I’ve been meaning to read this one for a year or so; my brother read it for an English project (the same one that lead me to Frankenstein) and liked it. And the new trailer got me SO excited, so of course I’ll have to read it before December! (Did that Pink Floyd cover give anybody else chills, or was that just me?)
I’ve been eager to read this for a good year and a half, ever since the first tiny synopsis compared it to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. (Star Wars? Of COURSE you have my attention, shut up and take my library card…)
I feel like I haven’t done a book tag in a while, so I figured that I’d have some fun and do one today. I found it over at Leigh Hecking’s blog, and the tag was originally created by Life is a Page Turner. This looked like such a fun tag to do–and since my sweet tooth is out of control, of course I had to do it.
Let’s begin, shall we?
CUPCAKES: Name a collection of short stories, poems, or anthologies where you couldn’t read just one section and had to go back for another.
LEMON POUND CAKE: Name a book that has 400 pages or more that you considered a comfort read and a classic.
Scytheis 435 pages long (the last two books are even longer), and ever since finishing book 3, I can say with certainty that this is one of my favorite series!
RED VELVET CAKE: Name a book that you thought was one thing, but ended up being something completely different.
I went into Descendant of the Crane thinking that it would be more fantasy-oriented, but it turned out to be a blend of the former, political intrigue, and a touch of murder mystery. Highly recommended!
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH: Name a book or a book series that you can read over and over again even though you know that it’s bad for you.
I need a running tally of how many times Aurora Rising‘s snuck into my book tags…
But truly, I could never get tired of this masterful series, and book 3 can’t come soon enough…
APPLE PIE A LA MODE: Name a book that was really good but could have been better with a little bit of ice cream.
I finished The Weight of the Starsyesterday and liked it, but almost the entire cast of characters were self-destructive jerks (on some level), so that aspect took away a little of my enjoyment.
GINGERBREAD COOKIES: Do you like your gingerbread cookies crunchy or soft?
Soft, all the way!
IF YOU LIKE YOUR COOKIES SOFT: Name a book that was squishy in the middle, but the beginning and end were really good
IF YOU LIKE YOUR COOKIES CRUNCHY: Name a book that you wanted to throw at the wall/snap
I loved Elatsoe, but there was a lull in the middle; luckily, it picked up by the end. I got an eARC of this one, and it comes out in a matter of days!
BROWNIES: Are you a middle piece or a corner piece?
Middle piece! Can’t say no to the soft texture…
IF YOU’RE A CORNER PIECE: Name a book that started off strong and then all came apart
IF YOU’RE A MIDDLE PIECE: Name a book that kept you in the feels the entire time
On a Sunbeamabsolutely fits the bill for my middle piece–I was already excited for it, but I had no idea how gripping and atmospheric it would be!
BIRTHDAY CAKE: Name a book series or an author that you feel like keeps coming out with a book, short story, or novella every year
My first thought here was Amie Kaufman; at this point, she’s become such a prolific author, what with all of her YA and MG series. (Anybody else excited for The Other Side of the Sky?I preordered it!)
CARROT CAKE: Name a book that sounded healthy for you but ended up being unhealthy, either with content or by putting you in a reading slump
I had my expectations high for When We Were Magic, but though it was entertaining, it was…decent. Not bad, but not spectacular for me. I have distinct memories of staring at the cover, but thinking that the book wasn’t nearly as gripping…
I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!
That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
I’ve been wanting to do a post for a bit that melds my love for the bookish and my love of music, so this is my first take on that. Aurora Rising, as many of you have figured out, is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) series, and I decided that it would be fun to match the lovable members of Squad 312 to some songs that I like, based on their personalities, relationships, and the events of Aurora Risingand Aurora Burning. I picked two songs per character, and I loved compiling them all. I hope you all enjoy!
(Along with the image at the top, all of the character images in this post are from @kiranight_art.)
🎧 PAIRING SQUAD 312 WITH SONGS 🎧
“Proud”–(Sandy) Alex G: “I’m so proud of you/And everything that you do/Doesn’t matter what they say/They ain’t worth a dollar in change…“
Scarlett mentions in book 2 that one of Ty’s most infuriating traits is that he accepts people’s flaws, no matter what, and isn’t there to reprimand anyone if any member of the squad messes up. No matter what, he has always been there for his squad, and sees past everyone’s previous mishaps and accepts them as who they are.
Tyler’s fame in the Academy, as well as the legacy of his late father, has caused a lot of internal conflict within him, and I thought the chorus of this song paired perfectly with this inner struggle–how he perceives himself versus how others perceive him and how others expect him to be.
“Pristine”–Snail Mail: “Don’t you like me for me?/ Is there any better feeling than coming clean?/And I know myself and I’ll never love anyone else…”
Scarlett’s a character who has tried to find herself through various relationships, almost none of them lasting, and I felt that this song captured the nature of some of the hidden doubts that she begins to have.
A trait of Scarlett’s that comes into light in contrast with her twin, Tyler, is the way they care for others–for most of book 1, Tyler does it more out of duty, while Scarlett truly seeks to protect and care for her fellow squadmates. The nature of this song almost perfectly captures her mentality.
I can totally picture this playing in the scene when she ditches the rest of the squad to go to the bar…
But either way, this song kind of expresses her shifting opinions and suspicions about the rest of the squad, especially the likes of Aurora. Unlike most of the squad, she isn’t completely ready to accept her as part of the squad, and suspects an ulterior motive.
Throughout book 1, Cat still has lingering feelings for Tyler, even though their relationship has come to a standstill; this song seems to capture her desire to fall back in love.
“Change”–Oingo Boingo: “Don’t you ever wonder why/Nothing ever seems to change?/If it does, it’s for the worse/Guess it’s just a modern curse…”
Simultaneously sarcastic and deeply introspective, this song feels like what Finian seems to have experienced throughout his life, both in grappling with his impaired mobility and his relationships with others.
“Crown”–Jay Som: “Arranging your best words/Tying the knot/A brighter tomorrow/Could you take a shot?”
(Oops…both of these songs start with a C for no apparent reason…)
But either way, this seems like a good song to match his views on being with the Aurora Legion–everything about it, from being in open spaces to *gasp* having to collaborate with others seems like everything he wouldn’t want to do, but he takes the shot anyway, and in the end, it may be for the better.
Like the previous song, this seems to embody Zila’s distancing from herself, becoming almost a shell of who she might have been as a child.
“Killer”–Phoebe Bridgers:“Can the killer in me tame the fire in you?/I know there’s something waiting for us/I am sick of the chase/But I’m stupid in love/And there’s nothing I can do…”
Was…was the chorus made for this guy?
When I first heard this song, I thought it was a beautiful embodiment of both Kal’s conflicting feelings about his nature and heritage and his relationship with Auri, especially given some of the fire-related imagery surrounding their relationship in book 2.
Look, I don’t ask for much in life, but…if/when the TV show goes through, can we PLEASE put this in the scene where Kal and Auri are in the pollen fields on Octavia III? PLEASE?
I’ve started to associate this song with the whole series, but Kal seems to embody it the most out of all the characters, in his helpless feelings towards Aurora and his personal struggles to better himself, and become more than his past. Plus, the choir singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love…” [cries]
Credit Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek as the creator of the tag, use the created tag name graphic and link back to his blog. (Also, if you want to learn more about the tag you can see Drew’s post HERE.)
Answer the questions.
Tag as many people as you want.
Let’s begin, shall we?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GENRE?
Science fiction, without a doubt.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR FROM THE GENRE?
Can I include two? Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (co-authors of The Illuminae Files and the Aurora Cycle, and the latter is also the author of the LIFEL1K3 trilogy) never fail to disappoint; with their talents combined, every single one of their novels together is guaranteed a 5-star rating from me.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE GENRE THAT KEEPS PULLING YOU BACK?
With sci-fi, there’s an almost endless amount of possibilities, but I am always eager to read anything involving aliens, thrill rides in space, and everything that goes along with it. It’s easy to mess up, to be sure, but when an author hits the right note, I will enjoy every second of it.
WHAT IS THE BOOK THAT STARTED YOUR LOVE OF THE GENRE?
Tony DiTerlizzi’s Search for WondLa trilogy was my gateway into sci-fi literature, the summer before 5th grade. I instantly fell in love with the characters and the worldbuilding, and it inspired me to become an author as well. I’ll always hold this series close to my heart.
IF YOU HAD TO RECOMMEND AT LEAST ONE BOOK FROM YOUR FAVORITE GENRE TO A NON-READER/SOMEONE LOOKING TO START THE GENRE, WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?
Heart of Ironwould be a spectacular starter for anyone who’s looking to get into the genre. This novel really has it all–political intrigue, witty banter, a misfit crew of thieves, and lovable characters. Oh, and there’s the POWER COUPLE OF THE CENTURY, JAX AND ROBB. It’s also a retelling of the story of Anastasia, which might be a better starting point for some, if they’re already familiar/semi-familiar with the gist of it.
WHY DO YOU READ?
My, that’s a weighty question…
Reading is so many things for me. It’s an escape, a chance to connect, a way to spend the day, a source of inspiration. I’ve always been a voracious reader, but there’s not a singular reason why I’m so drawn to it. There’s always been the aspect of escaping to fictional worlds for a moment to distract from reality, but in my favorite books, I haven’t just found an escape, but something that speaks to me, something more than just bound paper. It’s hard to pinpoint, but there’s a fount of reasons why I read. Either way, I don’t know what I’d do without books in my life.
I found this tag over at Kira Jeanette’s blog, and the tag was created by Princess of Paperback. Since we’re still in a state of social distancing (or we should be, at least…WEAR YOUR MASKS AND BE SENSIBLE HUMAN BEINGS, EVERYONE), I figured this would be a fun and fitting tag for the times.
Let’s begin, shall we?
LAYING IN BED: A book you could/have read in a day
It’s been years since I’ve read Chosen Ones, but yeah, this one has guilty pleasure written aaaall over it.
NETFLIX: A series you want to start
I am a simple woman. I see a book by Amie Kaufman, and I automatically put it on my TBR.
Anyway, I haven’t read much MG lately, and there’s no denying Kaufman’s writing prowess, so Ice Wolvesis most definitely a series I want to start soon. It’s not available at my kindle library, so it might have to wait…
DEEP CLEAN: A book that’s been on your TBR for ages
Othergirlhas been on my TBR for almost four years…
ANIMAL CROSSING: A book you recently bought because of hype
I don’t think I’ve anticipated a book as much as I’ve anticipated Aurora Burning (though Soul of Stars is a close contender). After falling in love with book 1, I jumped at the chance to preorder it, and as the date came closer (it’s officially been a week since its release), I counted down the days. My day got SO much better once I got it in the mail, and my day was filled with so much joy thereafter. I read it twice, and I must say, this is a truly worthy sequel, filled to the brim with plot twists and heart-wrenching writing.
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1, AURORA RISING. If you haven’t read book 1, then I suggest you don’t read this review yet.
Squad 312 is in more trouble than they’ve ever been in.
After the tumultuous exploration of Octavia III, the colony that Aurora was set to live in, Tyler, Scarlett, Finian, Kal, Zila, and Auri are back on the run. The TDF now blames them for the destruction of Sagan station, and with targets on their backs, the stakes are higher than ever. Especially considering that the Ra’haam–an interstellar entity bent on consuming the galaxy and all its denizens–is after them, infiltrating the Global Intelligence Agency, and bent on assimilating Auri. Now, Squad 312 must unlock the mystery of the Eshvaren–the beings that defeated the Ra’haam millions of years before–in order to complete Auri’s destiny as the force that will purge the Ra’haam from the face fo the galaxy. With targets on their backs and bounties on their heads–and not to mention, Kal’s sister after them–will Squad 312 defy all odds once more?
WOW. WHAT. A. BOOK.
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have absolutely done it again, pulling out all the stops of a sequel truly worthy of the near-perfection of its predecessor. There was nothing I enjoyed more than being back with Squad 312–especially now that we’ve got some necessary backstory on all of them.
Namely, Zila and Kal. We learned almost nothing about Zila in book 1, other than something vaguely hinted in her (very short) POVs; now that we have some insight on her past life…whew, somebody give her all the hugs the universe has to offer…
But beyond that, we also saw her grow such a great deal, and watching it made my heart so happy. Kal gets a similar treatment–we get an insight on his past (namely, his family), and we also get to see his relationship with Auri grow. I already adored both of them in book 1 (I mean, hey, they’re my favorite characters), but seeing them blossom together was one of my favorite aspects of this book.
Aurora Burning was just as action-packed as book 1, if not even more. I enjoyed every minute of it–everything from the escape from Emerald City at the very beginning to the chaos that ensued towards the end of the novel. I was on the edge of my seat for every page, and grinning from ear to ear through it all. (Well, almost all of it. More on that a bit later.)
One of my favorite scenes/sequences, by far, was Auri’s training by the Eshvaren within the Echo. It was such a beautifully written and archetypal few chapters–not only a chance for Auri to realize herself and her mindset, but a chance for her relationship with Kal to grow as well. The imagery was gorgeous, and I’ll admit that the last bit got me choked up. Mostly because it was so reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back, with Luke undergoing training to be a Jedi knight in the swamps of Dagobah. The Hero’s Journey parallels between Luke and Auri made me swell with joy, for lack of better words.
And all of it built up to an absolute WHOPPER of an ending. If you love this series as much as I do, PLEASE prepare yourself emotionally, because I guarantee that you won’t be ready for what’s coming. I know you’ve all heard everybody saying something on these lines, but I mean it when I say that Kaufman and Kristoff DESTROY EVERYTHING THAT YOU HOLD DEAR. AGAIN. And now I have to wait a whole year to find out what happens…
And on a sidenote, REPRESENTATION! Finian is now confirmed to be bisexual, and Zila makes several comments about liking girls, though her label has not been confirmed. A+!
All in all, Aurora Burning proves once more that Kaufman and Kristoff are nothing short of a force to be reckoned with. A true stunner of a sequel, and one that I certainly won’t forget anytime soon. 5, ENORMOUS STARS! Or more, if that’s possible…
Aurora Burning is the second book in the Aurora Cycle, preceded by Aurora Rising. Book 3 is confirmed to be happening/in the works, but as of now, it’s untitled, and does not have a cover or a release date. [sad harmonica]
Gah, I love this song…
Reminds me a little bit of Kal, to be honest. Not completely, but some of the lyrics and the general feel of the song have the same vibes as him.
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
I came across this tag on the wonderful Megabunny Reads, and I thought it would be fun to participate. Here goes nothin’…
HOW MANY BOOKS IS TOO MANY IN A SERIES?
I’m notorious for starting series and never finishing them, but I feel like the limit for me would be once it passes the double-digit mark. Unless they’re spin-offs, I’m not sure how any series could possible perpetuate a story for so long without making it needless.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLIFFHANGERS?
If done well, they’re an excellent way to keep the reader hooked. If poorly executed, I sometimes find that they can be a pathetic excuse for a rushed ending. But most of the time, I find them good, but painfully so.
HARDBACK OR PAPERBACK?
Eh…I don’t really discriminate. Hardback is more expensive, but I feel like there’s an equally likely chance for them to get damaged, so either one works for me.
My school’s book club meeting for this month was yesterday, so I certainly threw out a boatload of recommendations. I think the most prominent one that hadn’t previously surfaced was Alexander Freed’s novelization of Rogue One.
OLDEST BOOK THAT YOU’VE READ?
I think that Frankenstein would take that title as well.
NEWEST BOOK THAT YOU’VE READ?
Hmm…I think it might be Marissa Meyer’s Supernova. That one was just published last November.
I don’t think I can pick just one, but Mary Shelley, Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, Tony DiTerlizzi, Neal Shusterman, Ray Bradbury, Sarah Maria Griffin…the list goes on.
BUYING BOOKS OR BORROWING THEM?
I practically live at my local library, and I borrow books nearly every week; that being said, I don’t prefer it to buying. So, again, I’m indecisive.
A BOOK YOU DISLIKE BUT EVERYONE ELSE LIKES?
Red Queen. I’m still so baffled as to why it’s got such a huge fandom. It’s pretty much just ripping off every YA trope and rolling them into a sloppy, disgusting ball…
BOOKMARKS OR DOG-EARS?
Bookmarks, no question. Dog-earing is blasphemy, and you cannot change my mind.
As 2019 (and this decade) draws to a close, I’ve decided to make a comprehensive lists of all of my 5-star reads for this year, and, by proxy, my favorite books that I’ve read this year. Most of these are what’d you’d expect, if you’ve scoured my book tags and reviews, but I know there’s a few that I haven’t talked much about. These are in chronological order of when I read them, though their actual rankings vary a fair bit.
Now, without further ado…this year’s 5-star lineup!
KING OF SCARS–LEIGH BARDUGO
Bardugo’s veritable masterpiece, all at once a rollicking adventure and an exploration of internal conflict, was my first 5-star rating of this year. And…Nikolai. ‘Nuff said.