Beautiful People :: Friendship Edition

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Once again, I'm late posting my Beautiful People post. However, I am a firm believe in better late than never (not really). It's for a good reason, I promise! College started up and I am loving it! Two week down already and I'm feeling like a pro (somewhat). My English professor even complimented my writing on my narrative essay. Needless to say, I'm a happy camper.

Ahem. Now to get back to the point of this post.... This month's Beautiful People is a friendship edition. It was a hard choice, but I finally decided on Brynn and Riley from my main novel, Beginning of the End.  So without further adieu.... 

1. How long have they known each other, and how close are they?
They've known each other since they were babies (so, sixteen years). They know each other inside and out, because Riley's mom helped raise Brynn. Neither of them are open people, but they do confide in each other.

2. What's their earliest memory of being best friends?
Brynn remembers lying on a bottom bunk at Riley's house, tucked in tight under a thick flannel blanket. Riley was on the bunk above her, telling her heroic stories about his dad. Brynn isn't sure, but she guesses that she was 4 or 5 and Riley was 6 or 7.

Riley remembers a night when he was 7 and Brynn was at their house yet again while her cousins were away fighting. She was crying because she missed them, and Riley sat with her on the couch until she calmed down.

3. Do they fight? How long do they typically fight for?
They fight all the time. Usually it's over something small, like a remark that was a little too sarcastic or beating each other at a game. Other times, when the offense is more serious, the fight lasts longer. Probably the longest time they went without speaking to each other (because of an argument) was a week.
4. Are their personalities similar or do they compliment each other?
That's a tricky question. They are similar in so many ways. Both are quiet, stubborn, and reluctant to show their emotions. But they go through highs and lows at different times. When one is depressed, the other is full of hope. It changes all the time. So in that way they compliment each other.

5. Who is the leader of their friendship (if anyone)?
Ha. Brynn thinks she's the leader. Riley thinks he's the leader. (If you're asking me though... my money is on Riley. I think he just lets Brynn get her way because it's easier than starting WW3.)

6. Do they have any secrets from each other?
Yes. Brynn is the secret keeper. Riley would never think of keeping secrets from Brynn, unless he was 100% sure that it was for her own good -- and that rarely happens. Brynn on the other hand... She has no problem with hiding things. And these aren't little things, either.

7. How well do they know each other's quirks and habits?
A little too well. Brynn and Riley can communicate with a simple glance or cough. Riley knows that Brynn is stressed when she rubs her right shoulder blade. Brynn knows that Riley's beyond furious when he suddenly gets quiet. Knowing each other so well isn't always an advantage, though.

8. What kind of things do they like to do together?
Ever since they were little, their favorite pastime was hunting. Now they don't have as much time because of the revolution. But whenever they get free time, Riley and Brynn grab some guns and target practice -- though most of their time is spent arguing over who is the better shot. What they enjoy most, though, is running deep into the woods to a cluster of boulders. Then they just sit. Sometimes they talk, sometimes they don't. Nothing will ever compare to the times spent there.

9. Describe each character's fashion style (use pictures if you'd like!) How are their styles different?
Brynn opts for black leggings and lace-up ankle boots. Depending on the weather, she wears either a tank-top or t-shirt with a dark jacket. On cold days, she usually wears a beanie. Brynn would say that she doesn't have a style; she just goes with what's most practical for training and running through the woods.

Riley almost always wears a t-shirt and cargo pants or jeans. The only thing that changes is the color of the t-shirt, though it's usually white, grey, or green. He is never seen in anything other than his combat boots (unless he's swimming). Like Brynn, Riley believes that clothes should be practical and comfortable.


10. How would their lives be different without each other?
They wouldn't talk to anyone. Seriously. Brynn and Riley only confide in each other. Brynn would have been a lonely orphan, raised by two guy cousins who had no idea what they were doing. Riley would be wallowing in bitterness because of his father's death. Probably the most important part of their friendship is that they each provide a shoulder to cry on.

Anyone else linking up? There's only a day or two more, so don't wait too long!


The Wrath and the Dawn :: Review

Thursday, August 13, 2015


The Wrath and the Dawn, by Renee Ahdieh

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

     Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
  She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all. 

(Prepare for some squealing)

First things first: This book is amazing. I had super high expectations and this book surpassed them all. That's really saying something. There is so much Persian culture (which has always fascinated me), so much intrigue, so much.... Everything. There's even a little bit of magic -- only hints throughout the book, then a bit more at the end. I'm curious to see where the author takes that.

What I Loved: 

The words. Every.Single.Word. was so beautiful. Her descriptions? A masterpiece. I fell in love with each page. This book seriously helped me as a writer -- I want to imitate this style in my own writing because it's just so darn beautiful. 

The characters were real. It was easy to sympathize with the heroes and hate the villains. The main character, Shahrzad, was so snarky and intelligent, it was wonderful. Khalid, the boy-king, had a wit to match Sharhzad's, though he didn't always show it (those two are so perfect). Other honorable mentions include Khalid's cousin and captain of the guard, Jalal (one of my personal favorites) and Despina the handmaiden. Then of course is Tariq, who I hated. He just needs to go, okay? He is waaay to arrogant for my liking.

The story kept me guessing with every plot twist. There were a few things that I was able to predict, but I didn't mind at all -- I read this book in less than 24 hours because I could not put it down. The love story was sweet and not at all forced (which is a pet peeve of mine). The POV changes often, and that annoyed me every now and then (because I just want to get back to Shahrzad, please!), but every POV change -- in fact every thing in the book -- was there for a reason. Looking back now, I'm glad that the story was told through multiple narratives, because it helped me truly see what was going on.

What I Didn't Love:

Not a darn thing.

Honestly, my biggest problem was the ending. I didn't realize that there was a sequel and started to panic when I realized that there were only 3 pages to solve all the world's problems. When the book ended, I just stared off into space. "It can't end there?!?!" Then I flipped over a few pages and found an excerpt for the sequel. That still doesn't make me feel all too happy. I have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next. *Sigh*

Quote Candy Wallpaper for THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renee Ahdieh // Download at

I give this book 5 stars. Two thumbs up. As high praise as I can. Because it deserves it. I will definitely be watching this author, because boy oh boy, she has a gift. 

So go buy this book. Now. You will thank me. Trust me. This is one of the best books out there.

Have you read The Wrath and the Dawn? If not, is this the type of book that you'd like? Why/why not?


Beautiful People :: July Edition

Saturday, August 1, 2015

It's that time again! Beautiful People: July Edition is here and it has a special question in honor of National Ice Cream Day (am I the only one who got ice-cream? it would have been a crime not to). There are a bunch of good questions this month and I absolutely can't wait to get to them. So why wait any longer?

1. What's their favourite ice cream flavor?
Coffee. Coffee coffee coffee. If it has coffee in it, Brynn will eat it. And there has to be chocolate fudge on it. So.... Probably Double Dunker ice cream.

2. Your character is getting ready for a night out. Where are they going? What are they wearing? Who will they be with?
Brynn slips into her black leggings and laces up her combat boots, then puts on a military-green tank top and ties her hair on top of her head. She meets her best friend, Riley, on her doorstep and they head to the woods for some night hunting.

3. Look at your character's feet. Describe what you see there. Do they wear dress shoes, gym shoes, or none at all? Are they in socks that are ratty and full of holes? What do they consider comfortable and what do they consider agony?
I see thick, warm socks and combat boots. The laces are double knotted and the boots have caked mud on the side. Brynn thinks these are the most comfortable shoes she owns, because they've molded to her feet over the past year or so (the boots are all she wears). She had to wear high heels once and thought she was going to die (I don't really blame her). 

4. Do they have any birthmark or scars? Where are they and how did they get them?
She has a two inch scar in the middle of her right shoulder blade. It happened when she was eight years old and training with her cousin Erik. They where in the woods and running downhill when she slipped and cut herself on a sharp rock. Brynn still holds that over him.

Imagine Dragons5.What kind of music do they listen to? Does it change depending on their mood or is it always consistent? (Feel free to share samples!)
Brynn doesn't have much time to listen to music, but when she does, she locks herself in her room, lays on her bed, and listens to her parent's CDs -- most of which were oldies. The music that soothes her the most is the Beach Boys -- she swears that she remembers her dad listening to it. Her absolute favorite music is Imagine Dragons, because she feels like it was written just for her.

6. Do they have any musical talent? Play an instrument? How's their singing voice?
Brynn doesn't know how to play any instruments, and she has no interest in learning. She has a gorgeous singing voice, but no one would ever know. She would just die if someone heard her sing, because she hates her voice.

7. What kind of book would you catch them reading?
It would probably be a mystery/thriller. Something that involved lots of fight scenes. If Brynn is going to take the time to read, it needs to be something fast-paced so it keeps her attention.

8. How would they spend their summers (or their holidays)?
Hunting. Camping. Spending as much time in the woods as possible. And she would do it all with her cousins and Riley.

9. It's Saturday at noon. What is your character doing? Give details. Ex. If they're eating breakfast, what's on the menu? Are they hiking, shopping, lazing around?
She's sitting in Seth's shop while Seth and Riley modify guns. There's a bag of chips on the work table for her to munch on. If they talk, it isn't about anything serious. Around one o'clock they'll realize that they missed lunch, so Brynn opens another bag of chips and the guys keep working while she watches and maybe catches a nap. That's only on off days, though. If they have an assignment, they are obviously out saving the world. 

10. Is there anything your character wants to be free of?
If you ask Brynn, she would say the corrupt Government -- that's the answer everyone expects and Brynn truly does feel that way. But more than anything, she wants to be free of the memory of her parent's murder.

Did anyone else do Beautiful People?