I know I’m *primarily* a book blog, but most of what I post outside of bookish content is music related, as apart from being a bibliophile, I’m a major music nerd as well. I found this tag over at Margaret @ Weird Zeal , and the tag was created by Sophie @ Me & Ink.
Link back to original so she can see your answers and listen to the tunes
For every prompt you choose to do, name 1-5 songs (you can use my graphics)
Have fun and play your music LOUD
Let’s begin, shall we? (I skipped a prompt or two because I couldn’t find anything for some of them, but here we go…)
“Lazarus”–David Bowie:The day that David Bowie died, I remember my dad driving my brother and I to school in silence as this song played.
“Day Go By”–Karen O.:I listened to this whole album while I was in Canada last year, and I remember listening to this one in a hotel in Drumheller.
“Exit Music (for a Film)”–Radiohead:I discovered OK Computer last year, and I remember being curled up at the entrance of the cafeteria, reading a collection of Tennyson’s poems while blasting this through my headphones. (Yes, I am That Kid™️)
“Hunky Dory”–David Bowie: My favorite album of all time, hands down. Perfection.
“Twin Fantasy”–Car Seat Headrest: WHAT AN ALBUM…OH MAN…
“OK Computer”–Radiohead: See above. Pure genius.
Hmm, let’s see…
“Once in a Lifetime”–Talking Heads: …just watch the video. You’ll see what I mean.
“Life on Mars?”–David Bowie: This was my halloween costume last year…
“It’s Oh So Quiet”–Björk: Sorry to repeat a song, but this video always cheers me up 🙂
I TAG ANY OF MY FELLOW MUSIC NERDS WHO WANT TO PARTICIPATE!
Since this tag is all about music, consider this entire tag today’s song…
That’s it for this tag! Hope you enjoyed this dip into the weirdness that is my taste in music…
Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
I haven’t done one of these in a little while, and I figured that I’d take another dip into the vast ocean that my TBR has become. I can’t quite call it spring cleaning anymore, but no matter the season, I need to clear out some of the dust. I’m honestly surprised that my Goodreads doesn’t lag whenever I go through it…
1. Go to your Goodreads To-Read shelf
2. Order on ascending date added.
3. Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:
* She’s landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog. * Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou’s never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after. * Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who’s always been up for anything, suddenly isn’t when it comes to Lou’s quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou’s scheme to get close to Nick. * And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland–ever–unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.
Jennifer Dugan’s sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love–and themselves–in unexpected people and unforgettable places.
Though the Goodreads rating is on the lower side (3.49), I’ve seen plenty of good reviews for this one, and it sounds absolutely adorable.
Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.
But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective.
Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?
A year on my TBR, and this one DEFINITELY still holds up for me–sounds like an amazing, POC/LGBTQ+ novel!
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.
As much as I love Greek mythology retellings, the love triangle came very close to making me want to throw up in my mouth…
Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button.
Only he isn’t sure he wants to.
After all, life hasn’t been great for Henry. His mom is a struggling waitress held together by a thin layer of cigarette smoke. His brother is a jobless dropout who just knocked someone up. His grandmother is slowly losing herself to Alzheimer’s. And Henry is still dealing with the grief of his boyfriend’s suicide last year.
Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him.
But Henry is a scientist first, and facing the question thoroughly and logically, he begins to look for pros and cons: in the bully who is his perpetual one-night stand, in the best friend who betrayed him, in the brilliant and mysterious boy who walked into the wrong class. Weighing the pain and the joy that surrounds him, Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it…or let the world—and his pain—be destroyed forever.
This one sounds rough, but deeply profound. Still in.
Kitty dreams of a beautiful life, but that’s impossible in suburban London where her family is haunted by her father’s unexpected death. So when her mum suggests moving to Amsterdam to try a new life, Kitty doesn’t take much persuading. Will this be her opportunity to make her life picture perfect?
In Amsterdam she meets moody, unpredictable Ethan, and clever, troubled Theo. Two enigmatic boys, who each harbour their own secrets. In a beautiful city and far from home, Kitty finds herself falling in love for the first time.
But will love be everything she expected? And will anyone’s heart survive?
Despite the title, this one really doesn’t sound awfully compelling–or original, for that matter. Aaaaaaand of course we’ve got another love triangle.
When Miranda Black’s mother abandoned her, she took everything—the sun, moon, and stars—and Miranda found shelter in her friendship with Syd, who wore her own motherlessness like a badge of honor: Our mothers abandoned us. We won’t go begging for scraps.
When Syd runs away suddenly and inexplicably in the middle of their senior year, Miranda is abandoned once again, left to untangle the questions of why Syd left, where she is—and if she’s even a friend worth saving. Her only clue is Syd’s discarded pink leopard print cell phone and a single text contained there from the mysterious HIM. Along the way, forced to step out from Syd’s enormous shadow, Miranda finds herself stumbling into first love with Nick Allison of all people and learning what it means to be truly seen, to be finally not missing in her own life.
Hmm…I’d completely forgotten about this one. I was on the fence when I first re-read the synopsis, but I think this one could be interesting.
The end of the world happens in the blink of an eye.
When The Snap sweeps the globe, everyone can instantly hear everything that everyone else is thinking. As secrets and lies are laid bare, suburbs and cities explode into insanity and violence. What might have been an evolutionary leap instead initiates the apocalypse.
Sixteen-year-old Danby Armstrong’s telepathy works very differently. She can tune into other people but they can’t tune into her. With only this slender defence, Danby must protect her little brother and reach the safety of her mother’s mountain retreat. But it’s 100 kilometres away and the highways are blocked by thousands of cars and surrounded by millions of people coming apart at the psychic seams.
Danby’s escape is made even more dangerous by another cataclysm that threatens humanity’s extinction. And her ability to survive this new world will be tested by a charismatic young man whose power to save lives may be worse than death itself.
The Snap, huh? Sounds familiar…
[ahem] Anyway, the concept of the end of mankind being caused by a deluge of telepathy actually sounds fairly original and compelling.
It’s been four years since a meteorite hit Perdido Beach and Everyone disappeared. Gone. Everyone, except the kids trapped in the FAYZ – an invisible dome that was created by an alien virus. Inside the FAYZ, animals began to mutate and teens developed dangerous powers. the terrifying new world was plagued with hunger, lies, and fear of the unknown.
Now, four years later, meteorites are hitting Earth with a virus that is even deadlier. Humans will mutate into creates with power…and the whole world will be exposed.
But power corrupts. As some teens begin to morph into heroes, they will find that others become dangerously out of control and that the world is on the brink of a monstrous battle between good and evil.
And there is only one thing more terrifying than the fear of the unknown: when history repeats itself.
In this first of a trilogy, Michael Grant has created a stunning follow-up to the globally bestselling Gone series.
Oops, I’m an idiot, I need to read another trilogy before I can understand what’s going on in this one…
Eden has always had two loves: her best friend, Lacey, and her crush, Will. And then, almost simultaneously, she loses them both. Will to a car accident and Lacey to the inevitable growing up and growing apart.
Devastated by the holes they have left in her life, Eden finds solace in an unlikely place. Before he died, Will set up an account with In Good Company, a service that uploads voices and emails and creates a digital companion that can be called anytime, day or night. It couldn’t come at a better time because, after losing Lacey–the hardest thing Eden has had to deal with–who else can she confide all her secrets to? Who is Eden without Lacey?
As Eden falls deeper into her relationship with “Will,” she hardly notices as her real life blooms around her. There is a new job, new friends. Then there is Oliver. He’s Lacey’s twin, so has always been off-limits to her, until now. He may be real, but to have him, will Eden be able to say goodbye to Will?
Eh? Something about this doesn’t sit right with me. Sounds like an exploration of the role of the internet in our lives, but I’m not sure if I’m completely on board.
Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside.
In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence.
What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.
I mean…the concept of how one would live one’s life if they knew when they were going to die is interesting, but at this point, it’s been done so many times that it’s gone stale. Nope.
VERDICT: LET GO
LET GO: 5
Another 50-50 split for today’s Down the TBR Hole…
Though this one wasn’t quite as productive as some of my other ones, I certainly found a lot of books that I’d forgotten about that sound fascinating. Here’s hoping that I can find a few of these on the Kindle library…
I’d almost forgotten about how good this song was…
That’s it for this week’s Down the TBR Hole! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Let me start off by saying that I regret not buying this book. It’s been on a front display in the YA Sci-fi/Fantasy section of my favorite bookstore, and I’ve almost bought it at least three times, but ultimately decided to pick up something else. One of my closest friends is a massive fan of this one, and so since it was available on the Kindle library, I decided to go ahead and read it, finally. And, as always, my friend has excellent taste in books, which is to say that The Black Witch truly stands out in the midst of the vast genre of YA fantasy with its spectacular worldbuilding and character development.
Enjoy this week’s review!
The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles, #1)
Elloren Gardner is used to a life of secrecy. As the granddaughter of the famed Black Witch, a legendary war hero, she was born with a target on her back, and so lives with her uncle in a secluded cottage in the forest.
But her secrecy could never last for long, and before long, she is swept off, along with her brothers, to the prestigious Verpax University. Forever dwelling in the shadow of her grandmother, Elloren soon learns that there are more than one side to the story–the ideals that her society taught her to covet, and the history she was brought up learning, are far more wrong than she could have ever imagined. But as an evil begins to mount on the horizon, she must grapple with her heritage and where her heart truly lies in order to pave her own destiny.
First off, CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS WORLD-BUILDING? I talked about this a few weeks ago, but I remember when I first started reading The Black Witch, it was so well-written that I swore that I could smell fallen rain on the grass and trees outside Elloren’s cottage. It was such a good feeling. Heavenly. And beyond that, Forest clearly took so much care into creating such a rich, multilayered world. From the history of each magical race to the wars and political intrigue that have shaped it, there was so much attention to detail. Delving into the history–however horrific it was, at some points–was absolutely fascinating.
The Black Witch is certainly a very character-driven book, as opposed to a plot-driven one, which I had no problem with at all. I won’t sugar-coat this–I hated Elloren at first. And honestly, I believe it was the point. Her character development was what truly stood out in this novel. She goes from this overtly naïve, deeply (and I mean deeply) prejudiced in terms of the other magical races, but eventually realizes that all of the xenophobic lies that she’s grown up with are complete nonsense. There are certainly some very uncomfortable moments in the first part, in terms of the xenophobia/racism towards some of the other magical races, but in the end, it served to perpetuate a very timely theme–and that is that racism, xenophobia, homophobia, whatever kind of prejudice is a bundle of twisted lies. And in this time where such -phobias are being grossly perpetuated by political leaders and crazed internet zealots alike, it’s an incredibly timely theme.
Another aspect I enjoyed in The Black Witch was the multitude of show-stealing side characters. They were almost essential when Elloren was in her period of idiocy, and not only were they there to help spur on her character growth, but they were wonderful. Just wonderful. Diana, Ariel, Wynter–especially Wynter, I love her 🥺–were show-stealing in the best sense of the word.
One of the only aspects I wasn’t a fan of was the romance. I get it, I love enemies-to-lovers romance as much as the next person, but Elloren and Yvan felt far too forced and insta-love-y for me.
All in all, The Black Witch stands out in the world of YA fantasy, with detailed world-building, stellar character development, and a timely theme. 4.25 stars!
The Black Witch is the first in a series of 5 (!!!), continuing with The Iron Flower (2018), The Shadow Wand (coming in June 2020), The Demon Tide (2021), and The Battle for Erthia (TBD). There’s also two prequel novellas, Wandfasted and Light Mage. And, of course, book 2 isn’t available at my library…[single tear slides down cheek]
My friend sent me this yesterday, and said it had my vibes…THIS IS THE SWEETEST SONG, I LOVE IT
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
I found this tag over at G-Swizzel Books, who was also the creator of this tag. As I am a MASSIVE X-Men fan, I knew I had to take part in this tag at some point. X-Men: Apocalypse, although it isn’t the best of the X-Men movies, will always have a special place in my heart, as it was the first one that I got to see in theaters, and my first introduction to my favorite character, Nightcrawler.
Let’s begin, shall we?
MYSTIQUE: Name a female lead who is a strong and flawed character
Elloren from The Black Witchcertainly has her fair share of flaws, but one of the most beautiful parts of the novel was watching her character development, and her growth into a formidable woman.
CHARLES XAVIER: Name a character who is a good mentor/instructor
I immediately thought of Captain Siege from the Heart of Ironduology–intimidating, but still fair with all of her crew, and a mother figure of sorts for Ana and the rest.
QUICKSILVER: Name a fast-paced book that you read in one sitting
As was…expected, I tore through Aurora Burningin one sitting. I was just as enraptured as as I was with book 1, and then the ending had to destroy my feelings like that…
BEAST: Name a book you were intimidated by before you read it
Going into All Out of Prettywas fairly daunting, judging from the subject matter, but although it was an incredibly rough novel, it was still one that was completely worthwhile to read.
NIGHTCRAWLER: Name your favorite character that is a creature of the night (Werewolf, warlock, vampire, faerie, etc.)
Sidenote…MY BOY! MY FAVORITE MEMBER OF THE X-MEN!
When this part of the tag mentioned werewolves, I immediately thought of Remus Lupin from the Harry Potterseries. All I’ll say is that he deserved so much better.
HAVOK: Name an underrated character that deserves more attention
After reading Aurora Burning, I’d have to say Zila Madran. I already liked her character, but now that we’ve gotten so much necessary backstory on her, I hope she’ll take a more central role in book three.
CYCLOPS: Name a character who struggles to control their power (could either be a superpower or a position of authority)
Zoey fromSawkill Girlsis certainly a prime example, what with her powers showing up COMPLETELY without warning, poor thing. Plus, I had to sneak this in here because THEY MAKE AN X-MEN REFERENCE WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT TRIGGERING HER POWERS…which is the perfect segway into the next part of the tag…
JEAN GREY: Name a character who had a traumatic incident happen in their past
March from The Smoke Thievescertainly fits the bill, poor thing…I mean, to have his entire family slaughtered as a child most definitely had a major, negative impact on the rest of his life.
THE FOUR HORSEMEN: Name four villains to create your ultimate villain squad that could potentially take this world apart
King Midas once had the ability to turn all he touched into gold. But after his gift—or curse—almost killed his daughter, Midas relinquished The Touch forever. Ten years later, Princess Kora still bears the consequences of her father’s wish: her skin shines golden, rumors follow her everywhere she goes, and she harbors secret powers that are getting harder to hide.
Kora spends her days locked in the palace, concealed behind gloves and veils, trying to ignore the stares and gossip of courtiers. It isn’t until a charming young duke arrives that Kora realizes there may be someone out there who doesn’t fear her or her curse. But their courtship is disrupted when a thief steals precious items from the kingdom, leaving the treasury depleted and King Midas vulnerable. Thanks to her unique ability to sense gold, Kora is the only one who can track the thief down. As she sails off on her quest, Kora learns that not everything is what it seems—not thieves, not pirates, and not even curses. She quickly discovers that gold—and the power it brings—is more dangerous than she’d ever believed.
Midas learned his lesson at a price. What will Kora’s journey cost?
So why do I want to read this?
In the past decade, there’s been a whole slew of new YA retellings, but often, they spin the same stories–I’ve seen dozens upon dozens of retellings of Cinderella, Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, and a whole host of other classic tales. And though I’ve seen a handful that have dealt with Greek mythology, the tale of King Midas isn’t one that I’ve ever seen retold before. So props to Annie Sullivan for taking on a retelling that hasn’t been done many times before.
I forgot about the bit in the blurb about the love interest, though. All things considered, it seems fairly cliched, but I suppose there’s a positive light on it, seeing that this…ah…”charming young duke” sees past/accepts the part of her that she desperately tries to hide, so I suppose that’s a step up. We’ll see how this all works out.
Setting that aside, if done well, I believe A Touch of Gold could be a novel that stands out in the world of YA retellings. Fingers crossed. 🤞
That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
I’m finally back on my semi-regular schedule after finals week, and now it’s finally summer! REJOICE!
Other than that, my week’s been alright. Besides my return to blogging, I’ve been doing a lot of drawing, I got to re-read a good book that I haven’t picked up in a few years, I listened to a lot of good music, and I also watched Pan’s Labyrinth. [gross sobbing] The weather’s been warming up, and even though we’re still inside, it’s shaping up to be a good summer, I think. Plus, not one, but TWO of my library holds came in yesterday, so I think next week should be a productive reading week as well! (And, I got two people to read Aurora Rising, so that’s always a success.)