Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Movies

Comfort Food (Musings on Books and Films)

Happy Friday, everyone!

 

Comfort food. We all have it. It comes in all shapes and sizes, and no matter how deep into the dark places we may become entrenched, it will always bring immeasurable joy to us. So this is sort of an appreciation post, but more just musings on a few books and movies that not only help me get through it, but are just fun to read/watch over and over, and they never get old.

 

BOOKS AND COMICS

Heart of Iron–Ashley Poston 

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Ever since I read Heart of Iron for the first time on a magical trip to Chicago, it’s been my go-to whenever I reach a reading slump, or just need a little bit more sci-fi fun in my life. Also, Jax. ‘Nuff said.

 

Pumpkinheads–Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks 

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This one’s a more recent addition to my list, but no matter the time of year, Pumpkinheads is especially good for curing all that ails you. I mean, it helped me recover from the initial speechless shock after seeing Joker in theaters, if that’s any proof. (And that was a seriously rough movie…so well-done, though)

 

B.P.R.D. vol. 2: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories–Mike Mignola 

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Let me make myself clear: in the grand scheme of all things B.P.R.D., The Soul of Venice is nowhere near the peak of mastery that this comic series has achieved. But that’s not at all to say that it isn’t a ball of spooky, paranormal fun from cover to cover. Part of why this is one of my most frequently re-read trades is for a few reasons, but the most important one is that, like Heart of Iron, is that it brings back some of my fondest memories, those from when I went to Sequoia National Park one spring break. We stopped in LA before the drive there, where I got this at a comic shop just about a month before it closed. I spent almost the entire trip reading and re-reading that trade, even though I had…oh, three or four books loaded up on my Kindle?

 

The Courtney Crumrin series–Ted Naifeh

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Ah, Courtney Crumrinmy first foray into spooky comics…

One of the first major comic series that I came to love (and collect in its entirety), Courtney always manages to dredge up so many happy memories for me when I go back and re-read any of the separate volumes. Of course, I end up crying (*coughcough THE COVEN OF MYSTICS coughcough THE FINAL SPELL coughcough*) every time, but it’s worth it. [sniffles] I swear…

 

MOVIES

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

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I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW FANTASTIC THIS MOVIE IS. Aside from being one of the rare sequels that surpasses its predecessor, it speaks to me as a person. I mean…a bunch of misfits and weirdos just trying to get through life. (And trying to take down an invincible, supernatural army, but, y’know, that’s just part of the job.) Over the past three or four years, it’s played such a big role in my life, and I know for a fact that I will never grow tired of it.

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X2: X-Men United

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Again. Misfits just trying to get through life, with some world-saving on the side. After all the criticism these films have gotten over the years (mostly for The Last Stand, that first Wolverine solo, Apocalypse, and Dark Phoenix), it’s so sad that they’ve been pushed aside in the grand scheme of superhero films. For if you think about it, these three two original X-Men movies (we don’t talk about The Last Stand) set the standard for the modern superhero movie. For lack of better words, the X-Men movies walked SO THE ENTIRE MCU COULD RUN. There. I said it.

Anyway, X2 was what rekindled my love of X-Men a few years ago, and in the span of about a year and a half, I’ve been able to watch it a good 5 times, and it will never. Get. Old.

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All of the Star Wars movies (minus The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, you know what you’ve done…) 

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Star Wars. Need I really say any more?

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Today’s song:

I’d already heard a few songs off of Strange Mercy before, but I downloaded the rest of the album a few days ago, and I am STUNNED by how phenomenal it is.

 

So what’s your comfort food? What books, comics, films, and more will you never be able to stop re-reading/watching? Let me know down in the comments! 

That just about wraps up this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

What Cats Do Book Tag

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Hey there, bibliophiles!

As you can all probably guess from my icon, I love cats, and this tag instantly caught my eye! I found this on Time for Tales and Tea, and the tag was originally created by Kate@ meltingpotsandothercalamities.

First off, I’ve seen most other people who’ve participated put in some pictures of their cats, so I thought it would be fitting to put mine in here as well.

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This is Padmé; she’s incredibly chatty, and has an affinity for clinging to people’s left shoulders. Doesn’t matter who’s shoulder it is, so long as it’s the left shoulder. Don’t question her.

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Here’s Anakin, Padmé’s younger cousin. He and Padmé are inseparable. He’s also an itty bitty little cat, even at about 11 years old.

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Finally, here’s Hobbes, the newest of the bunch. Most of the time, she acts too dignified to be petted, but when she’s affectionate, she’s the sweetest little cat around. (In fact, she’s sleeping right above me as I write this out.)

Now, onto the tag…

RULES: 

 

PURR – As cats do this when they’re happy or relaxed, what is the book that makes you happiest or relaxed?

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Pumpkinheads never fails to give me all the warm and fuzzy feels, no matter how I’m feeling.

SLEEP – What is a book that put you to sleep or was just boring?

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Though the cover was deceptively gorgeous, The Light Between Worlds very nearly put me to sleep.

TWITCH WHILE DREAMING – Have you ever dreamt of a book you read?

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An after-product of having read this innumerable times (“I lost count at 50,” as I used to say), I’ve definitely dreamt about The Search for WondLa series more than one time.

SEEMS TO PLAY NICE UNTIL THE CLAWS ARE OUT – Which book had the biggest plot twist(s)?

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As far as Dare Mighty Things goes…two words: Brace yourself.

CUDDLES – Which book character would you give a hug to?

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Without question, March from the Smoke Thieves duology. After all that he’s been through, he’s fully deserving of it. 💖

CAT BREEDS – What are your favorite books?

Frankensteinthe Arc of a Scythe trilogy, the Heart of Iron duology, anything by Ray Bradbury, and Like a Love Storyto name a few.

GETTING THE CAT – How did you find your favorite book(s)?

Most of my favorite books have been recommendations from Goodreads, but just as often, I’ll find them hidden between the shelves in libraries or advertised in the back of other books.

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THE VET’S OFFICE – Your least favorite book:

I know I’ve talked ranted about Smokeless Fire, Red Queenand The Witch of Blackbird Pond innumerable times, and I don’t wish to be redundant, so I’ll try out one of my much-loathed DNFs…

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OH. OH. I forgot this book existed for a minute there…

YIKES. The corny names. The cringy, fake slang. The timeline. God, Earth Girl really was something of a train wreck…

BEING IN PLACES THEY SHOULDN’T – Least favorite cliché:

If I had to pick…most definitely love triangles. Much of the time, they only serve to muddy the existing plot with unnecessary angst and bickering. I won’t be sad to see them phase out of YA literature. I sure hope they do.

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THE GOOD OLD CARDBOARD BOX – Most underrated book series?

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AAH! Without question, the Faloiv series! (consisting of A Conspiracy of Stars and An Anatomy of Beasts) I doubt I’ll ever find another series with this amount of attention to detail in the worldbuilding.

 

I tag anyone who wants to participate! 

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Today’s song:

 

That just about wraps up this tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Bedtime Book Tag

 

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Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

I found this tag at A Little Haze Book Blog, and it looked absolutely adorable, so I figured that I’d give it a go! 🙂

 

– QUESTIONS –

What book kept you up all night reading? 

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I don’t read at night often, but the most recent example I can think of was Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams.  Not necessarily action-packed or anything, but I just COULD. NOT. STOP. LOOKING. AT. MIKE. ALLRED’S. GODLIKE. ART.

 

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What book made you scared to go to sleep?

Uh…not sure if I can answer this one. I honestly can’t remember any book, not even something from my childhood, that made me scared to go back to bed. Guess that’s because of my tendency to stay away from horror, so…

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What book almost put you to sleep? 

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Urgh, this book…we had to read The Witch of Blackbird Pond in sixth grade, and it was easily the most boring book I’ve read to date.

 

Which book had you tossing and turning in anticipation of its release? 

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Without question, Soul of StarsSince the moment I first finished Heart of Iron, I absolutely hungered for the sequel, for lack of better word. I’m so glad it delivered.

 

What book has your dream boyfriend? 

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uh…

Weeeeeeeell…

I suppose this is only a half-answer, because I really don’t have any book boyfriends. But I will give props to Leigh Bardugo in Shadow and Bone for making the Darkling sound drop-dead gorgeous, no matter how much of a manipulative creep he turned out to be. Villain crushes, guys, villain crushes. I dunno.

 

What book would be a nightmare to live in? 

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Don’t get me wrong, fighting monsters sounds pretty fun (maybe?), but once the B.P.R.D. comics hit the Hell on Earth arc, I kept thinking to myself, sheesh, I am so glad that we’re not living in a post-apocalyptic near-anarchy with giant monsters bursting forth from the ground. 

 

What book has a nightmarish cliffhanger? 

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It’s been a few years since I’ve read Dare Mighty Thingsbut I particularly remember the cliffhanger hitting me like a sledgehammer.

 

What book have you actually dreamt about? 

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I mean, dreaming about The Search for WondLa trilogy was practically inevitable, seeing as it made up a huge chunk of my childhood.

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I think I dreamed about it a few months ago, actually. There was a movie adaptation of it, and they used an animation style that looked kind of wood-cut. They also omitted a few key characters. Not sure why, but my brain really can’t be reasoned with.

 

What fictional monster would you not like to find hiding under your bed? 

Going back to Shadow and Bone, I’d say the volcra. [shivers] guhhh…

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I tag anyone who wants to participate in this tag! 

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Today’s song:

“In an interstellar burst,

I am back to save the universe…” 

 

That just about wraps up this tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

20 Questions Book Tag

 

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Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

I came across this tag on the wonderful Megabunny Reads, and I thought it would be fun to participate. Here goes nothin’…

 

HOW MANY BOOKS IS TOO MANY IN A SERIES?

I’m notorious for starting series and never finishing them, but I feel like the limit for me would be once it passes the double-digit mark. Unless they’re spin-offs, I’m not sure how any series could possible perpetuate a story for so long without making it needless.

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HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLIFFHANGERS?

If done well, they’re an excellent way to keep the reader hooked. If poorly executed, I sometimes find that they can be a pathetic excuse for a rushed ending. But most of the time, I find them good, but painfully so.

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HARDBACK OR PAPERBACK?

Eh…I don’t really discriminate. Hardback is more expensive, but I feel like there’s an equally likely chance for them to get damaged, so either one works for me.

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FAVORITE BOOK?

Hands down, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

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LEAST FAVORITE BOOK?

Probably The Witch of Blackbird PondWe had to read in in 6th grade, and I despised it with every cell of my being. So dry and boring.

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LOVE TRIANGLE…YES OR NO?

I mean…no. I can recall many times where they’ve worked out, but most of the time, they definitely bug me.

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THE MOST RECENT BOOK THAT YOU COULDN’T FINISH?

I hate to say it, but Half Bad by Sally Green. After adoring her Smoke Thieves series, I was so disappointed at how little plot there was. But hey, debut novel. Everybody makes mistakes.

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A BOOK YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. I haven’t even hit the 100-page mark, but I already love it.

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THE LAST BOOK YOU RECOMMENDED TO SOMEONE?

My school’s book club meeting for this month was yesterday, so I certainly threw out a boatload of recommendations. I think the most prominent one that hadn’t previously surfaced was Alexander Freed’s novelization of Rogue One

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OLDEST BOOK THAT YOU’VE READ?

I think that Frankenstein would take that title as well.

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NEWEST BOOK THAT YOU’VE READ?

Hmm…I think it might be Marissa Meyer’s SupernovaThat one was just published last November.

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FAVORITE AUTHOR?

I don’t think I can pick just one, but Mary Shelley, Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, Tony DiTerlizzi, Neal Shusterman, Ray Bradbury, Sarah Maria Griffin…the list goes on.

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BUYING BOOKS OR BORROWING THEM?

I practically live at my local library, and I borrow books nearly every week; that being said, I don’t prefer it to buying. So, again, I’m indecisive.

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A BOOK YOU DISLIKE BUT EVERYONE ELSE LIKES?

Red Queen. I’m still so baffled as to why it’s got such a huge fandom. It’s pretty much just ripping off every YA trope and rolling them into a sloppy, disgusting ball…

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BOOKMARKS OR DOG-EARS?

Bookmarks, no question. Dog-earing is blasphemy, and you cannot change my mind.

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A BOOK YOU CAN RE-READ OVER AND OVER?

Heart of IronAurora Risingand B.P.R.D., Vol. 2: The Soul of Venice and Other Storiesto name a few.

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CAN YOU READ WHILE LISTENING TO MUSIC?

I almost always read while listening to music! I sometimes change the song if it doesn’t fit the mood of the book, but you can almost always see me with my headphones on while I’m reading.

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MULTIPLE POVs OR ONE POV?

I can go either way. One POV eliminates confusion, and with multiple, you can get several perspectives, as well as the possibility of dramatic irony. Either works for me.

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DO YOU READ A BOOK IN ONE SITTING OR OVER MULTIPLE DAYS ON AVERAGE?

Multiple days, depending on how long the book is. It’s rare that I finish a book in one sitting.

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I tag anyone who’d like to join in!

 

Today’s song:

(I’ve been on a big Phoebe Bridgers kick lately…)

 

That just about wraps up this post! Have a great rest of your day, and keep on reading!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

Get To Know Ya Book Tag

Happy New Year, bibliophiles!

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I found this tag on A Little Haze Book Blog, and I’m so excited to take part! Let’s begin, shall we?

 

FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME

Oooh…hard decision, but if I had to pick, I’d go with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I read it a little under two years ago for the first time, and it’s never left my thoughts since.

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FAVORITE BOOK FIVE YEARS AGO

The entire Search for WondLa trilogy captured my heart around middle school, but my favorite of the three was the beautifully written (and illustrated) and shocking finale, The Battle for WondLa. 

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FAVORITE DUOLOGY/TRILOGY/SERIES

Hands down, Ashley Poston’s masterful Heart of Iron duology. Both books are so lovable in every sense of the word.

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LAST BOOK YOU READ

I’ll be reviewing this one later, but I just finished up Supernova, the last installment in Marissa Meyer’s Renegades trilogy. Such a stunning end to the series!

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LAST POETRY BOOK YOU READ

I bought a collection of Tennyson’s poetry in April, I think. Such remarkable and heartstring-tugging words…In Memoriam was probably my favorite.

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WHAT BOOK MOST INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE?

Alright, sorry, I know I keep coming back to this, but The Search for WondLa was not only my gateway to my favorite genre, science fiction, but what inspired me to be an author. Tony DiTerlizzi will never stop being my hero, just for that series alone.

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BOOK THAT MADE YOU UGLY CRY

Yeeeeeeeesh, A Monster Calls SLAYED me when I first read it. I had to re-read it over twice, and both times, I ended up bawling my eyes out at the end. GOD. 😭

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BOOK THAT MADE YOU LAUGH

Good Omens, without a doubt. I don’t think a book has made me laugh as much as that in a very long time.

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CHARACTER YOU’D LIKE TO BE FOR A DAY 

Hmm…the first character that came to mind was Alosa from Daughter of the Pirate King duology.Oh, to be a fearsome pirate queen on the high seas (with fabulous hair)…

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BOOK SO GOOD YOU DREAMT ABOUT IT

I can’t quite think of any books that come to mind other than WondLa, and I’ve already mentioned that one in two of the questions, so…sorry about that.

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BOOK YOU DNF’D

Oh, there’s a long, long list…

But the most recent book I DNF’d was Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters. Such an interesting concept for a plot, but the dialogue made it crash and burn. Curse you, deceptively gorgeous cover…

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WHAT BOOK ARE YOU EXCITED TO READ?

I loved The Hazel Wood, and I just found out that the sequel, The Night Country, will be released on January 7th! REJOICE!

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That just about wraps it up! If you’d like to do the tag, feel free to do so. Please be sure to link back to this post if you do so 🙂

 

Today’s song: “One and a Half Stars”–Wilco (listening to this as I wrap up this post!)

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books

My 5-Star Reads of 2019

Hi there, everyone!

As 2019 (and this decade) draws to a close, I’ve decided to make a comprehensive lists of all of my 5-star reads for this year, and, by proxy, my favorite books that I’ve read this year. Most of these are what’d you’d expect, if you’ve scoured my book tags and reviews, but I know there’s a few that I haven’t talked much about. These are in chronological order of when I read them, though their actual rankings vary a fair bit.

Now, without further ado…this year’s 5-star lineup!

 

KING OF SCARS–LEIGH BARDUGO

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Bardugo’s veritable masterpiece, all at once a rollicking adventure and an exploration of internal conflict, was my first 5-star rating of this year. And…Nikolai. ‘Nuff said.

Read my review here!

 

THE ILLUMINAE FILES TRILOGY–AMIE KAUFMAN and JAY KRISTOFF

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I mean, I read all of these in the span of a few months, and I gave all three books five stars…

For good reason, I think. I doubt that we’ll ever come across a trilogy quite like this in a very long time.

Read my review (Illuminae) here!

 

NEVERWHERE–NEIL GAIMAN

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I’ve been a fan of Gaiman’s work for some time, but I chose this one for an English project, and I fell so in love with the fantastic world-building, as well as each and every character.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

ONCE & FUTURE–AMY ROSE CAPETTA and CORI MCCARTHY

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A feminist, LGBTQ+ retelling of the legends of King Arthur…need we say more? A wonderfully fast-paced space adventure, reminiscent of Captain Marvel.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

HONOR BOUND–ANN AGUIRRE and RACHEL CAINE

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Even more daring than its predecessor, Honor Bound is a complex space opera to die for.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

TENNYSON: POEMS–ALFRED TENNYSON

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Yes, I was/still am that kid who sits in the corner reading depressing, 19th century poetry. Do I regret it? Absolutely not.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

AURORA RISING–AMIE KAUFMAN and JAY KRISTOFF 

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You’ve already sing praise of this one innumerable times, so I’ll just leave it at this: I FOUND MY DREAM BOOK, PEOPLE. THIS IS EVERYTHING.

Read my review here!

 

THE PIONEER--BRIDGET TYLER

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An inventive, heart-pounding sci-fi adventure, The Pioneer was very nearly flawless, and I’m itching to get my hands on the sequel next spring! 😀

Read my review here!

 

AN ANATOMY OF BEASTS–OLIVIA A. COLE

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Delving deeper and growing even twistier than its predecessor, A Conspiracy of Stars, this novel is dazzlingly well-thought out, the prime example of what speculative sci-fi should be.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES–RAY BRADBURY

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Did I mention how much I love sci-fi? No?

Ray Bradbury is a talent to be reckoned with, able to deftly weave together a thought-provoking story in the span of under 100 pages with ease.

Also, I was today years old when I realized that the hand on the cover has six fingers.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

SOUL OF STARS–ASHLEY POSTON

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The epic conclusion to the Heart of Iron duology, Poston deftly wraps together a complicated universe of familial bonds and political intrigue. Love, love, love, LOVE…

Read my review here!

 

FAHRENHEIT 451–RAY BRADBURY

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Again, Ray Bradbury. I rest my case.

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Find it on Goodreads here!

 

SPARE AND FOUND PARTS–SARAH MARIA GRIFFIN

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A futuristic Frankenstein for the modern age, this is a grossly underrated writing, atmospheric and poetic.

Read my review here!

 

THE DEMON WORLD–SALLY GREEN

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The pulse-pounding sequel to The Smoke Thieves, Green delivers an even more potent punch of her signature world-building and fantasy action.

Read my review here!

 

HOUSE OF X/POWERS OF X–JONATHAN HICKMAN

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The newest installment in the legendary X-Men mythology, Hickman weaves a mythical and symbolic world, with a hopeful conclusion and the potential of many mutant tales to come.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

LIKE A LOVE STORY–ABDI NAZEMIAN

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Would you look at that…I think this is the only historical fiction in this post…

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A hearstring-tearing and poignant coming-of-age LGBTQ+ novel. So many feels. INFINITE feels.

Read my review here!

 

THE TOLL–NEAL SHUSTERMAN

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The conclusion to the unforgettable Arc of a Scythe trilogy, this novel is solid proof that Shusterman is a sci-fi author to be reckoned with.

Read my review here!

 

Man. What a year this has been…

 

Have you read any of these novels, and what did you think of them? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Pancake Book Tag

I found this tag on A Little Haze Book Blog, and I figured it would be a fun tag to participate in!

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Alright, here are the rules:

  • Link back to the original creator, Becky @Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic.
  • Feel free to use any of the pancake graphics in your post, or create your own!
  • Tag some people!

 

I love pancakes, so here goes nothin’…

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Hands down, I’d say Wild Beauty.

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Not only is the story reminiscent of a fairy tale, the writing is as lush and decadent as the flowers it centers around.

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Sidenote: pancakes with lemon drizzle? Ooh, never tried that combo…I love most anything lemon-flavored, so…

I know I add this book in with most of my tags, but Finian from Aurora Rising definitely fits the bill.

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Even at the most inopportune times (edit: mostly at inopportune times), Finian always has a sassy, snappy comeback that never fails to make me laugh out loud in the most serious of scenes.

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I just can’t stop re-reading Carry On

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Though it’s a bit intense at times, I always come back to love story of Simon and Baz…and end up feeling all the feels as a result.

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Whew…I really want to re-read A Monster Calls again at some point, but man…[prepares myself for an intense outpour of tears]

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When I first read this, around two(ish) years ago, I just had to read it twice in a row. Nothing could take my mind off of it, and…yeah, I feel like I couldn’t read anything else for a few days. Gaaaaah, this one’s a killer…

 

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Indulgent feels…hmm…

If we’re talking about indulgent feels, I’d say Soul of Stars, the second installment in the Heart of Iron duology.

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Soul of Stars was everything that I wanted in a sequel–the cast of characters retained their impeccable chemistry, the plot was just as heart-racing (and heart-wrenching), a certain in-credible plot twist (loud crying) and a perfectly satisfying ending.

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Ooh…my first thought for this one is Art from Like a Love Story.

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He’s got many year’s worth of pent-up (and…sometimes not so pent-up) anger, which coats his personality for most of the book; about 3/4 of the way through the book, we definitely get to explore deeper into him, as his relationships with some of the other characters begin to strengthen.

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No doubt, The Pioneer.

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This one had me constantly second-guessing what was going to happen next. The Pioneer is the kind of book where you think you have the plot figured out, but something makes the plot go topsy-turvy in seconds.

 

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Alright, I hate to do this to you guys, but…I really…can’t…think of any…

All of the significant romances I can think of either a) worked out near-perfectly from the star or b) everybody loves, but I still kind of despise. Oops.

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Hands down, This Time Will Be Different.

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Not only is the main character Japanese-American, we’ve got a whole, backing cast of POC and LGBTQ+ characters, not to mention the deft tackling of several issues, almost all of them stemming from racism.

 

So, that just about wraps it up!

I tag: 

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and if I don’t post tomorrow, have a happy Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that! 🙂

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