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]
This tag was created by Brianna, who also tagged me in the post. It looked super cute, so I had to give it a go! (Also, she has an incredible blog, so if you haven’t checked it out already, go check it out!)
I can’t stress enough how much The Search for WondLaseries has changed my life. Even now, it’s just as enchanting as it was when I first checked it out at the library. I’ll definitely be giving the series a re-read soon; book 1 turns 10 this September! 😭
I forget exactly why I DNF’d A Curse So Dark and Lonely (though I shelved it as “cliche” on Goodreads, soooo…), but everybody else seems to love this series, so I might give it another try. Maybe. Possibly.
The Kingdom of Back was such a lushly written and enchanting novel, and I’m always up for another round of Marie Lu’s stellar writing, so I’ll absolutely be re-reading this at some point.
Ugh…Red Queenwas such a steaming mess of bad tropes…
Without a doubt, Jay Kristoff. Even though I haven’t read everything of his, I haven’t read anything of his that I haven’t rated between four and five stars. What a mastermind…
Now that I own the entire duology, I seriously need to get back on the space-thrill-ride train that is the Heart of Iron series…
Not a series, but it’s just been announced that the Eleanor & Parkmovie has a director (!!!), so I’m simultaneously excited and scared for that.
I’m not much of an audiobook person (I’ve only listened to…maybe one or two? Either way, it was ages ago, and…possibly on my old Hello Kitty CD player? Anyway…), but I’d be interested to see how Aurora Risingtranslates into an audiobook. It’s got a full cast of characters for all of Squad 312, so I’d be down for listening to that. I did listen to some of the snippets that the publisher had in the article, and they all sounded good, though Cat seemed uncharacteristically perky. (Hey, that’s just me, though.)
I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE! GIVE BRIANNA SOME LOVE!
For this Pride Month, I’ve decided to do a batch of weekly recommendations of LGBTQ+ books. I’ll do a different genre each week (though they’ll all probably fall into the YA category), focusing on books with LGBTQ+ protagonists/casts of characters and themes. We’ve come quite a long way in YA, so why not celebrate it?
LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Protagonist is a trans woman/lesbian
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A poignant and potent spin on the classic, superhero/coming of age story, as Danny comes to terms not only with her gender identity and sexuality, but with her newfound powers. I read this one a year or two ago and haven’t gotten around to reading book 2 (Sovereign), but I REALLY need to do that soon!
LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: wlw representation between the two protagonists
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Though I was initially hesitant about reading this one, it turned out to subvert all of my expectations and make for a lushly written novel with romance to DIE for! I suppose you could debate whether or not this is sci-fi or fantasy (I mean, there’s…androids? Basically…), but I’d say it’s a combination of both genres.
I found this tag over at G-Swizzel Books, who was also the creator of this tag. As I am a MASSIVE X-Men fan, I knew I had to take part in this tag at some point. X-Men: Apocalypse, although it isn’t the best of the X-Men movies, will always have a special place in my heart, as it was the first one that I got to see in theaters, and my first introduction to my favorite character, Nightcrawler.
Let’s begin, shall we?
MYSTIQUE: Name a female lead who is a strong and flawed character
Elloren from The Black Witchcertainly has her fair share of flaws, but one of the most beautiful parts of the novel was watching her character development, and her growth into a formidable woman.
CHARLES XAVIER: Name a character who is a good mentor/instructor
I immediately thought of Captain Siege from the Heart of Ironduology–intimidating, but still fair with all of her crew, and a mother figure of sorts for Ana and the rest.
QUICKSILVER: Name a fast-paced book that you read in one sitting
As was…expected, I tore through Aurora Burningin one sitting. I was just as enraptured as as I was with book 1, and then the ending had to destroy my feelings like that…
BEAST: Name a book you were intimidated by before you read it
Going into All Out of Prettywas fairly daunting, judging from the subject matter, but although it was an incredibly rough novel, it was still one that was completely worthwhile to read.
NIGHTCRAWLER: Name your favorite character that is a creature of the night (Werewolf, warlock, vampire, faerie, etc.)
Sidenote…MY BOY! MY FAVORITE MEMBER OF THE X-MEN!
When this part of the tag mentioned werewolves, I immediately thought of Remus Lupin from the Harry Potterseries. All I’ll say is that he deserved so much better.
HAVOK: Name an underrated character that deserves more attention
After reading Aurora Burning, I’d have to say Zila Madran. I already liked her character, but now that we’ve gotten so much necessary backstory on her, I hope she’ll take a more central role in book three.
CYCLOPS: Name a character who struggles to control their power (could either be a superpower or a position of authority)
Zoey fromSawkill Girlsis certainly a prime example, what with her powers showing up COMPLETELY without warning, poor thing. Plus, I had to sneak this in here because THEY MAKE AN X-MEN REFERENCE WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT TRIGGERING HER POWERS…which is the perfect segway into the next part of the tag…
JEAN GREY: Name a character who had a traumatic incident happen in their past
March from The Smoke Thievescertainly fits the bill, poor thing…I mean, to have his entire family slaughtered as a child most definitely had a major, negative impact on the rest of his life.
THE FOUR HORSEMEN: Name four villains to create your ultimate villain squad that could potentially take this world apart
I’m finally out of school for the year! Officially halfway through high school…whew…
But anyway, the AP exam and finals weren’t all that bad. For a few classes, they canceled finals altogether, and others just had a paper or a lab report in place of a written test (REJOICE!). I did pretty well on almost all of them, but we’ll see about AP…
Other than that, I’ve had a good week and a half since I’ve taken a break. I got into an unfortunate loop of finding one good book to read, then having a slump of three- or two-star books in between. Luckily, I did get a fair amount of good books in. I also listened to a lot of Spiritualized, thanks to my dad (and by a lot, I mean a LOT), got to a scene that I’ve been picturing in my head for YEARS on my WIP, and the weather’s starting to warm up, which is both a blessing and a curse.
Now, back to our scheduled program.
I found this tag over at SMELLFOY CAN READ?, and the tag was created by Elisabeth Paige and Joana Sousa. As a (pretty much) lifelong fan of all things Star Wars, I was absolutely ELATED to find this tag.
My first thought was Alosa from Daughter of the Pirate King. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to be a captain of a formidable pirate ship at the ripe old age of 17.
LEIA ORGANA: Best or worst love triangle
Leia does not deserve the subject matter of this part of the tag…
I…hate love triangles in general, but for now, I’d just say the love triangle in the Hunger Gamestrilogy. 50% because Gale is repulsive, and 50% because that’s sadly what a lot of people tend to remember/take away from the series, as opposed to…y’know, the dystopian commentary and whatnot…
LUKE SKYWALKER: A rising star author, or a new author you’ve discovered and absolutely love
ANAKIN SKYWALKER: A book or series that started out well and then became bad
Without a doubt, the Shatter Meseries. I was already salty about how the trilogy ended (Warner is awful, change my mind), but then after book 4, it just took a sharp left turn into the flat-out ridiculous. Such a shame.
QUI-GONN JINN: Worst character death (SPOILERS)
Hmm…lots to choose from…
My first thought was Zin’s death in The Battle for WondLa. (Yes, we’re going back to that…) He was one of my favorite characters, but he did NOT have to go out in such a completely twisted way…I won’t go into the gory details, but it’s rough to read.
HAN SOLO: A book with a lot of sass
Aurora Risinghas no short supply at sassy, sarcastic writing, and the same can be said for the characters. (*coughcough FINIAN coughcough*)
EMPEROR PALPATINE: Best world-building
I think The Black Witchtakes the cake for this one. There was clearly so much care put into everything from the history to the magical races, and everything in between.
BEN/OBI-WAN KENOBI: A book you went in with low expectations and that blew you away
I didn’t have high expectations for The Looking Glass, but I was pleasantly surprised by the lush writing–not to mention, the great music references.
YODA: A book that taught you something or that made you grow
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!
Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! As always, I hope you’re all safe, sane, and healthy. And please, STAY HOME. FOR ALL OF OUR SAKES, STAY HOME. 💗
This week began fairly normally; it had its ups and downs until about Thursday afternoon or Friday, and from there, things started to really pick up. I read a whole score of great books, watched Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson is always a win), there’s new Car Seat Headrest, goofed around on my guitar, and did a lot of drawing! And on this leg of Camp NaNoWriMo, I finally got to 100,000+ WORDS! WOOOOHOOO!
Also, my dad and I finally completed that 1,000 piece Hellboy puzzle! Here’s the final result:
Oh, and Jay Kristoff recently confirmed via Instagram that the use of the sound effect BAMF for the disruptors in Aurora Rising was, in fact, a reference to Nightcrawler’s teleporting sound effect. REJOICE!
I found this tag over at Devour Books with Dana, and the tag was created by Wordy and Whimsical. I figured it would be the perfect tag to get me back into the feel of Spring! *desperately tries to ignore the fact that it’s going to snow AGAIN tomorrow*
Let’s begin, shall we?
ROSES: Roses are traditionally given as an expression of love. What’s your favourite romance in a book?
There’s a lot for me to choose from, but if I had to pick, I’d have to say the relationship between Jax and Rob in the Heart of Ironduology. WINNER OF COUPLE OF THE YEAR FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE YEARS
STARGAZER LILIES: Stargazer Lilies are named for their blooms that face toward the sky. Who is your favourite ambitious character?
Boy, there’s quite a few to choose from, but I’d have to say Jo from the Pioneer duology. It takes a certain type of bravery to take on an entire alien species that’s turned against you, and to do it with skill and grace.
PEACE LILIES: Peace Lilies are known for being one of the easier houseplants to care for. What is a book you think anyone could love?
I’d have to say Kids of Appetitefor this one. I don’t think there’s anyone who couldn’t relate to the characters–or the themes. Plus, there’s no denying David Arnold’s writing prowess.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS: Chrysanthemums are given on Mother’s Day in Australia. Who is your favourite fictional mother?
Is that even a question? Molly Weasley, hands down.
SPIDER PLANTS: Spider Plants are easy to propagate. What is a hyped-up book that you love?
I just read Sawkill Girls, and I must say, it lived up to ALL the hype! Five stars for me!
LILY OF THE VALLEY: Lily of the Valley is pretty but poisonous. Share a book with a beautiful cover that was actually disappointing!