Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday // P to T

“You’re taking me hostage,” he said.”

First line in Proxy by Alex London

We’re nearing the end of the alphabet with this week’s Top 5 Tuesday with the letters P, Q, R, S and T. Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Shanah from Bionic Book Worm so go check out her blog if you’d like to participate.

Again, I managed to find a book for each of the letters this week. That’s not going to happen next week so enjoy this one.

P for Proxy by Alex London

A YA science fiction/dystopian about Syd who’s a proxy to rich-boy Knox. That means that every time Knox does something wrong, Syd takes the punishment. When things go really wrong and Knox accidentally kills someone, Syd is sentenced to death but decides to flee. With Knox.

 I don’t remember too many details about this book, but I know that I liked it. It has a gay main character which was rare for me to find at that time. Also, it’s a duology, so if you love it, there’s one more!

Q for The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

Book 2 in The Queen’s Thief which is my favorite so far. This series just has the most EPIC plot twists. I’ve never seen anything like it and it’s just amazing. Add the most endearing main character and writing that almost reads like classic fantasy and you have The Queen’s Thief. Just read it.

R for The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

If you didn’t know, I love Patrick Ness dearly. The Rest of Us Just Live Here makes fun of the “Chosen One” trope by following the characters who aren’t the chosen one or friends with one. They are just bystanders trying to live their life and graduate high school which is challenging enough. The book’s a bit ridiculous but in a fun way if you ask me. It also deals some more serious topics of mental health and figuring out what you want to do with your life.

S for The Shamer’s Daughter by Lene Kaaberbøl

If anyone has read this, I would be genuinely astounded. It’s the first book in a Danish series that I loved as a child. Second only to Harry Potter.

We follow the child Dina who’s a Shamer, meaning that she can make people feel ashamed of things they’ve done just by looking them in the eyes. People don’t really like that, so Dina is an outcast and nobody wants to associate with her. Her mother who has the same ability is called to the city of Dunark to get a prisoner to confess to the murder of the royal family. The only problem is that he hasn’t done it.

If you like reading middle grade, I highly recommend this. It has dragons and a genuinely creepy villain. It’s been translated into English and there four books in the series that only gets better.

T for They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

This is probably my favorite book by Adam Silvera so far. It’s based around the invention in this world called Death-Cast which means that someone calls you on the day you’re going to die. We follow Mateo and Rufus who get the call on the same day and even though they don’t know each, decide to spend their last day together.

It’s a really interesting way to explore what people would do when they only have one day left to live. I found it funny how the world had adapted to the situation. Everything had been commercialized which is just too real and a bit hilarious.

The characters are really sweet, and I loved following them through their day and constantly worry about what was going to kill them.

That’s it for this week. Happy reading everyone!

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

“Place ten dozen hungry orphan thieves in a dank burrow of vaults and tunnels beneath what used to be a graveyard, put them under the supervision of one partly crippled old man, and you will soon find that governing them becomes a delicate business.”

First line in The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

Author: Scott Lynch

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Gentleman Bastard (Book 3)

My rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis: With what should have been the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, Locke and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. But Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him or finish him off once and for all.

Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body—though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean’s imploring—and the Bondsmage’s mention of a woman from Locke’s past: Sabetha. She is the love of his life, his equal in skill and wit, and now, his greatest rival.

Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow orphan and thief-in-training. But after a tumultuous courtship, Sabetha broke away. Now they will reunite in yet another clash of wills. For faced with his one and only match in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha—or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend
(Goodreads).

Review

To begin this review, I just want to clarify that I LOVE THIS SERIES! I enjoy spending time in this world and I’m so sad that I’ve now caught up with the series and have to wait for the next one. Nevertheless, I was very apprehensive before starting this third book in the Gentleman Bastard. From the synopsis I’d gathered that romance would enter the story with the introduction of Sabetha. In the previous books, we get a lot (!) of hints to Locke’s relationship with Sabetha without getting anything specific. I therefore feared that I would hate Sabetha and that the romance would take over the plot. Let me explain how wrong I was.

Sabetha is just a wonderful addition to the story in my opinion. I especially loved her in the flashbacks because she creates just a little bit of balance in that male-dominated Gentleman Bastards. It gave Lynch an opportunity to highlight the idiocy of teenage boys. It was hilarious and so on point. Of course, Sabetha also has her flaws at that age. Hers are just more related to her struggles about being the only girl and how she tries to retain influence and power in spite of this. Here is a quote from her:

I cannot stress how much I related to her and I applaud Lynch for giving us this version of a love interest for Locke. She could easily have become a cliché who was just there to fill out a role. But no, she’s her own person before she’s anything to Locke.

If you hadn’t guessed it, I could talk about Sabetha for hours, but let’s move on to my main critique. The plot. It hurts me just to write that because the plot has been magnificent in the first two books in the series. The setup was really cool. It looked like it could be even more amazing than the previous books with a very political plot. It felt like the perfect setting for the scheming and trickery we’ve been accustomed to with this series. Sadly, I ended up being kind of underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong. The book is still very good, but I don’t think it reaches the high standard of the first two books.

The best parts about this series are still Locke and Jean’s friendship and the writing. Just look at this quote:

How do you come up with a sentence like that? I’m baffled but I love it.

In short, all the humor and the swearing are still there and that is a big reason why I still enjoyed this book. Lynch’s creativity when creating these farfetched sentences is just mind-blowing.

That’s it for my thoughts on The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch. I hope you enjoyed it. If you’ve read it, I would love to chat about it in the comments. I feel like liking Sabetha is a bit of an unpopular opinion so let me know if you feel the same or can’t stand her.

Happy reading!

Posted in Fun Lists

Friendship Quotes From My Favorite Books

“The eleventh apartment had only one closet, but it did have a sliding glass door that opened onto a small balcony, from which he could see a man sitting across the way, outdoors in only a T-shirt and shorts even though it was October, smoking.”

First line in A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A few weeks ago, I shared my favorite bookish quotes from my favorite books. It was very fun to make so I wanted to make other post with a different topic.

Good and strong friendships in books are so important and I will almost always love the book if it ticks that box. Therefore, here are 5 quotes that describes what friendship means.

“It’s strange how many ways there are to miss someone. You miss the things they did and who they were, but you also miss who you were to them. The way everything you said and did beautiful or entertaining or important. How much you mattered.”

A List of Cages by Robin Roe

“Wasn’t friendship its own miracle, the finding of another person who made the entire lonely world seem somehow less lonely?”

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

“My old grandmother always used to say, Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.”

A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin

“A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.”

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

“Why wasn’t friendship as good as a relationship? Why wasn’t it even better? It was two people who remained together, day after day, bound not by sex or physical attraction or money or children or property, but only by the shared agreement to keep going, the mutual dedication to a union that could never be codified.”

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Did any of these quotes resonate with you? Or do you also love any of these books for their portrayal of friendship?

Happy reading!

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday // K to O

“This inscription could be seen on the glass door of a small shop, but naturally this was only the way it looked if you were inside the dimly lit shop, looking out at the street through the plate-glass door.”

First line in The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

It’s Tuesday! Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah from Bionic Book Worm and the topics for July is all about finding and recommending books started with each letter of the alphabet. Today we’ve reached K, L, M, N and O so here are some books starting with those letters.

K for The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

This is the first book in Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy which is a YA science fiction/dystopia series. We follow Todd who lives in a town with no women. All the women were killed by a virus just after Todd was born, and he is therefore the youngest in the town. Another curious thing about this town is that all the remaining men can hear each other’s thoughts. All the time. Everyday. There is no such thing as peace and quiet. That is until Todd stumbles upon a place that is exactly that. Silent.

This series is a favorite of mine. It has such interesting themes about society and explores different scenarios such as: what if the world consisted only of men? Also, this series has the best villain I’ve ever read about. If you like reading about villains, you need to read this.

The writing style can throw people off though. Misspellings are not uncommon, but I can only say that they are there for a reason.

L for The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo

A wonderful collection of fairytales set in the Grisha Verse. I love fairytales and it was just such a great experience to read these new ones. Of course, they are very much inspired by stories we already know, but Bardugo still managed to give them a twist so that they seemed indigenous to this particular world. If you decide to read it, I highly recommend reading a physical copy because those illustrations are to die for.

M for The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Yes, this one has a tv show. However, they have weirdly little in common except for the characters. So, don’t expect this book to be as awesome as the show. It’s still good though. It’s adult urban fantasy and has been described as Harry Potter for adults. That’s a bit of a stretch in my opinion. They go to a school to learn magic and that’s about where the similarities stop.

It’s deals with mental health a lot and explores those years after the characters have graduated. That feeling of “now what?” but in a magical setting that sometimes is seriously hilarious and other times, so utterly dark that you have to put the book down for a bit.

N for The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

A fantasy classic for children that is the most whimsical and imaginative story I’ve ever read. Bastian Bux finds a magical book about the world called Fantastica which needs to be saved by a human. Bastian might be that human but how does that work? After all, it’s just a book and worlds in books aren’t real, right?

O for Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Time travel. Romance. Scotland in the 18th century. Those are just some of things you’ll find in Outlander but most importantly, it also has Jamie Fraser. That might not mean anything to you, but I guarantee that you’ll fall deeply in love with him.

Claire Randall accidently travels through time and finds herself in Scotland in the year 1743. There she has to navigate wars and politics all while trying to get back home.

I’ve only read this first book in the series because those books are huge and can feel quite slow at times. I don’t think they are for me because I don’t always enjoy romance books. However, if you enjoy historical fiction with a ton of romance, I think this is for you. And if you don’t want to read the books, there’s always the tv show which is amazing.   

There you have it. I’m liking this challenge more and more, but I know it’s going to be difficult soon. So far, so good.

Happy reading!

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Red Scrolls of Magic

“From the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower, the city was spread at Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood’s feet like a gift.”

First line in The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

Author: Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

Genre: YA urban fantasy

My rating: 3/5 stars

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping (Goodreads).

Review

Does the world have enough books about beautiful Shadowhunters and sassy warlocks? Apparently not because The Red Scrolls of Magic is the first book in a trilogy centered around everyone’s favorite spellcaster, Magnus Bane. The trilogy essentially functions as a companion series to The Mortal Instruments, and it is therefore not necessary to read to understand other books in the Shadowhunter universe. However, it is necessary to have read The Mortal Instruments up till City of Glass.

The story begins at the Eiffel Tower in Paris

I will say that I was very skeptical going into this after I found out it took place during City of Fallen Angels. As someone who has read every single Shadowhunter book that exist, I knew there would be no major consequences of whatever happened in this book. No deaths, no serious injuries, no major character developments. That just makes me wonder: is this trilogy necessary? Let’s get back to that later.

The thing I enjoyed most about the book was the characters. My favorite character has always been Alec Lightwood so having chapters from his point of view was such a delight. The way he is written is very believable and relatable. I’m guessing that many readers can see themselves in him and I want to applaud Cassandra Clare for creating such a well-rounded character.

Then of course we have Magnus, who throws out the most hilarious one-liners that keeps the tone of the book light and happy. We still get to see some of his deeper character traits which is also the point of this book. He’s more than just witty remarks.

Their journey through Europe also includes a stop in Rome

Moving on to the plot, I found it somewhat underwhelming. The bad guys weren’t really that bad, so I never actually feared for our characters. It meant that I was slightly bored throughout the book but that might just be me. I felt that it was unnecessarily slow but that is often the case with Cassandra Clare’s books because 75% of them is relationship drama. I did really appreciate the sweet moments between Magnus and Alec, but I felt the dialogue was going in circles sometimes. Is it because this book isn’t allowed to do character development? I don’t know but that’s what it felt like.

Another small thing that annoyed me was the way the authors would create suspense throughout the book. As I mentioned, the plot doesn’t have much going for it, so the authors needed to hold my attention some other way. That they would do by pretending something exciting was going to happen. They would create tension and shift the mood to make you think that the character was going to be in danger. But no. It could turn out to be a friend or maybe Magnus would just snap his fingers and it would go away. Nothing actually exciting. It’s a small thing but it happened too often, and it left me frustrated. It just seems like lazy writing to me.

So, my original question was: is this trilogy necessary? The answer: No, but it’s still very sweet and heartwarming. If you’re a fan of either Magnus or Alec, I think this is necessary to read. If you’re not, this isn’t really worth your time in my opinion. It’s not groundbreaking and it doesn’t reveal any life-altering information about the Shadowhunter universe. This is the book for you if you are already familiar with the universe and just want a fun, casual read.

Happy reading!

Posted in Fun Lists

Tropes I like in Books

“Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world.”

First line in Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Today I wanted to talk about a quite popular topic I guess: book tropes. Tropes are certain elements or themes that appear in a wide range of books and many tropes are even adherent to specific genres.

Tropes aren’t necessarily bad but some can feel overused and unoriginal. That is not always the case so I wanted to discuss some of the tropes I really like to see in books. They are the things that grab my attention when reading the synopsis of a book and ultimately makes me want to read it. For each trope I mention, I’ll also give you some book recommendations in case you’re also a fan of that specific trope.

The Chosen One

Definition: A character embodies the Chosen One trope by being the only one who can solve a problem e.g. slay the dragon, save the world from total destruction, overturn the corrupt government. They can be tasked with this through a prophecy or because they possess some ability or skill set that no one else does.

Why I like it: This is a very unpopular trope at the moment, but I still really enjoy reading about a chosen one. I like reading about how the character handles the pressure of whatever task he/she needs to complete. It gets very psychological because the character questions themselves about who they really are and what their morality is like.

A LOT of books contain the chosen one trope but here are a few I really enjoyed:

A Strong Friendship

Definition: A friendship between two or more characters that makes you wish you were friends with them too. It’s deep, wholesome and central to the plot.

Why I like it: I will always prefer a strong friendship to a romantic relationship in my books. Characters sanity and logical sense often goes out the window when they are in a relationship. I don’t want that. I want characters who care for and understand each other but still insult the other on a daily basis. They need to keep each other grounded after all.

Here are some examples of beautiful friendships:

Royalty Out of Their Element

Definition: I’m going with a very broad definition here. A member of a royal family that is somehow thrust out of their comfort zone. Examples are leaving their home to go on a quest, being kidnapped, suddenly being forced to make life or death decisions for their kingdom.

Why I like it: This is really just a fancy way of saying that I like royalty in general in my books. I like how a royal person can start of by being a bit entitled and naïve about the world and then learn through their mistakes. With a bit of development these royals often display strong leadership skills and maybe some intelligence.

Additionally, I really prefer my books to be quite political and a royal main character is just the best way to achieve just that.

Here are some books with awesome royals:

Medieval European Setting in Fantasy

Definition: The story takes place in a setting reminiscent of Europe in the Middle Ages in terms of political structure, architecture, way of life etc. This does not mean that everything is exactly the same but that the author has used it for inspiration and can change whatever they like.

Why I like it: I’m European and have spent a lot of time studying Europe. A fantasy story set in Europe is familiar and easy for me to get into. The Middle Ages is also just a time of great turmoil which can be a foundation for many conflicts.

Books set in a medieval-Europe-inspired world (there’s a lot but here are 6):

Hate-to-love romance

Definition: Two characters despise/want to kill each other for justifiable reasons but then realize that their strong feelings are actually love. The characters are often forced to spend time together in a situation that makes them see the other character in a different light e.g. a dangerous mission, homework assignment or they are trapped together.

Why I like it: When I read about a romance, I need it to be passionate and fiery. In my experience that most often occur when love blossoms from hate.

Here are some books where characters hate each other before they make out (naturally, slight spoiler):

Tyrannical Government

Definition: A tyranny or a corrupt government that functions as the main obstacle for the main character. It’s often embodied by a single person (e.g. president, ruler, king) that needs to be removed for our heroes to win.

Why I like it: As mentioned earlier, I find it fascinating when books revolve around politics. Even though it often appears in fantasy books, these political themes are what connects the books to our real world. It gives me something to think about. I also just like seeing how these villains abuse their power to their own gain. It’s a different kind of power in fantasy book where the villain often has some kinds of great magical abilities.

Here are some books with governments that are seriously bad:

That was a long one. Do you like some of the same tropes as me? Or did I mention tropes that you absolutely despise? Let’s chat in the comments.

Happy reading!

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday // F to J

“There was no possibility of taking a walk that day”

First line in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

I’m back for another Top 5 Tuesday where we continue with the alphabet where we left of last week. Today I’ll be talking about book starting with the letters F, G, H, I and J. This is all because of Shanah from Bionic Book Worm who came up with this idea to get us talking about some books that don’t normally get attention. Looking at my post from last week, that worked very well because I’d forgotten so many of them.

I’ve read a book beginning with all of today’s letters, so I didn’t need to cheat for this one. Enjoy!

F for Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I had no choice! Okay, technically I had other options but none of them were worth talking about. If you don’t know, this is my favorite book of all time (besides Harry Potter of course but they don’t count). I relate so much to Cath because of her social anxiety. The ways she describes her problems have made me realize things about myself and that is something I’m deeply grateful for.

I know this is not a perfect book and therefore it’s not a book I just want everyone to read. However, if you’re an introvert and struggle with social situations, I think this is worth a read. It’s also just a sweet and heartfelt contemporary that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

G for The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

This was just fun. The Graveyard Book is Gaiman’s retelling of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. I’ve only seen the movie versions of The Jungle Book but was still able to identify elements from the story.

It’s a children’s book which makes parts of it very sweet and endearing. However, it also has its more sinister moments that makes it worth reading for adults too. I’m not the biggest fan of Gaiman (don’t kill me), but out the three books I’ve read by him, this is my favorite. So, if you’re into retellings, this is a very good one to pick up.

H for History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

This book broke me. It’s such an inspiring story about grief and how there’s no right way to handle it. Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend dies, and Griffin’s world explodes. He always figured that he and Theo would end up together but now Griffin has to imagine an entirely different future for himself while mourning the loss.

This book explores grief and shows how it isn’t rational but often can be utterly destructive. It’s not my favorite Adam Silvera book but it’s still worth a read. However, be prepared to be punched in the gut by its hard-hitting topics.

I for Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Book 1 in The Great Library series. Yes, it’s a book about books which I’ll always be drawn to. However, this Great Library might not be so great after all as it governs the flow of knowledge to the people. Meaning that in this world, knowledge is not free and accessible to everyone. No one is allowed to own a book (the horror, I know).  

I don’t remember too much about the book, but I believe our main character, Jess, is from a family who’s involved with trading books on the black market which is very dangerous. At the beginning of the book, Jess is selected to be some kind of student and learn about the workings of the Great Library so that one day he can work for them.

It’s a very adventurous story with a lot of action all while it teaches you about the consequences of censorship on a grand scale.

J for Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Apparently, this is the only book I’ve ever read beginning with J so that was easy to choose. I don’t read very many classics, but I found this quite enjoyable and educational. I mainly find classics interesting for their portrayal of their time period. They just have a different feel to them compared to historical fiction that’s written today.

I really like Jane as a character and she’s just my favorite part of the book. Many of the other characters I didn’t particularly care for. The book also features a character called St. John Rivers. I’m not a violent person but I’ve never wanted to punch a character that much. Just a heads up.

There you go. I hope I peaked your interest for some of these if you haven’t read them already. Nevertheless, they are really fun to make so see you next week for the next 5 letters.

Happy reading,

Line

Posted in Fun Lists

Bookish Quotes from my Favorite Books

When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist.”

First line in Circe by Madeline Miller

Hi, readers. Today, I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes with you all. I use the Goodreads Quotes-feature quite a lot and often go through the quotes for a book I just read. I “like” the ones I really connect with so that I can go back to them later and be reminded of their wisdom (or get a good laugh).

For this post, I’ve picked some of the best quotes from my favorite books that all have something to do with books or reading. They are just the most relatable to me and hopefully also to you.

God bless the book people for their boundless knowledge absorbed from having words instead of friends.”

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Haven’t we all been told we read too much? This quote a perfect reminder that that can never be a problem.

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Reading is just as necessary as breathing? I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.

Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convince that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The quote to show your friends when you very aggressively force them to read your new favorite book. I mean, we’ve all done that at some point.

It was amazing how many books one could fit into a room, assuming one didn’t want to move around very much.”

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

There is simply no such thing as too many books.

“You’ve read the books?”

“I’ve seen the movies.”

Cath rolled her eyes so hard, it hurt. (Actually.) (Maybe because she was still on the edge of tears. On the edge, period.) “So you haven’t read the books.”

“I’m not really a book person.”

“That might be the most idiotic thing you’ve ever said to me”

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The lovely discussions with non-readers who firmly believe that seeing the movie is the same as having read the book. And how is someone not a book person?

Drinks were a lot like books, really: it didn’t matter where you were, the contents of a vodka tonic were always more or less the same, and you could count on them to take you away to somewhere better or at least make your present arrangements seem more manageable.”

The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

Never though I would see books compared to drinks but here we are. They can both be a way to escape reality, but I think books might be healthier.

If you have never spent whole afternoons with burning ears and rumpled hair, forgetting the world around you over a book, forgetting cold and hunger–

If you have never read secretly under the bedclothes with a flashlight, because your father or mother or some other well-meaning person has switched off the lamp on the plausible ground that it was time to sleep because you had to get up so early–

If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless–

If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won’t understand what Bastian did next.”

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

This is simply the most relatable thing I’ve ever read. Full stop.

Bonus quote just for you:

To really be nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.”

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This doesn’t necessarily refer to books but is very fitting anyway. I’m definitely a nerd.  

I hope this was somewhat fun to read. I definitely enjoyed making it. I intend to make this into some kind of series of post but with different themes each time. I’m planning to do one on friendship next but let me know if there are topics you’d like to see.

Also, I’ve of course only included quotes from books I’ve read, so feel free to comment with some of your own favorite bookish quotes.

Happy reading,

Line

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday // A to E

Lugh got born first.”

First line in Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Hi, readers. It’s time for Top 5 Tuesday which is awesomely hosted by Shanah from Bionic Book Worm. In the month of July, we’re taking a closer look at the alphabet. That means that the first book on today’s list starts with an A, the second one with a B and so on. We end on E today and continue with the alphabet next week. And yes, I’m already frantically searching for a book beginning with X.

Today, however, I managed to find a book starting with the letters A to E. Did I try to get a theme going for the 5 books? Yes! Did I accomplish that? Absolutely not. You’ll notice a similarity between the first two books but after that I just picked whatever book I wanted to talk about. They are all books that I read a long while ago and therefore tend to forget about. I hope it makes some kind of sense.  

A for Angelfall by Susan Ee

A YA dystopian I read back when that was a popular genre. From what I recall, evil angels have taken over and created havoc on earth. Our main character is Penryn whose sister has been taken by the angels and Penryn will do anything to get her back. That includes teaming up with an angel who has lost his wings.

I remember really loving this to my own giant surprise. It’s very dark and also a bit graphic when it comes to the violence. I liked that it was a bit horrifying in that aspect. Like it actually meant something whether the characters won or lost a battle. I believe I also really liked the relationship between Penryn and Raffe and how it developed.

It’s the first book in a trilogy that I never completed. It took me forever to get through the second book although I can’t remember what I didn’t like about it. I might pick up the last book now that this list has reminded me that it exists.

B for Blood Red Road by Moira Young

I remember very little about this other than I loved it! It’s a YA dystopian about a girl looking for her twin brother who’s been captured (are you sensing a theme for this list yet?). She meets some cool people along the way who might be willing to help her.

The writing will probably annoy many people because the characters speak with an accent (I’m not going to guess on which one) and it’s written that way. An example could be that “been” is spelt “bin”. I think I got used to it. I was also completely captured by the story, so it didn’t really matter.

Again, we have a first book in a trilogy but I actually DNF’d the second book. I don’t DNF books so that’s kind of a big deal. Like with Angelfall, I’m willing to try again after writing this. I can even spot my copy of Blood Red Road on my shelf, so I think that I’ll definitely give that a reread in the near future.

C for Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

I’ve read a surprisingly large number of books beginning with a C. Upon further examination I realized that half of them are Cassandra Clare books, so it makes sense to me now. I didn’t have anything particularly intelligent to say about the other books, so I chose Catching Fire.

It’s my favorite in the Hunger Games trilogy and possibly in my top 3 favorite books of all time. It just works so well. Just when you think it would be repetitive and boring to have another round of the Games, Collins just throws THAT at you. I can’t explain how much I love this book (yes, I want to reread this one too but there are just so many books!).

D for Dragonfly by Julia Golding

I read this in 2013. It was the kind of book I just randomly picked up at my library because it sounded cool enough. It turned out to be absolutely amazing. A prince and a princess are forced to marry to unite their countries against a common enemy. The only problem is that they deeply despise each other. The book focuses a lot on how these two countries are basically each other’s opposite in terms of culture, traditions, customs etc. It means that our two characters have many (!) discussions about whose country has the best way of living. I remember that it was really fascinating to read. Oh, and they also get kidnapped.

It’s a book I didn’t expect to love but the characters and their differences certainly pulled me in. I also expect it’s the kind of book that I would like if I read now as an adult.

It’s a standalone but there is a sort of companion novel to it. I’ve not read so not completely sure what it is but maybe I should figure that out by reading it.

The Eye, the Ear, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer

This is on here for a more peculiar reason than the others. Again, it’s a book that I read when I was very young and please keep that in mind. When I read the synopsis for it as I was picking these books, I could have sworn that I wasn’t the same book that I’d read as a child. Apparently, my young mind missed some quite vital pieces of information. Firstly, that this story takes place in Africa, more specifically Zimbabwe. Secondly, that the year is 2194.

Seemingly, I wasn’t very invested in the story and I literally laughed out load when I noticed. I remember really loving the book even though I found it a little bit confusing. No shit when I didn’t seem to care about the setting.

This was just a fun story I thought I’d share with you. I didn’t have many books starting with an E anyway.

A list of books I’ve read starting with the letters A to E. Alternatively, a list of books I now want to reread. I’m going to be very busy by the end of July if this trend continues. Well, I hope you enjoyed it and maybe decided that you’d like to read one them too.

Happy reading,

Line

Posted in Wrap up

June Wrap Up

When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.

First line To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

It’s the end of the month, people. So, here’s a wrap up. I read quite a wide range of different genres this month and my enjoyment of them was equally very varied.

I read a total of 7 books which surprised me when I counted them up. I thought I’d had a bad reading month, but I normally only read 5 or 6. The bad feeling might be because I was close to falling into a reading slump during the month. I was reading two books that I wasn’t really enjoying so when I had time to read, I chose to do something else. Then I picked up a third book that was so perfect that I would read until I couldn’t stay awake any longer. That helped me to finish the other books so in general, it was a very mixed month for me. No more talking. Here are the books I read in June.

The Last Wish (Book 1 in The Witcher)

Author: Andrzej Sapkowski

Genre: Fantasy

My rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis: Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin. And a cold-blooded killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

A collection of short stories introducing Geralt of Rivia, to be followed by the first novel in the actual series, The Blood of Elves. Note that, while The Last Wish was published after The Sword of Destiny, the stories contained in The Last Wish take place first chronologically, and many of the individual stories were published before The Sword of Destiny (Goodreads).

My thoughts

This isn’t going to be very coherent because I can’t decide what I think about this book. First of all, it’s a collection of short stories so it’s very difficult to review as whole. One of the stories I really liked because it’s was a very interesting retelling of The Beauty and The Beast. And that is the main aspect I liked in the stories. They were all inspired by fairytales and other folklore stories and I had a good time trying to identify each one. Other than that, it didn’t have much else going for it and if I were to describe it in one word it would be: Fine. I will still continue to the read the series and definitely get past the short stories.

Radio Silence

Author: Alice Oseman

Genre: YA contemporary

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis: What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances is been a study machine with one goal. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside. Then Frances meets Aled, and for the first time she’s unafraid to be herself.

So when the fragile trust between them is broken, Frances is caught between who she was and who she longs to be. Now Frances knows that she has to confront her past. To confess why Carys disappeared…

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has (Goodreads).

My thoughts

I’m very happy to have read this book. It wasn’t perfect, but it had some very important themes and an interesting way of presenting them. The main characters felt unique and I really enjoyed reading about their dilemmas. I have a full review for this book if you want to know more about my thoughts and it’s right here.

Thunderhead (Book 2 in Arc of a Scythe)

Author: Neal Shusterman

Genre: YA dystopian

My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: Rowan has gone rogue and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now— “Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish”, so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline? (Goodreads).

My thoughts

INCREDIBLE! I’m in awe of how well-crafted this world is. Shusterman seemingly has thought of everything in detail in this futuristic version of Earth. I really like these kinds of dystopias that examine how humans would behave if critical things about our life was different. So many aspects of life are changed in Arc of a Scythe but Shusterman still manages to teach us moral lessons. In Thunderhead, I especially appreciated these lessons coming from an AI.

You might think that YA dystopias aren’t your thing anymore, but I’m telling you to give this series a try. It’s not like anything else you’ve read. I definitely need to read more of Shusterman’s books.  

The Binding

Author: Bridget Collins

Genre: Historical fantasy

My rating: 3.75/5 stars

Synopsis: Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Forever.


Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed, and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten (Goodreads).

My thoughts

I loved the last 2 out of 3 parts of this book mainly because of the romance. It’s so beautifully written that I was completely lost in their lives and the story that unfolded. I couldn’t put the book down. I’m not a romance reader so it surprised quite a lot that this was my reaction. I encourage you to check out my full review for The Binding if you want to know more about my thoughts.

The Mark of Athena (Book 3 in The Heroes of Olympus)

Author: Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle grade/YA fantasy

My rating:

Synopsis: Can Percy Jackson and the Half-blood Heroes succeed on their quest to find The Doors of Death or will the Greek Gods of chaos win their battle to stop them? Percy and his fellow demi-gods face the most important quest of all – the Prophecy of Seva (Goodreads).

My thoughts

Well…I’m not overly excited by this series. I’m mainly reading them to know what happens to Percy and that’s it. I’ve not rated this book because I haven’t been able to find a definitive answer to whether this is middle grade or YA. Let me just say that I have issues with the book either way. If it’s middle grade, I think the focus on relationships is waaay too high. The characters are 15-16 years old. You’re not supposed to be in a relationship at that age. What a way to give your young readers anxiety.

If it’s YA, I’m going to bash the writing. The writing is middle grade level and that’s just a fact. There’s too much telling instead of showing. As a reader, you’re not expected to think for yourself. Everything is explained to you which is common and perfect for a middle grade book. Not a YA. Sorry, rant over.

Red, White and Royal Blue

Author: Casey McQuiston

Genre: New adult contemporary

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis: First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you? (Goodreads)

My thoughts

WHAT is this book? How is it real? Does this mean love is real too?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It’s just too adorable (and hot) not to like. McQuiston made me feel very invested in the lives of Alex and Henry and I was just rooting for them to be together the entire time. When we’re on the topic of characters, one of them reads Harry Potter for comfort. If that’s not the most relatable thing, I don’t know what is. In general, I enjoyed the level of pop-culture references. I feel that can easily be overdone, but in this one, it was just a fun element used to tell the story.

I think you can tell that McQuiston had a clear goal and purpose with this book. It becomes a little predictable, but the book does what it sets out to do, so not the biggest problem. It’s just the reason why I didn’t give it a full 5-star rating. You still need to read it though (or don’t if you don’t want to. I’m not forcing you, I promise).

To Kill a Mockingbird

Author: Harper Lee

Genre: Classic fiction

My rating:

Synopsis: The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature (Goodreads).

My thoughts

I understand why this is a classic. It’s very impactful and gives the reader an educational insight into American history. I kept thinking that it’s the perfect book to read in school which I also guess most people do. There are so many small hints and suggestions that can be unpacked in a classroom and discussed further.

I don’t know how to rate classics really. I mean it’s a very important book, but I was also slightly bored a lot of the time. I’m still glad I read it though. Even if you don’t read classics, I think you should at least consider reading this one.

That was 7 mini-reviews for you. If you hadn’t guessed it, Red, White and Royal Blue was the book that prevented the reading slump. A hyped book that actually deserve the hype. Let’s chat in the comments if you’ve read any of these or intend to.

Happy reading,

Line