Thursday, October 23, 2014

Life of a Blogger: Origins of My Name


LIFE OF A BLOGGER: Origin of My Name

Life of a Blogger is a weekly meme by Novel Heartbeat.  It gives us a chance to talk about non-bookish passions and interests.

My name is Shannon Marie.  My mom picked it out after seeing it written on a piece of paper in a baby name book and liked the way it looked.  (Fun fact:  If I was a boy I was going to be named Justin).

Shannon is an anglicized version of the Irish name Sionainn. 

Sionainn is the Irish name for the River Shannon.  It is a portmaneau of sion (wise) and abhainn (river). I have actually been to the River Shannon.  Sadly I have no pictures of me at the River Shannon.  Haha.

More Wikipedia goodness: 

The name Sionainn alludes to Sionna, a goddess in Irish mythology whose name means "possessor of wisdom". She is the namesake and matron of Sionainn, the River Shannon. Sionainn is the longest river in the British Isles.
Sionainn is one of seven rivers of knowledge said to flow from Connla's Well, the well of wisdom in the Celtic Otherworld (the realm of the dead). Nine sacred hazel (or, by some accounts, rowan) trees grow near the well, and drop their bright red fruit in it and on the ground. In the well live the Salmon of Knowledge, whose wisdom comes from eating this fruit. By eating the fruit or one of the salmon, one can share in this wisdom.

I like my name quite a bit.  It's common enough that everyone knows it, but I don't usually run into a lot of Shannons.  I've personally known maybe 4 or 5 Shannons in my life.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: New Series I Want to Start

 Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish

Today's top ten is about new series we want to read.  "New" being published in the last year or so.

 1. Night School series by C.J. Daughtery
The first book was published in 2012 and it looks like there will be a fifth book in 2015.  I got some catching up to do!
Night School (Night School, #1)

 2. MILA 2.0 series by Debra Driza
This series sounds interesting and the second book was just published in May, with the third expected in 2015.
MILA 2.0 (MILA 2.0, #1)

3. Maya Dyer series by Michelle Hodkins
This was first published in 2011, but with the final book coming out in November, I'm adding it to my list.  Plus it is a very well known and polarizing series.  I am very curious to find out which side I fall on.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)

4. Kindrily series by Karen Amanda Hooper
The cover looks cheesy as hell, but the premise sounds really interesting and the reviews seem good. The last book was just published this year.
Grasping at Eternity (The Kindrily, #1)

 5. Awaken series by Katie Kacvinsky
Another one that started in 2011, but the final book just published recently.  I actually have the first two books, so I really need to get started!
Awaken (Awaken, #1)

6. The Tudor Witch Trilogy by Victoria Lamb
I'm way on the fence about this one...but I have a review copy, so I feel compelled to give it a chance.
Witchstruck (The Tudor Witch Trilogy, #1)

7. In the After series by Demetria Lunetta
I'm not sure I really consider a duology a series, but I'm going to include this one anyways. 
In the After (In the After, #1)

8. Not a Drop to Drink series by Mindy McGinnis
See above.
Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink, #1)

9. Starglass series by Phoebe North
Again, see above.
Starglass (Starglass, #1)

10. The Madman's Daughter series by Megan Shepherd
The first book was published in 2013 and the final book is scheduled to be published in February.  And I have all three for review.  Yeah...I got some reading to do!
The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)


Monday, October 20, 2014

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey [Joint Review!]

The Infinite Sea (The Fifth Wave #2)4.5 out of 5 Robots!

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave #2
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Release: September 16, 2014
Hardcover:  300 Pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Julia and Shannon

Book Summary:
How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Julia and Shannon's Thoughts:
1. What was your favorite part?  Least favorite part?Julia: My favorite part is probably Razor. He's a new character and he does something absolutely unexpected towards the end of the book. I love when an author takes a leap and does something a little crazy that I didn't see coming. 
Shannon: My favorite part was probably even trying to keep it together.  They are all right on the edge of losing it, but desperately trying to keep it together.  I liked the tension and anxiety.  My least favorite part was Ringer's storyline.  I found it a little confusing to following and it just didn't hold my interest that much.

2. How did this book compare to the first one?
Julia: The first one is way better than this one, but that isn't to say this is a bad book. I just connected more with the first one. The Infinite Sea didn't seem as compelling as The 5th Wave.
Shannon: I agree that I enjoyed The 5th Wave more.  But I think it would be hard for a second book to keep up to the first anyways.  I think the storytelling was just a little more interesting in the first and I liked the various storylines better.  But, that is certainly not to say this is a bad book!  That is not the case at all.  

3. What sets this book apart from others?
Julia: There is so much violence! I mean, there are a lot of other books with violence, but not very many young adult ones. 
Shannon: It feels much older and I really like that.  The writing is elevated quite a bit from your standard YA dystopian/sci-fi book.  And I had forgotten how brutal this series could be!  Yancey does not hold back and as a non-teen reading this book, I liked that it was heavier that most YA I read.

4. How do you feel about the characters?
Julia: I like the characters. Evan's role became redundant and although I loved Ringer's part, I'm not sure I cared enough to follow her through the majority of the book, which we do. Razor is a new character that I enjoyed. But for the most part, they're all likeable and it is easy to relate to them all. I'm genuinely sad whenever one dies!
Shannon: I like the characters quite a bit.  Each feels like they have their own separate personalities and Yancey is very honest with their flaws and strengths.  Zombie is probably my favorite still.  I just like how he handles himself.  I think the person I still don't really understand is Evan.  He is a bit of a cipher to me.

5. How would you describe the writing?
Julia: Exciting, compelling. Lots of action so you won't get bored. Sorry, not much else to say about it!  
Shannon: As I mentioned, it felt "older" than most YA.  Sometimes I felt it was a little hard to follow since it jumps around a lot between characters.  But I thought there was a real sense of place. 

6. Overall, how would you rate this book?  Who would you recommend it to?
Julia: I would recommend it to fans of its predecessor - The 5th Wave. And if you're into dystopia, aliens and fast paced books.... Pick up The 5th Wave and THEN read this one. And don't be turned off because you're burned out on dystopia. This trilogy doesn't feel like any other.
Shannon: I would definitely recommend it to fans of the first book.  But I also implore other dystopian/apocalyptic/survivalist fans to take a look too.  Especially if you are burned out because it doesn't really feel like any other book in those genres.


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