the header image.

As time went on since I first adopted the name and character, I started to realize that Neon Cheetah didn’t really…fit. I’m rather salty, introverted, and a bit reserved, and somehow, an anthropomorphized cheetah with rainbow spots and dyed hair didn’t quite match up. And I had started having more and more fun drawing Pearl in her various forms, that I thought that she might be better for me anyway.

So Neon Cheetah isn’t dead or anything, don’t worry. I just feel that I needed a bit of a change.

Also, the rainbow, leopard print background on here kinda hurt my eyes after a while. Yeesh. You couldn’t even see the home button.

 

So now, here are a few Pearl portraits I’ve done since her last blog appearance.

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Currently on my bulletin board. This is pretty much where she first had clearly visible gills.

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The lyrics here are from Car Seat Headrest’s “America (Never Been)”. Beautiful song, if you haven’t heard it already.

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I might’ve been a little heavy-handed on the tilt shift on this one, but heck, I’m still proud of it.

 

I also ended up making a Christmas ornament of Pearl, as well as a bookmark with her on it, along with the Betty Smith quote, “The world was hers for the reading.” She’s also involved in another project I’m working on currently. That’s all I’ll disclose for the time being.

 

Until next time, everyone!