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!
I was looking for tags to do the other day, and I came across this one, and immediately wanted to do it! I mean, who doesn’t love some form of cookie or another? Also, I figured it would be fitting for today, since my mom and I baked chocolate chip cookies in a skillet. (I don’t have any pictures, but they were delicious.) 🍪
CHOCOLATE CHIP: A Classic Book That You Love or Really Enjoyed
Frankensteinis easily one of my favorite books, if not my favorite of all time.
THIN MINTS: A Fandom That You Really Want to ‘Join’ and/or a Hyped-Up Book You Want To Read
I’m not sure if I’m necessarily plagued by the desire to join another fandom, but The Newsoul trilogy appears to be a classic YA dystopia, and one that actually looks decent, at that.
SHORTBREAD: An Author You Can’t Get Enough Of
Though I’ve only read two of her novels (at the moment, I hope to read the others very soon), I am such a sucker for Anna-Marie McLemore’s luscious writing. There’s no prose quite like hers.
SAMOAS: An Emotional Rollercoaster
Even though I finally know the resolution, the entirety of Thunderhead, ESPECIALLY the ending, had my mind reeling in shock.
OREOS: A Book Whose Cover Was Better than Its Story
(Wait, what do you have against Oreos? Oreos are CLEARLY the superior cookie…)
(Okay, fine, I’ll answer the question…)
Unpopular opinion time…
Though it had a few moments of being funny, I ultimately DNF’d An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. Between the weird pacing, the unrealistic dialogue (Does ANYBODY actually say “LOL” in real life? That’s right, NOPE), almost everything about April May’s character (at least she admits that she treats her girlfriend like an object), and the gross misrepresentation of bisexuality, this one was kind of a recipe for disaster for me. No pun intended.
[heavy sigh] Whew, had to get that out…
TAGALONGS/PEANUT BUTTER PATTIES: A Book That Wasn’t What You Expected
In this case, not in a good way.
Putting aside the fact that I thought that Crown of Coral and Pearlwould feature mermaids [repeatedly slaps self in the face], I also thought this would be a fantasy novel. In reality, the only thing that might get it labeled as fantasy would be the fact that there’s a magical creature or two hidden in there towards the end of the novel.
SNICKERDOODLES: A Book You May Never Stop Rereading / Loving
Aurora Rising. ‘Nuff said. Just re-read it a few days ago, actually. I’ve been thinking about this one a lot, lately (partly because I preordered Aurora Burning…EEEEE)
As always, I hope you are all safe, comfortable, and well during these crazy times. We had our “spring break” this week, which mostly consisted of me sprawled out on the couch reading, but it was quite relaxing, all things considered. Our state now has an official stay at home order, and I have online school almost through the end of April, so next month should be…interesting, to say the least.
I read a LOT this week, and I’m happy to say that I loved most of what I read! Libby (online library) has now become my savior, and I’m now stocked up on library books that I can check out on my kindle. I re-read one of my favorite books, watched The Grand Budapest Hotel and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (LOVED both of those), started learning “No Surprises” (Radiohead) on guitar, and I created an original book tag! Online school starts back up next week, so we’ll see how that works out…but overall, I’ve actually had a weirdly good week!