Book Review Tuesday (6/12/18)-Honor Among Thieves

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

 

I discovered this book (and a few other noteworthy ones which I might review later) on an article about YA book to read after watching Solo: A Star Wars Story. I later picked it up at the library, and…

MAN, THIS HAS TO BE THE BEST BOOK I’VE READ SINCE THUNDERHEAD. THUNDERHEAD. (If you want to see my review for that wonderful book, check out 2/20/18). Nearly solid 5 star rating. I rated it at about a 4.75 on Goodreads, which would probably end up at a 9.5 on my personal book-rating scale. Such a wonderful, clever, and original sci-fi book. *sniffles and further regrets getting this book at the library* Okay, here’s your review!

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Honor Among Thieves

Over 100 years in the future, mankind has discovered that it is not alone in the universe. Many have come face to face with the Leviathan, but Zara Cole never thought she would. After her latest misconduct, Zara, a runaway and a criminal, thinks she has landed in rehab for the last time. But unexpectedly, she is chosen to become an Honor-a human chosen by the Leviathan to join them on their expeditions to travel to the farthest corners of the known universe. Glorified and glossed over by the media, Zara is initially supsicious of the program. She joins up with Beatriz, her fellow Honor, and Nadim, their partner Leviathan. But once their journey begins, they discover secrets about the Honor program that are best kept hidden…

 

OH MY GOD.

I absolutely adored Honor Among Thieves. I can completely understand why this was picked for the Solo article-not only is this partially reminiscent of Star Wars, but Zara Cole is very Han Solo-ish herself. Her development, along with that of the other main characters, was what I most enjoyed about this book. On top of that, the intricate world-building, the banter and connection between the three main characters, and much more (including a BEAUTIFUL illustration at the front of the book *swoons*) made for a spectacular book.

On Goodreads it says that this is #1 in a series, but I’ve found no information about the sequel and when it comes out. This book came out in February 2018, so that means I’ll have to wait a year or two for the next installment to come out…

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That, and the sequel to Defy the Worlds, the next Arc of a Scythe book…

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Ah, such is the tragic life of a bibliophile.

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed the review! Have a wonderful rest of your day!

 

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Lush Album Review

I don’t think I’ve mentioned my new obsession with Snail Mail.

 

I initially got into them in April, when I saw an article about them on Pitchfork. After listening to Habit on iTunes, I decided to buy it (along with “Pristine”). And I LOVED it. Snail Mail has now earned their place in my top three favorite bands: in no particular order, David Bowie, Car Seat Headrest, and SNAIL MAIL.

Slowly, more songs were pre-released for Lush, and I got more and more excited. Two days ago, it finally came out.

I’m going to do what I’ve done for my other two album reviews (Masseduction and Twin Fantasy): my thoughts for each track, then my overall thoughts afterwards. Enjoy the review!

 

TRACK 1: “Intro”: 8.5/10

The first track of the album feels like a dream; a strange fantasy mixed with nighttime worries that keep you staring at your ceiling. It also provides a little foreshadowing for the last song. “Intro” is something of a smooth transition from the fuzzy, angsty musings of Habit to the raw lyrics of Lush. It’s only a little over one minute long, but I love it!

 

TRACK 2: “Pristine”: 9/10

“It just feels like the same party every weekend, doesn’t it?”

 

This was the first song that was pre-released off of the album, and the one that got me initially excited for Lush. It’s a song full of musings, longing, and unanswered questions. “Don’t you like me for me?” On some level, I feel like “Pristine” could speak to all of us. We make friends, we feel loved, but deep down, there’s that possibility that haunts us: are we really loved? So thank you, Lindsey. This is beautiful.

 

TRACK 3: “Speaking Terms”: 7/10

This song wasn’t my favorite on the album, but it still has that raw, melancholy quality. It almost feels a little restrained as far as the music goes, but if it were a little harder or louder, I might have liked it more.

Dang, I don’t think I ever would have imagined myself saying that.

 

TRACK 4: “Heat Wave”: 10/10

This. Is. The. Best. Video.

“Heat Wave” is, without a doubt, my favorite song on this album. Lindsey Jordan’s voice brings me so much joy, the guitar is spectacular, and plus, it’s the perfect song to blare out of the car with the windows down. (My mom and I did this once. It was REALLY fun.) Unlike “Speaking Terms”, this song feels like Lindsey Jordan truly poured her heart and soul into everything, and I enjoyed it immensely.

 

TRACK 5: “Stick”: 9/10

”Stick” was originally the final song off of Habit, a melancholy, heartfelt song. On Lush, it’s taken to the next level with the volume turned up all the way. We now have similar guitar to ”Heat Wave” and drums, making it more emotional and resonant. Needless to say, I loved Habit “Stick”, but Lush ”Stick” is truly memorable.

 

TRACK 6: “Let’s Find an Out”: 8/10

This was the last of the pre-releases for Lush. At first, I wasn’t really blown away, but it slowly grew on me. Like “Intro”, it’s a very dreamlike song, filled with longing. For some reason, it always brings to mind very peaceful images; people lying down in a field, dandelion seeds blowing in the wind, meadows, etc. Yellow flowers, too.

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Why not?

 

TRACK 7: “Golden Dream”: 7/10

I have similar feelings about “Golden Dream” and “Speaking Terms” (see track three). Though I like how catchy it is while still having depth and emotion, it still didn’t blow it out of the water for me. I liked the last minute or so a lot, though.

 

TRACK 8: “Full Control”: 8.5/10

If you listen to this album back to back, it would be a little tricky to distinguish this song from its predecessor, “Golden Dream”. But once the chorus arrives, I assure you, the two are now two different songs. It’s like Lindsey Jordan took “Golden Dream”, pumped in more emotion, awesome guitar, and resonant, beautiful vocals. “Full Control” is a bit like the baby of “Golden Dream” and “Pristine”, and it’s one of my favorites on the album.

 

TRACK 9: “Deep Sea”: 8.5/10

At this point, the album begins its transition into a beautiful finale, bringing out the best, somber qualities from some of the material off of Habit. This song radiates images of darkness, but not necessarily negative ones. Starry skies, a descent to the bottom of the ocean, and a mind on the brink of sleep come to mind for me. This is, without a doubt, some of Lindsey Jordan’s best work.

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TRACK 10: “Anytime”: 9.5/10

Out of the songs that weren’t pre-released, this has to be my favorite song on the album. If I include the pre-released songs, this is a close second to “Heat Wave”. This is what we’ve all been waiting for, hinted at by “Intro” and mimicked by “Deep Sea”. Like “Pristine”, it’s a song of raising questions, longing. The absence of almost all other instruments give it a more emotional quality, as though it was recorded in the dark, in a moment of intense emotion and secrecy. Beautiful finish to a beautiful album. Encore.

“They don’t love you, do they?”

 

Alright, I’ve averaged out all of my ratings for each song, and it’s a solid 8.5! That’s pretty great, in my book. Lush was, unfortunately one of those instances where they released some of the best songs first and left the others until last, but despite that, I loved this album overall. It’s so crazy how Lindsey Jordan just graduated HIGH SCHOOL, and released Lush soon after. So, in conclusion, bravo, Lindsey! Thank you for a remarkable first full-length album. 😊

 

 

 

 

Book Review Tuesday (6/5/18)-Firebug

Hey, everyone, and welcome to the first BRT of June 2018! Also, happy summer!

My summer’s been pretty low key so far, but I’ve already gotten a lot of reading in. I just stopped by the library yesterday, so hopefully that will produce some more material for these reviews. This particular book was one I got at the library a few weeks ago. It was recommended to my by Goodreads, and I was instantly hooked. One of the first books that I’ve really LOVE loved (not counting sequels) since…wow, maybe since Daughter of the Pirate King  or Caraval. And I read those in April. Christ.

I hope you enjoy the review!

 

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Firebug

The humans had the Mafia. But what about the others, those with supernatural powers or magical lineage? For them, there’s the Coterie. Led by Venus, the Coterie is responsible for killing others in the magical community who they deem dangerous or that threaten them. One of their best hitmen is Ava, who has the ability to start and control fires with her mind. And she’s only seventeen. After the death of her mother, Venus took Ava under her dangerous wing, and since then, the Coterie is all she’s ever known. And she hates it.

So when she receives her latest assignment-to kill a man who’s been a family friend for years-Ava knows she must rebel. Together with Lock, a half-dryad, and Ezra, a were-fox, Ava sets off on a journey to evade the Coterie once and for all, and put Venus in her place if they can.

 

My first thoughts before I read this book were that, OH MY GOD, IT’S TEEN LIZ SHERMAN!!!!

 

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Don’t call me babe.

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And upon reading the book, I found a lot more similarities between her and Ava beyond their powers. They shared a fierce loyalty to their friends (Ezra and Lock reminded me a little of Hellboy and Abe Sapien), a bit of stubbornness, and a desperation to feel like they belonged somewhere.

Now, the book itself blew me out of the water! I haven’t read something as witty, funny, and action packed as this book in a long time. I really enjoyed all of the characters (Besides Ava, Lock, and Ezra, I really enjoyed Cade and a few others), their clever banter, and the interesting set of powers many of them had. Also, the chapter names need some serious recognition, guys. These are, like, Rick Riordan-level chapter titles. (My personal favorite was “Ain’t no party like a Coterie party, ‘cause a Coterie party’s got a body count”.)

There is a sequel, which I will probably review later, but all I’ll say is that it was just as good as book 1.

I hope you have a wonderful day, and keep on reading!

oops

Sorry, I forgot the last BRT of May 2018.

I was a bit *busy* trying to mentally prepare for giving a speech at my graduation this morning. That meant reading a book and binge-watching random vines, so…

I hope this will partially make up for it.

Run.

I watch this on a daily basis. Totally worth it. Sweet moves, Will.

 

“What have we here?” (Solo: A Star Wars Story review)

I was skeptical of trailer one. Trailer two got me fairly pumped. The CoS and a friend’s description of an NPR review got me even more pumped. My brother saw it two days before me, and he ultimately convinced me.

But Solo really exceeded all expectations! solo-theatrical-poster_f98a86eb.jpeg

Now, let me get this straight. I wouldn’t say that Solo was the best Star Wars movie in existence. Choosing a favorite Star Wars movie would be on the same level as choosing a favorite child, but the title proooooobably goes to The Empire Strikes Back. But I loved it! A really fun, action-packed, and fast-paced ride. Sure, it had its flaws (Lookin’ at you, Rio), but in general, super fun.

 

We all had our doubts before this movie, didn’t we? Han Solo looked like he couldn’t act (looking back, they put some of his worse lines in the trailer), Donald Glover didn’t seem like a fitting Lando, and YOU CAN’T HAVE A HAN SOLO MOVIE WITHOUT HARRISON FORD et cetera. But both turned out to be completely untrue. Though nobody can replace Harrison Ford, Alden Ehrenreich was a great Han, and the same can be said for Lando. God, Lando was hilarious. Perfect. You old smoothie. Chewbacca, was as always, wonderfully Chewbacca, and the other main characters (Beckett, Qi’Ra, L3-37, Val, etc.) were great additions to the Star Wars universe. The only one of the main characters I wasn’t a huge fan of was Rio. He was kind of a necessary character, in a way, but fell flat as far as comic relief went. Pretty annoying.

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Now, on the subject of L3, DANG. I seriously wanna put her on a Women’s March sign next year. “REBELLION!!!!!” *slams fist on button* “Freedom.”

Before I transition into my next point, let me just say one thing…

VISION.

What.

Have.

You.

DONE?!?!?

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HOLD THE PHONE, VISION, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN TRANSPORTED TO A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY? Oh, and on that subject, where’d you get a fancy yacht? Got any paprika?

All of the villains in this movie were superb. Both Dryden Voss and Enfys Nest were just…for lack of better words, AWESOME. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME. I kinda want Dryden’s knives now. Oh, and Enfys Nest’s ENTIRE ****ING COSTUME. Hey, Comic-Con and Halloween are coming up soon…*rubs hands together maniacally*

 

So, Star Wars fans, I don’t think many of you will be disappointed. Even if you are, it’s still super fun.

 

 

Book Review Tuesday (5/22/18)-Defy the Worlds

Hi, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

A few weeks ago, my mom took me to Barnes and Noble. We both meandered about the YA section, and in about thirty seconds flat, I saw this and immediately started cradling it like a baby. The rest of the time spent in the YA section went as follows:

“You sure you want that?”

“YUP.”

*My mom walks away to find something else*

*I briefly consider getting something else* nah I’m keeping this

I’m keeping this 

 

I read it after finishing my (then) current library book haul. And MAN, IT WAS ALMOST BETTER THAN BOOK ONE! (See 5/15/18-Defy the Stars) AAAAH! THE FEELS…

Enjoy the review!

 

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Defy the Worlds (Defy the Stars, #2)

After their previous adventures throughout the galaxy, Noemi and Abel are separated. Noemi has been rejected by her former crew and peers, and is an outcast from her planet. Abel struggles to escape his creator, Burton Mansfield, and believes he may never see Noemi again. But a sudden plague on Genesis and a ransom on their heads brings them back together, and soon, they are reunited, and now the fate of the galaxy lies in their hands. The clock is ticking, and it’s only a matter of time before they are captured…

 

 

(The following vine is a visual representation of me buying, reading, and finishing this book.)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA indeed.

OH MY GOD

No spoilers, but not only was this book twice as beautiful, action-packed, and just flat-out wonderful, the cliffhanger at the end was just…GAAAAH!

AND NOW I HAVE TO WAIT OVER A YEAR FOR BOOK THREE TO COME OUT

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

 

I hope you tolerated my battery screams and enjoyed my review! Thank you for reading, see you soon!

 

 

 

Confessions of a Potterhead*

I have a confession and something of a theory rolled into one.

I’ll admit to this, and I’m sure a lot of you Potterheads out there can too, but…despite my Hufflepuff status, heck, I’ve owned tons of Gryffindor stuff since I’ve gotten into HP. To be exact, some socks, one of Hermione’s Gryffindor shirts from the movies, and a “Books Turn Muggles into Wizards” shirt with the Gryffindor colors. Honestly, I think a good portion of Potterheads, Gryffindor or not, have owned at least one piece of Gryffindor paraphernalia in their lifetime.

Think about it. Gryffindor really is, for lack of a better description, the “central house” of the Harry Potter series. It’s the one everyone remembers when people mention the books.  A good percentage of the characters, be it major or minor, are Gryffindors. And the common traits of your friendly neighborhood Gryffindor-courage, chivarly, daring, bravery-are what many of us aspire to be. And heck, loads of us wanted nothing more than to be Gryffindors, didn’t we? We all just ignored the fact the Peter Pettigrew was a dark wizard and that all Gryffindors were perfect Heroes™.

Plus, we’ve all got at least one or two characters we adore from Gryffindor. I’ve always had a preference for Hermione Granger. She’s been one of my favorite fictional characters since the beginning. Then there’s the Weasleys, the Marauders, Neville…the list goes on and on. A lot of my Potterhead friends were also sorted into Gryffindor.

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You know who you are, guys. I love you.

 

But, of course, I acknowledge the fact this doesn’t apply to all of you. Maybe you’re a hardcore Slytherin who wants nothing to do with Gryffindor. Anything. Maybe red and gold just isn’t your thing. (It isn’t mine, but I guess I can pull it off sometimes.) But either way, every Potterhead is different. And I love you all.