Monday, April 29, 2019

Reader Problems Book Tag!

Hello all! Today I'm super excited to be doing a new tag that I found recently. This is all about reader problems and since there's 11 questions, I'm just going to go ahead and dive right in! Enjoy!

1. You have 20,000 books in your TBR, how in the world do you decide what to read next?

Honestly I made super detailed monthly TBRs so I probably just chose the books I'm most excited about reading at the moment and put those on the list. These can be anything from what's currently being buzzed about on bookstagram, a book I've had forever, a new anticipated release, etc. Then, from my detailed TBR, I mood read based on what I'm feeling at that moment.

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you put it down or are you committed?

Put it down. I consider halfway enough to write a review and include it in my Goodreads challenge. I have so many books to read that if I'm not liking a book then I'm not going to spend my time on it. It's different if it's a book for review from a publisher or author, or if one of my friends really hyped it up to me, because then I'll try to stick it out and see if it gets better. But a big thing for me is that I don't enjoy books when I have to force myself through them, so I've DNF-ed books before only to read them a few months later and absolutely love them.

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re behind on your reading challenge, do you try to catch up? And if so, how?

Yes. I had beaten my initial challenge last year but kept raising it and I ended up wanting to hit 100 books read. So, in the last four days, I tried to read six books. And I hit it! Honestly a huge thing about this is that, as a college student, I have winter break and I can spend the last two or so weeks of the year trying to catch up on my reading challenge. Additionally, the last few New Year's Eves I didn't really do anything and instead just binge read books all day. For two years, I've completed my challenge right on New Year's Eve.

4. The covers of a series you love do not match, how do you cope?

Not well. Honestly I'll rebuy all the new covers, if possible and financially viable. If it's a small cover change that doesn't look too different on my bookshelf, I'll just let it be. However, as an example, the Dark Elements trilogy underwent a cover change in the US before the third book came out and I absolutely HATED the new covers. I had the first two in the original covers but the third would have been a gross difference. So I discovered that they had a matching cover in Australia and ordered it, spent months waiting for it to arrive, only for the publisher to have sent the wrong book. I ended up having to wait even longer for the correct book to arrive, but it finally did and my covers match! Of course, they have different heights but that would have happened whether or not I got the new cover or the Australian cover, so I'm not too mad about that. Especially now that the trilogy went through another cover change and I have those gorgeous new ones now!

5. Everyone and their mother loves a book that you do not. Who do you bond with over your shared feelings?

Honestly I can usually find a fellow bookstagrammer friend who shares the same feelings as me. While a few of my bookstagram friends may love a book, there's usually at least one friend who doesn't like it as well. So, honestly, it's not that hard to find someone to bond with but it's usually bookstagram friends!

6. You’re reading a book in public and you’re about to start crying. How do you deal?

I've definitely cried in public before but usually I try to keep the tears in. Sometimes it doesn't happen but if I'm close to sobbing and I'm in a place where I would embarrass myself, I put down the book and wait to continue reading until I'm in a more suitable place. Of course, I may let a few tears slip out if I'm in a place where no one will notice.

7. The sequel to a book you loved just came out but you’ve forgotten a lot of what happens. Are you going to reread it?

Probably. I do for most of the series I read. It's both good and bad, honestly, because I can go into a book with reinvigorated information but also I sometimes let new releases sit for months because I'm too lazy to read the previous books (take An Ember in the Ashes series for example). If it's for a series that I really love, I'll reread it. If it's for a series I liked but didn't love, I'll probably just look up a spoilery review on Goodreads or YouTube.

8. You do not want anyone to borrow your books, how do you politely say no when someone asks?

"Sorry, I don't lend books out."

There is a very very tiny list of people I loan books to. I also have rules for people borrowing my books, which can be annoying to them at times but my books my rules. I keep a running list of who has what book if I've lent any out. If it's a hardcover book, I keep the dust jacket on my bookshelf and let them borrow it without that. If it's a paperback book, I let them borrow the book with a booksleeve to protect it from travels (unless it's Lexi, who knows how to keep my books safe). I also stick a bookmark in so that there's no pages being folded. Lastly, if a book comes back more than a little damaged I tend to ask for help buying a new copy. I've had too many instances of people either not returning a book or returning it damaged (we're talking a special edition hardcover that somehow had compromised binding) for me to not be protective over my books.

9. You have picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over this reading slump?

Reread a favorite. Usually it'll be an easy book that was addictive the first (or second) time that I read it, such as The Veil Diaries series by B.L. Brunnemer. It helps because I know that I already like the book, I know what happens, and I don't have to exert too much brain power as I would in reading a new story.

10. There are so many books coming out that you are dying to read, how many do you end up buying?

A lot. If it's any example, I have seven new releases preordered for May. If it's the next in a series that I haven't caught up to yet, I won't buy it but I will put in on my wishlist. I try to be more strict about my new release buying, though, so this upcoming month is definitely the outlier for what the rest of this year has been so far.

11. After you purchase all of these books that you’re dying to read how long do they sit on your shelves before you get to them?

Honestly it varies. I've had super anticipated books that I'd been dying to read since finishing the first book sit on my shelf for over a year before I read it. There are some books on my shelf that I bought back when I first got back into reading and I still haven't read. There are other books that I start reading the same day that I get them. Honestly, I have no clue since it varies based on the book, the genre, the author, etc.

I tag anyone who wants to do this! 

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this look into my reading habits and quirks! Do you relate to any of my answers above? Let me know in the comments below!


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Friday, April 26, 2019

Book Review: "Embrace" by Jessica Shirvington

Title: Embrace
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Series: "Violet Eden Chapters" #1
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Page Length: 369 pages
Publication Date: September 2012
Date Started: April 23, 2019
Date Finished: April 23, 2019
Rating: 3.5 // 5 stars 

This book was very reminiscent of the books I would read when I first started getting into YA. I'm not going to say that this book is a literary masterpiece in any way, but I did enjoy it a lot. It's an easy, likable read that doesn't require too much brain power to follow. 

I got sucked in pretty much from the beginning. The writing is easy to follow and quite nice and the main character is pretty awesome. Things don't take forever to get started, either, and there's action pretty quickly. 

We do have our stereotypical love triangle, but I still loved it. I don't hate love triangles if they are done well enough and this one was. It wasn't the best love triangle I've ever read, but considering there's four more books, I'd say there's plenty of room for improvement. 

The plot and world were interesting enough. I'm sure they're only going to get even more in depth and interesting in the next books. Looking back, this is a book that very much sets up the rest of the series. I thought more was going to happen here but they didn't rush this pivotal part of the main character's story which I enjoyed. 

Overall I thought this was a very enjoyable and addicting book. It had a super nostalgic feeling, the characters were enjoyable, and the plot was interesting. I read it in one sitting and I'm interested to see where the story goes next.

Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Top 5 Wednesday: Rainy Day Reads

And we're back with another Top 5 Wednesday! This week is all about Rainy Day Reads and I'm super excited to share mine with you all. This is less of a recommendations post (though I highly recommend all these books/series) but more so about books I love reading when the weather is sub-par. 

The first pick I have is the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco. I adore this series and they were the first books that popped into my head when I read this weeks prompt. There's murder, mysteries, a little bit of romance, humor, and more in these books. I actually finished reading the last two when it was thunder-storming and I absolutely loved that fact. It felt like I was actually there in the story and the weather definitely added to the creepier aspects of the story. 

Up next is The Dark Elements trilogy by Jennifer L. Armentrout. These are definitely books I would binge-read in a day while curled up under a blanket next to the windows. They're fast-paced and super addicting with plenty of romance, humor, and action in them. I recently reread the first book and I cannot wait to reread the last two! Hopefully I'll be able to snag a perfect rainy day to binge read them during.

For number three I went with a lesser-known book: Hide and Seek Her by H.B. Stumbo. This book means a lot to me for many reasons but I also think it would be the perfect rainy day read. It's basically a book with romance, thrillers, friendships, etc and I love it. A thunderstorm would be a perfect addition to enhance the creepy factors. 

Next we have The Veil Diaries series by B.L. Brunnemer. This is a story about a girl named Alexis who can see and interact with ghosts. She moves to a new town and meets this group of guys who start to become her friends but it's hard when she has to keep her secret from them. I just...yes! The books are fast-paced, addicting, and just overall great. It would be a perfect series to binge on a rainy day, especially because of the creepy ghosts. 

Lastly, we have The Ghost Bird series by C.L. Stone. This is actually just a cute story about a girl named Sang meeting new friends for the first time in her life while trying to hide them from her over-protective family and it's just so cute and adorable. The books are super bingeable and this is another series I would binge on a rainy day if given the chance. 

Well, there you have it! Those are my Top 5 Rainy Day Reads, though I'd read pretty much any book on a rainy day. I just love getting cozy under blankets when I'm reading and rainy days provide the perfect excuse. Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments below! 

Thanks for reading!

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Book Review: "Strange the Dreamer" by Laini Taylor

Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: "Strange the Dreamer" #1
Genre: Fantasy
Page Length: 536 pages
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Date Started: April 14, 2019
Date Finished: April 17, 2019
Rating: 4 // 5 stars

Did I ask for that heartbreak? No. Did Laini deliver it anyway? Yes.

This book is so magical and lyrical and wonderful. The world is amazing, the characters are so intriguing, and I'll admit to being completely sucked in. I can see how so many people absolutely adore this book and I can also tell why there's so much hype surrounding it.

I have to say, I would die for Lazlo Strange. He's the sweetest, most amazing character every and I'm so excited to see how he grows in the next book. I just...he's wonderful. Sarai was great as well. I found her struggles really made me sympathize for her. A few of the secondary characters were quite interesting as well, though I will say that I would have liked to see even more of them, especially from the inhabitants of Weep.

The world building was pretty great. Every time I envision Weep in my head it's so pretty and I can't wait to look up fan art and depictions of it. I can't wait to see what happens in this city next. Especially with how things were left after the ending of this book. I can only imagine what will happen next in the city.

I will say I didn't think this lived up to my expectations. I think all of the hype got me thinking I'd be blown away and I wasn't. Don't get me wrong, I did absolutely enjoy this book and I had all the feels reading it, but for a book that long it just seemed like not much happened? It was beautiful writing, a beautiful world, and wonderful characters but I kept waiting for the plot to pick up and when the big ending happened I was like, "wait, that was it?" I did really enjoy this book but everyone's hype for it definitely impacted my expectations.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book and I'm excited to see how things play out in the sequel. Especially considering how my favs were left at the end of this one (insert sobbing emoji here). I would definitely recommend it to those who like fantasy and don't mind a slower moving plot!

Have you read Strange the Dreamer? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Recommending My Favorite Books

Hello all! This week I'm going to be recommending some of my favorite books. I've been reading for quite a long time and have amassed a long list of books that I absolutely love. I have 14 books across different genres that I'll be recommending today and since there's so many, I'll be offering brief thoughts and synopses on each of them. Let's just dive straight in!

First, I have five fantasy books to recommend. Fantasy is my favorite genre and I love a lot of other fantasy books, but these seem to be my top 5 at the moment. 

Up first is Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. This is all about an assassin named Celaena Sardothien who has been locked up in the slave mines of Endovier for a year when the Crown Prince comes to offer her a deal: her eventual freedom in exchange for fighting in a competition to become the King's Champion. But when fellow competitors start showing up dead, Celaena must figure out who it is before she comes next. This series has a wonderful blend of magic, badass-ery, and more! It's my all time favorite series and is complete with 7 books as well as a collection of novellas. Links: Goodreads, My Review

And, unsurprisingly, my next recommendation is A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. One day while Feyre is out hunting in the woods, she kills a wolf. When a fae prince shows up on her doorstep claiming the wolf as one of their own, she's dragged to fae lands as punishment. Romance and magic starts to bloom as Feyre discovers she is the only one who can break the ancient curse on the land...or doom them forever. The series is such an amazing one and I absolutely love it. The first trilogy is complete with a sequel novella already out and a spin-off novel coming next year. Links: Goodreads, My Review

Up next we have a new favorite I discovered this year that I've absolutely fallen in love with: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. This book is all about a Cairo con-woman named Nahri who accidentally summons a djinn warrior during one of her cons. She discovers that her childhood stories of djinn are real and there's a magical city hidden across the desert that she's connected to. This world is so magical and the story is just amazing. This will be a completed trilogy in January of 2020. Links: Goodreads, My Review

Next we have a new favorite as well: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. "Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home. Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.  All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch" (synopsis from Goodreads). I love everything about these characters and the story is just so fun. Links: Goodreads, My Review

My last fantasy recommendation is Furyborn by Claire Legrand. "The stunningly fantasy follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it. When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire's heart is more terrible than she ever imagined. As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other" (synopsis from Goodreads). I am absolutely obsessed with this book and the second one comes out in May!  Links: Goodreads, My Review

I have two loosely thriller/mystery books up next. The first is Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. This is set in the late 1800s and follows Audrey Rose, a girl trying to escape her father and society's expectations in order to study forensic science under her uncle. When a string of bodies is left across London, Audrey Rose must team up with fellow-apprentice Thomas to uncover who's behind the murders. I'm absolutely in love with the characters and their adventures are so fun. There's currently three published books with the final book coming out in September! Links: Goodreads

I also have a lesser-known book that I absolutely adore: Hide and Seek Her by H.B. Stumbo. After getting out of a rough relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Charlotte is in a dark place while attempting to rebuild her life. Enter Vance Wait, a mysterious man who starts to bring light into her life. But she can't help always looking over her shoulder. This is one of the first books I ever reviewed on my blog and I absolutely love it. The characters are amazing and this series will tug at your heartstrings and absolutely destroy you in all the best ways. Links: Goodreads, My Review

Now I have two contemporary books to recommend. The first is To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. This trilogy is all about a girl named Lara Jean who writes a love letter to every boy she's ever had a crush on in an attempt to get over them. One day, her letters are sent out into the world and things get funny from there. This is such a cute and adorable story and I absolutely love these books! The trilogy is complete now and there's even a film adaption of the first book with the second in progress. Links: Goodreads, My Review

Next, I have Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry. "Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both" (synopsis from Goodreads). This book is so addictive and the characters are just amazing. Links: Goodreads, My Review

Now I'm going to recommend two paranormal books that I absolutely love. The first is Trying to Live With the Dead by B.L. Brunnemer. This is a reverse harem story following a girl named Alexis who can see and interact with ghosts. Upon arriving at a new school, she meets a group of guys and starts to become friends with them. But keeping her secret from her new friends weighs on her and soon she discovers that someone is messing with the ghosts in town. This is such an addicting series and I absolutely adore the characters. Links: Reverse Harem Guide, GoodreadsMy Review

Up next is White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This is such an addicting book about a girl named Layla who is half-Warden, half-demon. She doesn't fit in with the Wardens, aka demon-hunters, she refuses to interact with demons, and both of these keep her from being like the other humans at school. Then a demon named Roth shows up and flips her world upside down by showing her things aren't always as they seem as well as revealing secrets about her past that had been hidden from her. And, of course, romance starts to bloom in unexpected ways. I absolutely love this trilogy and I can't wait to reread them. Links: Goodreads, My Review

Lastly, I have two science-fiction books to recommend. The first of which is Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. It's hard to describe this book other than by saying it's absolutely amazing, but I'll try. After two rival mega-corporations bring enemy fire to their small out-of-the-way planet, Kady and Ezra - who are barely even talking to each other - have evacuate to a rescue fleet while a hostile warship is in pursuit. After a plague breaks out aboard the ship and things start to get suspicious, Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth where it is soon clear that she’s going to have to turn to the one person she swore she’d never speak to again. "BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes." Links: Goodreads, My Review.

The last book I have is The Host by Stephenie Meyer. From Goodreads: "Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love." This is definitely Stephenie Meyer's best book and I absolutely love this story. It's so fantastic and wonderful in so many ways. Links: Goodreads, My Review.

Well, that's it for my recommendations today! If you'd like to see more of my favorite books, you can find a longer list here on Goodreads. Have you read any of these books and, if so, which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below! 

Thanks for reading!

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Book Review: "Escaping From Houdini" by Kerri Maniscalco

Title: Escaping From Houdini
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Series: "Stalking Jack the Ripper" #3
Genre: YA Historical Mystery Fiction 
Page Length: 436 pages
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Date Started: April 11, 2019
Date Finished: April 12, 2019
Rating: 4.5 // 5 stars

I'm so glad I finally read this book because I absolutely adored it. I loved being back with these characters and this story. I was so good. I did have some small problems with it but my overall feelings were just "AHHH." Also, this review will be non-spoiler until the very last paragraph which I will give warning beforehand.

I loved this book. I thought it was a great addition to the story and I'm glad we got to see this journey with Audrey and Thomas. I thought it was very mysterious and also a lot more magical than the previous books. I don't really know what to say other than I enjoyed it a lot.

I love Thomas even more, which I didn't think was possible, though I do with that he'd had more page time in this installment. I also thought that while a lot of people had issues with Audrey Rose in this book, I could actually see how most (but not all) of her actions made sense for her character and her growth over the books. Sometimes there were things she did that annoyed me but overall I can see her reasoning behind her actions.

I did enjoy the addition of new characters, though I felt like I was a bit confused at times with all of the new names being thrown at us. I wish we'd have gotten to see even more of the different carnival workers apart from the ringmaster. We got a brief intro to each of them but I would have enjoyed diving deeper into a couple of the more visited characters. Also, for a book with Houdini in the title, there wasn't much Houdini in the actual plot. Lastly, I'm so glad that there were characters from previous books that got to play bigger roles in this one.

I honestly struggle with reviewing books that I've really enjoyed. With books I didn't really enjoy there's always a lot of critique but with books I loved, there's only so many ways that I can say I enjoyed it. And that's the case with this book. My overall feelings were that I loved it and I can't wait for the next one.

I especially can't wait for the next one after how the final events in this book happened! Like....just...I'm actually a bit blown away. I'm so excited to see how those events impact the next book. And speaking of the ending...I can't wait to pull out my arc of this book and see how the endings were different since she changed the entire ending after the arcs were printed. I'm very much looking forward to that!

But overall, I did think this was a strong installment in the series and I'm very excited to see where the final book goes!

*Small spoiler section*

Okay, so I liked Mephistopheles but I wish that we'd gotten less of his character and more of Thomas. I think a lot of people were annoyed by the somewhat-love triangle that was present in this book but, honestly, I thought it was pretty realistic. I know we all love Thomas and so does Audrey Rose, but she's a girl who hasn't had much experience with boys so it's not that hard to believe she'd be conflicted about the attention she got all the time from Mephistopheles. Also, it's a nice fantasy to think that Thomas and Audrey would meet in the first book and be together throughout all of them with no ups or downs, but that's not realistic either. Even though I'm still Team Thomas, I don't think this was a bad plot development. I liked Mephistopheles and was okay with the love triangle, but I still wish we'd gotten more Thomas. Also, the one part of Audrey's behavior that I didn't like was when she made the bargain to get information that would break Liza and Houdini up.

Also, can we just quickly talk about Audrey throwing herself in front of Thomas and almost dying to save him. Like oh lord that was just...I still cannot get over it. I'm going to be rereading that scene many a times. I'm interested to see how her injury will impact her and her sleuthing in the next book.

Thanks for reading!

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Friday, April 12, 2019

Book Review: "Invictus" by Ryan Graudin

Title: Invictus
Author: Ryan Graudin
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Page Length: 458 pages
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Date Started: April 3, 2019
Date Finished: April 8, 2019
Rating: 3.5 // 5 stars

I was so excited for this book. I'd somehow secured a trade for an arc almost two years ago and have been excited to read this ever since. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed but I'm attributing some of that to the fact I was literally hyping it up in my mind for almost two years. Overall, I did enjoy this book and thought the characters and plot was enjoyable, but I thought there was a lot of missed opportunity.

Looking back on reading this, I feel as if I can count the major plot points on a single hand, which is rough because this book is over 400 pages long. I honestly don't feel like there was much actually going on. Also, for a time-traveling crew of space pirates, there's not very much time-traveling or pirating. Yes, there's a few different time periods we get to see, but I expected so much more time-travel for a 400-page book. Still, what we did get was interesting and I wish we'd gotten to see even more of how time-travel technically works. It seems to me that whenever they time-traveled, the scene would go something like, "character typed in a few numbers, we waited, and then we were there." I just feel as if there were a lot of missed opportunities for more time-travel, more new exciting places, more everything. But, instead, a lot of times I found myself bored or wishing their was something actually going on rather than the characters just sitting around a room talking because that doesn't work for me unless I'm highly invested in them. 

In terms of the characters, I did really enjoy them even if I didn't connect a whole lot. I definitely found Far to be my favorite, but the others on the crew were also very enjoyable to read from. There were only two main points of view, but at some point or another a lot of characters got a chapter or two where we ended up with about seven total points of view, which is a bit much and could be a potential reason I didn't connect as much. I feel as if the multiple points of view let me connect a little bit with every character but not beyond that. But the main thing is that I did connect with every character and I liked most characters, I just didn't love them. 

The relationships between the characters were another thing that made me like this book a lot more. I was indeed shipping characters with each other and I did want to see how everything ended up between each of them. I also really liked how at the start of this book the main character was already in a relationship with another character because we already had that established bond that continued to grow throughout the book. 

I flew through the last 100 pages  when I was supposed to be doing homework because I had to know how the ending played out, even though I pretty much called it. The more I think on it, too, the more the ending is growing on me. I originally didn't like the ending but when I look back on it now I find that it was a good ending for the situation.

Overall, I did enjoy this book. I didn't love it but I did enjoy it though I do think that it disappointed me with all of the missed opportunities. I did think it was a fun read and what we got of the time-travel was interesting, I just wished there had been more of it. 

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Jokesters

We're back on another Wednesday with my Top 5 Favorite Jokesters! I'll be honest, this was a tad difficult but, in the end, I managed to pull together a list. I think the thing with reading mostly high fantasy is that it's more about war than joking around so I did pull in some TV show characters that I absolutely adore. So, without further ado, here are my top 5 favorite jokesters: 

Of course, at number one we have Fred and George Weasley from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. They immediately popped into my head for this prompt because they are the epitome of jokesters. They even opened up a magic joke shop. 

Second, I have Fenrys from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. He's not as much of an outright jokester as Fred and George, but in Empire of Storms especially he is always cracking jokes and making quips. It doesn't hurt that he's one of my favorite characters.

Next I have Cassian from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. Oh lordy my baby Cassian. He's definitely one of the funniest characters I've read. He's making quips and jokes all the time, and sometimes at inappropriate times. But he's just an all around funny character.

Fourth we have Stiles Stilinski from Teen Wolf, aka my favorite show of all time. From the very beginning Stiles is a comedic relief through all of the supernatural aspects and drama of the show. There are so many amazing quotes of his that I continue to use to this day. 

Lastly, I decided to go with Kitty from the Lara Jean trilogy by Jenny Han. I absolutely adore this books and Kitty is such a great character. She's the epitome of a little sister and has so many comedic lines and actions. I can't wait to see how she's played in the Netflix sequel to To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Well, those are my top 5 favorite jokesters! Honestly this list was a bit hard to form but I'm happy with all the characters I've chosen. Let me know in the comments who your favorite jokesters are! 

Thanks for reading!

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Graphic Novel Review: "Saga" Volumes 1-9 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Title: Saga
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrator: Fiona Staples
Series: "Saga" #1-9
Genre: Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy Graphic Novel
Overall Page Length: 1,402 pages
Published Between: 2012-2018
Vol 1 Date Started: March 28, 2019
Vol 9 Date Finished: April 4, 2019
Overall Rating: 5 // 5 stars 

If you would have told me that one of my favorite reads of the year so far would have been a graphic novel series, I would have laughed, mostly because I had no plans to read this series this year.

I'd been hearing amazing things about this series for a long time. I'd been wanting to read it for years, but graphic novels are expensive. Then I found out my school library had a graphic novel section and I got very very excited. And better yet, they had all 9 of these graphic novels and no check-out limit. So I got them all. 

Boy was this a wild ride. It didn't take me very long to read any of these which I'm a tad sad about. I just discovered this series and now I have to wait even longer to read the next installment. But I'm so happy that I did get the chance to read these. And now that I'm all caught up, I don't have to worry about spoilers and I can immediately jump on the tenth volume when it comes out. 

Ok, so moving into the actual review...I loved these, obviously. I will say I loved different volumes more than others but overall, this is a 5 star series for me. I think that what made it that for me is because I could read it so fast and it was so addicting. I didn't think I would connect as much with the characters because there obviously isn't much text, but the images definitely helped with that.

The characters, oh boy. I love a few, like a couple, and don't like a few. Despite seeing the backstory and motivations for some of the characters I don't like, I still can't find it in me to like them. I think they're good, well-written characters, but I don't like them. I absolutely love the main three characters, though. I just love their relationships, their struggles, their journey...everything! heart. 

The plot is definitely interesting. There's a war going on and we're pulled into these star-crossed lovers' stories while they're on the run from freelancers, their own governments, and pretty much everything else honestly. I really am excited to see what happens next with how the ending of the ninth volume went. 

I have to say I'm a little heartbroken after the ending of the ninth volume. Both at what happened and what was set up for the next installments but also because I do have to wait a while for what happens next. But in terms of being a well-written story, it was so well executed. 

Overall, I just have to say I've found a new favorite series. I also think that the story itself and the quality of art are simply amazing and have most likely ruined me for other graphic novels since I'll be expecting the same quality elsewhere. I highly recommend these, though, and I cannot wait to see where this story goes.

Thanks for reading!

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Friday, April 5, 2019

March 2019 Book Haul!

So I got a lot more books this month than I expected, but I'm totally okay with that. To break it down, one of these was a book for class (but I won't be talking about that one), two were Twitter trades, three were books I already had read, five were books I ordered all the way back in July, and one was the random purchase of the month. I didn't really spend that much and I'm excited about the books I got. Total, I got twelve books in the month of March. Let's just go ahead and jump straight in!

The first book I got this month was a preorder from February that arrived at the beginning of March: the UK hardcover of Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard. I don't know why I love this edition so much but it's absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait to display all of my editions together in the future. This is by far my favorite Susan Dennard book and I can't wait to see how the next one in this series turns out. You can find my review here

The next two books I have to talk about are
 the UK hardcovers of The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty. I read these books in February and absolutely fell in love with the story and the characters! I'm still thinking about them months later and I knew that I needed to have these editions on my shelf. I'm planning on painting the edges of these to match the Goldsboro editions that were sold out before I could get my hands on them, so there will be an update in the future about that! Here's my reviews for book 1 and book 2.

Next, I got Renegades by Marissa Meyer. I've heard so many great things about these new books by Marissa from people that I trust. To be honest, the fact that it sounds like a glorious sci-fi adventure also is pulling me in. I read Marissa's other series and loved it, so I'm hoping that when I get to reading this one I'll love it too!

Up next was my Apollycon virtual signing order. They did this really cool thing where you could order as many books as you want by any of the 100+ authors who attended the convention to get a signed and personalized book sent to your door. I ended up ordering five titles back in July and I'm super excited to finally have them in my hands!

The first of these is Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I slowly want to collect a personalized edition of every one of her books so I'm super excited to have this one in my hands! Especially since this is the book that started the entire series. You can find my review here.

Next, I have a copy of Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. When it came down to choosing which SJM books to get, I decided to jump on this one as well. It's one of my favorites of the series and I really wanted to get a special copy since I didn't own any special or signed editions before this one. You can find my review here.

The third book I got was Kingdom of Ash, also by Sarah J. Maas. I was a tad bummed when I found out Good Choice Reading wasn't going to be doing a virtual signing for KoA because I really wanted a personalized copy of the final book. Then I heard about this virtual signing and was quick to jump on it. This book broke me in all the best ways and I cannot wait to do a reread. You can find my review here.

The next book I got from the signing was Torn by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This is the second in one of Jennifer's series that I haven't read yet, so I was like, "Why not get a signed edition if I'm going to need to buy a copy anyway?" I'm hoping to read this trilogy over the summer if I have time. If not, there's always winter break or next year!

The final book I got from Apollycon was Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This is one of her  non-paranormal/fantasy standalones and I'm super excited to branch out into even more of her writing. I think that this definitely has the ability to be a powerful book and I'm just excited to have a personalized copy in my hands.

The next book I got was from a trade on Twitter and that was an ARC of The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson. S.A. Charkaborty was talking about how much she loved this book on Twitter so I looked it up and it sounded interesting enough to make me try to find a copy to read. I'm excited to read this one, though I don't know when I'll get to it!

The last book I got this month was also a trade from Twitter and that is an ARC of Naturally Tan by Tan France. Tan is one of the members of the show Queer Eye, which I absolutely adore. When I saw that he had a book coming out in May, I knew I wanted to read it. Luckily, I was able to trade someone for an ARC. I've already read a couple pages and loved it, so I have a feeling this will be a nice, heartwarming read.

Well, there you have it! Those are all of the physical books that I got in the month of March. I'm hoping to get a lot less in April but we'll see how well that goes! Did you get any exciting books this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Exciting Upcoming Book Releases

Hey everyone! We're about to move into two of the busiest months of book releases for this year. For some reason, it seems like so many amazing and hyped books come out in April, May, September, and October. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of awesome books that don't come out during these months, but I've found that my preorders are typically pretty loaded in these four months.

Today I thought I would discuss my anticipated releases for April and May. It seems like every time I turn my head there's a new book being promoted that just sounds amazing. There are so many books releasing soon and I have a bunch to talk about so let's just dive in! 

The first release that is fast approaching is The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu. This is the first book in a trilogy (?) following Magnus and Alec through the time between other Shadowhunter books. I am so excited about this one because I absolutely love Malec! Of course, I'm thinking I should reread the entirety of the Mortal Instruments series first, but we'll see. This one releases April 9th and I actually have a giveaway for a copy running over on my Instagram!

Up next, we have a few that are coming out on the same day: May 7th. The first of these is Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I'm super excited about this one as I've heard stellar early reviews and I loved their other co-written series. It's another sci-fi story and I've heard that it has all the feels! There's also a super awesome preorder campaign going on where if you preorder the US edition and you have a US mailing address, you can get an Illuminae novella! If you want a signed edition or live outside the US and want the novella, you can get those from Good Choice Reading (purchase deadline April 26)!

The next one releasing on May 7 is Finale by Stephanie Garber. This is the final installment in the Caraval trilogy and I'm so excited! The ending of the second book absolutely shook me and I'm excited to see how things wrap-up in this final book. You can also get a signed, personalized Barnes & Noble edition from Good Choice Reading as well (purchase deadline April 22)!

Next, I'm super excited about Again, But Better by Christine Riccio. I've been following her YouTube for years now and she's one of the reasons I got back into reading. I'm so excited for her debut novel to be coming out! Also, the main character is studying in London and I'm studying abroad there in the fall so I think that'll be super cool to read about! This is another book you can get a signed & personalized copy for from Good Choice Reading (purchase deadline May 10).

The last book I'm excited for that's releasing May 7th is Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo. I had the chance to meet Maurene Goo on tour last year and she was so nice! This newest book by her also sounds so cute! There's k-pop, adventure, and more!

On May 14th, We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal is coming out! I've heard so many good things from people who got to read it early and I'm beyond excited to read it. It sounds badass and adventurous and full of magic! Again, you can get a personalized Barnes & Noble copy through Good Choice Reading (purchase deadline May 6). 

The last book I'm talking about releases on May 21st and is probably the most exciting one on this list: Kingsbane by Claire Legrand. I loved Furyborn and I honestly cannot wait to see how the story continues in this sequel! I'm counting down the days until I have this beautiful book in my hands and I can binge-read it!

Well, there you have it! Those are my anticipated releases for April and May! There's a lot of them, I know, but I can't help how awesome all of these books sound. Are you excited for any of these books? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

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