Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Cookie Book Tag 🍪

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Hello again, bibliophiles!

I was looking for tags to do the other day, and I came across this one, and immediately wanted to do it! I mean, who doesn’t love some form of cookie or another? Also, I figured it would be fitting for today, since my mom and I baked chocolate chip cookies in a skillet. (I don’t have any pictures, but they were delicious.) 🍪

Radiohead's The Bends album cover is hungry | AwesomeGIFs
leave it to me to slip in yet another Radiohead reference

I found this tag over at Misty’s Book Space.  Let’s begin, shall we?

 

CHOCOLATE CHIP: A Classic Book That You Love or Really Enjoyed

Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Single Volume Leatherbound Classics ...

Frankenstein is easily one of my favorite books, if not my favorite of all time.

 

THIN MINTS: A Fandom That You Really Want to ‘Join’ and/or a Hyped-Up Book You Want To Read

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1) by Jodi Meadows

I’m not sure if I’m necessarily plagued by the desire to join another fandom, but The Newsoul trilogy appears to be a classic YA dystopia, and one that actually looks decent, at that.

 

SHORTBREAD: An Author You Can’t Get Enough Of

Sheer Magic: A Conversation with Anna-Marie McLemore - Pittsburgh ...

Though I’ve only read two of her novels (at the moment, I hope to read the others very soon), I am such a sucker for Anna-Marie McLemore’s luscious writing. There’s no prose quite like hers.

 

SAMOAS: An Emotional Rollercoaster

Amazon.com: Thunderhead (2) (Arc of a Scythe) (9781442472457 ...

Even though I finally know the resolution, the entirety of ThunderheadESPECIALLY the ending, had my mind reeling in shock.

 

OREOS: A Book Whose Cover Was Better than Its Story

(Wait, what do you have against Oreos? Oreos are CLEARLY the superior cookie…)

(Okay, fine, I’ll answer the question…)

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: A Novel: Green, Hank ...

Unpopular opinion time…

Though it had a few moments of being funny, I ultimately DNF’d An Absolutely Remarkable ThingBetween the weird pacing, the unrealistic dialogue (Does ANYBODY actually say “LOL” in real life? That’s right, NOPE), almost everything about April May’s character (at least she admits that she treats her girlfriend like an object), and the gross misrepresentation of bisexuality, this one was kind of a recipe for disaster for me. No pun intended.

[heavy sigh] Whew, had to get that out…

 

TAGALONGS/PEANUT BUTTER PATTIES: A Book That Wasn’t What You Expected

Amazon.com: Crown of Coral and Pearl eBook: Rutherford, Mara ...

In this case, not in a good way.

Putting aside the fact that I thought that Crown of Coral and Pearl would feature mermaids [repeatedly slaps self in the face], I also thought this would be a fantasy novel. In reality, the only thing that might get it labeled as fantasy would be the fact that there’s a magical creature or two hidden in there towards the end of the novel.

 

SNICKERDOODLES: A Book You May Never Stop Rereading / Loving

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720964 ...

Aurora Rising‘Nuff said. Just re-read it a few days ago, actually. I’ve been thinking about this one a lot, lately (partly because I preordered Aurora BurningEEEEE)

 

If you want to listen to today’s song, just head over to today’s Goodreads Monday, as I already posted today. 😉

 

I tag anyone who wants to participate! 

Cookie Monster Eating GIF by Sesame Street - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (3/24/20)–Crown of Coral and Pearl

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Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I’ve talked briefly about this novel on Goodreads Monday and Everything That I’ve Managed to Cross Off of Goodreads Monday or Down the TBR Hole (Part I of ?),but I wanted to take the time to write an entire review for this one just to get out some…feelings. My addled brain thought this book had mermaids, and I was desperately wrong; that disappointment may have skewed my feelings on the rest of the novel, but even beyond that, Crown of Coral and Pearl was a fairly forgettable novel, though it did have a few bright spots.

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Enjoy this week’s review!

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Crown of Coral and Pearl (Crown of Coral and Pearl, #1)

For centuries, the mountain kingdom of Ilara has demanded tribute from the lesser coastline village of Valeria–once the Ilaran Crown Prince has come of age, a Valerian bride must be sent to become the queen of Ilara. What emerged in Valeria was a morbid beauty pageant among the eligible girls; only the most beautiful and unblemished girl could be considered to be sent to the Crown Prince.

For her whole life, Nor has known that her twin sister, Zadie, would be sent to live in Ilara; a scar on her face ruined her own chances of being eligible. Zadie is chosen, but on the night before being sent to Ilara, she retains a near-fatal injury, and Nor is sent as her replacement. Undercover as her twin sister in the Ilaran palace, she meets Prince Ceren, her groom-to-be, who may be harboring a secret that may spell the end of life as the Valerians know it. Will her secret be discovered–and will she be able to save her home from Ceren’s wrath?

 

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All kinds of meh…

I’m not sure what genre to put Crown in, and for once, that…really isn’t a good thing. It’s been most often shelved as fantasy on Goodreads, but other than the fact that there are a few magical creatures and a bit of mythic lore, there’s nothing that would peg it as fantasy. Same with science fiction, too, but the closest I could say is that it was fantasy.

Crown of Coral and Pearl, for all intents and purposes, was a mass regurgitation of the same plot that’s been plaguing YA for the past decade or so–forced arranged marriages that lead to the toppling of the royal family/government/society. Not to say that it can’t be well-executed from time to time, but it’s just been done innumerable times before, and it’s been stale for far too long. Not the most original of books.

I…sort of liked the characters. Though most of them were pressed from the mold of said arranged marriage plots (the determined heroine who is Not Like Other Girls, scheming prince, royal love interest, etc.), they were decently written. I did sort of have a liking for Talin, Ceren’s brother, even though the romantic subplot between him and Nor could be seen a mile away. Nor had some moments of being wonderfully butt-kicking, and her twin relationship with Zadie was very well-executed and genuine. The dialogue was very forced, but overall, characters seemed to be something of a stronger point here.

Overall, Crown of Coral and Pearl had the beginnings of good characters and writing, but ultimately fell prey to many of the overused tropes that run rampant in the YA genre. Two and a half stars for me. 

 

Crown of Coral and Pearl is the first in a duology. The final book, Kingdom of Sea and Stone, comes out this October.

 

Today’s song:

[zoom in on my last brain cell dancing with a giant grin on its face]

 

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Stay tuned for more content later in the week! Have a wonderful day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: March 16-22, 2020

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Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

Whew, what a week it’s been…

Not tiring, necessarily, but this week was the first week that my school tried out online learning. It wasn’t too bad, per se, just…a chaotic and strange transition, at times. (*coughcoughcough SPANISH coughcoughcough*) Nice to do everything from bed, at least. Our spring break is next week, and then we have a good three weeks more of online learning, almost through the end of April. I’m a very introverted person, but I still tend to get kind of stir-crazy. So I’m going to try and make this month at home into a time of creative productivity (working on my WIP, drawing, blogging, etc.), LOTS of reading, and plowing through my movie bucket list. (Once this social distancing time is over, I’ll try and dedicate a post to all of the movies that I’ve watched. So far, I’ve only crossed off and RBG, but I can assure you that I will be SUBSISTING off of Netflix in the next few weeks…)

Hopefully I’ll be a *bit* more prolific blogging-wise during this time.

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WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: 

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said–Philip K. Dick (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Crown of Coral and Pearl–Mara Rutherford (⭐️⭐️.5)

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Sisters–Raina Telgemeier (re-read) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Cadaver and Queen–Alisa Kwitney (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Cannery Row–John Steinbeck (finished for school) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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The Unhappening of Genesis Lee–Shallee McArthur (⭐️⭐️)

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POSTS AND SUCH: 

 

SONGS: 

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK: 

Just to let you all know, in the future, this part of the weekly update might be far sparser in the next few weeks. I’ll be relying on the Kindle library and Libby for books to read, so I don’t really have anything “on hold” that I know for certain that I will read in the next week(s). But, I just bought this one yesterday, and I am ENJOYING EVERY MINUTE OF IT…

The Survivor (The Pioneer, #2)–Bridget Tyler

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Today’s song:

 

That’s it for this week in blogging! Please stay safe out there, anyone, and don’t endanger yourself or others in these strange times. Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Down the TBR Hole, Goodreads Monday

Everything That I’ve Managed to Cross Off of Goodreads Monday or Down the TBR Hole (Part I of ?)

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

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For the past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve put on my Goodreads Monday and Down the TBR Hole posts. Now that I’ve been doing both for a fair amount of time, I’ve actually managed to read a few books that I’d posted from my TBR. It’s gonna be interesting to see how my initial thoughts measure up with how I actually feel/felt about the book. Some of them, I’ve already reviewed, but there’s some that I haven’t, so let’s see…

(These are posted in order of when I read them, not when I posted them.)

 

1. Breakfast Served Anytime, Sarah Combs

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INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Goodreads Monday, 11/18/19):

First off, I’m glad that Breakfast Served Anytime seems to be a novel about self-discovery, but without the romance aspect at the forefront. I’m not opposed to romance, but as I said in Goodreads Monday (9/9/19)-Loveless: WOMEN 👏 CAN 👏 DISCOVER 👏 THEMSELVES 👏 WITHOUT 👏 A 👏 MAN 👏

Other than that, most of the concepts and plot points in here seem to be pretty intriguing, what with Gloria trying to find her way amongst fellow outsiders, and navigating her own loss and heartache. Plus, you know I’m here for these X-Men references…

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

Though I’m disappointed (but not surprised) that the “Professor X” plotline wasn’t also an X-Men reference (they probably had to change it up for copyright reasons), this was a cute and fluffy novel, and very much a feel-good read. Forgettable at worst, but a nice reprieve from more intense literature and the state of the world. I’m also glad that somebody else appreciates The Magnetic Fields, at least.

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2. Anya’s Ghost, Vera Brosgol 

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INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Down the TBR Hole #1):

Oh, yeah. This one’s been on my TBR for three years, and I’m still on board with this sarcastic spookiness.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

I’m so glad I was right about this one. An absolute joy to read, with relatable themes, adorably stylized artwork, and witty writing. Don’t regret reading this one, not one bit.

Read my full review here! 

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3. Roar (Stormheart, #1), Cora Carmack 

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INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Down the TBR Hole 2: Electric Boogaloo):

A fantasy with a female lead who can control the weather? I’M IN. SIGN ME UP.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

I put a GIF of Storm from X-Men after my blurb on that DtTBRH post, and though Aurora/Roar doesn’t *quite* measure up to her (I mean, it’d be incredibly hard to do that, anyway), Roar was a fantasy with incredible chemistry between its characters, though a bit lacking in the romance department.

Read my full review here! 

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4. Crown of Coral and Pearl (Crown of Coral and Pearl, #1), Mara Rutherford 

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INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Goodreads Monday, 9/23/19):

Okay, maybe it’s not exactly a mermaid book, but it seems like a good execution of the concept of undersea kingdoms. If all goes well, it sounds like Crown of Coral and Pearl has a lot of political intrigue and some interesting world building. I’m not expecting another Smoke Thieves, but here’s hoping that we’ll get *something* as good as that.

And let me elaborate on the whole “desperate to read a mermaid book” thing. I haven’t read a book in years that has executed the concept of mermen well. Case in point: Jennifer Donnelly’s Deep Blue. Avoid this one at all costs; the mermaids were uncreatively designed, as was the kingdom. And, there was the unrealistic dialogue and the onslaught of awful puns that the author seemed to think that we were going to take seriously. Just stoooopppp. Ally Condie’s Atlantia has a similar plot to Crown of Coral and Pearl, but it fell into a nearly identical trap: corny dialogue, cardboard characters, etc. So yeah, I really need a good mermaid book. Soon. Right now. 🅱LEASE?

RATING: ⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to 3

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

I was promised mermaids. Kind of.  The pictures I’ve seen from some of the giveaway boxes that came from it had mermaid drawings. But did we get mermaids? Nope. Just a shoreline kingdom with some pearl divers. That’s it.

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[both songs play simultaneously on a broken recorder as I smack myself in the forehead]

I just finished one up a few hours ago, so here are my firsthand thoughts. Though the worldbuilding, political systems, and writing were intriguing enough, it lacked in most other departments. The plot and romantic subplot were both riddled with cliches, and I only felt the slightest bit of sympathy for the characters. They were well-written, to be sure, but it felt like the same plot that’s been plaguing YA for years, vomited up yet again. And…it’s shelved as fantasy, but there’s almost nothing that would qualify it for fantasy–or even science fiction–save for a few semi-magical critters and oceanic lore. Disappointing, really. Meh.

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Today’s song:

Man, this one brings back some serious memories…

For now, that’s all the books that I’ve read that have come from my Goodreads Monday and Down the TBR Hole posts! I’ll post more of these once I start stacking up more finished books. Have a wonderful day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (9/23/19)-Crown of Coral and Pearl

Would you look at that! I didn’t forget Goodreads Monday this week! 😀

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Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme started by Lauren’s Page Turners ; all you need to do to participate is to pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and tell everyone why you want to read it.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

GOODREADS MONDAY (9/23/19)-CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL by Mara Rutherford

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Blurb from Goodreads:

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

 

So why do I want to read this?

Simple. I’m desperate for a good mermaid book.

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Sorry, I had to slip this in somewhere.

Okay, maybe it’s not exactly a mermaid book, but it seems like a good execution of the concept of undersea kingdoms. If all goes well, it sounds like Crown of Coral and Pearl has a lot of political intrigue and some interesting world building. I’m not expecting another Smoke Thieves, but here’s hoping that we’ll get *something* as good as that.

And let me elaborate on the whole “desperate to read a mermaid book” thing. I haven’t read a book in years that has executed the concept of mermen well. Case in point: Jennifer Donnelly’s Deep Blue. Avoid this one at all costs; the mermaids were uncreatively designed, as was the kingdom. And, there was the unrealistic dialogue and the onslaught of awful puns that the author seemed to think that we were going to take seriously. Just stoooopppp. Ally Condie’s Atlantia has a similar plot to Crown of Coral and Pearl, but it fell into a nearly identical trap: corny dialogue, cardboard characters, etc. So yeah, I really need a good mermaid book. Soon. Right now. 🅱LEASE?

Crown of Coral and Pearl came out a little under a month ago, so here’s hoping I can find it and read it soon! 🧜‍♀️

 

Thank you so much for reading! Have a great rest of your day, and take care of yourselves! I’ll be back tomorrow for this week’s Book Review Tuesday, and I’ve also been (discreetly) tagged in my VERY FIRST BOOK TAG…so I’ll be getting to that soon as well! (Thanks A Little Haze Book Blog !)