Currently moving to Wordpress. Please pardon the dust and semi-packed boxes!

Monday, October 26, 2020

I'm now Wordpress bound!

 

 

Yes, you read that title right, I'm finally, finally, finishing my Wordpress move and redesign! Because of the vast amount of content on this blog (and, let's be honest, no small amount of sentimentality), this process has taken a good year to complete.

 

The last decisions to be made were the practical ones: matters of follower transference and whether to bother with a redirect. Ultimately, I decided to start completely fresh and 1) not transfer my followers and 2) build a redirect into the base code of this address in about a month's time.

If you follow me by email and would like to continue, head on over to www.blueeyebooks.com and follow me via Wordpress or email at the bottom of the page. If you're following me on my socials, never fear, those are staying the same (how could I possibly give up my handles?). Those are @blueeyebooks on Instagram and @blueeyebooks on Twitter for those not already following me there.

I'm delaying the redirect for a number of reasons but mostly because it requires replacing some code and I'm ridiculously sentimental, okay? After that final backup of the blog, it'll go into effect to redirect any lingering links out there on the inter-webs.

I'm still updating all my old posts on the new address so you'll be seeing the old graphics around on those posts for a few months until I can get to each and every one of them. It'll take a while for little ole me to update over 750 posts with only a couple hours every night but I'll get there!

I'm excited for this next scene in the story of Blue Eye Books and I hope you all will come along with me!

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart (great, but also not)

 Goodreads    The StoryGraph    Book Depository    Barnes and Noble    IndieBound

Goodreads rating: 3.5 stars

 

Blurb:

From the author of the unforgettable New York Times bestseller We Were Liars comes a masterful new psychological suspense novel--the story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

 

Book content warnings: graphic murder descriptions, suicide


Summary in a quote:

"She didn't know if she could love her own mangled, strange heart. She wanted someone else to do it for her, to see it beating behind her ribs and to say, I can see your true self. It is there, and it is rare and worthy. I love you."

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1. The plot and structure. 

The only other book I've read by E. Lockhart is the forever glorified We Were Liars so I had some idea coming into this book that not all would be as it seemed. True to form, this author takes to heart the whole subverting expectations endeavor. This novel is told in reverse chronological order which essentially results in the reader knowing what the consequences of the actions are before knowing the actual actions.

I have semi-mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it made it a bit confusing to read and you have to keep a really steady timeline in your head. On the other hand, it fits the whole theme and vibe of the novel perfectly. 

Seriously. This is a real peanut butter and jelly moment.

I'm going to keep it vague to avoid spoilers because this is E. Lockhart we're talking about! Basically, we get to dip inside the world of someone who wants to be loved and accepted and is willing to do whatever it takes to reach that goal.

With the backwards chronology, we can see her slow descent into the consequences of her decisions so the emphasis is placed more on her own mentality, the steps she's taking, and how they lead her to where she ends up at the beginning of the book. I think, as readers, we're trained to place focus on the large, life-altering events and not so much on the quiet moments in between. In my opinion, those quiet moments are just as or even more important as those large events (of which there are multiple in this book).

I will say that some of the plot points themselves were a little far-fetched and strange. I loved how Jule dealt with the issues, but how they came to her attention were questionable.

To sum up: love the plot structure in the end but not all of the actual plot. Great pie, not a great filling.

 

“For anyone who has been taught that good equals small and silent, here is my heart with all its ugly tangles and splendid fury.”

 

2. The characters. 

I'm going to be honest here and say the only character I found interesting was Jule.

The other characters were necessary, of course, but they didn't do much for me, even though the author attempted some fleshing with the more important ones. They all just felt like stepping stones for Jule which, intellectually, I appreciate (aiding in this whole desperately searching for acceptance theme), but emotionally, it didn't do much for me in terms of holding my attention and gaining my investment.

 

“The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.”

 

3. The romance. 

This was interesting to me. At first, I really didn't like that there was a romance involved at all. There are so many interesting things going on so I resented the page space given to this strange secondary plot.

Towards the end, I was faced with this whole intellectual/emotional pull again. It's a great way to explore this acceptance that Jule craves because in United States society at least, romantic love is prized as the highest form of happiness and acceptance.

Realistically, though, it just felt like this extra little bit on the side that wasn't really integral. It's a nice romance and all, but it's in that weird space where there's simultaneously not enough and way too much page space allocated to it.

 

“She believed that the way you speak is often more important than anything you have to say.”

 

The Final Verdict

The experience reading wasn't nearly as delightful as the experience contemplating once it was over. Ultimately, thematically intriguing while structurally unsound.

 



Would I reread?

Yes! While I didn't love it, I'm fascinated by the structure the author chose and I think rereading it, knowing everything, could be interesting.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Resurrecting Blue Eye Books (with a snazzy redesign)

 

 Hello fellow humans of Earth! As you may recall it's been a hot few months since I've posted anything (November of 2019, holy macaroni and goblets) and the discerning eye may have even glimpsed a tumbleweed rolling across the screen. But now I'm back! Read on for all the updates.

The Life:

I have officially graduated with a BS in biology and creative writing! Yay! This happened in May and let me tell you, those last two semesters were doozies (hence the disappearing act). I made it through, though, by the skin of my teeth (side note: what is up with that expression?). I've been taking the summer off to get my affairs in order and generally figure out my entire future. All in a few month's work. What's in Laura's future, you may ask? Graduate school applications, I answer! I'll be applying to science writing and poetry programs in the coming months along with working and enjoying the life.

More relevantly, now that I've sufficiently relaxed, chilled, and otherwise emptied my somatic cells of stress, I'm itching to get back to blogging!

 

Coming Soon (to own on video and DVD; I've been watching too many old movies okay?):

A complete redesign will be coming (and has already partially happened). I'm adding more plants and green to the color scheme because I have become a plant fanatic (more on that in another post). I'll also be finishing up those tabs that lead to the 404 void and generally doing some reformatting and revamping.

For authors, I'll be expanding and updating my services list. I found a love of copyediting in this last year so I'll be doing more of that behind the scenes along with the usual reviews and other jazzy bits.


That's all for now folks! I shall now disappear back into the hole of endless HTML. How have you all been doing? How's your life? How's your mental health with all the upheaval recently? Have you tried any new vegetables lately?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Review Thursday: Resurrection Girls by Ava Morgyn

Hello, everyone!  I'm back for a brief moment with a review of a book I recently read and absolutely loved.  Enjoy!


Standalone to date

Blurb:
"Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara's morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.

But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly."

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Guest Post: On Writing by S.M. Beiko

Hello all!  I'm back!  Sort of.  I'm just as busy as I was last semester (see my last update) but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to publish this guest post written by S.M. Beiko, author of The Brilliant Dark.  I'll still be active on social media (Twitter especially and a little Instagram) but I'll be keeping a relatively lower profile until December and January.  But anyway, enough about me!  I hope y'all enjoy this guest post; I certainly did.


Most recently, S.M. Beiko is the author of The Realms of Ancient series.

Scion of the Fox (#1)

"As the winter ice begins to thaw, the fury of a demon builds - all because one girl couldn't stay dead . . .

Roan Harken considers herself a typical high school student - dead parents, an infected eyeball, and living in the house of her estranged, currently comatose grandmother (well, maybe not so typical) - but she's uncovering the depth of the secrets her family left behind.  Saved from the grasp of Death itself by a powerful fox spirit names Sil, Roan must harness mysterious ancient power . . . and quickly.  A snake-monster called Zabor lies in wait in the bed of the frozen Assiniboine River, hungry for the sacrifice of spirit-blood in exchange for keeping the flood waters at bay.  Thrust onto an ancient battlefield, Roan soon realizes that to maintain the balance of the world, she will have to sacrifice more than her life in order to take her place as Scion of the Fox."







Children of the Bloodlands (#2)


"The dazzling second book in S.M. Beiko’s Realms of Ancient series

Three months after the battle of Zabor, the five friends that came together to defeat her have been separated. Burdened with the Calamity Stone she acquired in Scion of the Fox, Roan has gone to Scotland to retrace her grandmother’s steps in an attempt to stop further evil from entering the world.

Meanwhile, a wicked monster called Seela has risen from the ashy Bloodlands and is wreaking havoc on the world while children in Edinburgh are afflicted by a strange plague; Eli travels to Seoul to face judgment and is nearly murdered; Natti endures a taxing journey with two polar bears; Phae tries desperately to obtain the key to the Underworld; and Barton joins a Family-wide coalition as the last defense against an enemy that will stop at nothing to undo Ancient’s influence on Earth — before there is no longer an Earth to fight for.

Darkness, death, and the ancient powers that shape the world will collide as our heroes discover that some children collapse under their dark inheritance, and those that don’t are haunted by blood."




The Brilliant Dark (#3)

"The highly anticipated final installment in Beiko's thrilling YA fantasy trilogy.

It's been seven years since the Denziens, an unseen people with elemental powers, were unmasked, and seven years since Roan Harken and Eli Rathgar disappeared into the Brilliant Dark.

Marked by Darklings and Death alike, Saskia is a mechanically minded Mundane, raised by Barton and Phae on daring stories about Roan Harken.  But the world Roan left behind is in turmoil.  The Darklings now hang in the sky as a threatening black moon, and with the order-maintaining Elemental Task Guard looking to get rid of all Denziens before they rebel, Saskia's only option is to go into the Brilliant Dark and bring Roan back.

But nothing is every that simple.

The Brilliant Dark is the final, thrilling chapter in this series about gods, monsters, and the people who must decide if they're willing to pay the ultimate price to protect the family they found . . . in a world that may not be worthy of saving."


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Review Wednesday: Wild Rose by Lucy Winton (#1)


Amazon (available with Kindle Unlimited)  Goodreads
Roses #1


Blurb:
"Milly Costello has lived in the walled city of Redcross for two years. She wants nothing more than to get out - but when the mysterious Wolf-Lords arrive, she may get her wish in a way she doesn't expect.

And that's to say nothing of the secret she and her friends are keeping..."



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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Release Day Excerpt: Gloved Heart by Charlotte Brentwood (#2)

Three years ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing The Vagabond Vicar by Charlotte Brentwood.  Lo and behold, she is now releasing second book in that same universe.  I'll be reviewing this in a few short weeks so watch out for that post.  Without further ado, let's get into it!


Gloved Heart

Released: April 20th, 2019
Series: Hearts of Amberley #2
Publisher: Self-published
Rating: TBD

Goodreads  Amazon (available on Kindle Unlimited)

Blurb: Can she ever trust again?

Amy Miller is struggling to come to terms with her new life as a mother, while being a reluctant guest in a rigid gentry household.  A victim of abuse, she is determined to never trust a man again.

Henry Russell has loved Amy for as long as he can remember, but his family want nothing to do with her.  A chance encounter with Amy rekindles a friendship which might save both of them.

The discovery of a secret which holds the key to Amy's past will change them both forever, and jeopardise any chance they have for happiness.  Can Henry show Amy that true love will give her everything she could ever need?
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