Posted in Books

Pride Month Book Recommendations, Week 4: Historical Fiction

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

This week is the final week that I’ll be doing these recommendations, but no matter the month, I’ll always be recommending LGBTQ+ books, don’t you worry. 🏳️‍🌈

Historical fiction isn’t a genre that I usually delve into, but in the genre, I’ve found quite a few gems. If done well, historical fiction can be a wonderful insight and perspective into another time period, and books that can immerse us in the past more than any textbook ever can. With LGBTQ+ historical fiction in particular, it can give us insight on events that most textbooks don’t usually cover (looking at you, APUSH textbook…I found a whopping ONE mention of the LGBTQ+ community. ONE. IN THE ENTIRE TEXTBOOK. Granted, we had to stop at the 1950’s because of the COVID-19 situation, but still…).

So let’s begin, shall we?

PRIDE MONTH RECS, WEEK 4: HISTORICAL FICTION

  1. Like A Love Story, Abdi Nazemian
Amazon.com: Like a Love Story (9780062839367): Nazemian, Abdi: Books

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Two out of the three protagonists are gay, mlm relationship, several gay side characters

TIME PERIOD: 1989-1990 (AIDS Crisis)

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I know I blab about this one quite a lot, but quite frankly, this is easily the best historical fiction novel I’ve ever read. Period. A major tear-jerker, to be sure, but worth every bout of sobbing, 100%.

2. Everything Grows, Aimee Herman

Amazon.com: Everything Grows: A Novel eBook: Herman, Aimee: Kindle ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Lesbian protagonist, bisexual love interest, trans woman side character, gay side character

TIME PERIOD: 1993

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

A grossly underrated, poignant, and relatable novel about realizing your true self and discovering your identity.

3. Loki: Where Mischief Lies, Mackenzi Lee

Amazon.com: Loki: Where Mischief Lies (9781368022262): Lee ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Pansexual/Genderfluid protagonist, gay side character, queer relationship

SET IN: 19th Century (London, specifically)

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I know what you’re probably thinking. “Why’d you put this in the historical fiction category?” And aside from the fact that I don’t read the genre as much, a good portion of the novel, though it leans more towards the fantasy/mythology side, is set in London in the 1800’s. Plus, Loki. Can’t go wrong with Loki, now can we?

Loki Tom Hiddleston GIF - Loki TomHiddleston ShakeHead - Discover ...

4. Pulp, Robin Talley

Amazon.com: Pulp eBook: Talley, Robin: Kindle Store

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Both protagonists are lesbians, wlw relationship

SET IN: Alternates between 1955 and the present day (2017)

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A touching tale that alternates between a closeted lesbian (and budding author) in the age of the Lavender Scare and a curious, out-and-proud lesbian in the 2010’s.

5. Ziggy, Stardust and Me, James Brandon

Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon: 9780525517641 ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Both protagonists are gay, mlm relationship

SET IN: 1973 (TW: Conversion therapy)

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I talk a lot about this one as well, but honestly, what more could you want from an LGBTQ+ coming of age story centering around a boy who idolizes David Bowie? IT’S DAVID BOWIE!

trustmeimthetrickster: “ David Bowie interviewed by Russell Harty ...

As always, Queer Books for Teens is a wonderful resource if you’d like to find more LGBTQ+ recommendations and books to read.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE NOVELS? WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE LGBTQ+ HISTORICAL FICTION NOVELS?

Latest Gay Pride GIFs | Gfycat

Today’s song:

This one’s been coming on my shuffle in the car lately. Never fails to make me smile…

That’s it for this week’s pride month recommendations! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Music

My Favorite Music References in YA Literature

Best Abe Sapien GIFs | Gfycat

If there’s one thing I love as much as books and reading, it’s probably music. I was raised in a family of wonderful music nerds, and as a result, music has grown to be an integral aspect of my life.

And so, it always brings me a rush of joy whenever I find music references hidden inside books I love, and by proxy, authors with similar musical taste. I thought I might compile a few of my favorite books with music references in them, just for fun.

THE BLACK BEAST LIVES! - HalfGuarded

 

  1. The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, David Arnold

Amazon.com: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik ...

Artists referenced: David Bowie, brief joke about Wilco/Jeff Tweedy

I mean, one can sort of tell from the get-go that this book is very Bowie-centric; The title itself (a reference to a lyric from “Changes”), and the Aladdin Sane lightning bolt in the ‘I’ in “Fascinations”. (On another edition, it shows Noah with the bolt across his face, just like the Aladdin Sane album cover!) Other than that, there’s a continual respect for Bowie throughout the novel. Other than the general wondrousness of the novel, I’m just glad to see that someone else holds Hunky Dory as highly as I do.

Also, the mention of Wilco is very brief, but it was still pretty funny to see. Even if it was poking fun at them.

David Bowie GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

2. The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert

Amazon.com: The Hazel Wood: A Novel (9781250297327): Albert ...

Artists referenced: The Beatles, Nirvana, T.Rex, (!!!), David Bowie

Though music doesn’t play (no pun intended) as big a role in The Hazel Wood as it does in some of the others in this post, there’s wonderful references aplenty in this one, from a minor character being described as reminiscent of David Bowie to a discordant, chaotic scene in which the main villain sings an off-key rendition of “Yellow Submarine”. Also, I’m frankly so impressed that Albert slipped in a T.Rex reference in there. COME. ON. That’s the deep cut to end all deep cuts!

t. rex band | Tumblr

 

3. The Final Six and The Life Below, Alexandra Monir

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Artists referenced: Radiohead

Weirdly enough, though I’d heard Radiohead here and there before reading The Final Six,  but seeing the reference was ultimately what convinced me to listen to Radiohead! This is easily some of the best utilization of references I’ve seen in a novel, period. First off, in The Final Six, there’s a particularly chilling scene in which Beckett, the main antagonist, glimpses Naomi sneaking around, and after a tense conversation, he sings part of “Paranoid Android.” (“When I am king, you will be first against the wall/With your opinion, which is of no consequence at all…”) Already veeeery spooky, but the song’s title hints that Beckett knows more than what he let on. (No spoilers)

In The Life Below, Monir also uses “Sail To The Moon”–in particular, its musical structure–as the center point of one of the main subplots in the novel. And boy, it’s FASCINATING.

Thom Yorke GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

 

4. The Looking Glass, Janet McNally

The Looking Glass - Janet McNally - Hardcover

Artists referenced: St. Vincent, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac (I don’t really care about the latter at all, but hey)

Another dip into the realm of magical realism!

Music plays a semi-important role in this one, as part of the novel is set on a road trip; there’s a running joke where Sylvie’s friend’s brother (I can’t remember his name for the life of me) listens to one specific artist in the car for the month. His pick of the month is Fleetwood Mac; there’s a line (which I can’t find) where Sylvie makes a remark something along the lines of “why can’t we listen to something good, like David Bowie?” to which the other character responds that he’d already listened to him for all of April. And though the St. Vincent reference was brief, McNally perfectly captures the nature of her music.

St Vincent GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

5. Ziggy, Stardust, and Me, James Brandon

Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon: 9780525517641 ...

Artists referenced: David Bowie, Pink Floyd

Again, another Bowie-centric book. I related to this one in particular because Bowie is Jonathan (the main character)’s hero; the book is set in 1973, so it’s at the heyday of his Ziggy Stardust era. As someone who similarly worships him, this novel hit the sweet spot for me. There’s also a wonderful scene where Jonathan and Web soundtrack a school presentation with Pink Floyd’s “Time”, easily my personal favorite of their songs.

David bowie GIF on GIFER - by Kirindis

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS: 

 

So what do you lovely people think? What are some music references in literature that you love? Tell me in the comments! 

ziggy stardust david bowie gif | WiffleGif

 

Since I’ve already posted today, head over to today’s Goodreads Monday to see today’s song.

 

Have a wonderful day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Totally Should’ve Book Tag

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Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

I found this tag over at Bookidote, and the tag was originally created by Emmmabooks. I was browsing tags to give a go, and decided that this one looked liked a lot of fun! Let’s begin, shall we?

1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel

Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury

Man, I’m still so sad that Last of Her Name  was a standalone…though the ending was certainly satisfying and was wrapped up very nicely, the worldbuilding had SO much potential, and I would’ve loved to delve into it again.

2. Totally should’ve had a spin off series

Amazon.com: A Conspiracy of Stars (Whitecoat's Daughter ...

Man, this was a surprisingly hard question…

I mean, technically, the series isn’t *quite* finished, but I’d totally be on board for some more bizarre, alien adventures in the world of A Conspiracy of Stars

3. An author who totally should write more books

Amazon.com: Like a Love Story (9780062839367): Nazemian, Abdi: Books

Abdi Nazemian, without question. I mean, it’s only been a year(ish) since Like a Love Story hit the shelves, but I need some more of that wonderfully human writing, STAT.

 

4. A character who totally should’ve ended up with someone else

Amazon.com: Shatter Me (8601300047799): Mafi, Tahereh: Books

I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again: JULIETTE 👏 SHOULD 👏 NOT 👏 HAVE 👏 ENDED 👏 UP 👏 WITH 👏 WARNER 👏

It’s not like Adam was a much better choice, but Warner was such a manipulative, domineering creep, and I’m still so baffled at the fact that people…like him? And like him and Juliette together? Ew. Just no.

5. Totally should’ve ended differently

Amazon.com: I Hope You Get This Message eBook: Rishi, Farah Naz ...

I just finished up I Hope You Get This Message last night, and I must say, for a novel with such a lofty premise, the ending felt so haphazard and last minute. There was so much potential for the ending, something emotional, something human, something like that scene in Rogue One where Jyn and Cassian share a final hug before Scarif exploded…something like THAT, I don’t know. It just felt so blown-off and left to the last minute.

6. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

The decision to put Stranger in a Strange Land here is mostly because of the knowledge that they almost made it into a movie in the early 70’s, and DAVID BOWIE was going to be cast as Valentine Michael Smith. ZIGGY ERA BOWIE.

But even beyond that, this novel has the potential to be a revived, cinematic masterpiece, something as tender and thought-provoking as the novel itself.

7. Totally should’ve had a TV show

Amazon.com: The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace) (9781481442725 ...

The slow-burn, dystopian format of The Scorpion Rules would be perfect for a TV series, from the unique and diverse cast of characters to the action and buildup.

8. Totally should’ve had only one point of view

Half Bad: Sally Green: 8601300121086: Amazon.com: Books

For Half Badthe problem wasn’t so much POV, but it switched between Nathan’s normal perspective and random tidbits of 2nd person. Brave of Green to try 2nd person for her debut novel, but I’m sad to say that it didn’t quite work out.

9. Totally should have a cover change

Prince of Shadows: A Novel of Romeo and Juliet: Caine, Rachel ...

Prince of Shadows was decent enough, but the cover gave off some uncomfortably bodice-ripper energy…I was kind of embarrassed to carry it around while I was reading it 🤣

10. Totally should’ve kept the original covers

Skyward (Skyward, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Though this wasn’t the edition I checked out at the library, I like this cover of Skyward a lot better. I’m a sucker for Charlie Bowater’s book covers, but this seemed to fit the feel of the novel a little more, and the almost monochromatic color scheme is incredibly pleasing to me, personally. Granted, I didn’t like Skyward all that much (2 stars for me), but these covers are still wonderful.

 

11. Totally should’ve stopped at book one

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

As much as I love Carry OnRainbow Rowell, and the eternally charming Simon and Baz, I think their story could have stopped here. After Wayward Son‘s cop-out of a cliffhanger, it just seems that the series is being uneccessarily perpetuated beyond its limits. Don’t get me wrong–Carry On is one of my favorite books, but I’d liked for it to have stayed a standalone.

 

If you want to see today’s song, click here, since I’ve already posted once today. 🙂

 

I tag anyone who wants to participate! 

Cat Fun GIF by Ivo Adventures - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

Six of Crows Book Tag

book tags header.jpeg

Hi again, bibliophiles!

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!)

Image result for six of crows kevin wada

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 StoryDefinitely someone who presents a tough exterior, but is deeply wounded on the inside.

Image result for like a love story

 

The Wraith • Inej Ghafa: A Book With a Twist You Didn’t See Coming 

Without question, the end of ThunderheadThe 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…

Image result for thunderhead neal shusterman

 

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

There’s a long list, and since I’ve already spoken about the aftereffects of A Monster CallsI’d have to say To Kill a MockingbirdFeels were had. Tears were shed.

Image result for to kill a mockingbird

 

The Convict • Matthias Helvar: A Character Caught Between Two Worlds

My first thought here was Abe Sapien from the Hellboy and B.P.R.D. comics. I mean…the guy’s amphibious…talk about being literally and figuratively being caught between two worlds…

Image result for abe sapien the drowning

 

The Explosives Expert • Wylan Van Eck: A Book that Went Out with a Bang or a Cliffhanger 

Yikes, can I put Thunderhead on here twice?

Just kidding. Dare Mighty Things certainly ended with a bang AND a major cliffhanger. Talk about another ending that absolutely wrecked me.

Image result for dare mighty things book

 

I tag any fellow Six of Crows fans who’d like to participate!

Image result for let's do this gif

 

Since I’ve posted twice today, head over to this week’s Book Review Tuesday  for even more Radiohead  today’s song.

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

thank you for reading.jpg

 

 

Posted in Book Tags, Books

What Cats Do Book Tag

book tags header.jpeg

Hey there, bibliophiles!

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

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

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

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

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

Now, onto the tag…

RULES: 

 

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

Image result for pumpkinheads

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

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

Image result for the light between worlds book

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

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

Image result for the search for wondla cover

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

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

Image result for dare mighty things

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

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

Image result for the smoke thieves fan art

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

CAT BREEDS – What are your favorite books?

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

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

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

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THE VET’S OFFICE – Your least favorite book:

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

Image result for earth girl janet edwards

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

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

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

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

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THE GOOD OLD CARDBOARD BOX – Most underrated book series?

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

 

I tag anyone who wants to participate! 

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Today’s song:

 

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

thank you for reading.jpg

Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Netflix Book Tag

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Hello again, bibliophiles!

I’ve been wanting to do this tag for a little while, but I figured that it would be good for today since I’ve pretty much been subsisting off of Netflix for most of this four-day weekend. (*coughcough I AM MOTHER coughcough MONTY PYTHON coughcough*) I found this tag on First Line Reader, and the tag was originally created by A Darker Shade of Whitney.

 

RECENTLY WATCHED: The last book you finished reading 

Image result for guts raina telgemeier

I’ve been a big fan of Raina Telgemeier for years, and I was so excited to find Guts at the comic shop last week!

 

TOP PICKS: A book/books that have been recommended to you based on a book you have previously read

Image result for ghosting you alexander eberhart

Ghosting You was recommended to me not long ago, based on the fact that I read and adored Like a Love Story

 

RECENTLY ADDED: The last book you bought

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I bought both Sky Without Stars and Loki: Where Mischief Lies last week, and I’m excited to read them both!

 

POPULAR ON NETFLIX: Books that everyone knows about (2 you’ve read and 2 you haven’t or have no interest in reading)

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Both The Poet X and Red Queen have received tons of hype over the years, but I have very different opinions about them: the former was an absolute triumph, and the latter was…ugh. Nope.

Image result for the hate u give book

Image result for one of us is lying book cover

I’ve been recommended both The Hate U Give and One of Us is Lying countless times, but I’m not super invested in reading them. I might, but they’re low on my priority.

 

COMEDIES: A funny book

Image result for good omens book cover

I know I use this one every time I do a book tag, but Good Omens had me in stitches.

 

DRAMA: A character who is a drama king/queen

Image result for in other lands book

Elliot from In Other Lands was the very definition of melodramatic…part of why I DNF’d this book, ultimately.

 

ANIMATED: A book with cartoons on the cover

Image result for eliza and her monsters

As iffy as Eliza and Her Monsters was, the cover was super cute.

 

WATCH AGAIN: A book/series you want to read again

Image result for the catcher in the rye

I haven’t read The Catcher in the Rye since we read it for my English class last year, but I enjoyed it immensely.

 

DOCUMENTARIES: A nonfiction book that you’d recommend to everybody 

Image result for on writing stephen king

My nonfiction shelf is pretty slim, but for those of you who are writers/aspiring writers, I’d highly recommend On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

 

ACTION AND ADVENTURE: An action-packed book

Image result for smoke thieves

Though it was a bit more slow-burn at the beginning, The Smoke Thieves managed to keep me on my toes for a good 3/4 of the book.

 

NEW RELEASES: A book that just came out or will be coming out soon that you can’t wait to read

Image result for honor lost rachel caine

I had no idea this had come out until my school librarian (who I recommended the series to, and now loves it 😄) told me that it had come out! I cannot WAIT to get my hands on Honor Lost

 

I tag anyone that wants to participate! 

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Since I’ve already posted today, I won’t post a second song today, so just check out Goodreads Monday (2/17/20)–From Under the Mountain if you want to see what it is 🙂

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

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Posted in Random

2019

December 31, 2019. The end of the year, the end of a decade. I normally do end-of-the-year recaps on this blog, but this is the first of this scope, really.

And looking back, I’m honestly baffled about how far I’ve come–not in the span of a year, no, but in the span of 10. I mean, I was toddling into elementary school for the first time when the decade began. Now I’m about halfway through high school, hopefully a bit wiser and more mature. But this decade has been one of many transitions, realizations, and so much growth. [pats self on the back] you did it, kiddo!

Now, let’s zoom in on 2019. Last year was a year of growing into a new skin, of realizing who I was and what I might want to do. This year, for me, was about becoming confident in said skin, and for the most part? I think it was a success. 2019 certainly had its ups and downs, but I’d say it’s a step up from the last…oh, three years or so. Not quite so awful as 2016, and not perfect, but certainly better.

It’s been an amazing year for books, in my opinion. I honestly don’t remember another time when I’ve stacked so many books on my Top 10 list, or given so many books of one year 5 stars (Aurora Rising, The Pioneer, King of Scars, Like a Love Story, etc.) . Of course, this was also a year of new series, so…fingers crossed that Aurora Burning and The Survivor (among others) won’t disappoint. We had a load of amazing movies, and lots of franchises coming to an end along with the decade. (Avengers: Endgame, Dark Phoenix, The Rise of Skywalker), and several other movies that certainly need mentioning (Captain Marvel, Jojo Rabbit, Spiderman: Far From Home, Joker, Knives Out, etc.) I’ve discovered an onslaught of great artists, thanks to Apple Music, and I went to Canada for the first time. I started a WIP that I’ve been neglecting to write for a good three years, and I completed another year of NaNoWriMo. Oh, and Trump got impeached. THANK. GOD. I mean, there’s no way he’s getting removed from office [ahem], but hey, it’s a start. Blegh. Again, 2016. What a dumpster fire.

But one thing that I find fairly notable is that I’ve starting to take this book blogging thing semi-seriously. I’ve started participating in tags, I’ve found a bunch more lovely blogs, and gotten so much insight into this cozy little world. So I’d like to thank all of you reading this, for liking and commenting on my posts, tagging me/following along with tags, and for just sticking around.

With that said, there’s a few improvements that I think I’ll start making to this blog next year:

  • For my Book Review Tuesdays, I’m going to try and start going through books that aren’t in the 3-5 star range; it’s good to review stuff that’s not the best, after all. I’ll start putting my actual star ratings on there, along with some other info.
  • I’ll try and do weekly updates. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with monthly, but we’ll see how that goes.
  • At the end of every post, I’ll try and post a link to a song that I listened to/liked as I was writing it. I’m a very music-oriented person, and I thought it would just be a fun little addition. (Currently listening to Wilco’s “Red-Eyed and Blue”)
  • When NaNoWriMo/Camp NaNoWriMo season comes back around, I’ll try and put some updates on that as well.

 

So let’s make this next decade–and year–one of rising beyond, one of growth, improvement, and joy. [holds out lightsaber] Let’s do this.

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And while I’m at it, I’ll start on one of the things I said I’d improve on. Let’s end this post with a song.

I got into girpool in August, and though this isn’t my favorite of their songs, I think it perfectly captures the New Year’s Eve state of mind, and reflecting on how things used to be.

 

So thank you for spending this year with me. Have a great rest of your day…SEE YOU IN 2020

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Posted in Books

My 5-Star Reads of 2019

Hi there, everyone!

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

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

 

KING OF SCARS–LEIGH BARDUGO

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

Read my review here!

 

THE ILLUMINAE FILES TRILOGY–AMIE KAUFMAN and JAY KRISTOFF

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

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

Read my review (Illuminae) here!

 

NEVERWHERE–NEIL GAIMAN

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

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

ONCE & FUTURE–AMY ROSE CAPETTA and CORI MCCARTHY

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

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

HONOR BOUND–ANN AGUIRRE and RACHEL CAINE

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

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

TENNYSON: POEMS–ALFRED TENNYSON

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

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

AURORA RISING–AMIE KAUFMAN and JAY KRISTOFF 

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

Read my review here!

 

THE PIONEER--BRIDGET TYLER

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

Read my review here!

 

AN ANATOMY OF BEASTS–OLIVIA A. COLE

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

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES–RAY BRADBURY

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

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

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

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

SOUL OF STARS–ASHLEY POSTON

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

Read my review here!

 

FAHRENHEIT 451–RAY BRADBURY

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Again, Ray Bradbury. I rest my case.

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Find it on Goodreads here!

 

SPARE AND FOUND PARTS–SARAH MARIA GRIFFIN

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

Read my review here!

 

THE DEMON WORLD–SALLY GREEN

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

Read my review here!

 

HOUSE OF X/POWERS OF X–JONATHAN HICKMAN

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

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

LIKE A LOVE STORY–ABDI NAZEMIAN

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

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

Read my review here!

 

THE TOLL–NEAL SHUSTERMAN

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

Read my review here!

 

Man. What a year this has been…

 

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

 

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

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

End of the Year Book Tag

Hey, fellow bibliophiles! Sorry that I haven’t been active since Tuesday. I’ve had a kind of rough, busy, and rather emotional week (and an awful lot of homework), but hey, at least I finally finished watching Good Omens. 

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I saw this post on Prose and Pancakes, and I figured that I’d give it a go. (And if you can, please check out Nikita’s lovely blog!) The tag itself was created by Ariel Bisett.  So, without further ado, let’s begin!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Well…not quite, in the sense of the question. I’d like to think that I’m pretty good about finishing books in one sitting. BUT, I did just start reading  Bill Konigsberg’s The Music of What Happens, which I’m enjoying so far! 🙂

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Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year? 

I read pretty much all of the autumnal books that I wanted to read either in October or over the summer (oops), but I think Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks’ Pumpkinheads would fit the bill perfectly.

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Is there a new release that you’re still waiting for? 

I think this one technically came out in November, but I haven’t yet read Marissa Meyer’s Supernovaand I am OVER THE MOON excited for that one!

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What are the three books you need to read before the end of the year?

Hmmm…

I don’t really have anything that I have planned for the end of the year, so I’ll just hash out a few books off of my TBR that I’m particularly excited about…

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Hopefully I can get this one on my next comic-shop run…

I’m fascinated by the direction that Magneto was taken in during the Brian Michael Bendis run, and I’m excited to see it all from his perspective. I also loved Bunn’s work on Harrow County, so I’m sure it’ll translate well to the iconic villain.

And speaking of X-Men (references, anyway)…

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I’ve been meaning to read Lyn Miller-Lachmann’s Rogue  for ages, and I haven’t been able to find it anywhere. I haven’t read much MG in a while, and it seems like this will be a very poignant coming-of-age story.

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Aaaaaaand completely unrelated from the other two, here’s Marcus Sedgwick’s The Monsters We DeserveAs Frankenstein is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) book of all time, I’m intrigued to see his take on the fateful night that Mary Shelley spun the iconic story.

 

Is there a book that could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

I doubt it, honestly. My expectations have practically shot through the stratosphere after the combined glory of Honor Bound, Aurora Rising, Like A Love Story, The Pioneerand The Toll(I’ll be reviewing the latter of those next week. MY GOD…)

 

Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?

Reading plans? What are these ‘reading plans’ you speak of?

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Not really, no. But, I’d like to up my Goodreads reading goal to…let’s say…250. I’ve already passed my goal of 200 this year, and my goal was 300 the year before, and that was veeeery stressful. Barely passed that one. So I’m hoping that 250 will be a happy medium.

 

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

 

 

I hope you had a wonderful week! Stay tuned for more content tomorrow!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Pancake Book Tag

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

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Alright, here are the rules:

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

 

I love pancakes, so here goes nothin’…

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Hands down, I’d say Wild Beauty.

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

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

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

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

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I just can’t stop re-reading Carry On

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

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

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

 

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Indulgent feels…hmm…

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

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

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

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

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No doubt, The Pioneer.

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

 

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

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

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Hands down, This Time Will Be Different.

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

 

So, that just about wraps it up!

I tag: 

 

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

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