Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (11/11/19)–The Orphan Queen

Happy Monday, fellow bibliophiles!

I’d like to take a moment before we begin on this Veteran’s Day just to honor those who served. Thank you for putting your lives on the line for the greater good of your country. ❤️

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.

Whew, I just checked, and I’ve had this one on my Goodreads TBR for two years…man, I really do need to clean out my TBR…

Let’s ignore that for now, though. Though I feel as though I may have enjoyed it more at a time sooner to when I put it on my TBR, The Orphan Queen sounds like a halfway-decent fantasy, at best.

 

Here goes nothing…let’s get this week started, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (11/11/19)–THE ORPHAN QUEEN by Jodi Meadows

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

 

So why do I want to read this?

Hmm. I could go with this.

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I have almost all of Jodi Meadows’ works on my TBR (The Newsoul Trilogy and the Fallen Isles series), so it seems that she isn’t producing so much work for nothing–she has to be a pretty talented writer. And I’m willing to bet that she is. Fingers crossed, anyway. Could be garbage, for all I know. Oh, the bookworm’s gambit…

Anyway, I’m intrigued by the concept of the Ospreys; if done well, it could create some amazing character chemistry. And though I’ve seen ideas/creatures similar to what the Wraith seems to be in what both fantasy and science fiction, I’m willing to jump in and see how Meadows executes it.

Either way, fingers crossed that this won’t be a waste of my time. Again, bookworm’s gambit. I hope you weren’t too wrong about this one, 2017 self. [opens an ambiguous time portal and fist bumps 2017 Madeline]

 

I hope you enjoyed this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and stay tuned for more content this week!

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (11/5/19)-We Hunt the Flame

Happy Tuesday, fellow bibliophiles!

 

I’ve been meaning to read this one for a little while, and I had fairly average expectations, what with a boatload of hype after its publishing in May of this year. I’ve had it on hold for a while, but it finally arrived recently, and I must say, We Hunt the Flame defied all of my expectations! With lavish writing and spectacular world-building, We Hunt the Flame is sure to please.

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)

A reknowned Hunter, an infamous Prince.

The livelihood of Zafira’s village rests on her shoulders; she is the revered Hunter, crossdressing as a man to avoid detection while hunting for her people in the forests of Arz, which have been put under a deadly curse for as long as she can remember. Nasir is the crown prince, and the ruthless assassin of all those who dare speak out against his father, the king. Their paths collide on a distant island, where the curse of the Arz originated, both in search of a fabled treasure, but only one in search of the Hunter himself. As war brews, the two inherent enemies must band together to keep Arawiya off of the brink of collapse.

 

 

Over the years, I’ve started to lean more towards science fiction than fantasy, and while I still read a fair amount of the genre, it’s not as often that I enjoy it. I’ve come across plenty of halfway-decent ones and a plethora of mediocre and downright awful ones, but the four and five star-ers are more difficult to find. Lucky for us, We Hunt the Flame exists!

Though it was a little slow to start (the first 150 pages or so, and this book clocks in at 472 in total), We Hunt the Flame was an absolute dazzler by the end. With rich and magical worldbuilding, steeped in the roots of Arabian mythology and folk tales, a cast of unique and likable characters with stellar chemistry, and  witty and enchanting writing worthy of a timeless fairy tale, this novel is not one that I’ll forget easily. Solid 4.25 stars for me.

It looks like there’s already a sequel on the way, set to be published in May of 2020, We Free the Stars, and from what Hafsah Faizal has revealed, it looks like it’ll be a duology. Man, I think duologies are slowly but surely overthrowing trilogies in YA…

 

Before I go, let me remind you all that the Goodreads Choice Awards are here! We’ve got tons of worthy contenders for the win, so PLEASE go and vote! (Especially *coughcoughcoughAURORA RISINGcoughcoughcough*)

 

Have a wonderful rest of your day, and stay tuned for more content later in the week!

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Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (11/4/19)–Glitch

Happy November, fellow 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.

As with most of the novels beyond the first five or so pages of my TBR (it’s piled into the hundreds over the past few years…whoops…), I’d completely forgotten about the existence of Glitch. The reviews seem semi-polarizing, and it’s from the era where everybody hung off the back of Suzanne Collins’ massive bandwagon (thank God those days are over…mostly…), so I’m not sure if I’ll keep this one.

Whether or not that’s going to happen, I’ll go ahead and give you all the rundown. Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (11/4/19)–GLITCH by Heather Anastasiu

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Blurb from Goodreads:

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.

So why do I want to read this?

 I put this on my TBR over a year ago, definitely at a stage where I hadn’t become quite so jaded with all of the “dystopia devoid of all independent thought” trope that has plagued the YA genre for almost a decade. The cover’s gorgeous and beautifully designed, no doubt, but judging from some of the reviews, this seems to be the bait that ultimately hooked several readers into eating a fish that gave them food poisoning the following night.

Glitch seems to have been written earlier in the Dystopian YA era, so perhaps there’s a glimmer of hope for some originality. At the same time, though, we’ve got the classic, overdone tropes all laid out: a “special girl” with INDEPENDENT THOUGHT (gasp) and POWERS (another gasp), who has to fight against a UNIFORM SOCIETY and CONTROL SAID SPECIAL POWERS.

Now where have I heard that before? Oh, that’s right, everywhere. 

Okay, maybe I’m being a little harsh, but I’m kind of sick of this kind of book. If done well, as people like Suzanne Collins and Marie Lu have done, it could be amazing. If not, well…it’s almost guranteed that it’ll be a steaming pile of unoriginality. I might have to oust this bad boy from my TBR. Sigh. I need to clean it out, anyway.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this meme, bibliophiles! Stay tuned tomorrow for a Book Review Tuesday, and more content later in the week!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

Fall Festival Book Photo Tag

Happy November, fellow bibliophiles!

I was tagged by A Little Haze Book Blog to take part in this tag. The tag itself is part of Clo and Fictionally Sam’s Bookending Autumn 2019, and this tag was originally hosted by PoetryBooksYA.

 

I’m pretty excited to take part, so let’s begin! 🙂

 

CHILLY–BOOK WITH A WHITE COVER (Sad story/plotline)

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Michael Belanger’s The History of Jane Doe is well-written, but be warned: it’s definitely a  rough ride, and it deals with teen suicide.

 

SWEET–BOOK WITH AN ORANGE COVER (A favorite contemporary novel)

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I couldn’t find many contemporary books that I really loved (much less ones with completely orange covers), but this is my most recent read in that category: Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott’s exploration of romance and grief, The Way Back to You

 

SPICY–BOOK WITH A RED COVER (Action/Fast-paced setting)

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Ohhhhhhhh yeah.

I could go on for days about the The Demon World. The whole series (that’s come out), for that matter.

 

DARK–BOOK WITH A BLACK COVER (Dark, twisted theme)

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The entire Three Dark Crowns  series is pretty rife with violence, disturbing sibling rivalries, and all manner of spooky stuff. All four books had me on the edge of my seat…

 

GREEN–BOOK WITH A GREEN COVER (Makes you feel jealous)

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This was a hard one…I mean, green cover? Easy. Makes me feel jealous? Now that’s another story…

I suppose that Robert Beatty’s Willa of the Wood  doesn’t inherently make me jealous, but I’m definitely jealous of Beatty’s world-building and descriptive writing. (He’s also the author of the Serafina trilogy, which, excluding book 2, I adored in middle school.)

 

Well, that just about wraps it up!

I tag:

 

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (10/29/19)–Pumpkinheads

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

 

I’ve been waiting for this book since before it had a title (only the promise of ✨RAINBOW ROWELL✨). It came out almost exactly two months ago today, and it’s the perfect fluff antidote to all of your woes. Best read during [clears throat] 🎃SPOOKY TIME🎃.

Need I say more?

 

Without further ado, let’s begin!

 

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Pumpkinheads–Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

 

Ever since the beginning of high school, Deja and Josiah have worked together at the local pumpkin patch. But this year is their senior year–the last year that they’ll be working there before they leave for college.

Determined to make this year the best year at the pumpkin patch (and to break Josiah out of his gloomy funk), Deja decides that on Halloween night, she and Josiah will chart every part of the pumpkin patch that they’ve never visited. Josiah reluctantly goes along with her plan, but realizes that this could also be the opportunity to finally talk to the girl he’s had a crush on since the beginning…

 

 

Pumpkinheads is, in a sense, the literary version of a candy corn: adorable, and all kinds of sweet. SO. CUTE.

 

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For anyone who isn’t into horror or drama, but still wants to read something fall-themed, Pumpkinheads is your book. Rowell’s writing and Hicks’ art are a match made in heaven–a pairing that I never would have considered, but one that works so seamlessly to create an adorable and delightfully surprising graphic novel. I absolutely adored the characters as well–they had such good chemistry, and Deja (though her orientation isn’t specifically stated) is definitely LGBTQ+ (probably either bi or pan)!!! 😀 🏳️‍🌈

 

Also, extra points because it allowed me to recover from the new Joker movie in peace. Whooooowee, that was a rough ride.

 

Anyway, for all those who need a heartwarming distraction from whatever’s bothering them, Pumpkinheads is your next read.

 

 

Stay tuned for more content later this week! 🙂

 

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Posted in Book Tags, Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (10/28/19)-Forest of Souls

Hey again, fellow 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’d completely forgotten about this one (which goes for most of the books on my TBR at the moment, but hey), but…MAN, THAT COVER…and most everything else about it…

Alright, let’s begin, shall we?

 

GOODREADS MONDAY (10/28/19)–FOREST OF SOULS by Lori M. Lee

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Danger lurks within the roots of Forest of Souls, an epic, unrelenting tale of destiny and sisterhood, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Susan Dennard.

Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first lightwender in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a lightwender can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.

 

So why do I want to read this?

Weeeeeell…I won’t be able to read it for a while, as it doesn’t come out until summer of 2020, but anyway.

Other than the absolutely stunning cover, I’m pretty interested to see how Forest of Souls handles the necromantic elements of the plot. If done well (as in Reign of the Fallen), I think it would be an absolutely enchanting read. Also, I’m really intrigued to see how this Spider King character is executed. I’m kind of hoping that he’s actually some sort of vaguely arachnid creature (as opposed to the “Spider” part just being a moniker); It always disappoints me when villains have ominous and promising names, but then just turn out to be…I dunno, skinny dudes in fur coats, or something. (coughcoughFOXHEARTcoughcoughcough)

Anyway, if all goes right, I’m really excited to see how this turns out!

 

Stay tuned for a fittingly spooky Book Review Tuesday tomorrow!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

Halloween Creatures Book Tag

Hi there, fellow bibliophiles!

First of all, sorry for forgoing this week’s Book Review Tuesday. I went to a concert last night (Chelsea Wolfe!), and I had very little time at home as a result. Hopefully this will make up for it. 😉

 

I saw that Rae @ waesmiles reads had done this tag, and I figured I’d have a go. It was originally created by Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward, and the rules are as follows:

  • Follow the Categories
  • You Must Be Honest
  • You Must Answer All Questions to the Best of Your Ability
  • You Must Tag At Least 3 People
  • Have Fun!
  • Credit Would be Greatly Appreciated! (Keep Reading Forward)

 

Alright…here we go!

 

WITCHES–A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT IS MAGICAL

My obvious choice here would be the Grisha trilogy. Hands down, one of the most well-crafted, magical universes I’ve ever come across. (On an unrelated note, I’m simultaneously worried and excited to see how Netflix pulls it off…)

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MUMMIES–A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT YOU CAN’T WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND

Wrap…I see what you did there…[ba-dum tsssss]

For this, I’d have to say Miryem from Spinning Silver. Without spoiling anything major, I’ll just say that it absolutely baffled me that her relationship with a certain character turned from forced (and borderline abusive) to perfectly happy.

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VAMPIRES–A BOOK, SERIES, OR AUTHOR YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT

Hmm…lots to pick from here, but the first one that comes to mind is the Heart of Iron duology. There’s so many aspects of that series that have earned it an especially soft spot with me. I really need to re-read Soul of Stars soon…

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WEREWOLVES–A BOOK THAT IS BEST READ IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT

I…well…

I can’t quite think of any. I can only read more intense books during the daytime, and I don’t read around midnight much anyway…

Guess I’ll have to skip this one ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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ZOMBIES–A BOOK YOU PICKED UP FOR THE 2ND TIME OR CONTINUED AFTER DNFING IT

Oof, I might have to skip this one, too…

Usually, when I DNF a book, it’s because of a deep-seated loathing; this usually prevents me from ever picking up the book again, so…

 

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GHOSTS–A CHARACTER YOU SAW RIGHT THROUGH OR A BOOK THAT YOU EASILY PREDICTED THE TWIST/ENDING

I read this one a while back, but the one thing I remember with clarity about Earth Force Rising was that I could see all of the major plot points coming from a mile away. Dear Lord, that was such a cringey book…

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FRANKENSTEIN–A BOOK THAT TRULY SHOCKED YOU

Hands down, Other Words for Smoke. I had pretty average expectations, but once I got into it, I could NOT put it down. The writing was beautiful, and there were out-of-this-world twists around every corner…

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SKELETONS–A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT CHILLED YOU TO THE BONE OR TICKLED YOUR FUNNY BONE

If we’re going for the funny bone route here, then I have the perfect example: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchI haven’t laughed that much in a very, very long time.

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GHOULS–A BOOK THAT LEFT YOU HUNGRY, OR A RECIPE YOU WANT TO TRY FROM A BOOK

This one seems like a cliche answer, but my immediate choice is With the Fire on HighThere’s nothing I wouldn’t do to try some of Emoni’s cooking.

Okay, maybe not nothing, but you know what I’m saying. It all sounded delicious…

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GOBLINS–A GREEDY CHARACTER OR A CHARACTER THAT LOVES GOLD OR JEWELRY

Though she certainly isn’t greedy, per se, Genya from the Grisha trilogy was my first thought; there’s no way that she didn’t put some bling on her eyepatch. (And every other article of clothing.)

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DEVIL–A DARK, EVIL CHARACTER

This isn’t the most classic of examples, but my first thought was The Mage from Carry On. Deceitful, manipulative, and…well, y’know, the general evil that comes along with being the equivalent of a black hole for magic.

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GRIM REAPER–A CHARACTER YOU LOVED OR HATED THAT DIED

Essentially, everyone who got killed off in Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsI don’t think I’ve completely gotten over any of them, even though I haven’t read it in years.

Especially Dobby.

DOBBYYYYYY

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SCARECROWS–A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT SCARES YOU

I can’t think of any character or book that really scared scared me, but for this, I’ll go with Xifeng from Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. I mean, you’ve got the classic, tragic hero descending into madness storyline, sprinkled in with some tyranny and eating human hearts. Y’know, just another day at the office.

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MONSTER MASH–TAG YOUR FRIENDS TO JOIN! 

I tag:

 

 

Thank you so much for reading! Have a wonderful rest of your day! 🙂