Posted in Books

A YA Reader’s Guide to Space Opera 👽

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

Would you look at that…for once, I actually have a post that isn’t a meme, an update, or a book tag…

I’ve been planning for this one a little bit, and I’m excited to get into it! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know how much I love sci-fi. So for this post, I decided to go semi-in-depth on my favorite subgenre of science fiction and dole out some recommendations of mine.

Let’s begin, shall we?

So first off, what is space opera anyway?

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In all forms of media, space opera is a subgenre of science fiction. It tends to focus less on the heavy science/physics of the universe it’s in, and more on aspects such as plot and characters. There’s often adventures at a breakneck pace, intergalactic war or conflict, strange planets/other locations, and drama between a set of characters. A lot of space opera media that I’ve consumed tends to throw in a ragtag bunch of characters with nothing in common together, and then throws them into an adventure of epic proportions. (Commonly referred to in many of my posts and reviews as “[chaotic] space misfits.”) More often than not, there’s some light elements of fantasy, sometimes as placeholders to explain the workings of the universe. And, as you probably can figure out, it’s usually set in space or on a distant planet.

Star Wars is often used as the quintessential example of a space opera–dogfights in space, romance, strange worlds, and (amazing) lightsaber duels. (What more could you possibly want?) Although it’s probably not *the original* space opera, it’s influenced a huge chunk of space opera/sci-fi media for the last 40-ish years. Guardians of the Galaxy is another widely-known example of space opera, and from= the world of literature, Dune and Foundation are some of the most well-loved space opera classics.

I'm Mary Poppins, y'all! (gif) | Guardians of the galaxy, Marvel cinematic,  Marvel cinematic universe

Sci-fi has only become my favorite book genre in the past…six or seven years; for a while, I was mostly drawn to fantasy, but after reading Tony DiTerlizzi’s Search for WondLa trilogy, there was no going back. And I was raised on a steady diet of Star Wars, so it was bound to happen eventually. There’s a multitude of reasons why I’m drawn to it. Even though fantasy has virtually no limits as far as making up universes goes, there’s just something about about flying through the vast reaches of space and traveling to strange worlds that has always appealed to me. And as someone who’s been something of an outcast for the better part of my life, I’m drawn like a magnet to any kind of found-family tropes. Now, I know full well that it’s not exclusive to space opera, but everything from Star Wars to Aurora Rising has a cast of strange and distinct characters that come to see themselves as a family, and I’ve always loved the theme of finding your tribe of weirdos.

So now, if you say “space opera,” there’s a good chance that I’ll immediately want to read it. (Doesn’t mean I’ll love it–there’s good and bad books in every genre, of course–but I’ll certainly read it.)

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Now, I’ve compiled a list of some YA space opera recommendations! Each one is tailored to different types of readers/tastes, because I firmly believe there’s something for everybody, even if sci-fi isn’t normally your thing. So let’s get to it, shall we?

🪐YA SPACE OPERA RECS🪐

For readers who like character-driven books…

Amazon.com: Heart of Iron (9780062652850): Poston, Ashley: Books

Heart of Iron duology–Ashley Poston

A retelling of the story of Anastasia, this unique duology boasts a diverse and lovable cast of characters, royal intrigue, creepy androids, and some really cool spaceships.

For readers who like fairytale retellings…

Amazon.com: Once & Future (9780316449274): McCarthy, Cori, Capetta, Amy  Rose: Books

Once & Future–A.R. Capetta and Cori McCarthy

A retelling of Arthurian legend where the reincarnation of King Arthur is a pansexual woman of color and a spell gone wrong made Merlin age backwards…into an awkward, voice-cracky teenager. Super diverse, super feminist, and super fun!

For readers who love a good found-family story…

Aurora Rising - (Aurora Cycle) By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Paperback) :  Target

Aurora Cycle–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

In short, this is what happens when you put Captain America in a spaceship with his sister, his ex, a whole bunch of random students from the bottom of his class, and a girl with a glowing eye that may or may not start an intergalactic war. Hands down, my favorite series of all time.

For readers who love a little romance…

Amazon.com: Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars (1)) (9780316394031): Gray,  Claudia: Books

The Constellation trilogy–Claudia Gray

The worldbuilding and the imagery are beautiful in all three books, but it’s really the unlikely relationship between Noemi and Abel that shines in this one. [🥺 intensifies]

For readers who like plots with high-stakes competitions…

Amazon.com: Crownchasers (9780062845160): Coffindaffer, Rebecca: Books

Crownchasers–Rebecca Coffindaffer

(Would you look at that…another pansexual protagonist!)

I had my expectations a *bit* too high for this one, but it was still a whole lot of fun! A lot of reviewers have pitched it as Aurora Rising meets The Hunger Games, and I’d say that’s pretty spot-on. I’m excited to see what Coffindaffer has up their sleeve for book 2.

For fans of steampunk…

Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

Tarnished Are the Stars–Rosiee Thor

This one has elements of both sci-fi and fantasy woven in–royal intrigue on other worlds, and lots of clockwork hearts! Plus, it’s a beautiful queer story; we have a wlw romance, as well as a beautiful aro-ace coming out scene for one of the main characters.

For readers who prefer standalones to series…

Amazon.com: Last of Her Name (9781338243369): Khoury, Jessica: Books

Last of Her Name–Jessica Khoury

Another space opera retelling of Anastasia, comin’ right up…

Last of Her Name is a truly beautiful novel, with intricate and detailed worldbuilding, tender romance, and no shortage of twists that I couldn’t see coming. I do wish we’d gotten a larger glimpse into this world, but it was still satisfying as one book.

For thriller fans…

Amazon.com: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499117): Amie Kaufman,  Jay Kristoff: Books

The Illuminae Files–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Normally, I’d try to avoid putting two series from the same author(s) in a post like this, but Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are masters of sci-fi, so I kind of *had to.* Composed of interviews, emails, security footage, and more, this is truly a trilogy like no other.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK? What are your favorite space opera books? Do you have any space opera recs for us? Tell me in the comments!

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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 Tags, Books

My Life in Books Tag

Hi again, bibliophiles! I have a little bit of extra time, and I haven’t done a book tag in what feels like ages, so I’ve decided to do this one!

I found this tag over at Bookshelf Life, and I haven’t been able to find the creator of the tag, so if you know, please let me know 🙂

Let’s begin, shall we?

FIND A BOOK FOR EACH LETTER OF YOUR NAME

M: Monstrous–MarcyKate Connolly

A: Aurora Rising–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (you all knew this was coming, didn’t you?)

D: Dune–Frank Herbert

E: Even the Darkest Stars–Heather Fawcett

L: The Life Below (The Final Six, #2)–Alexandra Monir

I: I Wish You All the Best–Mason Deaver

N: Night Music–Jenn Marie Thorne

E: Everything Grows–Aimee Herman

PICK A BOOK SET IN YOUR CITY/COUNTRY

All the Impossible Things: Lackey, Lindsay: 9781250202864: Amazon.com: Books

I’ve lived in Colorado for most of my life, and that’s where All the Impossible Things is set. There’s even a scene at the Denver Aquarium, one of my favorite places to go in Denver.

PICK A BOOK THAT REPRESENTS A DESTINATION THAT YOU WOULD LOVE TO TRAVEL TO

The Case of the Missing Marquess (An Enola Holmes Mystery): Springer,  Nancy: 9780142409336: Amazon.com: Books

I’ve always wanted to travel to England, and Enola Holmes, along with Harry Potter (among other things) may or may not have spurred that on. (Oh, and David Bowie and the Beatles…)

PICK A BOOK WITH YOUR FAVORITE COLOR ON THE COVER

Amazon.com: Under Shifting Stars eBook: Latos, Alexandra: Kindle Store

I love teal and turquoise, and Under Shifting Stars has that in no short supply.

WHICH BOOK DO YOU HAVE THE FONDEST MEMORY OF?

Amazon.com: Heart of Iron (9780062652850): Poston, Ashley: Books

I read Heart of Iron for the first time just over two years ago. I was on a plane ride to Chicago, and I spent most of the ride eagerly reading through this one. It was my favorite book for a while, and I highly recommend it!

WHICH BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE MOST DIFFICULTY READING?

Amazon.com: The Odyssey (9780140268867): Homer, Robert Fagles, Bernard  Knox: Books

We had to read The Odyssey for English in my freshman year. I liked it, but I had to read it in…[ahem] small chunks because I just kept getting tired…

WHICH BOOK ON YOUR TBR WILL GIVE YOU THE BIGGEST SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT WHEN YOU FINISH IT?

Amazon.com: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars eBook: Paolini, Christopher: Kindle  Store

I started reading To Sleep in a Sea of Stars last night. It’s about the same length of my edition of Dune, which took me a solid week to read, so it’ll be a relief to finish all 880 pages. (I’m about 200 pages in now, and…it went from “draws heavily from Aliens” to “wait, is this an Aliens fanfic?” very quickly, but we’ll see how it goes…)

I TAG:

& anyone else who wants to participate!

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Since I’ve already posted once today, check out today’s Goodreads Monday for today’s song.

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: September 14-20, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope that this week has treated you well, but if it hasn’t, consider all my love sent to you.

I’ve really ran the emotional gamut this week for some reason…Monday and Tuesday were rather chaotic; I had a lot of homework and resulting stress earlier in the week. I finally finished my first draft of my paranormal fantasy WIP (!!!), and come Friday, I was feeling great. I had my first meeting for my school’s book club now that I’m president, and since we didn’t get the chance to discuss it last year (due to COVID-19 complications/general scrambling), we’re reading Aurora Rising! But then my mood took a nosedive after I heard the news about RBG, so the day ended on a rather somber note. But in these scary and trying times, we must all remember that THIS TOO SHALL PASS, NO MATTER WHAT.

I had a fairly prolific blogging week, but reading-wise…

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I usually read fairly fast, but I ONLY GOT TO READING THREE BOOKS THIS WEEK. Most of it’s because Dune was so long that it took up a huge chunk of my time, but I loved it nonetheless.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Spaceship Next Door (Sorrow Falls, #1)–Gene Doucette (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Spaceship Next Door (9781328567468): Doucette, Gene: Books

Dune–Frank Herbert (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Books of Titans Podcast Episode 19: Dune by Frank Herbert

Things That Grow–Meredith Goldstein (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

All Our Hidden Gifts–Caroline O’Donoghue (eARC)

All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donoghue

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 Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (9/12/20)–Science Fiction Books 🛸

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

Time for another Top 5 Saturday! This was originally started by Devouring Books, and it sounded like such a fun post to take part in. Today’s topic is sci-fi…

You know what that means…

AHAHAAAAAAAA MY FAVORITE GENRE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

But anyway, I have lots of sci-fi on my TBR, so I’ll take some picks from there for this week’s Top 5.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER: 

9/12/20Science Fiction Books

9/19/20—Award-Winning Books

9/26/20—Guilty Pleasure Books

10/3/20—Intimidating Books

Rules!

  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post
  • Tag 5 people

Let’s begin, shall we?

Dune, Frank Herbert

Check Out the Artwork for a New Edition of Frank Herbert's Dune | Tor.com

I’ve been meaning to read this one for a year or so; my brother read it for an English project (the same one that lead me to Frankenstein) and liked it. And the new trailer got me SO excited, so of course I’ll have to read it before December! (Did that Pink Floyd cover give anybody else chills, or was that just me?)

Seven Devils, Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

Amazon.com: Seven Devils (9780756415808): Lam, Laura, May, Elizabeth: Books

I’ve been eager to read this for a good year and a half, ever since the first tiny synopsis compared it to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. (Star Wars? Of COURSE you have my attention, shut up and take my library card…)

Unearthed, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Unearthed – Amie Kaufman

Two words: Amie Kaufman. I put this one on hold at the library recently, so I might get to read it next week!

Struck, Jennifer Bosworth

Struck (Struck, #1) by Jennifer Bosworth

This one’s been on my TBR for years, and I really need to get around to reading it…

Landscape with Invisible Hand, M.T. Anderson

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson

I almost picked this one up about a year ago, but I set it aside because of how short it was. Nonetheless, this still sounds like a unique and fascinating sci-fi!

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

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Today’s song:

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

Posted in Book Tags, Books

The TBR Book Tag

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Happy Thursday, everyone! Hope all is well wherever you are. 💗

I found this tag over at Megabunny Reads, and the tag was created by A Perfection Called Books and Dana Square. Since my TBR is virtually overflowing at this point, I figured this would be a fitting tag…

Let’s begin, shall we?

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I’ve been storing all of my TBR books on my Want to Read shelf on Goodreads for about four years now. It’s getting waaaaaaaaaay too long, but it’s a good way to keep track of everything.

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Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

Well…I mean…neither? I just have them listed on Goodreads, so I have no way of knowing if I’ll get the book at the library, the Kindle library, or buy it in physical or electronic format.

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A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

Amazon.com: The Good Neighbors #1: Kin eBook: Holly Black, Ted ...

At the present moment, The Good Neighbors is #1 on my TBR list, having been there since…whoa, June 2016?

 

A book on your TBR strictly for the cover

The Quiet at the End of the World: Amazon.co.uk: James, Lauren: Books

I mean…The Quiet at the End of the World isn’t there *strictly* because of the cover, but hey…c’mon, this belongs in a museum.

 

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading

Amazon.com: One of Us Is Lying (9781524714680): McManus, Karen M ...

I think I recently ousted this one from my TBR, but I’ve all but lost interest in One of Us Is Lyingdespite the recommendations from fellow book nerds and friends. Eh.

 

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for 

Amazon.com: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720926 ...

I’ve already preordered Aurora Burningand at this point, I’m counting down the days until it comes out…EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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A book on your TBR that basically everyone’s read but you

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

I’ve almost bought The Black Witch at least two or three times, at this point. Seems to be a pretty hyped-up book, but I’m excited to read it soon! It’s on the Kindle library, so hopefully I can read it soon! My friend was just recommending this to me last night…

 

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you

Dune: Frank Herbert: 9780340960196: Amazon.com: Books

I’ve had a fair amount of people recommend Dune to me over the years…

 

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read

TRUEL1F3 (Lifelike, #3) by Jay Kristoff

I CANNOT WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON TRUEL1F3June can’t come soon enough…

 

How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

Drumroll, please…

Stranger Things Stranger Things Gifs GIF - StrangerThings ...

…1,129.

Now you know why I do so many Down the TBR Hole posts…

 

I tag anyone who wants to participate!

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Today’s song:

 

 

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

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