Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (🍀3/17/20🍀)–Loki: Where Mischief Lies

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Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles, and a happy St. Patrick’s Day as well! I don’t/haven’t had anything planned to celebrate on here [ahem], but…I suppose we’ve got a green book cover here? I hope that counts for something…sorry…

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Hey, since I’m reviewing Loki, why not throw in a Tom Hiddleston gif while I’m at it?

Anyway, I also had my first day of online school today. It’s been…an experience. Most of my teachers have been fairly organized in their lesson plans, but my Spanish class was absolutely chaotic, so that was…interesting, to say the least. My AP US History teacher showed us her cat in one of the videos she put up, so that was a major plus. Cats. Always cats.

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Now, back to our main program…

I bought Loki about a month ago, along with Sky Without StarsThough I was a tad hesitant going into it (I’m not sure why, come to think of it), Lee delivers an absolute joyride of a historical fiction/Norse mythology/Marvel comics mashup!

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

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Loki: Where Mischief Lies 

Pushed aside in favor of his brother Thor more often than not, young Loki is tired of his sibling having all of the limelight and the unwarranted scorn he garners from his father Odin. His only friend–and partner in crime–is Amora, a budding sorceress. When they cause the obliteration of a vital artifact, Amora is banished to the realms of Midgard, where she is cursed to watch her magic slowly fade away.

Distraught after his best friend’s banishment, Loki’s scorn for the people of Asgard only grows. But soon after her absence begins, a series of horrendous crimes begin to crop up, Loki and Thor are split up and sent to a sprawling, 19th century London, where nothing is as it seems. Can Loki crawl out from under the shadow of his older brother–and not spell ruination for the human city, while he’s at it?

 

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Despite my expectations, Loki pulled out nearly all the necessary stops to make for a fun, twisty, and whimsical adaptation of Marvel Studios’ younger Loki.

I haven’t read as much by Mackenzi Lee (The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, and a few short stories scattered across some YA anthologies), but she deftly weaves in her love of history–specifically, London in the 1800s–seamlessly into Loki’s mythological heritage, even tying in an early version of S.H.I.E.L.D. into the dark, mysterious world. Loki and the rest of the varied cast of characters fit snugly into the historical setting, despite their magical backgrounds.

Full disclosure: I’ve been a huge fan of Loki since I started watching most of the MCU movies, so at this point, I’m primed to like him as a character. But someone like him can easily be poorly-executed, and Lee perfectly balances his trademark mischief and the deep envy festering inside of him. The other characters, though a few seemed a tad interchangeable and difficult to keep up with, were well-written, and generated palpable emotion and chemistry. Oh, and I *kind of* imagined Amora looking similar to Princess Nuala from Hellboy II: The Golden Army, so that’s always a plus.

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My only major complaint was the dialogue; I get that the various denizens of Asgard and beyond are supposed to be overtly formal in their mannerisms, but even so, some of the exchanges between Thor and Loki in the early parts of the novel felt unnecessarily stilted. There was a lot of potential for some good banter from those two.

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And finally, another wonderful given from Lee’s works…LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION, EVERYBODY! Besides Loki (who is now canonically genderfluid and pansexual), we do have a gay side character, and a romantic subplot between him and…okay, I won’t spoil it, but you can probably guess. 🏳️‍🌈

All in all, a wonderful imagining of Marvel’s Loki that’s just as mischievous and mysterious as he is. Four stars for me! 

 

Today’s song:

I can always count on this one for an atmospheric song to write to. 💙

 

That just about wraps up this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day, if you’re celebrating, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

What Cats Do Book Tag

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Hey there, bibliophiles!

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

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

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

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

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

Now, onto the tag…

RULES: 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CAT BREEDS – What are your favorite books?

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

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

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

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THE VET’S OFFICE – Your least favorite book:

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

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

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

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

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

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THE GOOD OLD CARDBOARD BOX – Most underrated book series?

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

 

I tag anyone who wants to participate! 

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Today’s song:

 

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

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

Autumn Book Tag–Are You Ready for Sweater Weather?

That’s right! A perfect tag for SPOOKY SEASON!

This tag was created by Jenn @ Jenniely, and all of the tag headers in this post are from her original post. I was tagged by A Little Haze Book Blog (THANK YOU!), and I’m so excited to do this tag! 🙂

 

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Hot Chocolate: What is your comfort book? 

Sci-fi books are usually my comfort book; more specifically, those who have an extra-special place in my heart, such as The Search for WondLa trilogy, the Heart of Iron duology, and Aurora Rising.

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Pumpkin Carving: What is your favorite creative outlet?

Ooh…probably a toss-up between drawing and writing. I’ve loved to draw since I was little, and I usually like to experiment with pencils, ink pens, markers, and, as of now, a bit of watercolor.

As far as writing goes, I’d like to be an author someday. I try to write every night, and my mind is absolutely filled to the brim with all manner of story ideas. I mean, I’ve gotta let ‘em out somehow, right?

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Falling Leaves: Changes that appear bad that you secretly love

In a weird way, the first week of school always makes me a little nostalgic. I know, I know…school…but hey, there’s very little homework, and often times, it’s the first time you get to see all of your friends again after three months apart. It was better in preschool, but the first week is still oddly nice.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte: Something you love that others tend to judge

I mean, I know I’m not exactly a minority here, but I LOVE cats. It’s so strange that cats and dogs are such a polarizing subject: people either seem to adore them, or think that they’re heartless goblins bent on destruction. I’ve been around cats for as long as I can remember, and they’ve been my constant companions through thick and thin, always there to be adorable or snuggle with while I watch movies.

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Bonfire Night: What makes you explode with joy?

Going to see a movie or picking up a new book that you’ve been waiting for anxiously, and realizing that it was even better than you expected it to be. It’s the little things.

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Fright Night: Favorite Scary Book or Film

I’ve never been one for horror–movies or books. I mean, I totally chickened out on Aliens (1986), if that’s any indication.

However, I’m all for something spooky–just don’t give me much suspense, and I’ll be just fine.

In that creepy-but-not-nightmare-inducing vein, I’d have to say the Hellboy comics, and the Guillermo del Toro adaptations. NOT the 2019 reboot, mind you. Hellboy and that related universe will eternally have a special place in my heart.

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Halloween Candy: Favorite sweets to eat

Candy corns,  York peppermint patties, and anything with Oreos/oreo chunks in it.

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Scarves: Your must-have autumn accessory

October’s the perfect jacket season. I always like wearing my denim or leather jacket in Autumn, but I’ve got a soft spot for one jacket in particular; it’s black, with David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane lightning bolt on the back, and my collection of enamel pins and buttons on the front.

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Fire: A book or film that burns your soul

As far as books go, I’d definitely have to say Frankenstein. I haven’t gotten around to re-reading since I first bought it, but it’s left a permanent mark on my soul, to be sure.

For movies, hands-down, it’s The Shape of Water. Such a beautifully thought-out and moving film…I really don’t think I’ve been the same since the first time I watched it.

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Toffee Apples: A book or film that seems one thing but has a different inside

For this one, I’d have to say…Rainbow Rowell’s and Faith Erin Hicks’ Pumpkinheads. From the premise (and the pretense of Rowell’s previous works), you’d think that it would have some family drama or frustrating conflict. But, no, this one was so sweet and fluffy! Highly recommend it 🙂

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Well, that just about wraps it up!

I tag:

 

Thank you so much for reading this! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and be sure to stay tuned for more content next week! 😉

 

 

 

Posted in Animals, Random

A brief bout of cuteness overload (and other stuff like that)

Over Thanksgiving break, my mom was digging through some old CDs, and found a bunch of old photos in the process. They were all from around 2007, when I was about four years old.

I had no memory of when we had gotten two of our cats-Anakin and Padme-because, y’know, I was really little. (They are both about 10 years old, cousins, and totally inseparable <3) So I was surprised when my mom uncovered these…

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This is little kitten Padme!!! AAAH! HOW WAS SHE EVER THAT SMALL????? (She’s kinda overweight now, poor thing. Sorry, Padme…)

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And here’s little kitten Anakin!!! This, along with most of the other photos, were taken on the day we adopted this little Sith lord. What a cutie.

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Spending time with his loving cousin. Look at those eyes!!!

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Um…don’t know what’s going on here…

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…Hugs?

 

Along with the kitten pictures came a photo of me on Halloween when I was about three. I was Princess Leia, for the second time (I had been her when I was two as well).

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Great expression, huh? So regal.

 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my unannounced slew of kitten pictures as much as I enjoyed seeing them. Meow.

 

 

 

Posted in Animals

Cat Photography Tips (with Hobbes the cat)

Hey everyone! I’ve been meaning to do this post for months, and I’m only now getting to it (wow, self).

Since late October, when my family adopted Hobbes, I’ve learned a lot of little tips and tricks for taking pictures of cats. I just thought I might share a few with you!

 

1. Don’t use the flash (unless you absolutely need to)

Cat eyes are very unique-they have a layer of tissue on their pupils called the tapedum, which increases the amount of light that the eye absorbs, making their night vision outstanding. This is why cat’s eyes appear to glow in the dark. That being said, if you use the flash, the tapedum kicks in, causing your cat’s eyes to glow, and therefore make them look like they’re possessed by a demon.

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Terrifying, isn’t it?

 

2. Take lots of rapid-fire pictures

Cats, especially kittens (like Hobbes, who is now almost a year old), are very active, and will not stand still for long. So, when taking pictures of your cat running around, hold the camera button down (for iPhones and other devices like that) or push the button down really quickly a bunch of times (for regular cameras). You’ll get a lot of blurry shots out of this, but some results are hilarious. 

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3. Use a toy to get their attention

Cats are not exactly the most photogenic creatures (Hobbes, I’m talking about you), and they, kittens especially, have kind of a short attention span. So, one way to get and temporarily keep their attention is to wave or shake a toy behind the camera. It works, and they’ll usually look really funny because their pupils tend to dilate.

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4. Capture every moment you can

Cats pretty much look cute no matter what. Most of what they do is ADORABLE, so take lots of pictures to capture the personality of your friend. Sleeping cats look SO SWEET, cats in their “you may worship me now” pose are always hilarious, and meowing shots are always good for a laugh. So take advantage of this time with your cat, and take as many pictures…as your iPhone storage will allow.

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Thank you so much for reading, and have a great summer!

Posted in Animals, Art

Aw Yeah Cat Drawings! 😸

I am practically ADDICTED to drawing cats! I find pictures on the internet and base the pictures off of them. These are ten that I think are particularly amazing.

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This is the first one I ever did, and probably my best as well. It is an Abyssinian.

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An Aegean, a Greek breed.

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This is a Burmese. My two cats are burmese!

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The Australian Mist.

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This is the Manx. They are known for having a very stumpy tail.

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The American Shorthair.

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Norwegian Forest Cat.

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The lesser-known and beautiful Nebelung.

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The Japanese Bobtail. This breed was the inspiration for Hello Kitty!

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The second-most popular breed in the world, the Maine Coon.

I hope you like my drawings! 😽