Posted in Book Memes

Extraordinary Book Titles

“Chapter the first, in which the Messenger of the Immortals arrives in a surprising shape, looking for a permanent vessel; and after being chased by her through the woods, indie kid Finn meets his final fate.”

First line in The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Hi, you lovely people. I’m here with another Top Ten Tuesday post and this time the topic is extraordinary book titles. It’s the kind of topic that is open to interpretation because what is an extraordinary title really? For me that means titles that are completely their own. Titles that can never fit another book and at the same time captures the essence of the content of the book. I have found ten examples of those unique book titles and I’m very excited to share them with you.

Remember, Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish but is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Go check out her blog for future topics.

As mentioned, I have ten titles for you. The first 5 are titles of books I’ve already read while the last 5 are books I want to read. Many of these books caught my attention by their title so enjoy!

Books I’ve Read

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Reasons for being awesome:

  • The promise of mischief.
  • All the L’s. I love saying it out loud.

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Reasons for being awesome:

  • The hint of both America and Britain and their blending together.
  • It fits the story perfectly. 

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Reasons for being awesome:

  • Sounds like something out of a Shakespeare play.
  • Could also be the title of a dramatic song in a Broadway musical (the true goal of all book titles).

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Reasons for being awesome:

  • Hilarious!
  • Makes you intrigued as to who ‘the rest of us’ are. And why are they just living there?

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Reasons for being awesome:

  • You know the ending but still want to read it (how is that even possible?)
  • You know you’re going to cry so no unpleasant surprise there.

Books on My TBR

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill

Reasons for being awesome:

  • It reminds me of the song by The Beatles called Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (which is funny because I don’t listen to The Beatles).
  • The implication that there’s an entire hotel filled with loneliness and sadness (I like depressing books, alright)

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Reasons for being awesome:

  • It’s way too long. I love it.
  • Makes me imagine a cute, little planet with a face on it. I just want to give it hug.

Autoboyograhy by Christina Lauren

Reason for being awesome:

  • Clever!
  • You might need to read it twice to get it.

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith

Reasons for being awesome:

  • The word ‘library’.
  • Hints at a library with secrets. What is unwritten??

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman

Reasons for being awesome:

  • So relatable!
  • Thought-provoking in the best way possible. 

Posted in Book Tags

The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

“Neil Josten let his cigarette burn to the filter without taking a drag.”

First line in The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic

Hi fellow readers. It’s time for a tag and I chose one of the popular ones this time. We all love those unpopular opinions and I was in the mood to be controversial. The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag was originally created by the bookTuber, TheBookArcher, so you can go watch that video if you want to. Cue the questions!

A popular book or series that you didn’t like

Starting out with the tough question. Of course, I have more than one answer for this. Firstly, we have Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi which is gave 2 stars. This was SO hyped that it would never have been able to live up to it. However, there were so many things I didn’t like about it. It had very poor writing that was incredibly repetitive and didn’t move the plot along very fast. Also, the insta-love that happened TWICE didn’t connect with me.

(Dis)Honorable mentions for this question include The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, Wayward Children by Seanan McGuire (I don’t hate the series but it wasn’t for me) and Vicious by V. E. Schwab.

A popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love

This question is more fun for me but I have fewer options to choose from. I’m going with a book in a series and that is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. This final book in The Hunger Games trilogy is probably everyone’s least favorite for a lot of reasons. It’s also my least favorite but only because I love the first two so freaking much. Mockingjay is very close though. I’ll admit that I also hated it when I read it the first time, but I’ve changed my mind about it over time. I ended up loving that there was less action so we got to spend more time in Katniss’ mind and experience her PTSD.

I also appreciate the ending which a lot of people hate. ***SPOILERS*** I always hated Gale so I loved it when it was proved how big of a jerk he was. Also, it was not a happy ending in the slightest and I think that is a very brave decision to make and so refreshing in YA. It would have felt forced and unrealistic to have everything just solve itself be like ‘yay let’s all live happily ever after’. *** END OF SPOILERS***

Honorable mentions for this question include Release by Patrick Ness (rating on Goodreads is 3.73) and Eragon by Christopher Paolini (rating on Goodreads in 3.89). 

A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with OR an OTP that you don’t like

Are there still love triangles in books or have I just managed to avoid them? I can’t think of any recent reads that featured love triangles. Also, in the older YA books that had them, I always rooted for the most obvious choice so I was never disappointed.

I can only think of one OTP I didn’t like and that is from Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I’m not mentioning any names but if you’ve read it, you know. Sanderson apparently can’t write romance. That OTP was just a good friendship and not anything romantic.

A popular book genre that you hardly reach for

I never read horror but I’m not sure how popular that actually is outside of the month of October. Other than that, I also never read thrillers or mysteries. The few people in my life who read, read mysteries so I know that one is very popular and I would never pick one up.

A popular or beloved character that you do not like

I really thought long and hard to try and find an answer to this that wasn’t the first character that popped into my head. Just to try and be a little less controversial but no… so we’re discussing Lila Bard from Shades of Magic by V. E. Schwab.

To be honest, I think Lila is a bad person but more importantly, I also think she’s a badly written character. That hurts to say because I really love Victoria Schwab. Lila has zero character development, and that’s across 3 whole books! And there was just so much room for her to improve that I kept waiting for it. The “personality” I assumed was a front turned out to be real. She actually is that not-like-other-girls character that I despise because she does whatever is in her power to be like a man. It just seemed very fake, and it annoyed me that the other characters just applauded her for it.

Rant over but I know a lot of people love her so I’d love to hear why in the comments.

A popular author that you can’t seem to get into

Neil Gaiman. I’ve read 3 books by him and the highest rating has been 3 stars. It’s weird because I actually don’t think I hate his writing style. It’s funny and engaging so no complaints there really. I think my main problem with Gaiman is that I don’t like his stories. I’m very often bored and find myself not caring about the characters.  You can attribute that to me picking the wrong books, so I’ll also point out that I’m not done trying. He’s written so many different things that there simply must be something I like.

A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing

I actually did a post solely about this topic a short while ago so I’ll be lazy and pick one of the ones mentioned in that. The competition. If a book features some kind of big competition, I’ll seriously be on the fence about picking it up. It sets the structure of the book from the beginning where I prefer the structure to be more unpredictable and surprising. I do like books that feature a competition, but that is typically because I absolutely love something else about it. I just often see readers who will pick up a book purely because of the competition element. I’m not one of them.

A popular series that you have no interest in reading

Funnily enough, I also have a recent post about popular books I don’t want to read. Here, I’m going to pick one that I didn’t think of when making that list: Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson. From what I understand, this is incredibly difficult to get into. It’s making me think that there are so many other fantasy series I’d rather read. I’m not seeing myself ever getting to Malazan.

The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or TV show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

I’m going to have several answers here because I actually think it happens fairly often that the movie or tv show is better than the book. After all, this is the unpopular opinions tag, right? First one is The Magicians by Lev Grossman, which was turned into a tv show on Syfy. The books and the tv show are very different but I actually think that the tv show managed to take the good parts of the books and just expand them. The books aren’t bad but they’re just not on the same level as the tv show. At least until the middle of season 4. After that there’s no reason to watch it (can you tell I’m pissed?)

My second answer is Twilight. Not that those movies were the best thing ever but they did better than the books. In all the movies they actually added a climatic moment because those didn’t exist in the books. I mean, how can you write 4 books without a single climax? That doesn’t work in movies so I’m glad they added that.

I also have two honorable mentions here which are The Lord of the Rings and Outlander (only read the first book in Outlander though).  

So, there you have some unpopular opinions. I’m not afraid of people disagreeing with me so please feel free to yell at me in the comments. Of course, I’d also appreciate to know if you agree with me. You can yell about that too.

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Posted in Fun Lists

Books I Want to Reread

“Out in the Waste stood a home, abandoned.”

First line in Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Hi guys. Today I wanted to talk a bit about what we all wish we had more time for: rereading books. I used to do this a lot more when I was younger. I had 3 or 4 series I just went through over and over and over again. I remember my mom being very confused by this. She never rereads a book *gasp* and would ask me why I wanted to read Harry Potter for the 12th time when I know what happens. My answer: Because I know what happens. When you read a book for the first time, it’s very hard to pay attention to EVERYTHING. You won’t understand all the hints but it’s so rewarding to read it again and see all of those connections you missed the first time. I also find myself loving characters I might have been indifferent about the first time, because I now know their complete character arc and appreciate their development.

This post was actually inspired by my recent reread of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I’ll let you know more about my thoughts about the book in my October wrap up but for now I will reveal that my rating went from 3 to 5 stars. Therefore, this post is also a reminder to reread books you didn’t completely love the first time. With Carry On, I definitely read it at the wrong time in my life.

The unfortunate thing about rereads however is when you read your favorite book… and it’s not your favorite anymore. I recently experienced this when I reread The Maze Runner by James Dashner. That was not like I remembered it.

I have a lot of books I want to reread and now I’m going to tell you which ones. First, a couple of books I want to give a second chance.

Dust Lands by Moira Young

Books in series:

I actually own the first book and I think I only DNF’d Rebel Heart because the library wanted their book back. I just never got around to getting it again. I remember the writing being very difficult because the characters spoke with an accent. That meant I read it super slowly. I think that as an adult it might suit be better. Plus, my English has improved (hopefully). I remember that the story had so much potential and I actually want to know how it ends.

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Books in series:

To say that I’ve read these might be a stretch as I skimmed SO many of the descriptions. I did not like the series at all and thought it was oh so boring. I’m not completely convinced that I will feel any different today but I want to give them a second chance at some point. I WAS very young when I read them the first time and I’m assuming that I’ll understand more of the story now so we’ll see.

That’s all I’ll commit to at this point. Not every book deserves a second chance. Of course, I also want to reread some of my favorite books. Some of the ones I know I’ll still love or maybe love even more. I won’t give much of an explanation for these because ‘duh’.

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

Books in series (all rated 5 stars):

I reread those every third year at Christmas. It’s the best tradition. Next time is in 2020.

Shades of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Books in series:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Books in series:

  • The Hunger Games – published 2008. Read in 2013. I rated it 5 stars
  • Catching Fire – published 2009. Read in 2013. I rated it 5 stars.
  • Mockingjay – published 2010. Read in 2013. I rated it 4 stars.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Books in series:

Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab

Books in series:

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Yes, I just want to reread the second book in Arc of a Scythe because that was freaking amazing! Scythe wasn’t bad, but it was just nowhere near the level of Thunderhead.

I hope you enjoyed this and maybe feel inspired to pick up a book you’ve already read. Remember, the new releases will still be there when you’re done. What book do you want to reread? Have you ever changed your mind about a book for the better because of a reread? I feel like I most often experience it the other way around so I’d love to know if that’s just me.

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Favorite Booktube Channels

“Stealing a spaceship shouldn’t be this easy.”

First line in Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Hi guys. I just love the topic for this week’s Top 5 Tuesday! It’s favorite Booktube channels and I’ve been meaning to do a post about those for a while now because I watch a LOT of Booktube. I’ll admit that it was a challenge to choose only 5 so maybe I’ll make a follow-up post at some point. Top 5 Tuesday is as always hosted by the lovely Shanah over at Bionic Book Worm so go and check out her blog for the rest of the topics for October.

Merphy Napier

Subscribers: 64K

Genres: Fantasy, classics, thriller – she reads a little bit of everything but I think those are the main ones.

Merphy is just a great Booktuber to follow if you’re into fantasy. She’s currently reading some of the big and popular fantasy series such as The Wheel of Time and Lightbringer, because she only started reading fantasy a couple of years ago. You can find really old videos of hers in which she says that her least favorite genre is fantasy. I was so confused when I found those.

My favorite kind of video from her is her weekly reading vlogs. I rarely watch other Booktuber’s vlogs because they are often an hour long and just show them doing random things not relating to books. I like that Merphy’s vlog are about the books she reading and what she thinks of them. She keeps them fairly short and only includes a couple of minutes of video of her very cute son.

She’s also very good at connecting with her followers and always expresses how much she loves interacting with them. She does buddy reads on several platforms and often ask her followers what they think she should read (and she will actually read what people suggest).

Holly Hearts Books

Subscribers: 10K

Genre: Fantasy and horror

I only recently started watching Holly but I ended up binge-watching so many of her videos when I found her. She’s a huge fantasy reader, and she loves Joe Abercrombie more than anything. I personally haven’t read any of his books, but she actually also talks about other fantasy books once in a while. I like that she reads some more underrated books. A lot of the books I see on her channel, I don’t see anywhere else. So even though I don’t completely share her taste in books, I often find books that I want to check out some more.

Paperbackdreams (Kat)

Subscribers: 119K

Genres: Fantasy, horror and contemporary

I’m slightly obsessed with Kat’s channel. Even a really bad day can become a good day if there’s a new Paperbackdreams video when I open YouTube.

I will say that I probably mostly follow her because of her personality. She’s so relatable and funny, but I don’t actually add very many books to my TBR from watching her videos. She also specializes in rant-reviews to that might be the reason. Those aren’t my favorite videos but she’s very articulate and reasonable in those. However, she also makes the more classics booktube-videos such as wrap ups and vlogs but she somehow makes them really unique for her. I mean she once made a TBR video about her socks. Whatever was on the sock she picked (blindfolded) would decide a book she would read that month. How do you come up with that? But, really, I love her and you should go check her out.

Book Roast

Subscribers: 63K

Genres: Fantasy and Sci-Fi

This is also one of my more recent discoveries but I already love watching her videos. If you love Harry Potter, you need to follow her. She’s such a massive fan of the series and it’s just delightful to watch. She’s the creator of the Magical Readathon where you can get your O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s which is such a brilliant idea and she is very passionate about hosting it.

She does a lot of unboxings on her channel and honestly, a lot of them are Harry Potter related. However, she does also talk about other books. We have a similar taste in books so I’m always looking forward to her wrap up each month.

Elliot Brooks

Subscribers: 28K

Genres: Fantasy and manga (not a genre but you know what I mean)

First of all, she has a sweet, sweet dog that often appear in her vlogs (the most important content of course lol). Besides her dog, Elliot loves fantasy! Some of her favorite books include The Witcher, Stormlight Archive and Fullmetal Alchemist. She says that she prefers writing styles that focus more on characters and their emotions instead of surroundings and what everything looks like. I agree with her very much on that so I always take her recommendations seriously.

She makes a lot of different kinds of videos (she also uploads a lot!) including book reviews, TBRs, hauls and pure recommendation videos. Once in a while she also makes these discussion videos and I really love those. She’s very intelligent and her ideas are always well thought out so I often learn a lot from her. The only downside is that she doesn’t like Harry Potter. Not everyone is perfect, I guess (joking of course. Read what you want).

I loved making this. Let me know if you also watch these Booktubers or if there’s someone else you think I should check out.

Posted in Wrap up

September Reading Wrap Up

“Waxillium Ladrian, lawman for hire, swung off his horse and turned to face the saloon.”

First line in Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

Hi guys and welcome to my wrap up of the most pitiful reading month I’ve had in years. I finished… 3 books. 3!?!? I even had a TBR for this month because I wanted to read all the sequels for Sequel September. I only read 2.

However, I’ve also been reading 3 others books this month that I just wasn’t able to finish. Those include The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (reread). I will definitely finish the last two of those very soon.

My personal life has partly been what kept me from reading very much this month. I took a big step and started seeing a therapist for my social anxiety, which I probably should have done 10 years ago. I hope it will end up making my life just a little bit easier but we’ll see. So far, so good. Enough of that. Let me tell you about those infamous 3 books I read this month.

Shadows of Self (Book 5 in Mistborn)

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: Shadows of Self shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.

Goodreads.

My thoughts

I enjoyed this one a lot more than the previous installment in the series, The Alloy of Law. It felt more like Mistborn. Like we actually came back to the world we spent the first three books in. The plot was amazing and detailed. I kept guessing what the ending would be but I didn’t get it right of course. As usual, Sanderson threw in a plot twist that made me question my own sanity but that’s how it’s supposed to be. I still don’t care to much for the western and detective-solving-a-crime vibes from it. I still love Wayne dearly, but I hate how he’s being reduced to a comic relief. There’s really not much of a point to his character.

The Stone Sky (Book 3 in The Broken Earth)

Author: N. K. Jemisin

Genre: Fantasy

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: This is the way the world ends… for the last time.

The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.

For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.

Goodreads

My thoughts

This final book in the trilogy is probably my favorite one. I definitely liked it a lot more than book 2 which just seemed like a filler book to me. In The Stone Sky, I really liked how it all came together although the ending itself was a little underwhelming. The lead-up to it was great. I think my favorite part of the book was seeing Essun’s complete character arc. How she has developed through her life really made me feel something. I’m still not a fan of the writing style but the story and especially its modern themes has kept me reading. It’s honestly magnificent how Jemisin has incorporated these themes of racism and love of nature into a fantasy story.

Timekeeper (Book 1 in Timekeeper)

Author: Tara Sim

Genre: YA fantasy/steampunk

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars!!!

Synopsis: Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time – and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that 17-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors. And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems.

Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: He is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target, or he’ll lose not only his father but the boy he loves – forever.

Goodreads

My thoughts

Timekeeper was such a surprisingly good read for me. It’s has a very sweet romance and the plot revolves around a very cool concept about clocktowers. It felt very unique to me which I really appreciated. When reading YA I often get the feeling that I’ve read the story before but not this time. Also, even though it had a bit of a slow start, the ending was magnificent. I was so enthralled that I couldn’t put the book down. If you want to know more of my thoughts on Timekeeper, I have a full review for it right here.

That was it for my reading in September. It can only get better from here lol. Maybe this was proof that I should never make a TBR again. I felt so limited and because I use my library so much, it also felt kind of stressful. I learned a lot but I’m not doing that again so hopefully you won’t miss it.

I hope you had a great reading month. What was your favorite book of the month? Also, what is your experiences with TBRs? Let me know what you think of them.

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

“Two o’clock was missing.”

First line in Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Author: Tara Sim

Genre: Fantasy/Steampunk

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Series: Book 1 in Timekeeper (trilogy)

Synopsis:

I was in an accident. I got out. I’m safe now.

An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.

A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.

A boy who would give anything to relive his past, and one who would give anything to live at all.

A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.

Goodreads

Blurb from Victoria Schwab: “An extraordinary debut, at once familiar and utterly original.”

Timekeeper is Tara Sim’s debut novel and with a starting point that is this good, I’m definitely reading more of her books. I didn’t have high expectations of this book going into it, but it caught my attention for its LGBTQ+ themes and because it’s set in Victorian London (although in an alternate reality). There was never really any doubt of me reading it because of those things, but the book ended up giving me so much more.

As always, I’ll give some headlines about what I liked and didn’t like about the book and then talk about it in a more general sense in the end. Even though I gave the book 5 stars, there are still a few things that could have been better but they didn’t do much to hinder my overall enjoyment of the book (but they might be the reason you don’t want to pick it up). I’ll start by getting those out of the way.

  • Inconceivable and vague magic system

The magic system concerns time and that is always a tricky one. It’s very rarely done perfectly and maybe that is why Sim didn’t give us too many details. At least not in the beginning. I had so many practical questions about time in this world and most of those weren’t answered until the last third of the book. The information wasn’t even withheld because plot points made it necessary, so it felt a little frustrating to be kept in the dark. 

It didn’t bother me too much in the end because it sort of felt like magical realism. It’s something that’s there that you’re not supposed to understand completely but it still functions as a backdrop for the characters to maneuver in. The first half of the book is heavily focused on Danny’s relationship with Colton and the magic is not that important yet.

  • Slow start

It takes a while for the plot to really unfold and instead we spend the time learning about the characters and their relation to each other. It felt a bit dull when I was reading it, but I also realized that it was necessary when I got further along in the book. If you’re a character-driven reader, I doubt that you’ll mind this slow start.

  • Themes

Timekeeper is a fantasy book that deals with some very relevant and modern topics, and that is my favorite part of this book. We of course have the LGBTQ+ representation. It’s handled very well and the characters actually talk about it a lot, which I find is kind of rare for a fantasy story. Another theme is mental health and specifically anxiety (not a spoiler, it’s in the first chapter). I have a soft spot for anxiety representation in fantasy and this is no exception. Minor themes include grief, identity and family issues.

  • Writing style

I found Sim’s writing really pleasant to read. She’s very good at depicting emotions and creating an atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re there in London with the characters. It’s done very elegantly and without the use of too many words. I didn’t feel flooded by flowery descriptions which left more room for some beautiful dialogue.

  • The main character

I loved Danny as a main character! He is very flawed in this first book in a trilogy, which I like because that means character development. I really appreciated how he actually acted like a 17-year-old (often that meant that he was a bit of an idiot but a lovable idiot). Not all YA authors are able to write realistic teens but Sim honestly nailed it. I’m so intrigued to see how she develops his character over the next two books.  

Timekeeper is such a recommend-worthy YA novel for those of you who feel that YA fantasy is all the same nowadays. And I will highlight that this IS YA. Not a New Adult book trying to act like YA, which I really appreciated. The writing is simplistic enough and as I mentioned earlier, it felt like I was reading from a teen’s perspective.

I also briefly want to touch upon that fact that this story is set in an alternate Victorian London. ‘Alternate’ is the key word here. If you’re picking this up to experience the vibe and atmosphere of the Victorian Era, you might be disappointed. At one point, I actually thought that the world was more like our 2019-world just without the technological advances. Culturally and linguistically it felt very modern because Sim kind of just created the world she wanted for this story. It works very well in my opinion but you will feel cheated if you go into this thinking that it’s historical fiction.

Finally, I want to summarize this review by saying that I’m so glad I read this book. And I was so surprised by that fact. Even halfway through the book, I didn’t think very highly of it. I was going to give it a solid 3 stars and stow it away in that giant box of ‘okay, but forgettable’ reads. The last fourth I think changed everything and I couldn’t stop reading it. It gave so much more meaning to what I’d read so far and also promised a lot of excitement for the next books. I can’t wait to continue.

Posted in Book Memes

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want to Read Soon

“I walk to the bus station by myself.”

First line in Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Hi fellow readers. It’s Tuesday. It’s a Top Ten. It’s a great day. Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish but is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and today’s topic is one of the classic book-related posts: my Fall TBR. I don’t really do TBR-posts because it seems like such a commitment. One that I can’t stick to. Therefore, I’ve changed the topic a bit to books I want to read soon (not limiting myself to Fall).

I’m fairly certain I’ll have read at least half of these by the end of the year (when I return to this post in January, I’m going to realize what a failure I am lol). There is an overweight of fantasy sequels but also a few first books in series because I’m me and I can’t finish series before I start new ones. Here they are (I’ll give you a synopsis for the ones that aren’t sequels).

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

Book 3 in The Witcher OR the first book that aren’t short stories so I’m kind of excited to see what that’s like. I haven’t been a huge fan of the series so far so this is basically its last chance. I’ve waited for it for so long at the library but it should be in my hands soon.

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

IT’S OUT TODAY! It’s very close to being my most anticipated release of the year (I only want The Toll more). Now I just need to wait for the library to get it unless I see it in a bookstore. Then I might buy it by accident.

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner

Book 5 in The Queen’s Thief. This is the last book that has been released so I really want to get caught up. I believe the final book is coming sometime next year so I need to be ready.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill

With echoes of The Night Circus, a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans in love with each other since they can remember whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one’s origins. It might also take true love.

Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen.

Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city’s underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes after years of searching and desperate poverty the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.

I only recently heard about this book when I read review of it over at Emer’s blog, A Little Haze Book Blog. Even though she didn’t particularly like it, I knew that I needed to read it soon. The synopsis compares it to The Night Circus but from what I’ve otherwise read about it, it also reminds me of A Little Life. A mix of those two books won’t be on my TBR for long.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

I long for the days before the Last Desolation.

The age before the Heralds abandoned us and the Knights Radiant turned against us. A time when there was still magic in the world and honor in the hearts of men.

The world became ours, and yet we lost it. Victory proved to be the greatest test of all. Or was that victory illusory? Did our enemies come to recognize that the harder they fought, the fiercer our resistance? Fire and hammer will forge steel into a weapon, but if you abandon your sword, it eventually rusts away.

There are four whom we watch. The first is the surgeon, forced to forsake healing to fight in the most brutal war of our time. The second is the assassin, a murderer who weeps as he kills. The third is the liar, a young woman who wears a scholar’s mantle over the heart of a thief. The last is the prince, a warlord whose eyes have opened to the ancient past as his thirst for battle wanes.

The world can change. Surgebinding and Shardwielding can return; the magics of ancient days become ours again. These four people are key.

One of them may redeem us. And one of them will destroy us.

Technically, this isn’t on my TBR anymore because I’ve already started it. I’m including it anyway because I only made it to page 600 before I had to return it to the library. So, now I’m waiting for it again.

The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

The last book before I’m caught up with the series. It would be just lovely if I could check that off on the list before the end of the year. The previous book left me really excited for the series so there’s a chance it will happen.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

I mainly want to read this because of the anxiety representation which also means I’m very, very scared of it. I have social anxiety and have recently decided that I actively want to try to handle it and learn more about it. That means reading books like this so hopefully I’ll run out of excuses not to read it (if you know of any other books about social anxiety, please let me know).

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her.

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

You can start three new series when you’ve finished one, right? It’s quite a long series so I really want to get started on it… and then wait a very long time before I finish it.

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

I think I’ve been meaning to read this for the past 3 months. It’s probably not going to happen this year but I’m putting it on this list to at least pretend that I’m pushing myself to read it.

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman

Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray.

Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options.

Ariel may not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.

Only the second contemporary on this list, and it’s for those moments when I need a break from fantasy (if that occurs).

Those were ten books I hope to read within the next three months. Do you have some books you absolutely want to get to before we hit January?