Posted in Monthly Wrap-Ups

April 2022 Wrap-Up 🎫

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

I keep saying things along the lines of “this week has been low-key…” in my updates and in my journal, fully knowing that it’s the calm before the storm (read: AP tests), but it’s been good to enjoy the calm nonetheless. And if I could get through three AP tests last year, then I can do it this year too. At least they’re all in one week again this time.

GENERAL THOUGHTS:

Looking back, April was somewhat busy, but it never quite felt that way. Going to three concerts in a month was certainly a plus, however tired I got the day after the second two. I have less than a month left of high school (!!!!) and it certainly feels like things are slowing down…it’s all coming into perspective…

April’s been a great reading month as well! Aside from one DNF at the beginning of the month, I haven’t read anything below two stars. I found some great books in the bunch too, both from new-to-me authors and from tried-and-true authors! A good batch, I think.

Things have been slowing down as far as writing goes; since I shared my WIP, I’ve been in a sort of limbo where I’m not sure what to write next. For now, I’m outlining for said WIP’s sequel, but it’s been…rocky. I forgot how frustrating the beginning stages of outlining can be sometimes. Figuring out the playlist has been fun, though…Other than that, I’ve just been drawing, learning a few new songs on guitar, finishing Raised by Wolves (w h a t) and Severance (season 2 can’t come soon enough), watching Spirited Away, listening to an excess of Wet Leg, Spiritualized, and Jack White, and seeing Spiritualized, Snail Mail, and Ben Folds live. (All three were lots of fun, but Spiritualized was hands down my favorite!!)

READING AND BLOGGING:

I read 18 books this month! I can chalk that one up to several lengthy books that took me longer than usual to read, but that’s okay. Still on track for my goodreads goal of 200—78 books as of now!

1 – 1.75 stars:

Witches Steeped in Gold

2 – 2.75 stars:

The Conductors

3 – 3.75 stars:

One for All

4 – 4.75 stars:

The Weight of Our Sky

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH: Extasia4.5 stars

SOME POSTS I’M PROUD OF:

POSTS FROM OTHER WONDERFUL PEOPLE THAT I ENJOYED:

SONGS/ALBUMS THAT I ENJOYED:

now THAT is an impressive high note
this was so beautiful live 😭
in which my dad and I try to catalogue all of the songs that they played at the Spiritualized soundcheck
such a fun album!
also a very fun album!!
every day I get more and more excited about the new Soccer Mommy album
such a haunting ending to a beautiful album
this was so much fun live!! the whole concert was so fun and interactive

DID I FOLLOW THROUGH ON MY APRIL GOALS?

  • Read at least 20 books: 18, but it’s all good.
  • Try not to spontaneously combust at the Spiritualized concert if/when they play “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space”: …well, no “Ladies And Gentlemen,” but nonetheless, I spontaneously combusted. Hands down, one of my favorite concerts I’ve ever been to. Thanks again, J Spaceman!

GOALS FOR MAY:

  • Get through the AP tests
  • Finish high school strong! (aAAA STILL CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GRADUATING—)

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: April 4-10, 2022

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

Monday was the highlight of my week by far, but it’s been a good week overall. So Monday…I got a haircut in the afternoon, and that night, I got to see Spiritualized!! Without question, one of my favorite concerts that I’ve ever been to. At this point, I’m not even mad that they didn’t play “Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space”—they played so well, and I feel so lucky to have seen one of my favorite bands live. Thanks, J Spaceman and company. 💗

I’ve had a decent reading week; I wouldn’t go so far to call it a slump, but it’s dangerously close. My first read of the week ended up being a DNF, but most of the others ended up being in the 3-star range. I’m moving onto my Barnes & Noble books and some others next week though, and those ones are VERY promising.

Other than that, I’ve been listening to way too much Spiritualized and rewatching videos from the concert, listening to the new Wet Leg and Jack White albums, drawing, finishing up Severance (AAAAAAAAA) and Raised by Wolves (I’m sorry what happened there), and hanging out with Ringo (still bent on biting my feet whenever possible, unfortunately).

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Witches Steeped in Gold – Ciannon Smart (DNF – ⭐️)

She Who Rides the Storm – Caitlyn Sangster (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Our Stories Carried Us Here – Tea Rozman Clark et. al. (anthology) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Measure for Measure – William Shakespeare (read for school) (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Conductors (Murder and Magic, #1) – Nicole Glover (⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️)

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1) – Martha Wells

Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow, #3) – Rainbow Rowell

Seven Devils – Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno Garcia

Today’s song:

I forget what dredged this song from the depths from my memory but god I love it

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: 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 Monthly Wrap-Ups

October Wrap-Up 🦇

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

October is usually one of my favorite times of year, but this year was one of a lot of self-reflection. Last October was—and still is—a painful stretch of terrain to look back on, but I’m glad to say that I’m in a much better place now. Plus, fall!

GENERAL THOUGHTS:

King of grunge GIFs - Get the best gif on GIFER

Since last year, I’ve had lots of time to heal, and even though the particular anniversary of the most unpleasant part was rocky, I’ve had a nice month overall. October is one of my favorite times of year, what with the confluence of Halloween and all the good feelings I associate with fall, and I got to enjoy that part to the fullest. There’s been hardly any snow at all (and what little snow we had didn’t accumulate), and the leaves have been extra bright and crunchy.

I had a lot of fun this month too! I dyed my hair, I got pumpkins, I got to watch two amazing movies (Dune and The French Dispatch) in theaters, and I just got back from LA! We went to see Danny Elfman perform the soundtrack of The Nightmare Before Christmas on Friday night, which was MAGICAL. We stopped by the La Brea Tar Pits museum and Amoeba Records too, which were both amazing. Plus, even though I only got to wear it for a few minutes after getting back to the airport, my Kaz Brekker costume was a lot of fun.

As far as writing goes, I’ve been writing my other WIP on and off. I hit 100 pages recently, but I feel like it’ll be too short…plus, and I’m fighting the urge to edit my main WIP. Maybe NaNoWriMo will sort things out.

We’ll see.

READING AND BLOGGING:

I read 18 books this month! As far as the quantity goes, it’s been my worst reading month of the year, but it doesn’t really matter. I can mostly chalk it up to a) school, b) more long books than usual, and c) at least two reading slumps, but I still read a whole lot of stuff that I’d been looking forward to. Plus, there were some single-issue comics in there too. And I’m still on track to complete my Goodreads goal, anyway.

1 – 1.75 stars:

Amazon.com: Horrid eBook : Leno, Katrina: Kindle Store
Horrid

2 – 2.75 stars:

Caster : Chapman, Elsie: Amazon.co.uk: Books
Caster

3 – 3.75 stars:

Project Hail Mary: A Novel: Weir, Andy: 9780593135204: Amazon.com: Books
Project Hail Mary

4 – 4.75 stars:

Amazon.com: Steelstriker (Skyhunter Duology): 9781250221728: Lu, Marie:  Books
Steelstriker

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH: A Conjuring of Light4.5 stars

Buy A Conjuring of Light: A Novel: 3 (Shades of Magic, 3) Book Online at  Low Prices in India | A Conjuring of Light: A Novel: 3 (Shades of Magic, 3)  Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in

SOME POSTS I’M PROUD OF:

POSTS I ENJOYED FROM OTHER WONDERFUL PEOPLE:

SONGS/ALBUMS THAT I ENJOYED:

pretty solid album
this song played while I was getting my hair dyed, and needless to say, I’m obsessed
our ears are blessed by another snail mail single
this one constantly gets stuck in my head and I love it
NEW SUKI WATERHOUSE BOTTOM TEXT
Okay The French Dispatch was an INSTANT 5 stars for me and I love this cover too

DID I FOLLOW THROUGH WITH MY OCTOBER GOALS?

Selbetti 2021 GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
  • Read at least 20 books: 18.
  • Post more than just Goodreads Mondays/Book Review Tuesdays (schoolwork permitting, of course, schoolwork first): did that! See the posts I’m proud of section for them.
  • Celebrate SPOOKY SEASON accordingly: yep. Only got to wear my Kaz costume for 10 minutes, but it was great.

GOALS FOR NOVEMBER:

𝓉𝒾𝓂𝓂𝓎 — Timothée Chalamet in The French Dispatch (2020),...
  • Read at least 20 books
  • Enjoy Thanksgiving Break!
  • Keep the progress on my current WIP

Today’s song (Halloween edition):

okay seeing this live sung by Ken Page himself was AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: October 18-24, 2021

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

For the most part, it’s been a good week. I have three (yes, three) exams all on the same day next week, so that’s…fun…but I’ve managed to get my studying under control. My mood’s continued to be a lot better than last October, and I’m glad to say, again, that I’m in a better place. I know I must sound like a broken record by now, but last October was absolutely abysmal…

As far as reading goes…you ever just have one of those weeks where you read something FANTASTIC and then everything else you read that week just…sucks? Yeah, that’s how it’s been. Two 1-star reads, one of which was a DNF. But I got some more books from the library yesterday, so hopefully things should pick up. (I finished the Shades of Magic trilogy and I don’t know what to do with myself now…) I’ve been making steady-ish progress with my current WIP as well, and I passed 100 pages last night!

Other than that, I’ve just been eating leftover cake, studying, getting my pumpkins for Halloween, and watching The French Dispatch! I saw the latter on Friday night, and it was an instant 5-star movie for me. You can just tell that it’s exactly the kind of thing that Wes Anderson has been waiting years to make, and the creativity and love just radiates from it in waves. 100% in my top 3 Wes Anderson movies now. (I’m seeing Dune tonight too!! Finally!!)

Untitled — thoresque: Timothée Chalamet in The French... | Wes anderson,  Wes anderson movies, Color in film

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3) – V.E. Schwab (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: A Conjuring of Light: A Novel (Shades of Magic Book 3) eBook :  Schwab, V. E.: Kindle Store

Caster – Elsie Chapman (⭐️⭐️)

Caster : Chapman, Elsie: Amazon.co.uk: Books

The Stars Now Unclaimed (The Universe After, #1) – Drew Williams (DNF – ⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Stars Now Unclaimed (The Universe After Book 1) eBook :  Williams, Drew: Kindle Store

Animals Real and Imagined: The Fantasy of What Is and What Might Be – Terryl Whitlatch (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Animals Real and Imagined Terryl Whitlatch Soft Cover 9781933492926 | eBay

Horrid – Katrina Leno (⭐️)

Horrid by Katrina Leno

THE ONE, LONELY POST I MADE THIS WEEK:

THE ONE, LONELY SONG THAT WENT WITH IT:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

His Hideous Heart – Dahlia Adler et. al. (anthology)

His Hideous Heart: 13 of Edgar Allan Poe's Most Unsettling Tales  Reimagined: Adler, Dahlia: 9781250302793: Amazon.com: Books

Project Hail Mary – Andy Weir

A bestseller with some problems: 'Project Hail Mary' by Andy Weir | Books |  santafenewmexican.com

The Girls Are Never Gone – Sarah Glenn Marsh

The Girls Are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh: 9781984836151 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Dream Country – Ashaye Brown

Amazon.com: Dream Country: 9781916042988: Brown, Ashaye: Books

Today’s song:

this album. this album is still magic.

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

Posted in Book Tags

DNF Book Tag

Happy Saturday bibliophiles! I went back to school on Wednesday and…I’m already tired, but it’s great to see my friends again and there wasn’t much homework this week, so I’m happy. For now.

Anyway, I was in the mood to do a book tag, so here we are. I found this tag over at Fatma @ The Book Place, and the tag was originally created by Gunpowder, Fiction & Plot on YouTube.

Let’s begin, shall we?

📖THE DNF BOOK TAG📖

1. DO YOU DNF?

David throwing a Ravkan edition of Shadow & Bone a... - Tumbex
the chaos that this gif radiates

Indeed I do. It happens less these days, what with my taste slowly being fine-tuned over the years, but I still end up DNFing a handful of books every year.

2. IF YOU DO DNF, DOES IT COUNT FOR YOUR FINISHED BOOKS FOR THE MONTH?

It Still Counts GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

I’ve only started to keep track of the amount of books I read per month this year, but I still count them. I read part of them, anyway, and they still count towards my Goodreads goal, so I still think they count.

3. IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DNFING & JUST PUTTING THE BOOK DOWN FOR A LITTLE BIT?

evan peters quicksilver | Tumblr | X-men apocalypse, X men, Evan peters

Well…uh…I’ve never had an experience where I just put the book down for a little bit (I can’t read more than one book at once unless there’s a book for school involved), so I wouldn’t know…

4. WHAT POPULAR BOOKS HAVE YOU DNFED?

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Amazon.com: Red Queen (Red Queen, 1): 9780062310644: Aveyard, Victoria:  Books
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: A Novel (The Carls): Green, Hank:  9781524743444: Amazon.com: Books

I DNFed A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Red Queen, and An Absolutely Remarkable Thing at different times for different reasons (didn’t like any of the love interests/couldn’t hold my interest, every bad YA trope known to man, and some SERIOUSLY iffy bisexual rep, in order), but everybody else seems to love these ones…not my cup of tea, really.

5. WHAT ARE SOME BOOKS YOU WISHED YOU DNFED?

Amazon.com: Night Owls and Summer Skies: 9781989365250: Sullivan, Rebecca:  Books
Buy Deep Blue: Book 1 (Waterfire Saga) Book Online at Low Prices in India |  Deep Blue: Book 1 (Waterfire Saga) Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in
Amazon.com: Wings of Ebony: 9781534470675: Elle, J.: Books

When I read Night Owls and Summer Skies, I didn’t know that it was acceptable to DNF an ARC, so I tried to plow through it…I ended up finishing it in about an hour and a half, but it just sucked the whole way through. I felt obligated to finish Deep Blue because I’d bought it, but it didn’t get better. At all. PAIN. And Wings of Ebonyman, I feel really bad about giving this one such a low rating, but the only good thing I have to say about it is that I loved the unapologetic approach to racism/colonialism. Otherwise…yikes.

6. HAVE YOU EVER RE-ATTEMPTED TO READ A DNF, AND WAS THIS SUCCESSFUL FOR YOU?

Damn abbreviation forma GIF on GIFER - by Rainseeker

Nope. Usually when I DNF a book, I hate it with a passion, and even if middle school Madeline did it a bit too frequently, there’s usually no going back with DNFs for me.

7. WHAT DO YOU DO WITH DNFED BOOKS?

Library GIF - Find on GIFER

If it’s on my Kindle, I’ll delete it, and if I borrowed it from the library (which is most often the case), I derive great joy from forcefully shoving it in the return machine. Usually I don’t end up DNFing books that I bought physical copies of, but in that case, I donate them.

I TAG:

Disappoints GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Today’s song:

ksjdhfskjdfh my shuffle just said “hey let’s throw Madeline back to April 2019 for a bit, how about that”

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…

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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?

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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

Book Review Tuesday (7/20/21) – Off Balance (Aunare Chronicles, #2)

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

For the most part, I really enjoyed reading Off Planet, the first book in Aileen Erin’s Aunare Chronicles; I read it on vacation, and I loved the fast-paced action. So on a whim (and because it was pretty cheap), I bought book 2 on my Kindle and read it between library hauls.

But…

[heavy sigh]

Oh god, I can’t believe that these books are from the same series…Off Balance took everything that I didn’t like about book 1 and made it the main focus of the plot, making for a mess of a sequel that I had neither the will nor the patience to finish.

(find my mini-review of book 1, Off Planet, here!)

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: Off Balance (Aunare Chronicles Book 2) eBook: Erin, Aileen:  Kindle Store

Off Balance (Aunare Chronicles, #2) – Aileen Erin

On the run from Earth and SpaceTech, Amihanna di Aetes flees to the other half of her heritage, the powerful, spacefaring Aunare. Even surrounded by the riches of her father’s estate, her life is one of constant fear – fear of Spacetech, and fear of the aliens who look at her like vermin for her half-human heritage. But as tensions within the royal family begin to rise surrounding her, she must think on her feet to make it out alive.

Gyllenaals GIF | Gfycat

TW/CW: discrimination, trauma-related nightmares, frightening situations, violence, bombing, 10+ year age gap between protagonist and love interest*

*yeah, you heard me right…see the fourth paragraph for me freaking out about that

DNF at 68%

Oh god…where do I begin with this one? It pains me to write DNF reviews these days. Really. It’s so rare for my ratings for a series to drop this much…I gave Off Planet a solid 3.5 stars, and here we have Off Balance with a measly 1…I feel pretty bad about it, but YIKES.

I really wanted to like Off Balance. I really did. But it just kept getting more and more frustrating with every page, and with around 500 pages, there came a point where I couldn’t take any more of it. It’s like everything that I didn’t care about in book 1 was emphasized, and then made 10 times worse…

First off, let me talk about the Aunare for a second. I was excited to see what their culture and physiology and such was like, but…there were hardly any differences from humans. I tried to brush off the fact that Lorne looked like an ordinary human in book 1, but, alas, here we have the “aliens that look exactly like humans but with ✨pretty eye colors✨ and they’re all ✨ridiculously attractive✨” trope. And they glow this time. Oh, joy. Furthermore, other than some of the food and the whole glowing business, all of the culture that we got was just…wild parties in ballrooms and messy stuff with the royal family? If nobody had told me that this was a space opera, I could have passed this off as a fully human cast. All those parties got mind-numbing eventually, which…maybe that was the point? I don’t even know…

And then there’s the issue of Lorne. I don’t judge love interests by whether or not I’m attracted to them, which, I’ll admit, doesn’t happen a whole lot to me in books. He already put me off a bit because of my association of his name from Lorne Malvo from Fargo (oops), but he was just all kinds of frustrating in this book. He was just such a startlingly bland character – there was nothing that distinguished him from any other YA love interest. And the whole thing with him and Amihanna…I just felt…nothing? I wasn’t invested in their relationship in any way, and all of the lines that were supposed to be tender or heartwarming just made me roll my eyes. And…IS NOBODY GONNA TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT THERE’S AN 11-YEAR AGE GAP BETWEEN HIM AND AMIHANNA?

WHY IS NOBODY ADDRESSING THIS??

WHY?

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ALL KINDS OF CREEPY. AND NOBODY SEEMS TO BE BATTING AN EYE. WHY?

[waves hands around] okay, okay. Lemme cool off a minute.

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Okay. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest…

Other than that, the plot just seemed to be completely absent. It was an endless cycle of Amihanna doing some training, drama with the royal family, drama with Dylan, drama with Lorne…just drama. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought that this was a book from an entirely different series than the first book. I’m still so puzzled as to how we got from such an action-packed first book to…whatever this was.

In the end, I just couldn’t stand to read another page. The plot started to pick up a little, but by that point, I’d lost all will to read Off Balance. So it was a DNF for me.

All in all, a bitter, messy disappointment of a sequel that lacked in everything that made Off Planet a reasonably compelling read. Off Planet is still worth a read, but…maybe just stop at book 1. 1, sad little star.

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Off Balance is the second book in the Aunare Chronicles, preceded by Off Planet and succeeded by In Command (#2.5, a novella) and On Mission (#3).

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: July 5-11 2021

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

This week’s been fairly quiet – lots of reading indoors and outdoors. I got through all of the books that I bought last week, plus a couple on my Kindle and a bit of my summer reading. Of course, I had another unfortunate DNF, which…why did I escape them in the first half of the year, only to have all of them in July?

Writing-wise, everything’s going fairly smooth! I think I’m…oh, maybe a third of the way through where I want to be with my WIP, and my word count’s steadily been going up!

Other than that, I’ve just been making some fan art, volunteering at the library, watching Loki, hiking, and watching one of my close friends get through Fargo. (She’s coming up on one of my favorite twists in season 3…) I also had my first in-person guitar lesson since the pandemic started, and it’s so good to be back!

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Handmaid's Tale eBook by Margaret Atwood - 9780547345666 | Rakuten Kobo  United States

Spellhacker – M.K. England (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Spellhacker by M.K. England

Forest of Souls (Shamanborn, #1) – Lori M. Lee (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Forest of Souls (Shamanborn Series, 1) (9781624149245): Lee,  Lori M.: Books

Gearbreakers – Zoe Hana Mikuta (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Gearbreakers eBook: Mikuta, Zoe Hana: Kindle Store - Amazon.com

Off Balance (Aunare Chronicles, #2) – Aileen Erin (DNF – ⭐️)

Amazon.com: Off Balance (Aunare Chronicles Book 2) eBook: Erin, Aileen:  Kindle Store

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Fable – Adrienne Young

Amazon.com: Fable: A Novel (Fable, 1) (9781250254368): Young, Adrienne:  Books

When You Were Everything – Ashley Woodfolk

Amazon.com: When You Were Everything (9781524715915): Woodfolk, Ashley:  Books

A Dark and Hollow Star – Ashley Shuttleworth

A Dark and Hollow Star eBook : Shuttleworth, Ashley: Amazon.in: Kindle Store

The Never Tilting World – Rin Chupeco

Amazon.com: The Never Tilting World (Never Tilting World, 1)  (9780062821799): Chupeco, Rin: Books

Sick Kids in Love – Hannah Moskowitz

Amazon.com: Sick Kids In Love eBook: Moskowitz, Hannah: Kindle Store

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 Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: June 28 – July 4, 2021

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles, and for those of you in the U.S., happy fourth! I still find it hard to be proud of my country sometimes, but it’s my personal belief that recognizing the flaws in your country and wanting to change them is patriotic. And hey, at least Trump’s out of office, right? It’s been so nice to not have to worry about my human rights being taken away…

(I swear it’s a coincidence that I’m reading The Handmaid’s Tale today…)

[ahem] anyway, it’s been a pretty nice week. We got a whole lot of rain last week, and now it’s starting to get warm again, which is always nice. I got a lot of reading done, but part of it’s because a) I read a lot of somewhat short books and b) I ended up having my first DNF of the year, so… [sad harmonica]

Writing’s been going well too! I started Camp NaNoWriMo on Thursday, and I’d say it’s going well so far. I accidentally misunderstood the word count goal feature for the whole “working on a draft you’ve already started” thing, and now that’s a little screwed up, but I’m trying to get it fixed, so it should be fine.

writing gifs Page 4 | WiffleGif

Other than that, I’ve just been making/organizing my playlists, watching Loki (AAAAH THAT LAST EPISODE) and Mars Attacks!, volunteering at the library, and playing Minecraft. I also got to make a trip to my favorite bookstores, and I have some books I’m super excited for lined up next week!

And now I can die happy knowing that the title of Instructions for Dancing is, in fact, a Magnetic Fields reference.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Instructions for Dancing – Nicola Yoon (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon: 9781524718961 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

The Light of the Midnight Stars – Rena Rossner (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: The Light of the Midnight Stars (9780316483469): Rossner, Rena:  Books

Sasha Masha – Agnes Borinsky (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Sasha Masha eBook: Borinsky, Agnes: Kindle Store

Miss Benson’s Beetle – Rachel Joyce (DNF – ⭐️)

Miss Benson's Beetle eBook por Rachel Joyce - 9780812996715 | Rakuten Kobo  Estados Unidos

The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1) – Namina Forna (⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Gilded Ones - By Namina Forna (hardcover) : Target

Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con, #3) – Ashley Poston (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con, #3) by Ashley Poston

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale - Kindle edition by Atwood, Margaret. Literature &  Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Gearbreakers – Zoe Hana Mikuta

Gearbreakers (Gearbreakers, #1) by Zoe Hana Mikuta

Forest of Souls (Shamanborn, #1) – Lori M. Lee

Amazon.com: Forest of Souls (Shamanborn Series, 1) (9781624149245): Lee,  Lori M.: Books

Spellhacker – M.K. England

Amazon.com: Spellhacker (9780062657701): England, M. K.: Books

Off Balance (Aunare Chronicles, #2) – Aileen Erin

Amazon.com: Off Balance (Aunare Chronicles Book 2) eBook: Erin, Aileen:  Kindle Store

Today’s song:

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