Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! Hope this week has treated you well.
Whew, it’s definitely been an eventful week—good and bad. On the bright side, I went shopping for a bunch of stuff for my dorm room, and I had a lot of fun!! I also went to jury duty for the first time (nerve-wracking, to say the least), and I went on a hike on Friday…and we got charged at by a moose calf. Welcome to Colorado. (Don’t worry—it swerved into the woods as soon as it saw us lol)
As far as reading went, I’ve had tons of fun reading in the hammock, and most of what I’ve read has been decent, at least, save for one unfortunate DNF (as much as I enjoyed Gideon the Ninth, Harrow the Ninth was way more convoluted than necessary and just ended up being a chore to read). I got some more great books at the library, and they all look promising. And Camp NaNoWriMo started later this week, so I’ve been chugging along through my newest WIP!
Other than that, I’ve just been drawing, getting caught in the rain, listening to a bit too much Peter Gabriel, and watching the last two episodes of Stranger Things (NO SPOILERS PLEASE I’M WATCHING THE LAST EPISODE TONIGHT)
It’s finally summer and 2022 is already a little over halfway gone…HOW?
June was a great start to my break; I took a trip to California (Yosemite and then San Francisco) early in the month, and I had so much fun! Once I got back, there was still a ton of stuff to do in preparation for college this August (AAAAAAAAA), so I’ve been slowly chugging away at that. Had my first jury duty summons yesterday, too…nerve-wracking, to say the least. And I’ve been sad and furious at the U.S. government (well…more than usual) for the past week. But even amidst that, I’ve really enjoyed the past few weeks. Summer is one of my favorite times of the year, and the weather is finally warm enough here that I can go outside and read in my hammock. Bliss.
After school let out, I’ve had so much more time to read as well! I focused on LGBTQ+ books this month, and I found some great reads. My brother also lent me his Fantastic Four comics (after we saw Multiverse of Madness and he realized that I hadn’t read them), so I had a lot of fun with those too. As far as writing goes, I’ve been polishing my outline for my Camp NaNoWriMo project, and I’m so excited to get writing again!! Soon…
Other than that, I’ve just been watching the new season of Stranger Things (my least favorite season so far, but I am F R I G H T E N E D for vol. 2), Jurassic World: Dominion (came anticipating no plot, only dinosaurs, but there were…very few dinosaurs ), and the new season of The Umbrella Academy (I’m only halfway through, no spoilers!!!), listening to too much Spoon, T. Rex, and Soccer Mommy, and making an excessive amount of playlists.
READING AND BLOGGING:
I read 20 books this month! Summer has given me a lot more time to read, and I am all the better for it.
Music references. I’ve grown up in a family of music nerds, and it’s been a passion of mine for almost my whole life–almost as fervent as my love of books. So you can imagine my joy to find a paranormal romance eARC that promised lots of them. But though I liked that aspect of the novel, most of it didn’t click with me.
1985. Lark Espinoza longs for an escape–from her stepmother, her popular sister, and her town where nothing seems to happen. But when a mysterious, cloaked stranger appears in her workplace, she knows something’s amiss–but even more so when she realizes that no one else can seem to see him.
It turns out she isn’t the only one. Auden Ellis, the boy Lark shares notes filled with song lyrics with, has also had an unexplainable experience–out of nowhere, he sees a stranger playing a flute that nobody can see–except for him and Lark. Auden and Lark sense that there’s a link between these unexplainable events–but would could they possibly mean?
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Filles Vertes Publishing for giving me this eARCin exchange for an honest review!
For a while, I was teetering between a 3 star and a 2 star rating. The second half of the book pushed it towards the 2 star end, sadly. The Goodreads blurb pegs it as Pretty in Pink meets Stranger Things–both of which I love–but Lyrics and Curses felt weak in most respects. (Also, I…really don’t see the Pretty in Pink part? Maybe that’s just me, but…)
Let’s start off with what I liked. I loved Auden and Lark’s friendship/almost relationship, even though the latter felt forced and rushed towards the end of the novel. Their shared bonding over music was something I related to, and plus, they (I mean, I guess I should be saying Candace Robinson) had great taste. Jumping off of that, I LOVED the music references–David Bowie, Talking Heads, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Depeche Mode, Queen, all the good stuff. There’s a clear love of all things 80’s, and it really shines through in Lyrics and Curses.
But that’s where the good aspects ended for me. Speaking of said music references…I loved them, but most of the time, much of the 80’s references felt more like namedropping, like the author was just sprinkling them in to say “OH, and DID I MENTION that this is the 80’S?!? Would you look at THAT!!! 80’S!!!!!!1!!!” The more that were piled on, the more tired and forced the setting of the novel felt. Don’t get me wrong–I’m a big fan of most 80’s content as well, but some of the references only ended up dragging the novel down, and making the historic setting less genuine.
Aside from that, the plot generally felt weak. The paranormal aspect was barely touched on until the second half of the book, and even then, it felt like there weren’t any high stakes for the characters–at least until…maybe the last 90% of the book? I wasn’t invested in Lark and Auden’s journey, and the paranormal aspect was only mildly gripping. As a result, the last half of the book felt incredibly rushed, and I ended up skimming the last 75% or so. After Lark and Auden realize the source of these paranormal occurrences, the book got *slightly* more interesting, but by that time, the book was nearly over, and there wasn’t too much time to touch on it further. I suppose that’s what a sequel is for, but I still felt that most of the beginning could have been cut out, and the paranormal aspects of the plot been expanded upon more.
All in all, a novel that showcases a nostalgic love of music and the 1980’s, but fails to deliver on most other aspects. 2 stars.
Now that I’ve been on Edelweiss for a little longer now, I’m starting to request and receive more eARCs. Of course, I’ve gotten declined…[ahem] several times (I found out that I got declined 4 all at once yesterday, whee…), but I have a couple more that I’ll be reviewing soon.
I hadn’t heard of this novel before Edelweiss, and it sounded fascinating. Not only did it seem an interesting blend of the paranormal and an almost slice-of-life story in New Mexico, it features mostly Native American characters, who, even though YA has made great leaps in terms of diversity, I still don’t often see in literature today. Though it had some slips and falls, Dreamwalkers was ultimately a decent and fun novel.
Vivian Night Hawk leads a quiet life in New Mexico, juggling her job at her mother’s shop and taking care of her genius little brother Brian. But when she inherits a jacket that belonged to her father, who went M.I.A. when she was young, she discovers a hidden ability–the ability to dream-walk, and control and traverse through her dreams and the dreams of others.
Vivian’s newfound power comes with a price–a newcomer to her quiet, New Mexico town may not be who he says he is, and her brother, targeted for his unusual intellect, may be in grave danger. Will she be able to save her brother before her world becomes a nightmare?
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and FillesVertes Publishing for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!
Overall, Dreamwalkers, though it certainly wasn’t without its flaws, was an interesting novel! Sort of a Stranger Things meets Inception kind of deal, and for the most part, it was fairly well-executed.
Dreamwalkers had all of the interesting elements of a paranormal sci-fi story: strange abilities, secret government programs, a bit of romance, and not to mention, a genius/comic relief sibling. Such intrigue was my favorite part of the novel–though some of it was predictable from the start, it was perfect, paranormal fun.
That being said, I felt like Rush might have played it a little safe in terms of the dreamwalking aspect of the story. There’s infinite possibilities with controlling/traveling in other people’s dreams, but the book didn’t stray quite beyond sort of normal dreams, and resurfaced childhood memories.
Additionally I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing or the dialogue. Though it had its moments of being funny/well-written, I didn’t get attached to many of the characters, and as a result, I wasn’t as invested in the story. Most of the writing was similarly flat, and at times, a bit cliched. The sibling banter between Vivian and Brian was funny, at least, and I thought Brian was kind of adorable, but other than that, those aspects were a bit weaker.
Overall, a decent paranormal novel with great Native American representation and an interesting set of concepts, but that fell flat in a few places. 3 stars!
Release date: October 6, 2020
(This one gives me some serious nostalgia…)
That’s it for this eARC review! 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!
He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.
Who are the Sawkill Girls?
Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.
Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.
Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.
Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.
Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.
So why do I want to read this?
I’ve been an on-and-off fan of Clare Legrand’s for a while; I loved Some Kind of Happiness (read my review here) and The Year of Shadows, though I wasn’t crazy about Foxheart. I figured that Clare Legrand’s creepy prose would be absolutely haunting in a YA format, so naturally, I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. It’s had the dreaded ‘All Copies in Use’ marker on my library’s website for months [single tear slides down cheek], so I haven’t been able to read it. Hopefully my luck will change soon.
I’ve also heard Sawkill Girls compared to Stranger Things, which is one of my FAVORITE SHOWS, so I’m really hoping this one won’t disappoint.
Thank you so much for reading this! Have a great rest of your Monday, and I’ll see you tomorrow for Book Review Tuesday…and S P O O K Y T I M E 🎃
Hey there, fellow bookworms, and welcome to this week’s BRT!
I read this book a few weeks ago at the library, and it was really interesting-it reminded me a lot of Stranger Things! So I’d definitely recommend it for all ST fans. Here’s your review!
The Secret Hour
When Jessica Day moves to the small town of Bixby, Oklahoma, she expects it to be like any other small town, where nothing ever happens. But what she thinks is far from the truth. One midnight, she wakes up, and sees raindrops, in what looks like suspended animation, frozen in the sky. Jess thinks it’s all a dream, but she’s wrong-in Bixby, times stops for one hour each night. And she’s one of the few people who can experience this “secret hour”. Soon, she finds more like her, and soon discovers that the Secret Hour is when the Darklings come out, eager for human flesh. And now it’s up to her and her fellow Midnighters to stop them.
I thought this book was really interesting and well-written. Like I said, a lot like Stanger Things-sometimes, I half expected a demogorgon to jump out of a bush or something! That would have been hilarious…
Anyway, have a great rest of your day, and watch out for the demogorgons-AHEM-sorry, Darklings while you’re at it!
Hey everyone, and Happy Independence Day for those of you in America! (MURCA! EAGLES! FORDS! GUNS! BEER! Okay, I’ll stop now…)
Sorry about last week, but hopefully the Meme school video tided you guys over. This is the first BRT of July 2017, so here you guys go!
The Doom Machine
Vern Hollow, New York, 1956. Jack Creedle leads an ordinary life as a paperboy, living with his uncle Bud, who repairs cars. Or so it seems…
Bud Creedle is hiding a secret-he’s constructed a time machine (that looks mysteriously like an ordinary refrigerator), and that time machine attracted the attention of aliens. The Skreeps-9 foot tall, alien spiders, to be exact. And they want the machine for themselves. In an instant, Jack’s world is turned upside down as he, along with Isadora Shumway, the daughter of a scientist, and Bud, along with four others, are whisked off on a crazy adventure across the universe*. Can they keep the time machine from the aliens?
The Doom Machine was a really great read. I’d probably recommend it for Star Wars fans, or really anyone else who loves a fun, fast-paced sci-fi novel. Love!
Now, as promised, here are my pictures from the Denver Comic-Con on Saturday!
Here’s my cosplay-Eleven from Stranger Things! (SPOILER-this will also be my Halloween costume!)
Close-up. My mom used some lipstick for the nosebleed. 😄
There were a bunch of awesome and hilarious El cosplays this time, which were very enjoyable. They (myself included) were probably all attracted to the holy presence of…
…the great MILLIE BOBBY BROWN (Eleven from Stranger Things)!!!!! I got to take a brief picture with her! She was so nice, and it was such an honor to meet her! SQUEE!
I hope you guys have a great day and a great rest of your week! Happy fourth!