Posted in Everything but books

Everything But Books #2

“One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. And the next minute he was gone.”

First line in Gone by Michael Grant

Hi, guys. This is my second post about the things I like that aren’t books. I meant to make one of these approximately once a month but it has now been three months since the last one. Oops.

Music

  • If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know) by The 1975 – I need to move when I listen to this. I wasn’t a huge fan of their latest album, Notes on a Conditional Form, but this song might be my new favorite of theirs.
  • Garden by Scarlet Pleasure – My favorite band released a new album! The first one in 4 years. It’s proof that 2020 isn’t all bad.
  • Break Up Song by Little Mix – I’ve listened to this song way too much but it’s keeps being amazing. And the video great! My favorite take on the whole “shooting a music video in quarantine”.

Movies and Shows

  • The Old Guard – So I’ve watched this 3 times… Gotta say I love my superhero movies and this one is delightfully different while still resembling what we know. I need there to be a sequel.
  • This Is Us – I’m a little late to discover this series, I know. I’ve found that it’s the perfect kind of wholesome series I need to deal with this crazy world right now. It deals with a lot of serious issues but at its core, it’s deeply optimistic and I love that.
  • The Umbrella Academy – I only started watching this when the second season came out recently, but then binged the whole thing in less than a week. It’s superheros. I can’t resist.

YouTube

  • Evan Edinger – I recently came across some of Evan’s videos where he compares the US to the UK and how things work differently in the two countries. He also reacts to some subreddits about the differences about the US and Europe and those are hilarious. There’s a lot of making fun of Americans in those.
  • NoahFinnce – Through Evan’s videos, I discovered Noah who is a trans man and makes videos about that. He also sings so he does some covers but also writes his own.

Blog Posts

(Since it’s been a while since I’ve done a post like this, some of these blog posts have posted a while ago, but they’re still worth a read)

  • Nicole @Sorry, I’m Booked shared her thoughts on A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab and especially took a closer look at the character development.
  • Jess @Jessticulates told us all about the books with aro and/or ace protagonists she wants to read this year.
  • If you’ve read The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan, I highly recommend a post from Cam @Camillea Reads where she talks about her favorite character progressions in that book.
  • Fantasy has so many sub-genres. Sam @The Book In Hand broke it all down for us to give us a great overview of how she sees the genre.
  • Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner did a post exploring how we as readers differ in how many details we visualize when we read. It made me question a lot about my own reading habits.

That was all for this time. Happy reading!

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – August 5th 2020

“Eshonai had always told her sister that she was certain something wonderful lay over the next hill.”

First line in Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Hi, guys. I hope you’re all doing great. Today I’m back to using WWW Wednesday after a 2-weeks-break to give you a reading update. WWW Wednesday a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, and it’s meant to give you all a little insight into my reading this week. I’ll answer the 3 questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish?
  • What do you think you’ll read next

What did you recently finish?

Yes, I’m back because I finished Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson and ended up giving it 4 stars. I already talked about it in my July Wrap Up and my spoiler-filled review of it so I’m not going to spend much time on it here. I had a few issues with it but overall, it was a great reading experience.

What are you currently reading?

I’m still slowly making my way through Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (reread). I’m currently at 44% and it’s not something I have a need to rush through. Sometimes it’s just a nice break from the other book I’m reading at the moment.

That other book is Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez (it’s a mouthful). It’s a rare non-fiction read for me but it’s really good! It’s basically showing all the ways the world can somehow forget that women exist. So. Many. Ways. It’s such an important book but I’m reading it a bit slower than expected because I have to let out a scream of frustration every 10 minutes. But yeah, I have about 100 pages left so should be done with it soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I know I’m already reading 2 books but I’m actually starting another one today (Wednesday), because I need an ebook. I’m traveling to Copenhagen for four days of vacation so it’s easier to bring an iPad to read on. I’ll be starting (and hopefully finishing) Firestarter by Tara Sim.

Posted in Book Review

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson – Spoiler Chat and Favorite Quotes

“Eshonai had always told her sister that she was certain something wonderful lay over the next hill.”

First line in Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Published: November 17th 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Stormlight Archive #3

My rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I went into this book with the expectation that I wasn’t going to like as much as the other two books in the series. Several reviews had made me apprehensive about it and that was a good thing. You see, I agree with people who say this doesn’t match the level of the previous books, but because I was aware of that before going in, I’m actually not disappointed. It is still some of the best fantasy you can find.

I’m giving a MAJOR SPOILER warning here. The rest of the post will be discussing aspects about the book in detail. If you still want to read my favorite quotes, they’ll be at the bottom. They contain only mild spoilers.

Review

Oathbringer is Dalinar’s book. Which means we’re off to a rocky start because I’ve never been that interested in Dalinar. He’s too honorable and boring in many ways. The flashbacks we got from him failed to keep my interest most of the time. All those battle sequences! I know it was trying to emphasize his love of fighting at that point in his life, but I don’t think I needed that many fight scenes to get that. That’s probably my main criticism of the book: too many unnecessary chapters making the same point over and over again. This book didn’t need to be this long. But back to Dalinar.
My favorite scene in those flashbacks was when Evi died (I know, I’m horrible). The way that was so obviously connected to his need for revenge and his bloodthirstiness. It’s literally what killed her and the implications for his character because of that were so interesting.
I had a problem with him in a specific, though probably insignificant, scene when he’s in Thaylen City. He’s sees a room full of wounded people and FORGETS THAT HIS SON CAN HEAL PEOPLE! Yeah, he remembers later after a he duels someone for no apparent reason (yay another fight scene), but why is that not his first thought when he sees people in need of medical attention? I mean, we all know Dalinar would sacrifice Renarin to a chasmfiend if it would gain him an advantage, but still, come on, man! I love Renarin deeply if that rant didn’t make it clear.

Moving on to Shallan… still not a character I really like and this book might have made me dislike her more. First I want to share the first thing I wrote down when I was making notes for this post:

  • WTF is going on with Shallan?

Now that I’ve finished the book that is still my question, I guess. I didn’t care for the split personality thing for several reasons. Firstly, I’m not exactly sure what prompted it. She spends most of the book feeling sorry for herself because she realized she killed her abusive parents. In my opinion, she could have done worse than that so I don’t see why she’s behaving like some horrible thing happened to her. Secondly, the point in the end ended up being about people being more than one person and that we have different sides to us. I mean… duh. It’s really not that revolutionary. It doesn’t mean you have to create two entirely new personas! Thirdly, the fact that Shallan was in love with Adolin but Veil was in love with Kaladin. I’m sorry but that was creeping me out!

My main complaint about Shallan in Words of Radiance was that her actions and especially her mistakes didn’t seem to have any consequences. It is such a stark contrast to every other character in the series. That means that when she got that boy killed in Kholinar I was like: FINALLY! I had hoped it would prompt some interesting future thoughts about how to solve a problem… but no. She was very quickly comforted by Wit and never thought about that boy again.

I really want to talk about some characters I liked now, so Kaladin. He took a little bit of a step back in this one which is understandable (but still upsetting for me), because he was such a main character in the first two books. It’s also why I started to become a little confused when he was about to say the Fourth Ideal. He hadn’t exactly “earned” it throughout the book, but I was so pleased with how that was handled. That you actually see him fail to say the words. He’s in one of his depressive episodes at that point so it’s nice to see that he’s not invincible.
Another thing I really liked about Kaladin in this book is his friendship with Adolin. Like, it’s the best and most precious thing about this book. I need more of it.

And speaking of Adolin, he’s quickly becoming a highly interesting character. I’ve always liked him, not as a person but as a character with potential. It’s great to finally see him living up to it and evolving as a person.

The last thing I want to touch upon is best introduced by the notes I made when I read a certain scene in this book:

  • MOASH YOU FUCKING HORRIBLE, DESPICABLE, DISGUSTING PIECE OF GARBAGE!!

Yeah, save to say that Moash earned himself a spot on my list of most hated characters when he killed Elhokar. And the way he did it! God, I’m so angry.
I really liked, though, how he was used as a contrast to Dalinar. When we’re with Moash, we see him telling himself that the things he’s done isn’t his fault. He had no choice. He takes no responsibility for his life and his actions. Amaram does a similar thing later on. Cut to Dalinar who defeats the enemy by saying “I did it. It was my choice.” Owning up to his mistakes and accepting the pain it causes. That’s what a strong person does instead of pushing the responsibility onto others.

To end this section on a positive note: the Bridge Four POV chapters in this book gave me life. Sanderson, please make that a thing in the next books as well.

The last part of this post is dedicated to my favorite quotes of the book, so enjoy.

Favorite Quotes

Dalinar Kholin could make choosing what to have for breakfast look like the most important decision in all of Roshar.

And there you have Dalinar summed up in one sentence.

“What,” Pattern said with a hum, “is a chaperone?”
“That is someone who watches two young people when they are together, to make certain they don’t do anything inappropriate.”
“Inappropriate?” Pattern said. “Such as… dividing by zero?”

Oh, Pattern. You’re so precious ❤️

The trick to happiness wasn’t freezing every momentary pleasure and clinging to each one, but in ensuring one’s life would produce many future moments to anticipate.

Is this Sanderson coming for the tourists who spend so much time taking pictures of everything they see? I like the sentiment that happiness doesn’t come from a single moment but from multiple.

Merely being tradition does not make something worthy. We can’t just assume that because something is old it is right.

*conservatives have left the chat*
This quote is too accurate but there are so many people who don’t realize that. Continuing to do something simply because it’s “tradition” isn’t always a justifiable reason.

Don’t deflect your evils by pointing out the faults of others.

When you’ve done something wrong, it’s very natural to point out that others have made similar mistakes. That doesn’t make your mistake any less wrong though. We weren’t talking about the others. We were talking about you.

Sometimes a hypocrite is nothing more than a person who is in the process of changing.

I really like this quote because I don’t think being a hypocrite is necessarily a bad thing. It can be but if a person is going through a learning process, don’t throw hypocrite in their face.

Maybe you don’t have to save anyone, Kaladin. Maybe it’s time for someone to save you.

I think I died…

Those were a lot of the thoughts I had while reading Oathbringer, a book that elicited quite a few emotions from me as you can probably tell. I’m now very ready for the fourth book to come out in November.
I would love to discuss my thoughts even further with you. Especially Shallan. I’m still confused about her storyline. See you in the comments!



Posted in Book Tags

The Sunshine Blogger Award

“Philip heard him.”

First line in The Devil’s Apprentice by Kenneth B. Andersen

Hi, guys. I was so kindly nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by Naemi from A Book Owl’s Corner. So thank you, Naemi! 😀

If you don’t know, The Sunshine Blogger Award is given by bloggers to other bloggers they find creative, inspiring and positive. It’s a great way to spread some love within the community.

The rules:

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Now it’s time to answer the 11 question!


What is an interesting non-bookish fact about you that most people don’t know?

Something that most people here in the online community don’t know about me is that I spent 3 years at university to get a degree I’m not even using in my current job. I studied International Business Communication, which I don’t regret because it still improved my communication skills and anybody can find use of that. I don’t think I would have this blog if I hadn’t taken that education. But now I work as a postal worker. I spend my days alone without talking to people. It’s awesome.

Has your opinion on a book ever changed as you got older? For example: Is there a book you used to dislike that you now love, or a book you adored but fell out of love with?

I haven’t tried going from disliking a book to then loving it. I tend not to give books second chances so I don’t reread books I find bad or average. There are some books I read as a child that I don’t love anymore though. To name one: I don’t think I would love the Percy Jackson books if I read them again today.

Which fictional food would you love to try someday?

I don’t notice food, this was so hard! I’m going with a pretty well-known one: Lembas from The Lord of the Rings. It’s supposed to be the most nutritious thing you could possibly get and also tastes kind of sweet. However, the recipe is kept extremely secret by the elves so I doubt we’ll be seeing Lembas any time soon.

You get to resurrect a fictional character of your choice, but in order to gain the energy necessary to restore their life, you have to kill a different character. Who would you save and who would you sacrifice?

I’m assuming the two characters don’t need to come from the same book because I’m totally taking advantage of that. But as this is a quite spoilery question, both in terms of who to save and who to sacrifice, I’m giving SPOILER WARNING for A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara AND Shades of Magic by V. E. Schwab. Don’t read the next paragraph if you don’t want spoilers for those.

Who to save: Willem Ragnarsson from A Little Life. If you’ve read the book, you know I’m also technically saving Jude so there was no doubt in my mind about this. I don’t think I’ve ever been hit this hard by a character death because Willem was just a genuinely good person. He deserves to live and bring happiness to Jude. The one I’m sacrificing to make this possible is Delilah Bard from A Darker Shade of Magic. She’s just the opposite of Willem. Rude, selfish, irrational. She really should have died at the end of that trilogy anyway.

Do you ever feel second-hand embarrassment when reading? If yes, name a scene that really made you cringe!

I guess I do feel second-hand embarrassment but not for specific scenes in that sense. It’s more something I come across whenever I have to read a book in my native language, Danish. I try to avoid this so much because it’s really a horrible language. Any emotional or serious scene will get awkward and cringey in Danish and I just can’t deal.

If you could have one item of clothing from a book, what would you pick? Be aware that any magical properties won’t transfer to our world.

It limits the options when you don’t get the magic, too. I think I’m turning to the Hunger Games universe because why would I not choose something Cinna made? One of those fiery dresses Katniss wears would be perfect to make people keep their distance in today’s environment and also just in general.

Do you speak any other languages? If so, what is one unique thing about them? If not – are there any languages you would like to learn?

Yes, I do speak other languages. I just bashed my native language two questions ago. But Danish does still have some unique qualities. When talking grammar, Danish has two genders. Funnily enough, our language decided to be politically correct before that was even a thing, because those two genders aren’t masculine and feminine. They’re called ‘common’ and ‘neuter’ instead. The downside of this, I guess, is that it’s difficult to guess a noun’s gender as a foreigner learning the language.

I also understand a little German as it is the language we learn in school. However, I will hold on to my right to look confused if someone starts talking to me in German.

What is your biggest bookish pet peeve?

Not sure if it applies to this question but I find it quite annoying when I go to Amazon to buy a book and the Kindle version is the most expensive. That’s the only version I buy through Amazon because shipping to my country is way too much money when Book Depository exists. But how does a digital version of a book cost more than a hardcover? There’s something about that that doesn’t connect in my mind because a Kindle version doesn’t actually “exist” if you get my meaning.

What would you like to see more of in books?

I find this difficult to answer because whatever I say, there are probably going to be a lot of books containing that element. I just haven’t found them yet. So I guess my answer is going to be what I would like to read more of.

The “strong female character” is something I so rarely see done right, at least to my taste. It’s not so much that the “strong” part means physically strong. I think authors have listened to that and moved away from it a little. Now, I think my problem with these characters is due to the fact that their strong trait of cleverness means that they become snarky and self-absorbed. Not that I mind intelligence in my female characters. I love that but I wish it would take a different form sometimes. I also wish that empathy would be seen as the strongest trait someone could have. But that might be a societal thing we need to change first.

Short version: I want more female characters like Vasya from the Winternight Trilogy.

What is the first book you ever read by yourself?

I have no idea how old I was, but I’m sure it was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. For some reason, I have some very vivid memories of this.

Recommend a book that you think doesn’t get enough love!

I’m going with The Binding by Bridget Collins which is a highly atmospheric book about books. But some very special books as they hold memories. If there’s something you want to forget, just get your bad memories written into a book.
The Binding is a slow, low fantasy story with characters you quickly fall in love with, and I think more people should read it.


Those were some really great questions to answer. Now I’m going to nominate 11 other fantastic bloggers who deserve some love. I always feel like I’m too small a blogger to tag anyone which makes this a little weird for me but here we go:

Absolutely no pressure to do this. Just know that I think that you and your blog are real nice 😀 ❤️ Here are the 11 questions to answer:

  1. How are you doing at the moment?
  2. Do you have a Twitter or Instagram account where you talk about books? If so, how do you use them in connection to your blog? If you don’t have such accounts, why not?
  3. Pick one character you would have a conversation with (either one you hated or one you loved). What would you talk about?
  4. Are you an indoors or outdoors type of person?
  5. You like music? What is your current favorite song?
  6. Do you read ebooks? Why do you like/dislike them?
  7. Is there a genre you could never see yourself reading?
  8. You have briefly been granted the ability to pull an animal/creature out of a any book to have them live with you. Who is your new pet?
  9. If you were asked to recommend 2 books with a great portrayal of friendship, which ones would you mention? (If you want to mention more than 2, don’t let me stop you)
  10. Do you have any future plans concerning your blog? Are there certain milestones you want to reach?
  11. What are some of your favorite character traits? What does it require for you to love characters? Name as many traits as you want!

This was a really fun post do to and thank you again to A Book Owl’s Corner for nominating me. Happy reading!

Posted in Wrap up

July 2020 Reading Wrap Up

“Lucy Herondale was ten years old when she first met the boy in the forest.”

First line in Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Hi, guys. Another month is over, and it’s time for my reading wrap up for July.

It was a pretty good month for me although a little weird because I read 3 very big books. I usually stick to just one per month so I’m pretty proud of managing 3. It means that the number of books I read is very much ‘business as usual’ but my page count is up by over 500 since last month.

It really helped that I managed to finish a certain brick called Oathbringer (1,220 pages) just before July was over. That was also the only book written by a male author. I’ve been reading female authors in July as part of The Fantasy Hive’s focus on #WomenInSFF.

My ratings were also very good this month as I didn’t rate anything less than 3 stars and even read a new all-time favorite. But enough statistics, let’s get into the mini-reviews.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games #0)

Author: Suzanne Collins

Published: May 19th 2020

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopia

My rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Buzzwords: villain origin story, morally gray, unlikable main character

Synopsis: It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined—every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

Goodreads

My thoughts

This was alright. Way too long, but I really liked how Collins explored how one becomes a villain. This was an interesting look into Snow’s mind. If you want more of my in-depth thoughts about the book, I have a full review for it.

Chain of Gold (The Last Hours #1)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Published: March 3rd 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

My rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis: Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London…and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague.

James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love.

Goodreads

My thoughts

There’s just something about those goddamn Shadowhunters that works! Chain of Gold was fast paced and alluring. Even though it’s the gazillionth book in the universe, it’s still its own book and manages to diversify itself from its predecessors. Not a lot of course. All the romance drama is still there, but that has started to become my favorite part of these books.

My main gripe with this is one is that it doesn’t exactly feel historical. It takes place in the early nineteen hundreds but if it weren’t for the fact that they ride around in carriages, I wouldn’t have known. The characters feel very modern and it gives a little bit of a disjointed reading experience.

A History of Madness (The Outlands Pentalogy #2)

Author: Rebecca Crunden

Published: July 13th 2017

Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopia

My rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Read the synopsis for the first book in the series, A Touch of Death.

My thoughts

I did have some difficulties with this one. We follow a different POV character compared to the first book, which I initially thought was a great choice. I still think it was a good choice story telling-wise. It really brought some new aspects of the world to the forefront and offered new opportunities. However, the character turned out to be one of those I like from other characters’ perspectives but not his own. Being in his head was annoying and I realized that he’s not a very likable character. Unfortunately, that’s just something I need characters to be to really enjoy a book.

I still found that I liked the writing. It’s very easy to read and none of the sci-fi elements are too complicated to understand. I also enjoyed some of the very “real” and hard-hitting conversations between the characters. Those can easily become awkward but that wasn’t the case here.

Finally, I also want to touch upon the fact that I found it a little boring compared to the first book which was very action packed. Here in the second one there were several opportunities for drama but everything was resolved rather quickly. Except for when there was a POV change towards the end. That was amazing!

Silver in the Wood (The Greenhollow Duology #1)

Author: Emily Tesh

Published: June 18th 2019

Genre: Fantasy

My rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Buzzwords: nature love, centuries-old magic, wholesomeness

Synopsis: There is a Wild Man who lives in the deep quiet of Greenhollow, and he listens to the wood. Tobias, tethered to the forest, does not dwell on his past life, but he lives a perfectly unremarkable existence with his cottage, his cat, and his dryads.

When Greenhollow Hall acquires a handsome, intensely curious new owner in Henry Silver, everything changes. Old secrets better left buried are dug up, and Tobias is forced to reckon with his troubled past—both the green magic of the woods, and the dark things that rest in its heart.

Goodreads

My thoughts

Sooo.. this was perfect! Silver in the Wood is a beautiful, atmospheric story. Tesh really shows how one doesn’t need 500 pages to create a vivid and engaging world. It’s hard to say what my favorite part was but I was very intrigued by the way Tesh wove nature into everything and what that meant for the story.

I was also amazed by how quickly I came to love every single character. As it’s only a 110 page-novella there isn’t much time to get to know them. However, when you have such masterful writing skills, 110 pages is plenty of time. For example, a certain character only needed a single line of dialogue to get a spot on my list of all-time favorite characters. I’m simply in awe of this book and have already pre-ordered the sequel.

Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3)

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Published: November 14th 2017

Genre: Fantasy

My rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Read the synopsis of the first book in the series, The Way of Kings.

My thoughts

With a 4-star rating, this book is so far my least favorite in the series. It’s also the first book that felt too long, like it didn’t need all those 1,220 pages. I didn’t always feel that each chapter had a purpose other than drawing out the suspense. It felt long to read which the first two books didn’t.

This is also at a disadvantage for me from the start because it primarily features my two least favorite characters: Dalinar and Shallan. I think they are the ones with the least interesting story arcs, although I will admit that my feelings towards Dalinar improved with the ending to this one. I think I might hate Shallan more though, lol.

So why 4 stars? Well, because when this book reaches its pivotal moments it’s so bloody amazing and shows an author that ties every little plot line together masterfully. I have given up predicting things and has just accepted that I’m along for the ride.

Of course, I also give the first 3 stars just for the existence of Kaladin Stormblessed. Please, let there be more of him in book four.

That was my reading month for you. I’m so excited to have finally caught up with The Stormlight Archive. So ready for the fourth one!
August was supposed to be dedicated to N.E.W.T.s buuut since we have to hide to participate in that, I’m skipping it. Will still be trying to push myself to read a lot in August. I’m off work for the first half of the month so there should be plenty of opportunities for me to read. Hope you’ve all enjoyed your reading this past month and happy reading in August!

Posted in Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Opening Lines in Books

“There was a boy in her room.”

First line in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Hi, guys and welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday. It’s been a few weeks since the last one for me, but since the topic is a ‘freebie’ I thought I would take to opportunity to share my favorite opening lines. I recently realized that I’d never done this before which seems like a giant mistake on my part. I share first lines at the start of everyone of my posts so it must have slipped my mind to dedicate an entire post to them. Rectifying that today!

Top Ten Tuesday is as usual hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl so head over there to check out the future topics. Let’s start!


The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin

“Hmm. No. I’m telling this wrong.”

What a way to start your sequel! It sort of negates the entire first book. The reader obviously loved it, but is now being told it was wrong. Interest is peaked for the second book.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

“The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.”

Dog = the best kind of first line. On top of that, it’s a talking dog! You don’t care that it doesn’t have anything to say. You wanna read about the talking dog!

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

“We must, by law, keep a record of the innocents we kill.”

Wait… Innocents? Why would you kill innocent people? And that’s not even the focus of the sentence. It’s about something as dry as keeping a record of it. The juxtaposition is haunting.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

“Long before we discovered that he had fathered two children by two different women, one in Drimoleague and one in Clonakilty, Father James Monroe stood on the altar of the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the parish of Goleen, West Cork, and denounced my mother as a whore.”

Did you catch all of that? It’s almost an entire book in one sentence. I mean, you already have several “plot twists” before the story has even started.

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith

“Books ran away when they grew restless, when they grew unruly, or when they grew real.”

You better keep an eye on all of those unread books on your bookshelf. They might run away.

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

“If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.”

A book that knows that it’s not for everyone and is being kind and helpful about it. Although it’s fake. It’s actually forcing you to read it because there’s no way you’re putting the book down after reading that.

We are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

“Life is bullshit.”

Simple, but effective.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

Simply iconic. The ‘almost’ promises that you will love Eustace Clarence Scrubb just a little bit during the book which makes this beginning both funny and hopeful.

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

“Sometimes, I worry that I’m not the hero everyone thinks I am.”

Chills! An epic introduction to an epic trilogy. Is he a hero or not? It’s a story you want to know.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

“Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.”

The relatability is unparalleled. The over-analyzing mother, never leaving the house and reading the same books again and again. Same, girl.

I love first lines. But hey, these are just some of the great ones. I’ve also only used lines from books I’ve already read, so please share your favorites in the comments if they aren’t included here. Happy Top Ten Tuesday and happy reading!

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Star Predictions #2

“I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem.”

First line in The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Hi, guys. Last week I posted my first 5 star predictions wrap up post, and let’s just say I’d done a pretty awful job of picking 5-star reads for myself. Instead of giving up, I decided to take it as a learning experience so now I’m giving it another attempt. I’ve picked out 5 books from my TBR that I’m pretty sure is at least a 4-star worthy read and hopefully 5.


The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic, created to be the wife of a man who dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free.

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker’s debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

Drowned Country by Emily Tesh
(The Greenhollow Duology #2)

Drowned Country is the the stunning sequel to Silver in the Wood, Emily Tesh’s lush, folkloric debut. This second volume of the Greenhollow duology once again invites readers to lose themselves in the story of Henry and Tobias, and the magic of a myth they’ve always known.

Even the Wild Man of Greenhollow can’t ignore a summons from his mother, when that mother is the indomitable Adela Silver, practical folklorist. Henry Silver does not relish what he’ll find in the grimy seaside town of Rothport, where once the ancient wood extended before it was drowned beneath the sea―a missing girl, a monster on the loose, or, worst of all, Tobias Finch, who loves him.

Firestarter by Tara Sim
(Timekeeper #3)

The crew of the Prometheus is intent on taking down the world’s clock towers so that time can run freely. Now captives, Colton, Daphne, and the others have a stark choice: join the Prometheus’s cause, or fight back in any small way they can and face the consequences. But Zavier, leader of the terrorists, has a bigger plan—to bring back the lost god of time.

As new threats emerge, loyalties must shift. No matter where the Prometheus goes—Prague, Austria, India—nowhere is safe, and every second ticks closer toward the eleventh hour. Walking the line between villainy and heroism, each will have to choose what’s most important: saving those you love at the expense of the many, or making impossible sacrifices for the sake of a better world.

I am very confident that I’ve picked some great books this time, even though 3 of them are by authors I’ve never read before. The last two are from series I’ve already started and given 5 stars to previous installments. Looking forward to reading these in the next few months and hopefully come back to you with a more positive wrap up post. Happy reading!

Posted in Fun Lists

Female Authors On My TBR #WomenInSFF

“Thick evening fog clung to the forlorn banks of Ward’s Island, turning it into a ghost of itself.”

First line in Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

Hi, guys and welcome to part 2 of my contribution to the #WomenInSFF highlighting that’s going on over at The Fantasy Hive. Last week I talked about some of the underrated female authors I love and so today we’re taking a closer look on those female authors still waiting patiently on my TBR. There were quite a few, but I have managed to pick 10 to share with you.


Mary E. Pearson

Works to read:
The Remnant Chronicles
Dance of Thieves

Robin Hobb

Works to read:
Realm of the Elderlings

Laura Lam

Works to read:
Micah Grey

Jen Williams

Works to read:
The Winnowing Flame Trilogy

Alix E. Harrow

Works to read:
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
The Once and Future Witches

Helene Wecker

Works to read:
The Golem and the Jinni

Katherine Addison

Works to read:
The Goblin Emperor
The Angel of the Crows

K. Ancrum

Works to read:
The Weight of the Stars
The Wicker King

Thilde Kold Holdt

Works to read:
Northern Wrath

Aliette de Bodard

Works to read:
Dominion of the Fallen

10 authors I have heard nothing but amazing things about so really wish I could start all of their books right now. Sadly I can’t. Do you have some female authors you’re dying to read?

Posted in Uncategorized

5-Star Predictions: Wrap Up Post

“All children, except one, grow up.”

First line in Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Hi, guys. So several months ago I made a post about the 5-star predictions I had at the time. It took me a while, but I’ve finally read all 5 books and it’s time to see if my predictions were correct.


Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Rating: 3 stars

So this was a 5-star prediction because it’s the booktuber Merphy Napier’s favorite book. I have now realized that I don’t share Merphy’s taste in books exactly, and so Peter Pan was just an average book to me. It’s nice knowing the original story, but I would rather watch the movie or maybe read a retelling.

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: 3 stars

Even though this first book in the series was only a 3-star for me, I ended up really loving the series. I even gave the last one 5 stars so it sort of counts as a correct prediction, right? It’s a quite romance-heavy YA fantasy series, which usually shouldn’t work for me but this one did. It contains a lot of political intrigue and subtle social commentary on racism. There wasn’t much of it in the first book hence the 3-star rating.

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

Rating: 3 stars

An “everybody loves this”-book that I only found fine. I really liked the cultural aspects of it and how it just normalizes diversity in all regards. Unfortunately, I didn’t care very much about the story or the characters. It was all just fine and failed to make me feel anything which makes me sound really cold. It just has a little too much fluff for me.

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 4.5 stars

Finally something good! With how bad this list is going, I’m counting 4.5 as a win. It’s been a few months since I read it, but there are two specific scenes in here that I still think about constantly. Perhaps the two best scenes I’ve ever read. So many things to love about this book. The only reason I took off half a star is the way Shallan was written. There were some aspects of her character that didn’t really click with me and I felt she was a little too good to be true. But I love Kaladin. Did I mention that I love Kaladin? Because I do. I really love Kaladin.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Rating: 2 stars

Sooo this one won a Pulitzer but I didn’t like it *feels eternally ashamed*. The subject matter of the Civil Rights movement is of course very important and interesting… but I need something more to like a book. The writing style was very detached so it was a struggle for me to care about what happened to the characters. I’m such a character focused reader that if I don’t connect with at least some of the characters, then I don’t like the book.


So how did I do?

Books given 5 stars: 0
Books I’m counting as a win anyway: 2 (The Demon King and Words of Radiance)

…Okay that was worse than even my lowest expectations. And the thing is: I’ve read six 5-star books inbetween these ones. So I clearly just don’t know how to pick the right ones. I decided to take a closer look at these 5 books and tried to pull some lessons for myself from it. So here’s a recap of what I learned:

  • I rarely give 5 stars to the first book in a series. Due to all the set up and introductions, they’re just rarely the best books in their series.
  • Classics can’t get a 5 star from me because that old writing style is the opposite of what I like.
  • Award-winning books aren’t necessarily for me because I’m weird and care about characters more than anything.

I’m not sure whether or not to do this again because it was such a HUGE failure. It’s tempting to try again, though, and maybe learn even more about my own taste and what I require of a 5-star book. I’m curious about your experiences though if you’ve ever attempted to predict your 5-star reads or even just plan to. Is it all just for fun or do you have some use out of it? But until next time, happy reading! Hope you’re reading lots of 5 star books!

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – July 15th 2020

“It was the middle of an autumn downpour when Tobias first met Henry Silver.”

First line in Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

Hi, guys. I hope you’re all doing great. Today I’m using WWW Wednesday as usual to give you a reading update. WWW Wednesday a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, and it’s meant to give you all a little insight into my reading this week. I’ll answer the 3 questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish?
  • What do you think you’ll read next

What did you recently finish?

I picked up Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh as something to read during the weekend. That plan was completely ruined when I had already finished it Saturday morning. It was just so incredible that I couldn’t pace myself. It’s truly a beautiful and heartwarming story, even though it’s short. Of course, I would have loved for it to be even longer, but I really think it works as a novella. Also, really just a must-read if you love nature themes in your fantasy stories.
Side note: the author just liked and retweeted my tweet about the book. That’s never happened to me before so I’m kinda freaking out!

I also finished A History of Madness by Rebecca Crunden which I gave 3 stars. It is book 2 in the Outlands Pentalogy. I still think the writing is great but about halfway through, I realized that I didn’t like the main POV character. Something about being in his head the entire time made me find him quite annoying. There was a short change in POV towards the end and that was definitely my favorite part of the book.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve started my reread of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I’m about 25% through but I’m putting it down for now. You see, I finally got Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson from my library so for the next few weeks, I’m devoting all my attention to getting through those 1,200 pages. So far I’m 8% into it so don’t really have an opinion yet other that it’s great to read about Kaladin again. I’ve missed him.

What do you think you’ll read next?

It’ll be a long while before I start something again, but the next one in line is Firestarter by Tara Sim. I really want to finish that Timekeeper trilogy. But not until I’ve caught up with The Stormlight Archive. I probably won’t be doing these WWW Wednesdays until I’ve finished Oathbringer. Not much to update you on until then. So happy reading!