Posted in Book Tags

3 Bookish Things Book Tag

Hi again, bibliophiles!

I was in the mood for a book tag today, so I figured I’d give this one a shot. I was tagged by Riddhi @ Whispering Stories (thank you!), and I’m not sure who created the tag, so if you know, please let me know so I can credit them!

Let’s begin, shall we?

📘3 BOOKISH THINGS BOOK TAG📘

3 READ-ONCE-AND-LOVED AUTHORS

Amazon.com: The Sound of Stars eBook: Dow, Alechia: Kindle Store

Just so I don’t sound like a broken record, here are three that I’ve discovered more recently and loved…

3 TITLES I’VE WATCHED BUT NOT READ

The High Fidelity Cultural Reference Guide, Vol. V: Great Scenes and Lines  -- Dry The Rain | High fidelity quotes, Soundtrack to my life, Pixies songs

3 SERIES I HAVE BINGED

Ooh, I rarely binge series, so this one’s probably a little harder…

Amazon.com: The Young Elites (9780147511683): Lu, Marie: Books

3 CHARACTERS I LOVE

OOH, lots to choose from…I’ll think of some that I haven’t talked much about in other book tags…

Kaliis-768×1060 – Amie Kaufman
character art by @kiranight_art

3 CURRENT FAVORITE COVERS

I wouldn’t say that I have a favorite book cover, but here are a few recent reads that had covers that I ADORED

Victories Greater Than Death | Charlie Jane Anders | Macmillan
Victories Greater Than Death
Amazon.com: The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea (9781536204315):  Tokuda-Hall, Maggie: Books
The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea
REVIEW: 'The Ones We're Meant to Find' by Joan He will take readers to a  futuristic world that hits close to home - Bookstacked
The Ones We’re Meant to Find

3 THINGS YOU HAVE USED AS BOOKMARKS

Uh…I just use bookmarks, and I have no memory of using anything else…

3 UNPOPULAR BOOKISH OPINIONS

Amazon.com: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, 1) (9780316310314):  Black, Holly: Books
  • The Cruel Prince wasn’t that good, and Jude and Cardan’s relationship was all kinds of toxic
  • Wings of Ebony wasn’t that great either, but I will say that a) I loved the unapologetic approach to racism and colonialism and b) the cover was really pretty
  • Alina from Shadow and Bone shouldn’t have been paired off with the Darkling or Mal – both options weren’t great, and why did she need to be paired off in the first place? (But if I could pair her off with anyone, I’d say Genya.)

3 BOOK GOALS FOR THE YEAR

Page to Screen: The Handmaid's Tale | Arts | The Harvard Crimson
  • Read at least 250 books (I’m at 130 right now!)
  • Actually get around to reading The Handmaid’s Tale bc it’s been sitting on my Kindle for over a year
  • Don’t cry that hard during Aurora’s End (because it’s a given that I’ll cry at some point)

I TAG:

Love Reading GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Since I’ve already posted once today, check out this week’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!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (10/20/20)–Skyhunter

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been a fan of Marie Lu’s for a good three years, and since first reading Warcross, she’s been one of my favorite authors. So of course I had to preorder Skyhunter over the summer (and who wouldn’t, with that gorgeous cover?).

It came in the mail the Sunday before last, and by the time I finished my library holds, I realized that I never knew how much I needed this book in my life right at that time. Last week was an incredibly taxing and emotional week for me, and immersing myself back into Lu’s lush prose was just the thing I needed to get me crawling back out of the pit of despair I’d fallen into. And even if I hadn’t been in such a dark place last week, I’m positive that I would have loved Skyhunter just the same.

Enjoy this week’s review!

Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1) by Marie Lu

Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)–Marie Lu

My copy, ft. Rebel, Wildcard, a cool filter, and a metal bookmark I got from the preorder offer 🙂

Talin has lived a life of turmoil. Her home country of Basea was swallowed by the Karensa Federation, and she and her mother were forced to flee to Mara, the only nation who hasn’t been choked by their iron grip. But the warfront shrinks every day, and hordes of Karensa’s Ghost–captured humans that have been mutated and trained to kill–encroach on Mara’s territory every day. Fighting against them are the brave Strikers, Mara’s league of warriors trained to keep the Ghosts at bay.

When a defector is brought from the Karensa Federation, Talin knows that he hold secrets far beyond what Mara and the Strikers could have possibly imagined. Assigned to keep watch over him, Talin soon learns that his name is Red–and that he may hold the key to turning the tables on the Karensa Federation. But should she go against the Strikers based solely on faith–or leave Red to die?

Brice Jale's review of Temptation and Tights

Skyhunter came into my life during a rough patch (which still hasn’t entirely faded), so that may or may not put a bit of bias on my high rating. But then again…it’s Marie Lu, of course I’m going to adore it. Over the past few years, Lu has proven herself to be a true master of her craft, and Skyhunter is no exception–a tale of resilience and resistance in a time where we all need just that.

I’ll spare you all from my blabbing about the cover, but seriously, I could go on for DAYS about it–the minimalist style, the blending of the colors, the figures…the EVERYTHING?

Now then…

Marie Lu was one of the first pioneers of YA Dystopia with her Legend trilogy, and with Skyhunter, she proves once more that she is a wordsmith to be reckoned with. Every detail–be it in the worldbuilding, the characters, or the plot–made me love the story ten times more, and there’s clear evidence on every page that Lu truly poured her heart and soul into this tale.

As with most of her novels, the characters are what stood out the most to me. Talin is such a stubborn yet resilient heroine, and her determined nature drove the story into fantastic places. Red was my personal favorite–he had wonderful chemistry with Talin and the rest, and I loved all of his little quirks and his sarcastic mannerisms. (Also, his mouse deserves a medal–that poor thing’s probably traumatized from riding around in his pocket while Red just…does his thing.) Jeran and Adena had wonderful chemistry with them, and Lu did an incredible job of making them feel fleshed-out and authentic. Also, even though I could go for Talin and Red being a thing, I appreciated that Lu didn’t throw them headfirst into insta-love or a forced romance. Again–there could be an ADORABLE possibility for some classic enemies-to-lovers romance by the time book 2 rolls around, but it could honestly work either romantically or platonically.

Skyhunter has plot twists aplenty, most of which I didn’t see coming. Combined with the fast-paced plot and gripping action, I just could NOT put this book down–every time I had to set it down, I found myself anticipating getting to read more of it later on. There’s no shortage of vivid imagery, and I felt immersed in the story in a way that I haven’t felt in quite some time. The worldbuilding helped the latter fact as well–the different cultures of each country that the characters visited had such well-thought-out cultures, and everything felt wholly real, like I could just walk through the pages, and I’d be in Talin’s mother’s house, or on the middle of the warfront. My favorite aspect of the worldbuilding, as far as the Karensa Federation goes, was that of the Ghosts. I’m just a sucker for any kind of freaky, Mike Mignola-style monsters in stories, so…(I kind of imagined them how the wendigos are drawn in B.P.R.D.)

TW FOR THE IMAGE BELOW: Blood

For me, this is the most perfect example of the nature and atmosphere of  Hellboy and everything he stands for. : Mignolaverse

And through it all, there’s themes of fighting back–against colonialism, against discrimination and prejudice, and against all odds. It’s just the right blend of resourceful determination that we need in these troubling times, and even though most of us have grown tired of dystopias as a whole (seeing as we’re currently living in one…[ahem]), it’s a must read for all.

All in all, another stunning gem of a novel to add to Marie Lu’s near-flawless repertoire, and a tale of resistance and resilience that will stand the test of time. 4.5 stars!

6 Things We Know About 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' So Far

Skyhunter is the first book in the Skyhunter duology, followed by an untitled, forthcoming second novel set to be published in 2021. Marie Lu is also the author of the Legend series (Legend, Prodigy, Champion, and Rebel), the Young Elites trilogy (The Young Elites, The Rose Society, and The Midnight Star), the Warcross series (Warcross and Wildcard), and the standalone The Kingdom of Back.

Today’s song:

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 Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (6/30/20)–The Kingdom of Back

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been a fan of Marie Lu’s works ever since I first read Warcross, and the Legend series after that. Her writing has never failed to stun me, no matter what genre her novels happen to be in. So naturally, I decided to buy this one on my first bookstore trip since the pandemic started. And though I expected to love it, The Kingdom of Back blew me away–one of her best novels to date.

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: The Kingdom of Back (9781524739010): Lu, Marie: Books
Bonus photoshoot with some of her other novels (and a few crystals and rocks)

The Kingdom of Back–Marie Lu

For as long as she can remember, Nannerl Mozart and her younger brother Wolfgang have had an unbreakable bond, spurred on by their shared talent for music. But as her brother grows older, it becomes clear that he is a musical prodigy. Her father now overlooks her in favor of her younger brother, even though she possesses an almost equal musical prowess. Now, she and her brother are to perform for the royalty all over Europe, only stopping when she is of age to be married off.

But one night, before they leave on their grand tour, Nannerl is visited by an ethereal stranger, who claims to come from a faraway land beyond human sight. This land is the same place that she and Wolfgang have dreamed up, a backwards reflection of our own world, dubbed the Kingdom of Back. He offers her the chance to be remembered in history, but in exchange, she must complete a quest that will take her through the perilous underbelly of this fantastical world. These feats may secure her place in history alongside her brother–but at what cost?

corpse bride piano | Tumblr

Ladies, gentlemen and others, this is solid, concrete proof that Marie Lu can dish up a lavish tale in any genre that she so chooses, and do it masterfully no matter what.

The Kingdom of Back reads like a lush fairytale. Lu’s signature writing style shines through in the worldbuilding, both in the historical setting of 18th century Europe and the magical Kingdom of Back. Her prose is positively enchanting, transporting me to faraway lands and making me enjoy every single minute of it. Every word painted a gorgeous picture of a land that I would gladly immerse myself in. I read this one up in almost a single sitting, and a beautiful treasure was found on every single page.

And the characters. CAN WE TALK about these characters? With both Nannerl and Woferl/Wolfgang, Lu has breathed new life into these figures, transforming them into sister and brother that could fit into any fairytale. Nannerl’s struggles with being overshadowed and being a society that doesn’t take kindly to women expressing their talents were all too real, making for a lushly relatable character. Oh, and HYACINTH. HYACINTH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAH…again, Lu’s prose makes him seem beautifully real, and though I did predict that something was shifty with him, I adored him anyway. He might have been my favorite character, reminiscent of the Darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, and many others.

Nuada Aim GIF - Nuada Aim Hellboy - Discover & Share GIFs

All in all, one of Marie Lu’s best novels to date, an ethereal fairytale with relatable characters and prose to be reckoned with. 4.5 stars!

Rise of the guardians tooth fairy jack frost GIF - Find on GIFER

The Kingdom of Back is a standalone novel, but Marie Lu has many other series out, including the Legend trilogy, the Young Elites trilogy (my favorite of the bunch), the Warcross series, and the upcoming novel Skyhunter.

Today’s song:

This just popped up on my recommended. I haven’t heard anything by Slum Sociable, but I love “Somebody to Love Me,” and this is a great cover!

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

Posted in Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (6/27/20)–Books with Morally Grey Characters 🌫

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 books that have morally gray characters. This one was a bit harder than the rest–I’m trawling my brain for all the antihero-ish books I can think of…

UPCOMING SCHEDULE: 

6/6/20 — Books Set Near/On the Sea

6/13/20 — Books with One Word Titles

6/20/20 — Books You’d Give a Second Chance

6/27/20 —  Books with Morally Grey Characters

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 (This one!)
  • Tag 5 people

Let’s begin, shall we?

TOP 5 SATURDAY (6/27/20)–BOOKS WITH MORALLY GREY CHARACTERS

The Young Elites, Marie Lu

The Young Elites (Young Elites Series #1) by Marie Lu, Paperback ...

My favorite of Marie Lu’s works has morally gray all over the place…and maybe not so gray in many others…

Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein

Stranger in a Strange Land: Heinlein, Robert A.: 9781442005839 ...

There’s always the possibility for moral grayness when you’ve got a naïve extraterrestrial who has powers beyond imagining, but has no idea of the consequences…(oh, and goes and forms his own religion, as one does…[ahem])

Scythe, Neal Shusterman

Scythe (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition) (Arc of a Scythe ...

Now THIS series is just CRAWLING with moral grayness…part of what makes it such a memorable series, really. Scythe truly makes you think.

The Final Six, Alexandra Monir

The Final Six | Alexandra Monir

The morally gray aspects are more expanded on book 2, but The Final Six certainly has a prominent, well-done series of subplot that explores the motives of the different parties involved.

One Giant Leap (Dare Mighty Things, #2), Heather Kaczynski

Amazon.com: One Giant Leap (9780062479907): Kaczynski, Heather: Books

As with The Final Six, there’s a significant exploration of moral grayness in book 2 (here); it’s one of the highlights of the book for me–it encourages the reader to think about the different sides of war, and whether or not there is truly a “good”/”bad” side, and that there may be neither hero or villain in the conflict.

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

Go Ahead Go On GIF - GoAhead Go GoOn - Discover & Share GIFs

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

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 (9/4/18)-The Rose Society

Hi there, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to the first Book Review Tuesday of September 2018!

 

To be honest, I should have reviewed this books sooner. Like, a few months sooner. I mean, my review for book one in this series (see 7/17/18) was almost two months ago, so…

giphy.gif
…more like all summer. 

Anyway, I bought this lovely little novel at my favorite bookstore of all time. It was a hard decision between it and at least three other hardcovers of books I’d gotten from the library. But in the end, The Rose Society was a paperback, and I hadn’t read it before. But thank goodness I bought it, because MAN, it was THRILLING! Five big fat stars for this one!

Enjoy the review!

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The Rose Society

Broken by the betrayal of her father and the Young Elites, Adelian Amouteru decides to go rogue. Now under the alias of the White Wolf, she joins her younger sister Violetta and run away from their former home of Kenettra, in search of like-minded souls from which to build an army of their own. With a deadly grudge against the Inquisition Axis, Adelina will stop at nothing to bring justice to the Marked. But will her quest of anger and grief bring her success, or only misery?

 

Well OH MY GOD, that had to be one of the best books I’ve read all summer. No joke.

Not only was this book absolutely riveting and action-packed, but it’s the best out of the Young Elites trilogy. It truly packed a punch, all the way from start to finish. There’s hardly anything not to like about this book. 10/10. 👌

Also, remember how I was thinking about comparing the Young Elites characters to X-Men? Well, I’ve got some more comparisons today as well. 😉

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First off, I feel that Adelina is now more of a combination of Jean Grey and Magneto. Now that *spoiler for Young Elites* Enzo’s been offed, Adelina’s taken on the role of  “Marked bent on the destruction of the Inquisition Axis and all who support them”. Pretty rough ride for her.

 

giphy.gifSecond of all, the Nightcrawler-like character I hinted at in the Young Elites review was…drumroll please…Magiano.

He’s probably one of my favorites out of the cast of characters. Definitely something of a trickster, but he still retains a good heart deep down. Somewhere. If you look hard enough…¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

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Violetta was most similar to Rogue in terms of powers. From what I remember, they have somewhat like views on their own powers as well.

 

Oh, and speaking of Marvel…

…let’s not confuse Adelina with Bucky Barnes, guys. Just for future reference.

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Get it? White Wolf? Ha ha ha…nobody gets my jokes. Welp. 

Have a happy rest of your day, and keep on reading!

 

 

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (7/17/18)-The Young Elites

Hi, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

I’ve been getting into a lot of Marie Lu’s works at the moment. I recently re-read Legend, and I’d forgotten how good it was. I read Warcross some time ago, and I’m dying for Wildcard to come out! And so, I figured I needed to satiate myself while waiting for Wildcard (and for Prodigy to be available at the Kindle library…), I decided to start The Young Elites. And I think it might just be my favorite of Marie Lu’s series now!

I LOVED The Young Elites! I found it to be a lot like X-Men, but set in a world like our own in the Middle Ages. And I’m pretty much a sucker for all things, mutant, so this book was an absolute blast for me. I’ve already bought and started the sequel, The Rose Society, and I’m enjoying it even more than book one.

Enjoy the review!

 

Book1.jpg

The Young Elites

Ten years ago, the deadly blood fever swept the world, leaving a trail of death in its wake. But for those who survived, it marked them with gifts that seemed to be given by the gods. Some of the marked are hunted down and burned at the stake; others still are worshipped like gods. Adelina Amouteru is one of the marked, and is still figuring out her powers. But after a run-in with the Inquisitorial Axis, the royal guard whose task is to kill all the marked they find, she meets Enzo, another boy marked by the blood fever who can control fire. He introduces her to the Dagger Society, a league of fellow people marked by the fever who seek to reform the cruel tyranny of the royals. But as Adelina starts to control her powers, she realizes that the world may not be as black and white as she previously thought. Whose side is she really on? And what will the consequences be?

 

As I mentioned earlier, this book is very reminiscient of X-Men, which I absolutely adored. Some of the characters reminded me a lot of some of the characters.

Take Enzo, for example. I was getting some serious Magneto vibes from him. But kind of in a good way.

Kind of.

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I also found Adelina to be a lot like Jean Grey, in a way. Probably not so great for her, but they’re both incredibly awesome.

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There were a few more near-parallels in The Young Elites, but those were the two that I felt worked best. As I’m reading The Rose Society, I’ve found that one of the newer characters is starting to look a little like Nightcrawler. OH YEAH.

tumblr_inline_ofu4fq6Rzr1qjyo1m_400.gif

MY FAVORITE OF THE X-MEN!!! Kinda freaking out here, guys…

 

That aside, The Young Elites is such a well-written, action packed, gem of a book.

Okay, that was sort of a pun, sorry. You’ll get it once you read it. But what I’m trying to say is that this is an exceptional series. Please read, it please…

 

Well, I hope you have a great rest of the day, and keep on reading awesome books!

 

*BAMF!*