Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (6/27/20)–Books with Morally Grey Characters 🌫

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

Time for another Top 5 Saturday! This was originally started by Devouring Books, and it sounded like such a fun post to take part in. Today’s topic is books that have morally gray characters. This one was a bit harder than the rest–I’m trawling my brain for all the antihero-ish books I can think of…

UPCOMING SCHEDULE: 

6/6/20 — Books Set Near/On the Sea

6/13/20 — Books with One Word Titles

6/20/20 — Books You’d Give a Second Chance

6/27/20 —  Books with Morally Grey Characters

Rules!

  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post (This one!)
  • Tag 5 people

Let’s begin, shall we?

TOP 5 SATURDAY (6/27/20)–BOOKS WITH MORALLY GREY CHARACTERS

The Young Elites, Marie Lu

The Young Elites (Young Elites Series #1) by Marie Lu, Paperback ...

My favorite of Marie Lu’s works has morally gray all over the place…and maybe not so gray in many others…

Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein

Stranger in a Strange Land: Heinlein, Robert A.: 9781442005839 ...

There’s always the possibility for moral grayness when you’ve got a naïve extraterrestrial who has powers beyond imagining, but has no idea of the consequences…(oh, and goes and forms his own religion, as one does…[ahem])

Scythe, Neal Shusterman

Scythe (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition) (Arc of a Scythe ...

Now THIS series is just CRAWLING with moral grayness…part of what makes it such a memorable series, really. Scythe truly makes you think.

The Final Six, Alexandra Monir

The Final Six | Alexandra Monir

The morally gray aspects are more expanded on book 2, but The Final Six certainly has a prominent, well-done series of subplot that explores the motives of the different parties involved.

One Giant Leap (Dare Mighty Things, #2), Heather Kaczynski

Amazon.com: One Giant Leap (9780062479907): Kaczynski, Heather: Books

As with The Final Six, there’s a significant exploration of moral grayness in book 2 (here); it’s one of the highlights of the book for me–it encourages the reader to think about the different sides of war, and whether or not there is truly a “good”/”bad” side, and that there may be neither hero or villain in the conflict.

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

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Today’s song:

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

Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Totally Should’ve Book Tag

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Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

I found this tag over at Bookidote, and the tag was originally created by Emmmabooks. I was browsing tags to give a go, and decided that this one looked liked a lot of fun! Let’s begin, shall we?

1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel

Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury

Man, I’m still so sad that Last of Her Name  was a standalone…though the ending was certainly satisfying and was wrapped up very nicely, the worldbuilding had SO much potential, and I would’ve loved to delve into it again.

2. Totally should’ve had a spin off series

Amazon.com: A Conspiracy of Stars (Whitecoat's Daughter ...

Man, this was a surprisingly hard question…

I mean, technically, the series isn’t *quite* finished, but I’d totally be on board for some more bizarre, alien adventures in the world of A Conspiracy of Stars

3. An author who totally should write more books

Amazon.com: Like a Love Story (9780062839367): Nazemian, Abdi: Books

Abdi Nazemian, without question. I mean, it’s only been a year(ish) since Like a Love Story hit the shelves, but I need some more of that wonderfully human writing, STAT.

 

4. A character who totally should’ve ended up with someone else

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

I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again: JULIETTE 👏 SHOULD 👏 NOT 👏 HAVE 👏 ENDED 👏 UP 👏 WITH 👏 WARNER 👏

It’s not like Adam was a much better choice, but Warner was such a manipulative, domineering creep, and I’m still so baffled at the fact that people…like him? And like him and Juliette together? Ew. Just no.

5. Totally should’ve ended differently

Amazon.com: I Hope You Get This Message eBook: Rishi, Farah Naz ...

I just finished up I Hope You Get This Message last night, and I must say, for a novel with such a lofty premise, the ending felt so haphazard and last minute. There was so much potential for the ending, something emotional, something human, something like that scene in Rogue One where Jyn and Cassian share a final hug before Scarif exploded…something like THAT, I don’t know. It just felt so blown-off and left to the last minute.

6. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

The decision to put Stranger in a Strange Land here is mostly because of the knowledge that they almost made it into a movie in the early 70’s, and DAVID BOWIE was going to be cast as Valentine Michael Smith. ZIGGY ERA BOWIE.

But even beyond that, this novel has the potential to be a revived, cinematic masterpiece, something as tender and thought-provoking as the novel itself.

7. Totally should’ve had a TV show

Amazon.com: The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace) (9781481442725 ...

The slow-burn, dystopian format of The Scorpion Rules would be perfect for a TV series, from the unique and diverse cast of characters to the action and buildup.

8. Totally should’ve had only one point of view

Half Bad: Sally Green: 8601300121086: Amazon.com: Books

For Half Badthe problem wasn’t so much POV, but it switched between Nathan’s normal perspective and random tidbits of 2nd person. Brave of Green to try 2nd person for her debut novel, but I’m sad to say that it didn’t quite work out.

9. Totally should have a cover change

Prince of Shadows: A Novel of Romeo and Juliet: Caine, Rachel ...

Prince of Shadows was decent enough, but the cover gave off some uncomfortably bodice-ripper energy…I was kind of embarrassed to carry it around while I was reading it 🤣

10. Totally should’ve kept the original covers

Skyward (Skyward, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Though this wasn’t the edition I checked out at the library, I like this cover of Skyward a lot better. I’m a sucker for Charlie Bowater’s book covers, but this seemed to fit the feel of the novel a little more, and the almost monochromatic color scheme is incredibly pleasing to me, personally. Granted, I didn’t like Skyward all that much (2 stars for me), but these covers are still wonderful.

 

11. Totally should’ve stopped at book one

Amazon.com: Carry On (Simon Snow Series) (9781250135025): Rowell ...

As much as I love Carry OnRainbow Rowell, and the eternally charming Simon and Baz, I think their story could have stopped here. After Wayward Son‘s cop-out of a cliffhanger, it just seems that the series is being uneccessarily perpetuated beyond its limits. Don’t get me wrong–Carry On is one of my favorite books, but I’d liked for it to have stayed a standalone.

 

If you want to see today’s song, click here, since I’ve already posted once today. 🙂

 

I tag anyone who wants to participate! 

Cat Fun GIF by Ivo Adventures - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Dreamy Book Covers Book Tag

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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…

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Rules:

1. Thank the lovely person who tagged you, spread the love!

2. Mention Tiana @ The Book Raven as the creator of this book tag

3. Use the original tag image in your post. (However, feel free to add whatever other graphics your heart desires)

4. Tag at least 1 fellow blogger for this tag

5. List the rules

 

Here we go…

 

“NO IDEAS BUT IN THINGS”: A Book Cover that Perfectly Expresses the Novel Inside of It

Amazon.com: The Hazel Wood: A Novel (9781250297327): Albert ...

The Hazel Wood‘s cover is filled to the brim with gorgeous little fairytale Easter eggs, all of which eventually turn up somewhere in the book!

“SUGARY SWEET”: A Cute Cover that is So Fluffy You Want to Give it a Hug

Amazon.com: I Wish You All the Best (9781338306125): Deaver, Mason ...

The cover for I Wish You All the Best is so lovely on so many levels…GIVE THEM HUGS

GIF: Hugs! by Cindy Suen on Dribbble

 

“THE SIMPLE AESTHETIC”: A Book that Stuns with the Most Minimalistic of Designs

 

Stranger in a Strange Land (Penguin Galaxy) (Hardcover) | Sandman ...

There’s several different editions of Stranger in a Strange Land out there, but this is the one that I borrowed at the library. The letters were shiny, too…isn’t it just so pretty?

You are pretty GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

 

“COVER ENVY”:  A Book Cover that You Wish You Had on your Shelf, but Don’t

Amazon.com: The Final Six (9780062658944): Monir, Alexandra: Books

The Final Six is 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

White Rose: Wilson, Kip: 9781328594433: Amazon.com: Books

The cover doesn’t necessarily show it, but White Rose is set in World War II-era Germany.

 

“THE COLOR WHEEL”: A Book Cover that Showcases One of Your Favorite Colors

Even the Darkest Stars : Heather Fawcett : 9780062463395

Teal and turquoise are my favorite colors, and the cover of Even the Darkest Stars is dominated by both, luckily for me!

 

“SWITCHING GEARS”: A Cover Change you Absolutely Adore

Amazon.com: Carry On (Simon Snow Series) (9781250135025): Rowell ...

I think they switched the Carry On cover 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? 

Oh man…

Amazon.com: The Hazel Wood: A Novel (9781250297327): Albert ...

I think I’m gonna have to go with The Hazel Wood! 

 

I TAG: 

You guys have fun GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

 

Today’s song:

(Guess who put on her Nostalgia playlist…)

 

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

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books, Music

Book Review Tuesday (1/28/20)-Stranger in a Strange Land

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Happy Tuesday, earthlings!

After Ray Bradbury opened my eyes to the vast world that is older sci-fi, I began receiving more and more similar recommendations on Goodreads. This one, in particular, caught my eye–mostly because of the beautiful cover art, not gonna lie, but what I found inside its pages was so much more. Though dense at times, and not without its flaws, but an incredible feat of literature nonetheless.

Enjoy this week’s review!

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Stranger in a Strange Land

Valentine Michael Smith is a newcomer to planet Earth, the famed Man from Mars that has recently captured the public imagination. Curious–and a bit afraid–of what this strange planet has in store for him, he ventures out into the vast world, with the help of  Jill, the nurse who broke him out of the hospital. The more Valentine learns, the more he realizes how different he truly is–though he looks like a human on the outside, he possesses powers far beyond human ability. Powers that could put his life–and the lives of those he holds dear–in jeopardy.

 

WHEW. Man, what a unique book!

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The further you read, the more you realize the level of care that Heinlein put into this piece. Every detail, from the political ramifications of Valentine’s existence, to his native Martian customs, is so wonderfully complex. Of course, that did lend itself to an impressive amount of info-dumping, which made reading some portions of the book a bit of a headache, but hey, at least the guy’s taking the time to think all of this out.

Even almost 60 years on, much of the book still holds up. Definitely not all of it–we’ve still got a heady dose of problematic sexism and such peppered in, but hey, I wouldn’t exactly expect a white guy in the early sixties to be the wokest author on the market, not by a long shot. Not that this makes it okay, but I wasn’t exactly expecting a feminist work from this. But other than that, the writing, the lovely imagery, and the startlingly realistic public backlash to the very existence of the Man from Mars speaks to many of our issues regarding xenophobia today. Even the absolutely scathing commentary on organized religion found within the pages–I mean, the main branch of Christianity that’s evolved in this future world sounds like a religious version of a high school assembly–doesn’t seem far off from what could evolve in the near future.

And beyond that, I’ve always empathized with alien characters. I’ve felt like something of an outsider my whole life, and part of me felt such pain for poor Valentine. Mostly in the first half of the book, at any rate, but nonetheless.

All in all, a solid four and a half stars for me. 

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Before I go, here’s a fun fact: according to John O’Connell’s Bowie’s Bookshelf: The Hundred Books that Changed David Bowie’s Lifethere was almost an adaptation of Stranger in a Strange Land in the early seventies, with David Bowie as Valentine Michael Smith. And by Bowie, I mean ZIGGY ERA BOWIE.

ZIGGY ERA.

I WOULD’VE WATCHED THE EVER-LOVING HECK OUTTA THAT, LET ME TELL YOU…

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aaaAAAaAAAaAAAAaaAAAAAAAA

 

Today’s song:

4:49–4:54: TURN YOUR VOLUME DOWN A BIT JUST A WORD OF ADVICE

 

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

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Posted in Books, Music, Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: January 13-19, 2020

Happy Sunday, everyone!

I’ve had a slowish reading week, and an even slower school week, but I’m recovering now, thanks to a three-day weekend, with a dash of patriarchy smashing thanks to the Womxn’s March. But even though I didn’t read *as* much, most of what I read, I really enjoyed. (Mostly due to Stranger in a Strange Land, which was a lovely and extremely well thought out novel, but incredibly dense.)

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Stranger in a Strange Land–Robert A. Heinlein (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

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Sing Down the Stars–L.J. Hatton (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

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Zenn Scarlett–Christian Schoon (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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POSTS AND SUCH:

 

SONGS:

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Eliza and Her Monsters–Francesca Zappia

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Blue Monday, vol. 1: The Kids Are Alright–Chynna Clugston Flores

Image result for blue monday chynna clugston flores

 

The Night Country (The Hazel Wood, #2)–Melissa Albert

Image result for the night country melissa albert

 

Today’s song:

This is the only song that I’ve really loved off of UR FUN so far (haven’t listened to the whole album yet). of Montreal’s definitely going in a very different direction…not sure if I like it, but this is a cute song. 🙂

 

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

thank you for reading.jpg

Posted in Books, Music, Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: January 6–January 12, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

Yeesh…what a week. I’ve successfully gotten through my first week back to school, but of course, the universe decided that it would be the perfect week to hammer me with random illnesses. [loudly destroys tissues] I’m on the mend now, but…ew, sheesh…

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That’s why I’ve been a bit sluggish this week, so I’ll try to be a tad less lethargic in the coming weeks, Honors Bio schedule permitting. But hey, you know what this week also brought? The decade’s first book and comic haul!

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

B.P.R.D., Vol. 2: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories (re-read)–Mike Mignola  (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Half Bad–Sally Green (⭐️⭐️)

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Rebel (Legend, #4)–Marie Lu (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

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BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams–Mike & Laura Allred, Steve Horton 

(⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Image result for bowie stardust rayguns & moonage daydreams

 

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft–Stephen King (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

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POSTS AND SUCH:

 

SONGS:

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

(based on my library haul)

Stranger in a Strange Land-Robert A. Heinlein

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Zenn Scarlett-Christian Schoon

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Eliza and Her Monsters-Francesca Zappia

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Sing Down the Stars-L.J. Hatton

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Blue Monday, Vol. 1: The Kids Are Alright-Chynna Clugston Flores

Image result for blue monday chynna clugston flores

 

Today’s song:

 

 

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

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