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!

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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 Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (2/18/20)–One Giant Leap (Dare Mighty Things, #2)

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Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Ever since I finished up Dare Mighty Things about a year ago, I’ve been absolutely ITCHING to read the sequel. I’m excited to say that One Giant Leap was almost better than its predecessor, delving deeper into complex themes while still retaining everything that made book 1 so spectacular.

WARNING: This review contains spoilers for Dare Mighty Things, so if you haven’t read it (and plan to), I suggest you turn away right now. In the meantime, click here for my review of book 1! 

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Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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One Giant Leap (Dare Mighty Things, #2)

The competition that landed Cassandra Gupta on an exclusive mission into the vast reaches of space is finally behind her. But before her is an extensive mass of trouble.

What appeared to be a mission to explore extraterrestrial life on other worlds turns out to be humanity’s entrance into an intergalactic war. Luka, the one other cadet chosen to accompany the more experienced astronauts on the mission, is not who he seems: he is one of the few, extraterrestrial survivors of an unprecedented, near-extinction attack on his species. Now, Cassandra and the others must grapple with their newfound truths, and take action against the vrag, the perpetrators of this intergalactic war. But is it all so black and white?

 

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After the absolute whopper of a cliffhanger that Dare Mighty Things left us on, One Giant Leap was a smooth transition into an entirely new novel. Kaczynski dealt with a wildly different subject matter, and her storytelling proved to be just as deft–if not more so–that the previous novel.

Cassandra and Luka had the best chemistry, and I immensely enjoyed spending more time with them. Plus, I’m all for male-female friendships that don’t automatically end in romance. Cassandra’s asexual, anyway, and though they only touched on this in book 1, I’m still giddy about that representation. 🏳️‍🌈

Kaczynski’s handling with the aliens was equally deft. I was worried at first, because we’ve stumbled onto yet another trope that I positively despise in YA sci-fi…aliens that look exactly like humans, but with a few minor changes in eye color/powers that make them oh-so-special.

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I was so afraid that One Giant Leap had fallen into this trap, but Kaczynski explains it an inventive way: Luka’s species (I forget what they’re called, though I believe it started with an ‘M’…oops…) gave themselves genetic modifications in order to blend in with humans on Earth, and therefore look just like them. (Permanently.) So thank you for that reprieve, Mrs. Kaczynski! The vrag as well were very well designed, making for some stunning and gorgeous imagery that I might just want to draw. I’ll get back to you all on that one.

Beyond that, One Giant Leap explored the theme of the gray areas that exist during war; in this instance, both species had their reasons for going to war with one another, and one had trouble grappling with who was the “hero” and who was the “villain”. And truly, that’s how things are in real life; as my teachers have said countless times during my various history classes, history is written by the victors of these wars, and therefore, they’re painted as heroes. The losers might have equally reasonable motives, and have gone to similar lengths to get their way. And in reality, there are no clear heroes and villains. So kudos to Kaczynski for tackling this subject matter.

If nothing else, come for the POC/LGBTQ+ representation, stay for the aliens in book 2. All in all, an incredibly satisfying end to a masterful duology. 4.5 stars for this one. 

 

Today’s song:

I watched The Life of Brian on Sunday night, and it was an absolute RIOT. This song’s been stuck in my head ever since. Easily the best end to a film in cinematic history.

 

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

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Posted in Books, Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: February 3-9, 2020

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Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

It’s been an interesting week, to be sure. We got DUMPED with snow here, and we had a 2-hour delay AND a snow day, all in the same week. WHOA.

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I finally finished up the Watchmen TV series (AAAAA), got through a much better library haul than last week, saw Birds of Prey last night (super fun!), got to a really fun spot in my main WIP (almost 70 pages now), and as a result of all the snow delays, got to post a lot more! Pretty good week, I’d say.

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: 

The Order of Odd-Fish–James Kennedy (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Kiss Number 8–Colleen A.F. Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

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One Giant Leap (Dare Mighty Things, #2)–Heather Kaczynski (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

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Lizard Radio–Pat Schmatz (⭐️⭐️)

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POSTS AND SUCH: 

 

SONGS: 

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

You in Five Acts-Una LaMarche

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All the Impossible Things–Lindsay Lackey

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Nights at the Circus–Angela Carter

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Roar–Cora Carmack

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Rogue Princess–B.R. Myers

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Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, vol. 2–Hayao Miyazaki

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Today’s song:

 

 

That just about wraps up this week in blogging! Have a great rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review (Tuesday), 3rd Anniversary Edition-Dare Mighty Things

Three years ago today, I was probably hunched over my laptop, and I had a fetus of an idea to do a book review on my blog, every week on Tuesdays. Over the course of time, I’ve forgotten a fair amount, my book genres and audiences have shifted, and hopefully they’ve gotten a little longer, and maybe even more intelligent sounding. (Like I said, hopefully.) And here we are now, with 2018 almost behind us. I’ve got one last book review for 2018, and then it’ll be 2019! And would you look at that-the first Tuesday of the year is NEW YEAR’S DAY!

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THANK GOD 2018 IS ALMOST OVER, amirite or amirite, guys? 

So now, without further ado, the last Book Review Tuesday of 2018!

 

I got this one at the library a little before the mental dumpster fire that was finals week. It had been on my to-read list for about a year or so, and I thought, hey, why not check it out? My expectations were average-nothing spectacular, but nothing egregiously bad.

Boy, was I wrong about that one.

Dare Mighty Things had close to everything I’ve ever wanted in a sci-fi novel. Do not be fooled by its unassuming appearances-it quickly becomes something like nothing you’ve ever read before. Buckle your seat belts, folks, this one’s a wild ride. 😉

 

 

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Dare Mighty Things

Thirty years from now, NASA has taken great leaps and bounds in the field of space travel and exploration. Now, they are offering a program for a new generation to take the reins. Twenty five gifted young adults will undergo many physical and mental challenges to become candidates to board a spacecraft with other astronauts, and explore the unknown regions of the universe. Out of these 25, only one will be able to go to space. Cassandra Gupta, an incredibly gifted young woman and one of the youngest candidates, is determined to rise to the top. Becoming an astronaut and exploring deep space has been her lifelong dream, and with her prowess and smarts, should be a shoo-in for the space program. But everything that she’s been told and trained in pales in comparison to what she truly faces in the darkest reaches of the universe…

 

 

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

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HOLY MOLY, that was amazing. As I said earlier, I greatly underestimated the potential of this book. But in the end, we’ve got the full-meal-sci-fi-deal, folks. The plot kept me on my toes, I grew to love (and to almost hate, in some cases) the wonderful and diverse cast of characters, and oH MY GOD…

Just to warn you guys, there’s an insane cliffhanger at the end that will, without a doubt, leave you hungry for so much more. I know that’s how I felt, certainly.

 

The sequel to Dare Mighty Things, One Giant Leap, came out in October, and as of right now, I haven’t been able to find it on the regular library or the Kindle library. Maybe it’ll be reasonably cheap on Amazon…who can say? I mean Heart of Iron (see 8/14/18) came out this year, and it was…what 7 bucks on Amazon? Pretty great deal for something that recent, if you ask me.

 

Aaaaaanyway, I hope you have a great rest of your day, and a happy new year!