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 Geeky Stuff, Movies

The Phoenix has Risen…and it was Worth the Wait! (Dark Phoenix review)

Let me start off by saying that this was probably the movie that I’ve most anticipated in my entire life.

Since I discovered that it was happening about a year ago, I was absolutely over the moon excited. I counted down the days, I squealed every time I saw the poster by the movie theater, I made my parents take a picture of me next to said movie poster(s), set all my wallpapers to the various posters (which all belong in the MoMA, honestly)…you get the idea. I was a very, very excited little mutant.

As the reviews started pouring in, I got a little worried. I told myself, time and time again, not to listen to the critics. I also tried to tell myself not to expect another First Class or X2, but…I couldn’t really help myself up until the end.

Then, I saw it on Saturday night. I haven’t felt such a surge of joy in a long, long time, not like I did when the “feature presentation” screen finally came up.

And?

It didn’t deserve such hate-filled reviews from the critics. Nor did it deserve as high praise as some of the other films. But even still, an incredible film, and a beautiful ending to a masterful franchise.

*SOME SPOILERS AHEAD–I ADVISE THAT YOU DON’T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN DARK PHOENIX*

 

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“I Want All of These Posters Framed in a Museum” and other stories, part one. This one gives off some wonderfully Stranger Things vibes. 

 

 

Dark Phoenix has always been one of the most revered stories in the whole of the X-Men universe. Full of raw emotion not usually seen in a superhero story (at the time, at least), it was a groundbreaking series that changed the X-Men forever. I doubt any film will ever come close to portraying it perfectly, but Dark Phoenix sure came close. Some alterations were made to the plot, but they made enough sense that they worked with the story. (ex. instead of Jean consuming the mother star of the D’Bari and wiping the entire race out, they nearly went extinct in another way and sought Jean’s Phoenix Force to resurrect what was left of them. A bit cliche, but again, it worked.)

Perfectly paced, stunning FX (especially when it came to Jean), and a plethora of fun Easter Eggs that…yeah, I had a bunch of Chris Pratt-esque, gaping moments in the theater. FOR EXAMPLE…

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–Dazzler. DAAAZZZZZZLEERRRRRR!!! I mean…okay, she’s not my favorite, but it was pretty cool to see her show up briefly after all these X-Men films. Plus, she was originally introduced in the Dark Phoenix Saga, so…nice touch.

 

 

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–GENOSHA. Such a beautiful set. I really liked the approach they took with it–instead of being super high-tech, the structures and buildings were largely made up of scrap parts. Magneto’s house was also really pretty. (I mean, who wouldn’t put it past him to have a matching tea set?)

 

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Another little Easter egg was the addition of Red Lotus (behind Storm) and Selene (in front of Nightcrawler). Though I can see why they were added in, they didn’t have much screen time at all, and seemed almost unneccesary, other than being throwaway allies of Magneto. Selene does look pretty cool, though. I’ll give them that.

 

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What truly made this film, as it did in the comics, was the emotion and the themes of family. Dark Phoenix masterfully captured the raw, unfettered feelings of each of the mutants, showing their conflicts, their sorrow, their anger. Most prominent of all was Jean herself, and her internal struggle with her newfound abilities. I got choked up at the end–no spoilers, but it’s bittersweet, with a heartbreaking loss, followed by something more hopeful. A fitting farewell for the 20th Century Fox X-Men.

 

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And to top it all off, there’s always the classic fun that comes along with watching an X-Men movie. The battle scenes are over-the-top, but in the best way possible. The final one was one of my favorite X-Men battle scenes, period.

No spoilers for this portion, but I’ll tell you one thing–

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The context for that scene is…darkly hilarious.

 

Of course, every movie has it’s flaws. Dark Phoenix was in no way perfect, and I wished we’d had these aspects in it at some point:

 

–Quicksilver never told Magneto that he was his son. It ALMOST happened in Apocalypse, but alas…nada.

–On the subject of estranged relatives, there was a similar problem with Mystique and Nightcrawler. The only hint we get of their mother-son relationship is also in Apocalypse--she gives him some degree of special treatment, but not much beyond the rescue from the mutant fight ring.

–In the other films, there was lots of care taken to make the time period believable. Dark Phoenix is set in 1992, but if we weren’t told that, I’m not sure that I would’ve figured it out. Not even a band shirt or a running soundtrack for Quicksilver. *single tear slides down cheek*

 

But, all in all, Dark Phoenix was worth the long wait. Solid 8.5/10 from me. Go see it, X-Fans–you won’t regret it. Mutant and proud. 😉

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (9/4/18)-The Rose Society

Hi there, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to the first Book Review Tuesday of September 2018!

 

To be honest, I should have reviewed this books sooner. Like, a few months sooner. I mean, my review for book one in this series (see 7/17/18) was almost two months ago, so…

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…more like all summer. 

Anyway, I bought this lovely little novel at my favorite bookstore of all time. It was a hard decision between it and at least three other hardcovers of books I’d gotten from the library. But in the end, The Rose Society was a paperback, and I hadn’t read it before. But thank goodness I bought it, because MAN, it was THRILLING! Five big fat stars for this one!

Enjoy the review!

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The Rose Society

Broken by the betrayal of her father and the Young Elites, Adelian Amouteru decides to go rogue. Now under the alias of the White Wolf, she joins her younger sister Violetta and run away from their former home of Kenettra, in search of like-minded souls from which to build an army of their own. With a deadly grudge against the Inquisition Axis, Adelina will stop at nothing to bring justice to the Marked. But will her quest of anger and grief bring her success, or only misery?

 

Well OH MY GOD, that had to be one of the best books I’ve read all summer. No joke.

Not only was this book absolutely riveting and action-packed, but it’s the best out of the Young Elites trilogy. It truly packed a punch, all the way from start to finish. There’s hardly anything not to like about this book. 10/10. 👌

Also, remember how I was thinking about comparing the Young Elites characters to X-Men? Well, I’ve got some more comparisons today as well. 😉

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First off, I feel that Adelina is now more of a combination of Jean Grey and Magneto. Now that *spoiler for Young Elites* Enzo’s been offed, Adelina’s taken on the role of  “Marked bent on the destruction of the Inquisition Axis and all who support them”. Pretty rough ride for her.

 

giphy.gifSecond of all, the Nightcrawler-like character I hinted at in the Young Elites review was…drumroll please…Magiano.

He’s probably one of my favorites out of the cast of characters. Definitely something of a trickster, but he still retains a good heart deep down. Somewhere. If you look hard enough…¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

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Violetta was most similar to Rogue in terms of powers. From what I remember, they have somewhat like views on their own powers as well.

 

Oh, and speaking of Marvel…

…let’s not confuse Adelina with Bucky Barnes, guys. Just for future reference.

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Get it? White Wolf? Ha ha ha…nobody gets my jokes. Welp. 

Have a happy rest of your day, and keep on reading!

 

 

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (7/17/18)-The Young Elites

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

 

I’ve been getting into a lot of Marie Lu’s works at the moment. I recently re-read Legend, and I’d forgotten how good it was. I read Warcross some time ago, and I’m dying for Wildcard to come out! And so, I figured I needed to satiate myself while waiting for Wildcard (and for Prodigy to be available at the Kindle library…), I decided to start The Young Elites. And I think it might just be my favorite of Marie Lu’s series now!

I LOVED The Young Elites! I found it to be a lot like X-Men, but set in a world like our own in the Middle Ages. And I’m pretty much a sucker for all things, mutant, so this book was an absolute blast for me. I’ve already bought and started the sequel, The Rose Society, and I’m enjoying it even more than book one.

Enjoy the review!

 

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The Young Elites

Ten years ago, the deadly blood fever swept the world, leaving a trail of death in its wake. But for those who survived, it marked them with gifts that seemed to be given by the gods. Some of the marked are hunted down and burned at the stake; others still are worshipped like gods. Adelina Amouteru is one of the marked, and is still figuring out her powers. But after a run-in with the Inquisitorial Axis, the royal guard whose task is to kill all the marked they find, she meets Enzo, another boy marked by the blood fever who can control fire. He introduces her to the Dagger Society, a league of fellow people marked by the fever who seek to reform the cruel tyranny of the royals. But as Adelina starts to control her powers, she realizes that the world may not be as black and white as she previously thought. Whose side is she really on? And what will the consequences be?

 

As I mentioned earlier, this book is very reminiscient of X-Men, which I absolutely adored. Some of the characters reminded me a lot of some of the characters.

Take Enzo, for example. I was getting some serious Magneto vibes from him. But kind of in a good way.

Kind of.

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I also found Adelina to be a lot like Jean Grey, in a way. Probably not so great for her, but they’re both incredibly awesome.

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There were a few more near-parallels in The Young Elites, but those were the two that I felt worked best. As I’m reading The Rose Society, I’ve found that one of the newer characters is starting to look a little like Nightcrawler. OH YEAH.

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MY FAVORITE OF THE X-MEN!!! Kinda freaking out here, guys…

 

That aside, The Young Elites is such a well-written, action packed, gem of a book.

Okay, that was sort of a pun, sorry. You’ll get it once you read it. But what I’m trying to say is that this is an exceptional series. Please read, it please…

 

Well, I hope you have a great rest of the day, and keep on reading awesome books!

 

*BAMF!*

 

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (7/3/18)-Shadow and Bone

Hello, fellow bookworms, and welcome to the first BRT of July 2018!

 

*static* We interrupt the promised review of One Dark Throne (I’ll do it soon, I promise) with a review of something even better. 

 

I heard about the Shadow and Bone series via EpicReads (super fun site for all you YA book nerds out there 😊), and decided to give it a try. My expectations were for it to be a typical, YA fantasy novel-cliched and annoying at worst, fun and captivating at best. When I actually read it, however, I knew I had discovered something truly wonderful.

Shadow and Bone isn’t just magical fun and romance. It’s an intricately crafted gem of a novel, and an absolute must-read for all diehard YA fantasy fans.

Now for the review. Enjoy!

 

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Shadow and Bone

In the nation of Ravka, there is more than one kind of sea. There is the True Sea, which is like any other you’ll see in your lifetime. And then there is the Shadow Fold, or the UnSea, an ever expanding sea of darkness, crawling with foul creatures that will swallow you whole. Normal humans are virtually powerless against it. Until now, that’s how Alina Starkov, an orphan mapmaker, thought of herself. But after a tragic accident, she reveals that she has unimaginable abilities. Soon, she is sought after by the Grisha, a group of humans with all sorts of magical powers. Leading the Grisha is the Darkling, a secretive man with unimaginable power. The Darkling has taken a special interest in Alina, hoping  that their powers combined could destroy the Shadow Fold forever. But are his intentions really what they seem?

 

WOOOOOOOOOO! I’M OBSESSED WITH THIS SERIES NOW!!!

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Leigh Bardugo has done an excellent job crafting this novel. Even the smallest details are given a wonderful, creative spin, making for a world like no other. Such an intricate, compelling book in every way. Alina, the Darkling (GOD, I LOVE HIM), Genya…everyone! Awesome! YAAAAAH!

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I’ve been looking for a good excuse to put an X-Men gif somewhere…Thanks, Eric. And thank you, Leigh Bardugo, for making a series that is very nearly…perfection. 

I’ve just finished the sequel, Siege and Storm, which I will MOST DEFINITELY review later on!

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Have a great rest of your day, everyone! See you soon!