Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (6/22/21) – The Ones We’re Meant to Find

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Ever since reading Descendant of the Crane about two years ago and loving it, I’ve been itching to read more of Joan He’s novels. My wishing was rewarded with this book, which came out in early May of this year. (Star Wars day, I think….YES) I bought it recently at my favorite bookstore, and I’m glad to say that The Ones We’re Meant to Find is even better than her debut – complex, tense and tender!

Enjoy this week’s review!

The Ones We're Meant to Find — Joan He

The Ones We’re Meant to Find – Joan He

my copy ft. a cool filter and yesterday’s overcast skies

As far as everyone else knows, Celia Mizuhara – Cee for short – went missing three years ago, presumed dead. But Cee is very much alive, stranded on a distant island. She’s been eking out an existence there for three years, with only a strange android for company. But when a boy washes ashore and nearly kills her, she must question what she knows of her life before – and herself.

Meanwhile, Cee’s sister Kasey lives in a floating city, protected from the natural disasters that wrack their climate change-ravaged world. Intelligent and reclusive, she lives an isolated lifestyle, working with experts on the latest technology that could further protect their floating utopia. But Cee’s fate remains at the back of her mind, and Kasey knows that her sister is still out there.

amie kaufman – The Bookish Mutant

TW/CW: loss of loved ones, cancer, grief, violence, near-death situations (drowning, attempted murder), natural disasters

It’s been almost a week since I finished this one, and lemme tell you, I am still REELING. I think I need to go back and re-read it soon…

The Ones We’re Meant to Find is very nearly a masterpiece. It’s haunting in every sense of the word, from the natural disasters surrounding it to the conspiracy within it, and it hooked me to the last page.

The Ones We’re Meant to Find is told in the dual POVs of sisters Cee and Kasey, but I enjoyed Cee’s the most; her story was the more compelling of the two, in my opinion, and I loved seeing her unravel the mystery of her marooning and of her life before. I honestly would’ve been fine if it was just her story – as much as I loved the rest of the novel, her story would’ve been a great standalone as well. I loved all of her little mannerisms and quirks, and she was such a fascinating, multi-layered character. Her tense dynamic with Hero was also so well-written – their relationship was never certain, and I loved the mercurial aspect of it. And she bounced so well off of U-me, the android, too! The friendship that they’d built over the course of three years was so weirdly touching.

Who is the best sidekick droid? (others in comments) | Fandom

And the worldbuilding? PHENOMENAL. Both Cee’s island and Kasey’s floating utopia were so complex and well-developed. There was clearly so much love and care put into every inch of this novel, and it shone through in the best way possible. I could practically feel the hum of machinery, the pouring rain, the battering ocean waves…IMMACULATE.

The mystery at the heart of The Ones We’re Meant to Find was equally compelling. I had to look back through the last few pages just so it could sink in – just when I thought it was over, He delivered another heartstopping twist that had my eyes bugging out of my skull. There are plot twists upon plot twists UPON PLOT TWISTS, and I loved it.

My only complaint is Kasey’s side of the story. I appreciated that she was more of a cold, unlikable character, but her whole side of the plot seemed rather convoluted. Remember how I said that the care put into the worldbuilding showed? There’s a bit of a catch to that, sadly; there were so many aspects that factored into the conspiracy around Cee, Kasey, and Actinium, but the sheer amount of them made me forget their significance, and when the final reveal was made, I had to flip back through just so I could remember “wait, what did that mean again? Why do we care about that?” Like I said – I need to give this one another re-read. Maybe that’ll help me absorb it all. But in the midst of all this wondrousness, this is basically my only major complaint.

Visible Confusion GIF - Visible Confusion StarWars - Discover & Share GIFs
here I go piling on all the Star Wars gifs again

All in all, a haunting and complex cli-fi with androids, sisterhood, and no shortage of thrilling twists. 4.5 stars!

𝖣𝗂𝗌𝗍𝗋𝗂𝖼𝗍 9 - 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝘂𝗲 - Wattpad

The Ones We’re Meant to Find is a standalone, but Joan He is also the author of Descendant of the Crane, and an untitled mystery/thriller novel slated for release in 2022.

Today’s song:

hmm, I listened to this whole album yesterday and loved it? what could have possibly tipped you off?

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (6/21/21) – Love in the Time of Global Warming

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I added this one to my TBR a little over a year ago. The promise of bisexual rep was what initially drew me in, but the blend of fantasy, dystopia, and cli-fi ultimately hooked me! I can’t wait to see what this one has to offer.

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (6/21/21) – LOVE IN THE TIME OF GLOBAL WARMING by Francesca Lia Block

Amazon.com: Love in the Time of Global Warming (9781250044426): Block,  Francesca Lia: Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

Her life by the sea in ruins, Pen has lost everything in the Earth Shaker that all but destroyed the city of Los Angeles. She sets out into the wasteland to search for her family, her journey guided by a tattered copy of Homer’s Odyssey. Soon she begins to realize her own abilities and strength as she faces false promises of safety, the cloned giants who feast on humans, and a madman who wishes her dead. On her voyage, Pen learns to tell stories that reflect her strange visions, while she and her fellow survivors navigate the dangers that lie in wait. In her signature style, Francesca Lia Block has created a world that is beautiful in its destruction and as frightening as it is lovely. At the helm is Pen, a strong heroine who holds hope and love in her hands and refuses to be defeated.

SO WHY DO I WANT TO READ THIS?

Aesthetic Ocean Gif Tumblr - Largest Wallpaper Portal

(two books on my TBR with bi rep and blue covers in a row? oops…)

Love in the Time of Global Warming has a relatively low rating on Goodreads (3.38 as of now), but I’m still willing to dive in headfirst.

What stands out most to me is the incorporation of the Odyssey – the world really needs more retellings of it, and I love the idea of Pen’s Odyssey-like journey through a ruined Los Angeles ravaged by climate change. I’m also excited to see the blend of sci-fi and fantasy; a lot of reviewers have shelved it as magical realism, so that’s an interesting aspect to weave into dystopia. And the queer cast! From what I’ve heard, the vast majority of the cast is LGBTQ+, which is always a major plus in my book.

Overall, a queer, genre-bending, and creative take on The Odyssey that I can’t wait to read!

GIF dystopian - animated GIF on GIFER

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: June 14-20, 2021

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles, and happy Father’s Day as well! Who knows where I’d be without my dad, so thank you so much. 💗

I flew back home from Glacier National Park earlier in the week, so the rest of the week hasn’t been super eventful. I fell into a bit of a (very brief) reading slump, and my writing wasn’t going where I wanted it to go, so I was feeling a little down. But I cleaned up around my room, did some rearranging of my bookshelves, and I made a new Pinterest account and went down a sci-fi rabbit hole, which gave me a lot of inspiration for creature design and the visuals of my WIP.

Other than that, I’m now about halfway through Invincible (WHOA THE FIRST TWO EPISODES), I rewatched The Big Lebowski with family (the Dude abides), and I haven’t gotten to episode 2 of Loki yet, but I can’t wait!

And The Dude says "man" 147 times overall. | The big lebowski, Movies,  Netflix streaming
this is very high on the list of movie lines that I quote way too often

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Chameleon Moon (Chameleon Moon, #1) – RoAnna Sylver (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Chameleon Moon - Kindle edition by Sylver, RoAnna. Literature & Fiction  Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Heart of Iron (Heart of Iron, #1) – Ashley Poston (re-read bc I had a two hour wait at the airport) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Heart of Iron (9780062652850): Poston, Ashley: Books

The Ones We’re Meant to Find – Joan He (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

The Ones We're Meant to Find by Joan He

The First Sister (The First Sister Trilogy, #1) – Linden A. Lewis (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The First Sister (1) (The First Sister trilogy)  (9781982126995): Lewis, Linden A.: Books

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Juliet Takes a Breath – Gabby Rivera

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera: 9780593108192 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags

The Boba Fett Book Tag

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

I figured I’d do another book tag, and since I love all things Star Wars, I wanted to give this tag a go! (I would’ve done it on May 4, but alas, I was very busy.) I found it over at Brooke @ The Reader’s Game, who also created the tag. (And if you haven’t checked out her blog, I highly recommend it!)

Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Link back to original post
  • Tag around 10 people
  • You don’t have to watch anything Star Wars related to do this- only to get the references!
  • Have fun!

Let’s begin, shall we?

This Is When The Fun Begins GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

🚀THE BOBA FETT BOOK TAG🚀

LIGHTSPEED SKIPPER: A character who is constantly in danger or on the run

Traveling with warp speed | Optical illusions art, Science fiction artwork,  Optical illusions
Amazon.com: Off Planet (Aunare Chronicles Book 1) eBook: Erin, Aileen:  Kindle Store

Maité from Off Planet is certainly on the run for quite a lot over the course of the novel – there’s quite a lot of planet hopping in this book!

RAZOR CREST: A character with a spaceship

BROTHERTEDD.COM - beheworthy: R.I.P. Razor Crest, she was a... |  Mandalorian, Star wars, Far away
Amazon.com: Heart of Iron (9780062652850): Poston, Ashley: Books

Captain Siege from Heart of Iron has her formidable ship, the Dossier, and she’s proud of it! (So is Jax, come to think of it…)

DARTH VADER: A villain who always hides their face

Darth Vader GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Oh jeez, I can’t really think of any character that would fit this prompt…don’t mind me…

EX-IMPERIAL: A character who is not what they seem

egg sac - Zen Cart,Magento
The Ones We're Meant to Find eBook by Joan He - 9781250258571 | Rakuten  Kobo Singapore

Cee from The Ones We’re Meant to Find certainly fits the prompt, but for…ah…shall we say spoiler-y reasons, so I won’t say why. If you know, you know.

MANDO: A character tracking down something that was stolen from them

Mandalorian GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
Amazon.com: The Smoke Thieves (9780425290217): Green, Sally: Books

I suppose none of these characters are tracking down something that was stolen from them, specifically, but the whole plot of The Smoke Thieves centers around a stolen bottle of smoke, and Tash in particular is most involved with capturing demons for their smoke, so I’ll say this fits.

YOUNG BOBA FETT: A character who had a family member killed/taken/beaten before their eyes

Attack of the clones episode ii GIF - Find on GIFER
Amazon.com: Six of Crows eBook: Bardugo, Leigh: Kindle Store

Kaz from Six of Crows witnessed the death of his older brother Jordie firsthand, which…yeah, I got choked up re-reading this recently. It’s a ROUGH flashback scene.

BESKAR: A character who wears armor/weapons

Boba Fett back in his armor | The Mandalorian Chapter 14 [gif by Elisha on  Tumblr] | Star wars pictures, Star wars artwork, Star wars art
Amazon.com: The Galaxy, and the Ground Within: A Novel (Wayfarers Book 4)  eBook: Chambers, Becky: Kindle Store

This was another hard one – my first thought was Speaker from The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, though her armor is more for mobility outside of her homeworld than anything.

RAISED ON MANDALORE: A character who isn’t allowed to show their face

Aaaand just 1 month shy of Season 2 premiering, I... - What Will Your Verse  Be? | Star wars fandom, Yoda wallpaper, Star wars art

Uh…yeah, I’m blanking on characters with masks/characters that can’t show their faces, so I think I’ll have to skip this one…sorry…[Mandalorian theme plays on a kazoo]

UNEXPECTED DOCKING: A character who joins a mission at a random point on the mission

Star Wars The Mandalorian GIF - StarWars TheMandalorian BabyYoda - Discover  & Share GIFs | Star wars memes, Star wars fandom, Star wars
Aurora Rising: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff: 9781786075338: Amazon.com: Books

Auri from Aurora Rising certainly joins the rest of Squad 312 at an unexpected time in the mission – but ends up setting the course for the rest of the book.

HIGH BOUNTY: A character in debt and/or on the run

Baby Yoda The Mandalorian GIF - BabyYoda TheMandalorian Warrior - Discover  & Share GIFs Star Wars | Star wars humor, Star wars memes, Star wars fandom
Amazon.com: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse: Book One of the Thorne  Chronicles eBook: Eason, K.: Kindle Store

Fitting that I used mostly sci-fi books for this tag…hehe…

Anyways, Rory from How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse goes on the run for much of the novel after discovering the assassination plot.

I TAG:

(I don’t know if I know 10 people on here who are all into Star Wars, so I’ll just list a few…)

And may the Force be with you!

Incorrect Mandalorian Quotes — Random Star Wars Citizen: Mando, come over!  The...

Today’s song:

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books, Mini Reviews

Mini Reviews of Books I Read on Vacation

Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), bibliophiles!

I’m back from vacation! I took a trip with my family to Glacier National Park last week, and it was STUNNING. We did some hiking, went on a few boat tours, and went canoeing, and it was such a beautiful experience. Walking through the forest fed my soul…I’m recovering from online learning crushing my soul last year, and the trees certainly helped

Anyway, I bought a few books on my Kindle for the trip, and I thought I’d share my reviews for them. It was definitely a hit-or-miss batch, but at least 2/3 of them were good.

Let’s begin, shall we?

🏔VACATION MINI-REVIEWS 🏔

Off Planet (Aunare Chronicles, #1) – Aileen Erin

Off Planet (Aunare Chronicles, #1) by Aileen Erin

Blurb from Goodreads:

In an all-too-plausible future where corporate conglomerates have left the world’s governments in shambles, anyone with means has left the polluted Earth for the promise of a better life on a SpaceTech owned colony among the stars.

Maité Martinez is the daughter of an Earther Latina and a powerful Aunare man, an alien race that SpaceTech sees as a threat to their dominion. When tensions turn violent, Maité finds herself trapped on Earth and forced into hiding.

For over ten years, Maité has stayed hidden, but every minute Maité stays on Earth is one closer to getting caught.

She’s lived on the streets. Gone hungry. And found a way to fight through it all. But one night, while waitressing in a greasy diner, a customer gets handsy with her. She reacts without thinking.

Covered in blood, Maité runs, but it’s not long before SpaceTech finds her…

Arrested and forced into dangerous work detail on a volcano planet, Maité waits for SpaceTech to make their move against the Aunare. She knows that if she can’t somehow find a way to stop them, there will be an interstellar war big enough to end all life in the universe.

There’s only one question: Can Maité prevent the total annihilation of humanity without getting herself killed in the process?

Gardengirl — The Baths- Obi-Wan Kenobi Smut

TW/CW: sexual assault, graphic violence, burning, near-death situations, trauma-related dreams, claustrophobia

Off Planet wasn’t perfect, but it was a solid sci-fi! It blended elements of hard sci-fi and space opera, and for the most part, they came together somewhat seamlessly.

The plot and tension shone in this novel – Aileen Erin did a great job at making a fast-paced, high-stakes story that kept me on the edge of my seat. The worldbuilding was well fleshed-out as well. I loved all of the different planets that we saw, as well as the near-future, dystopian vision of Earth.

I didn’t get attached to any of the characters, but I’d say they were decently developed. Most of them were likable, but I did like Tyler a lot. I wish we’d seen more of him. However, even though I liked Lorne, his name threw me off a little, because a) hey, it’s more of a human name, and he’s an alien, and b) my inevitable association of that name with Lorne Malvo from Fargo, which…[shudders]

My only major problem was the dialogue – it felt a little stilted and not quite authentic, which took away some of the believability of the characters. Other than mannerisms, there wasn’t a whole lot that distinguished each character’s voice.

But overall, a solid start to an intense and well-thought-out sci-fi trilogy. 3.5 stars!

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

The Orphanage of Gods – Helena Coggan

The Orphanage of Gods by Helena Coggan

Blurb from Goodreads:

Twenty years ago, the humans came for their gods.

In the bloody revolution, gods were all but wiped out. Ever since, the children they left behind have been imprisoned in an orphanage, watched day and night by the ruthless Guard. Any who show signs of divine power vanish from their beds in the night, all knowledge of their existence denied.

No one has ever escaped the orphanage.

Until now.

Seventeen-year-old Hero is finally free – but at a terrible price. Her sister has been captured by the Guard and is being held in a prison in the northern sea. Hero desperately wants to get her back, and to escape the murderous Guardsmen hunting her down. But not all the gods are dead, and the ones waiting for Hero in the north have their own plans for her – ones that will change the world forever . . .

As she advances further and further into the unknown, Hero will need to decide: how far is she willing to go to do what needs to be done?

Television - I used to dismiss THE CLONE WARS as a "kid's show" ... | Page  2 | Sherdog Forums | UFC, MMA & Boxing Discussion
am I gonna put a Star Wars gif with every review? Possibly…

TW/CW: graphic violence, discrimination, death, blood, gore

I really wanted to give this one a chance – the low average rating on Goodreads put me off a little (2.88 at present), but there didn’t seem to anything blatantly offensive in the reviews I read, so I gave it a shot.

…which was a mistake on my part. Oops.

The Orphanage of Gods had an interesting premise on the surface, but it was weighed down by a whole bunch of aspects. The worldbuilding was flimsy at best, the plot seemed to ramble without meaning, the characters didn’t have many defining traits (and there were too many of them to keep track of, making them interchangeable), and the POV switches at each of the three parts didn’t seem to have any point. If Coggan had kept the POV at Hero for the whole book, it might have made more sense, as she was unfamiliar with the world introduced. But alas…

I tried. I really tried. I wanted to give this one three stars, but it just got worse and worse as the book went on…I think the only redeeming factor was that there was a sapphic romance at the forefront, but even that was just thrown in there at the last minute. The writing had moments of being good, and I think that’s the only reason I didn’t DNF this one entirely.

All in all, a novel weighed down by poor handling of almost every aspect save for the writing. 2 stars.

⭐️⭐️

Chameleon Moon (Chameleon Moon, #1) – RoAnna Sylver

Chameleon Moon - Kindle edition by Sylver, RoAnna. Literature & Fiction  Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Blurb from Goodreads:

The city of Parole is burning. Like Venice slips into the sea, Parole crumbles into fire.

The entire population inside has been quarantined and left to die – directly over the open flame. Eye in the Sky, a deadly and merciless police force ensures no one escapes. Ever. All that’s keeping Parole alive is faith in the midst of horrors and death, trust in the face of desperation… and their fantastic, terrifying, and beautiful superhuman abilities.

Regan, silent, scaly stealth expert, is haunted by ten years of anxiety, trauma and terror, and he’s finally reached his limit. Evelyn is a fearless force on stage and sonic-superheroic revolutionary on the streets. Now they have a choice – and a chance to not only escape from Parole, but unravel the mystery deep in its burning heart. And most of all, discover the truth about their own entwining pasts.

Parole’s a rough place to live. But they’re not dead yet. If they can survive the imminent cataclysmic disaster, they might just stay that way…

Xmen Mutant GIF - Xmen Mutant Proud - Discover & Share GIFs
…so I guess I’m not putting a Star Wars gif with every review

TW/CW: violence, PTSD, loss of loved ones, fire, anxiety, torture, trauma

This is just the kind of sweet, diverse and hopeful dystopia that the world needs more of. Chameleon Moon wasn’t without its flaws, sure, but it was such a lovely novel.

First off, this is easily one of the most diverse novels I’ve read in a long time – we’ve got a polyamorous family at front and center, an asexual MC, a trans woman MC, several nonbinary characters, several Black characters, and several characters with anxiety and PTSD. So a big thank you to RoAnna Sylver for making an effort to make a novel with all that representation!

The characters were the best aspect of the novel for me – they all had such distinct personalities and quirks, and I loved all of the different superpowers they sported. Danae was easily my favorite – I loved all of her little metal creations, and she had such a spirited personality. (Kind of imagined her like Jessie Buckley, for no particular reason.) Hans was also great – he reminded me a lot of Klaus from The Umbrella Academy, if he were a bit more unhinged.

What was really special about Chameleon Moon for me, though, was that even though it was clearly a dystopia, there was a consistent message of hope. Even in the midst of unimaginable horrors, there was still love, still families caring for each other, still listening to everybody’s traumas, and still persisting no matter the odds. It’s an uncommon sight in dystopia, and in times like these, it’s just the kind of novel we need.

All in all, a queer and hopeful dystopia that sets itself apart with no shortage of representation and a powerful message. 4 stars!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Today’s song:

That’s it for these mini-reviews! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (6/7/21) – The Star Host

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I try to always pick more diverse books from my TBR for this meme, but I’m going to be shifting my focus to LGBTQ+ books in particular for the month of June. I found this week’s book over at Queer Books for Teens (which is a great resource if you want LGBTQ+ book recs!), and it sounds like a fantastic and romantic sci-fi!

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (6/7/21) – THE STAR HOST by F.T. Lukens

The Star Host (Broken Moon, #1) by F.T. Lukens

Blurb from Goodreads:

Ren grew up listening to his mother tell stories about the Star Hosts – a mythical group of people possessed by the power of the stars. The stories were the most exciting part of Ren’s life, and he often dreamed about leaving his backwater planet and finding his place among the neighboring drifts. When Ren is captured by soldiers and taken from his home, his dream slips further out of his grasp. Now a slave of a despotic Baron, Ren must remain inconspicuous while plotting his escape. It’s a challenge since the general of the Baron’s army is convinced Ren is something out of one of his mother’s stories.

Ren finds companionship in the occupant of the cell next to his, a drifter named Asher. A member of the Phoenix Corps, Asher is mysterious, charming, and exactly the person Ren needs to anchor him as his sudden technopathic ability threatens to consume him. Ren doesn’t mean to become attached, but after a daring escape, a trek across the planet, and an eventful ride on a merchant ship, Asher is the only thing that reminds Ren of home. Together, they must warn the drifts of the Baron’s plans, master Ren’s growing power, and try to save their friends while navigating the growing attraction between them.

So why do I want to read this?

Assassins can fly — Deep Blue Space 🌌 gifs made by me :)

I initially put this on my TBR because I heard that it had bisexual rep, which always gets me excited! Even though YA is taking some great leaps in representation, I still don’t see many bi boys represented, so a book like this is so important.

Other than that, I’ll put anything on my TBR if it’s advertised as “queer sci-fi,” but The Star Host sounds especially fascinating. I like the pseudo-fantasy aspect of the Star Hosts themselves, and I’m excited to see how Lukens executes that in what looks like a predominantly sci-fi atmosphere. (The synopsis is giving me Luke Skywalker vibes for Ren? I think I could go with that) And the romance between Ren and Asher sounds so sweet…🥺

In short: all you need to do to convince me to put a book on my TBR is say “space bisexuals.”

When I said Leia I am luke Skywalker I am here to rescue you | Star Wars  Amino

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! This is probably all that I’ll be posting this week before I leave for my vacation, so I’ll see you all next week. Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: May 31 – June 6, 2021

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well.

I’d say this first week of summer has been pretty fantastic! The weather’s warming up, and I’ve had lots of time to read in the hammock. I also made a trip to my favorite bookstore and got some books, and they all look amazing! My drawing motivation also came back, so I’m glad for that. I had another good shift at the library as well, and it’s always good to be in that atmosphere.

I also restarted that first draft of my sci-fi WIP! I fixed up some parts of the plot that I wasn’t comfortable with, and now I feel like my heart’s really in it.

Also, just a heads up – I won’t be posting anything past Monday next week since I’ll be on vacation for a week. 🙂

And happy happy pride! 🏳️‍🌈

Pride GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Upside of Unrequited (Simonverse, #2) – Becky Albertalli (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: The Upside of Unrequited (9780062348708): Albertalli, Becky:  Books

The Hidden World of the Fox – Adele Brand (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

The Hidden World of the Fox: Brand, Adele: 9780062966100: Amazon.com: Books

The Falling in Love Montage – Ciara Smyth (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

A Chorus Rises (A Song Below Water, #2) – Bethany C. Morrow (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: A Chorus Rises: A Song Below Water novel (9781250316035): Morrow,  Bethany C.: Books

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Between Burning Worlds (System Divine, #2) – Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

Amazon.com: Between Burning Worlds (2) (System Divine) (9781534410664):  Brody, Jessica, Rendell, Joanne: Books

The Orphanage of Gods – Helena Coggan

The Orphanage of Gods by Helena Coggan

Chameleon Moon – RoAnna Sylver

Chameleon Moon - Kindle edition by Sylver, RoAnna. Literature & Fiction  Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Off Planet (Aunare Chronicles, #1) – Aileen Erin

Amazon.com: Off Planet (Aunare Chronicles Book 1) eBook: Erin, Aileen:  Kindle Store

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags

The Last 10 Books Tag

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

I have a whole load of book tags that I want to do soon, and I figured I’d give this one a go, it sounds like a lot of fun! I was tagged by Stephanie @ My Book Throne, (thanks so much!) and the tag was originally created by Marc Nash.

Let’s begin, shall we?

🔟THE LAST 10 BOOKS TAG🔟

LAST BOOK I RE-READ

Amazon.com: Crooked Kingdom: A Sequel to Six of Crows (Six of Crows, 2)  (9781627792134): Bardugo, Leigh: Books

The Netflix adaptation of Shadow and Bone made me go back and read the Six of Crows duology. Needless to say, tears were shed.

LAST BOOK I GAVE UP ON

Amazon.com: Falling Kingdoms: A Falling Kingdoms Novel (9781595145857):  Rhodes, Morgan: Books

I haven’t DNF’d anything in a while, but I got to about the 70% mark in Falling Kingdoms (on my Kindle) before I couldn’t take it anymore.

LAST BOOK I BOUGHT

The Ones We're Meant to Find by Joan He

I went down to my favorite bookstore on Thursday morning and got three books that I’ve been really excited to read! The Ones We’re Meant to Find is one of them.

LAST BOOK I SAID I READ BUT DIDN’T

Nope GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

I…never really do that, and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t remember…

LAST BOOK I WROTE IN THE MARGINS OF

Let the Great World Spin: A Novel: McCann, Colum: 9780812973990:  Amazon.com: Books

In most cases, I’m firmly against writing in books, but we’re supposed to annotate while we read for school books, so…

Let the Great World Spin was the last book that I read for AP English, and there’s lots of pen marks in there…

LAST BOOK THAT I HAD SIGNED

Amazon.com: Aurora's End (The Aurora Cycle Book 3) eBook: Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Kindle Store

Weeeeeeeeell…this doesn’t *really* count since it isn’t out yet, but I preordered a signed copy of Aurora’s End, so that’s about as close as I can get. I haven’t really been to a whole lot of book events other than Denver Pop Culture Con, and I can’t remember the last trade paperback that I got signed off the top of my head…

LAST BOOK I LOST

Macbeth (Folger Shakespeare Library) - Kindle edition by Shakespeare,  William, Mowat, Dr. Barbara A., Werstine, Paul. Literature & Fiction Kindle  eBooks @ Amazon.com.

(Why do I keep putting books I read for school in this tag?)

I rarely lose books, but I panicked for a bit last year when I lost my copy of Macbeth for a short time. I think I found it behind the headboard of my bed, or something…

LAST BOOK I REPLACED

Uhh GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Uh…I’ve never really replaced any of my books…I rarely lend them to other people and I try very hard not to damage them, so…

LAST BOOK I ARGUED OVER

Amazon.com: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, 1) (9781599906959): Maas,  Sarah J.: Books

I mean, I don’t remember the last time I’ve full-on argued with somebody about a book, but I’ve had several people insist that I try reading Throne of Glass again, and…nah. Not for me. True, I was grumpy and sick when I read it, but I really don’t think that contributed to the low rating.

LAST BOOK I COULDN’T FIND

Dark Days (Skulduggery Pleasant): Derek Landy: 9780007325979: Amazon.com:  Books

Whew, here’s a throwback…

I LOVED the Skulduggery Pleasant books in middle school, but I had to stop at book 3 because I just couldn’t find Dark Days anywhere. ANYWHERE. Such a shame, these were so much fun…

I TAG:

Lets Read GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Today’s song:

ch C

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books

Pride Month Recs: My Favorite LGBTQ+ YA Books That I’ve Read Recently 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles, and happy pride! 🌈

Now that we’re in the month of June, I’m so excited to share more queer YA books. I did a whole series last year of LGBTQ+ books in various genres, so I was struggling to think of something new for this year. So I’ve decided to compile my favorite queer books that I read between last pride month and now. (There’s a whole lot of good ones!)

But as with all kinds of posts like these, it’s important to remember that we must uplift marginalized voices in literature 365 days a year.

If you want to check them out, here are my pride month recs from last year:

Let’s begin, shall we?

Happy pride month! by Ciled on DeviantArt

🌈THE BOOKISH MUTANT’S PRIDE MONTH RECS: 2021 EDITION🌈

SCI-FI

The Sound of Stars – Alechia Dow

Amazon.com: The Sound of Stars eBook: Dow, Alechia: Kindle Store

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: MC is bisexual/demisexual, nonbinary side characters, straight-passing relationship between MC and LI

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

One of my favorite books that I read last year! Secret libraries, aliens, road trips, and bonding over music? What’s not to love?

Tarnished Are the Stars – Rosiee Thor

Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Two of the MCs are sapphic, wlw relationship, third MC is aromantic/asexual

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

This one wasn’t without its flaws, but I loved this blend of sci-fi and fantasy! There’s also an especially beautiful scene where Nathaniel (aroace character) discovers his sexuality, and although I’m not aspec myself, I’m sure this will touch the hearts of so many ace readers.

Crownchasers – Rebecca Coffindaffer

Crownchasers (Crownchasers, #1) by Rebecca Coffindaffer

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: MC is pansexual, gay, lesbian, & nonbinary side characters

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

If you’re looking for a fast-paced, queer space opera with a high-stakes competition, look no further! (AND THAT COVER…AAH)

Victories Greater Than Death (Unstoppable, #1) – Charlie Jane Anders

Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: bi/pan MC, LI is a bi/pan trans woman, wlw relationship, nonbinary side characters

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

I preordered this one a while back, and even though it wasn’t *quite* as good as I thought it would be, it was loads of fun! (Normalize asking for people’s pronouns!)

FANTASY

Showers, Flowers, and Fangs – Aidan Wayne

Amazon.com: Showers Flowers and Fangs eBook: Wayne, Aidan: Kindle Store

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: MC is a bisexual trans man, LI is gay, mlm romance

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is exactly the kind of queer fantasy we need – soft, light-hearted, and feel good! And it’s a rom-com with a budding romance between a half-human, half-fae and a vampire – what’s not to love?

Mooncakes – Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰ (Cabeswater, Canada)'s review of Mooncakes

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Queer MC, nonbinary LI, nblw relationship, sapphic side characters

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Here’s another feel-good queer fantasy – this one’s a graphic novel! Besides the fact that there’s nothing better than witches and werewolves having soft relationships, it’s so cool to see a disabled queer character like Nova! (She’s hard of hearing, and there’s several discussions about her hearing aids.)

Elysium Girls – Kate Pentecost

Amazon.com: Elysium Girls (9781368041867): Pentecost, Kate: Books

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Sapphic MC, wlw relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A fascinating blend of fantasy and alternate history! Perfect for anyone who enjoys fast-paced plots, tricksters, and high stakes.

CONTEMPORARY

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them – Junauda Petrus

Amazon.com: The Stars and the Blackness Between Them (9780525555483): Petrus,  Junauda: Books

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Sapphic MCs, wlw relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m surprised that more people aren’t talking about this one! Such a beautiful and tender romance, and so well-written.

The Henna Wars – Adiba Jaigirdar

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar | 9781624149689 | Booktopia

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Lesbian MC, bisexual LI, wlw relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I don’t usually jump for contemporary, but this was SUCH A DELIGHT. Not only is it an enemies-to-lovers, multiracial sapphic romance, there’s some really important discussions about homophobia and cultural appropriation.

The Black Flamingo – Dean Atta

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Gay MC, lesbian and trans side characters

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A beautiful, coming-of-age novel in verse about a mixed-race teen realizing his sexuality and discovering himself through drag. I don’t read a whole lot of novels in verse, but this is one you absolutely have to read!

Summer Bird Blue – Akemi Dawn Bowman

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Aromantic/asexual MC

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This one’s hard to read at times, but it’s 100% worth it. It’s more of a story of grief than anything, but it’s so great to see aspec rep like this start to become more prominent in YA.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! Have you read any of these novels, and what did you think of them? What are your favorite queer YA books? Tell me in the comments!

Best Pride Month GIFs | Gfycat

Today’s song:

That’s it for these pride month recs! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (6/1/21) – The Infinity Courts

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles, and more importantly, happy happy pride month! 🏳️‍🌈 My review for today sadly isn’t queer, but you can be certain of lots of queer reviews soon. (I mean, I usually read/review queer books, but…)

Regardless, this was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021. I got a free copy from a library program, and I’m so glad that I’m able to add it to my bookshelf! And it was 100% worth it – a truly inventive dystopia that takes the typical YA formula and inverts it in every possible way.

Enjoy this week’s review!

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman

The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts, #1) – Akemi Dawn Bowman

My copy feat. a cool filter and a bit of my bookshelf

On her way to a graduation party, Nami Miyamoto is unexpectedly murdered, sending her into the afterlife. But the afterlife she enters isn’t the kind that she expected. Here, four princedoms rule over a court of humans, now turned into mindless puppets, and ruling over them is Queen Ophelia, an Alexa-like AI who forces them into submission as revenge for her treatment in the world of the living. Nami escapes to a community of humans who have escaped the pull of Ophelia, hoping to destroy it from the inside. With Nami as their new spy, they may have a chance at freeing the deceased – but the glittering princedom may hold secrets that could tear humanity down…

it's not inception weird it's just mindless weird gifs | WiffleGif

TW/CW: murder, frightening situations, torture

WOW. WOW! The Infinity Courts marks Akemi Dawn Bowman’s first foray into science fiction/dystopia, and I must say, it’s a complete success!

There’s been a lot of comparisons drawn for this one, but for me, it felt like equal parts Tenet, Ex Machina, and Inception, but YA and minus all the convoluted timelines of the first. (Have I seen Tenet twice? Yes. Do I understand any of it? Nope. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely.) It’s a fascinating blend of all sorts of sci-fi tropes and subgenres – dystopian tyranny, AI, spies, and a grim afterlife in which the only choices are to become a mindless drone or to run.

On the surface level, once we reach Bowman’s afterlife in The Infinity Courts, it’s set up like a typical YA dystopia – you’ve got your reluctant Chosen One, a love triangle, rebellion, and struggling to maintain faith to the cause after one member of said love triangle pulls them to the dark side. But with every single one, it’s subverted in truly inventive ways – I won’t spoil anything, but the fate of the love triangle had me REELING. This novel boasts some of the most inventive plot twists I’ve seen in a long time, and it’s hard to see them coming.

I also loved the concept of Ophelia; the frequent trips into her mind were chilling, and I imagined her as almost a Raised by Wolves-like AI. It’s all a fascinating exploration of not only the role of AI in our lives, but what might happen if it gets smart enough to perceive itself as being mistreated. Again, Ex Machina, but having Ophelia rule over her own afterlife was such an inventive concept, and executed so well!

The lower point for me was the characters; I thought they were all okay, but I didn’t get attached to any of them. Bowman did do a great job with handling an ensemble cast, though – there were several different characters all living and playing their parts in the rebellion, but I didn’t lose track of any of them, and they all at least had somewhat distinct personalities. I liked Shura though.

All in all, a twisty and original YA dystopia with no shortage of intrigue and action. 4 stars!

gif mine chris movie hands mine:gif scifi ai alex garland alicia vikander  movieedit mine:movie ex machina exmachinaedit ex_machina this movie is  amazing!! I want to gif the whole movie aside from

The Infinity Courts is the first in a trilogy, with the untitled sequels slated for release in 2022 and 2023, respectively. Bowman is also the author of Summer Bird Blue, Starfish, and Harley in the Sky.

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!