Waiting on Wednesday - Since You've Been Gone

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating. My pre-publication selection for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson.


Since You've Been Gone
Morgan Matson
Series: None
Released: May 6th, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Waited on by: Mel
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The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just... disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try... unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough. Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait... what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Um...

Review: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

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Sea of Shadows
Kelley Armstrong
Series: Age of Legends, #1
Released: April 1st, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: 2 stars
Word Rating: *pig like snoring in the background*
Reviewed by: Mel

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In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

What We're Watching (And You Should Be Too)

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Ellis

So the thing with me is that I watch quite a lot of shows, but there are only a few I keep up-to-date on. The rest I save until the full season - or, in some case, full half of a season - has been broadcast, so that I can binge-watch. For some shows, such as Scandal and Elementary, this is because they are at their best when binge-watched. Others I save for when I'm in a reading or life slump, or when one of the regulars decides to go on a random hiatus of a few weeks. This is maybe one of the few things in life I actually have a system for. Today, I'm only going to talk about five of my regulars.

Keep in mind that this is a list of shows that are currently airing. Otherwise, Suits and Rizzoli & Isles would have been on here for sure.

Teen Wolf


Everyone who knows me, even if it's only a little, should have seen this coming. Teen Wolf is not just one of the regulars. It is The Regular. I've recently started rewatching the show from the beginning, and it's so much better than I remembered it to be. For me, Teen Wolf belongs to that category of obsessions that kind of creeps up on you, but at this point, I'm not even trying to hide, let alone deny, it anymore. 

The cast is racially and sexually diverse - though it does have some problems with queerbaiting certain characters - there are some excellent friendship and romance dynamics, and every single female character puts her male cast members to shame (but not really, because most of them are fabulous, too). Honestly, I could write an entire discussion post on this show alone. Maybe I will. Someday. Oh, and Mama McCall wins everything. Naturally.

To maximise the Teen Wolf experiences: check out the recaps over at The Mary Sue and Heathicorn. They only start at season 3, though. 


The Fosters


This show is probably not that well-known and honestly a little cheesy occasionally, but it's worth watching for several reasons. Here, too, there's some excellent representation of racial and sexual diversity, and it also deals fairly well with the topic of foster families and the foster system in general. (Bet you couldn't guess that from the title.) One of the things I love most about The Fosters is actually its intro. It is so incredibly corny in its imagery of the All American Family but HELL YES. Who says the Fosters can't be a legit representation of the standard American family? So yeah, maybe not the biggest fan of the intro itself, but very much so of the message behind it. Also, Lena and Steph (the moms) are my OTP and Lena just my idol in general. 


Nashville


What I love about Nashville is that it can get super formulaic, but never in a way that it actually feels clich├ęd. I'm usually not a fan of music being performed on drama shows, but here it works. The characters are genuine, the acting is amazing and this show gets serious cookies for featuring one of the best and most realistic redemption stories I've ever seen in fiction. I'm looking at you, Avery Barkley. 


Switched At Birth


I'm in a bit of an on-and-off relationship with Switched At Birth, because it likes to pull some shenanigans every once in a while and I am so very not amused when they do that. This show started out strong, with great consideration of class issues and the deaf community. Then it started to get all political and decided to move the focus to John, which, please don't ever do that again. However, it's finding its roots again, thus why it still belongs to the regulars. One of its definite strong points is the use of ASL and the willingness of the characters to learn in it order to communicate with their friends and family.


The Originals


The Originals kind of is what The Vampire Diaries would be if those characters finally decided to grow up a little. What I'm saying is that it's BETTER. So much better. It's grittier and there's actual plot that isn't all centred around love/destiny crap. (I'm just really angry at the direction TVD has taken, okay?) Also, WITCHES and PLOT and SHENANIGANS and NEW ORLEANS, which I actually like much better than Mystic Falls - or wherever this show now (partially) takes place. It definitely has its flaws but I ship Rebekah and Marcel like nobody's business and, okay, I'll admit it. Honestly? 



YES. MORE PLEASE.


Blythe 

One thing you should know about me is that I'm really, really bad at keeping up with TV shows as they're airing. I'm usually fine, right up until I miss an episode, then it turns into two, then three, etc. This is why Netflix is my best friend, but sometimes I'm even bad at binge-watching and find myself setting shows aside. Either way, here are some of the shows I am watching and currently am not falling behind on, and they're all shows you should watch.

Teen Wolf



Of course Ellis and I agree on this one; this show is seriously one of the best things I'm watching at the moment. Everything Ellis mentioned above is absolutely, entirely accurate, and it's all amazing. The show gets off on a rocky start, but once a certain ship ends, it's smooth sailing. And from then on, it's amazing characters, fantastic ships, and awesome plot twists. If you like ships and feels and also some scary stuff to go with that, you need to watch Teen Wolf. Pretty sure I have about six or seven ships total with this show. Watch it. Thanks. 

Star-Crossed



You guys, this show really, really surprised me. I expected this to be so bad; star-crossed lovers, but one is an alien! And it's forbidden! But seriously, this show is really freaking good. I still need to catch up on the latest episode (so much for the intro I wrote), but I think this has the potential to be a favorite with a few more episodes. The characters are likable, the world-building is really good, and the love interest is wonderfully snarky. But there are, of course, things to be expected in a CW teen drama. So keep that in mind, maybe. 

Breaking Bad



BREAKING BAD. What are you even doing with your life if you're not watching it? It takes a little bit of patience in the first few episodes, but oh my god holy shit this show. If you like shows that are intense practically every single minute, you need to watch Breaking Bad; if you like shows that will give you anxiety and make you hyperventilate, you need to watch Breaking Bad. 

If you want an excuse to look at Aaron Paul's face, you should probably watch Breaking Bad. And I mean, who doesn't want an excuse to look at Aaron Paul's face? He's Aaron Paul. 


UNF UNF UNF UNF 



What are you watching? Anything in common with us? 

Review: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

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COMMENTS

The Impossible Knife of Memory
Laurie Halse Anderson
Series: None
Released: January 7th, 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Rating: 2 stars
Word Rating: Woe is me
Reviewed by: Mel

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For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

Review: She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

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She Is Not Invisible
Marcus Sedgwick
Series: Standalone
Released: April 22nd, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Utterly fascinating
Reviewed by: Blythe

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Laureth Peak's father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers--a skill at which she's remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.


Waiting on Wednesday - Top Ten Clues You're Clueless

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating. My pre-publication selection for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas.


Top Ten Clues You're Clueless
Liz Czukas
Series: None
Released: December 9th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Waited on by: Mel
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Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

Procrastination Reviews: Tsarina and Fire & Flood

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Because I am an epic procrastinator, I have many reviews left unwritten. I keep telling myself I'll write a review, I try (if I even get that far), then I don't. Because after a few months, you've forgotten pretty much everything and all the stuff you have left to say are only enough content for mini-reviews, right? Right. Here are those mini-reviews. They won't be like my regular reviews, or very thorough, but you'll get the basic idea and it diminishes some of my guilt; one I recommend, the other I don't.