“The Friday before winter break, my mom packed me an overnight bag and a few deadly weapons, and took me to a new boarding school.”
First line in The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
Hi, guys and welcome to this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s topic is pretty straight forward: my spring TBR. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
I’m so bad at planning so many months worth of reading but I gave it a try. A lot of them are continuations of series but I’m also planning on starting a few new ones. That means that I have 7 books on this list but it’s technically longer with all their sequels. Enjoy!
The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan
I want to continue my journey through The Wheel of Time and get as far as possible before the show starts. The Dragon Reborn is book 3 in the series.
The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee
This is the sequel to The Fever King, which I read last year. I’m so excited for the continuation which is out today!
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planetby Becky Chambers
I need to get to this one soon! I made a 5-star prediction post several months ago now, and this is the only one from that list I still need to read. It’s also my last chance to actually have a 5-star read from that list.
Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson
Technically a short story/novella from The Stormlight Archive series but it has the size of a regular book basically. I only need to read this and then Oathbringer before I’m caught up with the series which I would love to be before the next book comes out in November.
Chainbreaker by Tara Sim
This is the sequel to Timekeeper, which I read September last year and loved and then never continued with the series. It’s stupid because I already feel like I might have to read a summary of Timekeeper before I jump into this one.
The Absolutist by John Boyne
This is mainly on here because I need to read a standalone once in a while. I can’t keep starting series. I’d love to just finish a book and not feel the pressure to pick up a sequel immediately. I’ve been in the mood for historical fiction lately, and this one sounded quite interesting.
Those were a couple of the books I hope to read in the next few months. Let me know what your reading plans are. Happy reading!
“There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart’s Desire.”
First line in Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Hi, guys. Today I thought would talk about some of the books I recently put on my TBR on Goodreads. I’ve seen Kristin from Kristin Kraves Books do this and felt inspired to do the same. You need to check out her blog if you haven’t already, of course.
This is really just a way of getting to mention some books I might not be getting to for a while so here we go.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
Caroline Criado Perez
Synopsis: Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued. If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you’re a woman.
Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.
Award-winning campaigner and writer Caroline Criado Perez brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the impact this has on their health and well-being. From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, Invisible Women reveals the biased data that excludes women. In making the case for change, this powerful and provocative book will make you see the world anew.
Why I Want to Read it: I need to be better at reading non-fiction and have learned that feminist non-fiction is the way to go. Emily from BookswithEmilyFox has praised this one very recently and it sounds so interesting.
Noughts and Crosses
Synopsis:Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.
Sephy is a Cross — a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought — a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum — a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?
Why I Want to Read it: …Not sure exactly. It’s an old book with a high rating on Goodreads (4.23) and it has won awards. And yeah, it sounded interesting enough.
Theft of Swords
Michael J. Sullivan
Synopsis: THEY KILLED THE KING. THEY PINNED IT ON TWO MEN. THEY CHOSE POORLY.
There’s no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are two enterprising rogues who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the murder of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it’s too late.
Why I Want to Read it: Bascially I heard that the friendship in this one is supposed to be similar to the one in Gentleman Bastard between Locke and Jean. I mean what more do you need to know?
Synopsis: A magic-infused YA novel about friendship, first love, and feeling out of place that will bewitch fans of Rainbow Rowell and Maggie Stiefvater.
Living in a small town where magic is frowned upon, Sam needs his friends James and Delia—and their time together in their school’s magic club—to see him through to graduation.
But as soon as senior year starts, little cracks in their group begin to show. Sam may or may not be in love with James. Delia is growing more frustrated with their amateur magic club. And James reveals that he got mixed up with some sketchy magickers over the summer, putting a target on all their backs.
With so many fault lines threatening to derail his hopes for the year, Sam is forced to face the fact that the very love of magic that brought his group together is now tearing them apart—and there are some problems that no amount of magic can fix.
Why I Want to Read it: The synopsis used the words “school’s magic club”. And also that it’s for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Maggie Stiefvater so I have no choice but to read it.
Mark of the Thief
Jennifer A. nielsen
Synopsis:When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods — magic some Romans would kill for.
Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic’s newfound powers for their own dark purposes.
In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own freedom, Nic must harness the magic within himself and defeat the empire’s most powerful and savage leaders.
Why I Want to Read it: Jennifer A. Nielsen has written the only middle grade series I’ve liked as an adult (The Ascendance series) so I want to try one of her other series.
The Bone Ships
Synopsis:A brilliantly imagined saga of honor, glory, and warfare, The Bone Ships is the epic launch of a new fantasy from David Gemmell Award-nominated RJ Barker.
Two nations at war. A prize beyond compare.
For generations, the Hundred Isles have built their ships from the bones of ancient dragons to fight an endless war.
The dragons disappeared, but the battles for supremacy persisted.
Now the first dragon in centuries has been spotted in far-off waters, and both sides see a chance to shift the balance of power in their favour. Because whoever catches it will win not only glory, but the war.
Why I Want to Read it: Honestly? A couple of months ago I read sooo many glowing reviews of this book that I felt like I had to add it to my TBR. Normally I’m not into dragons but maybe this is the exception.
Synopsis:Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.
Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.
Why I Want to Read it: I set a goal for myself at the beginning of the year to read at least 4 books by Neil Gaiman. I’ve read one so far and plan for Neverwhere to be the second. Fans of Gaiman seem to praise this one so I’m hoping to like it.
There you have the most recent books that’s gotten me excited. Let’s chat in the comments if you’ve read any of them or also plan to.
First line in The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Hi, guys. January is over so here you get the wrap up of the reading I did this past month. January always feels like the longest month of year to me. I’ve been telling myself that we’re close to February since the 7th. However, I did read some amazing books this month so that sort of made up for it. In fact, I’m 99% sure I’ve already read my favorite book of the year. I hope something even better comes along of course but a high bar has been set already in January. The other 4 books I read this month were also good as my lowest rating was 3 stars. Before we get into the mini-review part, I just want to mention that I spent a large part of the month reading Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. However, as that book is so long a.k.a I didn’t finish it this month, it won’t appear in this wrap up. It will for sure be in my February wrap up though.
The Starless Sea
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Published: November 5th 2019
My rating: 5 stars!!
Buzzwords: book about books, secret libraries, whimsical storytelling
Synopsis: Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues — a bee, a key, and a sword — that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.
What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians — it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.
Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.
Holy shit…this book is magical in a way I never thought a book could be. It quite literally takes you down the rabbit hole to a world of beautifully woven stories and doors that lead to new adventures. The sheer imagination and creative storytelling in this book leaves me wanting to give a standing round of applause to Erin Morgenstern.
I really like the main character, Zachary. It’s very much emphasized that he is a reader but also a gamer. I feel that’s pretty rare in books to have a main character who is interested in both but with Zachary it seemed so natural. However, the reading aspect is definitely the main focus. There were so many sentences that I felt were written directly to those of us who are addicted to books. And they hit home. I think I was smiling half the time while reading this book because it was all so relatable. Also, quite unique ones that weren’t your typical “Oh, you can never have too many books”-kind of comments.
I truly loved reading this book and I was so sad when it was over. It’s a book for you if you love books about books and don’t mind that it gets a little abstract sometimes. Not everything makes sense and not everything will be explained to you, but if you don’t mind that I think this is a must read. I will definitely be rereading it soon.
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Illustrator: Faith Erin Hicks
Published: August 27th 2019
Genre: YA Contemporary
My rating: 4 stars
Buzzwords: Graphic novel, friendship, Halloween
Synopsis:Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.
Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.
But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.
Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .
This was so sweet and fun. I loved the friendship banter between Josiah and Deja. It really made their connection feel real right from the start. Almost from their first interaction, I had no doubt about them being best friends. It was such a joy to read about.
I gave this 4 stars but don’t take that too much to heart. I considered not rating it because this is my first ever graphic novel and I’m not sure how to rate those. I don’t really have anything to compare it to but I know that I loved reading it. I now understand why people read these during readthons. I got through that so damn fast. Probably not my last graphic novel.
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: February 7th 2017
My rating: No rating
Buzzwords: Mythology-nerdness, Thor and Loki, short stories
Synopsis: Introducing an instant classic—master storyteller Neil Gaiman presents a dazzling version of the great Norse myths.Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly reincarnating Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, the son of giants, a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. From Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerges the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
This book was fun and weird at the same time which, I guess, is sort of a trademark for Neil Gaiman. The weird part for me was reading these stories in a book by a very popular author. I’ve learned about these myths in school to an excessive extent so it’s quite surreal that someone like Gaiman loves them so much.
However, I’ve decided not to give this book a rating because I’m not sure what to judge. I mean, Gaiman didn’t come up with the stories. He’s just collected them. He also didn’t change anything major about them. That’s not criticism of any kind but it doesn’t feel fair to give a rating. These are simply stories from Norse mythology which I would recommend if you’re interested in those.
The Demon King (Book 1 in Seven Realms)
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Published: October 6th 2009
Genre: YA Fantasy
My rating: 3 stars
Buzzwords: Old-school YA, a rebellious princess, political intrigue
Synopsis: Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.
One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.
Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her…
The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.
I don’t want to say much about this as I have a review and spoiler talk up for it. It’s a book I really enjoyed although my rating is only 3 stars. My enjoyment was more of the “I see a lot of potential here” kind. So that means I have great hopes for the rest of the series although this one had some flaws.
Author: J. M. Barrie
Published: December 27th 1904
Genre: Childrens Classic
My rating: 3 stars
Buzzwords: classic, original story
Synopsis: One starry night, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell lead the three Darling children over the rooftops of London and away to Neverland – the island where lost boys play, mermaids splash and fairies make mischief. But a villainous-looking gang of pirates lurk in the docks, led by the terrifying Captain James Hook. Magic and excitement are in the air, but if Captain Hook has his way, before long, someone will be walking the plank and swimming with the crocodiles…
I don’t have much to say about this. It wasn’t a spectacular thing for me but I’m still glad I read it. At least because it’ll be more fun for me to read all the retellings now. Please recommend me some if you know any because I’m REALLY interested in those.
The book itself is something I’ll only recommend if you’re really into Peter Pan. Then you’ll probably love it. If you’re only semi-interested, it recommend just watching the movie (from 2003) because it’s better than the book, and it added some more interesting aspects to the story.
That was it for my reading in January. If it wasn’t clear… that favorite book I was talkning about in the beginning was The Starless Sea and I’m not going to stop talking about it for the rest of the year.
I hope your month was great too. Let me know your favorite of the month in the comments.
“In the year that Summer stayed too long, the heat lay upon the prairie with the weight of a corpse.”
First line in The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Hi, guys. Today I wanted to talk about the kind of books I usually love: books with a great atmosphere. It’s the kind of books where the author manages to create a certain feeling or mood with the reader through the description of elements in the book. Some authors are true masters of this kind of writing style so today I wanted so share some of my favorite books from those said authors. Let’s get into them.
The book that prompted this post because I wanted an excuse to talk about it some more. Morgenstern creates an atmosphere that is magical, wintery, and warm. On top of that, she managed to make me feel that sense of belonging and hominess that comes from reading about other readers.
In Circe, Madeline Miller tells the story of Circe from The Odyssey, but let’s us see everything from Circe’s perspective. That gives us an empowering and atmospheric read with magic and nature at the core. As a reader, we are forced to feel Circe’s loneliness and insecurity as she tries to find her place in the world of Gods and mythological creatures.
The Language of Thorns is a collection of fairy tales from Bardugo’s Grisha Verse but you don’t need to have read anything else before picking this one up. These stories perfectly capture that sinister mood and moralising tone of traditional fairy tales. The physical version of this book also has stunning artwork that will draw you into the stories and their atmosphere even more.
A classic children’s book with a very popular movie that explores the wonders of a child’s imagination. The atmospheric part of this book is especially prevalent when we’re experiencing this imaginary land of Fantastica.
A large part of The Binding takes place in the countryside where we follow a boy and his family. There is a certain calmness to this book which is evident in the writing style. When romance enters the story, that calmness is mixed with love and makes this book such a beautiful read.
As you can probably tell from the title, this is a perfect trilogy if you’re looking for a wintery atmosphere. Arden is great at conveying cold in this one so that you will be freezing just as much as the character while reading it (well probably not, but still). These books are also heavily inspired by Russian folklore which makes the atmosphere have this sort of fairy tale-esque sort of feeling to it.
Those were 6 books that I think have such a great atmosphere. In general, I would recommend the authors’ other works too if you want more books to read. I’ve just picked my favorite ones from each. Do you love these kinds of books, too? Do you know of any other books with a great atmosphere? Let me know in the comments.
Hi, guys and welcome to my final wrap up of 2019. December turned out to be the best month of the year in terms of the number of books I read. I hit a total of 7 books which is kind of awesome for someone like me who has an average of 5 books per month. It was a super stressful month so I have no idea how I found the time to read that much. However, I think it helped that I participated in the Winter Magical Readathon which was so much fun but also probably pushed me to read some more.
My ratings for the month was a little bit all over the place although there were nothing truly horrible. Nonetheless, here you have the 7 mini-reviews of the books I read in December.
Ninth House (Book 1 in Alex Stern)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: October 8th 2019
My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Buzzwords: secret societies, ghosts, creepy magic
Synopsis: Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?
Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.
It’s difficult for me tell you exactly what was wrong with this book, because I don’t believe it’s a bad book. It’s just filled to the brim with tropes I hate. Ghosts? Check. Murder mystery? Check. Annoying MC who is somehow better at police work than the actual detectives? Check. And so many others that are too spoilery to talk about so I’ll spare you.
A general problem I had throughout the entire book was that I didn’t care about the characters. I especially had trouble connecting with Alex, our MC, and just found her more and more annoying. As the book is very character focused that was kind of a big problem. We get quite a few flashbacks to her teenage years which put these breaks in the current story. I loved when Bardugo did that in Six of Crows, but in Ninth House they mostly felt boring.
The most interesting character for me was Darlington but he was barely there. He was what kept me reading because I was always hoping he would pop up.
As I said, this isn’t a bad book by any means but it was just so wrong for me. If you find the synopsis interesting, I still think you should give it a go.
The Toll (Book 3 in Arc of a Scythe)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Published: November 5th 2019
Genre: YA Science Fiction
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars!
Buzzwords: Dystopia, AI, exploration of morality and humanity
Go to Goodreads to read the synopsis of the first book in the series, Scythe.
I refuse to acknowledge that this series is over. It is too good the end! Nonetheless, The Toll was a perfect and satisfying conclusion to a trilogy that kept being relevant even though it takes place in the far future. This book continued the trend of the first two books and made me question humanity’s nature even more.
This last book is quite a long one but I’m not complaining. Even though it was a bit slow at times, the book needed to be this long. There aren’t a scene or a character that aren’t there for a reason and every little thing they do matters. Shusterman is especially good at making you understand every character and he doesn’t need many pages to do it. That was really important as we’re introduced to quite a few new characters in this one. It might seem counterproductive to do so in the final book but that is so not the case. Because Shusterman introduces them so effectively, it honestly seems like they’ve been a part of the story the whole time.
I also just briefly have to mention the plot because that is also amazing. Shusterman takes his time to develop it by going back and forth between characters, places and also years. He keeps you guessing all the way through, and it all in all made The Toll such a spectacular read.
The Fever King (Book 1 in Feverwake)
Author: Victoria Lee
Published: March 1st 2019
Genre: YA Science Fiction Fantasy
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Buzzwords: Cool magic system, LGBTQ+, undocumented immigrants in the future
Synopsis: In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
This book has such an interesting world and magic system. It’s set in the future but certain people have magical abilities that are heavily tied to a person’s knowledge of physics, biology ect. I love a magic system that encourages learning.
This book also has some compelling characters and serious themes that are very relevant to our world today. If you want to know more about my thoughts on The Fever King, I have a full review for you to check out.
The Bands of Mourning (Book 6 in Mistborn)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Published: January 26th 2016
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Buzzwords: Gun fights, a developing fantasy world, complicated magic
Go to Goodreads to read the synopsis of the first book in the series, The Final Empire.
I must admit that this is a series that I really, really want to love… but it just keeps letting me down. It’s not even that there’s something inherently wrong with it. I just think that it could be so much more than what it actually is. Does that make sense? Probably not.
I think the characters and the plot are too simplistic and predictable. The simple characters mean that I’m not very attached to them and the simple plot means that I’m never really excited or fearful about what’s going to happen. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book. It was just alright. I’m also still going to read the next book in the series when it’s published because I want to see how the world evolves.
Queens of Geek
Author: Jen Wilde
Published: March 17th 2017
Genre: YA Contemporary
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Buzzwords: fandom culture, social anxiety rep, romance
Synopsis: Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.
Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, is an empowering novel for anyone who has ever felt that fandom is family.
Prepare for some mixed feelings. Queens of Geek is a very, veryfluffy contemporary and I think it was too much for me. Too many things in this book just seem way too perfect. Especially the conversations between the characters. We follow teenagers who apparently always know the correct thing to say. As in you couldn’t say it better. It’s very unrealistic, and that bothered me quite a bit because it’s a book that’s trying very hard to be real and relatable.
This perfectness also meant that I missed just a little bit of conflict. Any kind of problem was quickly quenched by those perfect conversations and that just got a little boring by the halfway mark.
However, I thoroughly enjoyed the social anxiety rep and how fandom culture can play a role in that regard. Those things were combined really well and I related to it so much. The social anxiety was also my main reason for picking this book up so I’m still really glad I read it. I just can’t quite look past my problems with the book mentioned above.
Authors: Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
Published: October 1st 2018
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopia
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Buzzwords: Disastrous near-future, human nature in a crisis, water shortage, standalone
Synopsis:Everyone’s going to remember where they were when the taps ran dry.
The drought—or the tap-out, as everyone calls it – has been going on for a while. Life has become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t take long showers, don’t panic. But now there is no water left at all.
Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation and violence. When her parents go missing, she and her younger brother must team up with an unlikely group in search of water. Each of them will need to make impossible choices to survive.
This was just what I needed after finishing The Toll. It made me realize that I genuinely love Neal Shusterman’s writing style.
In Dry we follow a group of characters that are trying the survive in a world with no water. I really liked Shusterman’s character work in this one because he really makes you understand the characters and their decisions. Even those that are the tough decisions that this world inevitably provokes. If you want to know more about my thoughts, I have a full review for it.
Call Down the Hawk (Book 1 Dreamer Trilogy)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: November 5th 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Buzzwords: The Raven Cycle sequel, beautiful writing, whimsical, Ronan (yes, that’s a buzzword)
Synopsis:The dreamers walk among us . . . and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die.
And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all.
Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.
Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.
Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed. . . .
I’ve been putting off writing this review as long as I can, hoping that my feelings about this book would change. They didn’t meaning that I’m slightly disappointed by this first book in the new Dreamer Trilogy. My expectations were also very high.
The entire book felt very introductory. I kept waiting for it to start but I had to wait until the last 30 pages or so. That gave me hope for the rest of the trilogy though.
Other reviewer’s main critique of the book seems to be: not enough Adam (will there ever be enough though?). I feel that one too but I was prepared for it and understand that this isn’t about Adam. However, I want to add that there wasn’t enough Ronan. I feel like some of the new characters took over and I just wanted a Ronan-centered story.
However, Ronan’s parts of the book are the reason I still gave this a high rating. It felt sooo good to read about him again because he is such a unique character. And the few times Adam appeared too… I think my heart was about to burst.
I still have high hopes for the series and can’t wait for the second book.
Those were the 7 books I read in December which was a tough month for me personally, but apparently that means I read more. It was also a month were I found a new favorite author, Neal Shusterman. The two books I read by him this month were amazing and I want more of his writing style.
How was your Decemeber? Were there any books that managed to sneak their way onto your favorite books of the year list? Let me know in the comments.
First line in The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Hi, guys and welcome to the first of my end-of-the-year posts. We’re starting with the worst books I read this year so we can get that out of the way. I didn’t hate very many books this year actually but I still wanted to do a top 10. That means that this list feature some 3 star books at the beginning. The proper ranting doesn’t start until you get a little further down the list. And yes, they are in order because I love lists. Number 1 is the worst book of the year. I’m also grouping series together even though I might not have given all the books the same rating. It’s just easier. Let’s get into it!
10 – The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin
Firstly, I want to say that I don’t think this is a horrible trilogy. It’s won awards and everything so I clearly don’t know what I’m talking about when I’m putting it on this list. I gave all 3 books 3 stars so no strong emotions from me. I thought the premise and world was very interesting but I never connected to the characters or the writing.
9 – Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
A very recent read and not the last Leigh Bardugo book on this list unfortunately. I ended up giving this one 2.5 stars. I went into the book pretty blind because the fact that it was written by Bardugo was enough for me. I guess I learned my lesson. It was filled with so many tropes that I normally steer clear of. I especially hate murder mysteries with a passion so this was really not a good fit for me.
8 – The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
Hey, it’s Leigh Bardugo again. I honestly forgot that I read to many of her books this year. I gave Shadow and Bone 3 stars and the other two 2 stars. I didn’t completely hate them but I think it’s a case of these books not ageing well, and I read them too late. A bland main character with no personality and an annoying and ever-present romance plot aren’t things that will make me love a book anymore.
7 – The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill
A book that is recommended as similar to The Night Circus… guys, they are completely different books! Yes, The Lonely Hearts Hotel also has a circus (but very late in the book) and a soulmates kind of romance (although not as beautiful or romantic as in The Night Circus). The writing was also trying very hard to be beautiful and it very quickly began to annoy me like hell.
6 – The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
I had so high hopes for this one because I really liked this author’s previous series, Half Bad. We follow 5 different characters which was too many for this book to handle. I also only really liked one of them. Besides that I couldn’t recognize Green’s writing style from her other books. In this one there was too much telling and less showing. I wasn’t allowed to do any thinking of my own. So even though the world and magic were quite interesting, I didn’t save the book for me.
5 – The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Just because we reached the halfway point on this list, doesn’t mean that The Nickel Boys is a bad book. I just didn’t connect to the story or the characters at all which meant I was quite bored all the way through. It still had some great insights into the Civil Rights Movement.
4 – Catching Stars by Cayla Keenan
I honestly remember very, very little about this book other than it was a struggle to get through. The book is less than 300 pages and it almost took me whole 2 months to read. That’s not a good sign.
3 – The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski
I read the first 3 books in the series this year in preparation for the tv show. That made me realize that I’m just going to watch the tv show from now on. That writing style is way too dry for me and I kind of hate every character because of that. The blatant sexism isn’t doing much for me either. I’m counting on the tv show to fix these things.
2 – The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
I SO wanted to like this book! It sounded so cool with the many parallels to Six of Crows but the execution of it was a mess. It left me utterly confused. It felt like the book was missing entire passages because the characters were moving around but I wasn’t told about it. Very weird to read. It’s also a book that feature a lot of cool inventions. They all just happened to be exactly what our group needed no matter how odd or unrealistic these inventions were. I needed it all to be a little bit more difficult.
1 – Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
My first read of 2019 and it was a 1-star. I hated practically everything about it. The characters that were trying too hard to be “strong female characters” and therefore weren’t. The “plot twists” that I saw coming a mile away. The way this feminist book kept telling me it was a feminist book. Please stop. I won’t be picking up the sequel.
Well, there you have the books I didn’t like in 2019. I’d love to bond with you over a shared dislike for these book. Also if you loved them. Then tell me what I missed when reading them. I will have a post about my favorite books of 2019 up soon. That one is a lot harder to do but also more fun. Have a great day!
“Telsin!” Waxillium hissed as he crept out of the training hut.”
First line in The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
Hi, guys. Wednesday means that my weekly update is coming right at you through WWW Wednesday. It’s 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?
The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson, which is the sixth book in his Mistborn series. I gave it 3 stars. Not bad but not memorable either. However, I’m caught up with another series and that’s always a big win!
What are you currently reading?
I’m 70% into Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde. My excitement has dampened a little for this one since last week’s update. I still like it but I think the conversations are going in circles so it’s getting a little predictable. The conversations are still important though so I’m going to keep going.
Today I also just started my new commute book which is Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman. This one is to complete one of my reading prompts for the Winter Magical Readathon because I was asked to read a book with an orange cover. I’ve only read 62 pages but so far, so good. I already like the way that it’s structured. It’s similar to his Arc of a Scythe series so I’m not complaining.
What do you think you’ll read next?
I almost did a public squeal today. My library messaged me to let me know that Words of Radiance book 1 is available! I’m picking it up this weekend and probably starting it immediately.
There you have the books I’m reading and plan to read. Have you read any of them and what did you think? Have a great week!