Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: June 28 – July 4, 2021

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles, and for those of you in the U.S., happy fourth! I still find it hard to be proud of my country sometimes, but it’s my personal belief that recognizing the flaws in your country and wanting to change them is patriotic. And hey, at least Trump’s out of office, right? It’s been so nice to not have to worry about my human rights being taken away…

(I swear it’s a coincidence that I’m reading The Handmaid’s Tale today…)

[ahem] anyway, it’s been a pretty nice week. We got a whole lot of rain last week, and now it’s starting to get warm again, which is always nice. I got a lot of reading done, but part of it’s because a) I read a lot of somewhat short books and b) I ended up having my first DNF of the year, so… [sad harmonica]

Writing’s been going well too! I started Camp NaNoWriMo on Thursday, and I’d say it’s going well so far. I accidentally misunderstood the word count goal feature for the whole “working on a draft you’ve already started” thing, and now that’s a little screwed up, but I’m trying to get it fixed, so it should be fine.

writing gifs Page 4 | WiffleGif

Other than that, I’ve just been making/organizing my playlists, watching Loki (AAAAH THAT LAST EPISODE) and Mars Attacks!, volunteering at the library, and playing Minecraft. I also got to make a trip to my favorite bookstores, and I have some books I’m super excited for lined up next week!

And now I can die happy knowing that the title of Instructions for Dancing is, in fact, a Magnetic Fields reference.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Instructions for Dancing – Nicola Yoon (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon: 9781524718961 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

The Light of the Midnight Stars – Rena Rossner (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: The Light of the Midnight Stars (9780316483469): Rossner, Rena:  Books

Sasha Masha – Agnes Borinsky (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Sasha Masha eBook: Borinsky, Agnes: Kindle Store

Miss Benson’s Beetle – Rachel Joyce (DNF – ⭐️)

Miss Benson's Beetle eBook por Rachel Joyce - 9780812996715 | Rakuten Kobo  Estados Unidos

The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1) – Namina Forna (⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Gilded Ones - By Namina Forna (hardcover) : Target

Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con, #3) – Ashley Poston (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con, #3) by Ashley Poston

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale - Kindle edition by Atwood, Margaret. Literature &  Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Gearbreakers – Zoe Hana Mikuta

Gearbreakers (Gearbreakers, #1) by Zoe Hana Mikuta

Forest of Souls (Shamanborn, #1) – Lori M. Lee

Amazon.com: Forest of Souls (Shamanborn Series, 1) (9781624149245): Lee,  Lori M.: Books

Spellhacker – M.K. England

Amazon.com: Spellhacker (9780062657701): England, M. K.: Books

Off Balance (Aunare Chronicles, #2) – Aileen Erin

Amazon.com: Off Balance (Aunare Chronicles Book 2) eBook: Erin, Aileen:  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 (1/5/21)–Among the Beasts & Briars

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles! This is my last day before I have to go back to school… :/ so heads up, I’ll probably be posting less frequently in the next few months because of school.

Anyway, this book was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020. Ashley Poston is one of my favorite authors, and I’ll always hold her Heart of Iron duology close to my heart. And although Among the Beasts & Briars didn’t quite hit the level of wondrousness of that duology, it was still a fantasy like no other that I’ll always cherish.

Enjoy the first book review Tuesday of the year!

Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston

Among the Beasts & Briars–Ashley Poston

Cerys leads a quiet life in the kingdom of Aloriya, working with her father to tend the royal gardens. But behind her life of peace is a haunted past–as a child, the woods surrounding her kingdom stole her friends and her mother. She has never seen them again since. But by some miracle, the woods left Cerys alone, marked only by traces of magic in her blood.

When the woods invade the coronation of Aloriya’s new queen, Cerys is forced to flee. Joined by a familiar fox who followed close behind her in the gardens and a bear hiding momentous secrets, she must journey to the heart of the woods, where it is said that an isolated town has escaped the curse that took her mother and friends. But the woods hold secrets darker than the three could ever know…

Fantastic Mr Fox Animated GIF | Fantastic mr fox, Fox gif, Mr fox
Soul of Stars spoilers without context

TW/CW (from Ashley Poston): Frightening Situations, Secondary Character Death, Trypophobia, Bleeding/Self-Harm (not suicidal), Animal Attack, Blood, Grotesque Transformations

I saw a fox outside my window this morning when I woke up…maybe it was a sign that today was the perfect day to write this review…

I think Among the Beasts & Briars was the last book I read this year, and I honestly can’t think of a better book that I could’ve ended the year on. Ashley Poston’s pulled off another masterpiece, chock-full of lovable characters and lush imagery.

With all of Poston’s novels, what shines the most is usually the characters; I’m delighted to say that Among the Beasts & Briars was no exception! Cerys was such a lovable heroine. I’m always drawn to and relate to characters who don’t possess the typical qualities of traditional heroes/heroines–they’d rather stay on the sidelines, aren’t quite so brave, and are unwillingly forced into strange situations. Like Aurora Rising, I really resonated with the message that you don’t have to be brave or be from a noble background to be the hero of your own story, and Cerys exemplifies that theme in its fullest.

And I can’t talk about characters without talking about Fox! He was such a delightful character, and I loved his development as he grappled with his transformation. There’s no shortage of interesting details in his POV of the shifts between his fox form and the unintentional human form, and he and Cerys had the best chemistry. Vala was also wonderful, and they made for a perfect trio of fantasy misfits. I won’t spoil anything, but Seren was one of my favorites too–REDEMPTION ARCS DONE RIGHT, PEOPLE!

VFX Movies Gallery

I also loved the fantasy world of Aloriya and the woods. Poston’s prose makes for so much lush imagery, making for a world that’s as lived-in as it is fantastical. My favorite aspect was absolutely the Woodcurse–there was clearly so much time spent creating the mythology around it, and it was simultaneously fascinating and creepy. And Hellboy made me a sucker for all sorts of spooky monsters, and everything that got swallowed by the Woodcurse just made the paranormal part of my heart so happy.

As with most of Poston’s novels, Among the Beasts & Briars was reasonably dark, but at its heart, it had such a resonant warmth to it, a glimmer of hope and joy no matter what. With every novel she writes, it clearly shines through how much she loves crafting stories, and it shines through on every page.

All in all, a fresh and unique addition to Poston’s pantheon of masterful literature. 5 stars!

Princess Mononoke gif - GIF on Imgur

Among the Beasts & Briars is likely a standalone, but Poston is also the author of the Heart of Iron duology (Heart of Iron and Soul of Stars) and the Once Upon a Con series (Geekerella, The Princess and the Fangirl, and Bookish and the Beast).

Today’s song:

I’m disappointed that we didn’t get the version with the whole cast on the Legion score, but Noah Hawley has such a gorgeous voice…this makes me cry every single time

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