Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review: "When My Heart Was Wicked" by Tricia Sterling

Happy Thursday, Sunflowers!

It's been quite a week and I've been loving my time spent with a very good friend who is both reading/writing obsessed. It's been an adventure through the ordinary AND extraordinary. I'm happy happy happy that she has one more week left to stay with us before traveling her 1,000 miles back to her own home. (Too far, says I.)

To celebrate Thursday, here's a review!  *confetti*


Title: When My Heart Was Wicked
Author: Tricia Stirling
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication: February 24, 2015
Pages: 192


"I used to be one of those girls. The kind who loved to deliver bad news. When I colored my hair, I imagined it seeping into my scalp, black dye pooling into my veins.

But that was the old Lacy. Now, when I cast spells, they are always for good."

16-year-old Lacy believes that magic and science can work side by side. She's a botanist who knows how to harness the healing power of plants. So when her father dies, Lacy tries to stay with her step-mother in Chico, where her magic is good and healing. She fears the darkness that her real mother, Cheyenne, brings out, stripping away everything that is light and kind.

Yet Cheyenne never stays away for long. Beautiful, bewitching, unstable Cheyenne who will stop at nothing, not even black magic, to keep control of her daughter's heart. She forces Lacy to accompany her to Sacramento, and before long, the "old" Lacy starts to resurface.

But when Lacy survives a traumatic encounter, she finds herself faced with a choice. Will she use her powers to exact revenge and spiral into the darkness forever? Or will she find the strength to embrace the light?


Very surprising read. Was not expecting it to be as dark or fascinating as it was. Read it in one sitting and highly recommend it. Uplifting ending, despite everything.

Lots to talk about regarding what's actually happening to Lacy, what she's dealing with and how she's growing. Fantastic discussion book. Quite a few people seemed to dislike it for its handling of grittier topics and even a few cited cultural appropriation regarding the mentioning of Native peoples in connection to magic. I personally think this "cultural appropriation" is a bit of a stretch, mostly because I don't believe (at least I can't remember, so feel free to remind me) that it was ever specifically stated what heritage Lacy and her family was. I assumed because of several references to ancient cultures and stories she'd heard throughout her childhood that Lacy's maternal family was more than likely Native themselves.

I do think that the author made a point to create a stark contrast between Lacy and, say, Olive who sported a Taino tattoo because it was "cool" and didn't really understand its meanings or the people it belonged to.

As for the magic - I feel like this was a metaphor. Not, exactly, in the book. I think that the magic happening in the book was meant to be very real, but I believe the author was utilizing the magical elements to help make some points about what was going on and how Lacy was struggling. Lots of Light/Dark and Innocence/Depravity all fighting against each other. I think there were several very poignant points made, and in only such a few pages (under 200).

This book certainly won't be for everyone, but I honestly think it's a shame that there are several people reading the 1 star reviews and then removing the book from their TBR list without trying it out for themselves. Again, this would be a great group discussion book.

Trigger Warning: Abuse, attempted rape, self harm, mental illness


Let's Be Friends!

Auggie is the 29 year old whirlwind owner of Auggie-Talk. A bibliobibuli by nature and a (potentially obsessive) lover of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. Not so secrety secret: She's been known to consume too much caffeine leading to hyperactive rants about her heinous lack of shelving and the high likelihood that Hermione Granger is her spirit animal.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday - 10 Bookish Delights

Greetings, Bibliobabes!

There are so many wonderful things to say about books. I don't think a single person reading this blog would disagree with me when I say that books are life changing things. They're portals to new worlds and new ideas and their power is undeniable.

Why do I enjoy books? The real answer to that question is so complex and emotional that I can't express it in words. I just cant. However, I can certainly come up with at LEAST 10 things about books that make me happy, that keep me coming back.

Here are 10 Bookish Delights that make my reading experiences so tremendously enjoyable.

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

This week's top ten topic is:

Top Ten Bookish Delights!


Flow is a psychological phenomenon, a real actual brain thing, that can happen when you get your hands on a good book (or are just really in to something in general). It's the thing that's happening when someone says that they "got lost in a book". The rest of the world fades away from the conscious activity of your mind and the book is all there is. You're 100% engaged.

Funny thing about FLOW.... it doesn't often happen with assigned reading and even more rarely with ACADEMIC reading material. Flow happens most often with books that were hand picked by the individual. Flow happens when several criteria are met including:

Clear Set Goal
Moderate Level of Challenge
Likelihood of Completion
Enjoyment of Activity

So, next time you get "lost" in a book, remember... it's science!

Beautiful Covers 

Cover art can be so tremendously gorgeous. It's art on your bookshelves. I've been known to keep books that I didn't like AT ALL because the cover art was too lovely and I didn't want to part with it.

Stories That Stay With You Forever 

We all have the stories that stuck with us, that changed us somehow, that we think about and either smile or cringe. "Howl's Moving Castle" is an example of one book that has a permanent position in my happy thoughts. "The Iron Dragon's Daughter" on the other hand, has a home in the "Forever Traumatized" sector of my mind.

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Fantastic Authors

Growing up, I was never a celebrity fan. There were celebrities that I liked okay, specifically actors/actresses that I liked enough to see their movies just because they were in them. But, it was never a "MY HEART! YOU OWN A PART OF MY SOUL" experience.

I didn't start having fan twitches until I was in my early 20's - and they were for Authors.  Authors are what finally unlocked that giddy-irrational love for people I've never met before. I could never imagine myself hyperventilating over meeting someone like a musician or a movie star but If I had ever had an opportunity to speak with Diana Wynne Jones, I probably would have dissolved from joy.  Authors are love. J.K. Rowling


Characters To Love  

Books introduce you to people who become heart-buddies. Despite the fact that they're entirely fictional, they become these real entities that illicit real feelings from you. You feel close to them, like they're a friend, or a sibling, or even a lover.

When an author can create something that feels so real, real enough that it touches a part of your heart reserved for living-breathing humans... you know you've found a keeper.

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Quotes To Remember

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." ~ The Princess Bride by William Goldman

"It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live." ~ Harry Potter And the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

"I think we ought to live happily ever after." ~ Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

"You don't understand, do you? I don't want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted, just like that, and it didn't mean anything? What then?" ~ Coraline by Neil Gaiman


Worlds To Explore  

Readers are all explorers. Adventurers. Experience seekers. We've seen unfathomable worlds, met unbelievable people, and have been asked to consider events and make decisions that normal individuals would balk at.

We're the Dr. flying through time and space on a Tardis we can hold in our hands. We live thousands of lives. How is that not completely exhilarating to even think about?!

(Some Favorite Worlds: Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Charlie Bone, Enchanted, House of Many Ways)

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Lessons To Learn 

Some of our reads are fluff. They're fun and entertaining, and even if they DO have a moral, maybe we we just missed it or it wasn't important to us at the time. Other books pack such a punch that we feel like we experienced the lesson-learning ourselves. We made the mistakes, we lost the loves, we told the lie, started the war, regained friends, and discovered that there's more to people than meets the eye.

We've learned a lot, consciously or not.


Words to Mispronounce

Colonel, sciatica, soldering, Hors d'oeuvres, aegis, cache, Hermione, and so on.


Something Special To Blog About

Before I started my book blog, I blogged about regular things. Life things. Adventure things. That was all great, but It wasn't a community. It was really just an online journal. When I started blogging about books I discovered this new world filled with people who had a similar interest to mine. Discovering new books, talking about beloved stories, and enjoying the magic of writing with so many others became such an enjoyable pass time.

Now, when I pick up a book (especially one I end up really loving) I can't wait to share it with others in the book blog community. That's you guys!

What are your Bookish Delights?

Let's Be Friends!

Auggie is the 29 year old whirlwind owner of Auggie-Talk. A bibliobibuli by nature and a (potentially obsessive) lover of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. Not so secrety secret: She's been known to consume too much caffeine leading to hyperactive rants about her heinous lack of shelving and the high likelihood that Hermione Granger is her spirit animal.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Bout Of Books 16 Is Coming!

Hey, Bibliobabes! 

Get ready for another read-a-thon extravaganza!

Bout Of Books 16 starts in TWO WEEKS. The sign up has been posted! You don't need a blog to participate, so what are you waiting for?

Here is my intentions post for B.O.B 16! *pom poms*

Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Bout Of Books is an incredible read-a-thon. I've participated several times and it just keeps getting better. The people are awesome, the atmosphere is really positive, and it's just a good time all around. There are challenges every day, awesome giveaways, and twitter chats that will have you rolling in the floor with laughter. Even if your goal is to try to read a few pages during your crazy week, everyone will be cheering you on!

Potential Goals

4 Books (Only from my current shelf)

The goal this B.O.B is to not only read 4 books in 1 week, but to read ONLY books that I currently own and that have been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to notice them. 

Here is a short list of books I might be looking to read during B.O.B 16 (If I don't get to some of them beforehand).

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What are you waiting for?! JOIN US! 

Let's Be Friends!

Auggie is the 29 year old whirlwind owner of Auggie-Talk. A bibliobibuli by nature and a (potentially obsessive) lover of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. Not so secrety secret: She's been known to consume too much caffeine leading to hyperactive rants about her heinous lack of shelving and the high likelihood that Hermione Granger is her spirit animal.