Friday, October 25, 2013

[Book Review] Sweet Legacy by Tera Lynn Childs

Summary (from Goodreads):

The stunning conclusion of Tera Lynn Childs's Greek mythology–based Sweet Venom trilogy is perfect for teen fans of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series.

The girls cannot hesitate as they seek the location of the lost door between the realms, even as monsters and the gods of Olympus descend on San Francisco in battle-ready droves.

Greer must use her second sight to step up and prevent anything from stopping her sisters' mission, even though a god is playing with her mind. Grace wants to trust her adopted brother, Thane; but will his secret put the girls in even more danger? And Gretchen has trained her sisters to stop the monsters, but her role as a huntress comes with more responsibility than she ever imagined.What will the girls' immortal legacy be? Three teenage descendants of Medusa must unite to restore balance to the world in this action-packed series with plenty of romance.

I was so excited to get this book in my hands. I read the first 40 pages online at Barnes and Noble and was tortured with not being able to read the rest. To make it worse, when I went to Tera Lynn Childs’ book signing, she read a scene from the middle of the book that was pretty intense and then... she stopped. I was able to finish the book in a matter of days, but because of school and other things, I haven’t really felt inspired to write a book review. But with NaNoWriMo around the corner, I needed to find something to throw me back into the writing world. So, here are some of my thoughts about the book...


Being the last book in the trilogy, I felt like it was the strongest. It had to be. Every thing came to a close (or did it? You’ll have to read to find out). Being a fan of Tera (and constantly going to her book signings when she is in the area), I’ve learned a few things about how this series differs from her other YA series. She started her other series (Oh. My. Gods. & Forgive My Fins) thinking they were just stand alones. Later she was asked by her publisher to add on to those books, but it wasn’t planned. Opposite to those books, Medusa Girls was contracted as a trilogy.

In my opinion, that is what makes it Tera Lynn Child’s best series. She for saw (for the most part) what the series would about and she wrote it. 


I love that this is a series about three different girls with different lives and different personalities. It makes the series fun. In a way, it feels like I am reading three      
different books because each chapter is told from a each girl’s point of view.

The boys each brought something to the story too. While I did have a favorite of the boys, The other boys were also entertaining.   


The relationships are what really made the book for me. There’s the relationship the sisters have with each other. The relationships the sisters have with the boys (romance, friendship, banter). The relationship they have with the monsters. 

The relationship the girls have with each other. They haven’t known each other that long. Yet, their closeness and willingness to do anything to protect each other makes it seem like they’ve been in each other’s lives a very long time.  


I felt like the romance in this series wasn’t as strong as the ones in her other series, but the relationship and friendships made up for it. With that being said, I did enjoy each of the three romances she put in the series. Each of the romances had it’s own reason for being. Each romance made sense. 

Creative way of writing: 

I always find myself impressed when a book is written so that the storyline is only a few weeks. In my own writing, I always want to fast forward time. So, I always admire when a writer can do what I can’t. Tera Lynn Childs does this for not one book, not two, but three. Maybe it wasn’t difficult for her, but she still deserves praise for doing a really great job at yet another series. 

5 out of 5 stars to Sweet Legacy by Tera Lynn Childs 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Harmonizers Tell All... [Week 1]

I’ve had my blog up for a couple of years now. I usually post book reviews and things more towards that direction, but over the past couple of months, I’ve wanted to change my blog a little. I’ll still be posting book reviews because reading (along with writing) will always be a love of mine, but that doesn’t mean I’m limited to just one love. 

One of those new loves is Fifth Harmony. In case you’re reading this and don’t know who they are, they are a group of five girls who each audition for the second season of the US X-Factor. The judges felt there was strength in numbers so they put them all together. While they didn’t win that season coming in third, they’ve won the hearts of their fans (called Harmonizers) all over the world.

Below are some Harmonizers telling their story, why they fell in love with the girls, why they continue to support them, etc.  


Writing this is rather hard for me. Today I’m sharing a piece of myself with the Harmonizers who are reading this that I haven’t really even shared with my closest friends. I’m not proud of keeping this secret, but I just haven’t felt comfortable enough to share it with anyone... until now.

It all started May 2012. My father passed away in a very unexpected way. My mother died in 2005. So, that left me without either of my parents. The weeks following his death, I became very suicidal. I even considered overdosing on pain meds because they were at easy reach.

My mind was completely changed. I no longer had a stable mentality, but instead became paranoid with fear of losing everything I thought I had. 

Time passed. While most people would say “Time heals all wounds” it wasn’t working for me. On the outside, I might have looked strong (or maybe not, maybe someone actually could tell that I wasn’t okay), but I sure didn’t feel like it.

Where does Fifth Harmony come to play? While I would love to be able to call myself an original Harmonizer, I can’t. I had seen trends on Twitter about a girl group on X-Factor that kept having to change their name for some reason. That was it.

At this point in my life, I had lost all hope in myself. As a writer, I lost faith in my own writing ability because I couldn’t write anything that didn’t have to do with my being parentless. I hated that my writing was taking such a dark direction. So, I stopped writing for a while. 

Then I came across Fifth Harmony’s “Stronger” performance. Seeing how strong Ally was performing after her grandfather just passed away made me wake up. It was exactly what I needed to see. 

I spent an entire weekend watching Fifth Harmony performances, interviews, even fan videos. Every time I thought I was done, there was a new one I hadn’t seen. I loved it!

Then they announced Harmonize America. While at first they hadn’t announced a show in Houston, I was willing to travel to Dallas to see them, but a few days later, they added Houston to their tour and I couldn’t be happier. It wasn’t until the end of the Harmonize America contest that I learned how to get a lot of points. So, I didn’t win House of Harmonizers, but I did get to meet the girls. 

(I'm the one next to Ally in the blue shirt)

I even wrote a whole blog post about meeting them, which you can find here.

I don't think my struggle with depression is over. I still have my days where I don't feel happy, but I'm learning to take it day after day. With the help of fangirling, family, friends (Twitter ones included), and God, I know I'll get throught this. 

The girls have my support forever. I even plan on dedicating one of my books to them once I get published. I can only hope that one day they’ll pick it up and buy it. Just like I will continue to buy their music for as long as they are around. 

-Rebeca (@RebecaValdez, @Adorkable5H)


To me, Fifth Harmony is SO much more than extremely talented singers, they are beautiful people with beautiful characters and souls, my role models, my inspiration, the people that I strive to be like everyday.

I have been supporting the girls since LYLAS; I would stay up late voting for them on X Factor and all the Pop Dust polls because I thought their talent deserved to be recognized, and I would look at their twitters and see what was new with them every once in a while, but it wasn't until this summer that I truly fell in love with them because of their hearts and personalities. 

I went to a really small school and I don't have that many friends, but I do have one best friend that is always there; we did EVERYTHING together, we were inseparable. At the beginning of the summer she moved to a different state, and it was like a part of me moved with her. 

I became extremely depressed, I didn't want to leave my room and I cried all the time. Since I didn't do anything all day, I started to really pay attention to what the girls were doing and started watching every interview and cover and stalking their twitters, and I realized that they made me genuinely happy. They would make me laugh and smile when all I wanted to do was cry. 

They encouraged me just by tweeting something as simple as "you are beautiful" and I realized that these girls are a lot more than just pretty faces and amazing voices. When school started, I was having an even harder time than I was having during the summer. I started at a different bigger school and I didn't know anybody. 

I was having a really difficult time making friends and I sat at lunch by myself for the first two weeks of school. It was terrible. But one day at lunch I was on twitter and somebody posted a quote of Camila from a magazine saying that she sat in the bathroom at lunch on the first day of school. I started crying when I read that. I thought that if someone as amazing as Camila was sitting alone at lunch, then maybe there is hope for me. 

I was able to meet them on September 22, 2013 and it was the best day of my life. It was the first time I was genuinely excited and happy for in a long time. They made me feel so special, and I will remember it for the rest of my life. 

I am so grateful that Fifth Harmony came into my life when they did, they encourage me and inspire me to be my best every single day. I would be lucky to be even 1/4 of the people they are. I can't thank them enough for what they have done for me, and so many other people, and I hope they never change. 

-Sami (@hotcamilava) 


Why I will never stop supporting Fifth Harmony is because there all down to earth and inspirations to so many people. They deserve all the fame there getting and going to get. 

I have gone through so much in my life and Fifth Harmony and Demi are the only people that actually save me. I just love the fact that if I am having a bad day I can see one of there interviews and feel better. 

They love there fans so much unlike other artist. All five girls have great voices one day they will win Grammys and I know that. 

When I met them on July 19, 2013 it change my life I finally felt so happy for once. People don't know how much the girls mean to all of us and I find it really annoying how they get hate and all like people don't even know them that well to get judge. Fifth Harmony has saved so many peoples lives including me. 

That's why I will never stop supporting Fifth Harmony.

-Johnny (@johnnyquevedo6)


Why do I love our girls so much, good question, it might take a century to explain! Seriously, I remember last year, at first I was watching The X Factor for Demi (with the time zones it was 2am here when you watched it live) and then I saw Dinah, Lauren and Ally's audition and completely fell in love with their voices! And Ally who didn't want to stop singing was so epic it made me laugh so hard x) then I saw Normani at bootcamp, but when I saw they were eliminated I was pretty upset! But then the group was formed.... and then we discovered Camila at the judges house with LYLAS.. Once again, I fell in love with them, like totally. They were meant to be together! Each of their performance were amazing and they were improving week after week. 

ALSO I wanted to say that it is hard to be an international Harmonizer because during TXF I used to stay awake until 8am (then go to college) just to vote for them or see them perform live because once again THANK YOU TIME ZONES! But also I'm scared they'll never come to France and that I will never see them perform =/ 

But on a personal point of view, I mean, not artistically speaking, they just seem so sweet and amazing, I know everytime if I'm sad or if I'm having a bad day they cheer me up and make me laugh just with their tweets or their videos (the twitcam with their role play "THIS IS JEAN-POQUE" never fails for me... ;) but yes that may sound weird, but they always make my day whether they know it or not, each and everyone of them. And I hope they know how perfect and amazing they were. Cause they've changed my life in a certain way, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. So thank you Lauren, Dinah, Ally, Normani and Camila for being who you are <3 

-Még (@iCamilaCabello)


I'm Shay, and I'm obsessed with Fifth Harmony. 

I initially started watching The X Factor, because of the fact that Demi Lovato was a judge. When I began watching none of the contestants really held my interested. I'm not an easily impressed person. Especially when it comes to anything music related. I find certain songs "catchy", but that doesn't mean that I'm impressed by it. Same thing for when I'm listening to someone sing. Just because someone can hold a note, doesn't mean that I'm going to be easily impressed by their voice. 

When I saw Lauren pop up on my TV screen, I thought she was really cute. I was listening to ever single word that she said. I was actually interested in this girl, and I was anxious to hear what her voice would sound like. When she started singing, my eyes almost popped out of my eyes. Mostly because I didn't expect for her tone to sound like that. I loved every second of that audition, and kept thinking about it afterwards. That hadn't happened yet with any of the contestants that I had seen so far. I was so impressed with the maturity behind her voice. 

Seeing that I loved her audition so much, I started to follow her progress on the show. I was devastated when they said that she didn't make it through. I even told myself that I wasn't going to watch the rest of the season. But then, they called her back. I instantly knew what was going to happen. I was ecstatic that she was getting another chance. 

I hadn't really paid to much attention to the other four before that though. I remembered Ally's audition though, because how can you forgot that? It was hilarious. I was curious about the other girls, so I went back and watched their auditions. That made me even more excited to see how it was going to work out. 

Lauren was initially my favorite, because she was the one that I was rooting for as a solo act. I was obviously biased from the start. 

When I heard them sing Impossible though, I didn't know what to do with myself. It was so perfect, and I knew that this group was going to be something special. As the show progressed into the live shows section, I found myself becoming more and more obsessed with ALL 5 of them. I found something in each of them that I could related or look up to. I'm older that 4/5 of them, but I still look up to them all. 

It started hitting me just how much I loved these girls, because I would literally vote for hours. I had never done that before for any competition show. I actually cared enough about them to vote for hours, instead of doing the million other things that I should have been doing for school. As time progressed, and they started branching out and working on their music careers; I realized that I use them as a source of happiness. When I'm feeling overwhelmed or stressed, I literally just go find anything that is 5H related. 

They put an instant smile on my face. Of course I love their voices, but it's their personalities that really make me happy. I love that they are so real and honest. They're goofy, and they talk over each other. I love them so much though. 

I know for a fact that I wouldn't be as happy as I am right now if I didn't have them to look to when I'm feeling down. If I were to list all of the things that I love about them, I'd be here forever. I'll always love and support them, because I know how much this means to them. 

They're living out their dreams, and it makes me so happy that I'm here watching it. To make it better, I've been here watching since the beginning. I know that these girls are destined for great things, and I can't wait to witness it all. 

They deserve it. 

-Shay (@mines_lauren)


Well, first of all, I’m Nathalie, I’m 17 years old, and I am from Chile. I’m gonna tell you guys, my history or reasons of why I’ll never, ever, stop support “Fifth Harmony”.
Well I meet them on the X factor, last year, and to be honest the only reason of why I watched the show, was Demi Lovato, I mean, since I was 14 I’ve been a Lovatic, and the possibility of seeing Demi on the show, was really great, after all what happens to her.
I never thought I would love someone as much as I love Demi, just think in that it was weird, but…one day, I realize, that I was not watching the show just for Demi. There I find out, I was completely in love with 5 girls, from different parts of the country…I was totally in love with these new girl group, that Simon Cowell put together. As the time start to pass, they just become so important to me, that my heart was divided in 6 parts now, not just 1.
But the biggest reason of why I’ll always support them, is because…they… they save my life…without them; I wouldn’t be here sharing this story. Since I was little, I start struggling with some problems with myself, and the school, was just awful. I didn’t know what to do, I wanted to die so many times…that…but, then I meet this girl in Camp Rock, her name was Demi Lovato, and her became my support, she was the only one who keep me calm, even when I was struggling with all these problems… like cry to sleep, cutting myself, feeling unworthy…it was awful, and she was my angel. 2011 had a really bad end , and… all my problems begun again…even when I loved Demi with all my heart, this time wasn’t enough to get thru all I was struggling with, all begun again so much worse than before.
And then, 5 more angels came to my life… their names were Camila, Dinah, Normani, Lauren and Ally, they were a girl group in this show, named X factor, which was also the show were Demi was judge. The name of the group at first was LYLAS, and they performed a song named Impossible…they get thru to the live shows, and…I fall in love with them. They owned my heart in one second. LYLAS then become 1432, and after…they become “Fifth Harmony”.
Without these 6 angels in my life right now, it would be so difficult, be strong…and stay strong… thanks to them, I’ve been “fine” for more than 5 months already. And I know, that no matter what, they will be my reason to live…if one day, I can’t find a reason to do it, I’m pretty sure, that if I look a picture of my 6 angels…I would find…not only 1, but 6 reasons, to continue alive.
They mean so much to me, that it's hard explain it with words, and more in English…but, if my heart had a name, it would be a combination of 6 girl names.
Simplemente no puedo explicar lo que significan para mí, pero…las amo con todo mi corazón, y sin importar lo que pase, sé que siempre, tendré estas chicas, que aunque vivan muy lejos, con un simple “los amamos chicos” vuelven mis días más brillantes cada vez. (sorry for this part in spanish, but i couldn’t say it in English).
-Nathalie (@NathyStayStrong)


“Why I’ll never stop supporting Fifth Harmony” 
Almost a year ago I was a normal girl with a normal life, I used to expend my time hanging out with my Friends, talking with them on facebook or just watching random videos on youtube… I decided to watch TXF because of Demi, I saw a lot of auditions but when I saw lauren's audition I felt automatically in love with her lol after that i saw that she was a part of a girl group and i was like OMG I NEED TO HEAR THEM SING TOGETHER… and at simon’s home the magic happened… 
Since that day i’m supporting them, since that day this five crazy, dumb and beautiful girls are my everything… when i’m sad they’re always there to make me happy, even when they don’t know who i am. When i have a bad day i just sit in front of my computer and i watch their interviews over and over again and my mood changes… 
I love them because they’re so down to earth, they always do things that people of their ages do… this is my favorite part, because i want them to enjoy everything that they’re living, but knowing that they're just teenage girls who can make mistakes. Fifth Harmony is the best band ever because they always are themselves, and it’s so beautiful tos ay “hey my idols are these five girls who tweet stupid things and make a lot of vines and if you read their twitters you know already how they are”
It’s so hard to explain how much they mean to me, because i think this is the first time i feel this for a band or artist in general… they are my world, my life depends of them… THEY’RE MY PRIDE… i’m like a proud mommy when i talk about them haha…
I want them to never change, they’re perfect the way they are… i know there are people who say bad things to Fifth Harmony, but i’m pretty sure they’re so jealous, because the girls are living the teenage dream, they have the life we all want to have, so i hate when they feel bad for the things they’re living, i hate when haters make them feel like that, they won it with much effort and i’m so happy for them because they deserve EVERYTHING! I will always be there supporting them, even if i never meet them… they has changed my life, and this is the best feel ever… i love the fact that i’m see them growing, and i will do it for a long…

-Maria (@LiliaanDamaris)


Hi, my name is Larissa, I'm from Brazil and I'm 18 years old. I'm here just to share with you my love story with this group called: Fifth Harmony!

I don't know how but this girls (Ally, Camila, Dinah, Lauren and Normai - in alphabetical order not to have preferences) have like super powers and I'll tell you why:

Last year I finished high school and me and my friends we just had to follow different directions! Of course we kept in touch, but it was not the same thing as seeing each other every single day! And as the time passed my best friend and I, we were just sad!, because of many things, somethings that didn't worked out!  Of course we were on college, and following our dreams but it was like there was something missing to make our days happier, you know?

And then I was on the internet, I saw a video: Five usual girls, singing, but at that moment I felt there was something really special about them! ( they were, and still are usual girls for me- and this is the best part!) I sent the video to my best friend and told her:

- You need to see this!

But she was kind of sad and didn't want to see it at the moment.

Days passed and I just fell in love more and more with this girls, and then I kept telling her to watch the video until the day she finally did! And then of course she loved it too!

I know this this is kind of cliche, but it's impressing how everything about this girls can make me happy! If I wake up in a bad mood, the only thing I need to do is unlock my phone and see a picture of them smiling or check twitter and see something they said while I was sleeping and it just make my day! A video, an interview, a simply joke and that's enough for me to keep laughing about that the rest of the day! And I know that my friend can say the same! Because we talk about that all the time, we laugh together watching videos, and you can call us crazy or whatever, this is our way of being happy!

-Larissa (LariSolda)


I could never thank you girls enough. Yall have made me wayy better than the person i used to be. I'm now more confident, stronger, and determined in everything i do.
The biggest thing is that yall are helping me stop cutting.. I used to not care, I felt hopeless. I just wanted to dissapear. To escape.

Now everythings changed. I promised the two girls who follow me (Dinah and Camila) through DMs that i would stop cutting. I failed. I really hate myself for letting you girls down.
After meeting yall, my attitude changed. You girls made me feel loved, beautiful, and just amazing. You girls give off an amazingly positive vibe. Thats all it took. I wish i had told yall in person but i was too shy and nervous. :(

I've changed. Last night i made it official. I took the next step. I threw away the things i used to... you know. There's lots of new obstacles in my near future that im really stressed and scared about...but im definitely not going to cut.

Thank you Normani, Lauren, Ally, Dinah, and Camila for making me realize my skin in not the place to go harming when i need relief. I love you girls so much, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for changing my life in the best ways possible.
-Maya (@camzfagbello)


It's hard to talk about all the things I love about Fifth Harmony because I know that, no matter how much I write, I'm going to miss something. To me, their voices are absolute perfection, each of them distinctive and strong in it's own form, yet they compliment each other so well. But to me, their voices are just a bonus to their fabulous personalities. Ally is literally the most caring person ever, and she has so much faith and hope in everything, and it makes me want to be exactly the same. She's so loving, and never fails to see the positives rather than the negatives. 

Normani is so down to earth, what you see is what you get and I admire that so much. Throughout everything she has stayed true to herself, and that's a quality that not too many people who make it big are able to maintain, yet all the girls have been able to do so. Dinah, oh gosh, Dinah is actually so funny, I don't think she's given enough credit in that area, but she's actually so hilarious, her tweets and vines make me laugh like there is no tomorrow. The way she stays up really late, giving international harmonizers a chance to speak to her and get follows is so adorable, so many harmonizers have gotten follows this way and when you see their reaction, you just feel so happy for them and to know that Dinah is the reason for it just makes my heart melt. 

Camila like wow, she's actually embraces who she really is, and I feel like I relate to her because she's just as much a fangirl as all harmonizers are. She's unique, perfectly imperfect in her own way, and she's helped me through so much by just being her amazing, bubbly self. Lauren is a goddess, no joke. She's really pretty (all the girls are) and if I met her before she was famous I would have been really intimidated, but she has the biggest heart, and she's open about everything. She really genuinely cares about everyone, and in a way it keeps me grounded, because I know that if I did something to hurt myself and she knew, it'd make her upset and yeah it sounds kinda silly but that's how my thought process is. 

The thing I love about the girls as a whole is that, they all have crazy obsessions with celebrities, whether it be Lana Del Rey, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Demi Lovato etc they all know what it's like to experience the life of a fangirl, so I think that they try just as hard to interact with the fans because they know how much it can hurt to constantly try and get noticed but fail to do so. It just makes me appreciate them that much more, because they all do sincerely try to make all harmonizers happy. And even if they don't notice me, it really doesn't get to me because the reactions that occur from harmonizers when they are noticed makes me so happy, because everyone deserves to have a chance to get a follow, or a reply. 

However, I think the thing I love most about the girls, is that they address the issue of self harm and self esteem. I struggle with cutting, and have for almost 5 years now, and the fact that they try and tell every harmonizer how perfect they are and that they're beautiful makes me really emotional, because when your idols tell you that, it really sticks. "Nobody deserves to feel so worthless they're driven to cut themselves." when Lauren wrote that on tumblr, I absolutely bawled. That little sentence, just that, really got to me because she genuinely cares about anyone, not even just harmonizers, just anyone who feels so down that self harm is their last resort. All of the girls, every single one of them, acts as a reason for me to live every day, and I could never, ever thank them enough for that. They get me through the day, they make me laugh, smile and just make me really, genuinely happy. 

One day, I want to be able to tell them how much they mean to me, whether it be on twitter or in person, because they deserve to know how much they've done for me. It would be a dream come true to have them notice me, but for now, I'm content with it happening for other harmonizers, because everyone deserves a chance to be noticed by every single one of them. 

No matter what, I'll never stop supporting the girls, because it seems like the least I can do for a group of 5 amazing girls who have saved my life. 

-Lauren (@roarjauregui)


Thank you to all the Harmonizers who were more than willing to tell their story. Take a second to follow all of them on Twitter, you won’t regret it!


If you’re interested in telling your story, contact me either at my fangirl account (@Adorkable5H) or my personal account (@RebecaValdez). I’d love to make this a weekly thing! 

And if you still don’t know who Fifth Harmony is, check out their first music video for MISS MOVIN’ ON...