Posted in Book Tags

Disappointments Book Tag

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

(Is there any better liberation than finally being able to dump all your old homework in the recycling?)

I feel like I haven’t done a book tag in a while, so I thought I’d give this one a go. I found it over at Cherry @ Letters to the Lost. (She has a lovely blog, so go check it out!) The tag was originally created by Brooke @ The Reader’s Game.

RULES:

  • Tag at least 3 people
  • Do each of the prompts unless you have never read that type of disappointing book
  • For some of the prompts, you can twist them into what fits your book. For example: Sequels where the characters change in a bad way could change to Good story, Bad characters or good characters, the rest was meh
  • Have fun!

Let’s begin, shall we?

😑 THE DISAPPOINTMENTS BOOK TAG 😑

A DISAPPOINTING DEBUT

Amazon.com: Crown of Coral and Pearl (Crown of Coral and Pearl series, 1):  Rutherford, Mara: Books

Part of why Crown of Coral and Pearl was so disappointing for me was the fact that I thought that there would be mermaids (oops), but even with that aside, I found this novel to be rather dry. Save for a creature or two, there’s hardly anything “fantasy” about it.

AN AUTHOR WITH A NOVEL YOU LOVE AND A NOVEL YOU DISLIKE

They Both Die at the End' by Adam Silvera
ARC Review: Infinity Son by Adam Silvera – thesepaperwords

Adam Silvera is a hit-or-miss author for me; I liked They Both Die at the End a lot, but I had to DNF Infinity Son because it was such a mess. Maybe contemporary is just more his speed.

A DISAPPOINTING SEQUEL

Amazon.com: Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, 2) (9780063041172): Mahurin,  Shelby: Books

Speaking of books that were kind of a mess…

Book 1 was a lot of fun, but Blood & Honey just dragged so much…so much filler, and then a whole bunch of twists that made no sense crammed at the end.

GREAT IDEA, POOR EXECUTION

June Virtual Teen Readers Unite book discussion of Cinderella Is Dead by  Kalynn Bayron – Avon Free Public Library

It always pains me to think about this one…

Cinderella is Dead was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 – the premise of a dystopian kingdom 200 years after Cinderella found her prince sounded incredible! Alas, the worldbuilding was sloppy, none of the characters had much personality, and the commentary on misogyny/abuse/etc. was very forced, and relied more on telling than showing.

SEQUELS WHERE THE CHARACTERS CHANGE IN A BAD WAY

Cold Falling White by Gabrielle S. Prendergast

I wouldn’t say that it was the characters themselves in Cold Falling White that changed in a bad way, but the way Prendergast handled them. Most of the characters that died in Zero Repeat Forever were resurrected in a really weird way, and the characters that survived were either separated or shoved into a plot that made no sense. Sigh…

I TAG:

Top 30 Disappointed GIFs | Find the best GIF on Gfycat

Today’s song:

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

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Posted in Monthly Wrap-Ups

January 2021 Wrap-Up ðŸŒ¨

Hi again, bibliophiles!

I figured this year that monthly wrap-ups would be a fun way to track my reading progress. This is my first stab at it, so we’ll see how it goes…

GENERAL THOUGHTS:

Screaming Thom Yorke GIF | Gfycat

January was…an interesting month? Definitely had its ups and downs, I’d say. The school year started out super stressful and overwhelming, and I had to take a week and a half off blogging. But after getting over that initial hump, the workload started to get more manageable, and it’s stayed that way, for the most part, knock on wood.

As far as writing goes, I finished the initial edits on my first draft of the sci-fi WIP I’ve been steadily chipping away at since November 2019 (or thereabouts). I’ve now started outlining it before moving onto draft two; the filler chapters…why did I write so many filler chapters…

Reaction Gif

I found a lot of good music though! I’ve been listening to loads of Julien Baker lately (I can’t wait for the new album in February!), and I thoroughly enjoyed getting into the scores for Fargo and Legion. I just got into Lucy Dacus too, and No Burden was a good album, for the most part.

And it’s generally just a relief to have Joe Biden in office. Hey, he’s not perfect, but it’s quite a nice change to not have to worry about my basic human rights being taken away on the daily. 🙂

READING AND BLOGGING

My Goodreads challenge is for 250 books at present (I lowered it in anticipation of schoolwork), and I read 20 books in January! (Not counting a few single-issue comics.) This is the first year where I’ve been paying attention to how many books I’ve actually read in a month, so it’ll be interesting to see how my progress waxes and/or wanes.

So without further ado, here’s everything…

2 – 2.75 stars:

Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather: 9780553539547 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books
Haunting the Deep

3 – 3.75 stars:

The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2) by Roshani Chokshi
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)

4 – 4.75 stars:

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
I’m Thinking of Ending Things

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH: Zero Repeat Forever – 4.75 stars, rounded up to 5

Amazon.com: Zero Repeat Forever (1) (The Nahx Invasions) (9781481481854):  Prendergast, G. S.: Books

I’m too lazy to list every single post that I’ve made this month (and I think that it’d be rather tedious to go through, anyway), so here are some of my highlights.

SOME POSTS I’M PROUD OF:

POSTS I ENJOYED FROM OTHER WONDERFUL PEOPLE:

I Believe In You All GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

GOALS FOR FEBRUARY:

Film Animated GIF | Beetlejuice movie, Beetlejuice, Michael keaton  beetlejuice
  • Read more books by Black authors for Black history month! (And make a post about it!)
  • Listen to & review Little Oblivions (Julien Baker) when it comes out!
  • Read at least 20 books
  • Finish my initial outline for my sci-fi WIP?

Since I already posted today, check out today’s weekly update for today’s song.

And that wraps up my January! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (1/26/21) – Cold Falling White (The Nahx Invasions, #2)

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

After adoring Zero Repeat Forever last week, I knew I had to get my hands on the sequel. As luck would have it, book 2 was available at my library, and I was able to get it along with the rest of my library haul. But even though it was still entertaining, Cold Falling White lost the tender spark that made Zero Repeat Forever so memorable.

Now, TREAD LIGHTLY! This review may contain spoilers for book 1, Zero Repeat Forever!

For my review of book 1, click here!

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: Cold Falling White (The Nahx Invasions Book 2) eBook:  Prendergast, G. S.: Kindle Store

Cold Falling White (The Nahx Invasions, #2)–G.S. Prendergast

Left for dead, Raven wakes up in an unfamiliar place in clothes that aren’t hers. And she’s not alone. Many of her friends from camp that had been killed by the Nahx are there, but they’re still alive. Aboard a Nahx ship, she must escape with her life, but she may discover secrets about these invaders of Earth. And above all, she must find August.

Xander believes that Raven, along with all of the former campers, is dead. On his own, he flees a refugee camp, only to find August, the Nahx who saved Raven’s life not long ago. Forming an uneasy alliance, the two connect with a rebellious faction of Nahx who may hold the keys to halting the ongoing invasion.

With the odds against them, these three must reunite or fall under Nahx rule.

Will-o'wisp | Will o the wisp, Creature concept art, Rise of the guardians

TW/CW: human experimentation, violence, loss of loved ones, mentions of freezing to death

What in the resurrection trope was this?

I’m glad that I read Zero Repeat Forever right before reading this, because otherwise, I would’ve been so lost. Come to think of it, I was still a bit lost through some of the book, but regardless, Cold Falling White was a rambling mess compared to its predecessor.

One of my main problems with this novel was the new POV. Xander was a character that I sort of liked in book 1; he didn’t bug me, but I didn’t get super attached to him. Having his POV in the book made almost no sense. Not only was his voice rather bland, his subplot dominated the other two POVs for no good reason. The only thing that connected his plot to the rest of the book was the eventual Nahx rebellion, and that part didn’t even come into play until the last half of the book. (For reference, this book is nearly 600 pages.) However, I will say that it’s cool that we have a queer Asian lead as one of the POVs. (Xander’s sexuality is never specified, from what I remember, but we see him in an mlm romance. The romantic subplot definitely felt shoehorned in, but hey, at least it’s decent rep.)

I really wish that Raven’s POV had a more prominent role; her chapters were often shorter than Xander’s, and we didn’t learn much from them. One of my complaints about Zero Repeat Forever that I forgot to mention in my review was that we really didn’t get any context/backstory for the Nahx and why they invaded. We got some interesting stuff on their culture/anatomy/physiology in Cold Falling White, but there’s still no reason given for why they invaded Earth in the first place, or why they started resurrecting and modifying humans at will. The tidbits that we got were interesting, I will say, but as a whole, it felt very rushed and full of holes. (I sort of liked Blue’s species…I forget what they’re called, the little alien will-o-the-wisp things?)

And even though we got some of his chapters in the latter half, I really missed August’s POV. However, somewhere down the line, all of the poetic tenderness and philosophical musings got lost, and I don’t know where they went. I’m not sure if Aurora (from Xander’s POVs, mostly) was an attempt at a female stand-in for him, and I liked her a little, but she just didn’t hit that tender spot like August did in book 1. All of the other rebel Nahx were kind of interchangeable, too. Sigh.

Best Fargo GIFs | Gfycat

That being said, Cold Falling White was still somewhat entertaining. It all went progressively downhill, but the writing was still good, and I liked the harsh setting of the Canadian wilderness. Plus, you’ll always get brownie points from me for peppering in lots of Frankenstein references. Like the Edgar Allan Poe in book 1, I liked how all that tied into the theme of the novel.

And all that for…such a weird cliffhanger? I was under the impression that this was a duology, so what was that all about? [confused screaming]

All in all, a sequel that retained good writing and imagery, but lacked in plot and worldbuilding. 3, sad little stars.

My Disappointment Is Immeasurable, And My Day Is Ruined HD 1080P GIF |  Gfycat

Cold Falling White is the second book in the Nahx Invasions duology, preceded by Zero Repeat Forever. G.S. Prendergast is also the author of the Ella series (Audacious and Capricious), as well as the middle grade novel Pandas on the Eastside.

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: January 18-24, 2021

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

After how overwhelming last week was academic-wise, I had a blessedly light homework week. So I felt a whole lot better overall. I spent the day off on Monday not doing a whole lot other than reading, which was a good break.

As far as my reading week…is there a word for a book slump that’s momentarily interrupted by one (1) 5-star read, and then goes back to being a string of meh reads? Because that’s what happened this week…I didn’t enjoy The Novice (for my book club), then had a 5 star read, then the last two books I read this week were a 2 star and a disappointing sequel. Sigh…

But hey, things might be looking up! I got another great library haul on Friday afternoon, and my digital hold on I’m Thinking of Ending Things (I’ve wanted to read it ever since I watched the movie), and I was finally able to pick up the three books I bought with the gift card I got for Christmas! So hopefully my reading will pick up from there…

Other than that, I’ve steadily been outlining the second draft of my sci-fi WIP, listening to a lot of 6ths, and eating pizza and fried rice. It’s been a peaceful week, I’d say. And Joe Biden’s in office now! Good news! (Also, I CAN’T NOT ACKNOWLEDGE THE BERNIE MEMES…they never seem to get old…)

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Novice (Summoner, #1)–Taran Matharu (⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Novice: Summoner: Book One (The Summoner Trilogy, 1)  (9781250080059): Matharu, Taran: Books

Zero Repeat Forever (The Nahx Invasions, #1)–G.S. Prendergast (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Read Online Zero Repeat Forever (The Nahx Invasions #1) by Gabrielle  Prendergast Book or Download in PDF - madison-elijah56746

Winterwood–Shea Ernshaw (⭐️⭐️)

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Cold Falling White (The Nahx Invasions, #2)–G.S. Prendergast (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Cold Falling White by Gabrielle S. Prendergast

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Ruinsong–Julia Ember

Amazon.com: Ruinsong (9780374313357): Ember, Julia: Books

Punching the Air–Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

Amazon.com: Punching the Air (9780062996480): Zoboi, Ibi, Salaam, Yusef:  Books

Lightbringer (Empyrium, #3)–Claire Legrand

Amazon.com: Lightbringer (The Empirium Trilogy, 3) (9781492656685): Legrand,  Claire: Books

Haunting the Deep (How to Hang a Witch, #2)–Adriana Mather

Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather: 9780553539547 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (1/19/21) – Zero Repeat Forever

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles! (And hey, Trump is out of the White House tomorrow, so that’s certainly cause for celebration! Won’t to worry about my basic human rights being taken away for a while…[relieved sigh])

Anyway, I read this one in close to one sitting yesterday on my day off. I expected it to take me a few days to read (close to 500 pages long), but I gobbled it up at alarming speed. Zero Repeat Forever had been on my TBR for almost exactly two years, and I had no idea what was in store for me. A diverse dystopia that was all at once tense and tender!

Enjoy this week’s review!

Read Online Zero Repeat Forever (The Nahx Invasions #1) by Gabrielle  Prendergast Book or Download in PDF - madison-elijah56746

Zero Repeat Forever (The Nahx Invasions, #1)–G.S. Prendergast

Raven and her friends were away at summer camp when a legion of heavily armored aliens invaded Earth, laying waste to cities and leaving almost no survivors. After one of the aliens–dubbed the Nahx–kills her boyfriend Tucker, her friends flee, eking out an existence in the Canadian wilderness.

Eighth, a member of the Nahx, has no name–only a rank. After his companion is killed by a human, he sets off on his own. An encounter with a young human leaves him questioning his mission to kill all humans in sight, and he makes it his quest to find her and bring her to safety.

Chance brings Eighth and Raven together, both separated from their friends and fending for themselves. They soon realize that their situation may not be so black and white–and that there may be a chance to turn the tides.

Flower white wind GIF - Find on GIFER

TW/CW: Graphic violence, descriptions of injury/sickness (fever, broken bones, etc.), racism, loss of loved ones, loss of parents (off page), substance abuse (smoking, drinking)

WOW. I didn’t even have any expectations for this one–I just picked it up because I needed some more sci-fi in my life. But Zero Repeat Forever was such a powerful novel–a tale of setting aside differences in the midst of division that threatens to split the world in two, and the relationships that define our lives.

First off, there’s some amazing diversity in this novel. Raven, our protagonist, is mixed race (half white/half Black–Black mother, white father, and she also had an Indigenous stepfather), and there’s several other POC characters present. As a mixed-race person, it always makes my heart so happy to see mixed-race characters starring prominently in their own stories. 💗

There’s also a gay couple that features in the first part of the novel, but the thing about them is a bit complicated–they’re the only explicitly LGBTQ+ characters in the novel, but they both end up getting killed, which would fall into the bury-your-gays trope. However, these characters weren’t harmfully stereotyped, and it really doesn’t seem like killing off the gay characters was intentional in a homophobic way. (Plus, by the end of the novel, most of the main characters are dead–we’re talking Fargo levels of main character deaths.) Even so, it didn’t sit completely right with me. Again, it didn’t seem intentional and it’s a small part of the novel, but I think it’s important to take that into account. (Most of the reason why I didn’t rate this one the full five stars–see my rating below.)

Zero Repeat Forever is a special kind of dystopia–sure, there’s plenty of dark and bleak material, but it manages to balance that with tenderness and hope, making a beautifully poetic kind of novel. One way that this novel really shone was in the portrayal of human emotion, and how different people deal with different things. Each character is distinct in dealing with the horrific subject matter, and the interactions between all the different personalities were executed in a refreshingly authentic way.

I especially loved the relationship between Eighth/August and Raven. Their dynamic did have an unusual tendency to be a bit mercurial (Raven’s feelings about him seemed to change at a startling frequency, but it makes sense to some degree), but at its heart, it was so poetic. Messy, but poignant and tender. It called to mind everything from The Iron Giant to The Shape of Water, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t get a little bit choked up. I love those two.

And the cherry on top? EDGAR ALLAN POE REFERENCES, OF COURSE! Can it possibly get better than that? I think not.

All in all, a truly unique dystopia that yields the perfect balance of darkness and tender love. 4.75 stars, rounded up to 5!

Dark Creations | Fairy Tail Amino

Zero Repeat Forever is the first book in G.S. Prendergast’s Nahx Invasions duology, which ends with Cold Falling White. She is also the author of the Ella series (Audacious and Capricious) and the middle grade novel Pandas on the Eastside.

Today’s song:

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