Sisterhood of the Traveling ARC: The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett

The Sisterhood of the Traveling ARC is a feature dedicated to sharing our ARCS and our love of reading. Hosted and created by Elizabeth at BookYabber, Nicole at Nicole’s Novel Reads and myself here at The Plot Bunny. If you missed our intro post about this feature you can view it here.

Nicole and I will be both reviewing and discussing The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett (Elizabeth is skipping this round, but she will be back soon). Ever since we met Kim Liggett at BEA while she was promoting her debut novel Blood and Salt we have come to love her stories.

Kim is the mistress of taking the mundane and turning it into something completely terrifying. Because of this, we were thrilled when we found out a new book was coming out. Luckily Nicole was able to get a copy of the ARC for The Last Harvest and shared it with me.

 

THE LAST HARVEST

By: Kim Liggett

Publication Date:

Jan 10th, 2017

Publisher: Tor Teen

My Rating: 5 STARS

AMAZON | GOODREADS

 

My Review:

The Last Harvest is an intense ride. Kim Liggett does not hold back, and within the first few pages, she already brings on the creep fest. The story centers around Clay Tate and his family. Clay is tormented by the memory of his father’s bloody and disturbing death. His last words to Clay were “ I plead the blood”.

 

The Tate family have lived in the small town of Midland Oklahoma for generations. They are part of the original six families of settlers. When his father passed, Clay had to give up on his dreams. Taking care of his mother and sisters came first before football glory or the girl he loves. However, those problems are just the beginning of what Clay is dealing with.

 

Nightly Clay has troubling dreams. Sometimes they happen even during the middle of the day. He feels as if he is going crazy.  Clay can’t shake the feeling this has something to do with his father death and The Preservation Society. Now Clay must find someone he can trust in order to figure out what is really happening in his town, and why his father kept repeating the words “ I plead the blood”.

 

The Last Harvest kept me on the edge of my seat. Almost every chapter has something strange, weird, or disturbing happening in it. As the reader, you never quite know what to expect. Kim sucks you into her story and you can’t stop until the end. Her attention to detail and descriptions of the farmland make you feel like you are there right next to Clay as he agonizes over what to do.

 

I really love Clay’s character. He loves and cares for his family with such tenderness. He gives up on all his hopes and dreams in order to keep the family farm afloat. As his mother’s mental health deteriorates he is the only one who can properly care for his little sister Noodle the way she deserves. Clay other sister Jess is a handful, but like Clay, she is dealing with the grief of her father’s passing in her own way. Noodle (or Natalie Tate) is adorable and I really like how eccentric and odd she is for a little girl.

 

The Last Harvest is another chilling and terrifying masterpiece and Kim Liggett should be proud. Just like her debut book Blood and Salt, this one is going to haunt me for a long time to come. From occult blood rituals, creepy dolls, animal mutilation, religious undertones, strange secret town societies and exorcism this book has it all. You will keep turning the pages and when you think you have all the answers Kim will twist everything upside down and completely blow you away, especially at the very end. I loved every heart pounding, creepy second of it. Now I just don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep anytime soon.

 

Pottermas: What Your Patronus Says About You…

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Welcome to another Pottermas post! Today we are discussing our own patronus animals as well as different patronus animals, and their meanings.

Personally, I have had actually encounters with my actual patronus (The Fox) as well as the animal I most associate with (The Rabbit). Both animals’ meanings pretty accurately describe my personality traits and the type of person I feel I tend to be like.

Here is my Patronus on Pottermore:

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I have selected 10 different animals to give you a glimpse of what your patronus means/signifies about you. (If none of these animals include yours feel free to contact me with your requests). Enjoy!

*Please Note: Source for meanings and definitions came from http://www.spiritanimal.info/

Cat– Those with a Cat for a patronus are  independent and curious in spirit. They often seek adventure and are considered courageous. Cat people are incredibly patient and wait for the right moment to act.

cat

 

Coyote– Coyote people are often big jokers/pranksters. They are very adaptable and sometimes often have personalities that are difficult to pinpoint due to their constant shifting.

coyote

 

Bear– Bears are capable of great strength and confidence. They are advocates against adversity and often take action in causes they believe in. Bear people are considered to be natural leaders.

bear

 

Hawk– Those with a Hawk patronus are focused in everything they do. Because of this they usually have a clear vision of what they want and how they will obtain their goals. When the timing is right, they too can be great leaders.

 

hawk

 

Panther– The panther is associated with highly artistic and intuitive people. Sometimes their aggressive nature tends to get the best of them. Panther people are also capable of having lots of power, but they are often solitary people.

 

panther

 

Sheep– Sheep people usually demonstrate the ability to be very child-like. They are capable of great gentleness and kindness. Self-accepting as they are, they usually know their own limitations.

sheep

 

Owl– Owl people are wise beyond their years, and especially intuitive. Like the fox, they are able to see through deception and deceit of others. Owl people are said to be very nocturnal people.

owl

 

Dolphin– The dolphin represents those in harmony with themselves and others. Dolphin people are very protective of their friends and family. They love cooperation. Generally, they are often considered to be very playful.

dolphin

 

Fox– Those with a Fox for a patronus are cunning and have the ability to see through other’s deception. They are always mentally and physically alert. Whenever they find themselves in a tricky situation they are often able to work around it. Though sometimes considered to be a trickster, many of the fox people are very intelligent and witty.

fox

 

Rabbit– Those with a Rabbit for a patronus are often instinctive, unpredictable and spontaneous. They have good coordination and reflexes skills. They are gentle, nurturing, clever and quick-witted.

rabbit

 

Did your Patronus make my list? What did you think of the definitions ?  Would you say they are accurate? What is the animal you consider to be your patronus? Have you take the Pottermore patronus quiz?  Please share with me your answers in the comments below. Remember to visit us all month long for more Harry Potter related posts and be sure to check out Nicole’s Novel Reads and Elizabeth at Book YAbber for other fun posts. You can also follow along with the #Pottermas16. 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top (New to Me) Authors I Read for the First Time in 2016

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by the ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week we are given a new topic prompt to inspire our bookish lists. The topic for this week is all about what new authors I have read for the first time in 2016. Most of my authors debuted their books for the first this year. This gave me the chance to discover lots of new authors and new books. It also helped me step out of my comfort zone and read more contemporary books too (which I now have come to LOVE). Here is my list of new authors I read for the first time in 2016:

 

Kerri Maniscalco – Stalking Jack The Ripper

stalking jack

Absolutely LOVED this book and I am so glad there will be at least 2 more in the series.  You can see my review here.

 

Med Leder – The Museum of Heartbreak

Museum Cover

I am so IN LOVE with this book, there are even words to really describe it. It was everything I could want in a contemporary book and what started my new love affair with that genre.  You can see my review here.

 

Paula Garner – Phantom Limbs

phantom

Another book that further helped me fall head over heels for contemporary books. Beautifully written and so very bittersweet. You can see my review here.

 

Roshani Chokshi – The Star-Touched Queen

star

This book was simply stunning from start to finish. It is written like a dream where one sentence is ever lovelier than the next. I can’t wait for her next book!

 

Rosamund Hodge – Bright Smoke, Cold Fire

bright smore

I had been meaning to read Rosamund Hodge’s other books for a while now. I got approved for an ARC of this one and I am now even more convinced I need to read her other books. This book took the story of Romeo and Juliet and turned it upside down and twisted it. It was deliciously dark.  You can see my review here.

 

Claire Legrand – Some Kind of Happiness

some

This delicate butterfly of a book tore my heart out. It is incredibly well written and you’ll need tissues. You can see my review here.

 

Kendra Blake – Three Dark Crowns

three crowns

The first in her latest trilogy, this is the FIRST book I have ever read by Kendra Blake and I must say it made me want more books…especially the next one in this series. It is a dark fantasy with extensive world building and three very unusual princesses.  You can see my review here.

 

Mindy McGinnis – The Female of the Speciesfemale-of-the-species

This book BLEW me away! The topics within dealing with rape culture, friendship, loss, and grief make it the kind of book I would give a copy to every teenager out in the world if I could afford to. It should be on all major required reading lists. Impeccably written, with a heroine you can’t help but cheer for, even though you know from the start that she is a killer.  You can see my review here.

 

Sara Pennypacker – PAX

pax

This book is so precious! It made me cry throughout most of it (I read it right after our family dog Sophie passed away). This probably made me cry even harder. A fragile and beautiful story about the bond of friendship between a little fox and his little boy. A MUST read, just be sure to have lots of tissues. You can see my review here.

 

Molly Booth – Saving Hamlet

saving-hamlet-cover

I so enjoyed this book, it was fun and quirky and totally filled me with nostalgic feels for my former theater days. If you love Shakespeare and time travel…this would be a delightful book to give a shot. You can see my review here.

Who are some of the authors you read for the first time in 2016? Do we share any of the same authors or books? Share with me in the comments below and if you participate in TTT make sure to leave me your link so I can visit your post too.
 
 

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My Top 10 Most Underrated Moments from Harry Potter

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Welcome back to #Pottermas16! This is a seasonal Harry Potter feature that Elizabeth from BookYAbber, Nicole from Nicole’s Novel Reads and myself will be hosting on our blogs all month long. You can follow along with us by using #Pottermas16, and chatting with us on Twitter (@BookYAbber, @NicoleMoy, @MarciliaLoubach).

In today’s post, we are sharing our favorite top ten most underrated moments from the Harry Potter series. Here are my choices:

 

Aragog’s Funeral– When Aragog dies, Hagrid asked Ron, Hermione and Harry to help bury him. The security around the castle is heightened due to the news that Voldemort is back. Harry isn’t worried because he drank his Felix Felicis potion. Harry runs into Professor Slughorn, who ends up helping with the burial. After the burial, Hagrid, Slughorn, and Harry all make toasts to Aragog and drink a little too much mead. Harry takes advantage of the inebriated Professor Slughorn to retrieve a memory of Tom Riddle asking him about Horcruxes.

aragog

 

Professor McGonagall and the Flying Harry– Harry might have never become the Gryffindor seeker if Professor McGonagall had not bent the rules when she caught him flying on his broomstick without proper supervision. It is also important to note that Professor McGonagall is the first to send Harry Potter a gift (his Nimbus 2000) via his first official owl post asides his acceptance letters from Hogwarts his uncle and aunt tried so hard to keep from him.

mcgonagall

 

Unbreakable Vow– When Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy come calling at Snape’s home in Spinner’s End they ask Snape to prove his loyalty to the Dark Lord. He does this by swearing to an Unbreakable Vow. If Narcissa’s son Draco should fail to complete the task Voldemort gives him, Snape must complete it or face probable death. Bellatrix binds Narcissa to Snape, to seal the vow. Later in the series we find out how both Snape and Narcissa (each in their own way) actually end up helping to save Harry Potter in the end. It proves that even the darkest of wizards can repent and are capable of love. Narcissa for her son Draco, and Snape for his love of Lily Potter.

unbreakable_vow

 

Luna and the Thestrals– Because Luna’s mother died when she was very young, she has been able to see Thestrals from a very early age. When Harry Potter encounters the creatures for the first time it is Luna that explains to him why he can see them. Later in the series, it is Luna that suggests to Harry that they use the Thestrals to get to the Ministry of Magic.

thestral_on_land

 

The Veil/Sirius’s Death– When Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna visit the Ministry of Magic, they end up in the Death Chamber. In the middle of this chamber is an archway known as the Veil. Everyone except Hermione is drawn to the Veil (it is assumed that everyone except Hermione believes in an afterlife or has experience with death) which is why Hermione doesn’t see it as anything extraordinary. But Hermione is right to be scared and cautious about getting too close.

veil

They are ambushed by Death Eaters but the Order of the Phoenix arrives just in time to help them fight. Unfortunately, Sirius is hit by one of the many curses Bellatrix sends his way. He loses his balance and falls through the Veil and dies instantly. We find out  in book 6 that there was never a funeral held for Sirius. His body was never recovered from inside the Veil. To this day I still think the Veil is one of the most underrated things in the series. I really want to know more about it, and how we can bring Sirius back.

 

Voldy loves Bella – This is a fan-fiction dream that always hangs out in the inner crevices of my mind. I love these two villains so much (I know…what’s wrong with me?). I have two moments involving these two that I find underrated.

In the Order of the Phoenix, while dueling in the Ministry of Magic Voldemort must get away, he grabs Bellatrix before apparating. She is the only Death Eater present he stops to help.

Later in the series during the Battle of Hogwarts Bellatrix attempts to kill Ginny Weasley with a curse but misses. An angry Molly Weasley comes after Bellatrix and eventually hits her with a curse that causes Bellatrix to die. When this happens Voldemort cries out. Does this mean he had feelings for Bella after all? I say yes. 😉

bellatric

voldy

 

Narcissa Declares Harry Potter “Dead”– As the Battle of Hogwarts starts to come to a close, Voldemort attempts the Killing Curse on Harry. Narcissa is chosen to check that Harry is dead. When she realizes Harry is alive, she decides to betray Voldemort. Reuniting with her son and family are the only things that matter. Narcissa whispers to ask if Draco is okay. Harry responds with a “yes”. She then pronounces Harry to be dead. This act of mercy not only helps to save Harry but ultimately keeps the Malfoys from being sent to Azkaban once Voldemort is finally defeated by Harry Potter.

narcissa

hes-dead

 

Hagrid carries “dead” Harry back to Hogwarts – Hagrid is forced to carry Harry’s lifeless body back to Hogwarts when Voldemort thinks he has defeated the young wizard. Hagrid can barely contain his grief. Though he is being forced, Hagrid is doing what he has always done. Delivering Harry back to his home.

Hagrid was the one who delivered baby Harry to the Dursleys. He also recovers Harry from the Dursleys so he can attend Hogwarts. Hagrid is the one that takes him to Diagon Alley and becomes Harry’s first friend. Through all the years it is Hagrid that has helped Harry get through many of his “rights of passage” in the wizarding world…even in death.

hagrid-harryhagrid

 

Christmas Eve at Godrick’s Hollow– While on the “run” Harry and Hermione visit Godrick’s Hollow on Christmas Eve. They go there to find Bathilda Bagshot. This is also the first time Harry comes face to face with his parents’ grave.

Though this is a somber and sad moment, it feels like it could almost be like a Christmas present for Harry. He finally gets to be close to his parents. He gets to see the town he and his parents lived in, even if just for a little bit. It’s very bittersweet.

godricks-hollow

 

Deathday Party/Ghosts– In Chamber of Secrets we find out that it is the 500th anniversary of Sir Nicholas death. Sir Nicholas invites the trio to attend his deathday party. This event that is not usually attended by living beings and the severely spoiled disgusts them. Apparently, it is the only kind of food that the ghosts can come close to tasting. The ghosts and their stories are also very interesting. Why were they still around? Why does each house have a ghost? Can the ghosts ever hope to find peace?

 

I would love to know what some of your favorite underrated moments from the Harry Potter Series are. Make sure to leave me your comments below.

Remember to follow Elizabeth (BookYAbber), Nicole (Nicole’s Novel Reads) and myself this entire month as we continue to celebrate all things Harry Potter during our #Pottermas16.

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Welcome to Our Pottermas 2016 Celebration!

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WELCOME TO POTTERMAS 2016!

It’s that wonderful time of the year again, Pottermas Time!

Pottermas is a month-long celebration of all things Harry Potter. Last year I did not participate because I was busy setting up The Plot Bunny for an official reveal. I did help Elizabeth of Book Yabber and Nicole of Nicole’s Novel Reads to promote it. This year I will be a full participant and I can’t wait to share with you all the FANtastic and magical Pottermas posts we have planned. 

What should you expect during Pottermas? There will be gift guides, crafty tutorials, recipes, discussion posts and many other Harry Potter related topics. Keep your eyes open for post announcements on social media (especially Twitter) and make sure to follow along and invite your friends to join the celebration by using #Pottermas16

 

HP facts about me:

My name is Marcilia, but everyone calls me Marci. As you all know by now, I am the sole blogger at The Plot Bunny. What you might not yet know is that I am a proud member of House Slytherin ( Go Snakes! ). My intro into the wizarding world started late in life. I swore for years that I would never read the Harry Potter series. I was in my “I’m a grown up and must act all stuffy state” and to me, a book about a boy child wizard with round glasses seemed silly and childish. How wrong I was!

One day, while visiting a good friend from high school, I caught a few minutes of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on her tv. It was the banquet scene of the great hall when Harry is about to get sorted. The more I watched the more I became mesmerized. Everything looked so magical and amazing, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. I literally had to be dragged away. The very next day I went to the bookstore and bought all the books that were currently published. I NEEDED to read them all and to catch up on the series before watching the movies. Ever since then I have been a fan. Thanks to the books and movies I  have made lots of lovely friends and met lots of new people through the fandom.

My House:

slytherin

I have always been a little “dark” and slightly twisted, so of course, I would sort myself into house Slytherin. It was not until Pottermore came along that I finally got the confirmation that I did in fact belong in House Slytherin. I do believe that I have many (if not all) the qualities that the members of house Slytherin possess. I am very ambitious, and cunning too. Snakes I have always found cool, and I know I am probably too proud for my own good. So Slytherin feels like the perfect fit and home for me. (Plus some of my favorite wizards and witches belong to Slytherin, such as Professor Snape, and Bellatrix LeStrange). 

slytherin-values

With the new Ilvermorny sorting, I was placed in the Horned Serpent House. The Horned Serpent house is considered to represent the mind of a witch or wizard. It is said to favor scholars.

horned-serpent

My Thoughts: I LOVE being a Slytherin, and I will always associate myself with belonging to House Slytherin over House Horned Serpent. Since there has not been too much information released about all the traits of the Ilvermorny houses, I don’t think I can rightly compare them to the Hogwarts Houses. I do love to read, and sometimes I have thought I have a bit of Ravenclaw in me, so maybe the Horned Serpent represents that side of my person.

My Wand

(as written and described on Pottermore)

my-wand

WOOD: Pine

The straight-grained pine wand always chooses an independent, individual master who may be perceived as a loner, intriguing and perhaps mysterious. Pine wands enjoy being used creatively, and unlike some others, will adapt unprotestingly to new methods and spells. Many wandmakers insist that pine wands are able to detect, and perform best for, owners who are destined for long lives, and I can confirm this in as much as I have never personally known the master of a pine wand to die young. The pine wand is one of those that is most sensitive to non-verbal magic.”

My Thoughts: I think this is quite accurate. I do tend to always do my best work when left alone and in silence. 😉

CORE: Phoenix Feather

This is the rarest core type. Phoenix feathers are capable of the greatest range of magic, though they may take longer than either unicorn or dragon cores to reveal this. They show the most initiative, sometimes acting of their own accord, a quality that many witches and wizards dislike. Phoenix feather wands are always the pickiest when it comes to potential owners, for the creature from which they are taken is one of the most independent and detached in the world. These wands are the hardest to tame and to personalize, and their allegiance is usually hard won.”

My Thoughts: Figures I get a core that’s a bit temperamental and has a mind of its own. Very much like its owner.

LENGTH: 12 ½” in length

The following notes on wand length are taken from notes on the subject by Mr Garrick Ollivander, wandmaker:

Most wands will be in the range of between nine and fourteen inches. While I have sold extremely short wands (eight inches and under) and very long wands (over fifteen inches), these are exceptionally rare. In the latter case, a physical peculiarity demanded the excessive wand length. However, abnormally short wands usually select those in whose character something is lacking, rather than because they are physically undersized (many small witches and wizards are chosen by longer wands).”

My Thoughts: I like that my wand is on the longer side…good for making “swoosh” sounds.

FLEXIBILITY: Rigid flexibility

The following notes on wand flexibility are taken from notes on the subject by Mr Garrick Ollivander, wandmaker:

 

Wand flexibility or rigidity denotes the degree of adaptability and willingness to change possessed by the wand-and-owner pair – although, again, this factor ought not to be considered separately from the wand wood, core, and length, nor of the owner’s life experience and style of magic, all of which will combine to make the wand in question unique.”

MY PATRONUS: FOX

I have to admit I am pretty happy with my Patronus test results.  I was hoping for either a bunny or fox patronus from the start (because they are my favorite animals). A bunny or hare would have been my first choice, but I am happy with my little fox. I think it fits my personality a bit better (bunnies are a bit too sweet and innocent). 

Foxes are associated with being cunning (very Slytherin), quick thinkers, adaptable, mentally sharp, witty, intelligent and good teachers. They also have a dark side and can be tricky. There will be a future post about Patronuses coming up on December 7th, 2016. 

patronus-fox

The fox is often associated with the figure of the trickster, but as a spirit animal, it can also turn into a teacher providing guidance on swiftly finding your way around obstacles. If you follow the fox totem wisdom, you may be called to use or develop quick thinking and adaptability. Responsive, sometimes cunning, this power animal is a great guide when you are facing tricky situations.”Spirit Animal Info

 

My Thoughts: I can see all these traits in me (even the bad), and I agree completely. Plus I have been completely obsessed with foxes for the last 5 years, so there must be something to it.

 

So those are all my Pottermore stats. I hope you will join us in our Pottermas celebration. Have you been sorted? Do you have a Pottermore account too? What is your Patronus? Are you happy with the animal you got? Join Elizabeth, Nicole and I this Pottermas and discuss with us all about your sortings, wands and houses. Make sure to leave me your thoughts below, visit my fellow Pottermas hosts and follow the fun all month long with #Pottermas16.

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