Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (8/1/20)–Enemies to Lovers 💘

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles, and happy August! [happy Leo noises]

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 enemies-to-lovers romance, otherwise known as my FAVORITE romantic trope…

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR AUGUST: 

8/1/20—Enemies to Lovers

8/8/20—Underrated Books/Hidden Gems

8/15/20—Recommended Reads

8/22/20—YA Books

8/29/20—Detective 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?

TOP 5 SATURDAY (8/1/20)–ENEMIES TO LOVERS

Carry On (Simon Snow, #1), Rainbow Rowell

Amazon.com: Carry On (Simon Snow Series (1)) (9781250135025 ...

THIS….now THIS is the PINNACLE of enemies-to-lovers…

Crier’s War, Nina Varela

Amazon.com: Crier's War (9780062823946): Varela, Nina: Books

I can’t wait for book 2 to come out! Only about a month…

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1), Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Amazon.com: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499117): Amie ...

Does this count? It’s…lovers to enemies to lovers? I would think it would count…¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Serpent & Dove, Shelby Mahurin

Amazon.com: Serpent & Dove (9780062878021): Mahurin, Shelby: Books

I LOVE Lou and Reid’s relationship, and I’m excited to see what awaits them in book 2!

The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles, #1), Laurie Forest

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

Elloren and Yvan’s romance felt forced at first, but the pairing’s started to grow on me. I’m currently reading The Shadow Wand, so things have most definitely gotten interesting…

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 Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (7/14/20)–The Iron Flower (The Black Witch Chronicles, #2)

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Ever since I read The Black Witch back in May, I’ve been ITCHING to read the sequel. Of course, it wasn’t available on the Kindle library (*sniffle*), but now that my local library has started curbside appointments, I was able to get back into the library haul routine–and pick up a few sequels and anticipated books, including this one! And I must say, The Iron Flower did not disappoint in the least!

Enjoy this week’s review!

WARNING: This review may contain spoilers for book 1, The Black Witch, so proceed with caution! If you’d like to read my review of book 1, click here!

The Iron Flower ARC – Laurie Forest | The YA Drama Llama

The Iron Flower (The Black Witch Chronicles, #2)–Laurie Forest

Sort of a photoshoot ft. my library copy and a very nice cup of tea

The veneer has been lifted from Elloren’s cushioned life, and now, she is neck-deep in the Resistance, hoping to restore peace and equality to the magical races of Erthia. High Priest Vogel has won the election, and now he rules with an iron fist, stealing massive swaths of land and bringing racial tensions to a fever pitch. Elloren and her friends are caught in a grand search for peace, trying to find solace for the ones that the Gardnerian government targets most, and rescue others from a fate worse than death. And Lukas Grey, the new commander of the Gardnerian army and the boy who her aunt wishes to Wandfast her to, has grown closer still, but Elloren is pulled away by Yvan, an enemy-turned-ally and a staunch member of the resistance. Both seem to awaken something in her–something that hints that she may not be as powerless as she has been led to believe.

Can Elloren and the Resistance protect themselves–and the world they seek to restore to harmony?

“Mage Council Ruling #271: Smuggling Selkies or spirits across the Gardnerian border shall be grounds for imprisonment.”

[“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” theme blaring]

It’s Always Sunny at Verpax University?

[ahem] just thought of that while reading the book, don’t mind me

Rejoice, folks–The Iron Flower doesn’t fall into the trap of disappointing-middle-book-syndrome. On the contrary: it’s a truly worthy successor to book 1, with all of the elements that made The Black Witch so powerful still present and just as lushly beautiful!

Now that Elloren has shed much of her idiotic prejudice, she’s a far more enjoyable protagonist, and a worthy member of the Resistance. Though she still wasn’t my favorite character, her struggles were now far more palpable, and watching her heart turn kinder was character development at its finest. Most of our show-stealing cast was back and better than ever; though some of the characters had a reduced role after The Black Witch (ex. Aislinn, Wynter, etc.), I adored being back with Elloren, Tierney, Diana, and all the rest. At times, there were a few too many characters to keep track of, so some of them lacked attachment for me, but Laurie Forest still managed to create an incredibly strong cast with nearly impeccable chemistry. And I LOVED a few of the newer characters, especially Valasca and Marina. (We technically get introduced to the latter in book 1, but she has a much more prominent role in The Iron Flower.)

Another strong aspect was the political commentary. Book 2 has some even clearer parallels to the political climate today, making it all the more timely, and speaking to themes of racial equality, the senselessness of racism and xenophobia, and fighting back against the system. It’s certainly a very political novel (which I’m 110% happy about, honestly), and it serves to inspire others to make changes in their own communities. WELCOME TO THE RESISTANCE!

GIF Set: Rogue One Trailer #2 Rebellions are built on hope | Rogue ...

The one aspect I wasn’t a huge fan of was the romantic aspects. As much as I loved this novel, it sadly fell prey to what’s probably my least favorite trope in media…

…the dreaded love triangle.

The Path to Oadara — You can see how stern Jon is with her here ...

Even though Yvan grew on me in The Iron Flower, I still wasn’t a fan of the whole dynamic of Elloren bouncing between him and Lukas. There’s some nice forbidden love being set up, which I’m all for, but Lukas’ interference dragged parts of the story down. It’s certainly making the situation more complicated, which I appreciate, but I’m still just…eh.

But overall, I can overlook the love triangle for once. Forest truly gave her all in The Iron Flower, and it shows in the best way possible. From the worldbuilding to the plot twists to the political commentary, this novel is truly a worthy sequel, and a unique and timely fantasy novel. 4.25 stars!

Ras Al Ghul "impressive" Gif. by BM516 - Meme Center

The Iron Flower is the second book in Forest’s Black Witch Chronicles, preceded by The Black Witch (book 1), and succeeded by The Shadow Wand (book 3, 2020), The Demon Tide (book 4, 2021), and The Battle for Erthia (book 5, pub. date TBD). There are also two novellas, Wandfasted (0.5) and Light Mage (1.5). Book 3 just came out this June, so I am SO EXCITED to get my hands on it…

Today’s song:

Finding out that there’s a love triangle in book 2 like

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

Posted in Book Tags

Get to Know the Fantasy Reader Tag

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

I found this wonderful tag over at Brianna’s Books and Randomness. The tag was originally created by Bree Hill as the Get to Know the Romance Reader Tag, and The Book Pusher made it into the fantasy version here. Though I’m more of a sci-fi fan, fantasy was my first love as far as book genres, and I still love the genre today.

Let’s begin, shall we?

WHAT IS YOUR FANTASY ORIGIN STORY? (First fantasy novel you read)

The BFG by Roald Dahl | Scholastic

I can’t quite pinpoint the exact first fantasy book I read, but one of the first was most definitely The BFG. I have especially fond memories of reading this one. My brother gave me all of his Roald Dahl books a while back, and I’ve added to the collection and kept them all on my shelves ever since.

IF YOU COULD BE THE HERO/HEROINE IN A FANTASY NOVEL, WHO WOULD WRITE IT, AND WHAT IS ONE TROPE YOU WOULD INSIST ON BEING IN THE STORY?

Hmm…

I think I’d like to have Marie Lu write this fantasy story. Absolutely no guarantees of a happy ending, but her lush writing style and characters would ensure that there would never be a dull moment. As far as tropes, I’d definitely want some sort of misfit-filled, found family team kind of dynamic. As someone who’s had to do a lot of searching to find where I fit in, this trope/theme speaks to me quite a bit.

WHAT IS A FANTASY YOU’VE READ THIS YEAR THAT YOU WANT MORE PEOPLE TO READ?

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

Especially with what’s going on in the U.S. and elsewhere, The Black Witch is not only a lushly written novel, but one that explores themes of defying racism and xenophobia.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FANTASY SUBGENRE? WHAT SUBGENRE HAVE YOU NOT READ MUCH FROM?

I’m not sure if I have a favorite subgenre of fantasy, per se, but I enjoy reading paranormal fantasy, though there’s a plethora of books in that genre that have gone terribly awry. I suppose I haven’t read much high/epic fantasy, but I’ve enjoyed books like The Smoke Thieves, so maybe it’ll do me some good to read more of it.

WHO IS ONE OF YOUR AUTO-BUY FANTASY AUTHORS?

Though I’ve never actually bought any of her novels (I borrowed them from the library), Sarah Maria Griffin would definitely fit the bill. If she comes out with anything else soon…SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY…

HOW DO YOU TYPICALLY FIND FANTASY RECOMMENDATIONS? (Goodreads, YouTube, Podcasts, Instagram, etc.)

I usually find my recommendations by way of Goodreads, and sometimes from my fellow bloggers.

WHAT IS AN UPCOMING FANTASY RELEASE YOU’RE EXCITED FOR?

Amazon.com: The Burning Kingdoms (The Smoke Thieves ...

I am ECSTATIC to read The Burning Kingdoms! It comes out in late August of this year, and I requested an eARC of it on Edelweiss, so…🤞

WHAT IS ONE MISCONCEPTION ABOUT FANTASY YOU WOULD LIKE TO LAY AT REST?

I suppose I’d say that there isn’t much that makes a book fantasy/not fantasy. There’s really no limits to the genre–anything from supernatural occurrences to royal conflict can be considered fantasy, really. Each reader has their own definition, but in terms of content, it’s a fairly fluid genre.

 IF SOMEONE HAD NEVER READ A FANTASY BEFORE AND ASKED YOU TO RECOMMEND THE FIRST 3 BOOKS THAT COME TO MIND AS PLACES TO START, WHAT WOULD THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS BE?

Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo | Macmillan

First, I’d say Shadow and Bone, for its lush worldbuilding and unforgettable characters.

The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1) by Marie Lu

Second, I would highly recommend The Young Elites for the incredible writing, the gripping plot, and again–unforgettable characters. Can’t go wrong with Marie Lu.

Amazon.com: Three Dark Crowns (9780062385437): Blake, Kendare: Books

Last, I would recommend Three Dark Crowns for the complex plot and the gripping action and intrigue.

WHO IS THE MOST RECENT FANTASY READING CONTENT CREATOR THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHOUT OUT?

For this tag, I’d like to shout out Classy x Book Reviews! Though they read a variety of novels besides fantasy, I can always count on their reviews being sincere and in depth. 🙂

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

Friends Reading GIF by Sesame Street - Find & Share on GIPHY

Since I’ve already posted today, head over to today’s Goodreads Monday to see today’s song.

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

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (5/26/20)–The Black Witch

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Let me start off by saying that I regret not buying this book. It’s been on a front display in the YA Sci-fi/Fantasy section of my favorite bookstore, and I’ve almost bought it at least three times, but ultimately decided to pick up something else. One of my closest friends is a massive fan of this one, and so since it was available on the Kindle library, I decided to go ahead and read it, finally. And, as always, my friend has excellent taste in books, which is to say that The Black Witch truly stands out in the midst of the vast genre of YA fantasy with its spectacular worldbuilding and character development.

Enjoy this week’s review!

The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles, #1)

Elloren Gardner is used to a life of secrecy. As the granddaughter of the famed Black Witch, a legendary war hero, she was born with a target on her back, and so lives with her uncle in a secluded cottage in the forest.

But her secrecy could never last for long, and before long, she is swept off, along with her brothers, to the prestigious Verpax University. Forever dwelling in the shadow of her grandmother, Elloren soon learns that there are more than one side to the story–the ideals that her society taught her to covet, and the history she was brought up learning, are far more wrong than she could have ever imagined. But as an evil begins to mount on the horizon, she must grapple with her heritage and where her heart truly lies in order to pave her own destiny.

22 Stages You Have When Your Best Friend Is Getting Married
Sidenote, I can HEAR this gif…”AAAAAAAAA, GENE!”

First off, CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS WORLD-BUILDING? I talked about this a few weeks ago, but I remember when I first started reading The Black Witch, it was so well-written that I swore that I could smell fallen rain on the grass and trees outside Elloren’s cottage. It was such a good feeling. Heavenly. And beyond that, Forest clearly took so much care into creating such a rich, multilayered world. From the history of each magical race to the wars and political intrigue that have shaped it, there was so much attention to detail. Delving into the history–however horrific it was, at some points–was absolutely fascinating.

The Black Witch is certainly a very character-driven book, as opposed to a plot-driven one, which I had no problem with at all. I won’t sugar-coat this–I hated Elloren at first. And honestly, I believe it was the point. Her character development was what truly stood out in this novel. She goes from this overtly naïve, deeply (and I mean deeply) prejudiced in terms of the other magical races, but eventually realizes that all of the xenophobic lies that she’s grown up with are complete nonsense. There are certainly some very uncomfortable moments in the first part, in terms of the xenophobia/racism towards some of the other magical races, but in the end, it served to perpetuate a very timely theme–and that is that racism, xenophobia, homophobia, whatever kind of prejudice is a bundle of twisted lies. And in this time where such -phobias are being grossly perpetuated by political leaders and crazed internet zealots alike, it’s an incredibly timely theme.

Another aspect I enjoyed in The Black Witch was the multitude of show-stealing side characters. They were almost essential when Elloren was in her period of idiocy, and not only were they there to help spur on her character growth, but they were wonderful. Just wonderful. Diana, Ariel, Wynter–especially Wynter, I love her 🥺–were show-stealing in the best sense of the word.

One of the only aspects I wasn’t a fan of was the romance. I get it, I love enemies-to-lovers romance as much as the next person, but Elloren and Yvan felt far too forced and insta-love-y for me.

All in all, The Black Witch stands out in the world of YA fantasy, with detailed world-building, stellar character development, and a timely theme. 4.25 stars!

John Mulaney Yes GIF by Saturday Night Live - Find & Share on GIPHY

The Black Witch is the first in a series of 5 (!!!), continuing with The Iron Flower (2018), The Shadow Wand (coming in June 2020), The Demon Tide (2021), and The Battle for Erthia (TBD). There’s also two prequel novellas, Wandfasted and Light Mage. And, of course, book 2 isn’t available at my library…[single tear slides down cheek]

Today’s song:

My friend sent me this yesterday, and said it had my vibes…THIS IS THE SWEETEST SONG, I LOVE IT

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

Posted in Book Tags, Geeky Stuff

The X-Men: Apocalypse Book Tag

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

I found this tag over at G-Swizzel Books, who was also the creator of this tag. As I am a MASSIVE X-Men fan, I knew I had to take part in this tag at some point. X-Men: Apocalypse, although it isn’t the best of the X-Men movies, will always have a special place in my heart, as it was the first one that I got to see in theaters, and my first introduction to my favorite character, Nightcrawler.

Let’s begin, shall we?

MYSTIQUE: Name a female lead who is a strong and flawed character

GIF wcw x men apocalypse mystique - animated GIF on GIFER - by ...

Elloren from The Black Witch certainly has her fair share of flaws, but one of the most beautiful parts of the novel was watching her character development, and her growth into a formidable woman.

An Epic Fantasy Novel (The Black Witch Chronicles Book 1) eBook

CHARLES XAVIER: Name a character who is a good mentor/instructor

Professor X GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I immediately thought of Captain Siege from the Heart of Iron duology–intimidating, but still fair with all of her crew, and a mother figure of sorts for Ana and the rest.

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

QUICKSILVER: Name a fast-paced book that you read in one sitting

Quicksilver Running GIF by X-Men Movies - Find & Share on GIPHY

As was…expected, I tore through Aurora Burning in one sitting. I was just as enraptured as as I was with book 1, and then the ending had to destroy my feelings like that…

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

BEAST: Name a book you were intimidated by before you read it

X-Men Marvel GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Going into All Out of Pretty was fairly daunting, judging from the subject matter, but although it was an incredibly rough novel, it was still one that was completely worthwhile to read.

Review of All Out of Pretty (9781939547484) — Foreword Reviews

NIGHTCRAWLER: Name your favorite character that is a creature of the night (Werewolf, warlock, vampire, faerie, etc.)

ch:-peter-maximoff | Tumblr

Sidenote…MY BOY! MY FAVORITE MEMBER OF THE X-MEN!

When this part of the tag mentioned werewolves, I immediately thought of Remus Lupin from the Harry Potter series. All I’ll say is that he deserved so much better.

Épinglé sur harry potter humor, quotes and BTS

HAVOK: Name an underrated character that deserves more attention

x-men GIFs - Primo GIF - Latest Animated GIFs

After reading Aurora Burning, I’d have to say Zila Madran. I already liked her character, but now that we’ve gotten so much necessary backstory on her, I hope she’ll take a more central role in book three.

Zila Madran | The Aurora Cycle Wiki | Fandom

CYCLOPS: Name a character who struggles to control their power (could either be a superpower or a position of authority)

Cyclops GIFs | Cyclops x men, Cyclops, Gif

Zoey from Sawkill Girls is certainly a prime example, what with her powers showing up COMPLETELY without warning, poor thing. Plus, I had to sneak this in here because THEY MAKE AN X-MEN REFERENCE WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT TRIGGERING HER POWERS…which is the perfect segway into the next part of the tag…

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

JEAN GREY: Name a character who had a traumatic incident happen in their past

jean grey gif | Tumblr | Jean grey, Jean grey xmen, Jean grey phoenix

March from The Smoke Thieves certainly fits the bill, poor thing…I mean, to have his entire family slaughtered as a child most definitely had a major, negative impact on the rest of his life.

Amazon.com: The Smoke Thieves (9780425290217): Green, Sally: Books

THE FOUR HORSEMEN: Name four villains to create your ultimate villain squad that could potentially take this world apart

X Men Apocalypse GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Tear this world apart? Hmmm, I have a few ideas…

So basically, we’re doomed.

APOCALYPSE: A series finale that you’re dreading

Oscar Isaac Apocalypse GIF by X-Men Movies - Find & Share on GIPHY

As of now, it’s untitled and without a cover, but whatever the last book in the Aurora Cycle is, I do not think I’ll ever be emotionally prepared…

WOLVERINE: Name a side character who always steals the show

Wolverine GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I immediately thought of Ella from the Illuminae files. She’s easily my favorite character in the whole trilogy.

Amazon.com: Gemina (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499155): Kaufman ...

You are a member of the X-Men. What power from any fictional character would you have?

Either invisibility or teleportation. Or a mix of both. No one can see you, and you’d never be late for anything.

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

X Men Apocalypse GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Since I’ve already posted today, check out today’s Goodreads Monday for today’s song.

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

Posted in Book Tags, Books, Movies

Star Wars Book Tag (+ an update or two)

book tags header

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

sad beep

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!

thank you for reading sw.jpg

Posted in Book Tags, Books, Down the TBR Hole, Goodreads Monday, Random

Everything That I’ve Managed to Cross Off of Goodreads Monday/Down the TBR Hole/Assorted Book Tags, Part II

Hello again, bibliophiles!

Since I’ve had a bit more time on my hands in quarantine, I’ve had time to read plenty of books–several of which that I’ve posted about wanting to read in previous posts. This is my second of these posts; if you want to see the first one, click here. 🙂

1. Sawkill Girls, Claire Legrand 

Sawkill Girls - Claire Legrand - Hardcover

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Goodreads Monday (9/30/19)–Sawkill Girls):

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 Girlscompared to Stranger Things, which is one of my FAVORITE SHOWS, so I’m really hoping this one won’t disappoint.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

An absolutely unforgettable YA thriller–lushly written, spooky, and fiercely feminist!

Click here for my full review! 

2. The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library Novel): Cogman ...

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Goodreads Monday (4/13/20)–The Invisible Library):

Naturally, I’m drawn to stories about libraries.

Beyond that, I’m fascinated by the premise of fiction in alternate realities. There are infinite possibilities of what could be done and played within that vein, and I’m SO excited to see how it turns out! Adding onto that, the promise of rival organizations who want nothing more than one particular book…hmm, this could get interesting…

And what of alternate London? I’m glad the synopsis didn’t give much detail on what time period this London would be in, so I’m interested to see what Cogman’s vision of alternate realities–and fictions–end up looking like.

All in all, another reason why I want to enjoy The Invisible Library is that it’s SUCH A LONG SERIES. AND ALMOST ALL OF IT IS AVAILABLE ON THE KINDLE LIBRARY. Most of the books that I’ve checked out recently have been parts of a series, but their sequels haven’t been available, so I’m so glad that I might be able to have a lengthy series to binge! Of course, there’s the possibility of a story being perpetuated for an unnecessarily long time (there’s currently 7 books in the Invisible Library series), but I’m trying to push that from my mind. Fingers tightly crossed…

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT:

This book took the concept of alternate realities and the fictions they contain and absolutely RAN with it. A wild ride through the may-have-been.

Full review to come soon…

Soon GIFs | Tenor

3. Kissing in America, Margo Rabb

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Down the TBR Hole 7):

I’m not thrilled about some of these tropes, but the friendship/road trip dynamic seems like a fun way of handling it. I think I’ll stick it out.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

Though the title barely related back to the book, this one was an unexpectedly tender story of overcoming grief and the meaning of friendship.

4. The Black Witch, Laurie Forest

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

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from The TBR Book Tag):

I’ve almost bought The Black Witch at least two or three times, at this point. Seems to be a pretty hyped-up book, but I’m excited to read it soon! It’s on the Kindle library, so hopefully I can read it soon! My friend was just recommending this to me last night…

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT:

Though a good half of the main cast was difficult to like, and the romantic subplot felt *very* forced, the phenomenal worldbuilding and political intrigue made up for it 100%. Okay, maybe 99%, but I’m still itching to read the sequel. (And, of course, it isn’t available at the library…)

Full review to come in the next few weeks! (Probably…)

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5. Show Stopper, Hayley Barker

Show Stopper (Show Stopper #1) by Hayley Barker

INITIAL THOUGHTS (from Goodreads Monday (1/6/20)–Show Stopper):

You’ve all heard me rant about how jaded I am with YA dystopia. But the element of the traveling circus in Show Stopper seems absolutely fascinating: a tiny bit Hunger Games-y, in the sense that it’s for the entertainment of the upper class, but creative enough that I’m absolutely hooked. If anything, I’m hoping for a well-needed subversion of the genre. Plus, not gonna lie, but I love the style that the cover was drawn in.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

THOUGHTS AFTER READING IT: 

I might have set my expectations a bit too high, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this novel. I finished it up a few hours ago, actually. Though it wasn’t without its flaws, Show Stopper was an inventive take on the YA dystopian genre, and certainly a cautionary tale about falling prey to the evils of racism and xenophobia.

I might review this one, but we’ll see about that…

Perhaps. | Barnyard | Know Your Meme

Since I’ve already posted once today, check out today’s Goodreads Monday for today’s song.

Glad to say that this round of Goodreads Monday/DtTBRH/Book tag crossing-offs didn’t let me down! (I still don’t forgive Crown of Coral and Pearl) I’m glad to say that my predictions were right–though they varied in ratings, I enjoyed all five of these books. Here’s hoping that I can continue this string of luck for the next one of these posts…

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

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Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: April 27-May 3, 2020

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Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

It’s been like this for a while, but the feeling of all of the weeks blurring together has really started to set in. Things that feel miles away only happened a matter of weeks ago, and the few dates I’ve either dreaded or have been really excited for have really started to creep up. It’s a quarantine blessing and a curse, really.

That being said, other than the general monotony of online school, it’s been a good week. I listened to a lot of music (both actually new and new to me), read some good books, and reached–and surpassed–my Camp NaNo WriMo goal of 110,00 words! I also finished Fargo [incomprehensible screeching] and watched Rear Window, and the weather’s been wonderfully spring-y. Can’t complain. And there’s only TWO DAYS until Aurora Burning arrives! I preordered it a few months back, so hopefully I’ll get it in the mail sometime next week…

Soon GIFs | Tenor

Oh, and this happened…

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W H O A

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: 

 

Kissing in America–Margo Rabb (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

 

Reverie–Ryan La Sala (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: Reverie (0760789277535): La Sala, Ryan: Books

 

How to Hang a Witch–Adriana Mather (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: How to Hang a Witch (9780553539479): Mather, Adriana ...

 

The Black Witch–Laurie Forest (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25)

Novels – Laurie Forest

 

POSTS AND SUCH: 

 

SONGS: 

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK: 

The Bluest Eye–Toni Morrison (for school)

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

 

Pretty Monsters–Kelly Link

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

 

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 Book Tags, Books

Wanderlust Book Tag

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Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

I found this tag over at Leigh Hecking’s blog, and I figured it would be a good tag for right now–since we can’t travel in quarantine, why not travel to all sorts of amazing places in books?

Okay, I know how corny that sounded, but really, I swear books have a property to magically transport you anywhere, if the writing’s good enough. I was reading The Black Witch yesterday, and I swear that the imagery made me smell freshly fallen rain on the grass. OOH.

Aaaaaanyway, this tag was created by Reading by Starlight.

THE RULES:

  1. Mention the creator of the tag and link back to original post [Alexandra @ Reading by Starlight].
  2. Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  3. Answer the 10 questions below using any genre.
  4. Tag 5+ friends.

 

SECRETS AND LIES: A book set in a small, sleepy town

Amazon.com: How to Hang a Witch (9780553539479): Mather, Adriana ...

Salem isn’t necessarily “sleepy,” but how it’s depicted in How to Hang a Witch certainly gives off those vibes.

 

SALT AND SAND: A book with a beachside community

Amazon.com: Summer of Salt (9780062493620): Leno, Katrina: Books

Hey, Summer of Salt even has salt in the title! What a lovely book 💗

 

HERE THERE BE DRAGONS: A book with a voyage on the high seas

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

I need to go back and re-read Daughter of the Pirate King at some point, I remember loving it…

 

TREAD LIGHTLY: A book set down a murky river or jungle

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

Nothing creepier than a jungle on an alien planet, right? I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of A Conspiracy of Stars. 

 

FROZEN WASTES: A book with a frost-bitten atmosphere

Even the Darkest Stars : Heather Fawcett : 9780062463395

Even the Darkest Stars should instantly take the cake here. After all, it’s inspired by some of the early expeditions of Mt. Everest.

 

THE BOONIES: A book with rough or isolated terrain

Amazon.com: The Pioneer (9780062658067): Tyler, Bridget: Books

The Pioneer has such a strange and fascinating–as well as uncharted by humans–landscape that I loved exploring.

 

HINTERLANDS AND COWBOYS: A book with a western-esque setting

…Um, I can’t think of anything that I’ve read off the top of my head…might have to skip this one…

Im So Sorry GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

 

LOOK LIVELY: A book set across sweeping desert sands

Amazon.com: We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya) (9780374311544 ...

I read We Hunt the Flame last summer, and my memory’s a little shaky, but I loved it!

 

WILD AND UNTAMED: A book set in the heart of the woods

Amazon.com: Cursed (9781534425330): Wheeler, Thomas, Miller, Frank ...

I still don’t understand why Cursed has such a low rating, I found it such a riveting reimagining of Arthurian legend.

 

WILDEST DREAMS: A whimsical book shrouded in magic

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

I just finished The Black WitchAND I’M ABSOLUTELY SHOOK. EXPECT A REVIEW IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS OR SO.

 

I tag: 

And anyone else who wants to participate! Have fun! 

Waving Hi GIFs | Tenor

 

Today’s song:

MAKING A DOOR LESS OPEN IS HERE! Definitely expect a review of this one soon…

 

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 TBR Book Tag

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Happy Thursday, everyone! Hope all is well wherever you are. 💗

I found this tag over at Megabunny Reads, and the tag was created by A Perfection Called Books and Dana Square. Since my TBR is virtually overflowing at this point, I figured this would be a fitting tag…

Let’s begin, shall we?

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I’ve been storing all of my TBR books on my Want to Read shelf on Goodreads for about four years now. It’s getting waaaaaaaaaay too long, but it’s a good way to keep track of everything.

List GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

Well…I mean…neither? I just have them listed on Goodreads, so I have no way of knowing if I’ll get the book at the library, the Kindle library, or buy it in physical or electronic format.

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A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

Amazon.com: The Good Neighbors #1: Kin eBook: Holly Black, Ted ...

At the present moment, The Good Neighbors is #1 on my TBR list, having been there since…whoa, June 2016?

 

A book on your TBR strictly for the cover

The Quiet at the End of the World: Amazon.co.uk: James, Lauren: Books

I mean…The Quiet at the End of the World isn’t there *strictly* because of the cover, but hey…c’mon, this belongs in a museum.

 

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading

Amazon.com: One of Us Is Lying (9781524714680): McManus, Karen M ...

I think I recently ousted this one from my TBR, but I’ve all but lost interest in One of Us Is Lyingdespite the recommendations from fellow book nerds and friends. Eh.

 

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for 

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

I’ve already preordered Aurora Burningand at this point, I’m counting down the days until it comes out…EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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A book on your TBR that basically everyone’s read but you

The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles, #1) by Laurie Forest

I’ve almost bought The Black Witch at least two or three times, at this point. Seems to be a pretty hyped-up book, but I’m excited to read it soon! It’s on the Kindle library, so hopefully I can read it soon! My friend was just recommending this to me last night…

 

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you

Dune: Frank Herbert: 9780340960196: Amazon.com: Books

I’ve had a fair amount of people recommend Dune to me over the years…

 

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read

TRUEL1F3 (Lifelike, #3) by Jay Kristoff

I CANNOT WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON TRUEL1F3June can’t come soon enough…

 

How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

Drumroll, please…

Stranger Things Stranger Things Gifs GIF - StrangerThings ...

…1,129.

Now you know why I do so many Down the TBR Hole posts…

 

I tag anyone who wants to participate!

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Today’s song:

 

 

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

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