Posted in Music

A (Possibly Mutable) List of my Top 10 Favorite Albums

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been meaning to semi-solidify this list (for now) for quite a while, but I think it was looking back through Hundreds & Thousands of Books’ post about her top 10 albums that sparked the idea in me to make a post about it, so thank you!

Even though this blog is primarily about books, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that music has had an equally profound effect on my life. Raised by two music nerds, I grew up listening to tons of Beatles and Bowie, and as I grew older, I began to mark periods of my life by the music I listened to. But there are always certain albums that leave an unmistakable mark on our lives. Some of mine have been steadfast favorites, and others I’ve only discovered in the past few months. All of them, however, have had a profound effect on me, whether it’s just been the experiencing something that’s just so, so good or marking a specific period in my life. So here are, right now, my 10 favorite albums.

Let’s begin, shall we?

🎵THE BOOKISH MUTANT’S TOP 10 FAVORITE ALBUMS🎵

10. Snail Mail – Lush (2018)

The summer of 2018 was a strange one for me—the summer before high school, and the summer I started seriously questioning my sexuality. I have Lush to thank for getting me through a lot of it, with Lindsey Jordan’s soaring guitar riffs and searingly vulnerable lyrics shining through in a debut like no other. Snail Mail is partially what inspired me to pick up the guitar—and I definitely think meeting her at a show that summer when I was a wee bisexual did something to my pubescent brain that I wouldn’t recover from…💀

Favorite Track: “Heat Wave”

9. Super Furry Animals – Rings Around the World (2001)

I remember hearing tracks like “Sidewalk Serfer Girl” and “(Drawing) Rings Around the World” from when I was about 5, but it wasn’t until this March that I appreciated this masterpiece of an album in its entirety. Something that makes me love a piece of media—be it a book, a movie, an album, or anything else—that much more is that if there’s clear evidence of how much love and care was put into it. And it’s blatantly evident here—Rings Around the World is brimming with creativity, and through all of the genres of music they explore, there isn’t a single miss. There’s something so fully-formed about it, like it just came into the world like Athena bursting forth from the skull of Zeus.

Favorite track: “No Sympathy”

8. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2001)

This album’s one that’s been a constant in my life; Wilco is one of my dad’s favorite bands, and I’ve been hearing them for so long that they’ve become inextricably linked to my personal history. (Wilco was my first concert, at the age of 8!) But this album in particular is the most special of theirs to me; like Rings Around the World, I’ve been listening to isolated songs from it for years, but the whole album is a true work of art, sonically and lyrically immersive and always emotionally moving and potent.

Favorite track(s): oh, man, this is hard…

I’ve settled on a three-way tie between “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart,” “Ashes of American Flags,” and “Reservations.”

7. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial (2016)

Another gem from the summer of 2018, this one always brings to mind dozens of fond memories—seeing Car Seat Headrest live (and subsequently tainting all of my concert videos from my off-key scream-singing), repainting my room, going on vacation in Chicago. Car Seat Headrest have been a favorite of mine since around 8th grade, but the more I think about it, the more Teens of Denial in particular stands out as my favorite album—clever, vulnerable, raw, and perfect for 14-year-old me to scream along to.

Favorite track: “Cosmic Hero”

6. The Beatles – The White Album (1968)

I guess I’ve got a theme going with the red and white album covers? I don’t think it holds up later in the list…

As I said earlier, I was undoubtably raised on the Beatles; some of my earliest memories are of hearing songs like “Good Day Sunshine” and “Yellow Submarine” in the car, and I’ve adored them ever since. I’ve flip-flopped between albums for a favorite Beatles album for years, and it feels like it changes with my mood; some days, it was Revolver, other times it was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. But between having some of my favorite Beatles songs of all time and the solace it gave me in the early days of quarantine, The White Album takes the top spot for me—I think “I’m So Tired” is my most played song on my whole iTunes library. (somehow I’ve played it over 2,500 times?? didn’t even know I was capable of such a thing 💀)

Favorite track(s): tie between “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “I’m So Tired”

5. Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (1997)

I fell in love with Spiritualized, as a lot of people seemed to do, after hearing the title track, “Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.” Ever since then, they’ve held a truly special place in my heart; I rediscovered them in quarantine, and this album in particular has held a top spot for me ever since. Despite all the abject heartbreak, addiction, and general melancholy present through this album (and all of J. Spaceman’s music), there’s a cosmic, immersive quality to his music that swallows me like a wave with every song. Listening to Spiritualized is more than just music—it’s an experience in and of itself.

Favorite track: “Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space”

4. Blur – 13 (1999)

another heartbreak album comin’ atcha…

Like Super Furry Animals, I’ve been hearing scattered Blur songs throughout my childhood, “Song 2,” “Coffee & TV,” and “Charmless Man” being standouts. But it wasn’t until last summer that I got back into Blur—really into Blur. (You all witnessed the Blurification of this blog last year…) There’s something instantly hooking about their songs—the clever lyrics, the punchy guitars that seem to burst out of your headphones. But 13 is uniquely special to me; it was my musical companion in a strange, transitionary period of my life (the beginning of senior year and being a legal adult…somehow?). Beyond that, it’s so clear that so much time and love went into this record—through every high and low, there’s a consistent resonance that you can feel in your chest. It’s a masterpiece. It’s an album that I’ve come back to ever since when I’ve felt low—there’s a healing quality to it.

Favorite track: “Tender”—also my favorite song of all time, at the moment

3. St. Vincent – St. Vincent (2014)

adding another white album cover to the mix, I guess?

St. Vincent, without a doubt, is responsible for shaping some of my most formative years. Middle school was a weird time for me—I was struggling with friendships, forming my identity, and getting teased for the things I loved so passionately. And here was St. Vincent, this confident, ridiculously talented musician who wielded her guitar like a sword into battle. So you can imagine how I got attached to her. Even if MASSEDUCTION made me lose a little faith in her for a few years, she’ll always remain as a hero of mine, and St. Vincent in particular will always be a daring, fierce masterpiece that sweeps me off my feet every time—and the album that got me through 6th grade.

Favorite track: “Bad Believer” (on the deluxe edition), “Severed Crossed Fingers” (on the original edition)

2. Radiohead – OK Computer (1997)

and another white album cover? sort of?

Yeah, okay. I fully admit that my toxic trait is genuinely enjoying certain kinds of male manipulator music. But Radiohead will always be an immensely special band to me. “The Daily Mail” was my first exposure to them (thanks, Legion!), but OK Computer opened my eyes to something I’d never experienced before—or, something that I’d overlooked before, but now fully appreciate. Like Spiritualized, every Radiohead song is a fleshed-out landscape, an experience that lifts you off your feet, even when the lyrics are unbearably heartbreaking. OK Computer is an album that I wish I could listen to for the first time again—it’s an unforgettable, dystopian masterpiece, and it’s proved itself to stand the test of time.

Favorite track: “Paranoid Android”

  1. David Bowie – Hunky Dory (1971)
I guess there’s a slight pattern on here with tan album covers too?

And here it is: my favorite album of all time.

David Bowie has been a constant companion in my life; one of my earliest memories that I can think of is hearing “Kooks” in the car. He’s been another hero of mine for years—again, he came to me in middle school, at a time when I was an outsider and unsure of myself, and stood as a glaring reminder to be myself—no matter what. This album in particular is, in my opinion, a perfect album; there isn’t a single bad song, and each one is a world of its own, spinning lyrical tales that span from the cosmic to the tender and everything in between. It’s an album I always come back to, and one that I’ll always hold close. Some of the other albums lower on the list may change or switch orders over the course of my life, but I doubt I’ll ever come across something quite as stellar as this.

Favorite track(s): Tie between “Quicksand” and “Life On Mars?”

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! Have you listened to any of these albums, and if so, did you like them? What are some of your favorite albums? Let me know in the comments!

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Book Tags

The Book Adaptation Tag 🎞

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

Most of the time, I don’t end up leaving posts in my drafts, but for some reason, I never got around to finishing this one…after I started it in December. Oops.

But I’m in the mood to do a book tag, so I figured I’d go ahead and trawl through the (many) book tags I have in my blog sticky note. I found this one over at Riddhi’s blog, Whispering Stories, and I was also tagged by Book It With Becca (thank you!). Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find who originally created the tag. If anybody knows, please let me know so I can credit them! I have lots of opinions about book adaptations, whether they be TV shows, movies, or otherwise, so this sounds like a lot of fun!

Let’s begin, shall we?

📚THE BOOK ADAPTATION TAG🎥

  1. What is the last book adaptation movie you saw?

Not counting my re-watch of Fantastic Mr. Fox on New Year’s Eve, I think it might’ve been Dune! I loved both the book and the movie, and the cinematography and special effects were stunning. I went to see it with my brother and his friends for his birthday, and we all just stared at each other silently SCREAMING every single time the sandworm came on screen

2. What book movie are you most excited about?

This one isn’t a movie, but they announced last year that Warcross was going to be adapted for a TV series! Plus, it’s going to be on FX, the same streaming service that has Legion, Fargo, and What We Do in the Shadows!!

3. Which upcoming book movie will you definitely not see?

I’ve never been a fan of Sarah J. Maas, and I heard they’re making a TV show out of A Court of Thorns and Roses, so…nah. My mom and I agreed that we might hate-watch it together, though…

4. Which book movie would you never watch again?

I wouldn’t say that I would never watch Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (the 1994 one) again, but it certainly was…not great. Very weird. And not in a good way. Just…uncomfortable. At least Frankenstein’s monster was good in this one.

5. Is there a movie you saw that made you want to read the book if you had not yet?

Watching I’m Thinking of Ending Things on Netflix made me want to read the book, and I’m glad to say that both were incredible!

6. Conversely, is there a movie that made you never want to read the book?

I watched The Man Who Fell to Earth thinking it would be old sci-fi vibes and David Bowie, and…well, David Bowie was great, but the movie was 2.5-ish hours of pure discomfort. I’m not sure what kind of creative liberties that Nicolas Roeg took with the book, but either way, I don’t think I’ll be picking the book up.

7. Name an adaptation that has almost nothing to do with the book it is supposedly based on.

The movie version of How to Train Your Dragon is very different from the books—but in this case, the movies were better. It’s been a while since I’ve seen any of them, but the most notable difference that I remember is Toothless—in the books, he was a lot smaller and could talk. I like movie Toothless a lot better, though; he reminds me of my cats.

8. Have you ever left the theatre during a movie adaptation because it was so bad?

I don’t think I’ve ever left the theatre during any movie, so that’s a no.

9. Do you prefer to watch the movie first, or read the book first?

Most of the time, I prefer to read the book first, but I’m human and make mistakes, so that barely ends up happening. Most of the time, I don’t even know that I’m watching an adaptation when I go into it (ex. I’m Thinking of Ending Things)

10. How do you feel about movie adaptations that age characters up? (ex. Characters that are in middle school, but in the movies, they’re all 18+)

The only example I can remember is the (highly forgettable) Percy Jackson movies, but it does rub me the wrong way when they age characters in a middle-grade adaptation up. Like Riddhi said—if they could find a bunch of fantastic child actors for Stranger Things, then what’s stopping everybody else?

11. Do you get angry when actors don’t look like you thought the characters would?

Most of the time I don’t—for me, it’s near impossible for actors to look super close to the image I had of the character in the book. But I’ll admit that I’m still seething over the fact that the Darkling in Shadow and Bone looked nothing how I imagined him. Not nearly as goth as he should’ve been.

12. Is there a movie you liked better than its book?

Even though I liked the original book, Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Fantastic Mr. Fox is leagues better! He gives the story a new meaning, and all of the characters have so much more personality than they did in the book.

13. Name a book you would love to see as a movie.

I have a handful—I’d love to see adaptations of The Wide Starlight, The Young Elites, Illuminae, and Heart of Iron, to name a few.

I TAG:

Today’s song:

I’ve only listened to this album all the way through once, but it’s pretty solid!!

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: January 3-9, 2022

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this first full week of 2022 has treated you well.

I thought my school was off for winter break for another full week, but as it turns out, school started this Wednesday…oof

We had a 2-hour delay because of the snow though, so at least I got to sleep in on Thursday. And it’s been an easy week—I have a creative writing class now too!

Reading-wise, I’ve just been trawling books from the Kindle library, with varying degrees of success. Two of them I loved, and two of them were books that I had highly anticipated but ended up being disappointed by. (Oh, Persephone Station and Sisters of the Snake…how you’ve let me down…)The latter resulted in, sadly, my first DNF of the year…[heavy sigh]

Slowly, I’ve been getting through the editing stage of draft 2 of my WIP. I got through my favorite scene, though, so that was fun to revisit. I got to write some fun blog posts this week too, so that’s been good.

Other than that, I’ve just been watching The Tragedy of Macbeth (so so SO good) andThe Book of Boba Fett (ehh?? I have mixed feelings but I’ll stick around), waiting for my preorders to arrive in the mail (1 down, 1 to go…even though they came out on the same day?), getting comics, volunteering at the library, and skiing for the first time since…probably 2019?

Oh, and happy (belated) birthday, Bowie. Miss you always. ⚡️

RIP Miranda - No more Sex and City movies - GIF on Imgur

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Sorcery of Thorns eBook : Rogerson, Margaret: Kindle Store

Only Mostly Devastated – Sophie Gonzales (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Only Mostly Devastated: A Novel: 9781250315892: Gonzales,  Sophie: Books

Persephone Station – Stina Leicht (⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Persephone Station: 9781534414587: Leicht, Stina: Books

Sisters of the Snake (Ria & Rani, #1)Sasha Nanua and Sarena Nanua (⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Sisters of the Snake: 9780062985590: Nanua, Sasha, Nanua,  Sarena: Books

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

The Kindred – Alechia Dow

The Kindred by Alechia Dow

The Fallen (The Outside, #2) – Ada Hoffmann

The Fallen: Hoffmann, Ada: 9780857668684: Amazon.com: Books

I’m Not Missing – Carrie Fountain

Amazon.com: I'm Not Missing: A Novel: 9781250132512: Fountain, Carrie: Books

Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1) – Rosaria Munda

Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1) by Rosaria Munda

Lightless – C.A. Higgins

Lightless (Lightless, #1) by C.A. Higgins

Today’s song:

this album cover is so cursed I’m sorry

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: December 20-26, 2021

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

And Merry Christmas (one day belated) for those of you who celebrate! I had a lovely Christmas—I got some cool shirts, lots of chocolate, a guitar pedal, a Ray Bradbury book, and lots of other goodies! It was so great to be able to spend time with family and just be together. We got a little snow on Christmas Eve, but Christmas Day was…weirdly warmish, but at least there was snow from the day before on the ground.

1964 rudolph the red nosed reindeer weihnachten GIF on GIFER - by Hellwalker

I had my last two days of school this week, and I’m glad to say that my finals are over! I’m relieved that I did well on them too. And now I’m on break, and I’m so glad to have a few weeks of rest.

My reading’s been slightly slowed down because of final, but now that finals are over, I have a lot more time. On a whim, I decided to re-read most of the Madman trades we own, and it was so fun to revisit one of my favorite comics! I also completed my Goodreads challenge of 250 books! I’m at 254 now!

Madman Adventures Collection by Mike Allred
art by Mike Allred

Other than that, I’ve just been sleeping in, drawing a bit, beginning to edit my main sci-fi WIP, enjoying my Christmas gifts, playing Minecraft, listening to Parklife, and baking with my mom. Oh, and I’m seeing Spiderman: No Way Home this afternoon—NO SPOILERS, PLEASE!

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) – Leigh Bardugo (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Ninth House (Alex Stern, 1): 9781250313072: Bardugo, Leigh:  Books

Squad – Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25)

Amazon.com: Squad: 9780062943149: Tokuda-Hall, Maggie, Sterle, Lisa: Books

The Secret History – Donna Tartt (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Secret History: Tartt, Donna: 9781400031702: Amazon.com: Books

Madman Two Trilogies: The Tundra Age – Mike Allred (re-read) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Book Cover

Madman Comics Yearbook ’95 – Mike Allred (re-read) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Madman Comics Yearbook '95 by Mike Allred

Complete Madman Comics vol. 2 – Mike Allred (re-read) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Complete Madman Comics Vol. 2 TPB :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics

POSTS AND SUCH:

LITERALLY JUST PARKLIFE SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity – Ray Bradbury

Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity: Bradbury, Ray:  9718777410946: Amazon.com: Books

Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights, #2) – Chloe Gong

Amazon.com: Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights): 9781534457720: Gong,  Chloe: Books

The Night When No One Had Sex – Kalena Miller

The Night When No One Had Sex | Albert Whitman & Company

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 Tags

Chapters & Melodies Tag 🎵

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I have so many tags that I’ve been meaning to do for a while, so I figured I’d take some time on my break to do…well, at least one of them. Since I’m almost as big of a fan of music as I am of books, this is the perfect tag for me! The tag was created by Evin @ A Curly Sue’s Ramblings and Diamond @ I Have 12% of a Plan, and I found the tag over at Suhani @ Random Reader’s Rambles.

RULES:

  • Link back to the creators’ posts – I have 12% of a plan & A Curly Sue’s Ramblings
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Answer the prompts and use the original graphics
  • Tag 5 bloggers who would enjoy doing this tag
  • Notify them by commenting on their blog
  • Use the tag “Chapters & Melodies Tag” in your post
  • Have fun!

Let’s begin, shall we?

☾ — fantastictvs: Legion S01E06.
here I am cycling through all possible “Syd or Lenny wearing headphones” gifs

🎵CHAPTERS & MELODIES TAG🎵

A SONG AND A BOOK THAT SHARE A TITLE

Supernova: Meyer, Marissa: 9781250078384: Books - Amazon.ca

This prompt took a WHILE of digging through my read books on Goodreads, but I’ve found one: Supernova (Marissa Meyer) and “Supernova” by Liz Phair!

A SONG THAT REMINDS YOU OF A BOOK

Amazon.com: The Final Six: 9780062658944: Monir, Alexandra: Books

At the time that I read The Final Six, I was somewhat familiar with Radiohead, but seeing the reference to “Paranoid Android” is what made me dive deeper into their music—OK Computer in particular. OK Computer is one of my favorite albums now, and Radiohead is one of my favorite bands. So, uh…thanks, Alexandra Monir!

A BOOK THAT FEATURES MUSIC IN IT

Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon: 9780525517641 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Ziggy, Stardust and Me gets its name from David Bowie, and his music features prominently in the novel, which I loved! (Bowie’s my favorite) There are also a few Pink Floyd references, from what I remember—I think specifically about “Time.”

A SONG THAT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR OTP

Let Auri Twirl!!!!!! Auri from Aurora Rising #aurorarising #auroracycle  #fanart #sketch #sketchbook #copicmarkers #illustrati… | Aurora rising cat,  Aurora, Fan book
art credit to L004P on Tumblr

Auri and Kal from Aurora Rising are 100% my OTP! They’re the sweetest, most tender pair together, and over the years, both of them—especially Auri—have become such important characters to me. I associate “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space” with them for a few reasons—the lyrics (in this version, at least), fit, and the sweeping, space-y atmosphere fits the feel of the book itself. But if there’s one thing, ONE THING that I would give anything to see in the TV adaptation, it’s this song playing in the scene with Auri and Kal in the pollen fields. THAT’S ALL I ASK.

FAVORITE SONG FROM A MOVIE THAT WAS ADAPTED FROM A BOOK

Dune: Deluxe Edition: Herbert, Frank: 9780593099322: Amazon.com: Books

Technically, this song is a) a cover, and b) was only in the trailer, but for me, it’s a fantastic cover! Gives me chills every time, and it has ever since I first saw the Dune trailer last year. Great book, great movie.

I TAG:

Best Abe Sapien GIFs | Gfycat

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Book Tags

Cozy Fall Book Tag 🍁

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

I haven’t done a book tag in quite a while, and I figured I’d do one since I’m on fall break! I found this one over at Brianna’s Books and Randomness, and the tag was originally created by The Book Belle on BookTube. I love fall, so this is the perfect tag…

Let’s begin, shall we?

ANIME — ANIME SEASONS: Fall/Autumn 🍁

🍁COZY FALL BOOK TAG🍁

What book always reminds you of fall/autumn?

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

I read The Bone Houses last fall, and it’s the perfect atmospheric book for this season!

What is your favorite autumnal book cover?

Kingsbane (Empirium, #2) by Claire Legrand

Kingsbane (book 2 in the Empyrium trilogy) has some lovely autumnal colors.

What is your favorite autumnal drink to read with?

Chris Helmsworth GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

I don’t habitually drink while I read, but I can’t say no to drinking some hot cinnamon spice tea while reading.

Do you prefer to read early in the morning or late at night?

Loki Thor Ragnarok GIF - Loki Thor Ragnarok Laufey Son - Discover & Share  GIFs
oop here I go dumping in all the MCU gifs

…uh, both? It depends on the day, really. My internal clock usually wakes me up at about 7 am on the weekends (much to my dismay), so I sometimes read then, if I don’t fall back asleep first. I like to read before bed as well. Both is good.

Halloween is coming! What’s your favorite spooky read?

The anatomy of Frankenstein book covers

Can’t go wrong with Frankenstein, the original spooky read!

What is the ultimate comfort read for you?

Aurora Rising: Amie Kaufman,Jay Kristoff: 9781786075338: Amazon.com: Books

I know I talk about Aurora Rising in almost every single tag I do, but this book really does have such a special place in my heart. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, what with book 3 coming out in about a month…

What is your favorite fall reading snack?

Boo! Bulldog's Top Halloween Candy of 2019 - bulldog yoga

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a reading snack, but believe me when I say that all of my impulse control goes out the window whenever I’m near a bag of candy corns.

What is your favorite autumnal candle to burn whilst reading?

Beautiful Candle Animated Gif Pics - Best Animations

I don’t usually burn a whole lot of candles, but we have a whole bunch of decorative candles from my family’s Halloween decorations that are scattered around the house. They’re pretty cute.

When you’re not reading, what’s your favorite fall activity?

Normal is an illusion." | Autumn scenes, Autumn tumblr, Autumn cozy

Watching Tim Burton movies, taking pictures of the turning leaves, and curling up with a blanket and whatever TV show I happen to be watching at the moment.

What’s on your fall reading list?

A Gathering of Shadows: A Novel (Shades of Magic, 2): Victoria Schwab:  9780765376473: Amazon.com: Books

Um? I never really do concrete reading lists, but I just got A Gathering of Shadows from my school library because I LOVED book 1. This will probably be my next read.

I TAG:

Autumn Aesthetic GIF - Autumn Aesthetic - Discover & Share GIFs

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Books

Popular YA Books I Couldn’t Get on Board With

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a little while, so here goes nothing…

We all know the feeling. We’ve picked up a book because of the seemingly endless 4 and 5 star reviews and the high praise from friends and fellow readers and book bloggers, and then it turns out to be a steaming disappointment. For me, popular YA books live up to the hype about 50% of the time for me, and the other 50% is either just…not feeling anything from it, or not liking it at all. And there’s plenty of hyped books that I’ve loved! But sometimes, a lot of these books just haven’t worked for me.

And before I start, I just wanted to say this – if you liked any of these books, this post isn’t meant to shame anybody’s reading preferences at all. If you liked them, good for you! These are just my opinions here, and as per the Latin proverb, to each, their own is beautiful. I just wasn’t a fan of these books.

Let’s begin, shall we?

My Disappointment Is Immeasurable And My Day Is Ruined | Know Your Meme

😕POPULAR YA BOOKS I COULDN’T GET ON BOARD WITH😕

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1) – Victoria Aveyard

Amazon.com: Red Queen (Red Queen, 1) (9780062310644): Aveyard, Victoria:  Books

MY RATING: ⭐️ (DNF)

It’s been about three years since I’ve read this one, but it was a pretty quick DNF for me. Red Queen felt like every bad YA trope melted into a single book – an unoriginal dystopian world with the “plain heroine that doesn’t realize how beautiful she is and is THE CHOSEN ONE” and gets into an insta-love romance…gah, I forget how long it took before I put it down, but this was just painful.

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) – Holly Black

Amazon.com: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, 1) (9780316310314):  Black, Holly: Books

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️

Holly Black is a hit-or-miss author for me, but The Cruel Prince definitely fell among the misses for me. The worldbuilding was great here (and I loved the little ink drawings at the beginnings of the chapters!), but all of the characters were astronomically unlikable. Everybody just seemed intent on bullying and backstabbing everybody else, and there wasn’t any balance with a character with a slightly better moral compass. And don’t get me started on Jude and Cardan being a thing…WHY? If I remember correctly, Cardan spends about 3/4 of the book relentlessly degrading Jude, and then gets down on his knees and tells her that he loves her…HUH?

IOS 14.5 – And ATT Enforcement – Is Finally Coming Next Week | AdExchanger

HOW MUCH MORE TOXIC CAN YOU GET? And somehow, Cardan’s up there with Kaz Brekker and that dude from ACOTAR (I don’t remember his name, I haven’t read the books and don’t intend to) with the brooding YA dudes that everybody fawns over? Makes me lose a little faith in humanity sometimes…

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) – Sarah J. Maas

Amazon.com: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, 1) (9781599906959): Maas,  Sarah J.: Books

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️

Here’s one that everybody recommended to me…should of listened to that guy in my class in middle school who did a book report on this one and didn’t like it

Okay. Maybe this one’s a little skewed. I read most of Throne of Glass when I was home sick with a stomachache, but even then, I think I wouldn’t have been a fan. The ✨fantasy names✨ were a pain to pronounce, Calaena came off as a very static character with very little development, if any, and everything seemed to worked out a little *too* well for her in the end. The worldbuilding was interesting, though. I guess. Probably not gonna pick this one up, but I don’t think I’ll go for ACOTAR or Crescent City either. Meh.

Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik

Amazon.com: Spinning Silver: A Novel (9780399180989): Novik, Naomi: Books

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️

My main problem was the same one I had with The Cruel Prince – the toxicity of the main relationship. Mirnatius spends about 3/4 of the book being borderline abusive towards Miryem, and then, ✨poof!✨ Happy relationship!

Schitts Creek Excuse Me GIF - SchittsCreek ExcuseMe WeekendVibe - Discover  & Share GIFs | Funny relatable memes, Schitts creek, Relatable

Yeah, no, that’s just weird. Also, wasn’t there a significant age gap between the two of them? Final nail in the coffin, really…

All the Stars and Teeth – Adalyn Grace

Buy All the Stars and Teeth: 1 (All the Stars and Teeth Duology, 1) Book  Online at Low Prices in India | All the Stars and Teeth: 1 (All the Stars  and

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️

This one lured me in with a gorgeous cover and the promise of mermaids, and…well, we got a mermaid, but the rest of the book didn’t make up for it.

All the Stars and Teeth felt very formulaic for me, right down to the conveniently-placed puppet show to explain the worldbuilding. We’ve got a protagonist with dangerous magic, the mysterious love interest…it just felt like every other YA fantasy in the last few years. Not much to distinguish it from the others, if anything at all.

Cinderella is Dead – Kalynn Barron

Amazon.com: Cinderella Is Dead (9781547603879): Bayron, Kalynn: Books

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️.5

Out of all of the books here, Cinderella is Dead is probably the one that I had the highest expectations for. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with a book with a sapphic, POC lead taking down the patriarchy in a world sculpted from the myth of Cinderella?

…several things, as it turned out.

I found the worldbuilding to be full of holes, none of the characters were very distinct, the villain was an irredeemable caricature, and all of the attempts commentary on abuse and misogyny and such relied way too much on telling, as opposed to showing. For me Cinderella is Dead was just a case of a great idea, but poor execution. Shame…

Revenge Of The Sith Episode 3 GIF by Star Wars - Find & Share on GIPHY

A Curse so Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1) – Brigid Kemmerer

Amazon.com: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (The Cursebreaker Series)  (9781681195087): Kemmerer, Brigid: Books

MY RATING: ⭐️ (DNF)

This one was another DNF for me about two years ago. I still really appreciate that Kemmerer chose to have a disabled character at the forefront of a YA fantasy (Harper has cerebral palsy – not sure how accurate the rep is, though), but otherwise…meh. On top of the obvious attempt to make this Beauty and the Beast retelling as Dark And Gritty™️ as possible, the love triangle (and both love interests, if memory serves) put me off in the end.

Storm and Fury (The Harbinger, #1) – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Storm and Fury (The Harbinger Series Book 1)- Buy Online in Antigua and  Barbuda at antigua.desertcart.com. ProductId : 134271270.

MY RATING: ⭐️ (DNF)

Ugh, this one was a mess…

This was my first exposure to Jennifer L. Armentrout, and I don’t think I’ll be reading anything of hers after this. Again, this falls into almost every YA trope that I hate – the Chosen One who is so very clearly Not Like Other Girls, the Sarcastic Bad Boy Love Interest (Zayne still makes me squirm)…I forget where I DNF’d this one, but I just could not take another page. Yikes.

Instant Karma – Marissa Meyer

Amazon.com: Instant Karma (9781250618818): Meyer, Marissa: Books

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️

Instant Karma was a sore disappointment…I’ve loved almost everything else of Marissa Meyer’s, but I just didn’t click with this one. I loved the premise of a magical-realism rom-com and all of the Beatles references were great, but Pru really got on my nerves, and the romance never made me feel anything.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! What were your thoughts on these books? What’s a popular YA book that you didn’t like?

Huge Mistake GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (5/25/21) – Summer Bird Blue

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles! Hope you’re all doing okay. I’m finally having a little peace after this awful school year…I still have one more day left, BUT I’M FINALLY DONE WITH PRECALC! MY SOUL IS NO LONGER BEING ACTIVELY CRUSHED!

[ahem] anyway

This book was been on my TBR since the dawn of time, added soon after I finished Bowman’s debut, Starfish. I finally got around to picking it up at the library recently, and I’m so glad I did! An immensely powerful portrait of sisterhood, grief, and music.

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: Summer Bird Blue (9781481487757): Bowman, Akemi Dawn: Books

Summer Bird Blue – Akemi Dawn Bowman

Music is everything to sisters Rumi and Lea, who write songs together based on spur-of-the-moment wordplay. But when Lea is killed in a car crash, Rumi’s life is upended completely. In a fit of grief, her mother sends her to Hawaii to live with her aunt, hoping that there, she’ll be able to process her emotions.

Instead, Rumi finds herself even more depressed than before, grappling with the absence of Lea and the waning of her creativity. But with the help of a few unexpected neighbors, Rumi begins to realize that her love of music – and the people around her – are the key to overcoming her great loss.

Tweet Roundup | The Most Wholesome Reasons I'm Not Crying, You're Crying |  Flight of the conchords, The wedding singer, Bones funny
me internally while reading this book

TW/CW: car crash, death, loss of loved one (sibling), panic attacks, near-death experiences (drowning)

GAH.

It’s been years since I read Starfish, but what I remembered most was the powerful gut feeling it stirred up in me. But reading Summer Bird Blue made me realize what a profound talent that Akemi Dawn Bowman has, and it’s proof that sometimes, books don’t just make you feel ordinary emotion. Sometimes they make you feel raw emotion right down to your core.

Fair warning: Summer Bird Blue is one of those books that you should probably be in a good and stable place mentally before reading. I probably couldn’t have read it myself at certain (recent) points in my life, so I’m glad I read it when I did. It’s heavy: it’ll make you hurt, it’ll make you feel low, but that’s exactly what grieving feels like. The best part of this novel may be how Bowman handles grief; it’s something that holds you in its jaws and won’t let go until it’s had its fill of you. Rumi’s struggles with coping with her younger sister’s death felt all too real, from the physical symptoms to the creeping self doubt about relationships with the deceased. It’s unflinching and it doesn’t hold back, but that completes the picture of not just Rumi’s grief, but the grief of so many others.

What also stood out to me was how well-executed Rumi was as a flawed character. Even though she’s lost her sister, you don’t feel 100% sympathetic for her – she’s selfish at time, has a tendency to lash out at those she loves, and is more than a bit lacking in the apologizing department. But having Rumi be a less-than-perfect person is part of what made her and her journey all the more authentic. She feels real, fleshed-out. And her representation is also great – not only is she biracial, but she’s aromantic-asexual as well! I don’t see a whole lot of asexuality represented in YA literature (though I’m steadily seeing it increasing), so it’s great to have characters like Rumi out there.

Rumi’s personal journey was nothing short of beautiful – character development at its finest. She experiments, she makes bad decisions, she tries new things, but ultimately discovers the healing power of creativity. For her, music was intrinsically tied to her sister, but creativity was, along with her newfound relationships, was what brought her out of the darkness. And I think that’s just lovely. We love our passions dearly, but we always underestimate their power to truly save us, and that’s what makes our passions our passions.

All in all, a raw and beautiful exploration of grief and healing 4 stars!

gif 1k mygifs beautiful water ocean tropical island hawaii clear water  carribean calming water gifs ocean gifs i-nfatuationnn •

Summer Bird Blue is a standalone, but Akemi Dawn Bowman is also the author of Starfish, Harley in the Sky, and The Infinity Courts; the first two are standalone novels, but The Infinity Courts is a trilogy, with the last two books slated for release in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Today’s song:

woke up with this song in my head

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

Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (2/22/21) – Sorrowland

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.

Here’s my final Goodreads Monday pick for Black History Month here in the U.S., as February is coming to a close. (Still can’t believe it’s almost March). At this point, I’ll read anything that Rivers Solomon writes, so this was a novel that I immediately added to my TBR when I found out about it!

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (2/22/21) – SORROWLAND by Rivers Solomon

Amazon.com: Sorrowland: A Novel (9780374266776): Solomon, Rivers: Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

Vern – seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised – flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world.

But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes incredible brutality far beyond what a person should be capable of, her body wracked by inexplicable and uncanny changes.

To understand her metamorphosis and to protect her small family, Vern has to face the past, and more troublingly, the future – outside the woods. Finding the truth will mean uncovering the secrets of the compound she fled but also the violent history in America that produced it.

Rivers Solomon’s Sorrowland is a genre-bending work of Gothic fiction. Here, monsters aren’t just individuals, but entire nations. It is a searing, seminal book that marks the arrival of a bold, unignorable voice in American fiction.

So why do I want to read this?

Gardens of the night GIFs - Get the best gif on GIFER

First off, THAT COVER! I just love the color scheme, the plants, the typeface…🥺

I started getting into Solomon’s novels last year. The Deep and An Unkindness of Ghosts were masterpieces, so of course I’m jumping at the chance to read something else that they’ve written! Their prose is consistently powerful, unique and gripping, and it’s clear that they’re a master storyteller.

The synopsis describes this one as gothic fiction, and I think Solomon’s writing style would translate perfectly into that kind of story! I’m always up for paranormal tales of the woods and strange monsters, and the fact that we’ll soon see Solomon’s take on it is so exciting for me!

Sorrowland is expected to come out this May, so I’ll see you all then…

Flower Opening GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: January 25-31, 2021

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

The pseudo-almost-reading slump that I had last week started to continue into this week, but some of my library holds picked up significantly after that, as well as some of the holds that came in on my Kindle. Now I have my haul from my Christmas gift card to look forward to, and I’m so excited for that!

Outlining for the second draft of my sci-fi WIP has been pretty slow going, but I’d say that I’m making steady process. (The fact that I’ve had another light school week has certainly helped.) I left a whole bunch of comments during the initial edits I did on the first draft, and occasionally I’ll just find one that cracks me up.

Other than that, I drew a bit, caught up on WandaVision (OKAY EPISODE FOUR DEFINITELY PICKED UP), and watched The Hunt for the Wilderpeople with my family. The latter made me cry like a baby, but it was 100% worth it. Also, I’m learning “Quicksand” by David Bowie on the guitar 🥺 what a beautiful song

David bowie tv GIF - Find on GIFER

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Ruinsong–Julia Ember (⭐️⭐️)

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

Punching the Air–Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi

Lightbringer (Empirium, #3)–Claire Legrand (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25)

Lightbringer (Empirium, #3) by Claire Legrand

Haunting the Deep (How to Hang a Witch, #2)–Adriana Mather (⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Haunting the Deep (9780553539516): Mather, Adriana: Books

I’m Thinking of Ending Things–Iain Reid (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25)

I'm Thinking of Ending Things eBook by Iain Reid - 9781501126963 | Rakuten  Kobo United States

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Before the Fall–Noah Hawley

Amazon.com: Before the Fall eBook: Hawley, Noah: Kindle Store

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin–Roseanne A. Brown

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

The Conference of the Birds (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, #5)–Ransom Riggs

Amazon.com: The Conference of the Birds (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar  Children) (9780735231504): Riggs, Ransom: Books

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)–Becky Chambers

Amazon.com: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, 1)  (9780062444134): Chambers, Becky: Books

Today’s song:

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