Posted in Books

Sci-Fi Tropes: Cryosleep, Unhinged AI, and everything in between 🪐

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been trying to think of more original posts to do, and I figured that this one would be something really fun to explore. I’ve seen a lot of posts talking about tropes, but genre-specific ones are always interesting to think about/discuss, and in much of the YA book fandom, I feel like sci-fi doesn’t get as much love. So I decided to look at six tropes that are specific to sci-fi (for the most part). Sci-fi is my favorite genre, so I got super excited thinking about all of these different tropes, and some (mostly) YA books that use them in different ways.

So let’s begin, shall we?

These Are Not The 130 "Star Wars" GIFs You Are Looking For | Star wars gif,  Star wars characters, Star wars episodes

WARNING: This post may contain some book spoilers (Aurora Cycle & Dare Mighty Things series), so read at your own risk!

🛸SCI-FI TROPES🛸

CRYOSLEEP, BUT FOR WAY TOO LONG

Quiz: Ripley, Our Lady of Survival | Bookmans Entertainment Exchange

Ellen Ripley – and Aliens in particular – probably set the blueprint for this one, but as the trope gets more popular, authors have started to push the limits on this one, which I think is a really cool move.

It’s most often the protagonist that this happens to – our hero, on the eve of something great, is put into cryosleep for an interplanetary mission, only for something to go terribly awry and stay in cryosleep for longer than they were supposed to. Ripley got an accidental 50 years, Auri from Aurora Rising got 200 years, and Andra from Goddess in the Machine got a whopping 1,000 years.

This trope presents two main advantages for writing: a vehicle for exploring the novel’s world through fresh eyes, and internal conflict within the character. If your cryosleep character is completely unfamiliar with the world, seeing it through their eyes gives the reader a more in-depth look at the world than they’d get with a character that’s already familiar with it. They’ll inevitably notice more things and fixate on different things than another character might, which gives the reader more insight about what’s unique about the world that the author has crafted.

As for the internal conflict piece, this part’s always touched on, but in most of the novels I’ve read with it, it’s a lot more shallow than you’d think. There’s the existential crisis that inevitably occurs when the character realizes that everything they know and love is all but gone, but beyond the first few chapters from their POV, they get over it…relatively quickly? It seems like the kind of trauma that would leave lasting psychological scars, and probably physical health repercussions as well. I’ve yet to read any book that explores all that in depth, but it seems like the perfect setup for a sci-fi novel.

So this one’s a trope that can make for a lot of creative choices, but often has a lot of untapped potential.

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: Aurora Rising (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff), Goddess in the Machine (Lora Beth Johnson)

GOTTEN INTO A SITUATION YOU CAN’T GET OUT OF? TIME TRAVEL!

Best Avengers Endgame GIFs | Gfycat
“Time travel!”

Apparently this one is a lot more common than I thought, but I’ve only started to see it in YA more recently. (Well, there’s Avengers: Endgame, but it took me a while to realize how common of a trope it is…)

This trope has the possibility of ENDLESS freaky hijinks whilst traversing through time. Sometimes it’s just pushing the events of the past so that everything lines up a little bit nicer, and sometimes it’s rocketing back to another time period entirely. It usually happens only with the last book in a trilogy or duology, just so everyone can fix the mess they got into in the first books.

I have mixed feelings on this one; one the one hand, there’s never a dull moment – time travel jokes, fitting VERY badly into a different time period, and very high stakes, most of all. If the first books have followed a similar formula, it might be good to try for something else to end the series with a bang.

On the other, though, something about it almost feels…lazy to me. Often, this trope arises from The Gang™️ getting a situation so bad that there may not be a feasible way out of it, but…maybe they could? If done wrong, it can feel like lazy writing – an easy way out, and one that provides instant comic relief. And often, the means of said time travel are vague, and often reduced to technobabble from The Smart Character™️, which, hey, I don’t know much about the science of it either, but maybe at least put a little time into it?

So this one’s a double-edged sword: instant plot, or lazy writing? The choice is yours!

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: Sword in the Stars (Once & Future, #2) (A.R. Capetta and Cori McCarthy), Aurora’s End (Aurora Cycle, #3) (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff)*

*this one doesn’t come out until November [screams] but we know that time travel will play a big part in this one, so…

ALIENS THAT BASICALLY JUST LOOK LIKE HUMANS (BUT WITH A FEW MINOR DIFFERENCES)

Pin on Asteria Academy
I know Jean Grey isn’t an alien, but most of the aliens mentioned below have similar powers to her, so…

Most of the other tropes I’m going to be discussing in this post are ones that I like on some level, but…this one gets on my nerves. For the most part.

Far too many times, I’ve fallen into the trap of picking up a sci-fi book that promises aliens, only to discover that the aliens just look like humans, but with either a) unusual eye colors, b) some sort of powers, or c) a combination of both. And of course, they have to be ✨ridiculously attractive✨ as well. 🙄

Now, I completely get making your aliens humanoid (hey, I’m doing it with some of my aliens for my sci-fi WIP), but there’s a certain point where it feels a bit lazy. Unless there’s some way you can back it up, it seems weird to me that in this entire universe, the only other intelligent beings, by some cosmic chance, are similar to us in almost every way.

But I’ve seen some authors use it to their advantage – in particular, One Giant Leap (the sequel to Dare Mighty Things) does this especially well. The main alien civilization there look exactly like humans, but it’s because of genetic modifications performed so that they could survive on Earth. See? That’s actually a really good way of turning the trope on its head, and doing so in a practical way!

For the most part, this trope never ceases to bug me, but there’s a few ways to turn it on its head.

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: One Giant Leap (Dare Mighty Things, #2) (Heather Kaczynski), Amid Stars and Darkness (Chani Lynn Feener)

UNHINGED A.I.

David - Prometheus --- ah! DON'T TELL ME THAT!!! (lol) | Michael  fassbender, David 8, Sebastian moran
BREAKING: Michael Fassbender Sustains Fatal Back Injuries from Carrying all of the Alien Prequels

For me, at least, this trope is the most fun – and it presents some of the scariest and most formidable antagonists in sci-fi.

Villainous AI are some of the most fascinating characters to explore – they have unmatched power, in some cases, and whether they’re a pre-installed ship AI or an android, it’s always interesting to hear their perspective on all of us puny mortals.

Given that humans trust AI a bit *too* much in most sci-fi novels, they often have a fearsome amount of power at their disposal. AI installed inside of a ship? Access to all the security footage, navigation, communications, and controls of the ship. They know their crew up and down, and have the possibility to play everybody’s weaknesses against each other. They have the power to sabotage anything and everything, and more often than not, they do. WITHOUT HESITATION. A corrupt AI often harbors a hatred or jealousy of human beings, and if it’s not that motivating them, it’s some sort of technologically-stemmed god complex, which is always terrifying to watch play out. (Lookin’ right at you, David…) It’s even more of an interesting development if their moral compass shifts over the course of the series – if there’s one thing I’ve learned from sci-fi, it’s that benevolent robot overlords never stay benevolent for very long.

Corrupt AI as antagonists are often more compelling than human or alien ones (for me, at least) partly because so much is left up to the imagination about the inner workings of their minds. We’ve never developed any kind of artificial intelligence that’s become intelligent enough to have devious tendencies like many sci-fi villains, so a lot of it is the author’s personal choice. There are endless possibilities – but more often than not, they’re all terrifying.

And even if they aren’t main antagonists, the addition of a slight unstable AI as a character is always amusing; for all of its flaws, I loved Gregorovich’s existential musings in To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, and his character added some much-needed flavor to the rest of the cast.

TL;DR: There’s nothing more terrifying than a villain that knows everything about everything, and uses that power for its own gain at whatever the cost.

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars (Christopher Paolini), Illuminae (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff), Scythe (Neal Shusterman)

HIGH-STAKES COMPETITIONS TO GO TO SPACE…WITH SOME SERIOUS ULTERIOR MOTIVES

artoo, that way

Scared to send your experienced, highly intelligent scientists to space? Send some teenagers instead!

This one tends to crop up the most in YA, as it’s primed for a book that has a primarily teenage cast. The ones I’ve read do tend to follow a formula, but for the most part, it’s one that’s actually a lot of fun!

The worldbuilding/motives behind it are always a little bit messy (again: sending teenagers into space! What could possibly go wrong?), but often times, you just have to hang in there; it’s a given that whatever program is funding the competition is doing something astronomically shady. (No pun intended.) Part of the fun with this trope is the mystery of it; slowly but surely, the competition starts dropping like flies, and things go very wrong very quickly.

More on the mystery aspect – the mystery that often occurs in these types of novels is very slow-burn, building on itself before the heartstopping reveal at the end (often a cliffhanger). From program superiors lying to scheming androids to deaths under mysterious circumstances, there are endless possibilities for many, many things to go wrong. Add in the not-so-friendly rivalries between the competitors (also scheming, along with everybody else), and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a nail-biting sci-fi mystery.

And once/if they get to space? Everything gets way worse. There’s bound to be aliens, but whether they’re intelligent or just parasitic, things are bound to go way, way south. But there’s never a dull moment – there’s no shortage of suspense, and our protagonist is often at a loss as to how to escape their situation.

Plus, for reasons I’ve yet to figure out, these ones always tend to have the most clever pop culture references. (See: all of the Radiohead songs in the Final Six duology)

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: The Final Six (Alexandra Monir), Dare Mighty Things (Heather Kaczynski)

EXPLORING OTHER PLANETS GOES VERY, VERY WRONG (Or, “Don’t do intergalactic colonialism, kids”)

Large yacht passes by gargantuan yacht - boing - Boing Boing BBS

Here’s another common – but by no means overdone – trope that’s always open to endless possibilities!

Because our planet was never enough, apparently (or if we destroyed it…probably), there’s a whole host of sci-fi stories that are set on entirely new planets, with the sole goal of making them a new home for humankind. But just like with our planet, it’s always unpredictable, whether you’re dealing with a foreign contagion, carnivorous wildlife, or superiors who aren’t what they seem.

I’m always a nerd for creature design in sci-fi, and life on other worlds presents all sort of possibilities for creatures lurking in the bushes. Whether it’s flora or fauna, exploring these sci-fi worlds along with the characters is an adventure, especially if the author is particularly creative. Of course, most of the wildlife ends up being carnivorous, or malicious on some level, so there’s all sorts of danger lurking.

But beyond that, this trope is often a great commentary on colonialism. Human history is rife with frightening periods of raping and pillaging land that wasn’t ours to begin with at the cost of those who originally lived there; telling the same story on alien planets serves as a particularly potent comment on the malicious tendency of our species to overstep and overstay our welcome. Books like A Conspiracy of Stars and The Pioneer explore what happens when humanity comes in contact with intelligent life and unlawfully sets foot on their land; both of them do an amazing job of exploring the intricacies of the political implications, as well as the tense conflict that results. I think sci-fi as a genre is one of the best mediums for raising commentary on this kind of thing. Exploring new frontiers in space is bound to happen once we get the technology, but we must always ask ourselves if it’s the right thing to do. Just because we can doesn’t necessarily mean that we should. (Let’s be real: I would be SO excited if we found evidence of life elsewhere in the universe, but…let’s not have a repeat of all of human history, okay?)

BOOKS WITH THIS TROPE: The Pioneer (Bridget Tyler), A Conspiracy of Stars, (Olivia A. Cole), Tangled Planet (Kate Blair)

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! What are your favorite/least favorite tropes in sci-fi? Have you read any of the books I listed, and what were your thoughts? This’ll probably be one of several posts on the subject, so I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

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Today’s song:

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

Posted in Book Tags

Baby It’s Cold Outside Book Tag

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles! I can’t believe it’s already almost Christmas…and even though the wind’s been howling where I am, there’s no shortage of good vibes in the house…

I was tagged by the wonderful Bertie @ Luminosity Library (thank you!), and the tag was created by the equally wonderful Erin @ Reading On A Star. I knew I had to do this tag sometime this winter, and it looks like today’s the day!

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post.
  • Display the banner (copy and paste).
  • Link to the original creator: erin @ Reading On A Star !
  • Answer the questions!
  • Tag however many people as you want

Let’s begin, shall we?

❄️BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE BOOK TAG❄️

SNOW DAY: What’s your comfort book?

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

I’d have to say Heart of Iron for this one! It’s been a little while since I’ve re-read this one, but I can always count on these space misfits and Ashley Poston’s signature wit to cheer me up.

SNOW ANGELS: What’s a book that you love so much that you would want to be buried with it? (A little morbid, but…)

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720964): Kaufman,  Amie, Kristoff, Jay: Books

Back at it again with the MISFIT SPACE OPERAAAAAAAA

Anyway, Aurora Rising is easily my favorite book; not only does it have a special place in my heart for the writing, the story, and the characters, but Auri taught me that you don’t have to be brave to change the world. For that, I will always hold these books highly.

WARM SOCKS: What’s a book that makes you feel warm inside?

Amazon.com: Tweet Cute: A Novel (9781250237323): Lord, Emma: Books

(Hey, I’m wearing fuzzy socks today! 🧦)

I read Tweet Cute a few months back, and it was just what I needed at the time–cute romance, wonderful chemistry, and grilled cheese. Can’t go wrong with grilled cheese.

HOT COCOA: What winter-themed novels have you previously read?

Elementals: Ice Wolves: Kaufman, Amie, Szabo, Levente: 9780062457981:  Amazon.com: Books

I suppose Ice Wolves works, right? Ulfar Academy has a pretty wintry atmosphere.

SLEDDING: What’s a book with the best plot twists? Who’s an author that always keeps you on your toes?

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

I read The Pioneer about a year and a half ago, on vacation in Canada (remember when vacations were a thing?); I specifically remember how blown away I was by THE PLOT TWIST RIGHT AT THE CLIFFHANGER…

UGLY SWEATERS: What’s a book with the ugliest cover?

Nights at the Circus: Carter, Angela: 9780140077032: Amazon.com: Books

This was the cover of the edition of Nights at the Circus that I got from the library, and that art style just does not do it for me…

MOVIE MARATHON: What’s the last book you binge read?

Amazon.com: Cemetery Boys eBook: Thomas, Aiden: Kindle Store

I recently finished Cemetery Boys in close to one sitting. Didn’t quite live up to all the hype for me, but it was definitely a lot of fun. (Expect a review next week!)

LETTER TO SANTA: What’s a book that’s on your wishlist this year?

Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston
Fargo: This Is a True Story: Hawley, Noah: 9781538731307: Amazon.com: Books
Amazon.com: The Conference of the Birds (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar  Children) (9780735231504): Riggs, Ransom: Books

I put Among the Beasts and Briars, Fargo: This is a True Story, and The Conference of the Birds on my Christmas list this year!

I TAG:

A charlie brown christmas charlie brown peanuts GIF on GIFER - by Gulrajas

Today’s song:

I just listened to this whole album yesterday and IT HAS NO BUSINESS BEING THIS GOOD…”Good News” is probably my favorite track 🥺

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

Posted in Book Tags

Fall Time, Cozy Time Book Tag

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles, and for those of us celebrating, happy Thanksgiving! I’m extraordinarily thankful for all of you for your endless support, and I’m grateful that we’ve gotten through this year together.

I have *way too many* book tags that I’ve been tagged in/want to do piling up, but I figured that I’d go ahead and do this one because there’s not much time left until it’s winter. Thank you so much to Bertie @ Luminosity Library for tagging me! I’m not sure who created this tag, so if you know, please let me know, and I’ll credit them!

Let’s begin, shall we?

🍁FALL TIME, COZY TIME BOOK TAG🍁

CRUNCHING LEAVES: The world is full of color! Chose a book with red/orange/yellow on the cover.

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

I love all of the vibrant colors and patterns on the cover of Raybearer, and I’m glad to say that this fantasy did not disappoint!

COZY SWEATER: It’s finally cool enough for warm and fuzzy clothing! What book gives you the warm fuzzies?

Amazon.com: Pumpkinheads (9781626721623): Rowell, Rainbow, Hicks, Faith  Erin, Stern, Sarah: Books

Pumpkinheads never fails to give me all the feel-good vibes whenever I’m feeling down. It’s a perfect read for this time of year, too!

FALL STORM: The wind is howling and the rain is pounding. Choose a book that you would like to read on a stormy day.

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

The Bone Houses has no shortage of immaculate spooky vibes–perfect for reading when the light is low and the rain is pattering against the windows.

COOL, CRISP AIR: Makes you breathe freely–What’s the coolest character you’d like to trade places with?

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library Novel): Cogman, Genevieve:  9781101988640: Amazon.com: Books

As much of a disappointment that the rest of this series turned out to be, I would LOVE to trade places with Irene from The Invisible Library. I can’t think of a dream job that’d be better than hopping through strange dimensions to retrieve rare books.

HOT APPLE CIDER–Warm autumn drink–what under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?

The Pioneer (The Pioneer, #1) by Bridget Tyler

It’s so sad to see how little recognition The Pioneer gets in the world of YA sci-fi–for me, it’s what sci-fi should be, at its core–inventive, thoughtful, timely, and riveting. If you haven’t given this duology a try, I implore you to do so!

COATS, SCARVES, AND MITTENS: The weather has turned cold, and it’s time to cover up! What’s a book cover you don’t like?

Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine: 9780451414427 | PenguinRandomHouse.com:  Books

It kind of pains me to say this, since Prince of Shadows was decent and I miss Rachel Caine (😭), but I was kind of embarrassed reading this one out in public…

PUMPKIN SPICE: Time for some Starbucks! What’s your favorite fall comfort food?

If we’re talking Starbucks, I LOVE salted caramel mochas! They’re just the perfect blend of chocolate and caramel…I could go on for days…

Other than that, I’d say anything that’s on the Thanksgiving table–biscuits, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie…man, I can’t wait to eat tonight…

WARM, COZY BONFIRE: Spread the cozy warmth! Who do you tag?

I tag:

+ anyone who wants to participate! Don’t feel obligated if I tagged you, but if you see this and want to join in, by all means!

tumblr autumn gifs - Google Search | Autumn inspiration, Falling gif, Autumn  aesthetic

Today’s song (Thanksgiving edition, credit to my mom when we were cooking yesterday):

That’s it for this fall book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves! Happy Thanksgiving, if you’re celebrating!

Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (8/8/20)–Underrated Books/Hidden Gems 💎

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

Time for another Top 5 Saturday! This was originally started by Devouring Books, and it sounded like such a fun post to take part in. Today’s topic is underrated books and hidden gems.

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 (8/8/20)–UNDERRATED BOOKS/HIDDEN GEMS

Spare and Found Parts, Sarah Maria Griffin

Amazon.com: Spare and Found Parts (9780062408884): Griffin, Sarah ...

The second I saw this prompt, I knew I had to include something by Griffin; her prose is almost unparalleled, and this was one of my favorite reads of 2019.

The Pioneer, Bridget Tyler

The Pioneer (The Pioneer, #1) by Bridget Tyler

I hardly see anyone talking about this series, which is…definitely a crime. Some of the most inventive and well-written YA sci-fi I’ve ever come across, and I don’t say that lightly.

A Conspiracy of Stars, Olivia A. Cole

Home — YA-Hoo Fest

Another criminally underrated and lushly written YA sci-fi! The worldbuilding is some of the most well-developed that I’ve ever seen of a book of this kind.

Into the Crooked Place, Alexandra Christo

Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

I just reviewed this one this week, so I’ll keep this short: I CANNOT WAIT FOR BOOK 2.

The Order of Odd-Fish, James Kennedy

The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy

A bizarre, Monty Python-esque romp of a middle grade novel!

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

Go Right Ahead GIFs | Tenor

Today’s song:

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

Posted in Book Tags, Books

Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I found this tag over at One Book More, and it looked like a lot of fun! I can’t seem to find who created the tag, so if you know who originally created it, please let me know so I can tag them! 🙂

Let’s begin, shall we?

WHAT IS THE BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2020?

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

I think everybody saw this one coming, but seriously, Aurora Burning was PHENOMENAL in every sense of the word.

Chef Kiss GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE SEQUEL OF THE FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR?

Amazon.com: The Survivor: A Pioneer Novel (9780062658098): Tyler ...

Since I probably shouldn’t put Aurora Burning in twice, I’d say The Survivor. What a beautiful end to an inventive and underrated series!

IS THERE A NEW RELEASE THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT YOU’RE REALLY EXCITED FOR?

Amazon.com: The Sound of Stars (9781335911551): Dow, Alechia: Books

The Sound of Stars came out in late February, and it sounds like an incredible novel!

WHAT IS YOUR MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR?

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

The Burning Kingdoms is the final book in the Smoke Thieves series, and I am SO EXCITED TO GET MY HANDS ON IT. I requested an eARC of it and it got declined, but I requested it again, so we’ll see how that goes…

Top 20 Fingers Crossed GIFs | Find the best GIF on Gfycat

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT SO FAR?

Girls of Storm and Shadow (Girls of Paper and Fire Series #2) by ...

After the groundbreaking masterpiece that was Girls of Paper and Fire, Girls of Storm and Shadow failed to pack the punch that its predecessor had.

meh gifs | WiffleGif

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SURPRISE SO FAR?

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

I had low/average expectations for The Scorpion Rules, but it ended up blowing me away! I really want to read the sequel soon…

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE NEW TO YOU/DEBUT AUTHOR?

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

I just discovered The Invisible Library series and Genevieve Cogman this April, and I’m so excited to read more of her novels! I have The Burning Page on hold, and it shouldn’t arrive for a few more weeks, but I can’t wait…

WHAT ARE 6 BOOKS THAT YOU WANT TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?

Excluding some of the TBR ones that are already on here…let’s see…

Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston

Ashley Poston has never disappointed me, and I am ECSTATIC to read Among the Beasts and Briars!

Amazon.com: The Good for Nothings (9781250311252): Banas, Danielle ...

Even though the art style of the cover kinda makes me angry, The Good for Nothings sounds like it’s right up my alley! I also requested an eARC of this one, so we’ll see how it goes…

Amazon.com: A Song Below Water: A Novel (9781250315328): Morrow ...

Not only does A Song Below Water sound like a timely and beautiful novel…SIRENS. SIRENS!

Amazon.com: Goddess in the Machine (9781984835925): Johnson, Lora ...

Another eARC I requested (and was declined, and that I requested again…), Goddess in the Machine sounds absolutely FASCINATING.

Amazon.com: Honor Lost (Honors Book 3) eBook: Caine, Rachel ...

The final book in the Honors series, I’m eagerly awaiting to read Honor Lost! (My school librarian got to read it before me…kind of jealous, not gonna lie…)

Amazon.com: Kingsbane (The Empirium Trilogy) (0760789267772 ...

After finishing Furyborn recently, I can’t wait to see how the series continues in Kingsbane!

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS TAG!

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Since I’ve already posted once today, check out today’s Book Review Tuesday for today’s song.

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

Posted in Book Tags, Books

Wanderlust Book Tag

book tags header.jpg

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 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 Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (3/31/20)–The Survivor (The Pioneer, #2)

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Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

 

Ever since I first read The Pioneer last June, I’ve been itching to read the sequel. It just came out around two weeks ago, and I bought it on my Kindle last week. Needless to say, The Survivor was worth every single penny. 🪐

WARNING: This review contains some major spoilers for the end of The Pioneer, so PROCEED WITH CAUTION if you haven’t read book one, and want to! 

If you want to read my review of The Pioneer, click here! 

Tom Hiddleston Spoilers GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: The Survivor: A Pioneer Novel (9780062658098): Tyler ...

The Survivor (The Pioneer, #2)

After the tumultuous events on Tau Ceti E, the planet where humans planned to settle, Jo and her family and crew have set a course back to Earth. But a haunting message stands in their way, delivering the news that Earth is now uninhabitable, and most of human life was wiped out in an extinction-level event.

Left with no choice, Jo and the others return to Tau. But Jo knows that in doing so, they are violating the peace agreements they barely struck with the Sorrow, the indigenous, sentient species of Tau. A war is brewing, and betrayals wait for her on every corner of her crew…

 

Tears Crying GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

SO MANY FEELS, PEOPLE, SO MANY FEELS.

 

I was so glad to re-immerse myself into Tyler’s masterful writing. She has such a way with words, and understands the intricacies of human nature like no other author I’ve read. The major plot twist that WRECKED ME at the end of book 1 was still fresh in my mind, so I had a decent-ish jumping off point going into The Survivor.

Even though I didn’t feel as attached to many of the characters in book 1, most of them grew on me in book 2. And even if that attachment didn’t quite grow, there’s no denying that they have excellent chemistry, and that they’re masterfully written.

And, as always, we need to give a raucous round of applause to Ms. Tyler for ACTUALLY GIVING US WELL-DESIGNED ALIENS THAT AREN’T JUST HUMANS WITH WEIRD EYES! Not gonna lie, I was SO excited to explore the world of the Sorrow once more, and her lush writing made it all the better. We also get to explore a few more critters that weren’t mentioned in book 1, so that was fascinating, as always.

Ancient Aliens | Know Your Meme

Though I’m heartbroken that this was the end of the duology, I am over-the-moon glad that I was able to discover these novels. They will always hold a special place in my heart. After a week of mulling it over, I think The Pioneer and The Survivor are equal in rating to me, which is to say that I give The Survivor 5, massive stars. 

 

As I said before, The Pioneer series is a duology, ending with The Survivor. [single tear slides down cheek]

 

Today’s song:

 

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

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Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: March 23-29, 2020

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Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

As always, I hope you are all safe, comfortable, and well during these crazy times. We had our “spring break” this week, which mostly consisted of me sprawled out on the couch reading, but it was quite relaxing, all things considered. Our state now has an official stay at home order, and I have online school almost through the end of April, so next month should be…interesting, to say the least.

I read a LOT this week, and I’m happy to say that I loved most of what I read! Libby (online library) has now become my savior, and I’m now stocked up on library books that I can check out on my kindle. I re-read one of my favorite books, watched The Grand Budapest Hotel and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (LOVED both of those), started learning “No Surprises” (Radiohead) on guitar, and I created an original book tag! Online school starts back up next week, so we’ll see how that works out…but overall, I’ve actually had a weirdly good week!

 

Rosencrantz and guildenstern are dead GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
all of us cooped up at home trying to amuse ourselves 

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: 

The Survivor (The Pioneer, #2)–Bridget Tyler (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Survivor: A Pioneer Novel (9780062658098): Tyler ...

 

The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace, #1)–Erin Bow (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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

 

Even the Darkest Stars–Heather Fawcett (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to 4)

Even the Darkest Stars : Heather Fawcett : 9780062463395

 

One–Sarah Crossan (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: One (9780062118752): Crossan, Sarah: Books

 

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (re-read, yet again)

(⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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

 

When the Moon Was Ours–Anna-Marie McLemore (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: When the Moon Was Ours: A Novel (9781250058669 ...

 

POSTS AND SUCH: 

 

SONGS: 

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK: 

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing–Hank Green

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: A Novel: Green, Hank ...

 

Today’s song:

(This one’s been stuck in my head for a good…two or three days now? Classic)

 

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

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Posted in Books, Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: March 16-22, 2020

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Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

Whew, what a week it’s been…

Not tiring, necessarily, but this week was the first week that my school tried out online learning. It wasn’t too bad, per se, just…a chaotic and strange transition, at times. (*coughcoughcough SPANISH coughcoughcough*) Nice to do everything from bed, at least. Our spring break is next week, and then we have a good three weeks more of online learning, almost through the end of April. I’m a very introverted person, but I still tend to get kind of stir-crazy. So I’m going to try and make this month at home into a time of creative productivity (working on my WIP, drawing, blogging, etc.), LOTS of reading, and plowing through my movie bucket list. (Once this social distancing time is over, I’ll try and dedicate a post to all of the movies that I’ve watched. So far, I’ve only crossed off and RBG, but I can assure you that I will be SUBSISTING off of Netflix in the next few weeks…)

Hopefully I’ll be a *bit* more prolific blogging-wise during this time.

Image result for watching tv gif

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: 

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said–Philip K. Dick (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Image result for flow my tears the policeman said

 

Crown of Coral and Pearl–Mara Rutherford (⭐️⭐️.5)

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Sisters–Raina Telgemeier (re-read) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Image result for sisters raina telgemeier

 

Cadaver and Queen–Alisa Kwitney (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Image result for cadaver and queen

 

Cannery Row–John Steinbeck (finished for school) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Image result for cannery row john steinbeck

 

The Unhappening of Genesis Lee–Shallee McArthur (⭐️⭐️)

Image result for the unhappening of genesis lee

 

POSTS AND SUCH: 

 

SONGS: 

 

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK: 

Just to let you all know, in the future, this part of the weekly update might be far sparser in the next few weeks. I’ll be relying on the Kindle library and Libby for books to read, so I don’t really have anything “on hold” that I know for certain that I will read in the next week(s). But, I just bought this one yesterday, and I am ENJOYING EVERY MINUTE OF IT…

The Survivor (The Pioneer, #2)–Bridget Tyler

Image result for the survivor bridget tyler

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Today’s song:

 

That’s it for this week in blogging! Please stay safe out there, anyone, and don’t endanger yourself or others in these strange times. Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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