Me and Finals…in GIF

When my Business Intro professor says “no study guide”:

When my Business Intro professor caves and gives one after all:

When I still try and sneak “fun” books between study breaks:

When my Brit Lit professor says Harry Potter will be on the test:

When I’m the only one who followed directions for the group project:

When a friend still hasn’t started their essay that’s due TOMORROW:

When a friend asks me to proofread their essay:

When I’m preparing for the final:

When I actually start the final:

When I’m actually in the final:

When I come out of finals:

When grades haven’t been posted yet:

When I realize I get to do this all over again next semester:

A sort-of writing update and an apology

This summer has been consumed with creative expansion (watching Merlin), social networking (wasting time on the internet), mind feeding (pretending to study), and writing/editing (staring at the screen for hours on end and occasionally typing). It has been hectic to say the least.

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Especially when you throw in this whole divorce debacle and the stuff that comes with it. (Adult children aren’t supposed to get caught up in this thing, but because I’ve been live in nanny for two years, that sort of happens by default.)

Despite all that, I have completed the bajillionth round of edits on the Daindreth’s Assassin book. Remember Daindreth’s Assassin? The one I was supposed to finish editing over the summer before I started on Argetallam six? More than a year since I first started writing it, the story is off to my first beta reader. I am left with the first 1,500 words of Argetallam six and the first 105,000 words of the third book in the Daindreth’s Assassin series.

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Right now the statistics of my thought processes are something like this:

7% Merlin

30% Worrying about family

5% Random internet memes and fandom references

1% Origins of the universe

50% Daindreth’s Assassin

7% Guilt over books I haven’t read

That last part brings me to the apology portion of this post—the lack of reviews for the past two weeks. There are no reviews because, well, I haven’t been reading. :O I’ve been devoting my spare time to either watching Merlin with my brother or writing. Plus, I really just haven’t found a story that I wanted to finish lately, I’m in another one of those slumps.

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I have one or two reviews that I haven’t yet posted which should be appearing soon, but I may fall behind more on my reading challenge and on my weekly reviews.

Of course, if I just cut back on the internet, things could work out…

Bear with me! Things might be getting worse as I start taking four different college classes this upcoming semester, but I just ask that you be patient with little me and keep in mind that I have not forgotten about you guys or my writing.

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My Rating System: An Explanation

You may notice that there are a lot of 5- and 4-star reviews around here. Very rarely will you see a 3-star and I don’t think I’ve ever posted a 2-star on here. (Maybe one? Not many.)

Now, this does not mean I fall madly in love with the 5- and 4-star books. It is actually very rarely that a book gets me fangirling enough to earn itself a spot on my Shelf of Awesome. Sometimes I give 5 sparkly stars to a book when I know I don’t want to read the sequels (I have also been known to eventually go and gobble up whole series of the books I only gave three).

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When I rate a book, I try to give credit where credit is due. Reading is a highly subjective thing and to some degree I try to stay objective. Like many writers, I tend to edit in my head a I read books, but I can turn down the volume on my inner editor enough to enjoy a book with bad mechanics, bad formatting, or even plot holes—so long as it has some other literary qualities I enjoy (such as dragons or pretty much any form of magic). By the same token, I might open a book to find flawless formatting, perfect copyediting, succinct dialogue—but for whatever reason it will just fall flat for me.

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Just because I didn’t enjoy a book doesn’t mean I think it was written poorly and just because I enjoyed a book doesn’t mean I think it was written well. For example, Hidden by M. Lathan brought me far less enjoyment than Captured by Erica Stevens, yet I’ll be the first to admit that Hidden was the better book. From an editorial standpoint, the plot was better formed, the formatting was superior, the mechanics were pulled off without a hitch—I just couldn’t get into it the way I did Captured because Captured “clicked” for me and Hidden didn’t.

Certain books “click” for me that don’t “click” for other people and vice versa—that’s just the way it is. I try to take that into account when I write my reviews. I also try to take into account if a book is well written or not. That is why some of my favorites only got four stars and some of the five stars were deleted off my Kindle straightaway.

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This is making me sound like a mature, focused reviewer, right? Wrong. There have been rare occasions where I have discounted a book down to 4-stars when the characters made me angry *coughcoughCrownofMidnightcoughcough* and given 5-stars to a book I loved that should have realistically been 3.5-stars. What can I say? I’m still human.

When it comes down to it, I really don’t like writing negative reviews. I really don’t. That’s why my star ratings hover around 4-5—if I enjoyed a book, it seems just rude to give it anything less. If I didn’t enjoy the book, but I think all the mechanics were decent, I still want to acknowledge the good points.

In the dreaded situation that the book fails both standards…well then I close my eyes, give it three stars and do my best not to feel like an evil witch.

Top Ten Favorite Bromances

In the wake of last week’s bromance talk, I decided to write up a blog post detailing my top ten favorite bromances.

Darmik and Neco (True Reign series by Jennifer Anne Davis)

Their bromance isn’t really in plain sight until the second book in the trilogy, but I adore it. They have that whole brothers at arms thing going on and that just gets to me.

Peter Pevensie and Edmund Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis)

These two brothers fight, argue, and are basically just boys. But they always have each other’s backs. I especially love how Edmund is there for Peter in the later books and movies. So sweet.

Gimli and Legolas (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien)

I particularly like the Legolas/Gimli dynamic. They start off making racist jibes at one another and end up sailing off into the unknown as BFF’s. (Shh, don’t tell Thranduil.)

Devon and Julian (The Kindred series by Erica Stevens)

Unless you’ve read the last three books in the series, this won’t make sense. Devon and Julian are literally trying to kill each other in books 1-2, but bond over their shared love of Cassie and their desire to protect her. In the end, they get over their jealousy of one another and stand shoulder to shoulder, a true bromance.

Harry Potter and Ron Weasley (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

If this one needs explaining, go read the books and then we’ll talk.

Will Treaty and Horace (Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan)

In the beginning, Horace is the bully who kicks little Will’s backside for laughs. Then as girls, war, bigger bullies, giant pigs, battles, and other horrors assail them, they become close friends, even besties. I may have decided I disliked this series after book 5, but their relationship was still adorable.

Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, and Castiel (Supernatural, created by Eric Kripke)

Okay. Talk about a bromance! Nine seasons of these idiots killing monsters, betraying, making up, going to hell, going to heaven, coming back, dying, resurrecting, hunting, crying, being there for each other, missing each other—yeah. It’s just really hard not to love these guys.

Dorian Haviliard and Chaol Westfall (Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas)

As Crown Prince and Captain of the Guard, there is a certain class barrier, but they’re both one another’s only true friends and it’s precious to see them tease and scold each other. I really hope their friendship isn’t damaged after Crown of Midnight because that would suck rotten eggs. (GO TEAM CHAOL!!!)

Terence and Sir Gawaine (The Squire’s Tales series by Gerald Morris)

They start out as a teacher/student type duo, but as Terence gets older, Gawaine becomes closer to Terence than his own siblings. Then they become brothers-in-law, thus canonizing their bromance.

Arthur and Merlin (The Adventures of Merlin, created by Julian Jones)

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Oh my gosh, I started this series two weeks ago and I’m besotted. The brotherly relationship between Merlin and Arthur—with all their teasing and name-calling and being willing to die for one another—is definitely one of the highlights.

Thus concludes my Top Ten. If you haven’t read/watched any of these series, you really should. What are you favorite bromances?