Posted in Books

Sci-Fi Tropes: Cryosleep, Unhinged AI, and everything in between 🪐

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been trying to think of more original posts to do, and I figured that this one would be something really fun to explore. I’ve seen a lot of posts talking about tropes, but genre-specific ones are always interesting to think about/discuss, and in much of the YA book fandom, I feel like sci-fi doesn’t get as much love. So I decided to look at six tropes that are specific to sci-fi (for the most part). Sci-fi is my favorite genre, so I got super excited thinking about all of these different tropes, and some (mostly) YA books that use them in different ways.

So let’s begin, shall we?

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WARNING: This post may contain some book spoilers (Aurora Cycle & Dare Mighty Things series), so read at your own risk!

🛸SCI-FI TROPES🛸

CRYOSLEEP, BUT FOR WAY TOO LONG

Quiz: Ripley, Our Lady of Survival | Bookmans Entertainment Exchange

Ellen Ripley – and Aliens in particular – probably set the blueprint for this one, but as the trope gets more popular, authors have started to push the limits on this one, which I think is a really cool move.

It’s most often the protagonist that this happens to – our hero, on the eve of something great, is put into cryosleep for an interplanetary mission, only for something to go terribly awry and stay in cryosleep for longer than they were supposed to. Ripley got an accidental 50 years, Auri from Aurora Rising got 200 years, and Andra from Goddess in the Machine got a whopping 1,000 years.

This trope presents two main advantages for writing: a vehicle for exploring the novel’s world through fresh eyes, and internal conflict within the character. If your cryosleep character is completely unfamiliar with the world, seeing it through their eyes gives the reader a more in-depth look at the world than they’d get with a character that’s already familiar with it. They’ll inevitably notice more things and fixate on different things than another character might, which gives the reader more insight about what’s unique about the world that the author has crafted.

As for the internal conflict piece, this part’s always touched on, but in most of the novels I’ve read with it, it’s a lot more shallow than you’d think. There’s the existential crisis that inevitably occurs when the character realizes that everything they know and love is all but gone, but beyond the first few chapters from their POV, they get over it…relatively quickly? It seems like the kind of trauma that would leave lasting psychological scars, and probably physical health repercussions as well. I’ve yet to read any book that explores all that in depth, but it seems like the perfect setup for a sci-fi novel.

So this one’s a trope that can make for a lot of creative choices, but often has a lot of untapped potential.

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: Aurora Rising (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff), Goddess in the Machine (Lora Beth Johnson)

GOTTEN INTO A SITUATION YOU CAN’T GET OUT OF? TIME TRAVEL!

Best Avengers Endgame GIFs | Gfycat
“Time travel!”

Apparently this one is a lot more common than I thought, but I’ve only started to see it in YA more recently. (Well, there’s Avengers: Endgame, but it took me a while to realize how common of a trope it is…)

This trope has the possibility of ENDLESS freaky hijinks whilst traversing through time. Sometimes it’s just pushing the events of the past so that everything lines up a little bit nicer, and sometimes it’s rocketing back to another time period entirely. It usually happens only with the last book in a trilogy or duology, just so everyone can fix the mess they got into in the first books.

I have mixed feelings on this one; one the one hand, there’s never a dull moment – time travel jokes, fitting VERY badly into a different time period, and very high stakes, most of all. If the first books have followed a similar formula, it might be good to try for something else to end the series with a bang.

On the other, though, something about it almost feels…lazy to me. Often, this trope arises from The Gang™️ getting a situation so bad that there may not be a feasible way out of it, but…maybe they could? If done wrong, it can feel like lazy writing – an easy way out, and one that provides instant comic relief. And often, the means of said time travel are vague, and often reduced to technobabble from The Smart Character™️, which, hey, I don’t know much about the science of it either, but maybe at least put a little time into it?

So this one’s a double-edged sword: instant plot, or lazy writing? The choice is yours!

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: Sword in the Stars (Once & Future, #2) (A.R. Capetta and Cori McCarthy), Aurora’s End (Aurora Cycle, #3) (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff)*

*this one doesn’t come out until November [screams] but we know that time travel will play a big part in this one, so…

ALIENS THAT BASICALLY JUST LOOK LIKE HUMANS (BUT WITH A FEW MINOR DIFFERENCES)

Pin on Asteria Academy
I know Jean Grey isn’t an alien, but most of the aliens mentioned below have similar powers to her, so…

Most of the other tropes I’m going to be discussing in this post are ones that I like on some level, but…this one gets on my nerves. For the most part.

Far too many times, I’ve fallen into the trap of picking up a sci-fi book that promises aliens, only to discover that the aliens just look like humans, but with either a) unusual eye colors, b) some sort of powers, or c) a combination of both. And of course, they have to be ✨ridiculously attractive✨ as well. 🙄

Now, I completely get making your aliens humanoid (hey, I’m doing it with some of my aliens for my sci-fi WIP), but there’s a certain point where it feels a bit lazy. Unless there’s some way you can back it up, it seems weird to me that in this entire universe, the only other intelligent beings, by some cosmic chance, are similar to us in almost every way.

But I’ve seen some authors use it to their advantage – in particular, One Giant Leap (the sequel to Dare Mighty Things) does this especially well. The main alien civilization there look exactly like humans, but it’s because of genetic modifications performed so that they could survive on Earth. See? That’s actually a really good way of turning the trope on its head, and doing so in a practical way!

For the most part, this trope never ceases to bug me, but there’s a few ways to turn it on its head.

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: One Giant Leap (Dare Mighty Things, #2) (Heather Kaczynski), Amid Stars and Darkness (Chani Lynn Feener)

UNHINGED A.I.

David - Prometheus --- ah! DON'T TELL ME THAT!!! (lol) | Michael  fassbender, David 8, Sebastian moran
BREAKING: Michael Fassbender Sustains Fatal Back Injuries from Carrying all of the Alien Prequels

For me, at least, this trope is the most fun – and it presents some of the scariest and most formidable antagonists in sci-fi.

Villainous AI are some of the most fascinating characters to explore – they have unmatched power, in some cases, and whether they’re a pre-installed ship AI or an android, it’s always interesting to hear their perspective on all of us puny mortals.

Given that humans trust AI a bit *too* much in most sci-fi novels, they often have a fearsome amount of power at their disposal. AI installed inside of a ship? Access to all the security footage, navigation, communications, and controls of the ship. They know their crew up and down, and have the possibility to play everybody’s weaknesses against each other. They have the power to sabotage anything and everything, and more often than not, they do. WITHOUT HESITATION. A corrupt AI often harbors a hatred or jealousy of human beings, and if it’s not that motivating them, it’s some sort of technologically-stemmed god complex, which is always terrifying to watch play out. (Lookin’ right at you, David…) It’s even more of an interesting development if their moral compass shifts over the course of the series – if there’s one thing I’ve learned from sci-fi, it’s that benevolent robot overlords never stay benevolent for very long.

Corrupt AI as antagonists are often more compelling than human or alien ones (for me, at least) partly because so much is left up to the imagination about the inner workings of their minds. We’ve never developed any kind of artificial intelligence that’s become intelligent enough to have devious tendencies like many sci-fi villains, so a lot of it is the author’s personal choice. There are endless possibilities – but more often than not, they’re all terrifying.

And even if they aren’t main antagonists, the addition of a slight unstable AI as a character is always amusing; for all of its flaws, I loved Gregorovich’s existential musings in To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, and his character added some much-needed flavor to the rest of the cast.

TL;DR: There’s nothing more terrifying than a villain that knows everything about everything, and uses that power for its own gain at whatever the cost.

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars (Christopher Paolini), Illuminae (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff), Scythe (Neal Shusterman)

HIGH-STAKES COMPETITIONS TO GO TO SPACE…WITH SOME SERIOUS ULTERIOR MOTIVES

artoo, that way

Scared to send your experienced, highly intelligent scientists to space? Send some teenagers instead!

This one tends to crop up the most in YA, as it’s primed for a book that has a primarily teenage cast. The ones I’ve read do tend to follow a formula, but for the most part, it’s one that’s actually a lot of fun!

The worldbuilding/motives behind it are always a little bit messy (again: sending teenagers into space! What could possibly go wrong?), but often times, you just have to hang in there; it’s a given that whatever program is funding the competition is doing something astronomically shady. (No pun intended.) Part of the fun with this trope is the mystery of it; slowly but surely, the competition starts dropping like flies, and things go very wrong very quickly.

More on the mystery aspect – the mystery that often occurs in these types of novels is very slow-burn, building on itself before the heartstopping reveal at the end (often a cliffhanger). From program superiors lying to scheming androids to deaths under mysterious circumstances, there are endless possibilities for many, many things to go wrong. Add in the not-so-friendly rivalries between the competitors (also scheming, along with everybody else), and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a nail-biting sci-fi mystery.

And once/if they get to space? Everything gets way worse. There’s bound to be aliens, but whether they’re intelligent or just parasitic, things are bound to go way, way south. But there’s never a dull moment – there’s no shortage of suspense, and our protagonist is often at a loss as to how to escape their situation.

Plus, for reasons I’ve yet to figure out, these ones always tend to have the most clever pop culture references. (See: all of the Radiohead songs in the Final Six duology)

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: The Final Six (Alexandra Monir), Dare Mighty Things (Heather Kaczynski)

EXPLORING OTHER PLANETS GOES VERY, VERY WRONG (Or, “Don’t do intergalactic colonialism, kids”)

Large yacht passes by gargantuan yacht - boing - Boing Boing BBS

Here’s another common – but by no means overdone – trope that’s always open to endless possibilities!

Because our planet was never enough, apparently (or if we destroyed it…probably), there’s a whole host of sci-fi stories that are set on entirely new planets, with the sole goal of making them a new home for humankind. But just like with our planet, it’s always unpredictable, whether you’re dealing with a foreign contagion, carnivorous wildlife, or superiors who aren’t what they seem.

I’m always a nerd for creature design in sci-fi, and life on other worlds presents all sort of possibilities for creatures lurking in the bushes. Whether it’s flora or fauna, exploring these sci-fi worlds along with the characters is an adventure, especially if the author is particularly creative. Of course, most of the wildlife ends up being carnivorous, or malicious on some level, so there’s all sorts of danger lurking.

But beyond that, this trope is often a great commentary on colonialism. Human history is rife with frightening periods of raping and pillaging land that wasn’t ours to begin with at the cost of those who originally lived there; telling the same story on alien planets serves as a particularly potent comment on the malicious tendency of our species to overstep and overstay our welcome. Books like A Conspiracy of Stars and The Pioneer explore what happens when humanity comes in contact with intelligent life and unlawfully sets foot on their land; both of them do an amazing job of exploring the intricacies of the political implications, as well as the tense conflict that results. I think sci-fi as a genre is one of the best mediums for raising commentary on this kind of thing. Exploring new frontiers in space is bound to happen once we get the technology, but we must always ask ourselves if it’s the right thing to do. Just because we can doesn’t necessarily mean that we should. (Let’s be real: I would be SO excited if we found evidence of life elsewhere in the universe, but…let’s not have a repeat of all of human history, okay?)

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: The Pioneer (Bridget Tyler), A Conspiracy of Stars, (Olivia A. Cole), Tangled Planet (Kate Blair)

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! What are your favorite/least favorite tropes in sci-fi? Have you read any of the books I listed, and what were your thoughts? This’ll probably be one of several posts on the subject, so I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

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Today’s song:

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

Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (8/8/20)–Underrated Books/Hidden Gems 💎

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

Time for another Top 5 Saturday! This was originally started by Devouring Books, and it sounded like such a fun post to take part in. Today’s topic is underrated books and hidden gems.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR AUGUST: 

8/1/20—Enemies to Lovers

8/8/20—Underrated Books/Hidden Gems

8/15/20—Recommended Reads

8/22/20—YA Books

8/29/20—Detective Books

Rules!

  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post
  • Tag 5 people

Let’s begin, shall we?

TOP 5 SATURDAY (8/8/20)–UNDERRATED BOOKS/HIDDEN GEMS

Spare and Found Parts, Sarah Maria Griffin

Amazon.com: Spare and Found Parts (9780062408884): Griffin, Sarah ...

The second I saw this prompt, I knew I had to include something by Griffin; her prose is almost unparalleled, and this was one of my favorite reads of 2019.

The Pioneer, Bridget Tyler

The Pioneer (The Pioneer, #1) by Bridget Tyler

I hardly see anyone talking about this series, which is…definitely a crime. Some of the most inventive and well-written YA sci-fi I’ve ever come across, and I don’t say that lightly.

A Conspiracy of Stars, Olivia A. Cole

Home — YA-Hoo Fest

Another criminally underrated and lushly written YA sci-fi! The worldbuilding is some of the most well-developed that I’ve ever seen of a book of this kind.

Into the Crooked Place, Alexandra Christo

Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

I just reviewed this one this week, so I’ll keep this short: I CANNOT WAIT FOR BOOK 2.

The Order of Odd-Fish, James Kennedy

The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy

A bizarre, Monty Python-esque romp of a middle grade novel!

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

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Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Top 5 Saturday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags, Books

Wanderlust Book Tag

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Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

I found this tag over at Leigh Hecking’s blog, and I figured it would be a good tag for right now–since we can’t travel in quarantine, why not travel to all sorts of amazing places in books?

Okay, I know how corny that sounded, but really, I swear books have a property to magically transport you anywhere, if the writing’s good enough. I was reading The Black Witch yesterday, and I swear that the imagery made me smell freshly fallen rain on the grass. OOH.

Aaaaaanyway, this tag was created by Reading by Starlight.

THE RULES:

  1. Mention the creator of the tag and link back to original post [Alexandra @ Reading by Starlight].
  2. Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  3. Answer the 10 questions below using any genre.
  4. Tag 5+ friends.

 

SECRETS AND LIES: A book set in a small, sleepy town

Amazon.com: How to Hang a Witch (9780553539479): Mather, Adriana ...

Salem isn’t necessarily “sleepy,” but how it’s depicted in How to Hang a Witch certainly gives off those vibes.

 

SALT AND SAND: A book with a beachside community

Amazon.com: Summer of Salt (9780062493620): Leno, Katrina: Books

Hey, Summer of Salt even has salt in the title! What a lovely book 💗

 

HERE THERE BE DRAGONS: A book with a voyage on the high seas

Amazon.com: Daughter of the Pirate King (9781250095961 ...

I need to go back and re-read Daughter of the Pirate King at some point, I remember loving it…

 

TREAD LIGHTLY: A book set down a murky river or jungle

Amazon.com: A Conspiracy of Stars (Whitecoat's Daughter ...

Nothing creepier than a jungle on an alien planet, right? I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of A Conspiracy of Stars. 

 

FROZEN WASTES: A book with a frost-bitten atmosphere

Even the Darkest Stars : Heather Fawcett : 9780062463395

Even the Darkest Stars should instantly take the cake here. After all, it’s inspired by some of the early expeditions of Mt. Everest.

 

THE BOONIES: A book with rough or isolated terrain

Amazon.com: The Pioneer (9780062658067): Tyler, Bridget: Books

The Pioneer has such a strange and fascinating–as well as uncharted by humans–landscape that I loved exploring.

 

HINTERLANDS AND COWBOYS: A book with a western-esque setting

…Um, I can’t think of anything that I’ve read off the top of my head…might have to skip this one…

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LOOK LIVELY: A book set across sweeping desert sands

Amazon.com: We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya) (9780374311544 ...

I read We Hunt the Flame last summer, and my memory’s a little shaky, but I loved it!

 

WILD AND UNTAMED: A book set in the heart of the woods

Amazon.com: Cursed (9781534425330): Wheeler, Thomas, Miller, Frank ...

I still don’t understand why Cursed has such a low rating, I found it such a riveting reimagining of Arthurian legend.

 

WILDEST DREAMS: A whimsical book shrouded in magic

Amazon.com: The Black Witch: An Epic Fantasy Novel (The Black ...

I just finished The Black WitchAND I’M ABSOLUTELY SHOOK. EXPECT A REVIEW IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS OR SO.

 

I tag: 

And anyone else who wants to participate! Have fun! 

Waving Hi GIFs | Tenor

 

Today’s song:

MAKING A DOOR LESS OPEN IS HERE! Definitely expect a review of this one soon…

 

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

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Totally Should’ve Book Tag

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Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

I found this tag over at Bookidote, and the tag was originally created by Emmmabooks. I was browsing tags to give a go, and decided that this one looked liked a lot of fun! Let’s begin, shall we?

1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel

Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury

Man, I’m still so sad that Last of Her Name  was a standalone…though the ending was certainly satisfying and was wrapped up very nicely, the worldbuilding had SO much potential, and I would’ve loved to delve into it again.

2. Totally should’ve had a spin off series

Amazon.com: A Conspiracy of Stars (Whitecoat's Daughter ...

Man, this was a surprisingly hard question…

I mean, technically, the series isn’t *quite* finished, but I’d totally be on board for some more bizarre, alien adventures in the world of A Conspiracy of Stars

3. An author who totally should write more books

Amazon.com: Like a Love Story (9780062839367): Nazemian, Abdi: Books

Abdi Nazemian, without question. I mean, it’s only been a year(ish) since Like a Love Story hit the shelves, but I need some more of that wonderfully human writing, STAT.

 

4. A character who totally should’ve ended up with someone else

Amazon.com: Shatter Me (8601300047799): Mafi, Tahereh: Books

I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again: JULIETTE 👏 SHOULD 👏 NOT 👏 HAVE 👏 ENDED 👏 UP 👏 WITH 👏 WARNER 👏

It’s not like Adam was a much better choice, but Warner was such a manipulative, domineering creep, and I’m still so baffled at the fact that people…like him? And like him and Juliette together? Ew. Just no.

5. Totally should’ve ended differently

Amazon.com: I Hope You Get This Message eBook: Rishi, Farah Naz ...

I just finished up I Hope You Get This Message last night, and I must say, for a novel with such a lofty premise, the ending felt so haphazard and last minute. There was so much potential for the ending, something emotional, something human, something like that scene in Rogue One where Jyn and Cassian share a final hug before Scarif exploded…something like THAT, I don’t know. It just felt so blown-off and left to the last minute.

6. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

The decision to put Stranger in a Strange Land here is mostly because of the knowledge that they almost made it into a movie in the early 70’s, and DAVID BOWIE was going to be cast as Valentine Michael Smith. ZIGGY ERA BOWIE.

But even beyond that, this novel has the potential to be a revived, cinematic masterpiece, something as tender and thought-provoking as the novel itself.

7. Totally should’ve had a TV show

Amazon.com: The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace) (9781481442725 ...

The slow-burn, dystopian format of The Scorpion Rules would be perfect for a TV series, from the unique and diverse cast of characters to the action and buildup.

8. Totally should’ve had only one point of view

Half Bad: Sally Green: 8601300121086: Amazon.com: Books

For Half Badthe problem wasn’t so much POV, but it switched between Nathan’s normal perspective and random tidbits of 2nd person. Brave of Green to try 2nd person for her debut novel, but I’m sad to say that it didn’t quite work out.

9. Totally should have a cover change

Prince of Shadows: A Novel of Romeo and Juliet: Caine, Rachel ...

Prince of Shadows was decent enough, but the cover gave off some uncomfortably bodice-ripper energy…I was kind of embarrassed to carry it around while I was reading it 🤣

10. Totally should’ve kept the original covers

Skyward (Skyward, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Though this wasn’t the edition I checked out at the library, I like this cover of Skyward a lot better. I’m a sucker for Charlie Bowater’s book covers, but this seemed to fit the feel of the novel a little more, and the almost monochromatic color scheme is incredibly pleasing to me, personally. Granted, I didn’t like Skyward all that much (2 stars for me), but these covers are still wonderful.

 

11. Totally should’ve stopped at book one

Amazon.com: Carry On (Simon Snow Series) (9781250135025): Rowell ...

As much as I love Carry OnRainbow Rowell, and the eternally charming Simon and Baz, I think their story could have stopped here. After Wayward Son‘s cop-out of a cliffhanger, it just seems that the series is being uneccessarily perpetuated beyond its limits. Don’t get me wrong–Carry On is one of my favorite books, but I’d liked for it to have stayed a standalone.

 

If you want to see today’s song, click here, since I’ve already posted once today. 🙂

 

I tag anyone who wants to participate! 

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

thank you for reading.jpg

Posted in Book Tags

Women’s History Book Tag

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Afternoon, bibliophiles!

I found this tag on The Comfy Reader, and as soon as I saw that it had to do with Women’s History…COUNT. ME. IN. The tag was created by Weird Zeal.

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post.
  • Link to the creator’s blog in your post
  • Answer the questions below using only books written by women
  • Feel free to use the same graphics
  • Tag 8 others to take part in the tag

 

rosa-parks.png

Image result for girls of paper and fire

Lei from Girls of Paper and Fire is the ultimate disobedient, fierce, and patriarchy-smashing protagonist. I just got started with the sequel (Girls of Storm and Shadow), and though it’s not quite as potent as book 1, I’d forgotten how much I loved her and Wren.

 

Ada Lovelace

Image result for sky without stars book

Alouette from Sky Without Stars is a character that I always love to see in a female protagonist–daring and determined, but also incredibly intelligent, and VERY bookish!

 

Queen Elizabeth 1

Image result for smoke thieves

One of the perspectives that I enjoyed the most of Catherine in The Smoke Thievesand her later struggle (and GREAT successes) of ascending to the throne as Queen of Brigant.

 

Virginia Woolf

Image result for wild beauty anna marie mclemore

The prose in Wild Beauty was one of the elements that most stood out to me in the book, as flowery as the gardens of La Pradera.

 

Joan of arc

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Although this was only a three-star read for me, Sky in the Deep was what immediately came to mind. Eelyn was most definitely a Wonder Woman-ish character, in an almost Viking setting.

 

Mae Jemison

Image result for a conspiracy of stars

Ooh, boy, I’ve got a lot to choose from…

A Conspiracy of Stars stands out so much in the YA sci-fi genre, with its spectacular world-building and memorable writing. WHERE. IS. BOOK. THREE.

 

Rosalind Franklin

(Heeeeey, we learned about her in my bio class not long ago!)

Image result for other words for smoke

Chilling and masterfully written, it honestly saddens me how little recognition Other Words for Smoke (and anything by Sarah Maria Griffin, really) has gotten.

 

Marsha P Johnson

Image result for everything grows book

Another vastly underrated novel, Everything Grows is a beautiful and deeply relatable book about exploring one’s sexuality.

 

Amelia Earheart

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I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again: The Poet X deserves every ounce of hype that it has received.

 

Your Choice

Image result for sally ride

Sally Ride has been one of my personal heroes ever since I did a project on her in 8th grade. The first American woman in space and an LGBTQ+ icon, she is continually one of my biggest inspirations. 💗

Image result for this time will be different book

With its tackling of many issues that plague our modern society today, This Time Will be Different inspires me to not just look at the big picture, but to look within local communities to remedy these ills.

 

I tag anyone who’d like to participate during this lovely Women’s History Month! 

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Today’s song:

 

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

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

What Cats Do Book Tag

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Hey there, bibliophiles!

As you can all probably guess from my icon, I love cats, and this tag instantly caught my eye! I found this on Time for Tales and Tea, and the tag was originally created by Kate@ meltingpotsandothercalamities.

First off, I’ve seen most other people who’ve participated put in some pictures of their cats, so I thought it would be fitting to put mine in here as well.

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This is Padmé; she’s incredibly chatty, and has an affinity for clinging to people’s left shoulders. Doesn’t matter who’s shoulder it is, so long as it’s the left shoulder. Don’t question her.

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Here’s Anakin, Padmé’s younger cousin. He and Padmé are inseparable. He’s also an itty bitty little cat, even at about 11 years old.

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Finally, here’s Hobbes, the newest of the bunch. Most of the time, she acts too dignified to be petted, but when she’s affectionate, she’s the sweetest little cat around. (In fact, she’s sleeping right above me as I write this out.)

Now, onto the tag…

RULES: 

 

PURR – As cats do this when they’re happy or relaxed, what is the book that makes you happiest or relaxed?

Image result for pumpkinheads

Pumpkinheads never fails to give me all the warm and fuzzy feels, no matter how I’m feeling.

SLEEP – What is a book that put you to sleep or was just boring?

Image result for the light between worlds book

Though the cover was deceptively gorgeous, The Light Between Worlds very nearly put me to sleep.

TWITCH WHILE DREAMING – Have you ever dreamt of a book you read?

Image result for the search for wondla cover

An after-product of having read this innumerable times (“I lost count at 50,” as I used to say), I’ve definitely dreamt about The Search for WondLa series more than one time.

SEEMS TO PLAY NICE UNTIL THE CLAWS ARE OUT – Which book had the biggest plot twist(s)?

Image result for dare mighty things

As far as Dare Mighty Things goes…two words: Brace yourself.

CUDDLES – Which book character would you give a hug to?

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Without question, March from the Smoke Thieves duology. After all that he’s been through, he’s fully deserving of it. 💖

CAT BREEDS – What are your favorite books?

Frankensteinthe Arc of a Scythe trilogy, the Heart of Iron duology, anything by Ray Bradbury, and Like a Love Storyto name a few.

GETTING THE CAT – How did you find your favorite book(s)?

Most of my favorite books have been recommendations from Goodreads, but just as often, I’ll find them hidden between the shelves in libraries or advertised in the back of other books.

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THE VET’S OFFICE – Your least favorite book:

I know I’ve talked ranted about Smokeless Fire, Red Queenand The Witch of Blackbird Pond innumerable times, and I don’t wish to be redundant, so I’ll try out one of my much-loathed DNFs…

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OH. OH. I forgot this book existed for a minute there…

YIKES. The corny names. The cringy, fake slang. The timeline. God, Earth Girl really was something of a train wreck…

BEING IN PLACES THEY SHOULDN’T – Least favorite cliché:

If I had to pick…most definitely love triangles. Much of the time, they only serve to muddy the existing plot with unnecessary angst and bickering. I won’t be sad to see them phase out of YA literature. I sure hope they do.

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THE GOOD OLD CARDBOARD BOX – Most underrated book series?

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AAH! Without question, the Faloiv series! (consisting of A Conspiracy of Stars and An Anatomy of Beasts) I doubt I’ll ever find another series with this amount of attention to detail in the worldbuilding.

 

I tag anyone who wants to participate! 

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Today’s song:

 

That just about wraps up this tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Holidays, Movies, Music

2018

Whew.

The past 2 or so years have both been dumpster fires, and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Mostly 2016, but you know what I mean.

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And this year?

Weeeell…I wouldn’t quite go so far to say that it was good, but it was less of a dumpster fire. You get my drift?

I’d be lying if I said that 2018 was easy. I had to face many daunting obstacles, make some difficult transitions, and come to terms with some truths about myself. But you know what? I managed to overcome those challenges, and I bet that you were able to do the same with yours. But if we look past all that we’d like to forget about this year, parts have been pretty awesome. I got to have so many new and wonderful experiences (Chicago, Sequoia National Park), discovered LOADS of new and spectacular books (some notable 2018 releases included Heart of Iron, Thunderhead, Honor Among Thieves, A Conspiracy of Stars, The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, and a few others), some amazing films (Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, The Crimes of Grindelwald, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Antman and the Wasp, and I haven’t seen Aquaman but I’ve heard that it’s great), incredible music (Lush, Twin Fantasy, etc.) and much more. Of course, we’ve had some not-so-great moments in those respects (The Light Between Worlds, Venom, etc.), but overall, it’s been alright. And regardless of what kind of year we had in 2018, we’ve got a lot to look forward to in 2019.

I saw a meme the other day that was kind of hopeful, however silly it was.

 

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Fingers crossed. 

 

And I’m really hoping that this will be the way things are. If it gets too bad, I’ll just remember that Dark Phoenix, Avengers: Endgame, Soul of Stars, Honor Bound, King of Scars, and An Anatomy of Beasts are in our futures. So let’s try to make 2019 the inverse of 2016, everyone. Make it good. 🙂