Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (3/29/21) – Feathertide

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.

This one is a fairly recent addition to my TBR and was released last May, and it sounds like a fascinating blend of mythologies! We really need more quality mermaid fiction out there.

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (3/29/21) – FEATHERTIDE by Beth Cartwright

Feathertide by Beth Cartwright

Blurb from Goodreads:

A girl. 

A secret.

A life-changing journey. 

Born covered in the feathers of a bird, and kept hidden in a crumbling house full of secrets, Marea has always known she was different, but never known why. And so to find answers, she goes in search of the father she has never met.

The hunt leads her to the City of Murmurs, a place of mermaids and mystery, where jars of swirling mist are carried through the streets by the broken-hearted. 

And Marea will never forget what she learns there

Feathertide is an enchanting, magical novel perfect for fans of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale.

So why do I want to read this?

Wave Storm GIF by Evan Hilton - Find & Share on GIPHY

Even though the thing in the synopsis about it being recommended for fans of The Bear and the Nightingale turned me off a bit (I DNF’d that one a few years ago), Feathertide sounds like a lovely fantasy! I’m always drawn to anything and everything with mermaids (to varying degrees of enjoyment *coughcough DEEP BLUE SUCKED coughcough*), but this one sounds like it puts an inventive twist on it. There’s an interesting dichotomy presented with a girl covered in feathers and a city of mermaids, which…wouldn’t normally mix, I would think, so I’m eager to see how Cartwright handles the contrast.

But either way, I’m down for a piece of magical realism with strange creatures and quests for missing parents. Sign me up!

Past Life Memories Spell - Witchy Things | Black and white aesthetic, White  aesthetic, Past life memories

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: March 22-28, 2021

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! Whew, it feels like I haven’t done an update in a while…

Luckily, this week has been fairly light school-wise, seeing as it was the last week before everything let out for Spring Break. It was one of the interim weeks where I checked out whatever feels right from the Kindle library before my physical library books came in, but everything that I read (and re-read) was great! March has been a great month for reading, for the most part. Perfect time for it, too – we’ve had a super snowy March this year, so all the better to stay inside and read.

Reading Night — Amita Sevellaraja

I’ve had more time to post stuff here too, and I’ll definitely be doing more over Break before I have to prepare more for the SAT, so that’s been a lot of fun. I have a whole bunch of book tags laying dormant in my blog sticky note, so…

AND THE AURORA’S END COVER REVEAL! AAAAAH!

Other than that, I’ve been drawing a bit, working out the kinks on my short story, watching Falcon and The Winter Soldier (alright? I guess?) and the first half of the Snyder Cut of Justice League (AAAAH), and volunteering at the library. I definitely need a break…

Tired Give Up GIF by Boomerang Official - Find & Share on GIPHY

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley (re-read) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Looks from Books: Fashion Inspired by Frankenstein - College Fashion

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness – Austin Channing Brown (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness: Channing  Brown, Austin: 9781524760854: Amazon.com: Books

Girl, Serpent, Thorn – Melissa Bashardoust (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Girl, Serpent, Thorn (9781250196149): Bashardoust, Melissa:  Books

The Light at the Bottom of the World – London Shah (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Light at the Bottom of the World (Light the Abyss, 1)  (9781368036887): Shah, London: Books

Chlorine Sky – Mahogany L. Browne (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne: 9780593176399 | PenguinRandomHouse.com:  Books

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Other People’s Weddings – Noah Hawley

Other People's Weddings: Noah Hawley: 8601417156438: Amazon.com: Books

Salvaged – Madeleine Roux

Salvaged by Madeleine Roux: 9780451491831 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

The Future is Female! 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. Le Guin – Lisa Yaszek et. al. (anthology)

The Future Is Female, Edited by Lisa Yaszek • Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews

These Violent Delights – Chloe Gong

Amazon.com: These Violent Delights (9781534457690): Gong, Chloe: 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 Books, Random

Aurora Rambling, Revisited: AURORA 3 HAS A COVER AND A TITLE AND NOW I’M EXCITED AND REALLY SCARED

Pepe Silvia GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

Back in August, I made a rambly little post about my theories for the cover of the third Aurora Rising book. Of course, back then, I thought I’d get answers by October or November, since that’s what happened with the reveal for Aurora Burning, but alas, it seems the pandemic (I think?) has pushed it back from the May release date I thought it would have to early November. So now I have to let that horrendous cliffhanger fester in my mind for about 7 more months…

Paolo 🩸 on Twitter: "I'M LITERALLY THIS CAT RIGHT NOW… "

But there’s more good news than bad! On Wednesday, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff announced that there would be a cover and title reveal on Friday, and yesterday afternoon, it came! So without further ado…

AAAAAAAAAAA | Motion Blur | Know Your Meme
Calm I Am Calm Im Extremely Calm GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
Rock the Boat 🌊 (@Rocktheboatnews) | Twitter
via Rock the Boat News

OH

MY

GOD

I CAN’T HANDLE THIS ALL AT ONCE THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL

FINIAN???? KING OF THE SPACE BISEXUALS??? FINALLY GETTING THE COVER HE DESERVES! AND THE RA’HAAM IN THE BACKGROUND

But can we talk about that title too? I certainly didn’t see it coming, but I guess we were foolish to think that Kaufman & Kristoff would stick to the Aurora [blank]ing formula for the past two books…either way, I am very excited. I’m also very frightened.

So as you can imagine, my brain has pretty much sounded like this since Friday afternoon:

…wait for it

And here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

The squad you love is out of time. Prepare for the thrilling finale in the epic, best-selling Aurora Cycle series about a band of unlikely heroes who just might be the galaxy’s last hope for survival.

Is this the end?
What happens when you ask a bunch of losers, discipline cases, and misfits to save the galaxy from an ancient evil? The ancient evil wins, of course.
Wait. . . . Not. So. Fast.
When we last saw Squad 312, they working together seamlessly (aka, freaking out) as an intergalactic battle raged and an ancient superweapon threatened to obliterate Earth. Everything went horribly wrong, naturally.
But as it turns out, not all endings are endings, and the team has one last chance to rewrite thirs. Maybe two. It’s complicated.
Cue Zila, Fin, and Scarlett (and MAGELLAN!): making friends, making enemies, and making history? Sure, no problem.
Cue Tyler, Kal, and Auri: uniting with two of the galaxy’s most hated villains? Um, okay. That, too.
Actually saving the galaxy, though? 
Now that will take a miracle
.

The Muppets Screaming Gif - IceGif

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

So let’s see how this all matches up with my cover predictions from my Aurora Rambling post.

My main three contenders for the cover were Scarlett, Finian, and Zila, though Tyler was in the mix there. I also had a dream at some point about Tyler being on the cover, and that it was green.

…well, I’m glad that the green part came true and not the Tyler part.

But anyway, here were some of my original thoughts, circa August 2020:

PERSONALLY? I’d like to have either Scar, Finian, or Zila, but more so the latter two. 

SEMI-LOGICALLY? I think that Zila or Tyler have the best chance of being on the cover, judging from their previous roles. Of course, they’d face the wrath of the Finian side of the fandom, but will that stop them? I doubt it…

Accident Oops GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

[insert an infinite string of clown emojis here]

Welp. Sort of screwed that up. But let’s revisit what I thought about Finian’s chances:

Finian: At this point, a good 80% of the fandom is willing to hand over their entire life’s savings to Kaufman and Kristoff for the chance to have him on the cover, so the chances here are…interesting. 

And to be honest? I ABSOLUTELY understand the sentiment. Aside from Auri and Kal, he’s my favorite of the Squad, and such a wonderful balance between comic relief and a genuinely complex character. Beyond that, I think he might have an important role to play–after all, we haven’t seen how he uses the ballpoint pen, and how the “tell her the truth” note plays into that. 

Also, as with Zila, wouldn’t it be great to have his representation on the cover? He’s bisexual and has impaired mobility, so that would be amazing to have him front and center.

But hey, now we can rejoice, because we DO have a disabled, bisexual character on the cover! And I think we all adore Finian, myself included. (Plus, I’m glad we didn’t have to see the Finian side of the fandom go feral if he didn’t make the cut…) I’ll fully admitting to freaking out when I saw his face on the cover. I would’ve freaked out either way, but he’s one of my favorite members of Squad 312, so…

Now you can all join me in anxiously trembling and ferociously re-reading until November 9th of this year, I guess…(hey, I actually have an excuse for Aurora Burning…one of my friends suggested it for our my school’s book club and he’s amazing for it…) Also, I’ve preordered a signed copy, because I am nothing if not impatient and predictable.

So there you go. I guess I’m as bad at predicting covers as I am at predicting plotlines. Doesn’t matter, though. All that matters is that we have more Aurora Cycle content coming our way in November!

🌸 on Twitter: "… "

Today’s song:

That’s it for yet another rambling, incoherent post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags

Zodiac Book Tag ♌️

Happy Friday, bibliophiles! Man, I’m so glad it’s spring break…

I found this tag over on Ashmita @ the fictional journal and it looked like so much fun! I’m not 100% into zodiac signs, but I do believe there’s a lot of truth to it, and plus, it’s a whole lot of fun. (And the birth chart I got a few years ago was startlingly spot-on…) This tag was created by Just Dreamland.

RULES:

  • Link back to the creator, Just Dreamland
  • Link back to the person who tagged you!
  • Answer all the prompts.
  • Use the original graphics and credit the creator
  • Tag at least 5 bloggers and provide links to their blogs.
  • Name your Zodiac sign!
  • Don’t forget to add #ItsAZodiacThing tag.
  • You can either do the zodiac book tag /the zodiac music tag or both of them. Graphics for separate tags should be given at the end.
  • Enjoy!

This one’s the book tag, but I definitely want to do the music tag at some point as well!

So first things first, I’m a Leo! (Barely, though…if I’d been born a day later, I’d be a Virgo, so…still feel like a Leo though)

What's Your Zodiac Sign? The 12 Zodiac Symbols

🌌THE ZODIAG SIGN BOOK TAG🌌

Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston

Ashley Poston is a favorite author of mine, and Among the Beasts and Briars absolutely fits the bill for this prompt – lush imagery, lovable characters and a gripping plot!

Girls of Paper and Fire eBook: Ngan, Natasha: Amazon.in: Kindle Store

Lei and Wren’s romance in Girls of Paper and Fire was one of the aspects that truly shined. Book 2 was a bit of a disappointment, but I’m still willing to see what book 3 holds…

The Punch by Noah Hawley, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

The Punch CRACKED ME UP. It’s such a shame that I haven’t been able to dig up any of the quotes online, because there’s plenty of witty and hilarious quotes in this one.

Amazon.com: To Be Taught, If Fortunate eBook: Chambers, Becky: Kindle Store

I recently read To Be Taught, if Fortunate and it was such a tender and bittersweet piece of quiet sci-fi.

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

[EXCITED LEO NOISES INTENSIFY]

A mix of lush fantasy and historical fiction, The Kingdom of Back is one of my favorite of Marie Lu’s novels. I’m so glad I bought a copy!

Amazon.com: Sparrow (9781338032581): Moon, Sarah: Books

Sparrow was a novel that resonated with me so much, with themes of outsiderness, sensitivity, and finding your people. HIGHLY recommended!

Amazon.com: Fox 8: A Story (9781984818027): Saunders, George, Cardinal,  Chelsea: Books

Fox 8 GUTTED me. Short and tender, but also a tragic reminder of how much humans can suck sometimes.

Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

To this day, I still kind of go into shock whenever I think of the plot twist that came hurtling at us out of left field from Dare Mighty Things.

Amazon.com: Skyhunter (Skyhunter Duology, 1) (9781250221681): Lu, Marie:  Books

Back at it again with more Marie Lu…

Anyway, I didn’t read Skyhunter during the summer, but it’s such a lovely adventure, and it got me through a really hard time in my life. I’ll always be grateful for this one.

Lifel1k3 (Lifelike) - Jay Kristoff - 9781760295691 - Allen & Unwin -  Australia

Even though some of the friendships in LIFEL1K3 don’t necessarily end well, they’re still so warm and tender while they last.

Text Publishing — The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, book by Elisabeth

Who knew that I’d fall in love with a nonfiction book about a bedridden woman and the snail that kept her company…that’s The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, I guess.

Amazon.com: Wild Beauty: A Novel (9781250124555): McLemore, Anna-Marie:  Books

I could have put any of Anna-Marie McLemore’s novels on here because they’re all so beautifully written, but Wild Beauty was the novel that made me fall in love with their lyrical prose.

I TAG:

The Ridiculous Genius of Co-star – Words by Emily

I’ll probably do the music tag sometime over break, but we’ll see…

Today’s song:

The melody reminds me of “All the Umbrellas in London” by the Magnetic Fields…🥺

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

Posted in Books

Feminist YA Books for Women’s History Month

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

I meant to post this earlier in the month, but, alas, school. But hey – March isn’t over yet, is it? And here in the U.S., March is Women’s History Month! So for the occasion, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite YA novels with feminist themes not just for March, but for all year round, because we should all be uplifting the voices of women every day of every year.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Celebrate Women's History Month with Talenthouse

FEMINIST YA BOOKS FOR WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

Once & Future, A.R. Capetta and Cori McCarthy

Once & Future: Amy Rose Capetta, Cori McCarthy: 9781786076540: Amazon.com:  Books

GENRES: Sci-fi, romance, LGBTQ+, retellings

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I mean, how could the premise of an Arthurian retelling where the reincarnation of King Arthur is a POC, pansexual woman not hook you? Plus, lots of dismantling imperialism, sword fights, and an almost entirely queer cast.

Moxie, Jennifer Mathieu

Amazon.com: Moxie: A Novel (9781626726352): Mathieu, Jennifer: Books

GENRES: Contemporary, fiction, romance

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Can I rant for a minute? I loved this book to death, but the Netflix adaptation of it looks AWFUL. I watched the trailer, and it looks like it COMPLETELY misconstrued the message of the book. The movie makes feminism look like a joke; in the book, Viv was already conscious of the toxic environment of her high school, but in the movie, they (unintentionally?) painted feminism as something that was “trendy” or “what the kids are into.” (In the beginning of the trailer, Viv magically has this feminist awakening from seeing her mom’s old Riot Grrl pictures…) Also in the trailer, she only starts to notice the rampant sexism in her high school AFTER SOMEBODY TELLS HER…

[fumes] okay I’ll stop now but Y I K E S

just stick to the book, okay?

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse, K. Eason

Amazon.com: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse: Book One of the Thorne  Chronicles eBook: Eason, K.: Kindle Store

GENRES: Sci-fi, fantasy

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Okay, I know this has been shelved as both adult and YA, but…hey, Rory’s 15 for most of the book, so I think I can slip it in this post. Plus, what’s not to love about disobedient, patriarchy-smashing princesses in space?

Sawkill Girls, Claire Legrand

Amazon.com: Sawkill Girls (9780062696601): Legrand, Claire: Books

GENRES: Horror, paranormal, fantasy, LGBTQ+

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Claire Legrand was a hit-or-miss author for me up until I read this one, but Sawkill Girls is such a powerful novel, both in its paranormal intensity and its resonant themes of sisterhood.

Girls of Paper and Fire, Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire Series #1) by Natasha  Ngan, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

GENRES: High fantasy, romance, LGBTQ+

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

As disappointing as the sequel was, Girls of Paper and Fire still remains a book that stunned me like no other. A powerful tale of rebelling against oppression and corruption – and some lovely forbidden romance!

The Black Coats, Colleen Oakes

Amazon.com: The Black Coats (9780062679628): Oakes, Colleen: Books

GENRES: Contemporary, fiction, mystery, romance

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25

A super twisty and inventive novel with plenty of morally grey characters and secret societies. Plus, it raises some great points about vigilante justice. And there’s nothing better than getting back at misogynists and rapists, right?

The Sound of Stars, Alechia Dow

Amazon.com: The Sound of Stars (9781335911551): Dow, Alechia: Books

GENRES: Sci-fi, dystopian, LGBTQ+, romance

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Every time I look back at this book, I think something along the lines of “man, I’m so glad I bought this.” Secret libraries, alien invasion, quality music references, cross-country road trips, and more than a little bit of resistance. Very nearly flawless!

Music from Another World, Robin Talley

Amazon.com: Music from Another World (9781335146779): Talley, Robin: Books

GENRES: Historical fiction, romance, LGBTQ+

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A beautiful romance set against the backdrop of protest and resisting homophobia in 1977 San Francisco. There’s lovely representation for both lesbian and bisexual characters, and it’s such a tender and resonant read!

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! Have you read any of these novels, and if so, did you like them? What are your favorite feminist YA reads?

Women's History Month

And while I’m at it, might I direct you all to the Women’s History Book Tag? It was created by Margaret @ Weird Zeal, and I had such a blast doing it last March, and I figured I should direct it to your attention. 🙂

Today’s song:

The way this song reminds me of the very beginning of quarantine now –

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

Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: The Life and Deaths of Frankie D.

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Apologies for disappearing again, I just had some stuff to work out school-wise. I’ll probably be back to semi-normal for some of this week and next week, but I’ll probably be more infrequent in April and May because of the SAT and AP exams.

Anyway, I recently received this eARC but put it off for a few weeks, knowing I had to review it…and in retrospect, I wish I hadn’t. For although The Life and Deaths of Frankie D. wasn’t without its flaws, it was a quirky and fun blend of historical fiction, mystery, and contemporary fiction. With more than a few awesome goths added to the mix, of course.

Enjoy this eARC review!

The Life and Deaths of Frankie D. - Dundurn

The Life and Deaths of Frankie D. – Colleen Nelson

Frankie Doe doesn’t remember much of her childhood, but what she does remember is the constant bouncing between foster homes. But lately, she’s been having the same recurring dream, in which the ringmaster of a circus beckons for her to join him.

As her dreams grow more vivid, Frankie finds her way into the mystery of a 100-year-old sideshow and the strange cast of characters who inhabited it. But behind the curtain lurks a more sinister story, one that may hold the key to her missing memories.

GIF darkroom after hours of editing beetlejuice - animated GIF on GIFER -  by Milrajas
Frankie at any given moment

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Dundurn Press for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

TW/CW: childhood trauma/PTSD, bullying, brief mention of sexual assault, fire

This is my first taste of Colleen Nelson’s writing, but I’m already a little sad that The Life and Deaths of Frankie D. has such a low rating on Goodreads at present (3.48 at the time I’m writing this review). There were certainly flaws, for sure, but this novel was one that shouldn’t be missed, a mystery cloaked in circuses and dreams.

Frankie wasn’t the most likable of protagonists, but for the story she was in, she was the perfect fit. She’s certainly more than a little dramatic, and for the first part of the novel, she definitely fell into the dreaded “not like other girls” trope; I would’ve certainly rated Frankie D. lower if it had continued, but luckily, with the introduction of Jessica’s character, Frankie learned a lot from her past mentality, and although it wasn’t entirely cured, it was a step forward that I was so grateful for. I also loved seeing some of the story come alive through her personal graphic novel and the art that filled her sketchbook.

The plot was easily the most compelling aspect of this novel. Frankie’s world oscillates from present day to a 100-year-old circus filled with all manner of unusual denizens, and although we only got small glimpses of all of them, it was so fun to see them all characterized! The historical aspect of the world felt wonderfully fleshed out, and there was clearly so much care put into it.

Adding onto that, I loved seeing the mystery of both the fate of the circus and Frankie’s origins unfold before my eyes. The various twists that came together were both clever and added a fascinating layer to the story. The conclusion was a bit too neatly wrapped up for my taste, but most of the story leading up to that point mostly made up for it.

All in all, a fresh and inventive piece of genre-bending YA with circuses, immortality, and mystery. 4 stars!

68.media.tumblr.com 29d5f32d43a76564b5b2ae8e81d4a858  tumblr_o7p35eFBZO1ukk0b1o1_400.gif | Creepy carnival, Creepy, Carnival

Expected release date: April 13, 2021

Today’s song:

My friend and I made playlists for each other on Friday and it was so fun 🥺 this was one of the songs off of the one she made for me

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

Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (3/15/21) – You Should See Me in a Crown

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

I needed a few days’ break last week, so that’s the reason behind the lack of a weekly update last week. That, and I had a bit of an underwhelming reading week. But now I have an eARC, a new book from the mail, and a book I love to re-read for book club for this week, so here’s hoping things will get a bit better.

Anyways, 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 shelved this one back in May and I’ve had it on hold at the library for ages, so hopefully I might actually get to read it soon…but in the meantime, I’m all for POC leads and wlw romance!

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (3/15/21) – YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN by Leah Johnson

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Blurb from Goodreads:

Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.

But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.

The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?

So why do I want to read this?

Pin em Chess

I’ve had this one on hold since…oh, maybe July or August, AND YET SOMEHOW I’M ONLY #11 ON 8 COPIES… [screams into the void]

[ahem] Anyway, contemporary/rom-com isn’t my favorite genre, but You Should See Me in a Crown looks like it has all the elements that’ll hook me in! It’s so wonderful to see queer, POC leads becoming more prevalent in YA literature (and literature as a whole), and I can already tell that I’ll be rooting for Liz. And SAPPHIC ROMANCE, to top it all off! Like I said, I don’t read many rom-coms, but we need more queer rom-coms out there, absolutely.

That, combined with a (friendly?) rivalry for Prom Queen and some determination and friends-to-lovers romance (from the looks of it), You Should See Me in a Crown looks like it has the perfect recipe for a book I’d adore!

Allison Tolman Waiting GIF by ABC Network - Find & Share on GIPHY
me “patiently” waiting for my hold to arrive

Today’s song:

It took a while for this song to grow on me for some reason but I love it now

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

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (3/9/21) – A Phoenix Must First Burn

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I don’t review short story collections/anthologies very often, but I definitely want to put in my two cents on this one, because I enjoyed it so much! A variety of historical fiction, sci-fi, and fantasy stories with Black protagonists from #OwnVoices Black authors! Such a lovely anthology.

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: A Phoenix First Must Burn: Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic,  Resistance, and Hope (9781984835659): Caldwell, Patrice: Books

A Phoenix Must First Burn – edited by Patrice Caldwell

(summary from Goodreads)

Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic.

Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A Phoenix First Must Burn shine brightly. You will never forget them.

Authors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Dhonielle Clayton, Jalissa Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Davis, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Justina Ireland, Danny Lore, L.L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, and Ibi Zoboi.

Wow, what a stellar anthology! I think there was only one single story collected within that was at/below 2 stars, and I loved getting tastes of all genres from authors familiar and unfamiliar to me alike.

I’ll break down my thoughts for each short story, because they all deserve some time in the spotlight here:

When Life Hands You a Lemon Fruitbomb – Amerie: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Wormhole GIF | Gfycat

My favorite short story out of the bunch, by a long shot. (No surprise, really, since I’m such a sucker for sci-fi…) A beautiful tale of setting aside differences and embracing the other, complete with aliens, wormholes, and tender friendships. [Magneto voice] “Perfection…”

Gilded – Elizabeth Acevedo: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ve read plenty of Acevedo’s poetry, but this was my first taste of my prose. And I must say, she is uniquely talented in both! I loved this blend of magical realism and historical fiction, and the themes of resistance against colonialism in the 16th century.

Wherein Abigail Fields Recalls Her First Death, And, Subsequently, Her Best Life – Rebecca Roanhorse: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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I’ve had several of Roanhorse’s novels on my TBR for years and haven’t gotten around to reading them, but this story of rebirth and revenge in the old American West has me 100% convinced to get into her work! Stellar writing and dialogue, with no shortage of charm.

The Rules of the Land – Alaya Dawn Johnson: ⭐️⭐️

This one was a low point in the collection for me. While there was clearly a lot of care put into the worldbuilding, there were just so many terms and politics thrown around without any explanation, which left me super confused throughout the whole story.

A Hagiography of Starlight – Somaiya Doud: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

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Props for the fact that I’d never heard of the word “hagiography” before reading this story, and it’s so pretty…

I had about the same experience of this story as I did with Mirage; the plot wasn’t terribly compelling, but the prose was so immersive and lush. This story also had what The Rules of the Land lacked: lots of new fantasy terms, but an explanation for all of them, which was a welcome reprieve.

Melie – Justina Ireland: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Dragons! Mermaids! Sorcerers! Potions! A lovable and determined protagonist! Sweet romance! I might just have to check out Justina Ireland’s other novels, because Melie filled me with so much joy. Short story or not, this restored a bit of my faith for YA fantasy.

The Goddess Provides – L.L. McKinney: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Pin by Samm on '' The Isla of Pirates ... '' | Sea of thieves, Water  effect, The incredibles

This one was quite immersive; immediately, there’s lots of sensory description, which made me feel like I was in the story. And beyond that, who doesn’t love a good tale of pirates, royalty, revenge, and good triumphing over evil?

Hearts Turned to Ash – Dhonielle Clayton: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

An interesting and magically literal take on heartbreak, of a heart crumbling after a nasty breakup. I loved the magical realism aspect of this one, and the witchcraft woven throughout. Not my favorite of the stories, but still sweet.

Let the Right One In – Patrice Caldwell: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25

Lady Halloween Cosplay: Viago from What We Do in the Shadows – Schtick and  Substance

Some of the experiences of the protagonist really struck a chord with me, as someone who is/was quieter and lives through books. Plus, I’m down for a sapphic romance with vampires ANY day, trust me. SIGN ME UP.

Tender-Headed – Danny Lore: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

jean grey rp gifs | WiffleGif

I loved the concept of this one, and the writing was good throughout, but the conclusion left me wanting something more. It just felt…unresolved? Maybe a few more pages could have done this one some good.

Kiss the Sun – Ibi Zoboi: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

This was a weird one, but definitely in a good way. Genre-defying, full of flowery prose and a dark, strange kind of twist. The strangest story out of the bunch, and I mean that 100% as a compliment.

The Actress – Danielle Paige: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Not my favorite, but an interesting one for sure. A slow-burn, on-and-off-screen love story between two actors in a romantic teen TV drama about vampires, one of which may possess magic of her own.

The Curse of Love – Ashley Woodfolk: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Simultaneously filled with despair and hope, The Curse of Love presents resonant themes of family and the risks we’re willing to take for love–and a family curse that dooms all of the women in the Dunn family to a fate worse than death should they fall head-over-heels in love. There are a lot of magical realism stories in this collection, and this one absolutely shines!

All the Time in the World – Charlotte Nicole Davis: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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I haven’t read anything by Charlotte Nicole Davis before, but I’m all for giving her a round of applause, because SECOND PERSON POV IS REALLY HARD TO DO. Really hard. And she did it with such aplomb, all while weaving in elements of sci-fi and discussions of racism, all in one. Such a wonderful story!

The Witch’s Skin – Karen Strong: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

All at once tender and creepy, this was a story that evoked imagery of graveyards at night and creatures lurking in dark corners. All at once a tale of fantasy and a heartstring-pulling story of heartbreak, and the lengths we go to get our vengeance.

Sequence – J. Marcelle Corrie: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Not quite as compelling as some of the other stories, but I like the discussion of the role that technology plays/may play in our lives. An interesting vision of the life of a group of teens in a time when major decisions are made via highly intelligent electronics, more so even than today.

I averaged out all of my ratings for each of the short stories, and it came out to about a 3.5, but before I did that, I put my rating as 4 stars. Normally, I don’t round up from 3.5 to 4 (I usually only do it when it’s 3.75), but the better stories in this collection make me want to keep my rating at a solid 4! Such a beautiful collection, running the gamut of genre, experience, science and magic. There’s something for everybody here, no matter what genre you tend to gravitate towards. Highly recommended!

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Patrice Caldwell is also the editor of the upcoming YA paranormal romance anthology Eternally Yours, and the upcoming novel Where Shadows Reign, scheduled for release in 2022.

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!

Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (3/8/21) – The Dead and the Dark

Happy Monday, bibliophiles, and more importantly, happy International Women’s Day! It’s always crucial to remember that none of us would be here without the work of so many women – literally and figuratively. (Later on, I’m thinking of compiling some feminist YA reads for this Women’s History Month, so stay tuned!)

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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.

This novel was a more recent addition to my TBR, as well as a 2021 release. I don’t usually read horror or mystery, but The Dead and the Dark sounds right up my alley–I mean, what could go wrong with a sapphic romance and paranormal investigation?

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (3/8/21) – THE DEAD AND THE DARK by Courtney Gould

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

Blurb from Goodreads:

The Dark has been waiting for far too long, and it won’t stay hidden any longer. 

Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers seem to point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just returned to town. Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before, but the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more secrets buried here than they originally let on.

Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his presence ever since. But now that the Ortiz-Woodleys are in town, his ghost is following her and the only person Ashley can trust is the mysterious Logan. When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who—or what—is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness.

So why do I want to read this?

Flipside Upside Down for Stranger Things ~ A Ticket for Two

I don’t read an awful lot of horror, but I’d certainly say that I’m a huge fan of all things paranormal in literature. (And you have one thing to blame for that: Hellboy.) The Dead and Dark seems like a fascinating take on the genre, though!

Not only did the aspect of a series of bizarre and frightening occurrences following a team of TV paranormal investigators draw me in, I’m so excited to see the sapphic romance! LGBTQ+ representation is always my cup of tea, and I’m 100% on board with the concept of two queer girls teaming up to solve a paranormal mystery.

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The Dead and the Dark is expected to come out on August 3, 2021, so I’ll see you all then!

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: March 1-7, 2021

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

I’d say March is off to a decent start. I had a slower reading week this week, but now that I’ve gotten my library haul, it’ll definitely get better/faster soon. I also went to the comic shop (safely, of course) with my family and picked up some single issues and a trade, got a preorder in the mail, and another Kindle hold, so there’ll be lots to read this month, for sure!

I also finished the first draft of my short story! I’ll probably devote next week to self-editing, so we’ll see how it goes. I also finished WandaVision, rewatched another episode or two of season 3 of Fargo, drew a bit, and had my weekly shift at the library. For the past…month or so, I think, it’s snowed either the day before or on the day of my volunteer shift, so it’s always freezing…but hey, at least the library is warm, and it’s always a peaceful image to see snow falling outside the window while I’m surrounded by books.

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Also OH MY GOD ST. VINCENT CAME OUT WITH A NEW SONG AND IT’S S O G O O D I CAN’T STOP LISTENING TO IT

MIDDLE SCHOOL MADELINE IS VERY HAPPY AND PRESENT MADELINE IS VERY HAPPY

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Hellboy: Odder Jobs – Christopher Golden, Mike Mignola et. al. (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Hellboy: Odder Jobs eBook: Darabont, Frank, Various, Golden,  Christopher: Kindle Store

Sisters of the Wolf – Patricia Miller-Schroeder (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Sisters of the Wolf (9781459747524): Miller-Schroeder, Patricia:  Books

Hellboy: Oddest Jobs – Christopher Golden, Mike Mignola et. al. (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Hellboy: Oddest Jobs: Christopher Golden, Mike Mignola: 9781593079444:  Amazon.com: Books

A Phoenix Must First Burn (anthology) – edited by Patrice Caldwell (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: A Phoenix First Must Burn: Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic,  Resistance, and Hope (9781984835659): Caldwell, Patrice: Books

Roman and Jewel – Dana L. Davis (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Roman and Jewel (9781335070623): Davis, Dana L.: Books

B.P.R.D., vol. 3: Plague of Frogs – Mike Mignola, Guy Davis (illustrator) (read twice) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

B.P.R.D. Volume 3: Plague of Frogs: Mike Mignola, Guy Davis, Dave Stewart:  9781593072889: Amazon.com: Books

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

The Good Father – Noah Hawley

Amazon.com: The Good Father (9780307947918): Hawley, Noah: Books

Remote Control – Nnedi Okorafor

Amazon.com: Remote Control (9781250772800): Okorafor, Nnedi: Books

The Absolute Book – Elizabeth Knox

The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox: 9780593296738 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2) – Becky Chambers

Amazon.com: A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers) (9780062569400):  Chambers, Becky: Books

The Life and Deaths of Frankie D. – Colleen Nelson (eARC)

Amazon.com: The Life and Deaths of Frankie D. eBook: Nelson, Colleen:  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!