Posted in Books

Sci-Fi Tropes: Cryosleep, Unhinged AI, and everything in between 🪐

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been trying to think of more original posts to do, and I figured that this one would be something really fun to explore. I’ve seen a lot of posts talking about tropes, but genre-specific ones are always interesting to think about/discuss, and in much of the YA book fandom, I feel like sci-fi doesn’t get as much love. So I decided to look at six tropes that are specific to sci-fi (for the most part). Sci-fi is my favorite genre, so I got super excited thinking about all of these different tropes, and some (mostly) YA books that use them in different ways.

So let’s begin, shall we?

These Are Not The 130 "Star Wars" GIFs You Are Looking For | Star wars gif,  Star wars characters, Star wars episodes

WARNING: This post may contain some book spoilers (Aurora Cycle & Dare Mighty Things series), so read at your own risk!

🛸SCI-FI TROPES🛸

CRYOSLEEP, BUT FOR WAY TOO LONG

Quiz: Ripley, Our Lady of Survival | Bookmans Entertainment Exchange

Ellen Ripley – and Aliens in particular – probably set the blueprint for this one, but as the trope gets more popular, authors have started to push the limits on this one, which I think is a really cool move.

It’s most often the protagonist that this happens to – our hero, on the eve of something great, is put into cryosleep for an interplanetary mission, only for something to go terribly awry and stay in cryosleep for longer than they were supposed to. Ripley got an accidental 50 years, Auri from Aurora Rising got 200 years, and Andra from Goddess in the Machine got a whopping 1,000 years.

This trope presents two main advantages for writing: a vehicle for exploring the novel’s world through fresh eyes, and internal conflict within the character. If your cryosleep character is completely unfamiliar with the world, seeing it through their eyes gives the reader a more in-depth look at the world than they’d get with a character that’s already familiar with it. They’ll inevitably notice more things and fixate on different things than another character might, which gives the reader more insight about what’s unique about the world that the author has crafted.

As for the internal conflict piece, this part’s always touched on, but in most of the novels I’ve read with it, it’s a lot more shallow than you’d think. There’s the existential crisis that inevitably occurs when the character realizes that everything they know and love is all but gone, but beyond the first few chapters from their POV, they get over it…relatively quickly? It seems like the kind of trauma that would leave lasting psychological scars, and probably physical health repercussions as well. I’ve yet to read any book that explores all that in depth, but it seems like the perfect setup for a sci-fi novel.

So this one’s a trope that can make for a lot of creative choices, but often has a lot of untapped potential.

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: Aurora Rising (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff), Goddess in the Machine (Lora Beth Johnson)

GOTTEN INTO A SITUATION YOU CAN’T GET OUT OF? TIME TRAVEL!

Best Avengers Endgame GIFs | Gfycat
“Time travel!”

Apparently this one is a lot more common than I thought, but I’ve only started to see it in YA more recently. (Well, there’s Avengers: Endgame, but it took me a while to realize how common of a trope it is…)

This trope has the possibility of ENDLESS freaky hijinks whilst traversing through time. Sometimes it’s just pushing the events of the past so that everything lines up a little bit nicer, and sometimes it’s rocketing back to another time period entirely. It usually happens only with the last book in a trilogy or duology, just so everyone can fix the mess they got into in the first books.

I have mixed feelings on this one; one the one hand, there’s never a dull moment – time travel jokes, fitting VERY badly into a different time period, and very high stakes, most of all. If the first books have followed a similar formula, it might be good to try for something else to end the series with a bang.

On the other, though, something about it almost feels…lazy to me. Often, this trope arises from The Gang™️ getting a situation so bad that there may not be a feasible way out of it, but…maybe they could? If done wrong, it can feel like lazy writing – an easy way out, and one that provides instant comic relief. And often, the means of said time travel are vague, and often reduced to technobabble from The Smart Character™️, which, hey, I don’t know much about the science of it either, but maybe at least put a little time into it?

So this one’s a double-edged sword: instant plot, or lazy writing? The choice is yours!

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: Sword in the Stars (Once & Future, #2) (A.R. Capetta and Cori McCarthy), Aurora’s End (Aurora Cycle, #3) (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff)*

*this one doesn’t come out until November [screams] but we know that time travel will play a big part in this one, so…

ALIENS THAT BASICALLY JUST LOOK LIKE HUMANS (BUT WITH A FEW MINOR DIFFERENCES)

Pin on Asteria Academy
I know Jean Grey isn’t an alien, but most of the aliens mentioned below have similar powers to her, so…

Most of the other tropes I’m going to be discussing in this post are ones that I like on some level, but…this one gets on my nerves. For the most part.

Far too many times, I’ve fallen into the trap of picking up a sci-fi book that promises aliens, only to discover that the aliens just look like humans, but with either a) unusual eye colors, b) some sort of powers, or c) a combination of both. And of course, they have to be ✨ridiculously attractive✨ as well. 🙄

Now, I completely get making your aliens humanoid (hey, I’m doing it with some of my aliens for my sci-fi WIP), but there’s a certain point where it feels a bit lazy. Unless there’s some way you can back it up, it seems weird to me that in this entire universe, the only other intelligent beings, by some cosmic chance, are similar to us in almost every way.

But I’ve seen some authors use it to their advantage – in particular, One Giant Leap (the sequel to Dare Mighty Things) does this especially well. The main alien civilization there look exactly like humans, but it’s because of genetic modifications performed so that they could survive on Earth. See? That’s actually a really good way of turning the trope on its head, and doing so in a practical way!

For the most part, this trope never ceases to bug me, but there’s a few ways to turn it on its head.

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: One Giant Leap (Dare Mighty Things, #2) (Heather Kaczynski), Amid Stars and Darkness (Chani Lynn Feener)

UNHINGED A.I.

David - Prometheus --- ah! DON'T TELL ME THAT!!! (lol) | Michael  fassbender, David 8, Sebastian moran
BREAKING: Michael Fassbender Sustains Fatal Back Injuries from Carrying all of the Alien Prequels

For me, at least, this trope is the most fun – and it presents some of the scariest and most formidable antagonists in sci-fi.

Villainous AI are some of the most fascinating characters to explore – they have unmatched power, in some cases, and whether they’re a pre-installed ship AI or an android, it’s always interesting to hear their perspective on all of us puny mortals.

Given that humans trust AI a bit *too* much in most sci-fi novels, they often have a fearsome amount of power at their disposal. AI installed inside of a ship? Access to all the security footage, navigation, communications, and controls of the ship. They know their crew up and down, and have the possibility to play everybody’s weaknesses against each other. They have the power to sabotage anything and everything, and more often than not, they do. WITHOUT HESITATION. A corrupt AI often harbors a hatred or jealousy of human beings, and if it’s not that motivating them, it’s some sort of technologically-stemmed god complex, which is always terrifying to watch play out. (Lookin’ right at you, David…) It’s even more of an interesting development if their moral compass shifts over the course of the series – if there’s one thing I’ve learned from sci-fi, it’s that benevolent robot overlords never stay benevolent for very long.

Corrupt AI as antagonists are often more compelling than human or alien ones (for me, at least) partly because so much is left up to the imagination about the inner workings of their minds. We’ve never developed any kind of artificial intelligence that’s become intelligent enough to have devious tendencies like many sci-fi villains, so a lot of it is the author’s personal choice. There are endless possibilities – but more often than not, they’re all terrifying.

And even if they aren’t main antagonists, the addition of a slight unstable AI as a character is always amusing; for all of its flaws, I loved Gregorovich’s existential musings in To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, and his character added some much-needed flavor to the rest of the cast.

TL;DR: There’s nothing more terrifying than a villain that knows everything about everything, and uses that power for its own gain at whatever the cost.

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars (Christopher Paolini), Illuminae (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff), Scythe (Neal Shusterman)

HIGH-STAKES COMPETITIONS TO GO TO SPACE…WITH SOME SERIOUS ULTERIOR MOTIVES

artoo, that way

Scared to send your experienced, highly intelligent scientists to space? Send some teenagers instead!

This one tends to crop up the most in YA, as it’s primed for a book that has a primarily teenage cast. The ones I’ve read do tend to follow a formula, but for the most part, it’s one that’s actually a lot of fun!

The worldbuilding/motives behind it are always a little bit messy (again: sending teenagers into space! What could possibly go wrong?), but often times, you just have to hang in there; it’s a given that whatever program is funding the competition is doing something astronomically shady. (No pun intended.) Part of the fun with this trope is the mystery of it; slowly but surely, the competition starts dropping like flies, and things go very wrong very quickly.

More on the mystery aspect – the mystery that often occurs in these types of novels is very slow-burn, building on itself before the heartstopping reveal at the end (often a cliffhanger). From program superiors lying to scheming androids to deaths under mysterious circumstances, there are endless possibilities for many, many things to go wrong. Add in the not-so-friendly rivalries between the competitors (also scheming, along with everybody else), and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a nail-biting sci-fi mystery.

And once/if they get to space? Everything gets way worse. There’s bound to be aliens, but whether they’re intelligent or just parasitic, things are bound to go way, way south. But there’s never a dull moment – there’s no shortage of suspense, and our protagonist is often at a loss as to how to escape their situation.

Plus, for reasons I’ve yet to figure out, these ones always tend to have the most clever pop culture references. (See: all of the Radiohead songs in the Final Six duology)

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: The Final Six (Alexandra Monir), Dare Mighty Things (Heather Kaczynski)

EXPLORING OTHER PLANETS GOES VERY, VERY WRONG (Or, “Don’t do intergalactic colonialism, kids”)

Large yacht passes by gargantuan yacht - boing - Boing Boing BBS

Here’s another common – but by no means overdone – trope that’s always open to endless possibilities!

Because our planet was never enough, apparently (or if we destroyed it…probably), there’s a whole host of sci-fi stories that are set on entirely new planets, with the sole goal of making them a new home for humankind. But just like with our planet, it’s always unpredictable, whether you’re dealing with a foreign contagion, carnivorous wildlife, or superiors who aren’t what they seem.

I’m always a nerd for creature design in sci-fi, and life on other worlds presents all sort of possibilities for creatures lurking in the bushes. Whether it’s flora or fauna, exploring these sci-fi worlds along with the characters is an adventure, especially if the author is particularly creative. Of course, most of the wildlife ends up being carnivorous, or malicious on some level, so there’s all sorts of danger lurking.

But beyond that, this trope is often a great commentary on colonialism. Human history is rife with frightening periods of raping and pillaging land that wasn’t ours to begin with at the cost of those who originally lived there; telling the same story on alien planets serves as a particularly potent comment on the malicious tendency of our species to overstep and overstay our welcome. Books like A Conspiracy of Stars and The Pioneer explore what happens when humanity comes in contact with intelligent life and unlawfully sets foot on their land; both of them do an amazing job of exploring the intricacies of the political implications, as well as the tense conflict that results. I think sci-fi as a genre is one of the best mediums for raising commentary on this kind of thing. Exploring new frontiers in space is bound to happen once we get the technology, but we must always ask ourselves if it’s the right thing to do. Just because we can doesn’t necessarily mean that we should. (Let’s be real: I would be SO excited if we found evidence of life elsewhere in the universe, but…let’s not have a repeat of all of human history, okay?)

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: The Pioneer (Bridget Tyler), A Conspiracy of Stars, (Olivia A. Cole), Tangled Planet (Kate Blair)

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! What are your favorite/least favorite tropes in sci-fi? Have you read any of the books I listed, and what were your thoughts? This’ll probably be one of several posts on the subject, so I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Another Happy Landing GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

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

Bookish Blog Tag

Happy Friday, bibliophiles! I’m off a bit earlier than usual because of my school’s asynchronous Friday schedule, so I figured I’d do a nice little book tag. 🙂

I found this tag over at Whispering Stories. I don’t know who originally created the tag, so if anybody knows, please don’t hesitate to tell me and I’ll credit them! It looked super cute, so I figured I’d give it a go.

Let’s begin, shall we?

📚THE BOOKISH BLOG TAG📚

What are 1-3 of your favorite books of all time?

The anatomy of Frankenstein book covers
Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720964): Kaufman,  Amie, Kristoff, Jay: Books
Amazon.com: Heart of Iron (9780062652850): Poston, Ashley: Books

I’d have to go with Frankenstein, Aurora Rising, and Heart of Iron. In no particular order…kind of? I love them all, but I suppose they have varying degrees of sentimental value/specific memories attached to them…

I love Bruce's expression after Loki said that. He looked so freaked out.  XD | Loki marvel, Loki, Loki thor

What are 1-3 of your favorite authors of all time?

Oooh, that’s hard…Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, and Ashley Poston, maybe? I’d put Mary Shelley on there too, but I’ve only read Frankenstein…

Who is your favorite female character from a book?

Extras – Amie Kaufman

Again, such a hard pick…but I love Auri from Aurora Rising! Since the book came out, her character has spoken to me on so many levels, the most prominent of which being the fact that you don’t have to be brave to change the world.

Who is your favorite male character in a book?

Jeez, that’s super hard too…

Just one? Again? I suppose I’d have to go with Jax from Heart of Iron, maybe.

What’s your favorite fictional world?

Amazon.com: Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) [Assorted Cover image]  (9781250027436): Bardugo, Leigh: Books

The entire Grishaverse is so detailed and beautiful, just the kind of fictional universe that I’d want to get lost in. (Maybe. Probably not. Definitely not the Unsea.)

What book has your favorite cover?

Amazon.com: Skyhunter (9781250221681): Lu, Marie: Books

For me, it’s impossible to pick a single favorite book cover. I have an entire shelf on Goodreads of books with covers that I like, so I just had to trawl through that…

I eventually settled on Skyhunter for this prompt, though. The colors are just so beautiful, and even the inside of the hardback edition I have is gorgeous!

What’s your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?

Fantastic Mr. Fox' Poster | AllPosters.com

Fantastic Mr. Fox, without question! Even though I myself abide by the general “the book is always better than the movie” adage, this is one of the few book-to-movie adaptations that’s even better than the source material. That’s just the magic of Wes Anderson, I guess.

If you could make any book into a movie, which would it be?

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

Illuminae would make a super tense movie! Now that I’ve seen the Alien/Aliens movies, this novel gives off similar vibes, so I feel like it would be a good fit for the big screen.

What was your favorite childhood book?

The Search for Wondla: Amazon.co.uk: DiTerlizzi, Tony: Books

The Search for WondLa trilogy shaped me as a person in so many ways…it made me fall in love with sci-fi literature, and it made me want to be an author. So for that, I’ll forever be in Tony DiTerlizzi’s debt.

Fantasy or sci-fi? (Or neither?)

The Bookish Mutant – Page 2 – Books. Writing. Film. Music. (But mostly just  books.)
putting this in here because Prometheus has the most immaculate sci-fi vibes

Sci-fi, of course! Can’t say no to having strange adventures while hurtling through space. Plus, aliens are pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

I TAG:

Romance Book GIF by Lara Paulussen - Find & Share on GIPHY

Today’s song:

“Anonymous Friend” – Jim Noir (Bandcamp link)

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

Posted in Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (10/24/20)–Wishlist 📚

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

It’s 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 books on my wishlist. I have a TERRIBLE habit of buying only one or two books from a series, mostly because I read so much at the library, so I have tons of lone sequels and threequels and such. So this list is mostly comprised of books I want to re-read, and that would complete a series I don’t fully own.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR OCTOBER: 

10/3/20—Intimidating Books

10/10/10—Feminist Themes

10/17/20—Animal on the Cover

10/24/20—Wishlist

10/31/20—Vampires 

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?

TOP 5 SATURDAY (10/24/20)–WISHLIST

Warcross, Marie Lu

Amazon.com: Warcross (9780399547966): Lu, Marie: Books

I have an autographed copy of book 2, but I got book 1 at the library. I think this was my first exposure to Marie Lu, so it’ll always have a special place in my heart.

Also, WHO’S EXCITED THAT IT’S CONFIRMED THAT WE’RE GETTING A TV SERIES?

Defy the Stars, Claudia Gray

Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars Series #1) by Claudia Gray, Paperback |  Barnes & Noble®

[chanting] Sci-fi, sci-fi, SCI-FI, SCI-FI–

Legend, Marie Lu

Amazon.com: Legend (9780142422076): Lu, Marie: Books

Out of this series, I only have Champion and Rebel, so consider Prodigy on this list as well…

Gemina, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Amazon.com: Gemina (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499155): Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Books

Again, consider both this book and Obsidio on here. This was a 5-star trilogy all around; maybe I should re-read them, but it would take…a while…

Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo

Amazon.com: Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, 2)  (9781250044433): Bardugo, Leigh: Books

One word: Nikolai.

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

11 GIFs All Book Lovers Can Relate To | Edmonton Public Library

Today’s song:

I listened to this whole album earlier in the week, and it’s SO GOOD.

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

Fictional Family Book Tag

Happy Friday, bibliophiles! Man, I’m so glad to have a few days off…

Brianna @ Brianna’s Books and Randomness tagged me (thanks so much!), but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find who created the tag. (If you know, please let me know!) I thought it sounded like a lot of fun, and the results were definitely interesting…

Rules:

  • Pick 8 books off your shelves (try to not pick just your favorites!)
  • Arrange them into a random order (randomizers are good for this).
  • In the order they are arranged, open them to a random page and write down the first name you see. Don’t mix up the names!
  • In the last book, find the name of an animal/pet and write it down.
  • Put the names in the right category.
  • Tag people (spread the love) copy and paste these rules in your post, or write them out yourself.

Let’s begin, shall we?

PARENT #1

The Final Six | Alexandra Monir

Leo–The Final Six (Alexandra Monir)

I guess I could go with this? I suppose his more devoted/determined qualities might make him a decent father? I guess?

PARENT #2

Amazon.com: Crier's War (9780062823946): Varela, Nina: Books

Queen Junn–Crier’s War (Nina Varela)

UMM…I REALLY DON’T KNOW HOW TO FEEL ABOUT THIS DEVELOPMENT…

SIBLING #1

Defy the Worlds (Constellation, #2) by Claudia Gray

Abel–Defy the Worlds (Constellation, #2) (Claudia Gray)

Okay, things are definitely starting to look up. Abel would be such a wonderful sibling to have–he’s such a lovable character, and I think he’d be a super supportive sibling.

SIBLING #2

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

Kady–Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff)

Okay, so this tag leaves a lot to be desired in the fictional parent category (shoutout to my actual parents for being the most amazing and supportive people), but KADY WOULD BE AN AMAZING SISTER. SHORT GIRLS UNITE!

And on that subject, WHO’S EXCITED FOR MEMENTO? I preordered it, I can’t wait to read it!

COUSIN

Amazon.com: The Poet X (9780062662804): Acevedo, Elizabeth: Books

Xiomara–The Poet X (Elizabeth Acevedo)

Xiomara would be such a cool cousin! I feel like we could have so much in common, with myself as an aspiring writer and her as a budding poet.

BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND/SIGNIFICANT OTHER

Amazon.com: Wild Blue Wonder (9780062563996): Sorosiak, Carlie: Books

Elliott–Wild Blue Wonder (Carlie Sorosiak)

It’s been a few years since I’ve read Wild Blue Wonder and I remember next to nothing about Elliott, so…uh… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

BEST FRIEND

Amazon.com: Wildcard (Warcross) (9780399547997): Lu, Marie: Books

Zero–Wildcard (Warcross, #2) (Marie Lu)

Ooh…Zero might be an interesting best friend to have, but not exactly the most trustworthy one…

PET

Amazon.com: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's  Peculiar Children) (9781594746031): Riggs, Ransom: Books

Addison–Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)

Addison Quotes | Peculiars Amino

AHAHAAAAAAA YES

I’m more of a cat person, but I wouldn’t say no to having Addison at my side.

I TAG:

Season 2 Cheers GIF by Pose FX - Find & Share 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 (8/1/20)–Enemies to Lovers 💘

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles, and happy August! [happy Leo noises]

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 enemies-to-lovers romance, otherwise known as my FAVORITE romantic trope…

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR AUGUST: 

8/1/20—Enemies to Lovers

8/8/20—Underrated Books/Hidden Gems

8/15/20—Recommended Reads

8/22/20—YA Books

8/29/20—Detective 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?

TOP 5 SATURDAY (8/1/20)–ENEMIES TO LOVERS

Carry On (Simon Snow, #1), Rainbow Rowell

Amazon.com: Carry On (Simon Snow Series (1)) (9781250135025 ...

THIS….now THIS is the PINNACLE of enemies-to-lovers…

Crier’s War, Nina Varela

Amazon.com: Crier's War (9780062823946): Varela, Nina: Books

I can’t wait for book 2 to come out! Only about a month…

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1), Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Amazon.com: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499117): Amie ...

Does this count? It’s…lovers to enemies to lovers? I would think it would count…¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Serpent & Dove, Shelby Mahurin

Amazon.com: Serpent & Dove (9780062878021): Mahurin, Shelby: Books

I LOVE Lou and Reid’s relationship, and I’m excited to see what awaits them in book 2!

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

Amazon.com: The Black Witch: An Epic Fantasy Novel (The Black ...

Elloren and Yvan’s romance felt forced at first, but the pairing’s started to grow on me. I’m currently reading The Shadow Wand, so things have most definitely gotten interesting…

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

Do I Have That Book? Book Tag

Happy Friday, bibliophiles! I hope today finds you all safe, healthy, and in good spirits.

I found this tag over at Words and Stitches, and the tag was originally created by Keeping Tabs on Booktube. It sounded like a super fun tag, and I’m excited to participate!

Rules

1. Time yourself trying to find each prompt on your shelf
2. Try and beat the time of the person who challenged you.

3. Don’t forget to tag your challenger and the original creator!
4. Have fun!

Let’s begin, shall we?

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH DECKLED EDGES?

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess ...

Yep! The Tale of Despereaux has been on my shelf for quite a while, and it definitely has deckled edges.

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH THREE OR MORE PEOPLE ON THE COVER?

The Ruby Key (Moon & Sun, #1) by Holly Lisle

The Ruby Key features a trio on the cover! I got this one as a Christmas gift.

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK BASED ON ANOTHER FICTIONAL STORY?

I own a few retellings, but they’re all based on real-life events, so…

Danny Devito No GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH A TITLE 10 LETTERS LONG?

A Map of Days: The Fourth Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar ...

[frantically scours bookshelf] AHA! A Map of Days!

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH A TITLE THAT STARTS AND ENDS WITH THE SAME LETTER?

Amazon.com: Soul of Stars eBook: Poston, Ashley: Kindle Store

Soul of Stars–Ashley Poston

DO YOU HAVE A MASS-MARKET PAPERBACK?

Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet): Card, Orson Scott: 8601401251873 ...

I got Ender’s Game from my school library, but it was originally a mass-market paperback.

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WRITTEN BY AN AUTHOR USING A PEN NAME?

Magicians Nephew Study Guide | Progeny Press Literature Curriculum

This isn’t the edition I have, but I have almost the entire Chronicles of Narnia.

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH A CHARACTER’S NAME IN THE TITLE?

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle Book 1) eBook: Kaufman ...

Dread it…

Run from it…

Aurora Rising still arrives…

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH TWO MAPS IN IT?

Amazon.com: The Kingdom of Back (9781524739010): Lu, Marie: Books

The Kingdom of Back–Marie Lu

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK THAT WAS TURNED INTO A TV SHOW?

Amazon.com: Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) [Assorted Cover image ...

Shadow and Bone is soon to be a TV show…

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WRITTEN BY SOMEONE WHO WAS ORIGINALLY FAMOUS FOR SOMETHING ELSE? (CELEBRITY/ATHLETE/POLITICIAN/TV PERSONALITY ETC.)

Oh No Pikachu Gif - IceGif

N/A for this one…

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH A CLOCK ON THE COVER?

The Witches - Scholastic Shop

The Witches–Roald Dahl

DO YOU HAVE A POETRY BOOK?

Amazon.com: Tennyson: Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets ...

I bought this lovely collection of Tennyson’s poetry last year!

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WITH AN AWARD STAMP ON IT?

The Sun Is Also a Star Collector's Edition (Signed Book) by Nicola ...

The Sun is Also a Star–Nicola Yoon

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WRITTEN BY AN AUTHOR WITH THE SAME INITIALS AS YOU?

Mmmm…I don’t think so…

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK OF SHORT STORIES?

The Illustrated Man: Bradbury, Ray: 8601400321720: Amazon.com: Books

The Illustrated Man–Ray Bradbury

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK THAT IS BETWEEN 500-510 PAGES LONG?

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe): 9781534417861: Amazon.com: Books

Thunderhead is 504 pages long!

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK THAT WAS TURNED INTO A MOVIE?

Amazon.com: Everything, Everything (9780553496673): Yoon, Nicola ...

I haven’t seen the movie adaptation, but Everything, Everything was recently turned into a movie.

DO YOU HAVE A GRAPHIC NOVEL?

Amazon.com: Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal (Ms. Marvel Series) eBook ...

I have a shelf dedicated to graphic novels, some of which being G. Willow Wilson’s (AMAZING) run on Ms. Marvel.

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK WRITTEN BY TWO OR MORE AUTHORS?

Amazon.com: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499117): Amie ...

Illuminae–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICPATE! Feel free to do the timed part of it, I just chose not to, but do whatever you’d like. 🙂

Thumbs up for Dropbox | Gif pictures, Cute gif, Animated images

Today’s song:

I just discovered Josh Cohen on YouTube, and he does the most STUNNING piano covers! I highly recommend that you listen to his stuff 🙂

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

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 Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (1/29/19)-Illuminae

Hey, everyone, and welcome to the last Book Review Tuesday of January 2019! Man, this month has already gone by so fast…it feels like yesterday I was sitting downstairs watching X2 with my cats over winter break…*sigh*

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*single tear slides down cheek*

Aaaaaaaaanyway, I actually didn’t get this book at the library this time (*GASP* PLOT TWIST); I bought it, along with Honor Among Thieves (for that review, see 6/12/18), which is now IN PAPERBACK! REJOICE!

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AT LAST

Illuminae was recommended to me by a friend, and for the most part, I trust her book judgement. That, other than some other rave reviews I’ve seen and the dazzling cover art ultimately buy this book. I could barely fit it in my backpack, but MAN, it was completely worth it. The cover’s a teeeeeensy bit dinged up at the edges now (oof), but it was worth it all the same. Trust me. 😉

 

Enjoy the review!

 

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Illuminae

Kady Grant and Ezra Mason thought that breaking up would be the worst of their problems. But after their colony is destroyed by a fleet of warships, fighting for dominance over their tiny planet, they are forced to flee on two seperate ships. Out in the midst of space, Kady and Ezra realize that the colony’s destruction was only the tip of the iceberg. A psychotic AI, a deadly virus, and the imminent arrival of one of the warships that destroyed the colony now face the crews of the two ships, and only those with adequate wits, strength, and bravery will live to see the next day.

 

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Illuminae is like nothing I’ve ever seen.

The format is insanely creative, as well as fascinating. Illuminae is told not in ordinary writing, but in a series of transcripts from security camera footage, text messages between crew members, letters from the captain(s), and even snippets of dialogue from AIDAN, the maniacal AI aboard the ship Alexander. It takes a little getting used to, but in the end, I’m sure that you’ll appreciate it, 100%. Both authors skillfully weave a bleak, edge-of-your-seat dystopian tale set in the farthest reaches of space. Illuminae is a true gem of YA science fiction, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the first of its kind. Perfect for all fans of sci-fi, or anyone who wants something frightening, a thrill ride, or just something fresh to wash away the taste of some of the existing YA cliches. Solid 9.5/10 on my scale. 🙂

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This series is a trilogy, but I haven’t gotten to the sequels just yet. The same friend who recommended this book said that book 2 (Gemina, I believe) was something of a let-down, but I was so pumped about this book that I’ve already tried to put it on hold at the library. (All copies are currently in use. Woe is me.)

 

Thanks so much for reading this review! I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, and PLEASE, especially for those of you in the winter storm in the U.S., take care of yourselves, stay safe, and stay warm.