Posted in Books

A YA Reader’s Guide to Space Opera 👽

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

Would you look at that…for once, I actually have a post that isn’t a meme, an update, or a book tag…

I’ve been planning for this one a little bit, and I’m excited to get into it! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know how much I love sci-fi. So for this post, I decided to go semi-in-depth on my favorite subgenre of science fiction and dole out some recommendations of mine.

Let’s begin, shall we?

So first off, what is space opera anyway?

Steam Community :: :: Obi-wan has taught you well.

In all forms of media, space opera is a subgenre of science fiction. It tends to focus less on the heavy science/physics of the universe it’s in, and more on aspects such as plot and characters. There’s often adventures at a breakneck pace, intergalactic war or conflict, strange planets/other locations, and drama between a set of characters. A lot of space opera media that I’ve consumed tends to throw in a ragtag bunch of characters with nothing in common together, and then throws them into an adventure of epic proportions. (Commonly referred to in many of my posts and reviews as “[chaotic] space misfits.”) More often than not, there’s some light elements of fantasy, sometimes as placeholders to explain the workings of the universe. And, as you probably can figure out, it’s usually set in space or on a distant planet.

Star Wars is often used as the quintessential example of a space opera–dogfights in space, romance, strange worlds, and (amazing) lightsaber duels. (What more could you possibly want?) Although it’s probably not *the original* space opera, it’s influenced a huge chunk of space opera/sci-fi media for the last 40-ish years. Guardians of the Galaxy is another widely-known example of space opera, and from= the world of literature, Dune and Foundation are some of the most well-loved space opera classics.

I'm Mary Poppins, y'all! (gif) | Guardians of the galaxy, Marvel cinematic,  Marvel cinematic universe

Sci-fi has only become my favorite book genre in the past…six or seven years; for a while, I was mostly drawn to fantasy, but after reading Tony DiTerlizzi’s Search for WondLa trilogy, there was no going back. And I was raised on a steady diet of Star Wars, so it was bound to happen eventually. There’s a multitude of reasons why I’m drawn to it. Even though fantasy has virtually no limits as far as making up universes goes, there’s just something about about flying through the vast reaches of space and traveling to strange worlds that has always appealed to me. And as someone who’s been something of an outcast for the better part of my life, I’m drawn like a magnet to any kind of found-family tropes. Now, I know full well that it’s not exclusive to space opera, but everything from Star Wars to Aurora Rising has a cast of strange and distinct characters that come to see themselves as a family, and I’ve always loved the theme of finding your tribe of weirdos.

So now, if you say “space opera,” there’s a good chance that I’ll immediately want to read it. (Doesn’t mean I’ll love it–there’s good and bad books in every genre, of course–but I’ll certainly read it.)

Pin on Art

Now, I’ve compiled a list of some YA space opera recommendations! Each one is tailored to different types of readers/tastes, because I firmly believe there’s something for everybody, even if sci-fi isn’t normally your thing. So let’s get to it, shall we?

🪐YA SPACE OPERA RECS🪐

For readers who like character-driven books…

Amazon.com: Heart of Iron (9780062652850): Poston, Ashley: Books

Heart of Iron duology–Ashley Poston

A retelling of the story of Anastasia, this unique duology boasts a diverse and lovable cast of characters, royal intrigue, creepy androids, and some really cool spaceships.

For readers who like fairytale retellings…

Amazon.com: Once & Future (9780316449274): McCarthy, Cori, Capetta, Amy  Rose: Books

Once & Future–A.R. Capetta and Cori McCarthy

A retelling of Arthurian legend where the reincarnation of King Arthur is a pansexual woman of color and a spell gone wrong made Merlin age backwards…into an awkward, voice-cracky teenager. Super diverse, super feminist, and super fun!

For readers who love a good found-family story…

Aurora Rising - (Aurora Cycle) By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Paperback) :  Target

Aurora Cycle–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

In short, this is what happens when you put Captain America in a spaceship with his sister, his ex, a whole bunch of random students from the bottom of his class, and a girl with a glowing eye that may or may not start an intergalactic war. Hands down, my favorite series of all time.

For readers who love a little romance…

Amazon.com: Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars (1)) (9780316394031): Gray,  Claudia: Books

The Constellation trilogy–Claudia Gray

The worldbuilding and the imagery are beautiful in all three books, but it’s really the unlikely relationship between Noemi and Abel that shines in this one. [🥺 intensifies]

For readers who like plots with high-stakes competitions…

Amazon.com: Crownchasers (9780062845160): Coffindaffer, Rebecca: Books

Crownchasers–Rebecca Coffindaffer

(Would you look at that…another pansexual protagonist!)

I had my expectations a *bit* too high for this one, but it was still a whole lot of fun! A lot of reviewers have pitched it as Aurora Rising meets The Hunger Games, and I’d say that’s pretty spot-on. I’m excited to see what Coffindaffer has up their sleeve for book 2.

For fans of steampunk…

Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

Tarnished Are the Stars–Rosiee Thor

This one has elements of both sci-fi and fantasy woven in–royal intrigue on other worlds, and lots of clockwork hearts! Plus, it’s a beautiful queer story; we have a wlw romance, as well as a beautiful aro-ace coming out scene for one of the main characters.

For readers who prefer standalones to series…

Amazon.com: Last of Her Name (9781338243369): Khoury, Jessica: Books

Last of Her Name–Jessica Khoury

Another space opera retelling of Anastasia, comin’ right up…

Last of Her Name is a truly beautiful novel, with intricate and detailed worldbuilding, tender romance, and no shortage of twists that I couldn’t see coming. I do wish we’d gotten a larger glimpse into this world, but it was still satisfying as one book.

For thriller fans…

Amazon.com: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499117): Amie Kaufman,  Jay Kristoff: Books

The Illuminae Files–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Normally, I’d try to avoid putting two series from the same author(s) in a post like this, but Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are masters of sci-fi, so I kind of *had to.* Composed of interviews, emails, security footage, and more, this is truly a trilogy like no other.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK? What are your favorite space opera books? Do you have any space opera recs for us? Tell me in the comments!

Baby Yoda Soup Baby Yoda Tea GIF - BabyYodaSoup BabyYodaTea BabyYoda -  Discover & Share GIFs | Star wars nerd, Star wars yoda, Star wars

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (11/23/20)–How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I put this one on my TBR at the very beginning of this year, and rediscovered it today after trawling through the middle reaches of my TBR shelf. I’m always down for a good space opera, and if all goes well, I’m hoping that Rory Thorne will deliver!

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (11/23/20)–HOW RORY THORNE DESTROYED THE MULTIVERSE by K. Eason

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

Blurb from Goodreads:

Rory Thorne is a princess with thirteen fairy blessings, the most important of which is to see through flattery and platitudes. As the eldest daughter, she always imagined she’d inherit her father’s throne and govern the interplanetary Thorne Consortium. 
 
Then her father is assassinated, her mother gives birth to a son, and Rory is betrothed to the prince of a distant world.
 
When Rory arrives in her new home, she uncovers a treacherous plot to unseat her newly betrothed and usurp his throne. An unscrupulous minister has conspired to name himself Regent to the minor (and somewhat foolish) prince. With only her wits and a small team of allies, Rory must outmaneuver the Regent and rescue the prince.
 
How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a feminist reimagining of familiar fairytale tropes and a story of resistance and self-determination—how small acts of rebellion can lead a princess to not just save herself, but change the course of history.

So why do I want to read this?

Carrie Fischer Princess Leia Star Wars GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
/ Hands down, my favorite movie quote of all time. Period.

Excuse me? “The Princess Bride meets Princess Leia?” Feminist fairytale retelling? SPACE OPERA? JUST SHUT UP AND TAKE MY LIBRARY CARD!

I’m loving all the fairytale allusions peppered into the synopsis, and I’m getting some major Heart of Iron vibes too. I’m not expecting anything deep or impactful, but man, How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse sounds like SO. MUCH. FUN. And why wouldn’t it be, with a memorable title like that? (Oh, and book 2 is How The Multiverse Got Its Revenge…[Magneto voice] “Perfection…”)

And how cute is this cover? The color scheme, the typeface, the little space-themed designs…🥺

In short: if everything gets well-executed, maybe I could get *that much* closer to filling up the Heart of Iron-shaped hole in my heart.

Outer Space 3D GIF by Michael Shillingburg - Find & Share on GIPHY

Today’s song:

Bandcamp link–I can’t find any of the Jim Noir Club Collection on YouTube…

“Dried Up Paint”–Jim Noir

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

Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (9/12/20)–Science Fiction Books 🛸

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 sci-fi…

You know what that means…

AHAHAAAAAAAA MY FAVORITE GENRE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

But anyway, I have lots of sci-fi on my TBR, so I’ll take some picks from there for this week’s Top 5.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER: 

9/12/20Science Fiction Books

9/19/20—Award-Winning Books

9/26/20—Guilty Pleasure Books

10/3/20—Intimidating Books

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?

Dune, Frank Herbert

Check Out the Artwork for a New Edition of Frank Herbert's Dune | Tor.com

I’ve been meaning to read this one for a year or so; my brother read it for an English project (the same one that lead me to Frankenstein) and liked it. And the new trailer got me SO excited, so of course I’ll have to read it before December! (Did that Pink Floyd cover give anybody else chills, or was that just me?)

Seven Devils, Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

Amazon.com: Seven Devils (9780756415808): Lam, Laura, May, Elizabeth: Books

I’ve been eager to read this for a good year and a half, ever since the first tiny synopsis compared it to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. (Star Wars? Of COURSE you have my attention, shut up and take my library card…)

Unearthed, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Unearthed – Amie Kaufman

Two words: Amie Kaufman. I put this one on hold at the library recently, so I might get to read it next week!

Struck, Jennifer Bosworth

Struck (Struck, #1) by Jennifer Bosworth

This one’s been on my TBR for years, and I really need to get around to reading it…

Landscape with Invisible Hand, M.T. Anderson

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson

I almost picked this one up about a year ago, but I set it aside because of how short it was. Nonetheless, this still sounds like a unique and fascinating sci-fi!

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

Star Wars Chewie GIF by Nerdist.com - Find & Share on GIPHY

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, Books, Movies

Star Wars Book Tag (+ an update or two)

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I’m back, everyone! Happy Thursday!

I’m finally out of school for the year! Officially halfway through high school…whew…

But anyway, the AP exam and finals weren’t all that bad. For a few classes, they canceled finals altogether, and others just had a paper or a lab report in place of a written test (REJOICE!). I did pretty well on almost all of them, but we’ll see about AP…

Other than that, I’ve had a good week and a half since I’ve taken a break. I got into an unfortunate loop of finding one good book to read, then having a slump of three- or two-star books in between. Luckily, I did get a fair amount of good books in. I also listened to a lot of Spiritualized, thanks to my dad (and by a lot, I mean a LOT), got to a scene that I’ve been picturing in my head for YEARS on my WIP, and the weather’s starting to warm up, which is both a blessing and a curse.

Now, back to our scheduled program.

I found this tag over at SMELLFOY CAN READ?, and the tag was created by Elisabeth Paige and Joana Sousa. As a (pretty much) lifelong fan of all things Star Wars, I was absolutely ELATED to find this tag.

So let’s begin, shall we?

this is where the fun begins

R2-D2: A book that made you laugh out loud

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Without a doubt, Good Omens had me CACKLING.

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter ...

PADME AMIDALA: A kick-butt female character

Queen Amidala Will Not Condone GIF - QueenAmidala WillNotCondone ...

My first thought was Alosa from Daughter of the Pirate KingIt takes a certain kind of person to be able to be a captain of a formidable pirate ship at the ripe old age of 17.

Amazon.com: Daughter of the Pirate King (9781250095961 ...

LEIA ORGANA: Best or worst love triangle

Star Wars GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
On another note, this is my favorite movie line of all time. Hands down.

Leia does not deserve the subject matter of this part of the tag…

I…hate love triangles in general, but for now, I’d just say the love triangle in the Hunger Gamestrilogy. 50% because Gale is repulsive, and 50% because that’s sadly what a lot of people tend to remember/take away from the series, as opposed to…y’know, the dystopian commentary and whatnot…

Hunger Games Katniss GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

LUKE SKYWALKER: A rising star author, or a new author you’ve discovered and absolutely love

Luke Skywalker GIF by Star Wars - Find & Share on GIPHY

I’ve just started to discover Sy Montgomery’s nonfiction novels, and even though I’ve only read The Soul of an OctopusI absolutely ADORED it. I have How to Be a Good Creature on my list as well.

ANAKIN SKYWALKER: A book or series that started out well and then became bad

Anakin Skywalker GIF - Starwarsmay4 - Discover & Share GIFs

Without a doubt, the Shatter Me series. I was already salty about how the trilogy ended (Warner is awful, change my mind), but then after book 4, it just took a sharp left turn into the flat-out ridiculous. Such a shame.

Amazon.com: Shatter Me (8601300047799): Mafi, Tahereh: Books

QUI-GONN JINN: Worst character death (SPOILERS)

Qui Gon GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Hmm…lots to choose from…

My first thought was Zin’s death in The Battle for WondLa(Yes, we’re going back to that…) He was one of my favorite characters, but he did NOT have to go out in such a completely twisted way…I won’t go into the gory details, but it’s rough to read.

Zin | WondLa Wiki | Fandom

HAN SOLO: A book with a lot of sass

Our Favorite GIFs of STAR WARS BFFs Han and Chewbacca — Nerdist

Aurora Rising has no short supply at sassy, sarcastic writing, and the same can be said for the characters. (*coughcough FINIAN coughcough*)

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720964 ...

EMPEROR PALPATINE: Best world-building

Dew It GIFs | Tenor

I think The Black Witch takes the cake for this one. There was clearly so much care put into everything from the history to the magical races, and everything in between.

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

BEN/OBI-WAN KENOBI: A book you went in with low expectations and that blew you away

Star Wars Obiwan Kenobi GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
“General Kenobi…”

I didn’t have high expectations for The Looking Glassbut I was pleasantly surprised by the lush writing–not to mention, the great music references.

The Looking Glass - Janet McNally - Hardcover

YODA: A book that taught you something or that made you grow

Wise Smart GIF - StarWars Yoda LuminousBeingsAreWe - Discover ...

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft taught me volumes about the essentials of writing. I still try to take Stephen King’s advice to heart.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft—Stephen King | Talking About Books

DARTH VADER: Favorite Villain

Darth Vader GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Hmmm…it’s a hard decision, but I’ve have to go with Magneto.

Ian Mckellan Magneto GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment ...
All hail Sir Ian McKellen

I TAG ANY FELLOW STAR WARS FANS WHO WANT TO PARTICIPATE! 

Episode 7 Movie GIF by Star Wars - Find & Share on GIPHY

Today’s song:

Soccer Mommy + Jay Som =

Michael Fassbender Perfection GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, take care of yourselves, and may the Force be with you!

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (5/12/20)–Aurora Burning (Aurora Cycle, #2)

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Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I don’t think I’ve anticipated a book as much as I’ve anticipated Aurora Burning (though Soul of Stars is a close contender). After falling in love with book 1, I jumped at the chance to preorder it, and as the date came closer (it’s officially been a week since its release), I counted down the days. My day got SO much better once I got it in the mail, and my day was filled with so much joy thereafter. I read it twice, and I must say, this is a truly worthy sequel, filled to the brim with plot twists and heart-wrenching writing.

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1, AURORA RISING. If you haven’t read book 1, then I suggest you don’t read this review yet. 

For my review of Aurora Rising, click here! 

Spoiler rashid GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720926 ...

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Bonus photo from my mini “photoshoot” last week

Aurora Burning (Aurora Cycle, #2)

Squad 312 is in more trouble than they’ve ever been in.

After the tumultuous exploration of Octavia III, the colony that Aurora was set to live in, Tyler, Scarlett, Finian, Kal, Zila, and Auri are back on the run. The TDF now blames them for the destruction of Sagan station, and with targets on their backs, the stakes are higher than ever. Especially considering that the Ra’haam–an interstellar entity bent on consuming the galaxy and all its denizens–is after them, infiltrating the Global Intelligence Agency, and bent on assimilating Auri. Now, Squad 312 must unlock the mystery of the Eshvaren–the beings that defeated the Ra’haam millions of years before–in order to complete Auri’s destiny as the force that will purge the Ra’haam from the face fo the galaxy. With targets on their backs and bounties on their heads–and not to mention, Kal’s sister after them–will Squad 312 defy all odds once more?

 

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WOW. WHAT. A. BOOK.

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have absolutely done it again, pulling out all the stops of a sequel truly worthy of the near-perfection of its predecessor. There was nothing I enjoyed more than being back with Squad 312–especially now that we’ve got some necessary backstory on all of them.

Namely, Zila and Kal. We learned almost nothing about Zila in book 1, other than something vaguely hinted in her (very short) POVs; now that we have some insight on her past life…whew, somebody give her all the hugs the universe has to offer…

But beyond that, we also saw her grow such a great deal, and watching it made my heart so happy. Kal gets a similar treatment–we get an insight on his past (namely, his family), and we also get to see his relationship with Auri grow. I already adored both of them in book 1 (I mean, hey, they’re my favorite characters), but seeing them blossom together was one of my favorite aspects of this book.

Aurora Burning was just as action-packed as book 1, if not even more. I enjoyed every minute of it–everything from the escape from Emerald City at the very beginning to the chaos that ensued towards the end of the novel. I was on the edge of my seat for every page, and grinning from ear to ear through it all. (Well, almost all of it. More on that a bit later.)

One of my favorite scenes/sequences, by far, was Auri’s training by the Eshvaren within the Echo. It was such a beautifully written and archetypal few chapters–not only a chance for Auri to realize herself and her mindset, but a chance for her relationship with Kal to grow as well. The imagery was gorgeous, and I’ll admit that the last bit got me choked up. Mostly because it was so reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back, with Luke undergoing training to be a Jedi knight in the swamps of Dagobah. The Hero’s Journey parallels between Luke and Auri made me swell with joy, for lack of better words.

Luke skywalker GIF - Find on GIFER

And all of it built up to an absolute WHOPPER of an ending. If you love this series as much as I do, PLEASE prepare yourself emotionally, because I guarantee that you won’t be ready for what’s coming. I know you’ve all heard everybody saying something on these lines, but I mean it when I say that Kaufman and Kristoff DESTROY EVERYTHING THAT YOU HOLD DEAR. AGAIN. And now I have to wait a whole year to find out what happens…

Thank you.gif
@ Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

 

And on a sidenote, REPRESENTATION! Finian is now confirmed to be bisexual, and Zila makes several comments about liking girls, though her label has not been confirmed. A+!

All in all, Aurora Burning proves once more that Kaufman and Kristoff are nothing short of a force to be reckoned with. A true stunner of a sequel, and one that I certainly won’t forget anytime soon. 5, ENORMOUS STARS! Or more, if that’s possible…

Happy Sad GIF - Happy Sad Crying - Discover & Share GIFs

 

Aurora Burning is the second book in the Aurora Cycle, preceded by Aurora Rising. Book 3 is confirmed to be happening/in the works, but as of now, it’s untitled, and does not have a cover or a release date. [sad harmonica]

 

Today’s song:

Gah, I love this song…

Reminds me a little bit of Kal, to be honest. Not completely, but some of the lyrics and the general feel of the song have the same vibes as him.

 

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

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Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: May 4-10, 2020

weekly update header.jpeg

Happy Sunday, and Happy Mother’s Day! I know I don’t know where I would possibly be without my mom, and I am so grateful to have someone as special as her in my life. 💗

molly weasly | Tumblr

All things considered, it’s actually been a pretty great week for me! I had a lovely May 4th/Star Wars day, and I rewatched The Empire Strikes Back that night. I’ve had a relatively easy online school week, the weather’s been warm, I’ve had loads of fun writing (everything’s more fun once you launch everyone into space), watched Fight Club (SO well-written), and rediscovered a song that I hadn’t listened to in ages. I also got Aurora Burning in the mail, and read it twice. I couldn’t have asked for a better sequel. Even though the ending absolutely WRECKED me. I’ll save all that for my review next week, so stay tuned! 😉

And now, I’m at 100 books on my Goodreads challenge!

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: 

Pretty Monsters–Kelly Link (⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Pretty Monsters (9780142416723): Link, Kelly: Books

 

Show Stopper–Hayley Barker (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Show Stopper (Show Stopper #1) by Hayley Barker

 

Girls in the Moon–Janet McNally (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Girls in the Moon (9780062436245): McNally, Janet: Books

 

Aurora Burning (Aurora Cycle, #2)–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) (read twice)

Amazon.com: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720926 ...

 

The Bluest Eye–Toni Morrison (for school) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Bluest Eye (Vintage International): Morrison, Toni ...

 

POSTS AND SUCH: 

 

SONGS: 

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK: 

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness–Sy Montgomery

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder ...

 

Today’s song:

 

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

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Posted in Books, Random

Bookshelf Shenanigans

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

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!

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Sorry, this photo isn’t as good…the lighting on this side of the room isn’t as bright as the other

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.

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And because I find the orange and teal filter oh so satisfying…

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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! 😉

 

Today’s song:

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!

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Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (5/4/20)–Lost Stars

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Happy Monday, bibliophiles, and more importantly…MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!

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I plan to re-watch one of the movies sometime tonight…not sure which one, but I’m doing it…

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I figured I needed a book fitting for Star Wars day, so I picked out one of the many Star Wars books on my TBR.

“This is where the fun begins…”

 

GOODREADS MONDAY (5/4/20)–LOST STARS by Claudia Gray

Amazon.com: Star Wars Lost Stars (9781368013789): Gray, Claudia: Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Eight years after the fall of the Old Republic, the Galactic Empire now reigns over the known galaxy. Resistance to the Empire has been all but silenced. Only a few courageous leaders such as Bail Organa of Alderaan still dare to openly oppose Emperor Palpatine.

After years of defiance, the many worlds at the edge of the Outer Rim have surrendered. With each planet’s conquest, the Empire’s might grows stronger.

The latest to fall under the Emperor’s control is the isolated mountain planet Jelucan, whose citizens hope for a more prosperous future even as the Imperial Starfleet gathers overhead…

 

So why do I want to read this? 

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Since we’ve gotten the fact that I’ll read almost anything Star Wars related out of the way, let’s talk about the other major selling point for me: Claudia Gray.

It’s difficult to go wrong with her riveting writing, really. I adored every minute of the Constellation trilogy (Defy the Stars, Defy the Worlds, Defy the Fates), A Thousand Pieces of Youand Leia: Princess of Alderaanso I doubt I’ll be disappointed in that department.

This book in particular was recommended to me by a friend in my high school’s book club, and a fellow Star Wars fan (as you might have suspected). According to him, it provides a really interesting insight into the Empire’s perspective of things–not quite Palpatine or Vader, but the workers on the Death Star. After so many years of focusing on the Rebel Alliance or the Resistance, it sounds fascinating to see things from the losing side’s perspective. Oh, and apparently there’s a good sprinkling of forbidden love. [rubs hands together] Oooh…

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Today’s song:

You all knew this was coming. You knew.

“Oh, it’s…beautiful…” 

 

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Thanks for (barely) tolerating all of my references! Have a wonderful rest of your day, take care of yourselves, and May the Fourth be With You!

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (3/10/20)–Roar

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Hello there, bibliophiles!

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Hey, gotta fit that in a few times a year…my sacred duty as a Star Wars fan…

 

Aaaaanyway, I finished this one up not too long ago. It had been on my TBR for a while, and I mentioned it in one of my Down the TBR Hole posts a few months back. In my endless search for quality sci-fi, I often push fantasy and other genres aside, so I figured that Roar would be a good change of scenery. And overall? A well-imagined and well-written fantasy!

Enjoy this week’s review!

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Roar (Stormheart, #1)

In a ruthless land where violent storms rule all, Aurora is next in line to inherit the throne of Pavan. Forced into an arranged marriage and lacking in the storm-controlling powers that define Pavan royalty, she is unsure of her next move. But before she can resort to lying, her betrothed, Cassius Locke, sweeps her into the underbelly of Pavan, telling her of the black market business of buying and selling Stormling powers. Now, Aurora–under the alias of Roar–thinks she has all of her problems solved. But what is the cost of stealing something that is rightfully earned?

 

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Overall, Roar didn’t overtly exceed or fall below my expectations; my expectations were adequately met. The worldbuilding, as well as all of the lore surrounding the Storm magic, was fascinating to dig into. There was clearly a lot of time put into developing the mythology around the magic system, and although the use of gems as a plot device is vastly overdone, I…sort of think it works? I guess? I dunno. Could’ve been a bit more creative.

As far as the character department goes, I didn’t feel a great attachment to any of the characters, but I loved the misfitty team dynamic that they began to have about a third of the way through. Once Roar and Locke got together with the rest of *the gang*, they had wonderful chemistry, and played off of each other with ease. However, the romance was what mainly made me feel iffy. Locke was chock-full of tropes, and the fact that he and Aurora/Roar start getting all heart-eyes for each other MERE HOURS AFTER MEETING… a) Insta-love, the bane of my existence, and b) uh, Locke? Ever hear of something called CONSENT? HMM? So that was…very weird. Not ideal. I suppose it got the teensiest bit better after they got to know each other better, but still veeeery uncomfortable for the first 100-ish pages of the book.

 

In conclusion, Roar had some well-executed elements and an interesting magic system, but fell flat (almost problematically so) in some respects. 3.5 stars, but the .5 mostly comes from the team dynamic that comes later on in the book. 

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Roar is the first book of the Stormheart trilogy, which also includes Rage (book 2, released 2019) and Reign (to be published this August). Not sure if I like it enough to continue with the trilogy, but I’ll think about that.

 

Today’s song:

One of those rare covers that surpasses the original material. More on that here…

 

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

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Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Movies

Comfort Food (Musings on Books and Films)

Happy Friday, everyone!

 

Comfort food. We all have it. It comes in all shapes and sizes, and no matter how deep into the dark places we may become entrenched, it will always bring immeasurable joy to us. So this is sort of an appreciation post, but more just musings on a few books and movies that not only help me get through it, but are just fun to read/watch over and over, and they never get old.

 

BOOKS AND COMICS

Heart of Iron–Ashley Poston 

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Ever since I read Heart of Iron for the first time on a magical trip to Chicago, it’s been my go-to whenever I reach a reading slump, or just need a little bit more sci-fi fun in my life. Also, Jax. ‘Nuff said.

 

Pumpkinheads–Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks 

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This one’s a more recent addition to my list, but no matter the time of year, Pumpkinheads is especially good for curing all that ails you. I mean, it helped me recover from the initial speechless shock after seeing Joker in theaters, if that’s any proof. (And that was a seriously rough movie…so well-done, though)

 

B.P.R.D. vol. 2: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories–Mike Mignola 

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Let me make myself clear: in the grand scheme of all things B.P.R.D., The Soul of Venice is nowhere near the peak of mastery that this comic series has achieved. But that’s not at all to say that it isn’t a ball of spooky, paranormal fun from cover to cover. Part of why this is one of my most frequently re-read trades is for a few reasons, but the most important one is that, like Heart of Iron, is that it brings back some of my fondest memories, those from when I went to Sequoia National Park one spring break. We stopped in LA before the drive there, where I got this at a comic shop just about a month before it closed. I spent almost the entire trip reading and re-reading that trade, even though I had…oh, three or four books loaded up on my Kindle?

 

The Courtney Crumrin series–Ted Naifeh

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Ah, Courtney Crumrinmy first foray into spooky comics…

One of the first major comic series that I came to love (and collect in its entirety), Courtney always manages to dredge up so many happy memories for me when I go back and re-read any of the separate volumes. Of course, I end up crying (*coughcough THE COVEN OF MYSTICS coughcough THE FINAL SPELL coughcough*) every time, but it’s worth it. [sniffles] I swear…

 

MOVIES

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

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I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW FANTASTIC THIS MOVIE IS. Aside from being one of the rare sequels that surpasses its predecessor, it speaks to me as a person. I mean…a bunch of misfits and weirdos just trying to get through life. (And trying to take down an invincible, supernatural army, but, y’know, that’s just part of the job.) Over the past three or four years, it’s played such a big role in my life, and I know for a fact that I will never grow tired of it.

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X2: X-Men United

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Again. Misfits just trying to get through life, with some world-saving on the side. After all the criticism these films have gotten over the years (mostly for The Last Stand, that first Wolverine solo, Apocalypse, and Dark Phoenix), it’s so sad that they’ve been pushed aside in the grand scheme of superhero films. For if you think about it, these three two original X-Men movies (we don’t talk about The Last Stand) set the standard for the modern superhero movie. For lack of better words, the X-Men movies walked SO THE ENTIRE MCU COULD RUN. There. I said it.

Anyway, X2 was what rekindled my love of X-Men a few years ago, and in the span of about a year and a half, I’ve been able to watch it a good 5 times, and it will never. Get. Old.

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All of the Star Wars movies (minus The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, you know what you’ve done…) 

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Star Wars. Need I really say any more?

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Today’s song:

I’d already heard a few songs off of Strange Mercy before, but I downloaded the rest of the album a few days ago, and I am STUNNED by how phenomenal it is.

 

So what’s your comfort food? What books, comics, films, and more will you never be able to stop re-reading/watching? Let me know down in the comments! 

That just about wraps up this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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