Posted in Book Tags

2020 Book Tag

Hi again, bibliophiles! I’m back, from the looks of it!

Finals week was this week, and even though I still have one final left to go before the semester ends [trembles in fear at the thought of my AP Bio final], I only have one final to study for as opposed to, well, y’know, four. So that allows me to get back on my normal blogging schedule, because my break starts next Tuesday! So here I am.

Anyway, this tag was originally created by Phoenix @ Book with Wings. It looked super fun and creative, so I had to give it a go! (And if you don’t follow Phoenix already, I suggest that you do!)

Here are the rules for this book tag:

  • Link back to the original creator, Phoenix @Books With Wings
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Answer all the questions 
  • Tag at least 4 people
  • At the bottom, talk about some other books you read in 2020! (this isn’t required, just suggested!)

Please note: Just because this is a book tag about 2020, the books you talk about do not have to have been read by you in 2020

Let’s begin, shall we?

John Oliver Faces Off With Adam Driver And Takes Vengeance Upon 2020

PART ONE: BEGINNING OF THE YEAR

  1. A book you were really excited for
Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle, #2) by Amie Kaufman

Aurora Burning, of course! Unlike this year, luckily, this was an amazing sequel.

2. A book that started out really well

Amazon.com: Elatsoe (9781646140053): Little Badger, Darcie, Cai, Rovina:  Books

I got Elatsoe as an eARC over the summer, and even though there was a lull in the middle, it had a great beginning and ending.

PART TWO: THE WORLD GOES ON HOLD

3. A book that had an unexpected plot twist

Dare Mighty Things (Dare Mighty Things, #1) by Heather Kaczynski

Dare Mighty Things definitely had a shocker of an ending. I’d highly recommend this one!

4. A book where you felt like nothing happened

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick: 9780345404473 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Okay, unpopular opinion time: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was PAINFULLY boring–even more so than Blade Runner, which is really saying something. I guess Philip K. Dick just really isn’t my thing, but I stand by my opinion that hardly anything happened.

5. A book where two main characters were separated

Amazon.com: Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove) (9780062878052): Mahurin,  Shelby: Books

Everybody got split up in Blood & Honey, but neither of the subplots seemed to accomplish much…[pained sigh]

PART THREE: THE WORLD TRIES TO REOPEN (AND BEGINS A SECOND WAVE OF THE PANDEMIC)

6. A book in which the characters made a bad decision

Amazon.com: The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life (9781772601213): Jansen,  Dani: Books

The Year Shakespeare Ruined my Life was another eARC I got this year. I didn’t like it all that much, and most of my low rating could be chalked up to how self-destructive Alison was.

7. A book with an impatient/overly eager character

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

In Other Lands was a DNF for me, and a lot of that ended up being because Elliott SERIOUSLY got on my nerves.

PART FOUR: THE WORLD ADJUSTS (SORT OF)

8. A book in which the character’s goals change midway

Amazon.com: On a Sunbeam (9781250178138): Walden, Tillie: Books

Ooh, this was a hard question…

I guess On a Sunbeam would work? I suppose Mia goes from wanting to reunite with Grace to wanting to rescue her.

PART FIVE: THE END & LOOKING FORWARDS

9. A book whose sequel you really anticipated/are anticipating

Amazon.com: TRUEL1F3 (Truelife) (LIFEL1K3) (9781524714000): Kristoff, Jay:  Books

TRUEL1F3 was one of my most anticipated releases this year, and I’m glad to say that it 110% delivered!

10. A book whose sequel was better than the original

How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge by K. Eason: 9780756415310 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Despite the average reviews it seems to be getting, How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge was even better than book 1! I loved them both, though. I’m thinking of doing a review of the whole Thorne Chronicles duology next week, so stay tuned…

11. A book you read just to finish it (didn’t like it but wanted to finish anyway)

Amazon.com: Kingdom of Souls (9780062870957): Barron, Rena: Books

It really pains me to say it, but Kingdom of Souls was really a chore to read. Maybe my expectations were too high, but it felt like hardly anything happened.

I don’t think I’ll put it here, but if we’re talking about 2020 reads, I’ll just say this: I’m planning on doing a post on my 5-star reads of 2020 near the end of the month, so stay tuned!

I TAG:

2020 GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Today’s song:

Why yes, I have been watching The Queen’s Gambit, why do you ask? (UNPOPULAR OPINION: for me, the show is super overrated so far. Everything feels so flat and forced, I’m really struggling to see the appeal. At least Anya Taylor Joy is lovely.)

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

Posted in Books

YA Reads for Asexual Awareness Week

Hi again, bibliophiles!

I’m so glad that we have a snow day…I was trying to find a good day to fit this post in, and now we have the perfect opportunity!

As some of you know, this week, October 25-31, is Asexual Awareness Week, or Ace Week for short! The whole week is meant to celebrate everyone on the asexual spectrum (asexual, aromantic, demisexual, and more) and spread awareness about the community. All too often, this community is unjustly discriminated against, even in LGBTQ+ spaces, which never fails to break my heart. Well, if I haven’t made myself clear enough, I’ll just go out here and say that everybody on the asexual spectrum is so loved, so valid, and so beautiful!

For more information about all this, check out the official website for Ace Week!

Positive Love GIF - Positive Love Asexual - Discover & Share GIFs

So for the occasion, I decided to compile a list of YA books with characters all over the asexual spectrum–among them on this list are characters who are asexual, demisexual, aromantic, and more. Thing is, SHAME ON ME FOR NOT READING ENOUGH ASPEC LITERATURE. I try my best to, and I found some examples, but not enough ones that I’ve actually read to make a substantial list. So, the first half of this post is ace books that I’ve read, and the other half is ace books that are on my TBR.

Let’s begin, shall we?

THE BOOKISH MUTANT’S YA READS FOR ASEXUAL AWARENESS WEEK

BOOKS THAT I’VE READ:

The Sound of Stars, Alechia Dow

Amazon.com: The Sound of Stars (9781335911551): Dow, Alechia: Books

GENRE: Science fiction, dystopia, romance

REPRESENTATION: Ellie (protagonist) is demisexual and biromantic, in a straight-passing relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Sound of Stars is one of my favorite reads of this year–POC/LGBTQ+ representation, lots of references to YA literature and music, and fighting against the patriarchy!

Elatsoe, Darcie Little Badger

Amazon.com: Elatsoe eBook: Little Badger, Darcie, Cai, Rovina: Kindle Store

GENRES: Fantasy, mystery, paranormal

REPRESENTATION: Elatsoe (protagonist) is asexual

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m so lucky to have gotten an eARC of this one over the summer. Besides having great asexual representation, the author is Lipan Apache, and so is Elatsoe! A wonderful paranormal murder mystery with lots of lovely ghost critters.

Sawkill Girls, Claire Legrand

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

GENRES: Horror, paranormal, fantasy

REPRESENTATION: Zoey (one of three protagonists with alternating POVs) is asexual

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Another five-star read of mine this year. There’s no shortage of great LGBTQ+ representation from this one; beyond Zoey’s asexuality, and the other two protagonists (Val and Marion) end up being in a wlw relationship.

Tarnished Are the Stars, Rosiee Thor

Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

GENRES: Science fiction, fantasy, romance

REPRESENTATION: Nathaniel (one of two protagonists with alternating POVs) is aromantic/asexual

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Another lovely sci-fi with a bluish purple color scheme on the cover! There’s a beautiful scene where Nathaniel discovers his identity, and it’s so tenderly beautiful. Plus, there’s a wlw relationship between the other protagonist (Anna) and another secondary character as well!

Radio Silence, Alice Oseman

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

GENRES: Contemporary, fiction

REPRESENTATION: Aled (not the main character, but plays a central part in the story) is asexual

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

I just finished this one up on Sunday night. It’s a rough ride, to be sure, but it’s a powerful novel.

And look at this adorable character art by the author, Alice Oseman!

Alice Oseman on Twitter: "with minutes to spare, here's a final Pride Month  drawing - the Radio Silence five at Pride together! Daniel wasn't sure  whether he wanted to go because he

Dare Mighty Things, Heather Kaczynski

Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski – quirkyandpeculiar

GENRES: Science fiction

REPRESENTATION: Cassandra, the protagonist, is asexual

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25

A tense, thrilling and diverse sci-fi that will have you on the edge of your seat!

BOOKS ON MY TBR:

Loveless, Alice Oseman

Loveless by Alice Oseman

GENRES: Contemporary, fiction

REPRESENTATION: Georgia, the protagonist, is aromantic/asexual

(Sidenote: why does “aromantic” keep autocorrecting to either “romantic” or “aromatic?” The audacity…)

I’ve had most of Oseman’s novels on my TBR for quite a while (Radio Silence was my first exposure), and this sounds like a lovely aro-ace coming of age story!

Beyond the Black Door, A.M. Strickland

Amazon.com: Beyond the Black Door (9781250198747): Strickland, A.M.: Books

GENRES: High fantasy, romance

REPRESENTATION: Kamai, the protagonist, is biromantic/asexual

I have this one on hold at the library, and it should be coming soon…🤞

Royal Rescue, A. Alex Logan

Royal Rescue by A. Alex Logan

GENRES: High fantasy, romance

REPRESENTATION: Gerald (protagonist) is aromantic/asexual

I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, and it sounds like a great LGBTQ+ fantasy! And while I’m on the subject of this book, I’ll direct you to Alex Logan’s amazing blog, Almost, Almost, where they review LGBTQ+ books of all kinds!

Summer Bird Blue, Akemi Dawn Bowman

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

GENRES: Contemporary, fiction

REPRESENTATION: Rumi (protagonist) is aromantic/asexual

I read one of Bowman’s other novels, Starfish, a few years back and I remember it being powerful, so I hope that this one might be even better!

Daughter of the Burning City, Amanda Foody

Amazon.com: Daughter of the Burning City (9780373212439): Foody, Amanda:  Books

GENRES: High fantasy, mystery

REPRESENTATION: Luca (secondary character who is supposed to play a major role) is demiromantic/asexual

I put this on my TBR over the summer and completely forgot about it, so hopefully I can read it soon…

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! Have you read any of these novels? What are your thoughts? Any other books with ace rep that you recommend?

Overwatch Pride Flag Icon Requests 🏳️‍🌈 | Wiki | Overwatch Amino

Oh, and one more thing: I just found out a few hours ago that today is also Intersex Awareness Day! I hardly see any intersex rep in literature, so if any of you have good intersex book recs, don’t hesitate to tell me about them in the comments!

Intersex Pride Heart Gif - Album on Imgur

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

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

Posted in Book Tags, Books

Books and Bakes Book Tag

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

I feel like I haven’t done a book tag in a while, so I figured that I’d have some fun and do one today. I found it over at Leigh Hecking’s blog, and the tag was originally created by  Life is a Page Turner. This looked like such a fun tag to do–and since my sweet tooth is out of control, of course I had to do it.

Let’s begin, shall we?

CUPCAKES: Name a collection of short stories, poems, or anthologies where you couldn’t read just one section and had to go back for another.

Cupcake Gif By Shaking Food GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Tennyson: Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Series) - Kindle ...

I bought this lovely collection of Tennyson’s poetry last year, and I enjoyed every page of it!

LEMON POUND CAKE: Name a book that has 400 pages or more that you considered a comfort read and a classic.

Lavender Lemon Pound Cake (Tea Time) | Savory dessert, Lemon pound ...
Scythe (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition) (Arc of a Scythe ...

Scythe is 435 pages long (the last two books are even longer), and ever since finishing book 3, I can say with certainty that this is one of my favorite series!

RED VELVET CAKE: Name a book that you thought was one thing, but ended up being something completely different.

Satisfying Red Velvet GIF by emibob - Find & Share on GIPHY
Amazon.com: Descendant of the Crane (9780807515518): He, Joan: Books

I went into Descendant of the Crane thinking that it would be more fantasy-oriented, but it turned out to be a blend of the former, political intrigue, and a touch of murder mystery. Highly recommended!

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH: Name a book or a book series that you can read over and over again even though you know that it’s bad for you.

Which Cookie Dough Has The Most Chocolate Chips? | Secret cookie ...
Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle Book 1) eBook: Kaufman ...

I need a running tally of how many times Aurora Rising‘s snuck into my book tags…

But truly, I could never get tired of this masterful series, and book 3 can’t come soon enough…

APPLE PIE A LA MODE: Name a book that was really good but could have been better with a little bit of ice cream. 

Apple Pie GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
Amazon.com: The Weight of the Stars (9781250101631): Ancrum, K.: Books

I finished The Weight of the Stars yesterday and liked it, but almost the entire cast of characters were self-destructive jerks (on some level), so that aspect took away a little of my enjoyment.

GINGERBREAD COOKIES: Do you like your gingerbread cookies crunchy or soft?

Gingerbread People: How to win the #bestdressedcookie competition ...

Soft, all the way!

IF YOU LIKE YOUR COOKIES SOFT: Name a book that was squishy in the middle, but the beginning and end were really good

IF YOU LIKE YOUR COOKIES CRUNCHY: Name a book that you wanted to throw at the wall/snap

Amazon.com: Elatsoe (9781646140053): Little Badger, Darcie, Cai ...

I loved Elatsoe, but there was a lull in the middle; luckily, it picked up by the end. I got an eARC of this one, and it comes out in a matter of days!

BROWNIES: Are you a middle piece or a corner piece?

Brownie GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Middle piece! Can’t say no to the soft texture…

IF YOU’RE A CORNER PIECE: Name a book that started off strong and then all came apart

IF YOU’RE A MIDDLE PIECE: Name a book that kept you in the feels the entire time

Amazon.com: On a Sunbeam (9781250178138): Walden, Tillie: Books

On a Sunbeam absolutely fits the bill for my middle piece–I was already excited for it, but I had no idea how gripping and atmospheric it would be!

BIRTHDAY CAKE: Name a book series or an author that you feel like keeps coming out with a book, short story, or novella every year

Birthday Cake GIF by GIPHY Studios Originals - Find & Share on GIPHY

My first thought here was Amie Kaufman; at this point, she’s become such a prolific author, what with all of her YA and MG series. (Anybody else excited for The Other Side of the Sky? I preordered it!)

CARROT CAKE: Name a book that sounded healthy for you but ended up being unhealthy, either with content or by putting you in a reading slump

Carrot Cake GIFs | Tenor
Amazon.com: When We Were Magic (9781534432871): Gailey, Sarah: Books

I had my expectations high for When We Were Magic, but though it was entertaining, it was…decent. Not bad, but not spectacular for me. I have distinct memories of staring at the cover, but thinking that the book wasn’t nearly as gripping…

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

Baking Cookies GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

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, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (7/25/20)–#OwnVoices 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 #OwnVoices books!

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR JULY: 

7/4/20 — Coming of Age

7/11/20 — Hyped Books

7/18/20 — Books You Own

7/25/20 —  #OwnVoices 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 (This one!)
  • Tag 5 people

Let’s begin, shall we?

TOP 5 SATURDAY (7/25/20)–#OWNVOICES BOOKS

Elatsoe, Darcie Little Badger

Amazon.com: Elatsoe eBook: Little Badger, Darcie, Cai, Rovina ...

I’m so grateful that I got an eARC of this amazing book! It comes out a month from today (what are the odds?), and I’m so excited for you all to read it!

Girls of Paper and Fire, Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire Series #1) by ...

Despite the disappointment of the sequel, this was such a powerful fantasy!

The Sound of Stars, Alechia Dow

Amazon.com: The Sound of Stars eBook: Dow, Alechia: Kindle Store

Aliens, music, secret libraries…what’s not to love?

Pet, Akwaeke Emezi

Pet: Emezi, Akwaeke: 9780525647072: Amazon.com: Books

Though I didn’t like this novel as much as some of the others listed (three stars for me), this was still an incredibly inventive novel.

Surviving the City (Surviving the City, #1), Tasha Spillett and Natasha Donovan

Surviving the City (Surviving the City (1)) (Volume 1 ... - Amazon.com

Despite how short it is (just under 60 pages), this is a deeply impactful graphic novel. I can’t wait to read volume 2!

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

Bill Nye Thumbs Up GIF by NETFLIX - Find & Share on GIPHY

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 ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: Elatsoe

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

General Edelweiss+ update…so apparently, Macmillan is only accepting eARCs from Netgalley now, so that eliminated most of my requests, so…whee…

Most of my eARCs have been from more indie publishers anyway; personally, it’s probably a good thing–if it’s a good eARC, I feel great about being able to spread the word about them. Especially when they’re as good as Elatsoe.

Again, I CAN’T WAIT for this one to be released! Though there was a brief lull in the middle, Elatsoe not only boasts stellar representation, but a thrilling paranormal tale!

Enjoy this eARC review!

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

Elatsoe–Darcie Little Badger

Elatsoe–Ellie for short–lives in an alternate America, where the beasts of myth and legend roam the world, and ghosts are not so far away. Like Kirby, the ghost of her old dog, who she has now trained to follow her wherever she goes. Ellie herself can also raise the dead, and communicate with spirits.

But her skills, as she soon finds out, will be put to the test sooner than she ever thought. When her cousin is murdered, she and her family arrive at the scene, only to find that his killer hides in a picturesque Texas town, and that he may be hiding secrets that may spell disaster for the town’s residents. Will Ellie be able to uncover the truth before town falls into supernatural ruin?

Beetlejuice GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Levine Querido/Chronicle Books for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

The premise already excited me, but in all respects, Elatsoe is a fantastic, paranormal murder mystery!

First off, REPRESENTATION! Elatsoe is an incredible #OwnVoices story–both the author and the protagonist are Lipan Apache, and the protagonist is also confirmed to be asexual. I hardly ever see asexual representation in literature, and so I’m so excited to see that such stories are coming into the spotlight.

This novel strikes the perfect balance between the spooky paranormal and a murder mystery. The worldbuilding of this alternate America is absolutely stellar as well; most aspects of it are deftly explained without an excess of info-dumping. Darcie Little Badger introduces all sorts of fascinating creatures, and weaves them seamlessly into alternate America.

Going off of this, my favorite aspects–and my favorite scene–was that of the ghosts. Not only is Kirby adorable, but there’s a beautiful scene in which Ellie stumbles into a ghost sea, filled with trilobites, whales, and all manner of prehistoric creatures. The writing is lush and gorgeous, beautiful and immersive. And I’m a sucker for prehistoric critters and marine life, so of course you have my attention with the scene, even if it was fairly brief.

At times, some of the dialogue felt flat, causing a bit of a lull at the halfway mark, but I’m glad to say that it quickly picked up from there. I found myself completely immersed in the supernatural murder mystery, and after said dull spot, I enjoyed it from start to finish. Darcie Little Badger made so many creative choices that made Elatsoe all the more original, making for a supernatural story unlike any other.

All in all, a brilliant and creative #OwnVoices paranormal murder mystery. 4 stars!

guillermodltoro: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) dir… – Glamrock

Release date: August 25, 2020

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: June 15-21, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

First of all, Happy Father’s Day! I don’t know where I’d be without my dad–both in terms of life and in terms of quality music and comics–so for everything he’s done, I am eternally grateful.

It’s so strange to think that June is almost over. It seems like this month has gone by in a blur; mentally, I’m still on the first week of June. But aside from that, I’ve had a good week. I started out with a mediocre batch of books, but it picked up once I read one of my eARCs. I also went on my first out-in-public comic shop run, and that’s always super fun. Phoebe Bridgers also came out with her new album, and I’ve loved it so far! And, I just got to 300 pages on my WIP! I’m writing the last chapter, and my first draft should be done in a matter of days…

Bohemian Rhapsody Queen GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek–Kim Michele Richardson (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel - Kindle edition by ...

Colorblind–Siera Maley (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Colorblind by Siera Maley

Elatsoe–Darcie Little Badger (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Elatsoe (9781646140053): Little Badger, Darcie, Cai ...

The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed–Mike Mignola (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed #1 eBook: Mignola ...

The Deep–Rivers Solomon (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Deep (9781534439863): Solomon, Rivers, Diggs ...

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Kingsbane (Empirium, #2)–Claire Legrand

Amazon.com: Kingsbane (The Empirium Trilogy Book 2) eBook: Legrand ...

Dating Sarah Cooper–Siera Maley

Dating Sarah Cooper - Kindle edition by Maley, Siera. Children ...

The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss–Amy Noelle Parks (eARC)

The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss (Hardcover) | ABRAMS

Today’s song:

Before I leave, I just wanted to let everybody know that I won’t be doing a Goodreads Monday tomorrow, since my family is going to be hiking all day for Father’s Day. 🙂

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