Posted in Book Tags

The Feelings Book Tag 🤗

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

I thought it’d be another good day to do a tag, and I found this one recently over at Rania’s Rambling Reads. (Go give her blog a read, she’s great!) The tag was originally created by Krisha’s Cosy Corner.

Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and give a link to the blog. (I wasn’t tagged, but thanks, Rania!)
  • Answer the 5 feelings given to you.
  • Write the reason in 5 to 6 lines of why does that particular book come under that feeling. (dunno if I’ll manage all that but we’ll see)
  • Nominate between 5-12 other bloggers.
  • Give your nominees 5 feelings too.
  • Notify your nominees once you’ve uploaded your post.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Feelings GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

😅THE FEELINGS BOOK TAG😑

A BOOK THAT YOU HAD TO STOP READING BECAUSE YOU GOT SECONDHAND EMBARRASSMENT

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: A Novel (The Carls): Green, Hank:  9781524743444: Amazon.com: Books

Unpopular opinion time…

I read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing during the first couple of weeks of the pandemic, and I had to DNF at about the 30% mark because it was just PAINFUL. The writing was just fine, but all of the characters felt like walking stereotypes. What ultimately made me put it down altogether was how blatantly offensive the bisexual rep felt for me…there was this one monologue by April where it looked like Hank Green was just trying to say “hey! Look at me! I did my research!” but NO. HANK. YOU GOTTA STOP. YOU JUST PERPETUATED ALMOST EVERY BISEXUAL STEREOTYPE KNOWN TO MAN.

So there’s my rant. Hank Green, you may have helped me pass AP Bio, but I will never forgive you for that.

[ahem] excuse me while I step off my soapbox, moving on…

A BOOK THAT GAVE YOU BUTTERFLIES

Amazon.com: When the Moon Was Ours: A Novel (9781250058669): McLemore,  Anna-Marie: Books

I suppose there’s multiple ways to interpret this prompt, but When the Moon was Ours just made me so fluttery inside. Anna-Marie McLemore is the true master of magical realism, and their writing never fails to make me feel like there’s hope and magic left in this world.

A BOOK WITH A SHIP THAT YOU WILL SUPPORT UNTIL THE DAY YOU DIE

Amazon.com: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720926): Kaufman,  Amie, Kristoff, Jay: Books

Aurora Burning, because I will absolutely ship KalAuri until the day I die. MY LOVES

A BOOK YOU KNEW YOU WOULD LOVE AFTER READING THE FIRST CHAPTER

Amazon.com: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse: Book One of the Thorne  Chronicles eBook: Eason, K.: Kindle Store

Right away, How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse struck me with how witty and tongue-in-cheek the writing was. I love reading a book that pokes fun of tropes every once in a while, and this one 100% delivered!

A BOOK YOU KNEW YOU WOULD HATE BUT READ IT ANYWAYS

Amazon.com: The Lie Tree (9781419718953): Hardinge, Frances: Books

I wanted to give The Lie Tree a chance because the premise looked interesting, but I read The Lost Conspiracy a few years prior and hated it, so…yeah, it didn’t work out for me. I didn’t hate it as much as The Lost Conspiracy, but it still wasn’t my cup of tea.

MY PROMPTS:

  • A book with a character that made you angry
  • A book with the perfect setting for you to daydream about
  • A book that made you feel better after a long slump
  • A book that you couldn’t stop thinking about for weeks after reading it
  • A book that made you want to punch a wall

I TAG:

ScratchCatGamer_Meow on Scratch

Today’s song:

wanted to mix things up today so I learned this on guitar…I started messing around with it and I realized it was in the same key as “Poor Places” so I guess I’ll be learning that tomorrow –

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: March 22-28, 2021

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! Whew, it feels like I haven’t done an update in a while…

Luckily, this week has been fairly light school-wise, seeing as it was the last week before everything let out for Spring Break. It was one of the interim weeks where I checked out whatever feels right from the Kindle library before my physical library books came in, but everything that I read (and re-read) was great! March has been a great month for reading, for the most part. Perfect time for it, too – we’ve had a super snowy March this year, so all the better to stay inside and read.

Reading Night — Amita Sevellaraja

I’ve had more time to post stuff here too, and I’ll definitely be doing more over Break before I have to prepare more for the SAT, so that’s been a lot of fun. I have a whole bunch of book tags laying dormant in my blog sticky note, so…

AND THE AURORA’S END COVER REVEAL! AAAAAH!

Other than that, I’ve been drawing a bit, working out the kinks on my short story, watching Falcon and The Winter Soldier (alright? I guess?) and the first half of the Snyder Cut of Justice League (AAAAH), and volunteering at the library. I definitely need a break…

Tired Give Up GIF by Boomerang Official - Find & Share on GIPHY

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley (re-read) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Looks from Books: Fashion Inspired by Frankenstein - College Fashion

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness – Austin Channing Brown (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness: Channing  Brown, Austin: 9781524760854: Amazon.com: Books

Girl, Serpent, Thorn – Melissa Bashardoust (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Girl, Serpent, Thorn (9781250196149): Bashardoust, Melissa:  Books

The Light at the Bottom of the World – London Shah (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Light at the Bottom of the World (Light the Abyss, 1)  (9781368036887): Shah, London: Books

Chlorine Sky – Mahogany L. Browne (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne: 9780593176399 | PenguinRandomHouse.com:  Books

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Other People’s Weddings – Noah Hawley

Other People's Weddings: Noah Hawley: 8601417156438: Amazon.com: Books

Salvaged – Madeleine Roux

Salvaged by Madeleine Roux: 9780451491831 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

The Future is Female! 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. Le Guin – Lisa Yaszek et. al. (anthology)

The Future Is Female, Edited by Lisa Yaszek • Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews

These Violent Delights – Chloe Gong

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

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 Music

Little Oblivions – Julien Baker album review

Julien Baker → Little Oblivions

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles! I suppose this isn’t a bookish post, but I’ll keep my normal greeting, because hey, most of what I post is about books. But here’s something a little different.

So here I am, finally reviewing Little Oblivions!

I got into Julien Baker late last year, starting with Sprained Ankle after hearing her distinct voice as part of the supergroup boygenius (with Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus). I was immediately hooked on Sprained Ankle, liked but didn’t love Turn Out the Light (Sprained Ankle > Turn Out the Lights, fight me Pitchfork), and so of course I was excited to see that she was coming out with something new. What stands out most to me about her music is the raw emotion of it; Baker never hesitates to explore the darker side of everything, and does so with such intense, palpable motion. Even with just a guitar or a piano, she can make a shrieking ballad of grief or heartbreak out of anything.

And I’m glad to say Little Oblivions is no exception. While Baker experiments with bigger, brighter sound, she stays true to the emotional aspect that defines her body of work, making a whole new set of resonant and soaring music.

So let’s begin this review, shall we?

Julien Baker is a queer, Christian, socialist — we had to talk to her by  Religion and Socialism Podcast

JULIEN BAKER LITTLE OBLIVIONS (album review)

TRACK 1: “Hardline” – 9/10

Say it’s not so cut and dry,

Oh, it isn’t black and white,

What if it’s all black, baby,

All the time?

– Julien Baker, “Hardline”

NOW THIS IS WHAT I CALL AN AMAZING OPENING TRACK! Baker’s foray into new, more electronic sound proves an immediate hit, paired with her signature raw lyricism. Plus, we’ve got an amazing stop-motion music video to match!

TRACK 2: “Heatwave” – 7.5/10

The last single to be released before the whole album, “Heatwave” is reminiscent of the boygenius EP. There’s a deceptively upbeat tone and composition to it, hiding some of Baker’s darkest lyrics. The instrumentation almost reminds me of Wilco.

TRACK 3: “Faith Healer” – 9/10

This one was the first single to be released before the whole album, and it has been a consistent earworm for MONTHS, let me tell you…

Such beautiful, concise instrumentation, a steady beat, and even the effects overlaid over Baker’s unique voice fit right in with the almost spacey keyboards. A completely new direction for her musically, but one I’m ADORING.

Wooohoooo!!! — Marvel Contest of Champions

TRACK 4: “Relative Fiction” – 9/10

‘Cause I don’t need a savior,

I need you to take me home…

– Julien Baker, “Relative Fiction”

It would be a bit of a stretch to call this a love song, but that’s almost how I interpreted it on the first listen. “Relative Fiction” delves into Baker’s quieter, more musically sparse roots for a tender and poignant song of grappling with emotions and questioning one’s own self worth, and the meaning one might hold for others.

TRACK 5: “Crying Wolf” – 7.5/10

Continuing “Relative Fiction”‘s trend of quieter and sadder introspection, “Crying Wolf” presents a piano ballad reminiscent of Turn Out the Lights that soars to a resonant conclusion. (That “OOOOOO” that starts at about 2:33…[CRIES])

TRACK 6: “Bloodshot” – 7/10

There’s no glory in love,

Only the gore of our hearts…

– Julien Baker, “Bloodshot”

The song where we get the album cover’s gorgeous lyricism, “Bloodshot” toes the line between the two musical themes of Little Oblivions so far, oscillating between the electronic experimentation and the sparser, quieter ballads. Another deceptively upbeat song, telling of messy emotions and shaky relationships.

TRACK 7: “Ringside” – 6.5/10

I still enjoy this one, that’s for sure, but it felt a little bit like a lull in the middle. The lyricism is still stellar, but something about it doesn’t pack as much of a punch as the rest of the album so far has.

TRACK 8: “Favor” – 8.5/10

You pulled a moth out

From the grill of your truck,

Saying it’s a shame,

How come it’s so much easier

With anything less than human,

Letting yourself be tender?

– Julien Baker, “Favor”

As with “Graceland Too” on Phoebe Bridgers’ Punisher, this boygenius collaboration truly shines. The combination of the voices of Baker, Bridgers and Dacus never fails to make my heart soar to the clouds, and paired with such poignant lyrics, “Favor” is absolutely a highlight of this album.

TRACK 9: “Song in E” – 10/10

My favorite song on the album, hands down. This one again harkens back to Turn Out the Lights, but something about both the piano and Julien’s vocals takes it to all new heights. It’s just…[sniffles]

And something about the way she says “name” at about 0:40 just makes my heart go 🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺

TRACK 10: “Repeat” – 9/10

Ocean of strip malls,

I help you swim across

To the other side…

– Julien Baker, “Repeat”

Another example of Julien’s decision to go more electronic with her sound paying off 100%. Catchy, but continually poetic in its lyricism, this was one of my favorite songs that wasn’t released as a single before the album’s released. Again, can’t put my finger on it, but I love the way Baker sings all of the words past the 3/4 mark with the long ‘e’ sound (ex. means, speak, street, dream, repeat). My brain can’t be troubled for a concrete reason, but it’s so beautiful.

TRACK 11: “Highlight Reel” – 7.5/10

Not my favorite on the album, but the instrumentation itself is what shines for me. I love the drums, the guitar, the…well, the everything. I can’t quite pick out what instrument (probably keyboard?) it is, but the part from about 3:21 to the end reminds me a bit of St. Vincent’s “Teenage Talk.”

TRACK 12: “Ziptie” – 6.5/10

Not the best ending for this album and a lower point overall, but still lovely. The lyricism is still painfully beautiful, but it just seems to wander about almost aimlessly. A good listen, but maybe something like “Repeat” or “Bloodshot” would have been a better end to the album.

Julien Baker is just being honest | EW.com

I averaged out all of the scores for each track, and they came out to almost exactly 8! I’d say that’s accurate; Little Oblivions wasn’t without its occasional low points, but even those were songs that I’ll surely come back to. A stellar album, and a bold new direction that payed off with every song.

And even though this wasn’t on the album, I can’t not talk about this…

I–

I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. This is a transcendental cover. And hey, Julien Baker and Radiohead: two of my favorite things.

Since this post is full of songs, consider this whole album today’s song.

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: November 16-22, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you all well.

It’s nice to be back to blogging, and I think I’m finally back in the right headspace academic-wise to be back again. I mentioned a little of what I’ve been up to in my back from the void post, but it’s definitely been a good week.

Aside from…well, y’know, having to write lab reports and take some tests at the end of the week, it was a good week leading up to break. Lately, my weeks have revolved around the new episodes of Fargo coming on Monday nights, and Noah Hawley blessed us with “East/West,” which was, without question, my favorite episode of the season. So that’s been on my mind for the whole week. I read some decent books from the library, and got a bunch more when I went back on Thursday, so I’m fully stocked up for break. We watched Blood Simple on Friday night too, and that was thoroughly enjoyable.

Something I failed to mention (and probably shouldn’t have, since it would have made the post painfully long) in the last post was NaNoWriMo! I’m at about 70% to my goal of 35,000 words by the end of the month (I’m still in the Young Writer’s Program, so I’m working my way up to 50,000 so I’ll be prepared once I graduate). At this stage, I’m getting to a part in the WIP that I’m liking, but I’m worried that it’s going to be too short. I feel like this happens with everything that I write, so I suppose I’m prepared, but it’s still not a pleasant feeling. We’ll see how it goes.

Fargo' Season 3 Premiere Recap: Threepeat | Decider

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Crownchasers–Rebecca Coffindaffer (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Crownchasers (Crownchasers, #1) by Rebecca Coffindaffer

Blazewrath Games–Amparo Ortiz (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Blazewrath Games (9781645670797): Ortiz, Amparo: Books

Girls Like Us–Randi Pink (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Girls Like Us (9781250155856): Pink, Randi: Books

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered–Austin Kleon (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Show Your Work!: Kleon, Austin: 8601421725149: Amazon.com: Books

Feeder–Patrick Weekes (DNF–⭐️)

Amazon.com: Feeder (9781534400160): Weekes, Patrick: Books

All the Light We Cannot See–Anthony Doerr (for book club) (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel (9781501173219): Doerr,  Anthony: Books

THE ONE, LONELY POST I MADE THIS WEEK:

…AND THE ONE, LONELY SONG THAT WENT ALONG WITH IT:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

How to Write One Song–Jeff Tweedy

How to Write One Song: Loving the Things We Create and How They Love Us  Back: Tweedy, Jeff: 9780593183526: Amazon.com: Books

Six Angry Girls–Adrienne Kisner

Amazon.com: Six Angry Girls (9781250253422): Kisner, Adrienne: Books

Clap When You Land–Elizabeth Acevedo

Amazon.com: Clap When You Land (9780062882769): Acevedo, Elizabeth: Books

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?–Philip K. Dick

Amazon.com: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: The inspiration for the  films Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 eBook: Dick, Philip K.: Kindle  Store

I Love This Part–Tillie Walden

I Love This Part: Hardcover Edition: Walden, Tillie: 9781910395325:  Amazon.com: Books

Kingdom of Souls–Rena Barron

Amazon.com: Kingdom of Souls (9780062870957): Barron, Rena: Books

Music from Another World–Robin Talley

Amazon.com: Music from Another World (9781335146779): Talley, Robin: Books

Today’s song:

[sad girl hours intensify]

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

Posted in Music, writing

Writing Soundtracks: Songs and albums I listen to while I write, and tips for making writing playlists

Ooh, would you look at that! A new header!

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I got a notification this morning, and apparently I’ve had this blog running for…5 years? WHOAAAAA, OKAY, I FORGOT ABOUT THAT

I didn’t start semi-seriously book blogging until about a year ago, but thank you to everybody who has supported me along the way! (And for those of you who had to witness what this blog was like when I was in middle school…I’m terribly sorry for the horrors you experienced.)

ANYWAY, I figured I should start doing writing-related posts more frequently, so here’s my first(ish?) stab at it.

Many members of the writing community use music in a number of ways in the process of creating their WIP, be it picking specific songs or albums to listen to while writing, or creating book or character playlists. Music is an integral part of my life, and I’ve managed to weave it into my writing life as well. I always listen to music when I write, so I thought that I would first share some songs, albums, and scores that I like the most to get me writing my WIPs.

INSTRUMENTAL SCORES

I think there’s been several studies about how instrumental scores help with studying, but for a lot of people, music without lyrics is helpful to focus on their writing, and is less distracting than music with lyrics. I use a mix of music with and without lyrics in writing, but for those of you who are strictly instrumental, here are some of my favorite albums–mostly film scores, mind you–that I use when writing:

Danny Elfman - Hellboy 2 (OST) - Amazon.com Music

Hellboy II: The Golden Army original score–Danny Elfman

Yes, yes, I know I blab about this masterpiece quite a lot, but hey, it’s Danny Elfman doing the score–what’s not to like? The score ranges from whimsically spooky to action-packed to tear-jerking, so it’s perfect for writing scenes of all kinds.

Radiohead for Solo Piano | Josh Cohen

Radiohead for Solo Piano–Josh Cohen

Even if you aren’t familiar with Radiohead, this is a spectacular collection of their pieces adapted into instrumental, piano form. I particularly like “Motion Picture Soundtrack” and “Black Star.”

Trent Reznor / Atticus Ross: Watchmen (Music from the HBO Series ...

Watchmen original score–Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Much of this one is electronic, but with a wide range of moods; either way, it’s always catchy, and perfectly cinematic. Also, there’s a gorgeous instrumental cover of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?”, so of course I’d recommend it.

Anything by Jeff Russo, really

Russo has such a wide range, composition-wise, and every single score I’ve come across by him is nothing short of stellar. Some of my favorites include his scores for Legion (FX), and The Umbrella Academy (Netflix), but he’s also scored everything from Cursed to Lucy in the Sky and Fargo (the TV show)

NON-INSTRUMENTAL SONGS AND ALBUMS

I cram loads of music onto my writing playlists, but there’s several particular songs and albums that get me more focused/motivated/immersed in my writing than others, so here goes nothing…

Kid A Cover - How Radiohead's Most Alienating Album Got Its Cover

Kid A–Radiohead

Besides the fact that one of my WIPs features a character who is obsessed with this album, the sheer range of emotion in this album is stunning. Though it’s chiefly electronic, I’ve used these songs from everything from battle scenes to a funeral scene.

Recommended tracks:

Mitski: Bury Me at Makeout Creek Album Review | Pitchfork

Bury Me at Makeout Creek–Mitski

Another very emotional album, this one’s always great for writing scenes associated with any form of love, whether it’s the promise of it, being in the throes of it, or being apart from it. Then again, you’re talking to somebody who has had zero (0) experience with any sort of relationships, so take this as you will.

Recommended tracks:

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot By Wilco Album Cover Location

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot–Wilco

Apparently they called this album “the American Kid A” when it came out, so…did I cheat and put Kid A on here twice? If so, I don’t regret it.

Ranging from punchy, classic rock songs and dreamlike, melancholic hazes of emotion, I highly recommend this album for scenes charged with emotion–doesn’t matter what emotion we’re talking about, because there’s easily a song or two on here for everything.

Recommended tracks:

Phoebe Bridgers: Stranger in the Alps Album Review | Pitchfork

Stranger in the Alps–Phoebe Bridgers

Though I don’t like every song on the album, I’d say about 3/4 of it is positively stellar. Definitely on the sadder side, but it’s perfect for channeling strong emotion in your writing.

Recommended tracks:

David Bowie - Hunky Dory - Amazon.com Music

Hunky Dory–David Bowie

Besides being, y’know, the pinnacle of music, this one is chock-full of tracks that not only help me bring emotion and heart into my writing, but with songs that motivate me to write.

Recommended tracks:

GENERAL WRITING PLAYLIST TIPS

I saw a piece of advice the other day about making two writing playlists: listen to one of them while writing it, and a different one when you’re editing or making the second draft, so that you’re put into a different mindset while re-reading it.

For making the playlists themselves, I usually just dump several songs I like, and go through songs as I write. If there’s a song that takes me out of the writing or has been in circulation for a few times too many, I take it off and replace it.

Just for fun, here are snippets of mine:

And yes, I did color-coordinate the album covers. It’s fun…

(Or, alternatively, “the one that I accidentally dumped all the Weezer on” and “the one without any Weezer at all”)

I also like to cobble together playlists for each of my WIPs: here, I include songs with lyrics that relate to the story, or that just have the general vibe of the WIP. For some of them, I also create character playlists going off of the same rule. For my sci-fi book, there are six different perspectives (or, I’m going to make it that way once I get around to editing it), so I have a playlist for each of them. For my current WIP, however, there’s only one perspective, so I just keep it at the protagonist.

What do you think? What are your musical techniques for writing? What’s your favorite music to write to?

Since there’s a boatload of music in this post, consider the entire thing “today’s song.”

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

Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Music

Pairing Squad 312 with Songs (Aurora Rising)

Aaaand here's the whole squad! AURORA RISING releases May 7. Are ...
Aurora Rising art by @kiranight_art

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been wanting to do a post for a bit that melds my love for the bookish and my love of music, so this is my first take on that. Aurora Rising, as many of you have figured out, is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) series, and I decided that it would be fun to match the lovable members of Squad 312 to some songs that I like, based on their personalities, relationships, and the events of Aurora Rising and Aurora Burning. I picked two songs per character, and I loved compiling them all. I hope you all enjoy!

(Along with the image at the top, all of the character images in this post are from @kiranight_art.)

🎧 PAIRING SQUAD 312 WITH SONGS 🎧

TYLER

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | Sheaf & Ink

“Proud”–(Sandy) Alex G: “I’m so proud of you/And everything that you do/Doesn’t matter what they say/They ain’t worth a dollar in change…

Scarlett mentions in book 2 that one of Ty’s most infuriating traits is that he accepts people’s flaws, no matter what, and isn’t there to reprimand anyone if any member of the squad messes up. No matter what, he has always been there for his squad, and sees past everyone’s previous mishaps and accepts them as who they are.

“Half a Million”–The Shins: “Theres half a million things that I’m supposed to be/A shelter in the nighttime/A punk running free…

Tyler’s fame in the Academy, as well as the legacy of his late father, has caused a lot of internal conflict within him, and I thought the chorus of this song paired perfectly with this inner struggle–how he perceives himself versus how others perceive him and how others expect him to be.

SCARLETT

Extras – Amie Kaufman

“Pristine”–Snail Mail: “Don’t you like me for me?/ Is there any better feeling than coming clean?/And I know myself and I’ll never love anyone else…”

Scarlett’s a character who has tried to find herself through various relationships, almost none of them lasting, and I felt that this song captured the nature of some of the hidden doubts that she begins to have.

“Strange Mercy”–St. Vincent: “Oh little one, I’d tell you good news that I don’t believe/If it would help you sleep/Strange mercy…”

A trait of Scarlett’s that comes into light in contrast with her twin, Tyler, is the way they care for others–for most of book 1, Tyler does it more out of duty, while Scarlett truly seeks to protect and care for her fellow squadmates. The nature of this song almost perfectly captures her mentality.

CAT

AURORA RISING desktops - Jay Kristoff

“These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”–Nancy Sinatra: “You keep lying when you ought to be truthing/You keep losing when you ought to not bet…”

I can totally picture this playing in the scene when she ditches the rest of the squad to go to the bar…

But either way, this song kind of expresses her shifting opinions and suspicions about the rest of the squad, especially the likes of Aurora. Unlike most of the squad, she isn’t completely ready to accept her as part of the squad, and suspects an ulterior motive.

“Scorpio Rising”–Soccer Mommy: “I don’t think of my life/Anywhere but in your arms tonight/Won’t say it this time/Can’t even look back in your eyes…”

Throughout book 1, Cat still has lingering feelings for Tyler, even though their relationship has come to a standstill; this song seems to capture her desire to fall back in love.

FINIAN

AURORA RISING character reveal, cadets! Name: Finian de Karran de ...

“Change”–Oingo Boingo: “Don’t you ever wonder why/Nothing ever seems to change?/If it does, it’s for the worse/Guess it’s just a modern curse…”

Simultaneously sarcastic and deeply introspective, this song feels like what Finian seems to have experienced throughout his life, both in grappling with his impaired mobility and his relationships with others.

“Crown”–Jay Som: “Arranging your best words/Tying the knot/A brighter tomorrow/Could you take a shot?”

(Oops…both of these songs start with a C for no apparent reason…)

But either way, this seems like a good song to match his views on being with the Aurora Legion–everything about it, from being in open spaces to *gasp* having to collaborate with others seems like everything he wouldn’t want to do, but he takes the shot anyway, and in the end, it may be for the better.

ZILA

Zila Madran | The Aurora Cycle Wiki | Fandom

“How to Disappear Completely”–Radiohead: “I’m not here/This isn’t happening…”

This seems to mesh well with how Zila has almost become disconnected from herself; due to childhood trauma, she almost loses herself, resigning herself to someone colder, more distant.

“Ice Age”–David Byrne & St. Vincent: “It’s such a shame to see you this way/Freezing it out, your own little ice age…”

Like the previous song, this seems to embody Zila’s distancing from herself, becoming almost a shell of who she might have been as a child.

KAL

Extras – Amie Kaufman

“Killer”–Phoebe Bridgers: “Can the killer in me tame the fire in you?/I know there’s something waiting for us/I am sick of the chase/But I’m stupid in love/And there’s nothing I can do…”

Was…was the chorus made for this guy?

When I first heard this song, I thought it was a beautiful embodiment of both Kal’s conflicting feelings about his nature and heritage and his relationship with Auri, especially given some of the fire-related imagery surrounding their relationship in book 2.

“Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space”–Spiritualized: “I will love you ’till I die/And I will love you all the time/So please put your sweet hand in mine/We’ll float in space, just you and I…”

Look, I don’t ask for much in life, but…if/when the TV show goes through, can we PLEASE put this in the scene where Kal and Auri are in the pollen fields on Octavia III? PLEASE?

I’ve started to associate this song with the whole series, but Kal seems to embody it the most out of all the characters, in his helpless feelings towards Aurora and his personal struggles to better himself, and become more than his past. Plus, the choir singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love…” [cries]

AURI

Extras – Amie Kaufman

“Airbag”–Radiohead: “In an interstellar burst/I am back to save the universe…”

For me, this song perfectly embodies the shock of her waking from cryosleep, and the almost near-death experiences she goes through afterwards while grappling with her destiny and powers.

“Impostor Syndrome”–Sidney Gish: “Every other day I’m wondering/What’s a human being gotta be like?/What’s a way to just be competent?/These sweet instincts ruin my life…”

Now that she’s over two centuries out of her time, Auri’s struggle to fit in and be believed by others is beautifully captured by the nature of this song.

Tell me what you think! Did you like these songs? What other songs do you associate with these characters?

Since this post is more musically oriented, consider this whole post today’s song. 😉

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: June 30-July 5, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

All things considered, this week’s been alright. It’s July already (WE MADE IT THROUGH HALF OF THE YEAR, EVERYBODY!), so I’m looking forward to more sunny weather, but not really looking forward to boiling in the afternoon. (It’s supposed to get up to 90 degrees next week…*shudders* I like hot, but not that hot, let’s be clear…) After last week’s bookstore haul, I enjoyed two AMAZING books, and I finally got around to reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy! Needless to say, I checked book 2 out at the library right after I finished it.

I also started Camp NaNoWriMo on Wednesday, and it’s going smoothly so far! Since I recently finished the first draft of one of my WIPs, I’m working on a short story for NaNoWriMo. It’s at about 1,100 words so far.

Other than that, I’ve made some progress on my puzzle, slowly started summer homework (😑), went on another lovely hike, and blew through season one of What We Do in the Shadows. (Highly recommended for anyone who wants a laugh. You have to get through a few episodes, but it gets HYSTERICAL.)

Terrifying. What would you even call that? | You are my life ...

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Kingdom of Back–Marie Lu (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: The Kingdom of Back (9781524739010): Lu, Marie: Books

Night Owls and Summer Skies–Rebecca Sullivan (eARC) (⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: Night Owls and Summer Skies (9781989365250): Sullivan ...

The Sound of Stars–Alechia Dow (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Sound of Stars (9781335911551): Dow, Alechia: Books

The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers–Christopher Vogler (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy–Douglas Adams (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy eBook: Adams ...

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Slaughterhouse-Five–Kurt Vonnegut (for summer homework)

Amazon.com: Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel (Modern Library 100 Best ...

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #2)–Douglas Adams

Amazon.com: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe ...

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 Music

Punisher (Phoebe Bridgers) Album Review

Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher (2020, Vinyl) | Discogs

Happy Friday, everyone! I’ll dispense from my normal greeting, as this isn’t a bookish post…

I discovered Phoebe Bridgers late last year. “Smoke Signals” was the first of her songs to capture my imagination, and it prompted me to listen to her debut album, Stranger in the Alps. Though it wasn’t without its flaws, it was gorgeously lyrical and haunting at times. So naturally, I was excited to find out that she was releasing a new album. And she released it A DAY EARLIER! It’s been about a week since its release, now, and now I can say with certainty that her sophomore album, Punisher, is a worthy predecessor that may even surpass some of her older material.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Phoebe Bridgers Wants to Believe - The New York Times

ALBUM REVIEW: PUNISHER–PHOEBE BRIDGERS

TRACK 1: “DVD Menu”–7/10

A strange and haunting instrumental prelude to the album. Woozy, with almost a fever-dream vibe, it’s almost foreshadowing for what’s to come.

TRACK 2: “Garden Song”–7/10

This was the first single to be released out of the whole album. When I first listened to it, something about it got under my skin, but as I’ve listened to it more, something about it has grown on me (no pun intended). A nostalgic, dreamlike opener to the album.

TRACK 3: “Kyoto”–9/10

One of my favorite songs off of the album! This is the perfect song for rolling your windows down in the middle of the road. Bridger’s already stunning voice never fails to give me chills in the chorus. Phenomenal.

TRACK 4: “Punisher”–9/10

Bridgers said in an interview that the album’s title track was about being a huge fan of Elliott Smith. Though I’ve barely listened to his music, everyone from Becky Albertalli to David Arnold have sung his praise. But even if you aren’t familiar with the song, you’re sure to be familiar with the feeling it evokes–that of worshipping somebody that you’ve never met, and people associating you with them. Phoebe Bridgers never fails to be able to connect to her listeners.

What if I told you

I feel like I know you?

But we never met…

TRACK 5: “Halloween”–6.5/10

Though most of Bridgers’ catalog is already more melancholy and mellow, this fails to keep up the pace kept up by “Kyoto” and “Punisher”. It’s still a decent song, but it doesn’t pack as much of an emotional punch as some of the other tracks on the album.

TRACK 6: “Chinese Satellite”–8/10

Picking up from the slight lull of “Halloween,” this track delves back into Bridgers’ signature, heart-wrenching lyricism, weaving a tale of losing yourself and wishing on false stars. Absolutely beautiful.

TRACK 7: “Moon Song”–7.5/10

A soft, drifting track that dives more into Bridgers’ more dreamlike side. A song that could simultaneously rock me to sleep and bring me close to tears, if the mood struck me.

And if I could give you the moon,

I would give you the moon…

TRACK 8: “Savior Complex”–9/10

Without a doubt, one of the highlights of this album. With lyrics that stick and a melancholy melody, this is Phoebe Bridgers at her best. Again, her voice just gives me cHILLS…

TRACK 9: “ICU” (previously titled “I See You“)–7.5/10

(SCREAMING)

A catchy track that leans more into Bridgers’ poppier side. Though it teeters on going into the places that I thought “Garden Song” went when I first listened to it, it’s still a good song; not her best, but not her worst by far.

TRACK 10: “Graceland Too”–7.5/10

First of all, shoutout to Phoebe Bridgers for putting a banjo in a song that doesn’t instantly infuriate me.

With folkier instrumentation, “Graceland Too” weaves a beautiful, melancholy tale of newfound freedom and self-discovery.

So she picks a direction, it’s 90 to Memphis,

Turns up the music so thoughts don’t intrude,

Predictably winds up thinking of Elvis

And wonders if he believed songs could come true…

TRACK 11: “I Know the End”–9.5/10

A positively stunning end to the album. Laced with Bridgers’ signature lyricism, she quickly amps up the emotion, growing tense before erupting into chaotic instrumentation. The album ends with the sound of her raw screams and breathing as she seems to recover, somehow making it feel powerful and intimate all at once. The best possible song to end the album on.

Over the coast, everyone’s convinced

It’s a government drone, or an alien spaceship,

Either way

We’re not alone…

Phoebe Bridgers – 'Punisher' album review

I averaged out all of my song ratings, and it came out at about a 7.9, which I’ll round up to 8. Punisher was, without a doubt, a worthy successor to Stranger in the Alps. Phoebe Bridgers has outdone herself on her sophomore album, creating something magical with her lyricism and dreamlike melodies. In short, Punisher is very nearly a masterpiece, and Phoebe Bridgers is an artist to be reckoned with.

The Big Listen: Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher | Guitar.com | All ...

Since this post is an album review, you can consider this whole album today’s song.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! HAVE YOU LISTENED TO PUNISHER, AND IF SO, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

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

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: June 15-21, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

First of all, Happy Father’s Day! I don’t know where I’d be without my dad–both in terms of life and in terms of quality music and comics–so for everything he’s done, I am eternally grateful.

It’s so strange to think that June is almost over. It seems like this month has gone by in a blur; mentally, I’m still on the first week of June. But aside from that, I’ve had a good week. I started out with a mediocre batch of books, but it picked up once I read one of my eARCs. I also went on my first out-in-public comic shop run, and that’s always super fun. Phoebe Bridgers also came out with her new album, and I’ve loved it so far! And, I just got to 300 pages on my WIP! I’m writing the last chapter, and my first draft should be done in a matter of days…

Bohemian Rhapsody Queen GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek–Kim Michele Richardson (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel - Kindle edition by ...

Colorblind–Siera Maley (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Colorblind by Siera Maley

Elatsoe–Darcie Little Badger (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Elatsoe (9781646140053): Little Badger, Darcie, Cai ...

The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed–Mike Mignola (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed #1 eBook: Mignola ...

The Deep–Rivers Solomon (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Deep (9781534439863): Solomon, Rivers, Diggs ...

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Kingsbane (Empirium, #2)–Claire Legrand

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)

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

Today’s song:

Before I leave, I just wanted to let everybody know that I won’t be doing a Goodreads Monday tomorrow, since my family is going to be hiking all day for Father’s Day. 🙂

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 (6/20/20)–Books You’d Give a Second Chance 🤔

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 you’d give a second chance.

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 (6/20/20)–BOOKS YOU’D GIVE A SECOND CHANCE

Foundation, Isaac Asimov

Foundation: Asimov, Isaac: 9780553293357: Amazon.com: Books

This is more of an “it’s not you, it’s me” kind of deal; from the premise, I thought there would be a little more action, but it ended up feeling like a bunch of old white guys in the room discussing their eminent annihilation. I suppose I didn’t quite appreciate it for what it was, but I don’t know.

Starflight, Melissa Landers

Amazon.com: Starflight eBook: Landers, Melissa: Kindle Store

I remember…next to nothing about this book, but I rated it two stars, so there must have been something that didn’t click with me at the time. The premise seems…semi-intriguing, so I might try and go back and see what went wrong the first time around.

Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass) Sarah J. Maas: Bloomsbury YA

Everybody and their mother (including my own mother) seems to adore this series, so maybe there’s something I’m missing. Granted, I was feeling grumpy and I had a stomach flu when I read this, so that might have contributed to the two-star rating. Maybe.

Starglass, Phoebe North

Starglass (Starglass, #1) by Phoebe North

Again, I remember next to nothing about this one, other than the fact that I was listening to “(You’re My) Dream Come True” by the Temptations while I was reading it. Maybe it’s worth another read.

Orvis, Helen Mary Hoover

Orvis: Hoover, H. M.: 9780812557350: Amazon.com: Books

I read this one for school in 5th grade, and I remember thinking it was okay. I liked the character of Orvis a lot, but something about it failed to grab me at the time, but I think I might like it more the second time around.

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

Thumbs Up GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Today’s song:

SUCH. A. GOOD. ALBUM. Expect a review next week…

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