Posted in Book Tags, Books, Movies

Star Wars Book Tag (+ an update or two)

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I’m back, everyone! Happy Thursday!

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

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

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

Now, back to our scheduled program.

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

So let’s begin, shall we?

this is where the fun begins

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

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Without a doubt, Good Omens had me CACKLING.

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

PADME AMIDALA: A kick-butt female character

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

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

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

LEIA ORGANA: Best or worst love triangle

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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

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

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

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

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

Today’s song:

Soccer Mommy + Jay Som =

Michael Fassbender Perfection GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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

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Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Music

My Favorite Music References in YA Literature

Best Abe Sapien GIFs | Gfycat

If there’s one thing I love as much as books and reading, it’s probably music. I was raised in a family of wonderful music nerds, and as a result, music has grown to be an integral aspect of my life.

And so, it always brings me a rush of joy whenever I find music references hidden inside books I love, and by proxy, authors with similar musical taste. I thought I might compile a few of my favorite books with music references in them, just for fun.

THE BLACK BEAST LIVES! - HalfGuarded

 

  1. The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, David Arnold

Amazon.com: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik ...

Artists referenced: David Bowie, brief joke about Wilco/Jeff Tweedy

I mean, one can sort of tell from the get-go that this book is very Bowie-centric; The title itself (a reference to a lyric from “Changes”), and the Aladdin Sane lightning bolt in the ‘I’ in “Fascinations”. (On another edition, it shows Noah with the bolt across his face, just like the Aladdin Sane album cover!) Other than that, there’s a continual respect for Bowie throughout the novel. Other than the general wondrousness of the novel, I’m just glad to see that someone else holds Hunky Dory as highly as I do.

Also, the mention of Wilco is very brief, but it was still pretty funny to see. Even if it was poking fun at them.

David Bowie GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

2. The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert

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

Artists referenced: The Beatles, Nirvana, T.Rex, (!!!), David Bowie

Though music doesn’t play (no pun intended) as big a role in The Hazel Wood as it does in some of the others in this post, there’s wonderful references aplenty in this one, from a minor character being described as reminiscent of David Bowie to a discordant, chaotic scene in which the main villain sings an off-key rendition of “Yellow Submarine”. Also, I’m frankly so impressed that Albert slipped in a T.Rex reference in there. COME. ON. That’s the deep cut to end all deep cuts!

t. rex band | Tumblr

 

3. The Final Six and The Life Below, Alexandra Monir

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Artists referenced: Radiohead

Weirdly enough, though I’d heard Radiohead here and there before reading The Final Six,  but seeing the reference was ultimately what convinced me to listen to Radiohead! This is easily some of the best utilization of references I’ve seen in a novel, period. First off, in The Final Six, there’s a particularly chilling scene in which Beckett, the main antagonist, glimpses Naomi sneaking around, and after a tense conversation, he sings part of “Paranoid Android.” (“When I am king, you will be first against the wall/With your opinion, which is of no consequence at all…”) Already veeeery spooky, but the song’s title hints that Beckett knows more than what he let on. (No spoilers)

In The Life Below, Monir also uses “Sail To The Moon”–in particular, its musical structure–as the center point of one of the main subplots in the novel. And boy, it’s FASCINATING.

Thom Yorke GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

 

4. The Looking Glass, Janet McNally

The Looking Glass - Janet McNally - Hardcover

Artists referenced: St. Vincent, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac (I don’t really care about the latter at all, but hey)

Another dip into the realm of magical realism!

Music plays a semi-important role in this one, as part of the novel is set on a road trip; there’s a running joke where Sylvie’s friend’s brother (I can’t remember his name for the life of me) listens to one specific artist in the car for the month. His pick of the month is Fleetwood Mac; there’s a line (which I can’t find) where Sylvie makes a remark something along the lines of “why can’t we listen to something good, like David Bowie?” to which the other character responds that he’d already listened to him for all of April. And though the St. Vincent reference was brief, McNally perfectly captures the nature of her music.

St Vincent GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

5. Ziggy, Stardust, and Me, James Brandon

Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon: 9780525517641 ...

Artists referenced: David Bowie, Pink Floyd

Again, another Bowie-centric book. I related to this one in particular because Bowie is Jonathan (the main character)’s hero; the book is set in 1973, so it’s at the heyday of his Ziggy Stardust era. As someone who similarly worships him, this novel hit the sweet spot for me. There’s also a wonderful scene where Jonathan and Web soundtrack a school presentation with Pink Floyd’s “Time”, easily my personal favorite of their songs.

David bowie GIF on GIFER - by Kirindis

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS: 

 

So what do you lovely people think? What are some music references in literature that you love? Tell me in the comments! 

ziggy stardust david bowie gif | WiffleGif

 

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

 

Have a wonderful day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Flower Book Tag

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Happy Wednesday, my dudes bibliophiles!

I found this tag over at Devour Books with Dana, and the tag was created by Wordy and Whimsical. I figured it would be the perfect tag to get me back into the feel of Spring! *desperately tries to ignore the fact that it’s going to snow AGAIN tomorrow*

Big Fish (7/8) Movie CLIP - Field Of Daffodils (2003) HD GIF | Gfycat

Let’s begin, shall we?

ROSES: Roses are traditionally given as an expression of love. What’s your favourite romance in a book?

Rose Petals - The Creative Cafe

There’s a lot for me to choose from, but if I had to pick, I’d have to say the relationship between Jax and Rob in the Heart of Iron duology. WINNER OF COUPLE OF THE YEAR FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE YEARS

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STARGAZER LILIES: Stargazer Lilies are named for their blooms that face toward the sky. Who is your favourite ambitious character?

How to Grow and Care for 'Star Gazer' Lilies

Boy, there’s quite a few to choose from, but I’d have to say Jo from the Pioneer duology. It takes a certain type of bravery to take on an entire alien species that’s turned against you, and to do it with skill and grace.

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

 

PEACE LILIES: Peace Lilies are known for being one of the easier houseplants to care for. What is a book you think anyone could love?

Peace Lilies: How to Care for Peace Lily Plants (Spathiphyllum ...

I’d have to say Kids of Appetite for this one. I don’t think there’s anyone who couldn’t relate to the characters–or the themes. Plus, there’s no denying David Arnold’s writing prowess.

Amazon.com: Kids of Appetite (9780451470782): Arnold, David: Books

 

CHRYSANTHEMUMS: Chrysanthemums are given on Mother’s Day in Australia. Who is your favourite fictional mother?

Is that even a question? Molly Weasley, hands down.

Molly Weasley | Harry Potter Wiki | Fandom

 

SPIDER PLANTS: Spider Plants are easy to propagate. What is a hyped-up book that you love?

Spider Plant Care: Tips on How to Care for a Spider Plant

I just read Sawkill Girlsand I must say, it lived up to ALL the hype! Five stars for me!

Sawkill Girls - Claire Legrand - Hardcover

 

LILY OF THE VALLEY: Lily of the Valley is pretty but poisonous. Share a book with a beautiful cover that was actually disappointing!

Grow Lily-of-the-Valley Flowers | Garden Design

Oh god…Lifestyles of Gods and Monsterswhy did you have to let me down?

Amazon.com: Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters (9780374310622 ...

 

ORCHIDS: Orchids are one of the oldest flower types known to man. What’s your favorite classic novel?

Plant Care: Hydroponic Feed Schedule for Growing Orchids Indoor

Frankenstein‘Nuff said.

frankenstein book cover - Google Search | Frankenstein book ...

 

PEONIES: Peonies require lots of care. Share a bookish friendship that was caring and supportive!

Peonies: Planting, Growing, and Caring for Peony Flowers | The Old ...

The entire squad of Aurora Rising. My favorite bunch of space misfits.

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

 

HYACINTHS: Hyacinths have a sweet, lingering fragrance. What’s the sweetest novel you’ve ever read?

Planting Hyacinths Tips | DIY Network Blog: Made + Remade | DIY

Another bookish friendship I love…Lily and Dunkin was a rough one, but the friendship between the main characters is one of the sweetest and most human that I’ve ever read.

Lily and Dunkin: Gephart, Donna: 9780553536744: Amazon.com: Books

 

TULIPS: Tulips are bright, popular, and showy. Who’s your favorite larger than life character?

Tulip Strawberry Fields Collection - Tulip Bulbs | DutchGrown Official

Holden Caulfield, though he’s certainly riddled with flaws, was the first to come to mind. The Catcher in the Rye is nothing short of timeless.

Amazon.com: The Catcher in the Rye (9787543321724): J.D. Salinger ...

 

WATER LILIES: Certain types of Water Lilies are difficult to eradicate. What is a novel that has stood the test of time, and remained your favorite through the years?

Water Lilies Are the Gorgeous Aquatic Blooms Anyone Can Grow ...

Though my favorite books have changed through the years, I’d say that To Kill a Mockingbird will remain one of them for years to come.

To Kill a Mockingbird | Summary, Characters, Movie, & Facts ...

 

LAVENDER: Lavender has many uses, from landscaping and food to cosmetics and essential oils. Name a book you love that fits in more than one genre!

How to Care for Lavender in Winter | Indoors & Outdoors | The Old ...

The Looking Glass could fit as fantasy, magical realism, and *almost* realistic fiction. Whatever the genre you put it in, it’s still an incredible novel.

The Looking Glass - Janet McNally - Hardcover

 

I tag anyone who wants to participate!

Flowers Gif GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Today’s song:

I just finished up with a book where this song played a significant role…more on that later…

 

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 Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (3/23/20)–A Constellation of Roses

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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.

Apart from its gorgeous cover (and title?), I’m drawn to this one on the prospect of magical realism. When done well, it can produce lush, rich, and unforgettable novels like Wild Beauty and The Looking Glass, and if all is well-executed, I’m hoping to find another gem.

Let’s begin…

GOODREADS MONDAY (3/23/20)–A CONSTELLATION OF ROSES by Miranda Asebedo

Image result for a constellation of roses

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Ever since her mother walked out, Trix McCabe has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive. Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.

Trix doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw long, but there’s something special about her McCabe relatives that she is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.

Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life . . . or keep running from the one she’s always known.

 

So why do I want to read this? 

This seems like a PERFECT, misfitty magical realism novel! I’m getting themes of family, feminism, sisterhood, and some wonderful magical powers on the side. Trix seems like a lovable character, and the more I pore over this synopsis, I’m reminded again and again of Wild Beauty. It doesn’t seem like a ripoff, luckily, but reminiscent of it in several places.

At best, I’m hoping for a well-written tale of magic, sisterhood, and the powers that bind family and friends together.

Image result for hope for the best gif

 

Today’s song:

Today just keeps getting better and better…new music from Car Seat Headrest AND my APUSH teacher just removed our homework for spring break!

Also, before I go, I’m *thinking* of making an original book tag. I can guarantee that it’ll be a fandom-related one, but I might make that happen in the next few days or weeks.

 

That just about wraps up this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Music

Book Review Tuesday (11/6/18)-The Looking Glass (PLUS a bonus apology!)

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the first Book Review Tuesday of November 2018! (Dang, this year has simultaneously gone by so slowly and flown by…)

First and foremost, my apologies for not only forgetting last week’s BRT (caught up in Halloween preparation and homework.,,), and forgetting to acknowledge this before today. So, sorry about that, one less review this year. 😦

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But hey, I’ve got a great book to review today!

 

I honestly forget where I first found out about The Looking Glass. All I can remember is that I had it on hold at the library for a while, and when it was finally available, I just…flat out forgot what it was about. So my expectations were semi-low. Fast-forward to when I actually got to reading it, and I must say, The Looking Glass exceeded all expectations!

 

Enjoy the review!

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The Looking Glass

Sylvie has looked up to her older sister, Julia, for as long as she can remember. They shared a love of ballet, went to the same prestigious ballet school, and treasured a shared book of fairy tales, which Julia renamed “Girls in Trouble”. That was before Julia disappeared.

A grieving Sylvie knows that her disappearance was no coincidence, and is determined to find her and bring her back home. She begins her search with a package, sent to her by Julia, with “Girls in Trouble” inside. But written in the back of the book is a sort of map, drawn by Julia herself, with clues that will lead Sylvie to her. With the help of an unlikely ally (and a playlist of nothing but Fleetwood Mac), will Sylvie find out the truth about her missing sister?

 

I expected to be intrigued by this book, but nothing more. But man, I’m glad to say that I was AMAZED! Such a beautifully written, powerful book about the forces of love and sisterhood. Realistic fiction, imbued with a little bit of magic, combined with characters so well written that I felt as though I could meet them in real life, made for an unforgettable read. Plus, I loved all of the music refereces scatterered throughout the novel-besides Fleetwood Mac (who I’ve never really listened to, but have heard from a person or two that they’re worth it), David Bowie, St. Vincent, and a few other quality artists. I highly recommend it to all of you. 🙂

 

 

Well, that’s it for this week’s BRT! Again, sorry about the absence of a review last week, and I hope that this one made up for it. Have a great rest of your day!