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 yourfavorite books of all time?
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…
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?
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?
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?
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 Skyhunterfor 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, 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?
Illuminaewould 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 WondLatrilogy 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?)
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.
Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles, and happy Autumn Equinox! 🍁
Two reviews of trilogy finales in one week? I’m in rare form…
Anyway, this is the last of my birthday book haul that I’ll be reviewing. TRUEL1F3 was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and with this novel, I can clearly say that Jay Kristoff has never once disappointed me (though I’ve yet to read The Nevernight Chronicle…) The Lifelike trilogy was a sci-fi series to be reckoned with, and it all came together for a third book that surpassed both books 1 and 2–and made me feel ALL the feels, trust me.
WARNING: This review likely contains spoilers for LIFEL1K3 and DEV1AT3, so if you haven’t read them and intend to, tread lightly!
Once, Eve and Lemon Fresh were the best of friends. But war and love, family and fate have torn them apart. Now, the destiny of the entire Yousay is in their hands.
Lemon has been captured by the BioMaas swarm, who are convinced that her Deviate genes hold the key to turning the tides of war in their favor. A rift has come between Eve and her Lifelike siblings, who are bent on unleashing a computer virus–one that will free every android and robot in the Yousay from the programming given to them by the humans. And despite everything that has come between them, joining forces once more may be what tips the balance between salvation and annihilation.
The simplest way for a book to get me choked up? Separate some of the main cast over the course of a book or two, and let them have a happy, tearful reunion after both parties thought the other was dead. (See The Battle for WondLa, “Frankenweenie,” etc.) It’s the little things, man, it’s the little things.
I was itching to find out what happens to my beloved gang of misfits ever since finishing DEV1AT3about a year back, but I truly didn’t expect the absolute masterpiece that book 3 would bring. TRUEL1F3 brings back every stellar aspect about the previous two novels, and brings them all together in a blazing fireworks display of a trilogy ender. I laughed, I cried, my eyes bugged out of my head…this novel made me run the emotional gamut, but in the best way possible.
In this end to the trilogy, Kristoff introduces a whole plethora of catastrophic twists and new aspects, especially to the post-apocalyptic android mythos, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The various family ties–be it true family or found family–are explored even more in depth. Even though it’s been nearly a year since finishing book 2, I was fully invested in everybody within the first few pages. (Also, the little recap/glossary/whatever you’d like to call it helped.) All of the varied, multifaceted cast had their time to shine, and shine they did, until the very last page.
Lemon and Cricket are still my favorites, and they were as wonderful as ever in this final book. Solomon and Abe are up there too, but…I’m thinking that Kristoff had a bit *too* much fun playing with our feelings in their department. (No spoilers, but…yikes, can anybody in this book get a rest? Jeez…) There’s no shortage of fascinating themes, from the morally gray to the role of AI in our lives. I loved the plotline with the virus–not only did it make for some great action, there’s some seriously tense psychological business that results from it as well. (Remember what I said about Kristoff having a bit too much fun?)
TRUL1F3 took me a little longer to read because I was still adjusting to online school, but that doesn’t mean that every page was positively action-packed. The tension is higher than ever, and Kristoff’s lush and fast-paced writing never fails to throw you right smack in the middle of the action, making you feel as if you’ve fallen into the Yousay yourself. The worldbuilding was as detailed and immersive as ever, making for a final book that I won’t forget anytime soon.
All of these elements made for a trilogy ender that I ate up every last page. It chokes me up to say goodbye to Eve, Lem, Cricket, and all the rest, but the Lifelike trilogy is one that I’ll never forget. 5 stars!
TRUEL1F3 is the final book in the Lifelike trilogy, preceded by LIFEL1K3 and DEV1AT3. Jay Kristoff is also the author of The Nevernight Chronicle, the Lotus Wars trilogy, and the forthcoming Empire of the Vampire (all of which are on my TBR). He has also co-authored The Illuminae Files and The Aurora Cycle with Amie Kaufman.
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
I’ve been wanting to do a post for a bit that melds my love for the bookish and my love of music, so this is my first take on that. Aurora Rising, as many of you have figured out, is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) series, and I decided that it would be fun to match the lovable members of Squad 312 to some songs that I like, based on their personalities, relationships, and the events of Aurora Risingand Aurora Burning. I picked two songs per character, and I loved compiling them all. I hope you all enjoy!
(Along with the image at the top, all of the character images in this post are from @kiranight_art.)
🎧 PAIRING SQUAD 312 WITH SONGS 🎧
“Proud”–(Sandy) Alex G: “I’m so proud of you/And everything that you do/Doesn’t matter what they say/They ain’t worth a dollar in change…“
Scarlett mentions in book 2 that one of Ty’s most infuriating traits is that he accepts people’s flaws, no matter what, and isn’t there to reprimand anyone if any member of the squad messes up. No matter what, he has always been there for his squad, and sees past everyone’s previous mishaps and accepts them as who they are.
Tyler’s fame in the Academy, as well as the legacy of his late father, has caused a lot of internal conflict within him, and I thought the chorus of this song paired perfectly with this inner struggle–how he perceives himself versus how others perceive him and how others expect him to be.
“Pristine”–Snail Mail: “Don’t you like me for me?/ Is there any better feeling than coming clean?/And I know myself and I’ll never love anyone else…”
Scarlett’s a character who has tried to find herself through various relationships, almost none of them lasting, and I felt that this song captured the nature of some of the hidden doubts that she begins to have.
A trait of Scarlett’s that comes into light in contrast with her twin, Tyler, is the way they care for others–for most of book 1, Tyler does it more out of duty, while Scarlett truly seeks to protect and care for her fellow squadmates. The nature of this song almost perfectly captures her mentality.
I can totally picture this playing in the scene when she ditches the rest of the squad to go to the bar…
But either way, this song kind of expresses her shifting opinions and suspicions about the rest of the squad, especially the likes of Aurora. Unlike most of the squad, she isn’t completely ready to accept her as part of the squad, and suspects an ulterior motive.
Throughout book 1, Cat still has lingering feelings for Tyler, even though their relationship has come to a standstill; this song seems to capture her desire to fall back in love.
“Change”–Oingo Boingo: “Don’t you ever wonder why/Nothing ever seems to change?/If it does, it’s for the worse/Guess it’s just a modern curse…”
Simultaneously sarcastic and deeply introspective, this song feels like what Finian seems to have experienced throughout his life, both in grappling with his impaired mobility and his relationships with others.
“Crown”–Jay Som: “Arranging your best words/Tying the knot/A brighter tomorrow/Could you take a shot?”
(Oops…both of these songs start with a C for no apparent reason…)
But either way, this seems like a good song to match his views on being with the Aurora Legion–everything about it, from being in open spaces to *gasp* having to collaborate with others seems like everything he wouldn’t want to do, but he takes the shot anyway, and in the end, it may be for the better.
Like the previous song, this seems to embody Zila’s distancing from herself, becoming almost a shell of who she might have been as a child.
“Killer”–Phoebe Bridgers:“Can the killer in me tame the fire in you?/I know there’s something waiting for us/I am sick of the chase/But I’m stupid in love/And there’s nothing I can do…”
Was…was the chorus made for this guy?
When I first heard this song, I thought it was a beautiful embodiment of both Kal’s conflicting feelings about his nature and heritage and his relationship with Auri, especially given some of the fire-related imagery surrounding their relationship in book 2.
Look, I don’t ask for much in life, but…if/when the TV show goes through, can we PLEASE put this in the scene where Kal and Auri are in the pollen fields on Octavia III? PLEASE?
I’ve started to associate this song with the whole series, but Kal seems to embody it the most out of all the characters, in his helpless feelings towards Aurora and his personal struggles to better himself, and become more than his past. Plus, the choir singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love…” [cries]
This tag was created by Brianna, who also tagged me in the post. It looked super cute, so I had to give it a go! (Also, she has an incredible blog, so if you haven’t checked it out already, go check it out!)
I can’t stress enough how much The Search for WondLaseries has changed my life. Even now, it’s just as enchanting as it was when I first checked it out at the library. I’ll definitely be giving the series a re-read soon; book 1 turns 10 this September! 😭
I forget exactly why I DNF’d A Curse So Dark and Lonely (though I shelved it as “cliche” on Goodreads, soooo…), but everybody else seems to love this series, so I might give it another try. Maybe. Possibly.
The Kingdom of Back was such a lushly written and enchanting novel, and I’m always up for another round of Marie Lu’s stellar writing, so I’ll absolutely be re-reading this at some point.
Ugh…Red Queenwas such a steaming mess of bad tropes…
Without a doubt, Jay Kristoff. Even though I haven’t read everything of his, I haven’t read anything of his that I haven’t rated between four and five stars. What a mastermind…
Now that I own the entire duology, I seriously need to get back on the space-thrill-ride train that is the Heart of Iron series…
Not a series, but it’s just been announced that the Eleanor & Parkmovie has a director (!!!), so I’m simultaneously excited and scared for that.
I’m not much of an audiobook person (I’ve only listened to…maybe one or two? Either way, it was ages ago, and…possibly on my old Hello Kitty CD player? Anyway…), but I’d be interested to see how Aurora Risingtranslates into an audiobook. It’s got a full cast of characters for all of Squad 312, so I’d be down for listening to that. I did listen to some of the snippets that the publisher had in the article, and they all sounded good, though Cat seemed uncharacteristically perky. (Hey, that’s just me, though.)
I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE! GIVE BRIANNA SOME LOVE!
Credit Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek as the creator of the tag, use the created tag name graphic and link back to his blog. (Also, if you want to learn more about the tag you can see Drew’s post HERE.)
Answer the questions.
Tag as many people as you want.
Let’s begin, shall we?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GENRE?
Science fiction, without a doubt.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR FROM THE GENRE?
Can I include two? Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (co-authors of The Illuminae Files and the Aurora Cycle, and the latter is also the author of the LIFEL1K3 trilogy) never fail to disappoint; with their talents combined, every single one of their novels together is guaranteed a 5-star rating from me.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE GENRE THAT KEEPS PULLING YOU BACK?
With sci-fi, there’s an almost endless amount of possibilities, but I am always eager to read anything involving aliens, thrill rides in space, and everything that goes along with it. It’s easy to mess up, to be sure, but when an author hits the right note, I will enjoy every second of it.
WHAT IS THE BOOK THAT STARTED YOUR LOVE OF THE GENRE?
Tony DiTerlizzi’s Search for WondLa trilogy was my gateway into sci-fi literature, the summer before 5th grade. I instantly fell in love with the characters and the worldbuilding, and it inspired me to become an author as well. I’ll always hold this series close to my heart.
IF YOU HAD TO RECOMMEND AT LEAST ONE BOOK FROM YOUR FAVORITE GENRE TO A NON-READER/SOMEONE LOOKING TO START THE GENRE, WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?
Heart of Ironwould be a spectacular starter for anyone who’s looking to get into the genre. This novel really has it all–political intrigue, witty banter, a misfit crew of thieves, and lovable characters. Oh, and there’s the POWER COUPLE OF THE CENTURY, JAX AND ROBB. It’s also a retelling of the story of Anastasia, which might be a better starting point for some, if they’re already familiar/semi-familiar with the gist of it.
WHY DO YOU READ?
My, that’s a weighty question…
Reading is so many things for me. It’s an escape, a chance to connect, a way to spend the day, a source of inspiration. I’ve always been a voracious reader, but there’s not a singular reason why I’m so drawn to it. There’s always been the aspect of escaping to fictional worlds for a moment to distract from reality, but in my favorite books, I haven’t just found an escape, but something that speaks to me, something more than just bound paper. It’s hard to pinpoint, but there’s a fount of reasons why I read. Either way, I don’t know what I’d do without books in my life.
I don’t think I’ve anticipated a book as much as I’ve anticipated Aurora Burning (though Soul of Stars is a close contender). After falling in love with book 1, I jumped at the chance to preorder it, and as the date came closer (it’s officially been a week since its release), I counted down the days. My day got SO much better once I got it in the mail, and my day was filled with so much joy thereafter. I read it twice, and I must say, this is a truly worthy sequel, filled to the brim with plot twists and heart-wrenching writing.
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1, AURORA RISING. If you haven’t read book 1, then I suggest you don’t read this review yet.
Squad 312 is in more trouble than they’ve ever been in.
After the tumultuous exploration of Octavia III, the colony that Aurora was set to live in, Tyler, Scarlett, Finian, Kal, Zila, and Auri are back on the run. The TDF now blames them for the destruction of Sagan station, and with targets on their backs, the stakes are higher than ever. Especially considering that the Ra’haam–an interstellar entity bent on consuming the galaxy and all its denizens–is after them, infiltrating the Global Intelligence Agency, and bent on assimilating Auri. Now, Squad 312 must unlock the mystery of the Eshvaren–the beings that defeated the Ra’haam millions of years before–in order to complete Auri’s destiny as the force that will purge the Ra’haam from the face fo the galaxy. With targets on their backs and bounties on their heads–and not to mention, Kal’s sister after them–will Squad 312 defy all odds once more?
WOW. WHAT. A. BOOK.
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have absolutely done it again, pulling out all the stops of a sequel truly worthy of the near-perfection of its predecessor. There was nothing I enjoyed more than being back with Squad 312–especially now that we’ve got some necessary backstory on all of them.
Namely, Zila and Kal. We learned almost nothing about Zila in book 1, other than something vaguely hinted in her (very short) POVs; now that we have some insight on her past life…whew, somebody give her all the hugs the universe has to offer…
But beyond that, we also saw her grow such a great deal, and watching it made my heart so happy. Kal gets a similar treatment–we get an insight on his past (namely, his family), and we also get to see his relationship with Auri grow. I already adored both of them in book 1 (I mean, hey, they’re my favorite characters), but seeing them blossom together was one of my favorite aspects of this book.
Aurora Burning was just as action-packed as book 1, if not even more. I enjoyed every minute of it–everything from the escape from Emerald City at the very beginning to the chaos that ensued towards the end of the novel. I was on the edge of my seat for every page, and grinning from ear to ear through it all. (Well, almost all of it. More on that a bit later.)
One of my favorite scenes/sequences, by far, was Auri’s training by the Eshvaren within the Echo. It was such a beautifully written and archetypal few chapters–not only a chance for Auri to realize herself and her mindset, but a chance for her relationship with Kal to grow as well. The imagery was gorgeous, and I’ll admit that the last bit got me choked up. Mostly because it was so reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back, with Luke undergoing training to be a Jedi knight in the swamps of Dagobah. The Hero’s Journey parallels between Luke and Auri made me swell with joy, for lack of better words.
And all of it built up to an absolute WHOPPER of an ending. If you love this series as much as I do, PLEASE prepare yourself emotionally, because I guarantee that you won’t be ready for what’s coming. I know you’ve all heard everybody saying something on these lines, but I mean it when I say that Kaufman and Kristoff DESTROY EVERYTHING THAT YOU HOLD DEAR. AGAIN. And now I have to wait a whole year to find out what happens…
And on a sidenote, REPRESENTATION! Finian is now confirmed to be bisexual, and Zila makes several comments about liking girls, though her label has not been confirmed. A+!
All in all, Aurora Burning proves once more that Kaufman and Kristoff are nothing short of a force to be reckoned with. A true stunner of a sequel, and one that I certainly won’t forget anytime soon. 5, ENORMOUS STARS! Or more, if that’s possible…
Aurora Burning is the second book in the Aurora Cycle, preceded by Aurora Rising. Book 3 is confirmed to be happening/in the works, but as of now, it’s untitled, and does not have a cover or a release date. [sad harmonica]
Gah, I love this song…
Reminds me a little bit of Kal, to be honest. Not completely, but some of the lyrics and the general feel of the song have the same vibes as him.
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! As always, I hope you’re all safe, sane, and healthy. And please, STAY HOME. FOR ALL OF OUR SAKES, STAY HOME. 💗
This week began fairly normally; it had its ups and downs until about Thursday afternoon or Friday, and from there, things started to really pick up. I read a whole score of great books, watched Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson is always a win), there’s new Car Seat Headrest, goofed around on my guitar, and did a lot of drawing! And on this leg of Camp NaNoWriMo, I finally got to 100,000+ WORDS! WOOOOHOOO!
Also, my dad and I finally completed that 1,000 piece Hellboy puzzle! Here’s the final result:
Oh, and Jay Kristoff recently confirmed via Instagram that the use of the sound effect BAMF for the disruptors in Aurora Rising was, in fact, a reference to Nightcrawler’s teleporting sound effect. REJOICE!
I figured that today would be a good day for a tag, and in lieu of the announcement that the Netflix Shadow and Bone/Six of Crows show has wrapped up filming, I figured this one would be fun to do. (I’m kind of scared for how the show will turn out, because some of the Grishaverse books are kind of my babies, but that’s a story for another time). I found this tag over at SMELLFOY CAN READ?
Since I should probably give this post a little pizzazz, here’s some Six of Crows art from one of my favorite comic artists/book cover artists, Kevin Wada. (Same guy who drew the covers for Carry On and Wayward Son, actually!)
Let’s begin, shall we?
The Thief • Kaz Brekker: A Layered or Complex Character
One of my first thoughts here was Art from Like a Love Story. Definitely someone who presents a tough exterior, but is deeply wounded on the inside.
The Wraith • Inej Ghafa: A Book With a Twist You Didn’t See Coming
Without question, the end of Thunderhead. The ending came out of nowhere…I think I still bear the scars from having to wait almost two years to see how it all turned out…
The Sharpshooter • Jesper Fahey: An Author that Never Misses the Mark
Though I haven’t read any of his adult works, Jay Kristoff has never disappointed me. With his signature wit and heartrending writing, I’ve never read any book by him that I didn’t like.
The Heartrender • Nina Zenik: A Book that Broke your Heart or Gave you All the Feels
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.
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.
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.
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.
OLDEST BOOK THAT YOU’VE READ?
I think that Frankenstein would take that title as well.
NEWEST BOOK THAT YOU’VE READ?
Hmm…I think it might be Marissa Meyer’s Supernova. That one was just published last November.
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.
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.
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…
BOOKMARKS OR DOG-EARS?
Bookmarks, no question. Dog-earing is blasphemy, and you cannot change my mind.
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
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.