Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: Things That Grow

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

Whew, I’m so glad the school week’s over! I might not be able to do Top 5 Saturday tomorrow because I’ve got some studying to do…plus, I haven’t been able to come up with anything for this week’s prompt…🤣

Either way, I recently got this eARC, and right after finishing something as long and dense as Dune, this novel was just what I needed. Darkly humorous and full of heart, Things That Grow is a lovely piece of contemporary fiction.

Enjoy this review!

Amazon.com: Things That Grow eBook: Goldstein, Meredith: Kindle Store

Things That Grow–Meredith Goldstein

Grandma Sheryl was seventeen-year-old Lori’s whole world, her anchor when her absent mother wasn’t there to care for her. So when she passes away, Lori’s world is thrown off-center–not only is her beloved grandmother gone, but in her absence, she’ll have to move back in with her mother and start her senior year in Maryland, without her old friends and the peaceful life she led.

But Grandma Sheryl left Lori and her family one final mission–a list of four gardens to travel to and spread her ashes. Along with her uncle Seth and her best friend Chris, Lori sets off on a chaotic journey that will change her life–and the way that she sees her grandmother.

The Big Lebowski (1998) - Scattering Donny's Ashes GIF | Gfycat
This is exactly the kind of darkly hysterical vibe that the book gave off

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and HMH Books for Young Readers for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

I really haven’t read much contemporary fiction lately; it’s one that I try to read frequently, but I always end up gravitating more towards sci-fi or fantasy. But Things That Grow reminded me of what happens when the genre is executed right–it tugged at all the right heartstrings and made me crack up at the same time.

This novel certainly tackles some heavy topics, grief being the most prominent of them. I expected it to be a more somber novel, but Goldstein imbues a grimly humorous aspect that had me cracking up every few pages. It struck the perfect balance between honestly addressing grief and its consequences and having moments of being comedic and lighthearted. This is my first exposure to Goldstein’s work, but I can already see her clever writing shining through.

The other aspect that I enjoyed the most was the characters. Lori, Seth, Chris and all the rest were such distinct and lovable characters, and they all had lovely chemistry–part of what made a lot of the jokes I mentioned earlier land. They were all so authentic and well-developed, and I loved delving into their individual stories. I loved Chris and Lori’s friendship–the romance seemed a bit half-baked at its worst times, but I loved their whole backstory with his art and her stories.

That being said, Things That Grow wasn’t without its flaws, certainly. The conflict between Lori and Seth was interesting in concept, but felt very rushed and poorly executed; we only get introduced to the plot line maybe…3/4 of the way through? After that, they touch on it once or twice before it’s too-neatly resolved. That certainly left something to be desired, but it didn’t take as much away from the novel for me.

All in all, Things That Grow was a memorable contemporary novel that hit just the right balance between serious and hilarious. 4 stars!

Anime butterfly garden gif - GIF - Imgur

Release date: March 9, 2021

Today’s song:

I haven’t listened to this in years…I haven’t even seen this movie, but this cover brings back so many memories… ;_;

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

Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (9/14/20)–A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

First off, thank you all so much for 250+ followers! I really appreciate all the love. 🙂 And I just realized that it’s been a little over a year since I started doing Goodreads Monday…WHOA…

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I put this one on my TBR at the very beginning of the year, and it sounds like a fantasy novel that is not to be missed! We’ll see…

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (9/14/20)–A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN by Roseanne A. Brown

Amazon.com: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (9780062891495): Brown, Roseanne A.:  Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

The first in an fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.

So why do I want to read this?

catalyst | War stories, Tv spot, Star wars fans
Me looking at THAT COVER

…[ahem] Not gonna lie here, most of what drew me into A Song of Wraiths and Ruin was that GORGEOUS cover. I saw an EpicReads video where they went behind the scenes of the cover shoot, and there was so much attention to detail in every possible aspect.

Now, onto the actual content of the book, right?

Even though we’ve fallen into the trap of another YA x of y and z title, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin sounds like a fascinating fantasy! I love the kind of plots where we have two or more characters in different positions, and the book follows how their individual journeys merge together into a collective story. And it sounds like there’s some enemies-to-lovers romance as well–it’s an easy trope to screw up, but when it’s done well, it’s my favorite romantic trope. Plus, with such a prevalence of fantasies that draw from Western/European mythos, it’s great to see more African (West African, in this case)-inspired fantasies on the market!

Overall–I’m hoping that the book itself is just as compelling as the cover is.

Joe Biden Lets See What Happens GIF by GIPHY News - Find & Share on GIPHY

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: July 20-26, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope you’ve all had a lovely week, and that you and your families are all safe and healthy.

[dons a pair of sunglasses] IT’S LEO SEASON…

Zodiac Sign Cat Sticker by Pusheen for iOS & Android | GIPHY

Aaaaaaanyway, I’d say that it’s been a nice week. I can’t believe July is almost over already…

I’ve been practicing with putting on my new contact lenses with…[ahem] varied results, but hey, I suppose these things take time. Even though my reading week started off disappointing, I got around to reading two good eARCs (I’ll review the other one next week). I’m SO CLOSE to being finished with my Iron Giant puzzle, and I finished my short story for Camp NaNoWriMo! It’s nearly 10,000 words, and I think I made it appropriately depressing. I’m still working my way towards telling people coherent summaries of my various WIPs, but I will say that it’s a bit of a fairytale, and one that involves quite a lot of bad luck and an unexpected, amphibious child.

I also finished the Netflix adaptation of Cursed (expect a review of that soon), and I’m SO excited for season two of The Umbrella Academy!

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Burning Page (The Invisible Library, #3)–Genevieve Cogman (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: The Burning Page (The Invisible Library Novel Book 3 ...

Serpent and Dove–Shelby Mahurin (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Serpent & Dove eBook: Mahurin, Shelby: Kindle Store

FORESHADOW: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading & Writing YA (Anthology)–Emily X.R. Pan et. al. (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading ...

Dustborn–Erin Bowman (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Dustborn by Erin Bowman

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha, #2)–Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Legacy ...

Goddess in the Machine–Lora Beth Johnson

Amazon.com: Goddess in the Machine eBook: Johnson, Lora Beth ...

Honor Lost (The Honors, #3)–Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine

Amazon.com: Honor Lost (Honors Book 3) eBook: Caine, Rachel ...

Into the Crooked Place–Alexandra Christo

Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

Monday’s Not Coming–Tiffany D. Jackson

Amazon.com : [by Tiffany D Jackson] Monday's Not Coming Paperback ...

Today’s song:

Okay, I know that I’ve said that The Beatles should rarely be touched when it comes to covers, but THIS GIVES ME ALL THE CHILLS. LISA HANNIGAN AND JEFF RUSSO CAN DO NO WRONG, I SWEAR…

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

Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (7/18/20)–Books You Own 📚

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

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 books that you own. (Probably shouldn’t have done a book tag based on books I own yesterday…whoops…) I’ll try to pick some that I don’t talk about as much.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR JULY: 

7/4/20 — Coming of Age

7/11/20 — Hyped Books

7/18/20 — Books You Own

7/25/20 —  #OwnVoices 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 (This one!)
  • Tag 5 people

Let’s begin, shall we?

TOP 5 SATURDAY (7/18/20)–BOOKS YOU OWN

Zodiac (Zodiac, #1), Romina Russell

Zodiac by Romina Russell – quirkyandpeculiar

I got this one a few years back, and though my memory’s shaky on it, I remember it being fun. (I mean, I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, so that must count for something…) I only got up to book 2, but I’ll think I’ll start back up again because I NEED some good sci-fi in my life…even though I don’t remember what happened in book 2…

The Hawkweed Prophecy, Irena Brignull

Book Review: "The Hawkweed Prophecy" by Irena Brignull | The Young ...

I got this one as an Easter gift a few years back.

The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus, #1), Jonathan Stroud

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud - The Literary Phoenix

At some point in middle school, my class did some sort of book exchange; each one of us brought in a book, and we closed our eyes, passed the books around, and ended up with one of our classmate’s books to read. I got this one from an old friend, and it’s an autographed copy, too!

Doll Bones, Holly Black

Doll Bones: Black, Holly, Wheeler, Eliza: 9781416963998: Amazon ...

I bought this one for an overnight trip with my school, and I have fond memories of reading it.

Monstrous (Monstrous, #1), MarcyKate Connolly

Monstrous: Connolly, MarcyKate, Young, Skottie: 9780062272720 ...

SUCH an underrated middle grade series. Maybe this is why I love Frankenstein so much now–that, and the undeniable influence of Frankenweenie.

Frankenweenie GIF - Find on GIFER

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

Bookshelf GIFs | Tenor

Today’s song:

(I love how his YouTube playlists are divided into “Radiohead covers” and “not Radiohead covers” 🤣)

That’s it for this week’s Top 5 Saturday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags, Books

Do I Have That Book? Book Tag

Happy Friday, bibliophiles! I hope today finds you all safe, healthy, and in good spirits.

I found this tag over at Words and Stitches, and the tag was originally created by Keeping Tabs on Booktube. It sounded like a super fun tag, and I’m excited to participate!

Rules

1. Time yourself trying to find each prompt on your shelf
2. Try and beat the time of the person who challenged you.

3. Don’t forget to tag your challenger and the original creator!
4. Have fun!

Let’s begin, shall we?

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH DECKLED EDGES?

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess ...

Yep! The Tale of Despereaux has been on my shelf for quite a while, and it definitely has deckled edges.

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH THREE OR MORE PEOPLE ON THE COVER?

The Ruby Key (Moon & Sun, #1) by Holly Lisle

The Ruby Key features a trio on the cover! I got this one as a Christmas gift.

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK BASED ON ANOTHER FICTIONAL STORY?

I own a few retellings, but they’re all based on real-life events, so…

Danny Devito No GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH A TITLE 10 LETTERS LONG?

A Map of Days: The Fourth Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar ...

[frantically scours bookshelf] AHA! A Map of Days!

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH A TITLE THAT STARTS AND ENDS WITH THE SAME LETTER?

Amazon.com: Soul of Stars eBook: Poston, Ashley: Kindle Store

Soul of Stars–Ashley Poston

DO YOU HAVE A MASS-MARKET PAPERBACK?

Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet): Card, Orson Scott: 8601401251873 ...

I got Ender’s Game from my school library, but it was originally a mass-market paperback.

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WRITTEN BY AN AUTHOR USING A PEN NAME?

Magicians Nephew Study Guide | Progeny Press Literature Curriculum

This isn’t the edition I have, but I have almost the entire Chronicles of Narnia.

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH A CHARACTER’S NAME IN THE TITLE?

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle Book 1) eBook: Kaufman ...

Dread it…

Run from it…

Aurora Rising still arrives…

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH TWO MAPS IN IT?

Amazon.com: The Kingdom of Back (9781524739010): Lu, Marie: Books

The Kingdom of Back–Marie Lu

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK THAT WAS TURNED INTO A TV SHOW?

Amazon.com: Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) [Assorted Cover image ...

Shadow and Bone is soon to be a TV show…

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WRITTEN BY SOMEONE WHO WAS ORIGINALLY FAMOUS FOR SOMETHING ELSE? (CELEBRITY/ATHLETE/POLITICIAN/TV PERSONALITY ETC.)

Oh No Pikachu Gif - IceGif

N/A for this one…

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH A CLOCK ON THE COVER?

The Witches - Scholastic Shop

The Witches–Roald Dahl

DO YOU HAVE A POETRY BOOK?

Amazon.com: Tennyson: Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets ...

I bought this lovely collection of Tennyson’s poetry last year!

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH AN AWARD STAMP ON IT?

The Sun Is Also a Star Collector's Edition (Signed Book) by Nicola ...

The Sun is Also a Star–Nicola Yoon

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WRITTEN BY AN AUTHOR WITH THE SAME INITIALS AS YOU?

Mmmm…I don’t think so…

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK OF SHORT STORIES?

The Illustrated Man: Bradbury, Ray: 8601400321720: Amazon.com: Books

The Illustrated Man–Ray Bradbury

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK THAT IS BETWEEN 500-510 PAGES LONG?

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe): 9781534417861: Amazon.com: Books

Thunderhead is 504 pages long!

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK THAT WAS TURNED INTO A MOVIE?

Amazon.com: Everything, Everything (9780553496673): Yoon, Nicola ...

I haven’t seen the movie adaptation, but Everything, Everything was recently turned into a movie.

DO YOU HAVE A GRAPHIC NOVEL?

Amazon.com: Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal (Ms. Marvel Series) eBook ...

I have a shelf dedicated to graphic novels, some of which being G. Willow Wilson’s (AMAZING) run on Ms. Marvel.

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WRITTEN BY TWO OR MORE AUTHORS?

Amazon.com: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499117): Amie ...

Illuminae–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICPATE! Feel free to do the timed part of it, I just chose not to, but do whatever you’d like. 🙂

Thumbs up for Dropbox | Gif pictures, Cute gif, Animated images

Today’s song:

I just discovered Josh Cohen on YouTube, and he does the most STUNNING piano covers! I highly recommend that you listen to his stuff 🙂

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

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (6/30/20)–The Kingdom of Back

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been a fan of Marie Lu’s works ever since I first read Warcross, and the Legend series after that. Her writing has never failed to stun me, no matter what genre her novels happen to be in. So naturally, I decided to buy this one on my first bookstore trip since the pandemic started. And though I expected to love it, The Kingdom of Back blew me away–one of her best novels to date.

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: The Kingdom of Back (9781524739010): Lu, Marie: Books
Bonus photoshoot with some of her other novels (and a few crystals and rocks)

The Kingdom of Back–Marie Lu

For as long as she can remember, Nannerl Mozart and her younger brother Wolfgang have had an unbreakable bond, spurred on by their shared talent for music. But as her brother grows older, it becomes clear that he is a musical prodigy. Her father now overlooks her in favor of her younger brother, even though she possesses an almost equal musical prowess. Now, she and her brother are to perform for the royalty all over Europe, only stopping when she is of age to be married off.

But one night, before they leave on their grand tour, Nannerl is visited by an ethereal stranger, who claims to come from a faraway land beyond human sight. This land is the same place that she and Wolfgang have dreamed up, a backwards reflection of our own world, dubbed the Kingdom of Back. He offers her the chance to be remembered in history, but in exchange, she must complete a quest that will take her through the perilous underbelly of this fantastical world. These feats may secure her place in history alongside her brother–but at what cost?

corpse bride piano | Tumblr

Ladies, gentlemen and others, this is solid, concrete proof that Marie Lu can dish up a lavish tale in any genre that she so chooses, and do it masterfully no matter what.

The Kingdom of Back reads like a lush fairytale. Lu’s signature writing style shines through in the worldbuilding, both in the historical setting of 18th century Europe and the magical Kingdom of Back. Her prose is positively enchanting, transporting me to faraway lands and making me enjoy every single minute of it. Every word painted a gorgeous picture of a land that I would gladly immerse myself in. I read this one up in almost a single sitting, and a beautiful treasure was found on every single page.

And the characters. CAN WE TALK about these characters? With both Nannerl and Woferl/Wolfgang, Lu has breathed new life into these figures, transforming them into sister and brother that could fit into any fairytale. Nannerl’s struggles with being overshadowed and being a society that doesn’t take kindly to women expressing their talents were all too real, making for a lushly relatable character. Oh, and HYACINTH. HYACINTH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAH…again, Lu’s prose makes him seem beautifully real, and though I did predict that something was shifty with him, I adored him anyway. He might have been my favorite character, reminiscent of the Darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, and many others.

Nuada Aim GIF - Nuada Aim Hellboy - Discover & Share GIFs

All in all, one of Marie Lu’s best novels to date, an ethereal fairytale with relatable characters and prose to be reckoned with. 4.5 stars!

Rise of the guardians tooth fairy jack frost GIF - Find on GIFER

The Kingdom of Back is a standalone novel, but Marie Lu has many other series out, including the Legend trilogy, the Young Elites trilogy (my favorite of the bunch), the Warcross series, and the upcoming novel Skyhunter.

Today’s song:

This just popped up on my recommended. I haven’t heard anything by Slum Sociable, but I love “Somebody to Love Me,” and this is a great cover!

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

Posted in Books

Pride Month Book Recommendations, Week 3: Contemporary

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

As far as LGBTQ+ YA literature goes, contemporary is the genre where such representation is most common, I think. Contemporary novels were where many people were first introduced to LGBTQ+ themes and issues, and as a genre that sticks to the more realistic side of things, it’s a straightforward vehicle for representation.

But with such a plethora of books, there’s a wider variety. So, I tried to compile some of my favorites from this genre, and the ones that stood out the most in the genre.

Let’s begin, shall we?

PRIDE MONTH RECS, WEEK 3: CONTEMPORARY

  1. I Wish You All the Best, Mason Deaver
Amazon.com: I Wish You All the Best eBook: Deaver, Mason: Kindle Store

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: protagonist is nonbinary (they/them), nonbinary side character

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A heartrwenching and poignant novel. Ben’s journey to realizing their identity as a nonbinary person is beautiful and simultaneously heartbreaking to watch unfold. (Trigger warnings: LGBTQ+phobia, being thrown out of the house)

2. Under Shifting Stars, Alexandra Latos

LGBTQ+ representation: One of the protagonists is genderfluid, nonbinary love interest

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I can’t wait for this one to be released so that you all can experience this wondrousness! A beautiful and relatable novel about sisterhood, grief, and exploring one’s gender identity and sexuality.

3. Queens of Geek, Jen Wilde

Amazon.com: Queens of Geek eBook: Wilde, Jen: Kindle Store

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Bisexual protagonist, wlw relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A wonderful and diverse story about love, fame, and the uniting–and dividing–power of fandom.

4. The Art of Being Normal, Lisa Williamson

The Art of Being Normal: A Novel by Lisa Williamson, Paperback ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Trans woman protagonist, trans man side character

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Though it wasn’t without its flaws, The Art of Being Normal is a poignant exploration of grappling with gender identity and sexuality as an adolescent.

5. Summer of Salt, Katrina Leno

Amazon.com: Summer of Salt (9780062493682): Leno, Katrina: Books

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Lesbian protagonist, aro/ace side character, wlw relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Even though this one’s a bit more on the magical realism side (hey, it’s shelved as contemporary on Goodreads though…right? Right?), this is, without a doubt, a gorgeously written novel and one of my favorite YA love stories.

6. Echo After Echo, Amy Rose Capetta

Amazon.com: Echo After Echo eBook: Capetta, Amy Rose: Kindle Store

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Protagonist is a lesbian, bisexual love interest, wlw relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Another winner from Amy Rose Capetta! Not only is it a wonderful love story, it’s also a fascinating mystery set in the world of the theater.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS! WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE CONTEMPORARY LGTBQ+ NOVELS?

Happy Pride Day GIF by pikaole - Find & Share on GIPHY

As always, Queer Books for Teens is a wonderful resource if you want to find more LGBTQ+ YA literature.

Today’s song:

MORE SOCCER MOMMY MORE SOCCER MOMMY MORE SOCCER MO–

(Also, Phoebe Bridgers released her new album a day early! Expect an album review next week…😄)

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: June 1-7, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

Man, after last week’s reading, I just SPED UP for some reason this week, and I read almost double the amount that I did last week. Part of it’s probably due to the fact that I read several books that were on the shorter side, but I just found it sort of odd.

Adding onto that, I think this is the most I’ve posted in one week. Partially because I’ve been starting to review the eARCs that I’ve gotten so far, but since I have a few more to review, so expect more such momentum next week…wheeeeee…

200,000 units are ready with a million more well on the way Blank ...

I got approved for two more eARCs (4 so far) and I’ve been declined 3 [sad harmonica noises], but I’ve requested a bunch, so we’ll see what happens…

Other than that, it’s been a fairly nice week–warm weather, a bit of drawing, some writing, and I watched Rope. (There is absolutely nothing heterosexual about that movie, and I love it.)

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Emma–Jane Austen (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Emma (Penguin Classics) (9781439515822): Austen, Jane ...

The Masked City (The Invisible Library, #2)–Genevieve Cogman (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Masked City (The Invisible Library Novel): Cogman, Genevieve ...

The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation–F. Scott Fitzgerald and K. Woodman-Maynard (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by F. Scott ...

The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life–Dani Jansen (eARC) (⭐️⭐️)

The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen

Hollow Kingdom–Kira Jane Buxton (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1)–Ray Bradbury (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Dandelion Wine (Greentown Book 1) eBook: Bradbury, Ray ...

The Girl Who Could See–Kara Swanson (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Girl Who Could See: A Novella: Swanson, Kara: 9781542515481 ...

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Under Shifting Stars–Alexandra Latos (eARC)

Amazon.com: Under Shifting Stars (9780358067757): Alexandra Latos ...

Dreamwalkers–Leslie Rush (eARC)

Dreamwalkers - Leslie Rush - Pre-Order - Filles Vertes Publishing, LLC

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 (3/10/20)–Roar

Book review tuesday header.jpeg

Hello there, bibliophiles!

Image result for hello there star wars general kenobi gif

Hey, gotta fit that in a few times a year…my sacred duty as a Star Wars fan…

 

Aaaaanyway, I finished this one up not too long ago. It had been on my TBR for a while, and I mentioned it in one of my Down the TBR Hole posts a few months back. In my endless search for quality sci-fi, I often push fantasy and other genres aside, so I figured that Roar would be a good change of scenery. And overall? A well-imagined and well-written fantasy!

Enjoy this week’s review!

Image result for roar cora carmack

Roar (Stormheart, #1)

In a ruthless land where violent storms rule all, Aurora is next in line to inherit the throne of Pavan. Forced into an arranged marriage and lacking in the storm-controlling powers that define Pavan royalty, she is unsure of her next move. But before she can resort to lying, her betrothed, Cassius Locke, sweeps her into the underbelly of Pavan, telling her of the black market business of buying and selling Stormling powers. Now, Aurora–under the alias of Roar–thinks she has all of her problems solved. But what is the cost of stealing something that is rightfully earned?

 

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Overall, Roar didn’t overtly exceed or fall below my expectations; my expectations were adequately met. The worldbuilding, as well as all of the lore surrounding the Storm magic, was fascinating to dig into. There was clearly a lot of time put into developing the mythology around the magic system, and although the use of gems as a plot device is vastly overdone, I…sort of think it works? I guess? I dunno. Could’ve been a bit more creative.

As far as the character department goes, I didn’t feel a great attachment to any of the characters, but I loved the misfitty team dynamic that they began to have about a third of the way through. Once Roar and Locke got together with the rest of *the gang*, they had wonderful chemistry, and played off of each other with ease. However, the romance was what mainly made me feel iffy. Locke was chock-full of tropes, and the fact that he and Aurora/Roar start getting all heart-eyes for each other MERE HOURS AFTER MEETING… a) Insta-love, the bane of my existence, and b) uh, Locke? Ever hear of something called CONSENT? HMM? So that was…very weird. Not ideal. I suppose it got the teensiest bit better after they got to know each other better, but still veeeery uncomfortable for the first 100-ish pages of the book.

 

In conclusion, Roar had some well-executed elements and an interesting magic system, but fell flat (almost problematically so) in some respects. 3.5 stars, but the .5 mostly comes from the team dynamic that comes later on in the book. 

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Roar is the first book of the Stormheart trilogy, which also includes Rage (book 2, released 2019) and Reign (to be published this August). Not sure if I like it enough to continue with the trilogy, but I’ll think about that.

 

Today’s song:

One of those rare covers that surpasses the original material. More on that here…

 

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

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Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (2/17/20)–From Under the Mountain

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Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I’m so sad that I forgot about this one for a while, because it seems like everything that I’d want in a fantasy novel–witches, forbidden love, and apparently, loads of LGBTQ+/POC representation! I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

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Let’s begin, shall we?

 

GOODREADS MONDAY (2/17/20)–FROM UNDER THE MOUNTAIN (TRIDENT CHRONICLES, #1) by C.M. Spivey 

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

As the second child of the Aridan imperial family, nineteen-year-old Guerline knows exactly what is expected of her: be unobtrusive, be compliant, and do not fall in love with her low-born companion, Eva. She has succeeded at only two of those.

But before her feelings for Eva can become a point of contention for the royal house, Guerline’s calm and narrow life is ripped away from her—in the course of a single night—and she is abruptly cast in the role of empress.

Faced with a council that aggressively fears the four witch clans charged with protecting Arido and believes they are, in fact, waging war against the humans, Guerline struggles to maintain order. As her control over the land crumbles, she learns that the war is rooted in a conflict much older than she realized—one centuries in the making, which is now crawling from under the mountain and into the light. With the fate of Arido hanging in the balance, Guerline must decide who to trust when even her closest councilors seem to have an agenda.

Darkly cinematic, From Under the Mountain pairs the sweeping landscape of epic fantasy with the personal journey of finding one’s voice in the world, posing the question: how do you define evil, when everything society tells you is a lie?

 

So why do I want to read this? 

Wow, everything about this novel seems like the perfect ingredients for the fantasy book that I’ve always wanted to read! Aside from the aforementioned reasons, From Under the Mountain seems incredibly intricate and complex, touching on the gray area between good and evil, questioning how society defines the other, and discovering yourself–all themes that I always adore seeing in books. Plus, that cover looks pre-tty gorgeous, if I do say so myself. 😜

 

Today’s song:

 

That just about wraps up this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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