Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday, Movies

Goodreads Monday (12/30/19)–Seven Devils

Happy Monday, bibliophiles, and welcome to…wow, the last Goodreads Monday of 2019…

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Sheesh, this year really sped by…

Anyway, I came across this one over the summer, I think, and I was hooked from the first sentences of the synopsis. It hasn’t come out yet, but without any reviews and only the synopsis, I am BEYOND excited to read this one!

 

Let’s begin, shall we?

 

GOODREADS MONDAY (12/30/19)–SEVEN DEVILS by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

This first book in a feminist space opera duology follows seven resistance fighters who will free the galaxy from the ruthless Tholosian Empire — or die trying.

When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy’s most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire’s voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.

Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.

When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire’s inner workings.

Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can’t, millions may die.

 

So why do I want to read this? 

Alright, not gonna lie, I was hooked even before they had a coherent synopsis on Goodreads. Why? Simple: All it had was a release date, and something along the lines of “perfect for fans of Rogue One.”

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Aaaaaaand, you’ve got my attention.

From the sparse reviews I’ve seen, it’s been oft-described as a “feminist, queer space opera”. And honestly? That’s all I ask for in a book. That’s what I want to write, in the first place. Plus, the cover. GORGEOUS. 

Seven Devils doesn’t come out until August 2020, but you can bet that I’ll be anxiously awaiting its release until then. 😉

 

That just about wraps up this week’s Goodreads Monday! Stay tuned for more content later in the week, and though I’ll be posting all throughout the week (or I’ll try, at least), have a Happy New Year!

 

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Book Cake Tag

Hey everyone! I hope that you had a lovely Christmas, if you celebrate, and some very happy holidays!

I found this tag on Megabunny Reads, and it sounded super fun, so I figured that I’d give it a go! The tag was originally created by A Little But A Lot.

Here goes nothing…

FLOUR: A BOOK THAT WAS SLOW TO START OFF BUT PICKED UP AS IT WENT ALONG

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Shirley Jackson is the master of the slow-burn story, and The Haunting of Hill House is no exception. The slow building of this creepy, atmospheric masterpiece will stay with me for a long time after I’ve read it.

 

BUTTER: A BOOK THAT HAS A REALLY “RICH” AND GREAT PLOT

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The plot of Sally Green’s The Smoke Thieves  was incredibly intricate in every sense of the word–in the beginning, it was so complex that I found myself wondering how Green would manage to tie everything together in a way that made sense, but surprise, surprise, everything came back together towards the end. What a gem of a series.

EGGS: A BOOK THAT YOU THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE BAD, BUT TURNED OUT QUITE ENJOYABLE

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My expectations of Crier’s War were that it was going to be a steaming pile of cliches, but I was pleasantly surprised by the multi-layered world building, culture, and poetic writing…and not to mention, the swoon-worthy, enemies-to-lovers sapphic romance.

 

SUGAR: A SUGARY/SWEET BOOK

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Oh, Rainbow Rowell, master of the heart-meltingly adorable romance…

Most of Rowell’s novels have this level of romance, on some level, but the sweetness of Fangirl stood out most to me for the purposes of this tag, from bonding over books and music to specialty lattes.

 

ICING: A BOOK THAT COVERED EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT THAT YOU ENJOY OF A BOOK

You guessed it…

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I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again…

Aurora Rising is, for all intents and purposes, everything that I’ve ever wanted in a book–daring adventures in space, with a ragtag cast of unique characters.

 

SPRINKLES: A BOOK SERIES THAT YOU TURN TO WHEN YOU’RE FEELING DOWN

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aaAAAaAAAaaaAAAAaAa chILDHOOD–

The Search for WondLa trilogy was definitely a major part of what not only got me through middle school, but what inspired me to be a writer, and my gateway to the genre  of science fiction. I haven’t re-read it in a year or so, but I always love flipping back through the gorgeous illustrations: at this point, each one’s a different way to get to Memory Lane.

 

CHERRY ON TOP: YOUR FAVORITE BOOK THIS YEAR SO FAR

…First of all, as Megabunny Reads said in their post…what? Aren’t cherries on top reserved for sundaes? I’ve only seen…maybe two pictures of cakes with a cherry on top, and it doesn’t sound all that appealing…

[ahem] Anyway, now that I’ve already mentioned Aurora Rising, I think there’s only one other choice for the top spot this year…

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The heart-pounding conclusion to the Arc of a Scythe trilogy, Shusterman truly pulled out all the stops and then some in The TollThis is Shusterman’s storytelling at its very best, and an exemplary trilogy in the vast fount of literature that defines today’s sci-fi/dystopian novels.

 

And, that just about wraps it up! I tag:

And if you’ve stumbled across this post and want to participate, feel free!

Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves! It’s almost 2020, you can make it…

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (12/24/19)-The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, book 3)

Hey there, fellow bibliophiles, and happy holidays! Whatever it is you celebrate, I hope that you have a lovely holiday season!

 

Now, I know I mentioned reviewing this book weeks ago, but I cancelled those plans abruptly due to a finals hiatus. So, sorry to keep you waiting.

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That aside, I managed to snag a copy of this one, which I’ve been anxiously awaiting since the end of Thunderhead (book 2), and I must say…what a monumental conclusion to an unforgettable series. Without a doubt, one of the best books to come out of this year, and one of the best trilogies to come out of this decade. (Can I get a WOOOHOOOO for Mr. Neal Shusterman?)

NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW UNLESS YOU HAVE READ BOTH SCYTHE AND THUNDERHEAD, AS IT WILL CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS. 

If you’d like to read my reviews for the previous two books, you can do from these links:

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

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The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3)

It has been three years since the Endura disaster, when Goddard orchestrated an attack that killed most of the world’s revered Scythes, and the Thunderhead, the artificial, world-ruling hivemind, has shut itself off to all of mankind.

In MidMerica, the diabolical Scythe Goddard has come to power, declaring himself OverBlade of the entire continent, and gleaning all who stand in his way. But on an isolated island, a Scythe that was thought dead by the world lies in wait, preparing for the opportunity to strike Goddard and his ruthless empire down.

And in the oceans where Endura once sat, a scavenger ship has uncovered a treasure that may mean the difference between restoring the balance and total anarchy.

 

 

Now, let me just say…

OH. MY GOD.

This book is very nearly flawless. The Toll is the prime example of Neal Shusterman’s storytelling prowess, a heart-pounding, dystopian epic for the ages. With even more in-depth explorations of not just the world, but of the moral grey areas in society and the consequences of religion and absolute power, The Toll brings this unforgettable trilogy to a beautiful conclusion, one that leaves the reader thinking, and provides a sense of hope. This book deserves every star in the sky, without a doubt. So thank you, Mr. Shusterman, for providing a trilogy that will stand the test of time, a beautiful spot of light in a sea of mediocrity that has defined the dystopian genre for the latter half of this decade. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Plus, you can’t argue with Jaws references. ‘Nuff said. And, if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got some LGBTQ+ representation from a secondary character who plays a major role in The Toll, how cool is that! (Jeri, who you’ll meet somewhat early on, is genderfluid.) 🏳️‍🌈

 

The Toll marks the end of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy (*wipes single tear from cheek*), but without spoiling anything, the ending *could* open itself for spin-offs, though that isn’t likely. Personally, I’d rather the trilogy be left alone, but I wouldn’t be complaining if Shusterman wrote other novels in the same universe.

 

 

And there you have it! I hope you have a lovely rest of your day, and a very happy holiday season! Stay tuned for more content later this week!

 

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (12/3/19)–Everything Grows

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

 

This is one of the few gems I’ve found that Goodreads didn’t recommend to me. In fact, though I forget what book the recommendation came from, this one came from the library. I inhaled this one over Thanksgiving break (I’m so glad I had that much time to read…), and I must say, an absolute gem among this year’s releases! A criminally underrated, 90’s LGBTQ+ novel about growing up and discovering yourself.

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Everything Grows 

1993. Eleanor Fromme, newly 15, has just started high school, and is already faced with more emotional challenges than she could ever anticipate. After her longtime bully, James, unexpectedly commits suicide, she’s shocked, and unsure how to cope. Her solution? Chopping off and dyeing all of her hair, and writing letters to him for an English assignments.

All the while, Eleanor has begun to struggle with her sexuality, after she realizes that she’s a lesbian. As her old friendships crumble and new ones begin to blossom, Eleanor must find her way in a word that seems to frown upon her.

 

 

I’ve hardly heard anyone talk about Everything Grows, probably due to the fact that it’s from a more indie publisher. But man, am I glad that this one was recommended to me…

Aimee Herman deftly captures what it is to be 15, to be struggling with your identity, transitioning into a new school and a new way of life, and coping with things that none should have to. Eleanor’s character had such a poignant and relatable journey, which, combined with stellar writing and explorations of several facets of  the LGBTQ+ community (besides Eleanor, there are also more lesbian, bisexual, and  transgender characters), made for an unforgettable book. If you haven’t already read Everything Grows, please do so–and recommend it to your friends. More people should know about this book. A solid 4.5 stars from me. 💗🏳️‍🌈

 

Everything Grows is a standalone, but Aimee Herman has several collections of poetry, published prior to it. I’m debating whether or not I should delve deeper into her works, but I’m sure I’d enjoy it.

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and stay tuned for more content later this week!

 

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Posted in Book Tags, Books, Movies

I Should Have Read That Book Tag

Happy Friday, everyone! If you celebrated, I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving as well!

I saw this on A Little Haze Book Blog not long ago, and I figured that I’d give it a go. I feel like I’m putting the same books in my book tags (I’ll try to fix that), and since this one’s  about TBR books, I’m excited to participate!

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post (see above!)
  • Link to the creator’s blog (booksnest.co.uk) in your post
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag 10 others to take part
  • ENJOY THE TAG!

 

The Questions

  • A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read
  • A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t picked it up
  • A book in a series you’ve started, but haven’t gotten round to finishing yet
  • A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but never actually read
  • A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read
  • A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but you just haven’t read it yet
  • A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up yet

 

1. A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read 

Lately, a good friend of mine has started to get into some older sci-fi, and this was her first, vehement recommendation to me: The War of the Worlds.

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It’s not available at the library (woe is me…), but I’m definitely excited to get my hands on this one someday.

 

2. A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t picked it up

This one’s been on my TBR since day one…

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Though I’m not a fan of Holly Black, I absolutely adore Ted Naifeh’s work, and the story of The Good Neighbors  seems like a perfect melding of their respective styles.

3. A book in a series you’ve started, but haven’t gotten round to finishing yet

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I read the first book, Mask of Shadowsabout a year ago, and I remember the story being pretty intriguing and fast-paced, not to mention the excellent LGBTQ+ rep. (the main character, Sal, is genderfluid). But…I’ve just neglected to read Ruin of Stars  for no good reason other than my being lazy. Sigh…

 

4. A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but never actually read

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I’m putting this one off for a few years, because I’ll have to read it for an AP English class, but Brave New World seems like it would be an interesting read, in the same vein as 1984. 

 

5. A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read

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Somehow, I STILL haven’t gotten around to reading The Hate U Give,  despite several recommendations from friends and librarians alike. It’ll probably be in that constant “all copies in use” limbo at my local library for a few years, due to its immense popularity, but I’d definitely like to give it a try at some point.

 

6. A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but you just haven’t read it yet 

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I didn’t realize until the end credits that Jojo Rabbit was based on a book. I’m not sure if I’ll have the stomach to read this one (I’m guessing that Taika Waititi had some comedic liberties while directing Jojo), but I’m sure Caging Skies would be worth a read.

 

7. A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up yet

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I tend to see Furyborn pop up often, and I’ve been meaning to read it for a while. I’ve read a few other books by Claire Legrand (The Year of Shadows, Some Kind of Happinessetc.), and most of them have been decent. Claire Legrand’s obviously prolific, with a wide range of talents, so I’m excited to see how this plays out.

 

I tag…

Weeeelll…I’m not sure if  I know ten people who’d all be interested in doing this tag, so I’ll open it up to anyone who hasn’t done it, and wants to. 🙂

 

Have a lovely rest of your day! I might not be able to get to any more tags this week, but stay tuned for more content!

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (11/26/19)-Ziggy, Stardust and Me

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

 

When I first saw the premise of this book, I practically leapt for joy.

I mean, not only is it an LGBTQ+ romance, but the main character’s hero is David Bowie. And, of course, being a devotee of David Bowie for most of my life, I just had to read this. And honestly? Ziggy, Stardust and Me certainly had its flaws, but it is a story that absolutely needs to be read.

 

Without further ado, let’s begin this review!

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Ziggy, Stardust & Me

1973. Jonathan Collins is 16, and all around him, the world is shifting. His therapy, meant to cure his homosexuality, only serves to make him feel worse. The bullies are constantly at his back, and his father is relapsing into alcoholism. Jonathan’s only source of comfort lies in his imagination, and in David Bowie, the flamboyant rock god whose music is a source of solace.

Then, Web, the new, openly gay boy at school, tumbles into his life. Web is everything that Jonathan wants to be–confident, tough, and unabashedly unafraid of being himself. As Jonathan begins to fall for Web, he begins to push the boundaries that have confined him for his entire life–but at what cost?

 

Aaaaah, what a book!

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I wasn’t the biggest fan of the writing (I get that it’s from Jonathan’s teenage perspective, but it still felt a little bit sloppy), but my criticism just about ends there.

Ziggy, Stardust and Me deals with a boatload of difficult to talk about topics (namely racism, homophobia, and conversion therapy), but it did so in a way that was perfectly balanced–not glossed over by any stretch of the imagination, but in a way that was showing, not telling, to be sure. A lot of it was absolutely heartbreaking to read, but this is content that people need to know about. Spectacular representation (besides the fact that Jonathan and Web are both gay, Web is Native American), and a beautiful relationship that had me gushing. I cried…several times…but it was all worth it. Solid four stars for me. 💗🌈

And…David Bowie. I’m sold.

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Ziggy, Stardust and Me is a standalone, and James Brandon’s debut novel. Though I haven’t heard any news of him writing anything new, I sure hope we get something from him in the next few years. We certainly need more stories like this in literature.

 

Well, I hoped you liked this review! Have a lovely rest of your day, and stay safe out there! (I almost said “stay warm,” but I don’t know what kind of weather you’re all having…currently looks like a snow globe outside my window, so…🥶)

Stay tuned for more content later this week!

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Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (11/25/19)–The Space Between

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

 

Whew…Goodreads has been piling on the recommendations lately, so I’ve got lots of content for many Goodreads Mondays to come. Among them were an influx of LGBTQ+ books, which I am SO glad to see pop up in my recommendations! The Space Between happens to be one of them, so here goes nothing…

Alright, let’s start the week off right…

GOODREADS MONDAY (11/25/19)–THE SPACE BETWEEN by Michelle L. Teichman

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Everything’s great for Harper Isabelle, the most popular girl in grade nine. That is, until she meets Sarah Jamieson.

Sarah is a reclusive artist, a loner who wears black makeup and doesn’t have any friends, but for some reason, Harper can’t stop thinking about her.
Sarah isn’t used to people looking her way, especially popular girls like Harper Isabelle. Scared, religious, and unsure of herself, when Sarah begins to realize that her feelings for Harper might go beyond friendship, she is afraid to take the plunge and tell Harper how she feels.

Emotions build between these young women until they both reach their breaking points, and they need to make a choice about coming to terms with who they really are, and what they can and cannot live without.

So why do I want to read this?

Not only does The Space Between explore the complications of relationships in high school, it seems like it also explores the pressures put on some of the more popular kids to be “perfect” (and by perfect, I mean a “good, straight girl”). Additionally, there’s the initial fear of going into a sapphic relationship, knowing that everyone is watching.

I’m so excited to see a lesbian relationship, and my fingers are tightly crossed that it’s executed well. It’s beautiful to see how far we’ve come in terms of LGBTQ+ representation in literature in the last decade; we still have a long way to go, but it’s certainly the best that it’s ever been. What a time to be alive, folks.

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I hope you’re having a wonderful day, and stay tuned for more content later this week!

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