Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (10/19/21) – Steelstriker (Skyhunter, #2)

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

wHEW okay so I just submitted my college applications I need a minute

Meme Generator - Gavin screaming - Newfa Stuff

So, what do my college applications and this week’s review have in common? My feelings after finishing both of them can be described accurately with the image above.

I’ve been a fan of Marie Lu’s for years now, and I loved Skyhunter, so I immediately jumped at the chance to preorder book two. I got to read it recently, and I can say with certainty that Marie Lu has made another riveting success!

Now, TREAD LIGHTLY! This review contains spoilers for book 1, Skyhunter! If you haven’t read book 1 and intend to, I suggest you skip through this review.

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: Steelstriker (Skyhunter Duology): 9781250221728: Lu, Marie:  Books

Steelstriker (Skyhunter, #2) – Marie Lu

my copies of Skyhunter and Steelstriker feat. a cool filter

Mara has fallen. The Federation’s colonization sweeps through what was once the last stronghold of freedom, and at its forefront, the young Premier wreaks havoc, fighting to uncover an ancient artifact that could give his empire unimaginable power.

Talin has been captured for the Skyhunter initiative, melded with wings and great power against her will. But her connection to the Premier presents her with a unique perspective that could help her allies win the war. Meanwhile, Red and the rest of the Strikers are intent on breaking her out, but a plot against the Federation could mean the difference between victory and utter chaos.

are you with me? | Rogue one star wars, Star wars ships, Star wars fandom

TW/CW: torture, human experimentation, graphic violence, public executions, murder (attempted and executed), colonization

Let it be known that I was reading the last part of Steelstriker while getting my hair dyed, and that right as I hit THAT CLIMAX, the lady dyeing my hair came in and I had to hold it together long enough for her to rinse my hair out. This is the havoc that Marie Lu has wrought upon my heart.

But it was 100% worth it.

Skyhunter is a very special book to me. Not only was it written by one of my favorite authors, it helped me through what was easily one of the toughest times in my life. When I was weighed down with grief and stress, Skyhunter taught me to maintain hope, even in the darkest of times. Now, here I am one year later, and Steelstriker means just the same to me—a bleak, dystopian world, but with underlying currents of hope and resistance.

Just as with book 1, I can picture the imagery of Steelstriker like it was footage from a TV show. Marie Lu’s writing kept me hooked from page one, and I only found myself putting it down for…well, basic necessities. (And getting my hair rinsed off.) I felt just as invested in Talin and Red’s story as I did last year.

Standing next to Skyhunter, one aspect that set Steelstriker apart was the rich political intrigue. Within the action there are threads of unrest, manifesting in secret plots and uprisings aplenty. Every single plot point had a satisfying domino effect through the rest of the novel, and the constant twists that resulted kept me guessing until the epilogue. Marie Lu’s balance of sci-fi action and realistic dissent and secret plots made for a book that sucked me in for its entire length.

And the characters! Coming back to Red, Talin, and the rest of the striker gang felt like reuniting with old friends. I had a soft spot for Red in book 1, and he was just as well-developed, complex, and outright lovable as ever. Talin’s internal struggle with being a Skyhunter never ceased to tug my heartstrings, and her perspective balanced outside intensity with introspective development. And the two of them together!! I mentioned in my review of Skyhunter that I thought they would work in either a platonic or romantic relationship, and having them be in love was so, so, SO sweet. They’re just perfect for each other. GAAH.

All of it culminated to a climax that threw my heart down the Grand Canyon and an epilogue that pulled it back up. Marie Lu certainly knows how to toy with my feelings [coughcough THE MIDNIGHT STAR cough cough].

It’s bittersweet for me to think that the Skyhunter duology is coming to a close. But Steelstriker was a sequel that was just as heartbreaking, intense, and wholly special as its predecessor. Thank you, Marie Lu, from the bottom of my heart. 4.5 stars!

Steelstriker is the final book in the Skyhunter duology, preceded by Skyhunter. Marie Lu is also the author of the Young Elites trilogy (The Young Elites, The Rose Society, and The Midnight Star), The Kingdom of Back, the Legend series (Legend, Prodigy, Champion, and Rebel), and the Warcross series (Warcross and Wildcard.)

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books

YA Books for AAPI Heritage Month

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

I’m (almost) back! Today marked my last AP exam of the year (had four exams this week…hhhgh…), so now that I have most of the big tests out of the way, I can start getting back on a more frequent blogging schedule. Of course, I’m not *quite* done with the school year just yet, but the only finals I have left are for my easy classes, so I don’t think there’s anything terribly strenuous on the immediate horizon. 🙂

But I wanted to make this post because here in the U.S., the month of May is Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month! So for the occasion, I decided to compile some of my favorite #OwnVoices AAPI YA novels of all genres. As always, it’s essential to diversify your reading pool 365 days a year, but especially with the tragic hate crimes and harmful stigmas surrounding AAPI people in the U.S. and elsewhere, it’s especially important to uplift AAPI voices.

So let’s begin, shall we?

Aapi Aapi Month GIF - Aapi AapiMonth AapiHeritageMonth - Discover & Share  GIFs

YA BOOKS FOR AAPI HERITAGE MONTH

Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire Series #1) by Natasha  Ngan, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

GENRES: High fantasy, romance, LGBTQ+

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It’s been a few years since I’ve read this one, but I’ll never forget the impact it had on me. Raw, unapologetic, and resonant, Ngan builds such a rich world, unforgettable characters, and a plot that kept me at the edge of my seat. The sequel was a disappointment, unfortunately, but I think I’ll stick it out for book 3.

This Time Will Be Different – Misa Sugiura

Amazon.com: This Time Will Be Different eBook: Sugiura, Misa: Kindle Store

GENRES: Contemporary, fiction, romance

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

For anyone who seeks to make change in their community, this one’s a must-read! A beautiful story of family, history, and everyday resistance.

Love, Hate & Other Filters – Samira Ahmed

Love Hate & Other Filters - Social Justice Books

GENRES: Fiction, contemporary, romance

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

After reading two of her books and a short story, I can now say that Samira Ahmed might just be a new favorite author of mine! She never misses, and her debut is no exception; a raw and beautiful tale of love, family, and fighting back against bigotry.

These Violent Delights – Chloe Gong

Amazon.com: These Violent Delights (9781534457690): Gong, Chloe: Books

GENRES: Historical fiction, fantasy, retellings (Romeo and Juliet), romance

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I tried (and failed) to set my expectations at a reasonable level after all the hype this one got, but I must say, this one is worth a good portion of it! A fresh and original spin on Romeo and Juliet set against the background of 1920’s Shanghai, complete with warring gangs and strange monsters.

Warcross – Marie Lu

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

GENRES: Science fiction, romance, dystopia

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Marie Lu’s one of my favorite authors, and it was hard to pick just one of her books for this post, but I ended up on this one because a) it was my first exposure to her AMAZING writing and b) I don’t talk about it an awful lot, so why not give it some more love?

Besides that gorgeous cover, there’s something for everybody here: futuristic Tokyo, a clever and lovable heroine, mysteries within competitive video games, and secret plots.

Almost American Girl – Robin Ha

Amazon.com: Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir (9780062685094): Ha,  Robin, Ha, Robin: Books

GENRES: Graphic novels, autobiography

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

GAAAH, this one’s beautiful! This one’s an autobiography in the form of a graphic novel, centering around the author’s experience as a Korean immigrant to the U.S. and the transformative power of art and comics.

Ash – Malinda Lo

Ash by Malinda Lo

GENRES: Retellings (Cinderella), fantasy, romance, LGBTQ+

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Amid the bountiful Cinderella retellings out there, this one truly stands out, with lush writing reminiscent of the narration of Pan’s Labyrinth and classic fairytales, and a warm and resonant sapphic romance. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a retelling worth reading!

The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi

Amazon.com: The Gilded Wolves: A Novel (The Gilded Wolves, 1)  (9781250144546): Chokshi, Roshani: Books

GENRES: Fantasy, historical fiction, LGBTQ+, romance

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

If you’re a fan of Six of Crows, I AM ONCE AGAIN ASKING YOU TO DROP WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING AND READ THIS BOOK. Lovable and authentic characters, a complex world and system of magic, heists for famed artifacts, and political intrigue – this one has it all.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns – Julie C. Dao

Amazon.com: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress Book 1)  eBook: Dao, Julie C.: Kindle Store

GENRES: Retellings, high fantasy, romance

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

If you love antiheroes, corruption arcs, or stories from the perspective of the villain, than this book is for you! Rich, dark and compelling, this is a must-read duology for any YA fantasy fan!

Descendant of the Crane – Joan He

Descendant of the Crane (9780807515518): He, Joan: Books - Amazon.com

GENRES: High fantasy, mystery

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I know I never stop blabbing about this one, but this is a prime example of genre-bending done right: a stunning blend of fantasy and murder mystery! I’m so surprised that more people haven’t read this one, I highly recommend it if you haven’t. (And I can’t wait for The Ones We’re Meant to Find! It looks amazing, but I can’t find it at my library…[impatient screeching])

The Henna Wars – Adiba Jaigirdar

The Henna Wars — Adiba Jaigirdar

GENRES: Fiction, romance, LGBTQ+

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020, and I’m so glad to say that it delivered! A diverse, sapphic enemies-to-lovers romance with important discussions about cultural appropriation, the immigrant experience, and sexuality.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! Have you read any of these books, and what did you think of them? What are your favorite YA books by AAPI authors?

Aapi Heritage Month GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Today’s song:

Ok I think I can officially forgive her for MASSEDUCTION because THERE IS NOT A BAD SONG ON THIS ALBUM! Expect a review soonish…

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

Posted in Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (10/24/20)–Wishlist 📚

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday! This was originally started by Devouring Books, and it sounded like such a fun post to take part in. Today’s topic is books on my wishlist. I have a TERRIBLE habit of buying only one or two books from a series, mostly because I read so much at the library, so I have tons of lone sequels and threequels and such. So this list is mostly comprised of books I want to re-read, and that would complete a series I don’t fully own.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR OCTOBER: 

10/3/20—Intimidating Books

10/10/10—Feminist Themes

10/17/20—Animal on the Cover

10/24/20—Wishlist

10/31/20—Vampires 

Rules!

  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post
  • Tag 5 people

Let’s begin, shall we?

TOP 5 SATURDAY (10/24/20)–WISHLIST

Warcross, Marie Lu

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

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

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

Defy the Stars, Claudia Gray

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

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

Legend, Marie Lu

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

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

Gemina, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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

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

Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo

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

One word: Nikolai.

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

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

Today’s song:

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

That’s it for this week’s Top 5 Saturday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (10/20/20)–Skyhunter

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been a fan of Marie Lu’s for a good three years, and since first reading Warcross, she’s been one of my favorite authors. So of course I had to preorder Skyhunter over the summer (and who wouldn’t, with that gorgeous cover?).

It came in the mail the Sunday before last, and by the time I finished my library holds, I realized that I never knew how much I needed this book in my life right at that time. Last week was an incredibly taxing and emotional week for me, and immersing myself back into Lu’s lush prose was just the thing I needed to get me crawling back out of the pit of despair I’d fallen into. And even if I hadn’t been in such a dark place last week, I’m positive that I would have loved Skyhunter just the same.

Enjoy this week’s review!

Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1) by Marie Lu

Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)–Marie Lu

My copy, ft. Rebel, Wildcard, a cool filter, and a metal bookmark I got from the preorder offer 🙂

Talin has lived a life of turmoil. Her home country of Basea was swallowed by the Karensa Federation, and she and her mother were forced to flee to Mara, the only nation who hasn’t been choked by their iron grip. But the warfront shrinks every day, and hordes of Karensa’s Ghost–captured humans that have been mutated and trained to kill–encroach on Mara’s territory every day. Fighting against them are the brave Strikers, Mara’s league of warriors trained to keep the Ghosts at bay.

When a defector is brought from the Karensa Federation, Talin knows that he hold secrets far beyond what Mara and the Strikers could have possibly imagined. Assigned to keep watch over him, Talin soon learns that his name is Red–and that he may hold the key to turning the tables on the Karensa Federation. But should she go against the Strikers based solely on faith–or leave Red to die?

Brice Jale's review of Temptation and Tights

Skyhunter came into my life during a rough patch (which still hasn’t entirely faded), so that may or may not put a bit of bias on my high rating. But then again…it’s Marie Lu, of course I’m going to adore it. Over the past few years, Lu has proven herself to be a true master of her craft, and Skyhunter is no exception–a tale of resilience and resistance in a time where we all need just that.

I’ll spare you all from my blabbing about the cover, but seriously, I could go on for DAYS about it–the minimalist style, the blending of the colors, the figures…the EVERYTHING?

Now then…

Marie Lu was one of the first pioneers of YA Dystopia with her Legend trilogy, and with Skyhunter, she proves once more that she is a wordsmith to be reckoned with. Every detail–be it in the worldbuilding, the characters, or the plot–made me love the story ten times more, and there’s clear evidence on every page that Lu truly poured her heart and soul into this tale.

As with most of her novels, the characters are what stood out the most to me. Talin is such a stubborn yet resilient heroine, and her determined nature drove the story into fantastic places. Red was my personal favorite–he had wonderful chemistry with Talin and the rest, and I loved all of his little quirks and his sarcastic mannerisms. (Also, his mouse deserves a medal–that poor thing’s probably traumatized from riding around in his pocket while Red just…does his thing.) Jeran and Adena had wonderful chemistry with them, and Lu did an incredible job of making them feel fleshed-out and authentic. Also, even though I could go for Talin and Red being a thing, I appreciated that Lu didn’t throw them headfirst into insta-love or a forced romance. Again–there could be an ADORABLE possibility for some classic enemies-to-lovers romance by the time book 2 rolls around, but it could honestly work either romantically or platonically.

Skyhunter has plot twists aplenty, most of which I didn’t see coming. Combined with the fast-paced plot and gripping action, I just could NOT put this book down–every time I had to set it down, I found myself anticipating getting to read more of it later on. There’s no shortage of vivid imagery, and I felt immersed in the story in a way that I haven’t felt in quite some time. The worldbuilding helped the latter fact as well–the different cultures of each country that the characters visited had such well-thought-out cultures, and everything felt wholly real, like I could just walk through the pages, and I’d be in Talin’s mother’s house, or on the middle of the warfront. My favorite aspect of the worldbuilding, as far as the Karensa Federation goes, was that of the Ghosts. I’m just a sucker for any kind of freaky, Mike Mignola-style monsters in stories, so…(I kind of imagined them how the wendigos are drawn in B.P.R.D.)

TW FOR THE IMAGE BELOW: Blood

For me, this is the most perfect example of the nature and atmosphere of  Hellboy and everything he stands for. : Mignolaverse

And through it all, there’s themes of fighting back–against colonialism, against discrimination and prejudice, and against all odds. It’s just the right blend of resourceful determination that we need in these troubling times, and even though most of us have grown tired of dystopias as a whole (seeing as we’re currently living in one…[ahem]), it’s a must read for all.

All in all, another stunning gem of a novel to add to Marie Lu’s near-flawless repertoire, and a tale of resistance and resilience that will stand the test of time. 4.5 stars!

6 Things We Know About 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' So Far

Skyhunter is the first book in the Skyhunter duology, followed by an untitled, forthcoming second novel set to be published in 2021. Marie Lu is also the author of the Legend series (Legend, Prodigy, Champion, and Rebel), the Young Elites trilogy (The Young Elites, The Rose Society, and The Midnight Star), the Warcross series (Warcross and Wildcard), and the standalone The Kingdom of Back.

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: October 12-18, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

Whew, it’s definitely been…a week. Monday and Tuesday were fairly chill, but then Wednesday rolled around. I was having such a good day, feeling really accomplished and proud of myself, and then everything sort of crumbled around me. The details are rather personal, so I’d rather not divulge, but my general state just took a nosedive. I’m slowly recovering, but everything still feels…heavy. Definitely not the ideal mood for a long weekend, but here we are.

everythingisfine.gif | This Is Fine | Know Your Meme

But things are looking up a little bit. I found a few gems in my library holds, and I’m slowly digging into both the books I preordered over the summer that came in the mail a week ago. (Marie Lu: the cure for all that ails you. I rest my case, your honor.) I’ve been making a lot of art, but my mental state definitely made me fall behind on outlining for NaNoWriMo again. I’m slowly catching up on Fargo, finished up Raised By Wolves (@ Ridley Scott EXCUSE ME WHAT WAS THAT ENDING SIR EXPLAIN YOURSELF), and watched The Shining for the first time. Had some weird dreams about Six of Crows too, so there’s that…

Here’s hoping that next week picks up…I mean, I’ve got Memento to look forward to, and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is FINALLY ready at the library…

Fingers Crossed GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Court of Miracles–Kester Grant (⭐️⭐️)

The Court of Miracles (9781524772857): Grant, Kester: Books - Amazon.com

The Bone Houses–Emily Lloyd-Jones (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Bone Houses eBook: Lloyd-Jones, Emily: Kindle Store

Dark and Deepest Red–Anna-Marie McLemore (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Dark and Deepest Red (9781250162748): McLemore, Anna-Marie:  Books

Chilling Effect–Valerie Valdes (⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Chilling Effect: Valdes, Valerie: 9780062877239: Amazon.com: Books

A Touch of Gold–Annie Sullivan (⭐️⭐️)

A Touch of Gold (A Touch of Gold, #1) by Annie Sullivan

Skyhunter–Marie Lu (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1) by Marie Lu

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

The Other Side of the Sky–Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman

Memento (The Illuminae Files, #0.5)–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Kristoff, Jay | Wyrdbooks: SF/Fantasy Books

The War of the Worlds–H.G. Wells

Amazon.com: The War of the Worlds (AmazonClassics Edition) eBook: Wells, H.  G.: Kindle Store

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (6/30/20)–The Kingdom of Back

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been a fan of Marie Lu’s works ever since I first read Warcross, and the Legend series after that. Her writing has never failed to stun me, no matter what genre her novels happen to be in. So naturally, I decided to buy this one on my first bookstore trip since the pandemic started. And though I expected to love it, The Kingdom of Back blew me away–one of her best novels to date.

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: The Kingdom of Back (9781524739010): Lu, Marie: Books
Bonus photoshoot with some of her other novels (and a few crystals and rocks)

The Kingdom of Back–Marie Lu

For as long as she can remember, Nannerl Mozart and her younger brother Wolfgang have had an unbreakable bond, spurred on by their shared talent for music. But as her brother grows older, it becomes clear that he is a musical prodigy. Her father now overlooks her in favor of her younger brother, even though she possesses an almost equal musical prowess. Now, she and her brother are to perform for the royalty all over Europe, only stopping when she is of age to be married off.

But one night, before they leave on their grand tour, Nannerl is visited by an ethereal stranger, who claims to come from a faraway land beyond human sight. This land is the same place that she and Wolfgang have dreamed up, a backwards reflection of our own world, dubbed the Kingdom of Back. He offers her the chance to be remembered in history, but in exchange, she must complete a quest that will take her through the perilous underbelly of this fantastical world. These feats may secure her place in history alongside her brother–but at what cost?

corpse bride piano | Tumblr

Ladies, gentlemen and others, this is solid, concrete proof that Marie Lu can dish up a lavish tale in any genre that she so chooses, and do it masterfully no matter what.

The Kingdom of Back reads like a lush fairytale. Lu’s signature writing style shines through in the worldbuilding, both in the historical setting of 18th century Europe and the magical Kingdom of Back. Her prose is positively enchanting, transporting me to faraway lands and making me enjoy every single minute of it. Every word painted a gorgeous picture of a land that I would gladly immerse myself in. I read this one up in almost a single sitting, and a beautiful treasure was found on every single page.

And the characters. CAN WE TALK about these characters? With both Nannerl and Woferl/Wolfgang, Lu has breathed new life into these figures, transforming them into sister and brother that could fit into any fairytale. Nannerl’s struggles with being overshadowed and being a society that doesn’t take kindly to women expressing their talents were all too real, making for a lushly relatable character. Oh, and HYACINTH. HYACINTH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAH…again, Lu’s prose makes him seem beautifully real, and though I did predict that something was shifty with him, I adored him anyway. He might have been my favorite character, reminiscent of the Darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, and many others.

Nuada Aim GIF - Nuada Aim Hellboy - Discover & Share GIFs

All in all, one of Marie Lu’s best novels to date, an ethereal fairytale with relatable characters and prose to be reckoned with. 4.5 stars!

Rise of the guardians tooth fairy jack frost GIF - Find on GIFER

The Kingdom of Back is a standalone novel, but Marie Lu has many other series out, including the Legend trilogy, the Young Elites trilogy (my favorite of the bunch), the Warcross series, and the upcoming novel Skyhunter.

Today’s song:

This just popped up on my recommended. I haven’t heard anything by Slum Sociable, but I love “Somebody to Love Me,” and this is a great cover!

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: June 22-28, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope today finds you in good spirits and health.

Now that June has almost come to a close, I felt like it’s gone by strangely quickly. It feels like it should be the middle of the month, but here we are, and it’s almost July. But that isn’t to say that I haven’t enjoyed the month; despite the strangeness of the times, I’ve had a good start to my summer, even though I’ve spent the bulk of it inside.

For the most part, I’ve had a great week. We went hiking on Monday for a belated Father’s Day excursion, and also that day, I FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY WIP! This is the first of my ideas that I haven’t abandoned midway and finished all the way, so I’ve given myself a pat on the back for managing that. I didn’t quite know what to do with myself, but I ultimately decided that for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo, I’ll work on a short story. Stephen King advised that you should wait a few months (at least) before getting to editing/second drafts after you finish, so I’ll work on said short story, and maybe get back to some of my other WIPs in the meantime.

Other than that, I made some progress on my Iron Giant puzzle, watched Memento, watched a few more episodes of Fargo (nearly done with season 3…)and went on my first excursion to my favorite bookstore since the pandemic started. I got a copy of The Sound of Stars and The Kingdom of Back (autographed copy!), and I’m so excited to read them both. I’ve had an…okayish reading week; I didn’t read as much because it took me longer to read Kingsbane at a whopping 608 pages. I’ve enjoyed everything that I read, but I didn’t read anything terribly memorable.

Oh, and the stickers that came with my preorder of Aurora Burning finally came in the mail, and I love them! Both my laptop case and my current sketchbook both look like the entire Aurora Cycle fandom vomited on them, and I have zero problem with that. (…no pun intended…)

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Kingsbane (Empirium, #2)–Claire Legrand (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: Kingsbane (The Empirium Trilogy Book 2) eBook: Legrand ...

Dating Sarah Cooper–Siera Maley (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Dating Sarah Cooper - Kindle edition by Maley, Siera. Children ...

The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss–Amy Noelle Parks (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss (Hardcover) | ABRAMS

The Invisible Man–H. G. Wells (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance (Bantam Classic) - Kindle ...

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

The Kingdom of Back–Marie Lu

Amazon.com: The Kingdom of Back eBook: Lu, Marie: Kindle Store

The Sound of Stars–Alechia Dow

Book Review: The Sound of Stars be Alechia Dow | The Young Folks

The Writer’s Journey–Mythic Structure for Writers–Christopher Vogler

Amazon.com: The Writer's Journey - 3ª edición: Mythic Structure ...

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (6/27/20)–Books with Morally Grey Characters 🌫

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

Time for another Top 5 Saturday! This was originally started by Devouring Books, and it sounded like such a fun post to take part in. Today’s topic is books that have morally gray characters. This one was a bit harder than the rest–I’m trawling my brain for all the antihero-ish books I can think of…

UPCOMING SCHEDULE: 

6/6/20 — Books Set Near/On the Sea

6/13/20 — Books with One Word Titles

6/20/20 — Books You’d Give a Second Chance

6/27/20 —  Books with Morally Grey Characters

Rules!

  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post (This one!)
  • Tag 5 people

Let’s begin, shall we?

TOP 5 SATURDAY (6/27/20)–BOOKS WITH MORALLY GREY CHARACTERS

The Young Elites, Marie Lu

The Young Elites (Young Elites Series #1) by Marie Lu, Paperback ...

My favorite of Marie Lu’s works has morally gray all over the place…and maybe not so gray in many others…

Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein

Stranger in a Strange Land: Heinlein, Robert A.: 9781442005839 ...

There’s always the possibility for moral grayness when you’ve got a naïve extraterrestrial who has powers beyond imagining, but has no idea of the consequences…(oh, and goes and forms his own religion, as one does…[ahem])

Scythe, Neal Shusterman

Scythe (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition) (Arc of a Scythe ...

Now THIS series is just CRAWLING with moral grayness…part of what makes it such a memorable series, really. Scythe truly makes you think.

The Final Six, Alexandra Monir

The Final Six | Alexandra Monir

The morally gray aspects are more expanded on book 2, but The Final Six certainly has a prominent, well-done series of subplot that explores the motives of the different parties involved.

One Giant Leap (Dare Mighty Things, #2), Heather Kaczynski

Amazon.com: One Giant Leap (9780062479907): Kaczynski, Heather: Books

As with The Final Six, there’s a significant exploration of moral grayness in book 2 (here); it’s one of the highlights of the book for me–it encourages the reader to think about the different sides of war, and whether or not there is truly a “good”/”bad” side, and that there may be neither hero or villain in the conflict.

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

Go Ahead Go On GIF - GoAhead Go GoOn - Discover & Share GIFs

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Top 5 Saturday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags

Get to Know the Fantasy Reader Tag

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

I found this wonderful tag over at Brianna’s Books and Randomness. The tag was originally created by Bree Hill as the Get to Know the Romance Reader Tag, and The Book Pusher made it into the fantasy version here. Though I’m more of a sci-fi fan, fantasy was my first love as far as book genres, and I still love the genre today.

Let’s begin, shall we?

WHAT IS YOUR FANTASY ORIGIN STORY? (First fantasy novel you read)

The BFG by Roald Dahl | Scholastic

I can’t quite pinpoint the exact first fantasy book I read, but one of the first was most definitely The BFG. I have especially fond memories of reading this one. My brother gave me all of his Roald Dahl books a while back, and I’ve added to the collection and kept them all on my shelves ever since.

IF YOU COULD BE THE HERO/HEROINE IN A FANTASY NOVEL, WHO WOULD WRITE IT, AND WHAT IS ONE TROPE YOU WOULD INSIST ON BEING IN THE STORY?

Hmm…

I think I’d like to have Marie Lu write this fantasy story. Absolutely no guarantees of a happy ending, but her lush writing style and characters would ensure that there would never be a dull moment. As far as tropes, I’d definitely want some sort of misfit-filled, found family team kind of dynamic. As someone who’s had to do a lot of searching to find where I fit in, this trope/theme speaks to me quite a bit.

WHAT IS A FANTASY YOU’VE READ THIS YEAR THAT YOU WANT MORE PEOPLE TO READ?

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

Especially with what’s going on in the U.S. and elsewhere, The Black Witch is not only a lushly written novel, but one that explores themes of defying racism and xenophobia.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FANTASY SUBGENRE? WHAT SUBGENRE HAVE YOU NOT READ MUCH FROM?

I’m not sure if I have a favorite subgenre of fantasy, per se, but I enjoy reading paranormal fantasy, though there’s a plethora of books in that genre that have gone terribly awry. I suppose I haven’t read much high/epic fantasy, but I’ve enjoyed books like The Smoke Thieves, so maybe it’ll do me some good to read more of it.

WHO IS ONE OF YOUR AUTO-BUY FANTASY AUTHORS?

Though I’ve never actually bought any of her novels (I borrowed them from the library), Sarah Maria Griffin would definitely fit the bill. If she comes out with anything else soon…SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY…

HOW DO YOU TYPICALLY FIND FANTASY RECOMMENDATIONS? (Goodreads, YouTube, Podcasts, Instagram, etc.)

I usually find my recommendations by way of Goodreads, and sometimes from my fellow bloggers.

WHAT IS AN UPCOMING FANTASY RELEASE YOU’RE EXCITED FOR?

Amazon.com: The Burning Kingdoms (The Smoke Thieves ...

I am ECSTATIC to read The Burning Kingdoms! It comes out in late August of this year, and I requested an eARC of it on Edelweiss, so…🤞

WHAT IS ONE MISCONCEPTION ABOUT FANTASY YOU WOULD LIKE TO LAY AT REST?

I suppose I’d say that there isn’t much that makes a book fantasy/not fantasy. There’s really no limits to the genre–anything from supernatural occurrences to royal conflict can be considered fantasy, really. Each reader has their own definition, but in terms of content, it’s a fairly fluid genre.

 IF SOMEONE HAD NEVER READ A FANTASY BEFORE AND ASKED YOU TO RECOMMEND THE FIRST 3 BOOKS THAT COME TO MIND AS PLACES TO START, WHAT WOULD THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS BE?

Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo | Macmillan

First, I’d say Shadow and Bone, for its lush worldbuilding and unforgettable characters.

The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1) by Marie Lu

Second, I would highly recommend The Young Elites for the incredible writing, the gripping plot, and again–unforgettable characters. Can’t go wrong with Marie Lu.

Amazon.com: Three Dark Crowns (9780062385437): Blake, Kendare: Books

Last, I would recommend Three Dark Crowns for the complex plot and the gripping action and intrigue.

WHO IS THE MOST RECENT FANTASY READING CONTENT CREATOR THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHOUT OUT?

For this tag, I’d like to shout out Classy x Book Reviews! Though they read a variety of novels besides fantasy, I can always count on their reviews being sincere and in depth. 🙂

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

Friends Reading GIF by Sesame Street - Find & Share on GIPHY

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

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

Posted in Book Tags, Books, Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: December 30, 2019–January 5, 2020

Happy Sunday, everybody!

Whew, what a week it’s been, the last week of the decade, and the start of a new one. Also, this is my last day of winter break, so…school starts back up tomorrow…[sad harmonica]

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Hey, at least I soaked it all up. I had a lot of fun–festivities with family, two rounds of TRoS and one of Knives Out, the first ski trip of the year, and LOTS of reading and writing. Success! 😀

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: 

Bowie’s Bookshelf: The Hundred Books that Changed David Bowie’s Life–John O’Connell

(⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Supernova (Renegades, #3)–Marissa Meyer (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

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Darius the Great is Not Okay–Adib Khorram (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Sanctuary (Sanctuary, #1)–Caryn Lix (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Image result for sanctuary caryn lix

 

POSTS AND SUCH: 

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK

Half Bad–Sally Green

Image result for half bad sally green

Rebel–Marie Lu (Finally bought it!)

Image result for rebel marie lu

 

I’ll start posting a list of the week’s songs once I get more of them, but since I only have two, I’ll skip it this time. But this one’s been stuck in my head for a few days this year, and I’ve really taken a liking to it, so here you go…

 

Hope you had a great start to the decade! Have a great rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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