Posted in Monthly Wrap-Ups

January 2023 Wrap-Up ⛄️

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Already a month into 2023! I hope you’ve all been doing well and staying safe. I could do without how freezing it’s been, but it’s been

GENERAL THOUGHTS:

Happy new year! January is usually my least favorite month in general; now that all of the fun of the holidays are over, all of the snow just makes everything look all sad and sludgy. And it’s been a freezing January—as I’m writing this, it’s a balmy 3° outside. We had our first snow day of the year on the second day of school, even though we really didn’t get all that much snow. Not that I’m complaining. It would’ve sucked to walk in all that. Needless to say, I wore my pajamas all day that day.

Winter break lasted blissfully long, and I got to catch up with one of my best friends for coffee, which was wonderful. As far as college goes, I think I’m in for an easier semester—no math or science credits this semester, and it’s still all English/humanities classes. Again, another reason why I’m enjoying this part of college—I’m taking another class where the reading is all comics, a Science Fiction class, and a class on LGBT studies (specifically focusing on Black/African diaspora)! I’m enjoying all of them so far.

I’ve had a fairly decent reading month, I’d say; break gave me some much-needed time to read after finals, and a family friend very generously gave some of his comics to me, so I’ve been slowly making my way through those as well. My reading’s slowed down a tad bit just from getting back into the rhythm of school, but it’s a lot better than the first semester in terms of how much I’m reading. Not complaining that I’m re-reading Slaughterhouse-Five for my intro to fiction class.

Other than that, I’ve just been drawing, playing guitar, trying to write a bit more (gonna need to for class, anyway…), blowing through all three seasons of Derry Girls (we love Clare in this house), and doing my best to stay warm. Fingers crossed that February will be more merciful on the weather front.

Also, you can’t really tell because I’m wearing a beanie in the new pfp, but I shaved my head on New Year’s Eve. Feels lovely, gotta say.

READING AND BLOGGING:

I read 21 books this month! I had a few brief slumps, but overall, I’d say it was a fairly even mix this month; I’ve already had a DNF, but I had two 4.5 star reads as well, so I think that cancels out.

1 – 1.75 stars:

You Truly Assumed

2 – 2.75 stars:

The Keeper of Night

3 – 3.75 stars:

The Heartbreak Bakery

4 – 4.75 stars:

The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH: Little Thieves4.5 stars

Little Thieves

POSTS I’M PROUD OF:

POSTS FROM OTHER WONDERFUL PEOPLE THAT I ENJOYED:

SONGS/ALBUMS THAT I ENJOYED:

this has been on repeat in my library for eternity
a find from The Heartstopper Yearbook
if I had a nickel for every Gorillaz song that I haven’t been able to stop listening to this month, I’d have two nickels. which isn’t that much, but it’s weird that it happened twice.
a perfect, wintry album for January
NEW BOYGENIUS ALBUM NEW BOYGENIUS ALBUM THIS IS NOT A DRILL Y’ALL
and as if on cue, I’m on a huge Super Furry Animals kick again

Today’s song:

fantastic album!! just finished listening yesterday

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

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Posted in Sunday Songs

Sunday Songs: 1/22/23

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

1/22/23? The month and the day add up to the year? You would think that would be somewhat auspicious. I wouldn’t know. I also saw a bunny on my walk to the dining hall this morning, so hopefully that should be some kind of Year of the Rabbit good luck. Happy Lunar New Year to all those who celebrate.

I’m back at school, and this week, I’ve already experienced a snow day on the second day of school and one of my professors saying that the whole class kinda “looked like the Mitski fan demographic” whenever somebody mentioned her and we all freaked out. He’s not wrong. Hello, LGBTQ community…

Anyways, we’re breaking away from the maroonish color scheme to bring you something more wintry this week. Fitting for the way-too-cold-for-my-liking temperatures we’re having over here.

Enjoy this week’s songs!

SUNDAY SONGS: 1/22/23

“Undo” – Björk

Vespertine is undoubtedly a winter album. Not in the “it’s January and everything looks dead” kind of way (which is entirely fair in this weather, honestly), but more in a way that recalls a cozy night in a warm house, snuggled up to the fireplace while watching a blizzard come down outside your window, knowing that your windows will be coated with frost by the time morning comes. There’s a resonant warmth that comes through with every track—which should be expected, with how much this album deals with the tender side of love. “Undo” seems to wrap you in an electronic embrace, combining an airy string section and a choir with skittering synths that recall a more hopeful “Kid A.” (puts said playlist transition in my metaphorical back pocket) At her very best, Björk can sweep me off my feet in an instant (see “Bachelorette”), but “Undo” is more of a gentle embrace, the slow wrapping of a scarf around your shoulders as you venture out into the cold.

“Grot” – St. Vincent

And speaking of songs that sweep me off my feet…

I’ve already talked about how much I appreciate different elements of a song coming together to form a seamless final product, but sometimes, the opposite can be just as powerful. “Grot” is all soft curves and razor-sharp edges with no in-between; the song open’s with a loop of Annie Clark’s delicate harmonizations, and by the next measure, industrial noise makes the song explode. Against the backdrop of her once light vocals, Annie Clark’s voice becomes commanding, biting in both its quality and lyricism—”Power doesn’t care what you want/power just wants to watch.” But just as quickly, the noise gradually fades away, the original loop circling back into focus as a string section gives it a more gentle backdrop, until all that’s left is the beginning of the song. “Grot” is proof of Annie Clark’s sheer power as a musician, and although she’s been my musical hero for years, this song makes me long for some future where she embraces the noisiness more. Not to say that everything else (excluding the utter betrayal that was MASSEDUCTION) that she’s done is near-flawless, but I want to see this side of her more.

“Really Really Light” – The New Pornographers

never forget the time The New Pornographers made kid’s merch

The news broke not long ago that The New Pornographers will be releasing a new album, Continue as a Guest (if there was ever a more New Pornographers-y name) at the end of March, with this song as the lead single. It feels like a welcome return to soul and form after their last album; In the Morse Code of Brake Lights was enjoyable, but ultimately, not exactly memorable. “Really Really Light,” however, glides along much like the ice skater in the music video, featherlike and brimming with brightness. It almost bubbles at the edges, the harmonies of A.C. Newman and Neko Case weaving together to make a song that feels lighter than air. Hopefully the rest of Continue as a Guest won’t disappoint—if it’s anything like this song, I think it’ll be a great album. I’ll hold out hope.

“Nobody” – Black Belt Eagle Scout

Another album coming out soon, this time from an artists with what’s absolutely one of the best band names of all time. After the sleepy, restrained melodies of Katherine Paul’s sophomore album, At the Party With My Brown Friends, the past few singles off of the upcoming The Land, The Water, The Sky have been a partial return to form—one that I’m absolutely excited for. The three singles off of the album thus far—“Don’t Give Up,” “My Blood Runs Through This Land,” and this—have reintroduced some fantastic guitars, making for a driving, uplifting sound that gives her sound all of the power it deserves. “Nobody” in particular is a nearly 5-minute chunk of alternative greatness, filled with soaring guitars and Paul’s voice, simultaneously airy and full of power and purpose. Lyrically, it deals with Paul’s relationship with Native American representation, especially in the music industry, making the chorus all the more powerful. “Nobody sang it for me/Like I wanna sing it to you.” Amen.

“(Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Using) Drugs With Friends [But Says This Isn’t a Problem]” – Car Seat Headrest

This title: hilarious in concept, cumbersome when you’re trying to squeeze increasingly tiny text into a small box. Thanks a bunch, Will. What a guy.

“Drugs With Friends” was an unexpected blast from the past on my shuffle not too long ago, and I am all the better for it. Teens of Denial remains one of my favorite albums of all time, and the second this song started playing, I was transported back to the summer before high school, painting teal over the hot pink walls of my room and devouring Heart of Iron in a hotel room on vacation in Chicago. I often end up overlooking this song just because of how earthshatteringly wonderful tracks like “Cosmic Hero,” “Fill In the Blank,” and “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” are, but it boasts just as much merit as any other song on the album. Leave it to Will Toledo to turn a tale of feeling monumentally miserable at a party (and making a series of questionable, acid-induced decisions all the while) into an instantly catchy indie song that would be impossible not to jump up and down to at a concert. Even in more irreverent songs like this, Toledo’s voice has a healing quality to it (and no, I’m not saying that because I had a massive crush on him in 8th grade…okay, maybe I am), moving like honey through the cacophony of guitars and noise. What an album, really.

Anyways, I really hope Will Toledo’s doing okay these days. Long COVID is no joke. I miss Car Seat Headrest.

Since this whole post consists of all songs, consider all 5 to be today’s song.

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

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (1/16/23) – Little Thieves

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I forget exactly where I first heard about Little Thieves, but I think it may have been from seeing other people’s reviews here in the blogosphere. Now that I’ve read it, let me just say this: whoever’s review it was that inspired me to pick up this book, thank you so much. YA fantasy has started to become formulaic for me at worst, but Little Thieves was filled with charm, humor, and refreshing spins on the subgenre as a whole. Enjoy this week’s review!

Little Thieves (Little Thieves, #1) – Margaret Owen

Vanja Schmidt is the thirteenth daughter of a thirteenth daughter. Her mother knew how bad her luck would be, so when she was a child, she surrendered her daughter to be raised by the goddesses of Death and Fortune. But as Vanja grows older, she doesn’t seek to follow the paths of her surrogate parents and runs off on her own, making a living swindling and picking pockets. Vanja’s swindling gets as far as the royal palace, and with the theft of a charmed necklace of pearls, she assumes the identity of Princess Gisele.

But Vanja’s life of crime has attracted unwanted attention. When a Low God curses her body to turn to jewels at the full moon, Vanja must retrace her steps and right her past wrongs. Her trail of thievery will reach into the heart of a conspiracy that leads to Princess Gisele’s betrothed, and soon, Vanja realizes that she’s in for more than she bargained for.

some of the beautiful illustrations from Little Thieves, done by Margaret Owen herself!

TW/CW: child abuse, animal death, blood, descriptions of injury, sexual harassment

Barely halfway through the first month of the year, and I’m already running into books this good? SUCH a relief after the brief slump I was just in…

YA fantasies—fairytale retellings in particular—are books that I’ve started to steer away from slightly; over the years, they’ve gotten blatantly formulaic for me, and it’s rare that any have an impact on me anymore. It feels sad saying that, but after a while, I just got sick of all the secret royalty and love triangles and the lack of good worldbuilding. But Little Thieves showed me that there’s still faith in a sputtering subgenre and treated me to an exceptionally fun time!

It’s been a while since I’ve read a fairytale retelling—after a while, there are only so many Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast retellings one can take. But Little Thieves retold a fairytale that I hadn’t even heard of before—The Goose Girl, written by the Brothers Grimm. It also puts a spin on the fairytale’s antagonist, making her the main character and giving her more nuance and motives. From the first page, Little Thieves felt like a breath of fresh air into a tired genre, and I am all the better for it.

Owen’s vibrant characters seemed to leap off the page, and each and every one of the main cast won my heart in record time. They were all so distinct: Vanja with her determination and sass, Emeric’s delightfully uptight and sensitive demeanor, and the absolute chaos that was Ragne; I got attached to most of the main cast fairly quickly, which is certainly a rare occurrence for me. Little Thieves is also one of the only YA books I can think of that actually gets a morally gray protagonist right. “Morally gray” characters have almost become a buzzword after the success of books like Six of Crows, but most of the time, they just end up being characters that Do Crimes™️ but they have a Tragic Backstory™️ so they’re a Complex Character™️. Vanja, however, actually felt morally gray—her way of life, however shady her dealings and actions were—was her way of survival and defiance. Maybe that’s what happens when you’re raised by two surrogate moms that also happen to be the goddesses of Death and Fortune, but either way, it was refreshingly well-executed.

For the most part, I was also a fan of the writing style! It reminded me a lot of Ashley Poston—it was very cheeky and filled with humor, which matched Vanja’s voice perfectly, but it was also capable of plenty of nuance and depth, resulting in some spectacular bits of prose. Some of the humor bordered on meme-y at times, which was more than a little jarring, but in comparison to the rest of the book, I can let it slide. It’s the kind of charming writing that made me laugh, smile, and swoon, and it suited Owens’ story wonderfully.

The worldbuilding was also excellent, and I loved exploring the pseudo-German, medieval setting! It’s clear that Owens spent lots of time and energy into not only making a fleshed-out world with the appropriate amount of history and constraints, but also trying to stay faithful to German folklore and the original Brothers Grimm tale. All of the gods, shapeshifters, and other creatures were a delight—another reason why I’m a little bored with most YA fantasy is because they often shy away from having lots of mythical creatures (in place of just slapping a magic system onto a vaguely European setting), so, like so many other aspects of Little Thieves, this was such a breath of fresh air. I know I sound like a broken record every time I say that, but that’s seriously how reading all 500+ pages of this book felt.

Going off of that, I loved the casual queerness in Little Thieves! With a lot of fantasy settings where queerness is present, homophobia is still present because there’s a misconception that an ancient/older setting automatically equals homophobia/transphobia. I get the purpose of that on some level if the book is trying to share a message or theme about homophobia or transphobia, but on the other hand, if you can have a complex magic system and dragons, the concept of homophobia not being a thing in your fantasy world isn’t that strenuous of a stretch to make. Owens once again bashes all of these fantasy tropes and integrates queerness into her worldbuilding as something normal, and it made my heart so happy. Although no labels are specifically used in the book, Vanja and Emeric are both implied to be somewhere on the demisexual/asexual spectrum, Gisele is implied to be a lesbian (and later is in a relationship with Ragne), and there are several nonbinary and gender nonconforming side characters! More queer fantasy like this, please! (Also, I just loved Emeric and Vanja together. Just Love Them So Much)

All in all, a rare YA fairytale retelling that subverts all of the tropes of the genre and dazzles with its nuance and charm. 4.5 stars!

Little Thieves is the first in the trilogy, followed by Painted Devils (slated for release later this year) and an untitled third book. Margaret Owens is also the author of the Merciful Crow series, which consists of The Merciful Crow and The Faithless Hawk.

Today’s song:

just listened to this whole album today, perfect for winter!! this one almost sounds like Kid A

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

Posted in Monthly Wrap-Ups

November 2022 Wrap-Up 🍽

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

The snow outside my window says December, but mentally, I feel like it’s September, and somehow it’s technically November…time is an illusion huh

GENERAL THOUGHTS:

I’ve probably said this several times before, but I’m still baffled that my first semester of college is almost over! It feels like there should be months, not weeks, left to go through. But no, I suppose not, and my winter break lasts nearly a month! What a relief to not have finals just days before Christmas like in high school…

I’ve had some fun, regardless. As the temperatures have been dropping, I’ve been bundling up and drinking an excess of hot chocolate (big thank you to my mom). I’ve been able to read more frequently now that I’m a bit more settled in, and it’s been a mixed bag, but there have definitely been some hits among the misses. I called off NaNoWriMo for myself this years since I haven’t adjusted all the way, and plus, I usually plan for a while beforehand, and that just…didn’t happen.

Other than that, I’ve just been drawing (getting the hang of digital art, I think), watching Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Wendell & Wild, sleeping in and eating way too much over Thanksgiving Break, and having to wear enough layers to restrict any mobility in my arms. Welcome to Colorado, folks.

READING AND BLOGGING:

I read 17 books this month! Less than I usually read in a month, for sure, but I haven’t been able to read quite as much because I’m still getting used to college and all. Plus, finals season looms…

1 – 1.75 stars:

The All-Consuming World

2 – 2.75 stars:

The Lost Apothecary

3 – 3.75 stars:

Soul of the Deep

4 – 4.75 stars:

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH: The Trouble with White Women: A Counterhistory of Feminism4.5 stars

POSTS I’M PROUD OF:

POSTS FROM OTHER WONDERFUL PEOPLE THAT I ENJOYED:

SONGS/ALBUMS THAT I ENJOYED:

sad girl autumn never ends
the power this song exudes is unparalleled
so so gorgeous, thanks to my brother (and his gf) for this one
I’ve never been the biggest Elton John fan, but the new Antman trailer (however mediocre it was lol) reminded me that I liked this one
YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH
can’t wait for this album!!

Today’s song:

this song makes me so happy 🙂

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

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (11/1/22) – I Am the Ghost in Your House

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles! I hope you all had a safe and spooky Halloween!! I went to class (and took a stats test) dressed up as Columbia from The Rocky Horror Picture Show (in the pajamas and the Mickey Mouse ears), so that was a lot of fun, even though I didn’t see a bunch of other people dressed up. I guess most of the Halloween festivities happened over the weekend. Oh well.

I picked this book up on a whim while scrolling through the books on my Libby wishlist to see what was available. The cover was already eye-catching (no pun intended), but I didn’t expect for I Am the Ghost in Your House to hit as hard as it did—stunning prose and a poignant, strange story to match.

Enjoy this week’s review!

I Am the Ghost in Your House – Mar Romasco Moore

Pie and her mother have been on the run for their entire lives. They are both invisible—Pie born and her mother turned as a teenager—and have been living in other people’s houses all across America. Their lives are constantly transient, and although Pie has lived in many places, she doesn’t have a place to call home.

When her mother disappears, possibly dead, Pie is left alone. Sheltering in Pittsburgh with a group of art students, she goes in search of her missing mother and a girl she once loved. But if the girl Pie loves can never see her, how can they be together?

TW/CW: kidnapping, off-page sexual assault (past), substance abuse, absent father

For a book I picked up almost purely on a whim, this was such an emotional hard-hitter. From this alone, I’m absolutely going to seek out Moore’s other books—I haven’t read such fantastic, immersive prose in ages, and through Pie, Moore has created a truly unique protagonist and a strange world paired with her.

Moore’s prose is what stood out the most to me about I Am the Ghost in Your House. Magical realism is a hard genre to get right, and writing prose that fits with it can be half the battle, and it’s a battle that Moore absolutely won; their weaving of delicate metaphors into Pie’s voice created such a distinct atmosphere around the whole book, as though we too were nestled in lonely train cars, unable to be seen by anyone but our own kin. I read this on my Kindle, and I highlighted so many passages—Moore’s prose rarely faltered, and it was the perfect vehicle to carry this story.

The worldbuilding behind invisibility in I Am the Ghost in Your House was incredibly thought out as well! With magical realism novels like these, it’s sometimes okay to have changes to a world with little to no explanation—it adds some ambiguity to the story, and if it’s done well, it can add a charm and mystery to the world. Moore, however, has done the opposite. Without infodumping or rambling excessively, they define so much about invisibility, its origins, and more importantly, its limits, in terms that make something so fantastical seem so authentic. It feels like the kind of story that stemmed from a conversation—what would you do if you were invisible? Where would you live? What would you get away with, knowing that nobody’s watching?

Pie herself, however, was what made this novel so emotional and poignant. There’s an intense loneliness to her; after her mother disappears, she has nobody, since her father left her before she was born. Moore’s prose shapes a character with seemingly ordinary struggles—unrequited love and general uncertainty, among other things—into someone so deeply isolated, someone fighting alone, since only a handful of people can even see her in the first place. But as she develops, meeting other people and coming to terms with truths about her family, she finds closure in solace in knowing that she’s never been alone, being able to communicate with visible people and knowing that there are others out there like her.

My only problem was the paranormal investigator subplot. In contrast to how smoothly and deliberately most of the book moved, this spot near the end felt rushed and unfinished, thrown in at the last minute to add conflict where there didn’t need to be. Since it was crammed in the last 20% of the book or so, it didn’t feel like it had any place, other than providing a little more worldbuilding details on invisibility. Given what happens to Pie, the suddenness almost feels genuine, but it seemed to come more from a place of rushed writing than actual feeling.

All in all, a bittersweet and atmospheric piece of magical realism that never falters in its deeply emotional core. 4.25 stars!

I Am the Ghost in Your House is a standalone, but Mar Romasco Moore is also the author of Some Kind of Animal and the anthology Ghostographs: An Album.

Today’s song:

this song just emanates sheer power—there’s truly nothing quite like it

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

Posted in Monthly Wrap-Ups

August 2021 Wrap-Up 🍰

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

And here we are. August, the end of summer and the start of the school year. My birthday month too, so that’s always a lot of fun. Still can’t believe we’re four months away from 2022 though…

[ahem] that aside…

GENERAL THOUGHTS:

school GIFs - Primo GIF - Latest Animated GIFs

For the most part, August was a pretty nice month. I didn’t plan on getting bitten by mosquitoes in Florida (okay: not that many mosquitoes, getting bug bites in Florida is kind of a given), but I got to read some good books while I was there. Plus, Kaz cane. Other than that, I just enjoyed summer’s last hurrah, reading, watching movies with friends, and soaking up the last of the warm weather. I had my birthday later in the month as well, and I had a lot of fun celebrating with family!

I started school about two weeks ago, and I’m slowly easing back in, and knock on wood, I’ll be able to keep all the A’s I have so far. 🤞I’m still in mostly honors/AP classes, but I’m glad that I have those classes in the subjects I’m good at. After AP Bio, I don’t think I could take another honors/AP science class…

After getting through Camp NaNoWriMo, I’ve had mostly steady progress in my sci-fi WIP for most of the month! I’m close to the end of the draft, and I’ve gotten to write some of my favorite scenes in the whole story this month. My progress petered out a little bit once I had to adjust to my new school schedule, but I’m getting back on track now. As I’m writing this, I’ve just finished up the climax, so I’m getting close!

Ive Been Looking Forward To This Dooku GIF - Ive Been Looking Forward To  This Dooku Revenge - Discover & Share GIFs

Other than that, I’ve just been volunteering at the library, working my way through It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Gravity Falls, and What If?, going to my first live concert since the pandemic started (Wilco!),doodling still more aliens, watching The Suicide Squad, and eating all the cake and candy leftover from my birthday.

READING AND BLOGGING:

I read 20 books this month! I think this month is tied with January and June for the least amount of books read, and I can probably attribute that to a) a few really chunky books and b) getting back into the school routine. Nevertheless, I found some unexpected favorites in the bunch!

2 – 2.75 stars:

Amazon.com: When My Heart Joins the Thousand eBook : Steiger, A. J.: Kindle  Store
When My Heart Joins the Thousand

3 – 3.75 stars:

The Lifeline Signal (Chameleon Moon, #2) by RoAnna Sylver
The Lifeline Signal

4 – 4.75 stars:

A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot, #1) by Becky Chambers
A Psalm for the Wild-Built

5 stars:

The Darkness Outside Us | eliot-schrefer
The Darkness Outside Us

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH (NOT COUNTING RE-READS): The Darkness Outside Us – 5 stars

Amazon.com: The Darkness Outside Us: 9780062888280: Schrefer, Eliot: Books
The Darkness Outside Us

SOME POSTS I’M PROUD OF:

POSTS I ENJOYED FROM OTHER WONDERFUL PEOPLE:

SONGS/ALBUMS I’VE ENJOYED:

the joy this song brings me oh my god
there isn’t a bad song on this album. on either of the discs. none.
shhhhh I swear I like this song for more reasons than the fact that St. Vincent produced it
god this song is beautiful…I had a dream about it the other night
never gets old

DID I FOLLOW THROUGH ON MY AUGUST GOALS?

Eat Cake GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
  • Read at least 20 books: 20!
  • Enjoy the last weeks of summer: certainly did!
  • Start the school year off on a good note: all A’s and I got an A on my first math quiz, I’d call that a good note!
  • ENJOY MY BIRTHDAY: very much so!

GOALS FOR SEPTEMBER:

giphy (22) - Made in Salford
  • Read at least 20 books
  • Don’t stress too much about college stuff oof
  • Take care of yourself

Since I already posted once today, check out today’s Book Review Tuesday for today’s song.

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

Posted in Music

Zodiac Music Tag 🎧

Hi again, bibliophiles!

As promised, here’s the sequel to the Zodiac Book Tag, the music tag. I love music almost as much as I love books, so this is a perfect fit for me! As with the book tag, this was created by Swift Walker @ Just Dreamland.

RULES:

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

As I mentioned in the book tag, I’m (barely) a Leo. 🙂 ♌️

Your Leo Monthly Horoscope - Leo Astrology Monthly Overview

So let’s begin, shall we?

The Love Club — Legion S01E06.

(EDIT: I had to take some of the graphics out bc they were disappearing…)

🎼ZODIAC MUSIC TAG🎼

ARIES: the song that got your blood pumping and heart beating fast

I can’t think of this song without thinking of this video of a Björk concert where she said something like “and here’s a little song to help you go to sleep 🙃” and then started playing this –

TAURUS: A song to celebrate your love when you’re in a commitment with someone

There’s a more recent version of this one but I like this one better :,)

I mean, the last two minutes (or thereabouts) of the song being “don’t worry/you and me won’t be alone no more” sums it up pretty well, right? :,)

GEMINI: A song to listen to when you get tongue-tied and miscommunicate your feelings

I’M FINE, I’M FINE, I SWEAR I’M FINE –

CANCER: A song that motivated you to take a chance and open yourself up to love

Uh? This prompt was really hard for me for some reason, but…I guess it fits? Haven’t really had a song that’s had that effect on me? Not really sure, but I love it.

LEO: A song that shows affection

This is…I think this is the least depressing of Montreal song, and that’s definitely saying something…

VIRGO: A song with a sentiment that made you feel beautiful inside and out

This was my comfort song a few years ago, and it’s still my comfort song now… :,)

LIBRA: A song that shows a person is truly and madly in love

I still think that this is one of the sweetest, softest love songs…the Soccer Mommy cover is incredible too 🥺

SCORPIO: A song which is unapologetically pledging their undying affection to their crush

Whoops, doubled up on the Björk songs…

But again, a whole string of “I love him, I love him/(she loves him, she loves him)” at the very end sums it all up, doesn’t it?

SAGITTARIUS: An exciting, spontaneous song

[BLEEPITY BLOOP INTENSIFIES]

If you could describe Jonny's style in three words... : radiohead

CAPRICORN: A song that promotes self-love

The chorus is certainly a weirdo anthem of sorts…gotta love Sidney Gish’s lyrics

AQUARIUS: A song that has more to do with friendship than being in a relationship

…whoops, here’s the most predictable answer…

This one’s a childhood favorite, though. Classic.

PISCES: A song that’s all about unconditional love

THIS VIDEO 🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺

Even though October isn’t Pisces season I had to stick this one in here

I TAG:

Lenny Busker from Legion | Aubrey plaza, Legion, Headphones

Since this post is full of songs, just consider everything in here today’s song.

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

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (3/2/21) – The Punch

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

The novel I’ve decided to review this week came in my last library haul. This is only my second foray into Noah Hawley’s novels after I fell in love with Before the Fall last month, but I can tell from just these two novels that he’s become an auto-buy/borrow/read author for me.

Enjoy this week’s review!

The Punch by Noah Hawley | Grand Central Publishing

The Punch – Noah Hawley

Joe Henry is dead, but what he leaves behind is a dysfunctional family in tatters. His wife Doris, has all but given up on life, his eldest son David struggles to keep two separate relationships (and his constantly teetering emotional state) afloat, and his youngest son Scott grapples with paranoid cynicism and a luckless love life. The three surviving members of the Henry family are brought together to scatter Joe’s ashes, bringing to light everything that Joe kept in check while he was alive and leaving all but chaos in their wake.

Shared by SexyTrash04. Find images and videos about gif, scene and series  on We Heart It - the app to get lost in w… | Umbrella, Under my umbrella,  Future boyfriend
I know I just put this gif in a book tag but the opportunity was too good not to miss

TW/CW: loss of loved ones, description of illness, substance abuse (mainly smoking), mild physical violence (hence the title), cheating

As I mentioned earlier, this is only my second Noah Hawley novel, but judging from this one and Before the Fall, he’s easily earned a spot as one of my favorite authors. The Punch had a very different feel to it than the latter, though; all at once tragic and laugh-out-loud funny, a superbly written story of the trials and tribulations of a dysfunctional family.

Let me just start off by saying…I think The Punch boasts one of the best opening scenes/images that I’ve ever seen in a book; the story of the Henry family begins/ends in a hospital on Valentine’s Day, with sickly and injured patients being wheeled about amidst cheery heart decorations and a pianist playing “Wonderwall” in the background. It’s hysterical, it’s so well-crafted, and in one scene alone, the mood of the entire book is encompassed–equal parts tragedy and comedy.

Having a novel with a cast of unlikable characters is usually hit-or-miss for me; I had a hard time getting through Watchmen for the first half or so because of how despicable most of the characters were. (and on that note, PLEASE 👏 STOP 👏 ROMANTICIZING 👏 RORSCHACH 👏 HE’S 👏 AWFUL 👏 [ahem] I digress), for example. The difference between my being able to enjoy a novel with an entire cast of characters like this is usually a mix of whether or not you’re supposed to like the characters and how well-written they are. (And no, that’s not a dig at Watchmen – it ended up being a four-star read for me in the end.) Clearly, the cast of The Punch are all deeply, deeply flawed people, but they’re not framed as the “good guys,” but simply protagonists. That, coupled with Hawley’s stellar writing, made me stick around even when the characters were at their all-time lows (which were…pretty low, not gonna lie.)

What also made a difference with the characters was the familial chemistry that they had with each other. They all bounced off each other so authentically, behaving exactly how you’d believe a dysfunctional family would, producing no shortage of weird occurrences and plenty of quotes that made me laugh out loud. (I can’t seem to find the quote, but there was this one that made me just WHEEZE…it was something along the lines of “It’s like it says in the Bible. All is full of love.” “No, I think that’s a Björk song…”) (I wish I’d written it down, I borrowed a copy from the library…)

But in its (tragically) short entirety, The Punch was a perfect blend of tragedy and comedy, a story of family, dysfunction, and a whole lot of miscommunication and shaky relationships. Clever writing, memorable imagery, and hysterical quotes – this one really has it all. 5 stars!

martin freeman Fargo caro's edit wgifs billy bob thornton lester nygaard  THE FIFTH GIF..HIS FACE OH LORD wonderlandinmymind •

The Punch is a standalone, but Noah Hawley is also the author of Before the Fall, Other People’s Weddings, The Good Father, and A Conspiracy of Tall Men. He is also the creator of FX’s TV adaptations of Fargo and Legion, the latter of which in association with Marvel Television.

Today’s song:

okay I was yesterday years old when I realized that this was a cover this whole time

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

Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: Jelly

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has been treating you well.

This eARC was one of several that I received about a week and a half ago, and it’s definitely a unique one. A bizarre and inventive twist on both your traditional survival story and post-apocalyptic dystopia.

Enjoy this eARC review!

Jelly by Clare Rees

Jelly–Clare Rees

Martha is stranded. Stranded, that is, on the back of an enormous jellyfish. She and several other people have been, in fact, for such a long time that the concept of time has all but escaped them. And despite many attempts to escape, they may be permanently stuck.

But land is in sight, and with it may come new opportunities. Will Martha and the others be able to get to dry land–and survive the trip?

155 Jellyfish Gifs - Gif Abyss - Page 8

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and ABRAMS/Amulet Books for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

At the present moment, Jelly has quite a low Goodreads rating–about 3.31. Though I thought it was decent, I really don’t think it deserves a rating like that. Even though the execution was largely flawed, this was a novel with such an inventive premise.

First off, LOOK AT HOW GORGEOUS THE HARDCOVER EDITION IS. It’s the edition that came on my eARC as well, and it’s just…so beautiful. I love all the vibrant colors!

Before I get to the positives, however, let’s start off with my major problem with this novel–the characters. There’s a wide cast of characters stranded on the gigantic jellyfish, and while Rees does a good job of keeping track of all of them, most of them were either caricatures, or not memorable at all. We got a few characters that boasted one (1) personality trait each (ex. James was obnoxious and immature, Kate was sensitive, Lana was snarky, Dr. Jones attempts to turn everything into a learning opportunity, etc.), but the rest had nothing that distinguished them from the others. Jelly is told from the POV of Martha, but by the end of the novel, we know next to nothing about her. So that aspect took away from my enjoyment of some of the novel. And beyond that, the humor of the comic relief characters fell flat more than not.

However, other than that criticism, this was a fascinating novel! I was instantly hooked by the premise of a survival story set almost entirely on the back of a giant jellyfish. Jellyfish are such fascinating creatures, and Rees deftly weaves bits of their biology into the story without info-dumping anything.

We later learn that the reason why it’s even possible for jellyfish to grow to such a size is due to them evolving to climate change; there’s even some other marine animals that have done the same–some species of crabs (now dubbed “kriks”) have crawled out of the sea, grown huge, and terrorized the human race, which is hinted to being part of the reason why humanity is nearly extinct in Jelly. There’s some interesting worldbuilding going on here, and it’s definitely the kind of cautionary tale we need about climate change and the rising oceans. (Stop climate change or the crabs will exact their revenge on us, kids!)

All in all, while Jelly lacked authentic characters/character development, it partially made up for it with a fresh and original concept. 3 stars!

Mila kunis that 70s show GIF on GIFER - by Medal

Expected release date: May 18, 2021

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (8/29/20)–Detective Books 🕵️‍♀️

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

Before I begin, I was saddened to hear the news that Chadwick Boseman had passed away. He was an inspiration to so many, and leaves behind such a beautiful legacy. Thank you for everything, sir. You will be missed. 💔

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 detective books. I don’t read much mystery, but I’ve read a lot of solid middle grade and YA detective books that would be perfect for today!

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 (8/29/20)–DETECTIVE BOOKS

The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes, #1), Nancy Springer

The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes Series #1) by Nancy  Springer, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

How could I not include this series? This one’s very dear to me; my mom read the first book to me as a bedtime story, and I finished the rest on my own. Definitely a literary role model for me. Who else is so excited for the Netflix adaptation? (Or, “in which Millie Bobby Brown brings my childhood to life”)

Scarlett Undercover, Jennifer Lantham

Amazon.com: Scarlett Undercover (9780316283946): Latham, Jennifer: Books

I don’t remember as much about this one, but 2018 Madeline rated it four stars, so that definitely counts for something…

A Study in Charlotte, Brittany Cavallaro

Charlotte Holmes 01 A Study in Charlotte - Linden Tree Books, Los Altos, CA

Two Sherlock Holmes retellings? In one post? It’s more likely than you think.

I didn’t like this one as much as everybody else seemed to, but it was definitely a lot of fun.

The Wizard of Dark Street, Shawn Thomas Odyssey

The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey

Again, I have very little memory of this one (I had to trawl through my mystery shelf on Goodreads to get everything for this prompt), but past me gave it three stars, so…

The Case of the Missing Moonstone, Jordan Stratford

The Case of the Missing Moonstone (The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency,  Book 1) (The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency Series) - Kindle edition by  Stratford, Jordan, Murphy, Kelly. Children Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Maybe I should give this one a re-read, now that I can appreciate Mary Shelley far more…

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

Benedict Cumberbatch The Game Is On GIF by Sherlock - Find & Share on GIPHY

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!