Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: August 31–September 6, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

With the second week of school now under my belt, I’ve started to get used the schedule. Of course, our school has the option of either hybrid (online and in-person) or 100% online, and everybody’s going to hybrid next week, so the schedule’s changing yet again…whee…

But this week has been alright. I have now inherited the role of the president of my school’s book club (!!!), so I’ve been trying to rope all of my bookish friends into joining now that all of the seniors have graduated. There’s a strange kind of power in moderating a google classroom…

My reading week hasn’t been *as* productive, but I went through my whole birthday book haul (I loved TRUEL1F3, but it just took me a while to read), and I loved them all! Expect lots of reviews soon 🙂 The same has been true of writing–I’ve been struggling with stretching out the plot a bit, but we’re nearly at 300 pages, so I suppose that’s a plus. I also went back to the library in-person for the first time, finished Devs [loud screaming], started Raised by Wolves, and later today, I’m going to the movies for the first time since February! (Safely, of course) I can’t wait to see Tenet!

devs hulu | Tumblr

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Burning Kingdoms (The Smoke Thieves, #3)–Sally Green (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

The Burning Kingdoms by Sally Green

A Song Below Water–Bethany C. Morrow (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: A Song Below Water: A Novel (9781250315328): Morrow, Bethany  C.: Books

TRUEL1F3 (Lifelike, #3)–Jay Kristoff (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

TRUEL1F3 (Truelife) by Jay Kristoff: 9781524714000 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Four Dead Queens–Astrid Scholte

Amazon.com: Four Dead Queens (9780525513926): Scholte, Astrid: Books

The Black Kids–Christina Hammonds Reed

The Black Kids | Book by Christina Hammonds Reed | Official Publisher Page  | Simon & Schuster

The Good Neighbors, vol. 1: Kin–Holly Black and Ted Naifeh

The Good Neighbors: Black, Holly, Naifeh, Ted: 9780439855655: Amazon.com:  Books

Raybearer–Jordan Ifueko

Amazon.com: Raybearer (9781419739828): Ifueko, Jordan: Books

The Spaceship Next Door–Gene Doucette

Amazon.com: The Spaceship Next Door (9781328567468): Doucette, Gene: Books

The Infinite Noise–Lauren Shippen

Amazon.com: The Infinite Noise: A Bright Sessions Novel (The Bright  Sessions Book 1) eBook: Shippen, Lauren: Kindle Store

Today’s song:

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

Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: Lyrics and Curses

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

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.

Enjoy this eARC review!

Lyrics & Curses (Cursed Hearts, #1) by Candace Robinson

Lyrics and Curses (Cursed Hearts, #1)–Candace Robinson

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?

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Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Filles Vertes Publishing for giving me this eARC in 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.

Legion Review: 9 Moments from the Premiere to Admire, Recap + ...

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.

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Me 50% of the way through trying to decide if I’d give this 3 or 2 stars

Expected release date: November 10, 2020

Since I’ve already posted once today, check out today’s Goodreads Monday for today’s song. (Not 80’s, sorry…)

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

Posted in Music

Me and Music Tag

Happy Friday, everyone!

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.

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Rules

  1. Link back to original so she can see your answers and listen to the tunes
  2. For every prompt you choose to do, name 1-5 songs (you can use my graphics)
  3. 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…)

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Ooh, lots to choose from…

“Beautiful Freak”–Eels: Aside from the Hellboy II nostalgia, I want this to play at my wedding. VERY badly.

“It’s Oh So Quiet”–Björk: Nostalgia! NOSTALGIA!

“Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space”–Spiritualized: I mean, what more could you add to a song other than a choir singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love”?

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“Shove It (feat. Spank Rock)”–Santigold: AAAAAAAAA

“Idioteque”–Radiohead: I just listened to all of Kid A the other day…OH MAN…

“Antmusic”–Adam & The Ants: CLASSIC.

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“While My Guitar Gently Weeps (cover)”–Regina Spektor (from “Kubo and the Two Strings”): There’s no way that anyone could come close to the mastery of The Beatles, but this cover always gives me chills.

“Cop Car”–Mitski (from “The Turning”): Honestly, I couldn’t care less about this movie, but man, they got some great artists to do the soundtrack…

“The Moon Song”–Ezra Koenig & Karen O. (from “Her“): Again, another movie that I haven’t even seen, but this song brings back such good memories.

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“I Think You’re Alright (Jay Som cover)”–Soccer Mommy: This song has the sweetest vibes…

“No Surprises”–Radiohead: [ahem] Excluding the subject matter, this one always makes me feel at peace.

Scott Street”–Phoebe Bridgers: Again, depressing subject matter, but beautiful.

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“Kooks”–David Bowie: I think one of my first memories is of being in the car as a baby and hearing the tail end of this song play.

Strange Love”–Karen O.: This was my favorite song for a while… 😭 It’s from one of my favorite childhood movies (Frankenweenie), and the lyric video TOOK ME BACK…

“Bad Believer”–St. Vincent: Unfortunately, I associate this song with middle school, but hey, it’s an awesome song.

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“Declare Independence”–Björk: If I actually took the time to listen to music while I “worked out,” this would be the perfect song.

(Also, I saw a video of her playing this live and saying something along the lines of “here’s a quiet little song to help you go to sleep :)” and then they just started BLARING THIS)

“Oh! You Pretty Things”–David Bowie: This one always motivates me to write. Also, it’s basically the theme song for the X-Men. Just saying.

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Hmmm, I listen to a fair amount of older music, so let’s see…

“Blowin’ in the Wind”-Bob Dylan: This one’s another one that I remember fondly from my childhood 🙂

“I’m So Tired”–The Beatles: I love most of The Beatles’ work, but this one is criminally underrated.

“Sympathy for the Devil”–The Rolling Stones: On an unrelated note, my brother and I tried slowing this one down in iMovie as a joke, and Mick Jagger sounded ABSOLUTELY CURSED IN THE BEGINNING

IT WAS GREAT

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Oh boy, I listen to a LOT of depressing music…I’ve been thinking about making a post about it, but we’ll see…

No Conclusion”–of Montreal: PLEASE, I AM BEGGING YOU, ONLY LISTEN TO THIS ONE IF YOU’RE IN A GOOD MOOD. 10 SOLID MINUTES OF DEPRESSION.

“Class of 2013”–Mitski: mAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

“Street Spirit (Fade Out)”–Radiohead: I mean, most of their catalog is incredibly depressing, but this is one of their saddest, in my opinion.

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“Dedicated to the One I Love”–The Mamas & The Papas: I’m quite a few decades late on this bandwagon, but a friend of mine recommended this one to me, and I adore it.

“Rabbit Habits”–Man Man: Another one that I had on repeat a week or two ago…

“Cool Waves”–Spiritualized: I went on a huge Spiritualized kick about two weeks ago, and I haven’t completely recovered…

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“Impostor Syndrome”–Sidney Gish: All of her songs are so well-written…

“Nervous Young Inhumans”–Car Seat Headrest: [screams] “EARLIER IN THE SONG I USED THE TERM ‘GALVANISTIC’…”

“Anytime”–Snail Mail: Some of the most well-written sadness I’ve ever come across.

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“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™️)

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“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.

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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!

Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (4/20/20)–Uglies

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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.

This one’s been on my TBR for quite a long time, and it seems like a classic YA dystopia, right when the subgenre was just getting started. It should be entertaining, if nothing else.

 

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (4/20/20)–UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld | Scholastic

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world– and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever…

 

So why do I want to read this? 

I’m not super compelled by this one, but hey–classic YA dystopia. I think Uglies came along even before The Hunger Games and Divergent and such, so it might even be one of the series that kickstarted the subgenre. Now, I see the kind of plot everywhere, but it’ll be interesting to see where it all seemed to sprout from. If anything, it’ll be entertaining–nothing super meaty or anything, lots of thinly veiled metaphors and whatnot. My expectations are lowish, but I think Uglies could be fun. It was probably pretty groundbreaking for its time, as with the aforementioned titles.

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I think Uglies, along with the other three books, are available on the Kindle library, so I might have something to binge after the other few books I have lined up to read. I dunno.

 

Today’s song:

 

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

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Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (3/9/20)–Kiss Me in New York

goodreads monday header.jpeg

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 don’t give realistic fiction as much love on here, so I figured that I’d change things up a little bit this week. I’d forgotten about this one’s existence, and it seems like a light, fluffy holiday read. I mean, it’s a Christmasy book, but nobody really cares that it’s March, right? Right?

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Let’s begin, shall we?

 

GOODREADS MONDAY (3/9/20)–KISS ME IN NEW YORK by Catherine Rider 

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

It’s Christmas Eve at JFK in NYC.

Charlotte is a British student, waiting for a flight home after the worst semester of her life. Anthony is a native New Yorker, surprising his girlfriend at the airport after three months apart. Charlotte has just been dumped, and Anthony is about to be dumped, right in the middle of the holiday crowd.

Charlotte’s flight is canceled when a blizzard blows in, and Anthony can’t bear to go home. So, they set out into the city together, clutching a book Charlotte picks up in the airport gift shop: Ten Easy Steps for Getting Over Your Ex. For this one night, they’ll focus on healing their broken hearts … together.

Step-by-step, the two struggle to put the past behind them. But the snow is so enchanting, and the holiday lights are so beguiling, that soon their shared misery gives way to something else. Soon, they’re not only over their exes — they’re falling for each other.

Then a subway ride splits them up by mistake. Will they reunite before Charlotte’s flight leaves New York forever?

 

So why do I want to read this? 

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I’ll have to save this one for when I’m actually in the Christmas spirit, but it seems like a super cute holiday romance, something to bring a little light, love, and levity into my life. And even though I’m opposed to the trope of girls discovering themselves with the “necessary” aid of a man, this doesn’t quite seem to be the case. Plus, the “ten easy steps for getting over your ex” seems pretty funny, if you ask me.

 

Today’s song:

This one’s been stuck in my head for…almost a week straight? Classic.

 

That just about wraps up this week’s Goodreads Monday! Stay tuned for more content later in the week! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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