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 own. (Probably shouldn’t have done a book tag based on books I own yesterday…whoops…) I’ll try to pick some that I don’t talk about as much.
I got this one a few years back, and though my memory’s shaky on it, I remember it being fun. (I mean, I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, so that must count for something…) I only got up to book 2, but I’ll think I’ll start back up again because I NEED some good sci-fi in my life…even though I don’t remember what happened in book 2…
At some point in middle school, my class did some sort of book exchange; each one of us brought in a book, and we closed our eyes, passed the books around, and ended up with one of our classmate’s books to read. I got this one from an old friend, and it’s an autographed copy, too!
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 Risingand 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 🎧
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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]
The first week of summer has been…interesting. I didn’t have as productive of a reading week (only three books finished), but all of the books I read were great, even if one of them was a re-read. The news has been deeply overwhelming in the last few days, so I’m trying to hit the balance of being informed but not getting myself overtly worked up. And as always, BLACK LIVES MATTER.
On that subject, please consider signing the petition linked below to arrest the three other officers involved in the murder of George Floyd. (One officer has been arrested already).
I know I’m *primarily* a book blog, but most of what I post outside of bookish content is music related, as apart from being a bibliophile, I’m a major music nerd as well. I found this tag over at Margaret @ Weird Zeal , and the tag was created by Sophie @ Me & Ink.
Link back to original so she can see your answers and listen to the tunes
For every prompt you choose to do, name 1-5 songs (you can use my graphics)
Have fun and play your music LOUD
Let’s begin, shall we? (I skipped a prompt or two because I couldn’t find anything for some of them, but here we go…)
“Lazarus”–David Bowie:The day that David Bowie died, I remember my dad driving my brother and I to school in silence as this song played.
“Day Go By”–Karen O.:I listened to this whole album while I was in Canada last year, and I remember listening to this one in a hotel in Drumheller.
“Exit Music (for a Film)”–Radiohead:I discovered OK Computer last year, and I remember being curled up at the entrance of the cafeteria, reading a collection of Tennyson’s poems while blasting this through my headphones. (Yes, I am That Kid™️)
“Hunky Dory”–David Bowie: My favorite album of all time, hands down. Perfection.
“Twin Fantasy”–Car Seat Headrest: WHAT AN ALBUM…OH MAN…
“OK Computer”–Radiohead: See above. Pure genius.
Hmm, let’s see…
“Once in a Lifetime”–Talking Heads: …just watch the video. You’ll see what I mean.
“Life on Mars?”–David Bowie: This was my halloween costume last year…
“It’s Oh So Quiet”–Björk: Sorry to repeat a song, but this video always cheers me up 🙂
I TAG ANY OF MY FELLOW MUSIC NERDS WHO WANT TO PARTICIPATE!
Since this tag is all about music, consider this entire tag today’s song…
That’s it for this tag! Hope you enjoyed this dip into the weirdness that is my taste in music…
Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
I should have posted some of this last week, really, but I just wanted to post some pictures here.
I decided last week that I wanted a little change of pace concerning my bookshelf. After consulting a few friends of mine, I ultimately decided to rearrange my books in rainbow order!
I also tried to arrange my Pop! Figures in rainbow order as well! Starting from the top, we have Starfire (Teen Titans Go!), Liz Sherman (Hellboy), Yoda (Star Wars), Beast Boy (TTG!), Abe Sapien (HB), Elisa Esposito (The Shape of Water), Eleven (Stranger Things), Batgirl (DC), Raven (TTG!), The Vision (Avengers), Rey (Star Wars, K-2SO (Star Wars), and Maleficent (Disney). While rearranging everything, I listened to The Bends (Radiohead). It was a lovely way to spend my afternoon. 🙂
Now, fast forward to today. After finishing up online school today, my day got exponentially better upon discovering that Aurora Burning had come in the mail! I preordered it a few months back, and I was counting down the days until its release. So, naturally, I decided to mess around with some Instagram filters and do a photoshoot. I don’t have a bookstagram or anything, but this is the closest I’ll ever get, seeing as I already spend too much time on there, anyway.
And because I find the orange and teal filter oh so satisfying…
A A A A A A A A A
I haven’t yet read Aurora Burning (I would have started it, but I had already started Girls in the Moon), but at this point, I think it’s guaranteed that I’ll adore it. We’ll see. But from what I can tell, I’ll have to have my tissues at the ready. Either way, I’ll definitely review it next week! 😉
I’d forgotten about this one until it came on my shuffle this morning. I already loved the other version, but with the underlying cover of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and the choir towards the last thirds…needless to say, I got goosebumps. I think it might be my favorite song at the moment.
That’s it for this random post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
After re-reading The Final Six recently, I knew I had to get my hands on the sequel. Though I was worried that it wouldn’t be as good as book 1, The Life Below ulimately surpassed its predecessor, making for a complex sci-fi novel that had me on the edge of my seat!
WARNING: THIS REVIEW IS LIKELY RIFE WITH SPOILERS FOR THE FINAL SIX.
If you haven’t read The Final Six and plan on doing so, I suggest you don’t yet read this review. For now, if you want to read my review of book 1, click here!
Enjoy this week’s review!
The Life Below (The Final Six, #2)
After the tumultuous choosing of the contenders for the Final Six, Naomi is set on a course for space, heading to Europa with five other contenders–including her archrival, Beckett. Bemoaning the fact that she may never see Leo again, she boards the ship with suspicion. But as they fly closer to Europa, she discovers that there may be even more secrets that the International Space Training Camp may be hiding. Secrets that may mean the difference between life and death.
Crestfallen at losing his place on the Europa mission, Leo is summoned by Greta Wagner, a scientist responsible for constructing the backbone of the Europa mission–that was fired before the Final Six fought for a place on the mission. Her intel on the mission and the ISTC puts Naomi and the others in danger, and they only have one option to save her and the other five crew members–and that’s running their own Europa mission.
Will their paths collide in time for the truth to be revealed?
Fresh off of reading The Final Six, I was worried about book 2 for the first third of the novel, or so. The plot seemed to be going nowhere, and I was desperately worried that $11 had hopelessly gone down the drain. But lucky for us, The Life Below picks up in a heartbeat, cranking up the volume and turning the stakes up to the next level. In the end, it was even better than book 1–a positively pulse-pounding, intergalactic thrill ride.
First off, CHARACTERS. Now that the Final Six had been narrowed down, I was fascinated to get a glimpse at some of the characters that were just background noise in book 1. I liked Sydney, in particular–she had a vital place on the mission, and she was generally just a very human character. I liked returning to the minds of Leo and Naomi, and though their romance still felt a bit forced at times, it was ultimately a good choice.
Now that everyone’s been thrown out in space, the stakes are ten times higher. This was where the book picked up for me; the results of everything from the Athena supply run to exploring the RRB bacteria had often frightening repercussions and conclusions, making for a novel that had me on the edge of my seat.
My personal favorite part was one of the main subplots, in which Naomi and the rest of the crew figure out a decoded message in the form of the musical structure of Radiohead’s “Sail To The Moon”. Besides the fact that I’m a total nerd for Radiohead, it was such an inventive way to make and figure out a cipher. Honestly, a heartfelt thank you to Mrs. Monir for blessing us with all these Radiohead references.
All in all, a thrilling sequel with all of the elements of a solid sci-fi novel. 4.5 stars for me!
The Life Below is the second in the Final Six series. From what I can tell, it’s a duology, but…ugh, the ending made it seem like there would be another book…CURSES! 🤬
Anyway, we’ll see how that goes…
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your week, and take care of yourselves!
If there’s one thing I love as much as books and reading, it’s probably music. I was raised in a family of wonderful music nerds, and as a result, music has grown to be an integral aspect of my life.
And so, it always brings me a rush of joy whenever I find music references hidden inside books I love, and by proxy, authors with similar musical taste. I thought I might compile a few of my favorite books with music references in them, just for fun.
Artists referenced: David Bowie, brief joke about Wilco/Jeff Tweedy
I mean, one can sort of tell from the get-go that this book is very Bowie-centric; The title itself (a reference to a lyric from “Changes”), and the Aladdin Sane lightning bolt in the ‘I’ in “Fascinations”. (On another edition, it shows Noah with the bolt across his face, just like the Aladdin Sane album cover!) Other than that, there’s a continual respect for Bowie throughout the novel. Other than the general wondrousness of the novel, I’m just glad to see that someone else holds Hunky Dory as highly as I do.
Also, the mention of Wilco is very brief, but it was still pretty funny to see. Even if it was poking fun at them.
Artists referenced: The Beatles, Nirvana, T.Rex, (!!!), David Bowie
Though music doesn’t play (no pun intended) as big a role in The Hazel Wood as it does in some of the others in this post, there’s wonderful references aplenty in this one, from a minor character being described as reminiscent of David Bowie to a discordant, chaotic scene in which the main villain sings an off-key rendition of “Yellow Submarine”. Also, I’m frankly so impressed that Albert slipped in a T.Rex reference in there. COME. ON. That’s the deep cut to end all deep cuts!
Weirdly enough, though I’d heard Radiohead here and there before reading The Final Six, but seeing the reference was ultimately what convinced me to listen to Radiohead! This is easily some of the best utilization of references I’ve seen in a novel, period. First off, in The Final Six, there’s a particularly chilling scene in which Beckett, the main antagonist, glimpses Naomi sneaking around, and after a tense conversation, he sings part of “Paranoid Android.” (“When I am king, you will be first against the wall/With your opinion, which is of no consequence at all…”) Already veeeery spooky, but the song’s title hints that Beckett knows more than what he let on. (No spoilers)
In The Life Below, Monir also uses “Sail To The Moon”–in particular, its musical structure–as the center point of one of the main subplots in the novel. And boy, it’s FASCINATING.
Artists referenced: St. Vincent, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac (I don’t really care about the latter at all, but hey)
Another dip into the realm of magical realism!
Music plays a semi-important role in this one, as part of the novel is set on a road trip; there’s a running joke where Sylvie’s friend’s brother (I can’t remember his name for the life of me) listens to one specific artist in the car for the month. His pick of the month is Fleetwood Mac; there’s a line (which I can’t find) where Sylvie makes a remark something along the lines of “why can’t we listen to something good, like David Bowie?” to which the other character responds that he’d already listened to him for all of April. And though the St. Vincent reference was brief, McNally perfectly captures the nature of her music.
Again, another Bowie-centric book. I related to this one in particular because Bowie is Jonathan (the main character)’s hero; the book is set in 1973, so it’s at the heyday of his Ziggy Stardust era. As someone who similarly worships him, this novel hit the sweet spot for me. There’s also a wonderful scene where Jonathan and Web soundtrack a school presentation with Pink Floyd’s “Time”, easily my personal favorite of their songs.
I found this tag over at Devour Books with Dana, and the tag was created by Wordy and Whimsical. I figured it would be the perfect tag to get me back into the feel of Spring! *desperately tries to ignore the fact that it’s going to snow AGAIN tomorrow*
Let’s begin, shall we?
ROSES: Roses are traditionally given as an expression of love. What’s your favourite romance in a book?
There’s a lot for me to choose from, but if I had to pick, I’d have to say the relationship between Jax and Rob in the Heart of Ironduology. WINNER OF COUPLE OF THE YEAR FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE YEARS
STARGAZER LILIES: Stargazer Lilies are named for their blooms that face toward the sky. Who is your favourite ambitious character?
Boy, there’s quite a few to choose from, but I’d have to say Jo from the Pioneer duology. It takes a certain type of bravery to take on an entire alien species that’s turned against you, and to do it with skill and grace.
PEACE LILIES: Peace Lilies are known for being one of the easier houseplants to care for. What is a book you think anyone could love?
I’d have to say Kids of Appetitefor this one. I don’t think there’s anyone who couldn’t relate to the characters–or the themes. Plus, there’s no denying David Arnold’s writing prowess.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS: Chrysanthemums are given on Mother’s Day in Australia. Who is your favourite fictional mother?
Is that even a question? Molly Weasley, hands down.
SPIDER PLANTS: Spider Plants are easy to propagate. What is a hyped-up book that you love?
I just read Sawkill Girls, and I must say, it lived up to ALL the hype! Five stars for me!
LILY OF THE VALLEY: Lily of the Valley is pretty but poisonous. Share a book with a beautiful cover that was actually disappointing!
Happy Thursday, bibliophiles! Hope that all is well in your world!
While looking for tags to do, I found this one at Not-so-modern girl. The tag was originally created by Tiana @ The Book Raven. I have a whole shelf on Goodreads dedicated to covers I love, so this one should be fun…
1. Thank the lovely person who tagged you, spread the love!
“THE SIMPLE AESTHETIC”: A Book that Stuns with the Most Minimalistic of Designs
There’s several different editions of Stranger in a Strange Landout there, but this is the one that I borrowed at the library. The letters were shiny, too…isn’t it just so pretty?
“COVER ENVY”: A Book Cover that You Wish You Had on your Shelf, but Don’t
The Final Sixis one of those books that I deeply regret borrowing from the library…SO GOOD…I WANT TO OWN IT…
Also, on an unrelated note, I think this book might be what ultimately pushed me to listen to all of Radiohead’s OK Computer. There’s this really creepy scene where one of the characters quotes a line from “Paranoid Android” (“When I am king/You will be first against the wall…”), and though I’d heard Radiohead before, this was what ultimately convinced me.
“TRAVELLING ABROAD”: A Book Cover Featuring a Country Outside of Your Own
The cover doesn’t necessarily show it, but White Roseis set in World War II-era Germany.
“THE COLOR WHEEL”: A Book Cover that Showcases One of Your Favorite Colors
Teal and turquoise are my favorite colors, and the cover of Even the Darkest Starsis dominated by both, luckily for me!
“SWITCHING GEARS”: A Cover Change you Absolutely Adore
I think they switched the Carry Oncover for the paperback edition, and I am SO HERE FOR IT! I mean, what could go wrong with Kevin Wada’s gorgeous art?
“AND THE WINNER IS…”: Which Book Cover Mentioned Above is Your Favorite?
As always, I hope you are all safe, comfortable, and well during these crazy times. We had our “spring break” this week, which mostly consisted of me sprawled out on the couch reading, but it was quite relaxing, all things considered. Our state now has an official stay at home order, and I have online school almost through the end of April, so next month should be…interesting, to say the least.
I read a LOT this week, and I’m happy to say that I loved most of what I read! Libby (online library) has now become my savior, and I’m now stocked up on library books that I can check out on my kindle. I re-read one of my favorite books, watched The Grand Budapest Hotel and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (LOVED both of those), started learning “No Surprises” (Radiohead) on guitar, and I created an original book tag! Online school starts back up next week, so we’ll see how that works out…but overall, I’ve actually had a weirdly good week!