Posted in Book Tags, Books, Music

OMG This Song Book Tag

Good afternoon (or whatever time it is in your time zone), bibliophiles!

This tag was originally created for YouTube by Kate’s Book Date, and I was tagged by the wonderful A Little Haze Book Blog to take part in it. And honestly, how could I say no? I mean, books and music: two of my favorite things! (So thank you, both of you! 🙂 )

Alright, let’s get started…

1. MY JAM – a song you MUST listen to every time it comes on, no matter how old or how many times you’ve listened to it / a book you’ll never get sick of

This song is, without question, one of my favorites of all time, but it rarely comes on shuffle, and so I absolutely swell with joy when I hear it: David Bowie’s “Quicksand”.

 

The fact that Bowie created a song so profound, yet can also rock me blissfully to sleep like a baby, is sheer genius. If you haven’t listened to this song, PLEASE DO, AS YOUR LIFE WILL BE FAR BETTER FOR IT.

As for books, I’m going with Ashley Poston’s Heart of Iron

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In the 1.5(ish) years since its release, I’ve re-read it…oh, at least six times, and it never ceases to make me feel every possible emotion.

 

2. THROWBACK – a song that reminds you of the cringiest time of your life / a book that also reminds you of this time (or just something you wouldn’t like as much if you picked it up for the first time now)

Cringiest time in my life? 6th grade, here we come…

 

For the longest time, this was my favorite song of all time. I couldn’t stop listening to it, I tried to get my friends into St. Vincent, and…well, I pretty much became associated with St. Vincent among my classmates. (A blessing and a curse.)  Don’t get me wrong, I still love this song, but…man, 6th grade me was a nightmare. And speaking of being associated with certain things…

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This series…

The Search for WondLa  trilogy was my moon, my sun, and all the stars in my sky at that age. And, as with “Bad Believer”, I carried this bad boy around me whenever I re-read it, and that meant getting weird looks from my classmates, because, yet again, it was “that book

I still stand by that it’s a phenomenal series, but man, does it bring back a boatload of memories.

 

3. REPLAY – a recent song you have on repeat right now / a recent favorite book

I’m very, very late to hop on this bandwagon, but I just discovered Pink Floyd’s “Time” a few days ago, and I have not stopped listening to it since.

That surreal, dream-like quality, the poetic and yet blatantly real lyrics…man oh man, I love this song.

As for books, the last book (I believe) that I gave a solid five stars to was Like A Love Story. 

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gAH, TALK ABOUT FEELING ALL THE FEELS KNOWN TO MAN…such an expertly written, heartstring-ripping novel…

 

4. GETS ME – this song IS ME / this book is me in book form

[clicks on YouTube link] [gets flooded with Hellboy II memories circa 8th grade]

 

I’m not sure if this is necessarily me in book form, but I have often felt like an outsider, for several reasons. I’ve struggled to fit in for most of my life, and it’s only been in the past two or so years that I’ve been able to find my tribe. So, in a way, this song gives me hope. Hope that someday, maybe I’ll find true love from someone who sees me for who I truly am.

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As for books, I’d say…yeah, you guessed it, Aurora RisingBut really, the central theme of this book is finding your people, finding those who see you for who you are, and cherish you for the qualities that others abhor.

 

5. WUT – weird but I like it? / a unique book that stuck out to you for whatever reason

I mean, the weirdest part of this song is the title, but Sidney Gish’s music is generally filled to the brim with absolutely lovely, crafty lyrics that not only catch my eye (and ear), but resonate with me on some level.

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Good Omens would be my obvious literary choice for this question. An absolutely madcap gem, this book never fails to make me cry laughing. Same goes for the series, too–I’m only three episodes in, but I adore it.

6. LET’S GO – best pump up song (for workouts or just life) / a book that inspired you

 

This song makes me feel unbelievably powerful, no matter when or where I listen to it. Björk is nothing short of a visionary.

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As for the book, The Martian Chronicles , I’d say. Yeah, I know, not the most inspirational, uplifting collection, but Bradbury’s writing is what makes me want to be a writer, what motivates me to dream, to create. Although I’ve read a few of his works, this is the first of his that I’ve read, and my personal favorite.

 

7. CHILL – fave chill, relaxing song / a book you’d curl up with and read on a rainy day

 

I mean, I could probably put most anything by Frankie Cosmos for this question, but this was the first song of hers that I was introduced to. Mellow, with a warm, nostalgic feel that never fails to make me smile.

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Kindred Spirits  is easily the shortest novel I own, and it’s filled to the brim with adorable, slow-burn romance. Not to mention the fact that it centers around Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Gotta love Star Wars.

8. ADDICTING – guilty pleasure song (one that’s catchy and addicting but not a whole lot of substance) / guilty pleasure/trashy/fast/light read

 

Yeah, pretty simple lyricism here, but I feel little pink hearts forming in my eyes whenever “Johanna” comes on. 💗

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Again with the Rainbow Rowell…you guessed it, folks…

I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again: Pumpkinheads is the ideal antidote for any of the sadness and troubles in your life.

 

9. NOSTALGIA – throwback you look back on fondly / a book you read forever ago that you look back on fondly or reminds you of a happy childhood time

 

I know, more Hunky Dory era David Bowie. But personally, I stand by my belief that this is easily the best album in the history of music.

“Kooks”, in particular, has a special place in my heart, for the simple reason that it’s the center of one of my earliest childhood memories. I was in the car, probably still a baby, and my whole family was with me. No idea where we were going, but “Kooks” was playing.

 

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Most of Roald Dahl’s novels have a special place in my heart, but Matildain particular, has the most vibrantly fond memories for me. My teacher read it to my class in third grade (we were on a Roald Dahl kick, as this followed both of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory books), and I got it as a gift later that year.

 

I tag:

And you! If you want to do this book tag, feel free to give it a go! Have at it, fellow nerds!

 

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

Halloween Creatures Book Tag

Hi there, fellow bibliophiles!

First of all, sorry for forgoing this week’s Book Review Tuesday. I went to a concert last night (Chelsea Wolfe!), and I had very little time at home as a result. Hopefully this will make up for it. 😉

 

I saw that Rae @ waesmiles reads had done this tag, and I figured I’d have a go. It was originally created by Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward, and the rules are as follows:

  • Follow the Categories
  • You Must Be Honest
  • You Must Answer All Questions to the Best of Your Ability
  • You Must Tag At Least 3 People
  • Have Fun!
  • Credit Would be Greatly Appreciated! (Keep Reading Forward)

 

Alright…here we go!

 

WITCHES–A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT IS MAGICAL

My obvious choice here would be the Grisha trilogy. Hands down, one of the most well-crafted, magical universes I’ve ever come across. (On an unrelated note, I’m simultaneously worried and excited to see how Netflix pulls it off…)

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MUMMIES–A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT YOU CAN’T WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND

Wrap…I see what you did there…[ba-dum tsssss]

For this, I’d have to say Miryem from Spinning Silver. Without spoiling anything major, I’ll just say that it absolutely baffled me that her relationship with a certain character turned from forced (and borderline abusive) to perfectly happy.

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VAMPIRES–A BOOK, SERIES, OR AUTHOR YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT

Hmm…lots to pick from here, but the first one that comes to mind is the Heart of Iron duology. There’s so many aspects of that series that have earned it an especially soft spot with me. I really need to re-read Soul of Stars soon…

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WEREWOLVES–A BOOK THAT IS BEST READ IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT

I…well…

I can’t quite think of any. I can only read more intense books during the daytime, and I don’t read around midnight much anyway…

Guess I’ll have to skip this one ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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ZOMBIES–A BOOK YOU PICKED UP FOR THE 2ND TIME OR CONTINUED AFTER DNFING IT

Oof, I might have to skip this one, too…

Usually, when I DNF a book, it’s because of a deep-seated loathing; this usually prevents me from ever picking up the book again, so…

 

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GHOSTS–A CHARACTER YOU SAW RIGHT THROUGH OR A BOOK THAT YOU EASILY PREDICTED THE TWIST/ENDING

I read this one a while back, but the one thing I remember with clarity about Earth Force Rising was that I could see all of the major plot points coming from a mile away. Dear Lord, that was such a cringey book…

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FRANKENSTEIN–A BOOK THAT TRULY SHOCKED YOU

Hands down, Other Words for Smoke. I had pretty average expectations, but once I got into it, I could NOT put it down. The writing was beautiful, and there were out-of-this-world twists around every corner…

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SKELETONS–A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT CHILLED YOU TO THE BONE OR TICKLED YOUR FUNNY BONE

If we’re going for the funny bone route here, then I have the perfect example: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchI haven’t laughed that much in a very, very long time.

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GHOULS–A BOOK THAT LEFT YOU HUNGRY, OR A RECIPE YOU WANT TO TRY FROM A BOOK

This one seems like a cliche answer, but my immediate choice is With the Fire on HighThere’s nothing I wouldn’t do to try some of Emoni’s cooking.

Okay, maybe not nothing, but you know what I’m saying. It all sounded delicious…

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GOBLINS–A GREEDY CHARACTER OR A CHARACTER THAT LOVES GOLD OR JEWELRY

Though she certainly isn’t greedy, per se, Genya from the Grisha trilogy was my first thought; there’s no way that she didn’t put some bling on her eyepatch. (And every other article of clothing.)

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DEVIL–A DARK, EVIL CHARACTER

This isn’t the most classic of examples, but my first thought was The Mage from Carry On. Deceitful, manipulative, and…well, y’know, the general evil that comes along with being the equivalent of a black hole for magic.

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GRIM REAPER–A CHARACTER YOU LOVED OR HATED THAT DIED

Essentially, everyone who got killed off in Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsI don’t think I’ve completely gotten over any of them, even though I haven’t read it in years.

Especially Dobby.

DOBBYYYYYY

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SCARECROWS–A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT SCARES YOU

I can’t think of any character or book that really scared scared me, but for this, I’ll go with Xifeng from Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. I mean, you’ve got the classic, tragic hero descending into madness storyline, sprinkled in with some tyranny and eating human hearts. Y’know, just another day at the office.

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MONSTER MASH–TAG YOUR FRIENDS TO JOIN! 

I tag:

 

 

Thank you so much for reading! Have a wonderful rest of your day! 🙂

 

Posted in Book Tags, Books

Autumn Book Tag–Are You Ready for Sweater Weather?

That’s right! A perfect tag for SPOOKY SEASON!

This tag was created by Jenn @ Jenniely, and all of the tag headers in this post are from her original post. I was tagged by A Little Haze Book Blog (THANK YOU!), and I’m so excited to do this tag! 🙂

 

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Hot Chocolate: What is your comfort book? 

Sci-fi books are usually my comfort book; more specifically, those who have an extra-special place in my heart, such as The Search for WondLa trilogy, the Heart of Iron duology, and Aurora Rising.

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Pumpkin Carving: What is your favorite creative outlet?

Ooh…probably a toss-up between drawing and writing. I’ve loved to draw since I was little, and I usually like to experiment with pencils, ink pens, markers, and, as of now, a bit of watercolor.

As far as writing goes, I’d like to be an author someday. I try to write every night, and my mind is absolutely filled to the brim with all manner of story ideas. I mean, I’ve gotta let ‘em out somehow, right?

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Falling Leaves: Changes that appear bad that you secretly love

In a weird way, the first week of school always makes me a little nostalgic. I know, I know…school…but hey, there’s very little homework, and often times, it’s the first time you get to see all of your friends again after three months apart. It was better in preschool, but the first week is still oddly nice.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte: Something you love that others tend to judge

I mean, I know I’m not exactly a minority here, but I LOVE cats. It’s so strange that cats and dogs are such a polarizing subject: people either seem to adore them, or think that they’re heartless goblins bent on destruction. I’ve been around cats for as long as I can remember, and they’ve been my constant companions through thick and thin, always there to be adorable or snuggle with while I watch movies.

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Bonfire Night: What makes you explode with joy?

Going to see a movie or picking up a new book that you’ve been waiting for anxiously, and realizing that it was even better than you expected it to be. It’s the little things.

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Fright Night: Favorite Scary Book or Film

I’ve never been one for horror–movies or books. I mean, I totally chickened out on Aliens (1986), if that’s any indication.

However, I’m all for something spooky–just don’t give me much suspense, and I’ll be just fine.

In that creepy-but-not-nightmare-inducing vein, I’d have to say the Hellboy comics, and the Guillermo del Toro adaptations. NOT the 2019 reboot, mind you. Hellboy and that related universe will eternally have a special place in my heart.

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Halloween Candy: Favorite sweets to eat

Candy corns,  York peppermint patties, and anything with Oreos/oreo chunks in it.

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Scarves: Your must-have autumn accessory

October’s the perfect jacket season. I always like wearing my denim or leather jacket in Autumn, but I’ve got a soft spot for one jacket in particular; it’s black, with David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane lightning bolt on the back, and my collection of enamel pins and buttons on the front.

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Fire: A book or film that burns your soul

As far as books go, I’d definitely have to say Frankenstein. I haven’t gotten around to re-reading since I first bought it, but it’s left a permanent mark on my soul, to be sure.

For movies, hands-down, it’s The Shape of Water. Such a beautifully thought-out and moving film…I really don’t think I’ve been the same since the first time I watched it.

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Toffee Apples: A book or film that seems one thing but has a different inside

For this one, I’d have to say…Rainbow Rowell’s and Faith Erin Hicks’ Pumpkinheads. From the premise (and the pretense of Rowell’s previous works), you’d think that it would have some family drama or frustrating conflict. But, no, this one was so sweet and fluffy! Highly recommend it 🙂

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Well, that just about wraps it up!

I tag:

 

Thank you so much for reading this! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and be sure to stay tuned for more content next week! 😉

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (7/30/19)-Soul of Stars

Hey, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to the last Book Review Tuesday of July 2019!

 

And yes, this it it.

IT’S HERE.

THE SEQUEL AND CONCLUSION TO HEART OF IRON.

Man, if Heart of Iron was mindblowing, Soul of Stars was…earth-shattering. Galaxy-shattering? That should be a word. Unhyphenated.

Anyway, Soul of Stars is not only a gripping and fast-paced romp through the vast reaches of space, it’s a beautiful and perfectly wrapped-up conclusion to a duology like no other. An absolute gem.

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If you haven’t read Heart of Iron yet, please keep in mind that there’s probably going to be some spoilers in this review. Read that first, and you can read my review of it on 8/14/18. 😉

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Soul of Stars (Heart of Iron, #2)

In the blink of an eye, Ana has gone from a misbegotten orphan to the Empress of an entire star system. But after her beloved Di becomes the puppet of the notorious HIVE AI,  she is on the run again with a bounty on her back. It seems all is lost for both her and Di–once a Metal is taken over by the HIVE, there is no way out. Her last resort is to seek out the mysterious entity known only as Starbright–the only being that has ever been able to un-HIVE a metal. Ana finds what she’s looking for–a possible way to cure Di–but quickly becomes entangled in a galactic power struggle, with the lives of everyone she’s ever held dear at stake. What will Ana’s decisions cost her–and the rest of the Dossier’s crew?

 

 

And I thought Heart of Iron was an emotional rollercoaster…

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THE  F E E L S

 

Needless to say, Soul of Stars was a stunning end to the duology, with a heady dash of Poston’s signature space adventures, impeccable chemistry, and plenty of witty banter to go around. And…alright, I’ll say it. VERY emotional. I laughed out loud, I silenty cheered for the characters (it was only silent because I was in a library…), and I either cried or got close to crying…oh, I’d say around five separate times. No spoilers, but the last one kind of had me curling up in a ball. yEESH. 😭

Soul of Stars is a beautiful end to an absolutely unforgettable series. ∞/10, I’ll cherish this for years to come.

 

Thank you so much for reading this review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (7/23/19)-Descendant of the Crane

Hey, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

SO! I’ve been meaning to review this one for…almost a month now, whew. I had semi-average expectations for it, figuring that it would be more of an interim read than anything, something to tide me over. After reading a few rave reviews from another blogger and some of the Goodreads reviews, I was ultimately convinced.

And MAN…

Descendant of the Crane truly blew it out of the water! A seamless and riveting combination of fantasy and murder mystery. Waaaaaaay better than I expected it to be.

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

(also, apologies for the size of the cover image, this was the best that I could find 😦  )

 

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Descendant of the Crane

Princess Hesina has never been keen to the royal life, preferring to hide in the shadows instead of meddle in political affairs. But after her father’s death, Hesina takes it upon herself to discover the cause of his demise. The medics rule it a suicide, but Hesina is determined that it was a murder. Now the Queen, she goes against everything that the royal family stands for, enlisting the help of a soothsayer to find out how her father truly died. With the help of Akira, a criminal, poisons expert, and maybe the key to discovering the truth about her father, Hesina leads a grand investigation–one that leads into the darkest depths of her kingdom’s history.

 

 

Now, as I said, my expectations for this book were faily average. But by the end, let’s just say that my last brain cells and I were all screaming.

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WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOA.

 

A lushly written, richly developed, genre-bending novel like no other. The plot had me clinging to the edge of my seat, and though I didn’t get too attached to many of the characters, they had near impeccable chemistry, and I found myself rooting for them in the end. Overall, a truly fantastic book!

 

The author said (in response to a question on Goodreads) that Descendant of the Crane is, in fact, a standalone, but she’s planning to write some companion novels set in the same universe. I’m personally satisfied with the decision; it’s good that she’s leaving this book alone, but I’m itching for some more action in the rich world that she’s beginning to create. 🙂

 

Thank you so much for reading! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and please take care of yourselves!

 

OH! One more thing…

[singing off-key] toDAAAAAY IS THE DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

That’s right, Ashley Poston’s Soul of Stars, the sequel to Heart of Iron (see 8/14/18) comes out TODAY! I recently preordered it, and it’s supposed to arrive about a week from now, so you can definitely expect a review around early August.

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Well, that’s all for today. See you next Tuesday!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (4/9/19)-Last of Her Name

Hello, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

I’ve begun to notice that I’m a bit of a sucker for retellings. Most of my library “hauls” include at least one retelling them. Sometimes I read them consciously, sometimes I don’t know that they’re retellings until I read somebody’s review on Goodreads. Some I absolutely adore, some I loathe with a passion. Some are very well executed, and some fall embarassingly flat. You get the idea.

I’ve also begun to notice that I’m immediately attracted to sci-fi retellings of the story of Anastasia. (*coughcough*HEART OF IRON*coughcough*) As far as retellings go, these ones are few and far between, but when they’re good, they’re good. Heart of Iron might just be my favorite book of all time (coming close with Frankenstein, Carry On, A Monster Calls, Neverwhere, To Kill a Mockingbird, and a few others), and Last of Her Name was no exception. Beautifully crafted and action packed, this one left me on the edge of my seat, grinning from ear to ear.

Enjoy the review!

 

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Last of Her Name

 

Stacia has heard the stories many times over; sixteen years ago, the ruling family of the Belt of Jewels were all assassinated, and from the ashes rose the tyrannical government that still stands to this day. Stacia has led a quiet, peaceful life in her parent’s vineyard, with her two childhood friends, Pol and Clio. But that quiet life is soon disrupted when the director of the cruel Union government arrives on her planet, intending to snuff out the loyalists-those who still support the murdered empire. What’s more is that the director claims that the princess of the empire is still alive, and she has gone by Stacia ever since.

Now on the run from the Union, Stacia and Pol mount a daring mission across the galaxy to save Clio–and to discover Stacia’s true identity.

 

 

Oh, where do I begin?

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First off, I ADORED the world-building. The Belt of Jewels is such an intricately-crafted galaxy, with a rich history, and…alright, not quite aliens, but we’ve got a pretty fantastic myriad of “adapted humans”. Although I wish that we’d gotten a more in-depth look at the various species, I loved seeing their individual cultures, planets, and how they fit into the grand scheme of the Belt of Jewels.

Plus, there’s an aquatic species of adapted humans that…okay, yeah, I imagined them all looking like Abe Sapien.

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The characters were all so lovable, and I found myself nearly crying for them-on multiple occasions. I didn’t love some of them at first, but almost every one of them grew on me quickly. The plot was wonderfully fast-paced, intricate, and engaging, with a perfect ending that tied everything together quite nicely, I’ll say. All in all, a solid 4.25/5, which lands at about an 8.5 to a 9 on my book rating scale. Highly recommend it!

Last of Her Name is a standalone (*single tear slides down cheek*), but I think that the ending is satisfying enough. It’s a shame that the galaxy probably won’t be explained in more detail, but I’m happy with what we’ve got.

 

Thanks so much for reading this review, and have a great rest of your day! And for those of you in the path of winter storm Wesley…please stay warm and take care of yourselves.

 

And for those of you who want another retelling and haven’t read this book/review, check out my review for Heart of Iron (see 8/14/18)!

Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Holidays, Movies, Music

2018

Whew.

The past 2 or so years have both been dumpster fires, and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Mostly 2016, but you know what I mean.

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And this year?

Weeeell…I wouldn’t quite go so far to say that it was good, but it was less of a dumpster fire. You get my drift?

I’d be lying if I said that 2018 was easy. I had to face many daunting obstacles, make some difficult transitions, and come to terms with some truths about myself. But you know what? I managed to overcome those challenges, and I bet that you were able to do the same with yours. But if we look past all that we’d like to forget about this year, parts have been pretty awesome. I got to have so many new and wonderful experiences (Chicago, Sequoia National Park), discovered LOADS of new and spectacular books (some notable 2018 releases included Heart of Iron, Thunderhead, Honor Among Thieves, A Conspiracy of Stars, The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, and a few others), some amazing films (Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, The Crimes of Grindelwald, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Antman and the Wasp, and I haven’t seen Aquaman but I’ve heard that it’s great), incredible music (Lush, Twin Fantasy, etc.) and much more. Of course, we’ve had some not-so-great moments in those respects (The Light Between Worlds, Venom, etc.), but overall, it’s been alright. And regardless of what kind of year we had in 2018, we’ve got a lot to look forward to in 2019.

I saw a meme the other day that was kind of hopeful, however silly it was.

 

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Fingers crossed. 

 

And I’m really hoping that this will be the way things are. If it gets too bad, I’ll just remember that Dark Phoenix, Avengers: Endgame, Soul of Stars, Honor Bound, King of Scars, and An Anatomy of Beasts are in our futures. So let’s try to make 2019 the inverse of 2016, everyone. Make it good. 🙂