Book Review Tuesday (7/16/19)-Wild Beauty

Hello, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

 

Before I found it at the library, I’d been wanting to read this for a short while–I feel like it was either a Goodreads recommendation or a gushing review from another blogger. Either way, I am so glad I found this book. Poetic, impactful, and as lush as the flower gardens in La Pradera. A truly unforgettable read.

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

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Wild Beauty

A strange sort of magic runs in the women in the Nomeolvides family, both a blessing and a curse. They can make flowers grow–each woman has an individual flower–with just a thought, and with this gift, their duty, for the last century, has been to tend to the gardens of the La Pradera estate. But if a Nomeolvides woman falls in love, their curse also gurantees that their partner will die.

When Estrella, one of the youngest Nomeolvides girls, finds a strange boy in the gardens, she’s shocked; now, after the garden has taken so many of their lovers, it has given one back to them…possibly. The boy has no idea who he is and where he came from, other than three letters scrawled on his sleeve: “Fel”. Estrella seeks to find out who Fel really is, but discovers that beneath the enchanting gardens of La Pradera lies a deadly secret, buried for over a century. Is the truth meant to be uncovered?

 

 

 

I haven’t read anything quite like Wild Beauty in a long time. Maybe not ever, period.

I’m serious. The writing was rich and enchanting, each and every character had a unique personality and a key role to play, the story was absolutely intriguing, pulling me along every twist and turn up until the last page. It was, for lack of better words, like nothing I’ve ever seen. Highly recommend it. Stunning.

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Wild Beauty is a standalone, and…well, it’s probably a good thing. As beautiful as it was, it’s probably good that we don’t have another, unnecessary installment to bog down the first book. Anna-Marie McLemore does have multiple other novels out, some of which I’ve been wanting to read for a considerably long time, but haven’t yet. Library, don’t fail me…

 

 

Thank you so much for reading this review! Have a fantastic day, and take care of yourself! 🙂

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Book Review Tuesday (7/9/19)-Summer of Salt

Hey, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

This was (yet another) library find. I’d had it on my to-read shelf for a while, but I saw it on the shelf in the teen section of my local library, so I figured that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Magical realism, for me, is often hit-or-miss for me. The ‘miss’ category usually falls into more middle grade books, from what I remember, but if done well, it’s absolutely spectacular. Luckily, Summer of Salt is no exception. Beautiful and atmospheric prose, combined with a plethora of characters to root for and a rich, small-town mythology made Summer of Salt a truly unique read.

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Enjoy the review!

 

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Summer of Salt

All her life, Georgina Fernweh has known nothing beyond the tiny island that she calls home. The only residents that aren’t regular are the ornithologists that flock there every summer, looking to see if Annabella, the island’s revered and supposedly three hundred year old bird, will rear her eggs.

But all that’s on Georgina’s mind are two things: her unmanifested powers, which are passed down through the females of the Fernweh family and normally appear early, and college, the first years that she’ll ever be away from the island. For her, these two things are her entire world–but that world is quickly shattered into chaos when Annabella is found dead, miles from her ordinary nesting site. With the help of Prue, the sister of a budding ornithologist, and Mary, her enigmatic twin sister, Georgina sets out to find out the killer of the island’s most well known attraction.

 

 

WOOOOOOOOOW. Now that was incredible. 

Summer of Salt boasted a distinct brand of magic–rich, intriguing lore, an unforgettable cast of determined and quirky characters, LGBTQ+ representation that felt completely natural, and a plot that had me on my toes…and close to tears in some places. Though this book is a standalone, I didn’t end the book wanting more; the ending was satisfying enough, and wrapped everything up in a way that made sense. All in all, a perfect summer read that I’d recommend to…well, pretty much everyone.

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Oh, and did I mention that…I really want Prue in my life? Like, right now? Please?

 

 

 

Thank you so much for reading this review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and have a wonderful summer!

 

 

Book Review Tuesday (7/2/19)-Song of the Dead

Hey, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to the first Book Review Tuesday of July 2019!

*pulls out stopwatch* *whispers*  How much longer until I’m a human puddle of sweat?

 

*ahem* Aaaaaaaanyway, I FINALLY got around to reading the conclusion to the Reign of the Fallen series not long ago! This installment was EVEN BETTER than book one, almost a full star more so! A riveting conclusion to a fantasy series like no other.

(If you haven’t read book 1 yet, I advise that you do not read this review yet. For my review of Reign of the Fallen, see 9/18/18.)

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Song of the Dead (Reign of the Fallen, #2)

After the volley of Shade attacks, Karthia has recovered, and seeks to be better than ever before. Under the rule of Queen Valoria, the borders are opened for the first time in centuries, and necromancy is against the law. For Odessa, this means endless opportunities to explore the world beyond her homeland, but still having to hide her gift of necromancy. She sets off with Meredy to seek adventure beyond Karthia, but soon learns of a new threat to her home, and is forced to return. Will she be able to save her queendom in time–and save her relationship?

 

 

WOOOHOO!

Even though it’s sad to know that this is last of the series, Song of the Dead was a beautiful conclusion. The descriptive, gripping prose, combined with unforgettable worldbuilding and…oh, another runner-up for Fictional Couple of the Year (ODESSA AND MEREDY ARE…JUST SO CUTE OH MY GOOOOOOOD), made for a series that truly went off with a magical bang.

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With the Reign of the Fallen series finished, I’m not sure what’s next for Marsh. I’m hoping she’ll write some more, because I just ADORE her creepy brand of fantasy. The world needs more of that.

 

Thanks so much for reading this review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, take care of yourself, and hopefully beat the heat! 😉

Book Review Tuesday (6/25/19)-The Pioneer

Hey there, fellow bookworms, and welcome to the last Book Review Tuesday of June 2019!

(WHOOOOA, are we really already halfway through the year? Sheesh…)

 

Anyway, this book was one of three books that I bought on my Kindle for Canada. Let me tell you a quick tale of Madeline and the three books…

The first two were just right. The third one was absolute trash. And I wouldn’t be reviewing this book on here if it was trash.

In fact, The Pioneer is easily one of the best books that I’ve read this year! An intricate world, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense, and a twisty-turny plot that had me guessing through all 368 pages.

 

Enjoy the review!

 

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The Pioneer

Jo Watson has been preparing her entire life to colonize another planet, along with her family and a tight group of close friends and colleagues. When she and the others land on Tau Ceti E, it seems like the ideal place to settle down–a picturesque, Earthlike landscape, with an abundance of bizarre and fascinating flora and fauna. But when Jo and her friends find the abandoned camp of another scouting mission, they soon discover that their planet isn’t quite so idyllic as it seems. Whoever settled here before them left in a hurry, and left behind evidence that there’s a darker side to Tau Ceti E, and it’s more dangerous than they could ever have imagined.

 

 

OH.

MY.

[censored].

GOD. 

 

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This book was an absolute sci-fi gem. The world-building is like nothing I’ve ever seen, the writing is lush and detailed, and the twists are as unpredictable as the new planet that Tyler created. Tau Ceti E is a place that I could get lost in and enjoy every minute of it…but only for about the first quarter. Then it gets pretty freaky. Even so, some of those descriptions were absolutely stunning. And no spoilers, but…THE ENDING. I’m SO excited to see what the sequel brings. 4.75 on Goodreads, a solid 9.5/10 on my personal scale, and a big A+ all around. Thank you so much, Ms. Tyler.

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According to EpicReads, the sequel, The Survivor, is slated to come out on March 10, 2020-MARK YOUR CALENDARS! The cover has been revealed (gORGEOUS, AAH), but it’s still marked coverless/untitled on Goodreads (???). I am absolutely HERE FOR IT, LET’S START COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS! WOO!

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Thank you so much for reading this review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves! 🙂

 

 

 

Adventures in Canada

Hey, everyone! I’m back!

…weeeeell, technically, I flew back on Tuesday night, but I neglected making a post until today. So. It’s been a day or so.

Anyway, Canada was absolutely MAGICAL. I’m so excited to share my stories and pictures with you guys!

So, here’s the run-down:

 

DAY 1

On our first full day, we stayed in Banff (not Bamf, haha) National Park. The morning consisted mostly of some scenic driving. The pictures came out surprisingly well, considering they were almost all taken out of the car window.

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MAN, it was absolutely STUNNING. Even though I’ve grown used to being surrounded by mountains, these mountains were a different experience entirely. Even we were at a lower elevation than back in Colorado, the Canadian Rockies felt…bigger, more jagged, more foreboding, in an odd way. Beautiful experience, in or outside of a car.

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That afternoon, we took a gondola up to Sulphur Mountain. Despite the wind, the views were even more stunning in person, out in nature. Absolutely unforgettable.

It was also around this time that we discovered the delicacy of maple creme cookies. I’m addicted.

 

DAY 2

This day was easily my favorite day of the whole trip, despite having to wake up early. We drove out to Lake Louise, and went canoeing on the lake for about an hour, and hiked around afterwards. It’s easily one of my favorite places on the planet now.

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The water itself seemed to glow, and canoeing over it felt like gliding over turquoise glass. That early in the morning, it was a different kind of peaceful, with only the lapping of the water against the canoe, the chirping of birds, the breeze against the mountains, and the occasional calving of the nearby glacier (fREAKY) to be heard. The color of Lake Louise is probably my favorite color–though it’s an almost identical shade of turquoise to the one I painted my room with last summer, Lake Louise has an ethereal sort of glow from within. Absolutely stunning. 

 

DAY 3

In the morning, we hiked around Lake Moraine, which was pretty close to Lake Louise. Moraine was almost equally beautiful, with the same sparkling, mesmerizing turquoise hue of its waters. The hike around Lake Moraine was heavenly, with a sort of fairytale forest spanning the length of it.

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The rest of the day wasn’t quite so eventful. We drove from Banff to Drumheller, which, though sketchy (and home to its fair share of cursed, fake dinosaurs, which I’ll show later), housed something amazing…

 

DAY 4

…the Royal Tyrell Museum!

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The Royal Tyrell housed one of the most impressive (if not the most impressive) collection of fossils that I’ve ever seen. It was there that I remember how much I enjoy learning about the Paleozoic era, before the dinosaurs evolved. (Pics 2-4 are all Paleozoic fossils.) It’s like nature was just experimenting, just saying, “hey, let’s give this critter 15 horns and 65 tentacles and let it run wild!” Gotta love it.

This took up most of the day. But, these weren’t the only dinosaurs we witnessed…

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Behold, the Cursed Dinosaurs of Drumheller.

The Royal Tyrell is the biggest attraction in Drumheller, so they pretty much milked the whole dinosaur thing in every way possible. So, we had these freaky dudes on pretty much every street corner. The first one is actually the world’s largest fake dinosaur. Somehow they’ve got a world record for that. (*promptly flashes back to Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure) 

 

DAY 4 

 

We hightailed it out of Drumheller and drove through seemingly endless miles (*ahem* kilometers) of farmland until we arrived at Dinosaur Provincial Park. The Badlands there are a beautiful, austere landscape, something that I never would’ve expected to see in the middle of nowhere.

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We walked around there for a bit, and took one too many panoramas on our phones. (Who wouldn’t?) Other than that, not much else took up our day. But there was still one more crazy event that happened on our last full day…

 

DAY 5

 

On out last full day, we went on a guided tour into the Badlands of Dinosaur Provincial Park, on the Centrosaurus Quarry hike. Though the skies were gray and gloomy, the hike was truly something else. Beautiful badlands, combined with the myriad of fossils sticking out of the ground at the very end of the hike. Most of them were from Centrosaurus, and paleontologists speculate that the sheer amount of fossils in the area was because there was a massive herd of them in the area. I scraped my elbow trying to get a good look at a fossil, but honestly? Completely worth it.

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The hard rain that came upon us shortly after the hike concluded prevented us from doing anything else that day, but that hike was truly unforgettable.

 

We flew out of Canada the next day. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for this phenomenal trip. Experiencing the beautiful nature-alive and dead-was something I’ll never forget and always treasure.

 

Thank you so much for reading this post! I’ll be back next week with a Book Review Tuesday! I did happen to read two A-MAY-ZING books on the trip, so it’ll probably be about one of them. Have a great rest of your day, and enjoy the first day of summer! 🙂

 

“A Few Updates” 2: Electric Boogaloo

Sorry, friends, looks like I’m gonna be on another (but shorter) hiatus.

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I promise it won’t be as long as it was last time, though. I’m going to Canada tomorrow (WOOHOO!), and I’ll be back about a week from now. I’m not going to be able to get to a Book Review Tuesday that week, but I’ll take LOTS of pictures from my adventures up north and compile a nice little post once I’m settled back in.

I should probably do another fan art post soonish, but I’ve already…yeah, I’ve kinda dumped a bunch of stuff on you guys since I returned from the dead about a week ago (if you’re curious, look for 6/4/19 [Aurora Rising review], my Dark Phoenix review, and 6/11/19 [Defy the Fates review].)

 

Again, sorry, guys. See you soon!

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👋

Book Review Tuesday (6/11/19)-Defy the Fates

Hey, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

And yes, that’s right…

IT’S HERE.

The conclusion to the Constellation trilogy is HERE! (*ahem* okay technically it came out in April but I just got around to reading it a few weeks ago)

And man, it’s STUNNING. A beautiful conclusion to an unforgettable series.

 

Before reading this review, though, I suggest you read my other reviews for the previous books in the trilogy, Defy the Stars (see 5/15/18) and Defy the Worlds (see 5/22/18), if you haven’t a) caught up with some of the books or b) haven’t read the series yet. (If the answer if ‘b’ for you, then WHAT ARE YOU DOING? READ. THIS. TRILOGY.)

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Defy the Fates (Constellation, #3)

After the disaster that left Noemi Vidal close to death, Abel’s final goal is to save the life of the one he loves. But it won’t be easy–the only way that she could be saved is to replace some of her body parts and organs with robotic material. And the one person in the galaxy that could pull off this procedure is the person who Abel has desperately been trying to run from: none other than Gillian Shearer, daughter of Burton Mansfield, his notorious creator. Shearer is his only chance, but her intentions are more than Abel can see–she wants Abel for herself, as a vessel for Mansfield’s now detached consciousness. Can Abel save Noemi–and himself–from a fate worse than death?

 

 

Defy the Fates was a satisfying, beautiful ending to a phenomal series. Though it wasn’t  quite on par with Defy the Worlds (basically The Empire Strikes Back of the trilogy), Defy the Fates still retained the intricate writing, intriguing plot, and raw emotion that was so characteristic of the trilogy. The ending perfectly wrapped things up, and didn’t leave me wanting anything more, for what we had was just right. Thank you, Mrs. Gray, for this unforgettable gem of a trilogy. ❤️ Abel and Noemi forever!

Also…something about Abel on this cover–not the other ones, mind you, weird–looks a teensy bit like Dan Stevens. Dunno why, dunno how, it’s just this one cover. Gettin’ some David Haller vibes, guys…

 

Thank you so much for reading this week’s review! Have a great rest of your day, take care of yourselves, keep on reading, and most of all…enjoy your summer!