The Cruel Prince By Holly Black | A Book Review

TitleThe Cruel Prince

Author: Holly Black

Genre: Fantasy

About the book: The first novel in a new series called The Folk of the Air. I received an ARC from Hachette.

First impressions: The story grew on me. I’ve read books by Black in the past, yet I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. It’s also been a while since I’ve read a fantasy novel, but I enjoyed the book more once I had a better grasp of the world.

Summary: Jude is a mortal who has to live with faeries. She wants to fit in, but the people there dislike humans. As a fight for the throne ensues, Jude has to go to great lengths to protect herself and the people she cares about.

Characters: It took some time for me to warm up to some of the characters, even the female protagonist. That said, I liked Jude’s attitude even though the odds were stacked against her.

Cardan is the youngest prince. He’s an interesting character to say the least. However, I feel I still don’t really know him. He’s not the nicest person in the world. In fact, he’s mean to Jude for most of the novel.

While I predicted how the romantic subplot would turn out, I’m not too fond of the relationship.

Quote:

“No one can really plan for every variable, though.”

Conflict: Mortal and faerie tension with a twist is the best way I can describe it. The pacing isn’t the best but it’s not awful. The plot starts off a little slow but picks up as the story unfolds. In my opinion, the ending got more and more intriguing.

Writing: The author did a solid job with the descriptions of people as well as places. She develops the book’s world quite well.

Final thoughts: The conclusion makes me want to read the next book. I was unsure about whether or not I’d continue the series up until the midway point. Then twists and turns started happening, especially during the last one hundred pages or so. In a way, the reading experience felt like a magical journey.

If you enjoy faerie fantasy stories with a modern moral twist, consider preordering The Cruel Prince. It comes out in January 2018.


If you haven’t already, feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading when I remember to update my status.

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I Hate Being Bored

There’s something to be said for my hatred of boredom. I hate being bored. I’ll do just about anything if it means I’m doing something.

That explains why I also despise waiting. I try to do things while I’m waiting. Otherwise, I’d lose my mind.

But due to circumstances I didn’t see coming, I had to wait at the dentist for a while without anything to keep me occupied. I didn’t have pen or paper. I didn’t have a book. I didn’t have my phone.

So even though I felt a bit frustrated at first, I resorted to observing others.

I got to observe a father and son. Maybe a story will come out of it. Maybe not. I’ll have to add some kind of conflict or tension because the two were so happy. Meanwhile there was me being all bitter.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to handle parenthood, especially being a single mother. Although there wouldn’t be a dull moment in my life again if I had a kid to look after.

I kept thinking to myself why can’t I just sit and wait for a while? Because I don’t sit and wait ever.

I always feel like I should be doing something. I cannot not do anything. I feel weird and wrong doing nothing. I tried to relax. After all, there wasn’t much I could do. But to be honest I was anything but relaxed. I felt anxious. I felt I needed to be reading, writing, something.

Of course, I did a lot of thinking during the time. Part of me wishes I had a way of recording my thoughts then because I’ve forgotten them all now. I’d love to have some sort of technology to do that.

Of course, things worked out just fine. The world didn’t end. The sky didn’t fall.

Still, this isn’t an experience I’d like to repeat again. But it made me think about myself, about life in general.

Waiting at the dentist was almost as bad as watching paint dry.

Anyhow, this turned out to be one of the more interesting trips to the dentist I’ve had in a long time. That said, my last trip entailed running on about three hours of sleep right after an exam. That’s a story in and of itself.

You’re Worthy | A Poem

I know you don’t believe me

But I hope you believe in yourself

I see the way you’re oblivious

To everyone else in the room

They’re looking at you

Not because you’re ugly

Girl, you’re beautiful

You want to change

But you’re perfect this way

You don’t have to look like

Edited images

On TV

Billboards

Every glossy magazine

Maybe you don’t see your own beauty

But perhaps one day you’ll understand

I need you to remember

You’re worthy

Take Care Of Yourself

When I’m not feeling well, I’m torn between doing nothing so I can rest or doing everything in hopes I’ll get better because I’ve been productive.

A part of me knows I’m allowed take a day off from writing or blogging. But another part wants to persevere. The latter wins out more often than not.

I compromised. I didn’t force myself to go above and beyond. Even though I didn’t want to do too much, I did a little. I’ll take it. Some progress is better than none.

My head hurt. It was especially painful to be inverted. So while dancing I tried to keep upright as much as possible. Although I hate feeling ill, I like rebounding from a bad day or three. Knowing I took it easy even out of necessity motivates me to try harder when I’m feeling better.

Unless I’m beyond saving, I won’t nap during the day. I don’t know why. I think my body doesn’t know how to fall asleep in the middle of the afternoon. I could feel awful, and I’d still be awake.

I shouldn’t be hard on myself. I am human after all. Obviously, I would’ve liked to do more. But why work myself until I burn out?

I’m reminded of baseball. It’s easier and better to give athletes a day off even when they don’t need one. It’s worse to push professional athletes to the point where they get injured, only letting them rest too little too late. They’ll take longer to recover from an injury then.

Better to give someone a break before they break something.

I never know if my analogies or examples make sense to anyone not named Herminia Chow. But if you need a sign to take a break and relax a bit, here it is.

Do what you can to prevent yourself from getting injured or ill. Prevention beats cure any day of the year.

Control the things you can. And deal with what you can’t. Always be kind to yourself because if you aren’t, who will be?

Fading Memory | A Poem

She gripped the edge

Saw the blood

Fought back

Once

Screams penetrated

The loud silence

But no one listened

They didn’t understand

Everyone dismissed

Reality

Skin broke

Into raw blisters

All the signs pointed

In one direction

Heard stories

Sorry

She agonized

World never noticed

Until all that remained

Didn’t matter anyway

No recollection

Forgotten

For years

She was always

Just another fading memory

Frequently Asked Questions About Studying For Exams

Whenever exam season rolls around, I ask myself the same questions about studying. So I figured I should answer some of them in a blog post.

How should I study?

Review actively. Use as many of your five senses as possible. Reading the textbook is more passive than writing notes. Having your friend quiz you is more active than listening to recorded lectures. You get the idea. The more you involve your senses, the better you’ll remember dense material.

When should I study?

Try to study during or around the hours your exam will take place. This primes your brain to think about psychology at 9 a.m. on a Monday or morphology at 5 p.m. on a Saturday.

Where should I study?

Learning different subjects in separate environments can improve retention or at the very least, reduce confusion. So study German in the kitchen and Latin in the office. Ideally, you’d review in the same room you’ll be writing your exam in. Context dependent memory is real.

How do I remember what I studied?

You don’t.

Try to condense your notes instead of rewriting them. Even if you aren’t allowed to use a cheat sheet, create one. After all, condensing fifty pages of information down to five forces you to select and understand key concepts. In terms of recall, writing something down is better than reading the same thing over and over again.

Happy studying. Then again, when is studying ever happiness inducing?

20 Things I Learned In 20 Years

I’ve learned a lot of lessons in twenty years.

  1.   People suck.
  2.   Forgiving is hard.
  3.   Give before you get.
  4.   I’m not alone.
  5.   Comparing is unfair.
  6.   Wounds heal.
  7.   Timing counts.
  8.   Regret nothing.
  9.   Life goes on.
  10.   Do not envy.
  11.   Things happen for a reason.
  12.   People come and go.
  13.   Friends are important.
  14.   Mental health matters.
  15.   Appreciate art.
  16.   Be kind to strangers.
  17.   Do what makes me happy.
  18.   How to say no.
  19.   Stay true to who I am.
  20.   Love myself.

Fire And Smoke | A Poem

Where are you?

I wish they could see

Nothing is what it seems

Not when you’re young

Still trying to figure out

What’s a dream

What isn’t reality

I’m trying to find a place

Where I can go

To be alone

I’ll wish on a star

The brightest in the sky

So it can guide me home

The darkness makes me remember

Memories I thought I lost

I’m still waiting for a sign

A reflection of fire and smoke

I hope during sunrise

And pray at nightfall

Dangerous Illusions By Irene Hannon | A Book Review

Title: Dangerous Illusions

Author: Irene Hannon

Genre: Romantic Suspense

About the book: The first novel in the Code of Honor series. Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

First impressions: I found the synopsis intriguing. The first chapter does a great job pulling readers in by posing a bunch of questions. It made me keep reading.

Summary: Trish Bailey has a lot on her plate. Someone dies, and the unexpected death casts suspicions on her. But Colin Flynn investigates the matter until the scary truth comes out.

Characters: The story revolves around a female protagonist who loses just about everything. Trish is smart and strong throughout it all. Colin compliments her well. The secondary characters do too. Interestingly enough, there are multiple greedy villains in this one.

Quote:

“But all she could do was hope answers would be found and guilty parties apprehended without further incident.”

Conflict: I’ll never get tired reading about good guys and gals versus bad ones. The plot turned out to be more complex than I thought. Hannon threw a certain curveball from left field that took me by surprise.

Writing: I think the pacing works well, not too slow but not too fast. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. I found myself guessing right along as the story progressed.

The book’s well-written. I did find some clichés, but I enjoyed the different plot. I’ve never read anything quite like it.

As usual, the chapters aren’t too long. Hannon balances showing with telling, dialogue and description.

I’m not a big fan of romance. That being said, I didn’t hate Colin and Trish’s relationship. They’re good to each other.

Final thoughts: The ending ties everything together. It’s predictable and unpredictable at the same time.

I’m interested in reading more of her work. I’m not religious, but I didn’t mind the references to God.

If you’re into romantic suspense with a focus on detective work, Dangerous Illusions might be right up your alley.


If you haven’t already, feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading when I remember to update my status.

This post has affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase using them, I earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

My Novel Writing Process

I’ve written some novels in my lifetime. But whenever I undertake a new one, I’m not sure how I’ll make it to the end. This is a glimpse into my writing process.

Brainstorming

I’m a character-centric writer. Always have been, always will be. So I tend to come up with an interesting person and throw conflict at him or her as I go.

Outlining

Based on past experience, if I had to outline every novel for the rest of my life, I’d be on pace to never finish another one ever again. I sort of outline in my head. Depends on your definition of outlining though.

Writing

It isn’t too bad once I get past the beginning and middle.

Researching

I tend to research after I finish an initial draft where I brainstorm my own ideas first.

Waiting

I like to wait a long time in between writing the first draft and all that follows after.

Transcribing  

I handwrite most of my novels, so at some point, I have to type everything up onto the computer.

Critiquing

The one novel I sought feedback on was incomplete at the time, and it still is about six years after the fact. At least I like critiquing my own work. I’d much rather crush my own ego than have someone else do so.

Rewriting

I enjoy losing my sanity and seeing improvements at the same time.

Editing

Some stories don’t even get this far. What a shame.

Publishing

Obviously, I’m not at this stage yet. If my dreams come true, I don’t know how I’ll refrain myself from talking about my books.

Procrastinating

I procrastinate so much it’s a miracle I get anything done on time. Sadly, I put things off at all stages of the novel writing process. Nothing like consistency, am I right?

Reading

Even when I’m writing a novel and it’s a priority like during NaNoWriMo, I try to read as much as I can. Books inspire me. Other stories have inspired my own.

Celebrating

I celebrate the small victories as much or maybe even more than the big ones. I believe in rewarding myself. Otherwise, my motivation would be six feet under.

What’s your novel writing process like? I’d love to know.