Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (8/1/20)–Enemies to Lovers 💘

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles, and happy August! [happy Leo noises]

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 enemies-to-lovers romance, otherwise known as my FAVORITE romantic trope…

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 (8/1/20)–ENEMIES TO LOVERS

Carry On (Simon Snow, #1), Rainbow Rowell

Amazon.com: Carry On (Simon Snow Series (1)) (9781250135025 ...

THIS….now THIS is the PINNACLE of enemies-to-lovers…

Crier’s War, Nina Varela

Amazon.com: Crier's War (9780062823946): Varela, Nina: Books

I can’t wait for book 2 to come out! Only about a month…

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1), Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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

Does this count? It’s…lovers to enemies to lovers? I would think it would count…¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Serpent & Dove, Shelby Mahurin

Amazon.com: Serpent & Dove (9780062878021): Mahurin, Shelby: Books

I LOVE Lou and Reid’s relationship, and I’m excited to see what awaits them in book 2!

The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles, #1), Laurie Forest

Amazon.com: The Black Witch: An Epic Fantasy Novel (The Black ...

Elloren and Yvan’s romance felt forced at first, but the pairing’s started to grow on me. I’m currently reading The Shadow Wand, so things have most definitely gotten interesting…

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!

Posted in Books

Pride Month Book Recommendations, Week 1: Sci-Fi

Happy Thursday, everyone! 🌈

For this Pride Month, I’ve decided to do a batch of weekly recommendations of LGBTQ+ books. I’ll do a different genre each week (though they’ll all probably fall into the YA category), focusing on books with LGBTQ+ protagonists/casts of characters and themes. We’ve come quite a long way in YA, so why not celebrate it?

Let’s begin, shall we?

PRIDE MONTH RECS, WEEK 1: SCI-FI

  1. Once and Future, Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta, Cori McCarthy |, Paperback ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Pansexual protagonist, some of the side characters are gay, genderfluid, and asexual, respectively, wlw relationship with protagonist

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.75 (rounded up to 5)

Once and Future is a genderbent, feminist retelling of the legend of King Arthur (set in space!), and it’s an absolutely WILD ride.

2. Heart of Iron duology, Ashley Poston

Amazon.com: Heart of Iron eBook: Poston, Ashley: Kindle Store

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: mlm relationship between two of the main characters, wlw relationship between some of the side characters

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I know I blab about this one quite a lot, but both Heart of Iron and Soul of Stars are truly masterpieces. Plus, Jax and Robb are one of my favorite couples in YA literature. Period.

3. Dreadnought, April Daniels

Amazon.com: Dreadnought: Nemesis - Book One (9781682300688 ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Protagonist is a trans woman/lesbian

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A poignant and potent spin on the classic, superhero/coming of age story, as Danny comes to terms not only with her gender identity and sexuality, but with her newfound powers. I read this one a year or two ago and haven’t gotten around to reading book 2 (Sovereign), but I REALLY need to do that soon!

4. The Disasters, M.K. England

Amazon.com: The Disasters (9780062657671): England, M. K.: Books

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Protagonist is bisexual, gay love interest, trans woman side character

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Again, it’s been over a year since I’ve read this one, but it was very Guardians of the Galaxy-esque, and an absolute joy to read!

5. Crier’s War, Nina Varela

Amazon.com: Crier's War (9780062823946): Varela, Nina: Books

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: wlw representation between the two protagonists

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Though I was initially hesitant about reading this one, it turned out to subvert all of my expectations and make for a lushly written novel with romance to DIE for! I suppose you could debate whether or not this is sci-fi or fantasy (I mean, there’s…androids? Basically…), but I’d say it’s a combination of both genres.

6. Aurora Cycle, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Amazon.com: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle Book 2) eBook ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: There’s 7 POVs/protagonists in the series (though it later gets knocked down to 6); one is bisexual, another is a lesbian

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You all knew I was gonna put this one in here…but hey, this series is genuinely masterful, and spoke to me on so many levels.

If you want more YA LGBTQ+ novel recommendations, I highly recommend visiting Queer Books for Teens! They have all sorts of recommendations for LGBTQ+ books of all genres, but mostly YA.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! WHAT ARE SOME LGBTQ+ SCI-FI BOOKS THAT YOU LOVED? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS! 🏳️‍🌈

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Lunar Chronicles Book Tag

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Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I found this tag over at Brianna’s Books and Randomness, who is also the creator of the tag. Though I haven’t re-read the series in ages, The Lunar Chronicles was, from what I can remember, my gateway into YA books, so it will always hold a special place in my heart for that reason. It sounded like a super fun tag to do, so here I go!

The rules are simple: Answer each question, tag or pingback to the creator, and who you found the post from, and tag as many or as few people as you’d like.

 

CINDER: A SARCASTIC CHARACTER WITH ALL THE SASS

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I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again: Finian from Aurora Rising is the YA king of sass. I’m in stitches from his one-liners every time I go back and re-read this.

 

PRINCE KAI: AN AUTHOR THAT DESERVES A CROWN

Though there’s a plethora of authors out there that deserve this title, today, I’ll dedicate the crown to Sarah Maria Griffin. Nowhere else have I seen such a deft portrayal of emotion and human nature–and not to mention, easily the only author that I’ve ever seen write the 2nd person and make it believable and readable.

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QUEEN LEVANA: A COVER WITH STYLE

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Ah, Crier’s Warso iridescent…so intricate…so wonderfully sapphic[wipes single tear from cheek]

 

CRESS: A FICTIONAL PLACE YOU WOULDN’T MIND BEING STUCK IN

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I would have absolutely no qualms about staying anywhere in Leigh Bardugo’s richly imagined Grishaverse. Except for the Unsea, maybe…

 

CAPTAIN THORNE: THE LAST FUNNY BOOK YOU READ

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By no stretch of the imagination is Rogue One a comedy, but there’s something to be said for K2-SO’s one-liners.

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SCARLET: A BOOK WITH A RED SPINE

[internally catalogues all of the library holds I’ve read in the past few months to search for a red spine]

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I’ve had this one for quite a while, and since I’ve already given lots of love to The Demon WorldI’ll shine the light on Inkmistress this time.

 

WOLF: A WHOLESOME CHARACTER THAT COULD KILL YOU

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I mean…what gets more “wholesome-but-could-kill-you” than a massive tardigrade that acts like a puppy? All my love to Otto the giant water bear…💗

 

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WINTER: A BOOK THAT PORTRAYS MENTAL ILLNESS

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How it Feels to Float is a beautiful and deeply moving portrayal of depression and anxiety, and an incredibly underrated one, at that. I highly recommend this one!

 

IKO: A BOOK WITH ANDROIDS OR ROBOTS

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LIFEL1K3So many robots. SO MANY!

 

I tag anyone who’d like to participate! Give Brianna some love, everybody! 

 

Since I’ve already posted today, just head over to this week’s Book Review Tuesday if you’d like to see 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

The Book Cake Tag

Hey everyone! I hope that you had a lovely Christmas, if you celebrate, and some very happy holidays!

I found this tag on Megabunny Reads, and it sounded super fun, so I figured that I’d give it a go! The tag was originally created by A Little But A Lot.

Here goes nothing…

FLOUR: A BOOK THAT WAS SLOW TO START OFF BUT PICKED UP AS IT WENT ALONG

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Shirley Jackson is the master of the slow-burn story, and The Haunting of Hill House is no exception. The slow building of this creepy, atmospheric masterpiece will stay with me for a long time after I’ve read it.

 

BUTTER: A BOOK THAT HAS A REALLY “RICH” AND GREAT PLOT

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The plot of Sally Green’s The Smoke Thieves  was incredibly intricate in every sense of the word–in the beginning, it was so complex that I found myself wondering how Green would manage to tie everything together in a way that made sense, but surprise, surprise, everything came back together towards the end. What a gem of a series.

EGGS: A BOOK THAT YOU THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE BAD, BUT TURNED OUT QUITE ENJOYABLE

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My expectations of Crier’s War were that it was going to be a steaming pile of cliches, but I was pleasantly surprised by the multi-layered world building, culture, and poetic writing…and not to mention, the swoon-worthy, enemies-to-lovers sapphic romance.

 

SUGAR: A SUGARY/SWEET BOOK

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Oh, Rainbow Rowell, master of the heart-meltingly adorable romance…

Most of Rowell’s novels have this level of romance, on some level, but the sweetness of Fangirl stood out most to me for the purposes of this tag, from bonding over books and music to specialty lattes.

 

ICING: A BOOK THAT COVERED EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT THAT YOU ENJOY OF A BOOK

You guessed it…

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I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again…

Aurora Rising is, for all intents and purposes, everything that I’ve ever wanted in a book–daring adventures in space, with a ragtag cast of unique characters.

 

SPRINKLES: A BOOK SERIES THAT YOU TURN TO WHEN YOU’RE FEELING DOWN

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aaAAAaAAAaaaAAAAaAa chILDHOOD–

The Search for WondLa trilogy was definitely a major part of what not only got me through middle school, but what inspired me to be a writer, and my gateway to the genre  of science fiction. I haven’t re-read it in a year or so, but I always love flipping back through the gorgeous illustrations: at this point, each one’s a different way to get to Memory Lane.

 

CHERRY ON TOP: YOUR FAVORITE BOOK THIS YEAR SO FAR

…First of all, as Megabunny Reads said in their post…what? Aren’t cherries on top reserved for sundaes? I’ve only seen…maybe two pictures of cakes with a cherry on top, and it doesn’t sound all that appealing…

[ahem] Anyway, now that I’ve already mentioned Aurora Rising, I think there’s only one other choice for the top spot this year…

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The heart-pounding conclusion to the Arc of a Scythe trilogy, Shusterman truly pulled out all the stops and then some in The TollThis is Shusterman’s storytelling at its very best, and an exemplary trilogy in the vast fount of literature that defines today’s sci-fi/dystopian novels.

 

And, that just about wraps it up! I tag:

And if you’ve stumbled across this post and want to participate, feel free!

Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves! It’s almost 2020, you can make it…

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (11/12/19)–Crier’s War

Hi again, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

After dithering about whether or not I wanted to read Crier’s War, I bought a signed copy a few weeks ago, complete with the John Hancock of book signatures on the inside. (Go big or go home, Ms. Varela. Thanks for making my day.) Though I had average expectations, Crier’s War defied expectations, with an intricate and immersive world, and a forbidden romance to die for (and not to mention, a ✨very gorgeous and shiny cover✨. )

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Crier’s War (Crier’s War, #1)

Many years ago, man made the first Made being, an automaton with independent thought. They grew more intelligent as the years went on, and soon, they had overthrown the human race, settling in gold-laced palaces, while the humans were banished to the streets.

Crier is Made royalty, a princess with hidden potential and a tenuous betrothal in her future. Ayla is a human servant, selling her wares in the street while harboring a deep hatred for the Made, after the massacre of her family. In a chance meeting, Ayla saves Crier from certain death; They both know that their relationship cannot continue, but the days go by, and the unlikely pair find themselves drawn to each other. Both knowing that their romance can never be, they must come to terms with their fates, while navigating the political turmoil that threatens to topple the worlds of the human and the Made.

 

 

Forbidden romance, forbidden romance, forbidden romance. It’s not like it hasn’t been done before, hundreds, if not thousands of times. Lucky for us, we’ve got ourselves a well-executed, emotional, and LGBTQ+ romance in Crier’s War. Who could ask for more?

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And beyond the romance, Crier’s War has several, fantastically executed aspects. I particularly loved the rich worldbuilding, complete with a lovely map, a timeline, and an intricate history, as well as an in-depth look at how the Made government works. For the most part, Varela successfully did this without excessive infodumping, so that’s a big YES from me. There were, however, some little excerpts from Made histories in between chapters; I personally found only 25% of them to be relevant, but hey, that’s just me. They seemed a bit extraneous and unnecessary, but they did add to the prospect of the rich cataloguing of the tumultous history that this book exhibited.

But the ending. That did NOT feel like an ending. I get cliffhangers, but that felt far too abrupt. At least give us some sense of finish, some sense of continuity, I beg you…but I must admit, it does leave me hungering for the sequel, so I guess that it did its job.

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A lovely melding of science-fiction and fantasy, Crier’s War garners a solid 4 stars from me: romance to root for, and a world to lose yourself in.

 

Crier’s War has been confirmed to be part of a series; the only knowledge we have of its sequel, since this book came out a little over a month ago, is that it’s been titled Iron Heart, and it’s expected to come out in 2020. Brace yourselves, folks…

 

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day! Stay tuned for more nerdy content later in the week! 🙂

 

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