Book Bucket List Tag

Thank the almighty bookish gods and goddesses for book tags! And Kristin Kraves books, though she did not tag me. I was struggling to come up with content….

Side note: I really don’t like making bucket lists. They cause me an irrational sense of anxiety. But this tag still looked like fun, because books are always fun (and safe) to talk about.

On to the tag!

 

What books or series that intimidate you (because of length, density, subject) would feel like an accomplishment to finish?

niecy nash getting on hbo GIF

I have quite a few books on my bookshelves, namely certain classics, that I would consider an accomplishment to finish. A book that fits this category is Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I attempted to read it a while back, got about 90 pages in, then set it aside for another time.

 

What author would you like to co-author a book with?

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No idea. I don’t think I want to co-author a book. I’m such a control freak over my own work.

 

If you could interview any author for your blog, who would it be? What’s one question you would ask?

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I think I would like to interview Francesca Zappia, a very good author that is very underrated. One question I would ask her is if she would ever write a magical realism novel. With her writing style, I think she would be good at it. I think she would also do a good job writing a magical realism novel featuring a character that has a mental illness.

 

As a writer, what genre is out of your comfort zone that you would like to conquer someday and write within?

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Science fiction is a genre generally out of my comfort zone, as anything scientific tends to go right over my head. I love fantasy and contemporary so much I’m not sure if I would ever write anything else.

 

What specific edition of a book would you like to own someday? It could be a rare, a first edition, an anniversary edition, signed, or one with a cover special to you, etc.?

Books Library GIF by DePauw University

Not sure. I don’t pay attention to anniversary or special editions. I own graphic novel adaptions of some of my favorite books, like The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, but do those count? If I already have a copy, I can’t justify it to myself to spend money on another copy of the exact same book if the old one is perfectly fine. I might consider getting the special collector’s edition of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas since it is one of my all-time favorites. Only that is a hard maybe.

 

Are there any books or bookish items that you like to collect?

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I likely have as many bookmarks as I do books. Lately, I have been getting into collecting graphic novel adaptions of classic novels, like The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood or well-known works, like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

 

Name one bookish place you’d like to visit. (Not somewhere you’d like to visit because of a book and not a fictional place within a book, a library, bookstore, etc.)

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Easy: Shakespeare and Company in Paris.

 

Name a bookish event you’d like to attend (a festival, signing, book fair, etc.)

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If I ever get the chance, to attend BookCon/Book Expo, Yallfest, or the American Library Association (ALA) Conference, I doubt I would turn it down. Problem is, crowds make me anxious.

 

Your WIP is getting published and designing the cover is solely up to you. What does it look like?

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Truth be told, since right before my mom went on hospice towards the end of 2017, I have done next to nothing on any of my works in progress. But an idea I always thought about was a young adult fantasy novel, with darker primary colors and a girl on the cover in a flowing dress.

 

What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish within the bookish world? As a writer, reader, blogger, whatever you want.

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At the moment, that would be getting back into writing overall. Like I said, I have not done any work on any of my creative writing projects since before my mom died. Besides, having story ADD, she constantly needed my attention. I tried to get back into it, but writing suddenly became too hard. Blogging was just easier. I would like to write and publish a book someday. Graduate school is holding a lot of my attention now, but the urge to be creative is slowly coming back.

 

I tag:

Rebecca

Sophie

Shanah

Grey

Crystal

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Top 5 Tuesday: UVWXYZ Books

Of all the letters in the alphabet, I think these are the most hated.

I know we were allowed to turn to Goodreads for each week’s Top 5 Tuesday. Only I have so many books on there that it’s too time-consuming to scroll through them all. To keep things simple, I stuck to books I own. And, for this week’s letters, I did something different.

This week, I chose my three favorite letters in this group: U, V, and W. Forget about finding anything beginning with X. I have titles for Y, only not as many as I want. I don’t own any books beginning with the letter Z. At least, not last time I checked. But these are the books I wanted to talk about the most.

 

U

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (read)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)

Another underrated paranormal young adult trilogy that came out around the same time as Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. This one also has angels and angst, yet I know so few people that have read it.

 

V

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter (unread)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 Vassa in the Night

A modern-day retelling of Baba Yaga set in an alternative fantastical Brooklyn neighborhood. This has been on my TBR for far too long.

 

V

(A) Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi (unread)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 A Very Large Expanse of Sea

At this point, I still have not read anything by Tahereh Mafi. I checked out the entire Shatter Me series currently out from the library and didn’t get to read it. However, A Very Large Expanse of Sea is her one book I am most interested in reading anyway.

 

W

What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi (unread)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 What They Don't Know

A book I bought a few months ago on impulse. What They Don’t Know follows two girls who are brought together by tragic events. One is harboring a terrible secret while the other knows something that could ruin lives but save her new friend. It reminds me a lot of Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston.

 

W

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke (read)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 Wink Poppy Midnight

Three words to describe this book: lyrical, magical, and strange. It felt like a modern-day fairy tale, turning all sorts of tropes on their heads. Yet again, an underrated book.

 

Does anyone know any book titles beginning with the letter X?

Top 5 Tuesday: PQRST Books

I have to say, I was kind of excited for this week’s Top 5 Tuesday letters. There are books on my TBR as well as read books I don’t mention often. Even though I stare at them on my bookshelves. Plus, these are amazing anyway.

 

P

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West (read)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 P S I Like You

This book I received in an Owlcrate box made me want to give lighter, cuter young adult contemporary novels a chance. For which, I am grateful.

 

Q

(The) Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (read)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)

I first read The Queen of the Tearling right as I was getting into high fantasy. Although, I don’t think I was ready for it yet. Now that my feet are adequately soaked in the high fantasy genre, I want to finally complete the trilogy.

 

R

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy (unread)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 Ramona Blue

Julie Murphy is an author I have wanted to read for so long. Besides Dumplin’, I’m most excited to read her book Ramona Blue, as it follows a teenaged girl who thinks she’s a lesbian until her childhood friend returns home after Hurricane Katrina.

 

S

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (read)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea is a book I want to reread for its glorious beauty, inside and out. Unfortunately, I am terrified of getting back on that emotional roller coaster.

 

T

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (unread)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 They Both Die at the End

I don’t know when I will be ready for this one. History is All You Left Me pulled a little too hard at my heartstrings. I can’t imagine what They Both Die at the End will do to my mental health.

 

Is a book you are nervous to reread for whatever reason?

 

Top 5 Tuesday: KLMNO Books

Remember when I said the alphabet theme was fun and easy? I take it all back. This week’s Top 5 Tuesday was tricky. Turns out, I don’t like some of these letters in my book titles. I could turn to Goodreads, but I currently have 39, 225 or something books on there. Who has the time to scroll through all that?

Here are the ones I found on my bookshelves:

 

K

(The) Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (unread)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1)

The first and only book I thought of first the letter K. It also helps that no one shuts up about it on social media.

 

L

(The) Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle (unread)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily

Two neurologically diverse teens meet in detention, then bond and fall in love over a medieval love story. Need I say more?

 

M

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender (read?)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

Back in the day, I had a bad habit of reading too many books at once. I would get bored with them, then mark them as read without actually having finished them. Thing is, I distinctly remember liking this book, so I don’t know why I did not finish it.

 

N

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken (read)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2)

Turns out, I have more unread books beginning with the letter N than read ones. Hmmmm….

 

O

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen (unread)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 Orphan Monster Spy

I don’t have a lot of read books beginning with the letter O, but that’s fine. Orphan Monster Spy is a book I’m looking forward to reading.

 

What letter doesn’t appear on your TBR very often? 

Round One of Summer 2019 Book Haul

I said I was going to cut back on the book-buying this summer.

I say a lot of things.

Turns out, the issue of the student health insurance worked out (yay for student loans!). Which means, I have more money now for new clothes, textbooks…and, you know, books. Still, this job is only going at least until August. So, every paycheck, I put money into my savings account. Whether or not I have anything left for books after that is a bonus.

I’m calling this book haul “round one” for two reasons. First, I know I’m going to buy more books later. It’s a guarantee I accepted. Second is, if I wait until the end of summer break to post a haul, I’m not going to have a lot of time to write about all the books I bought.

In hindsight, buying ten books over a course of two and a half months is actually not a bad thing. Given that, in the past, that would be the amount I’d buy in a single trip to the bookstore….A sign I am on my way to becoming a full-fledged adult. (Now all I need is to move out of my dad’s house….)

Between May and the first two weeks of July, I bought:

 

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

theprioryoftheorangetree

Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season is on my Goodreads, yet so low on my radar I forget it’s there. The Priory of the Orange Tree immediately got my attention, though. I don’t know much about it, other than it’s about two warring kingdoms ruled by queens and there are dragons. And I bought this book online from Barnes & Noble—you better believe I wasn’t lugging this behemoth on my arm, on a bus or a train.

 

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

blackleopardredwolf

Black Leopard, Red Wolf is advertised as an “African Game of Thrones.” Despite not being a GOT fan, the idea behind this novel did intrigue me. Plus, the cover always caught my attention whenever I was in a bookstore. It’s gorgeous and, of course, expensive. Even on Amazon. Thankfully, a sale at Barnes & Noble came to my rescue.

 

Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Kelly Link, and Robin Wasserman

ghostsoftheshadowmarket

The latest of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles novella bind-ups, it is low on my priority list at the moment. If I don’t read Ghosts of the Shadow Market before the end of 2019, I have no problem leaving it for my Chain of Gold hangover cure. I did not love Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy and I keep forgetting The Bane Chronicles exists. Ghosts of the Shadow Market is allegedly best read before Queen of Air and Darkness, as it explains certain things that happened. But the two new novellas also include spoilers, so I think I better not.

 

Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich

teethinthemist

One of my most anticipated releases of the year, Teeth in the Mist is a young adult horror novel following three girls in three time periods. I want to know as little as possible before I read this book. If it is anything like Dawn Kurtagich’s previous works, I expect a dark fantasy storyline, an unsettling atmosphere, and a twisty plot.

 

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

sorceryofthorns

Another of my anticipated releases of the year, Sorcery of Thorns follows a young librarian, Elizabeth, charged with protecting magical books inside a library. When the demons contained in the books get out, she is held responsible and must turn to her mortal enemy, a sorcerer named Nathaniel, along with his demonic sidekick to clear her name. Even though I have not read Margaret Rogerson’s debut novel, An Enchantment of Ravens, I have a feeling I will like her books. And the covers are gorgeous.

 

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer

librariansoftimbuktu

I found The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu while browsing one of the bookstores near my work. It took me a couple of trips, but eventually I cracked. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu is set in Africa when the Al Qaeda invaded in the 1980s. To protect the country’s valuable documents, librarians smuggled them out to safety to preserve their homeland’s history.

 

Anne Frank’s Diary graphic novel adaption by Ari Feldman and illustrated by David Polonsky

annefrankgraphicnovel

After reading the graphic novel adaptions of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, classic or popular novels adapted into graphic novels have become my new favorite thing. I read the original Anne Frank’s Diary, or at least excerpts of it, in middle school. I’ve wanted to reread it for years, though.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and illustrated by Fred Fordham

tokillamockingbirdgraphicnovel

I love To Kill a Mockingbird. The cover and a flip through of the book showed some gorgeous artwork. I want to read this book right now. I might, hopefully, at the end of the year when I’m looking for lighter reading material.

 

Sabrina by Nick Drnaso

sabrina

I can’t begin to describe the synopsis of Sabrina. It’s a mystery graphic novel revolved a missing woman in a futuristic modern society where technology has taken over. Or that’s my interpretation of it anyway. I’m starting to wonder if Sabrina is a book I’m better off not knowing anything about it before reading.

 

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

goodomens

Good Omens is an adult urban fantasy where an angel and a demon are charged with finding the misplaced Antichrist before apocalypse happens. I bought this book because I enjoyed the show. This is the second Neil Gaiman book I own; the first being American Gods (which I have not read). But after watching the Amazon Prime adaption of Good Omens and reading The Sleeper and the Spindle from the library earlier this year, his books are slowly working their way higher up on my TBR pile.

 

What books have you bought because of their TV show or movie adaptions?

Top 5 Tuesday: FGHIJ Books

I don’t know about you all, but this month’s Top 5 Tuesday alphabet theme was more fun than I was expecting. It’s been nice talking about books I haven’t in a while, or shining light on TBR books I might have forgotten about. So far, coming up with answers has been pretty easy. I’m sure that will change as we go along.

 

F

(The) First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter (read)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 The First Time She Drowned

The first book I ever reviewed on my blog. It’s one of those books I want to reread, but at a special time, so I can relive all the feels.

 

G

Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black (unread)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 Girl at the Grave

Set in an unspecified time period, a teenaged girl tries to solve murders in a town that hates her because of her mother’s crimes. Helping her is the son of the man her mother allegedly killed. Sounds like it’s going to be fun.

 

H

Half-Bad by Sally Green (read)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy, #1)

An extremely underrated paranormal trilogy with witches and dark magic. Also, the main character is bisexual, however refuses to use a label. Enough said.

 

I

In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira (unread)

Screenshot_2019-07-07 In Search Of Us

Ever find a book you enjoyed very much, then get excited when the author announces a new book after so long? Then buy it almost immediately and not read it?

 

J

Jinx by Meg Cabot

Screenshot_2019-07-07 Jinx

I read this in high school during the height of my Meg Cabot obsession. Besides The Mediator series and Avalon High, this is one of my favorite books by her.

 

Can anyone recommend any good books beginning with the letter J?

2019 Reading Wrap Up #5

Summer 2019

Expectations:

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Reality:

beauty and the beast book GIF

The semester officially ended for me in May. But since Reading Wrap Up #4, I’ve been in a weird reading mood. I don’t think I would call it a reading slump. It had more to do with the fact that I was not reading the books I actually wanted to, in favor of other things.

After school let out, I had an itch to visit my local library again. Since the library isn’t open Saturdays July through August and I work during the week, I decided to take advantage of the limited time to visit. I checked out too many books (as usual). Thus, I neglected my TBR at home (again). It didn’t help that the first three library books in this wrap up were extremely meh. There was a point I did fear a reading slump coming. Then, I read the other three library books in this wrap up and was saved.

The library books I read recently are:

 

The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton

3 stars

theeverlastingroselibrarybook

While I enjoyed The Belles when I read it last year, I went into The Everlasting Rose expecting a finale. Though I like the author’s criticism of beauty culture and how the ones with the most power sometimes don’t have the control, I was bored throughout the latter half of the book. I liked Camille’s character development and her growing romance with Remy. It was an easy read, but near the end I felt like I was finishing it just to be done with it. Honestly, if I had picked up The Everlasting Rose knowing for certain that it was a second book, I might have enjoyed it more than I did overall.

 

Death of an Eye by Dana Stabenow

3 stars

deathofaneyelibrarybook

Death of an Eye is a book I found while browsing the new book shelves in the library lobby. Tetisheri is an old friend of Queen Cleopatra, who is currently very pregnant with Julius Cesar’s child. When her personal spy, the Eye, is found dead, Cleopatra enlists the help of Tetisheri to find the killer and expose a conspiracy.

I liked the characters, the writing style, and the ancient Egyptian setting. There is a love interest in here that also I like very much. But the novel was too short and the plot seemed too rushed. The ending felt abrupt. By the time I was finished, I felt meh, like nothing truly exciting had happened. In all, though, I liked Death of an Eye and I might continue with the series.

 

Still Star-crossed by Melinda Taub

3 stars

stillstarcrossedlibrarybook

Probably the most meh book I’ve read so far this year, Still Star-crossed is a “sequel” to William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Someone is bent on breaking the delicate truce between the Capulets and the Montagues following the deaths of the doomed lovers. To keep the families from killing each other, and destroying the entire city of Verona in the process, the prince forces Romeo’s cousin Benvolio to marry Juliet’s cousin Rosaline. While the synopsis is intriguing when you read it, everything about Still Star-crossed was two-dimensional at best: characters, writing, plot, etc. I was so bored while reading, I had no idea what to feel.

 

Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar

4 stars

vanessaandhersisterlibrarybook

Vanessa and Her Sister is the first book I had individually reviewed since I started graduate school. It follows sisters painter Vanessa Bell and writer Virginia Woolf, and their famed social circle the Bloomsbury Group. The entire family has revolved around Virginia’s unstable mental health and indulging her whims. But when big sister Vanessa finds love, manipulative, possessive Virginia is not about to let her go so easily.

The novel is written in a diary-style format, with letters and other media of the era thrown in. You get inside Vanessa’s head as well as gain perspective of others involved from the development of the Bloomsbury group, leading into the drama that nearly destroys the Stephan family. The characters felt like real, complicated people, as if Priya Parmar might have personally known them, not like imagined historical figures.

 

Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan

4.5 stars

rainbirdslibrarybook

Another library book I reviewed individually, Rainbirds is an adult contemporary novel set in Japan. After his older sister Keiko is murdered, Ren Ishida travels to the small town of Akakawa to collect her remains. While there, he gets roped into taking her position as an English teacher at the local cram school and living in her old bedroom inside a politician’s house, where he reads to the man’s bedridden wife. Ren does this not only to escape his failing relationship in Tokyo, but to understand what happened to Keiko and why anyone would want to hurt her. Turns out, his sister kept more secrets than he thought.

Rainbirds sounds like a mystery, but it’s more of a family drama. This one focuses on a brother/sister relationship that was close-knit, but the two still kept secrets from each other. The writing was beautiful and the characters, especially Ren, were all flawed and multifaceted. The author created an atmosphere that felt exotic and isolated, sucking me right in. If you enjoyed Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, you will like Rainbirds.

 

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

4.5 stars 

aurorarisinglibrarybook

When Aurora Rising was announced, I had no intention of reading it. I did not love Illuminae, so I didn’t see the point. Except the synopsis did intrigue me once I heard it. A group of mismatched astronauts get lumped together after the leader, Tyler Jones, misses the draft to save a girl, Aurora, trapped in a frozen state on an abandoned spaceship that has been lost for over 200 years. This leads Tyler, Aurora, and the rest of the reluctant heroes on a mission that has been centuries in the making.

Unlike Illuminae, Aurora Rising was written in prose and in first-person narrative of each of the squad members. I was able to follow along better because things were explained rather than shown. I also liked Squad 312 more than I did Katy and Ezra. The squad felt more fleshed out, each with their own voices and thought process and feelings. While I felt some parts dragged, I did have a lot of fun while reading. There were two romances in here, one that frustrated me but the other was adorable. The ending pulled at my heart, too.

I definitely plan on continuing with the series. I might even buy my own copy of Aurora Rising.

 

Those of you that have read both Illuminae and Aurora Rising, what did you think of them? Do you prefer one over the other?

 

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag! (2019)

It’s that time of year again! To freak out on how much I’ve read this year and what I have not…mostly the latter….

I entered 2019 with low expectations for reading. I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 30 books, under the assumption I would not have a lot of free time to read once I started my second semester. To my shock, I had more than I anticipated. I had two days in the middle of the week entirely devoted to homework, leaving more wiggle room on the weekends. In May, I beat my goal. Currently, I have completed 34 books and working on a 35th. I do not plan on raising the goal any higher.

While I’m glad I beat my goal, admittedly, I am feeling rather meh towards my reading so far this year. That’s my fault. From January to April, I was on a book-buying ban. Instead of diving into the plethora of unread books I already own, I checked out books from the library. Obviously, that’s not a bad thing. I did read some pretty good books, too. The trips to the library were meant to quench the annoying desire for “new” books. Also, I have come to the realization that I have an irrational fear of running out of books to read as well as the masochistic urge to deny myself what I want. There are unread books I own, yet I continuously refuse to read them because I fear I won’t have money to buy more later.

Being a bookworm can be weird.

Now, enough of the therapy session and onto what you all really came here for: the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag!

 

The best book you’ve read so far this year

I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but not a lot of books this year have felt like “the best book of the year.” I’ve given a few 5 star ratings, although none of them stand out more than the rest. However, here are seven books I’ve read so far this year I consider favorites, in no particular order:

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

To Make Monsters Out of Girls by Amanda Lovelace

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Your favorite sequel this year

Screenshot_2019-07-06 Saga, Vol 9 (Saga, #9)

 

Not a lot of sequels read this year so far, which is honestly unacceptable. I have way too many series sitting unread and uncompleted on my bookshelves. Even so, my favorite sequel hands-down this year will have to be Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples.

 

A new release that you haven’t read yet but really want to

Where to even begin with this one? One new release that I really want to read is Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuistan. The others are Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich and Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson, two books I was anticipating that I recently bought.

 

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco, the final novel in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series is likely the most anticipated release of the year for me. Another is To Drink Coffee with a Ghost by Amanda Lovelace, which comes out in September. I almost completely forgot about The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh, a Gothic vampire romance coming out in October. Also coming out in October is The Fountain of Silence, a young adult historical fiction novel by Ruta Sepetys set during the Spanish Civil War. Lastly is The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, the sequel/companion novel to The Handmaid’s Tale releasing in September.

 

Your biggest disappointment

I thought I only had one…turns out, I have a few. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab was not the best, although I’m not surprised since it was her debut novel. Though I gave them pretty decent ratings, Vengeful by V.E. Schwab and The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan did not live up to their predecessors in their respective series.

 

Biggest surprise of the year

Screenshot_2019-07-06 True Notebooks

 

I had to read True Notebooks by Mark Salzman for one of my classes. On my own, I rarely read nonfiction. I certainly would not have read one set in a prison. True Notebooks centers on a struggling author teaching creative writing to students in a juvenile detention facility. The book covered a lot of different issues within the American prison system, as well as unexpectedly humanized these young criminals society had cast aside.

 

Favorite new to you or debut author

It’s a tie between Karen M. McManus and Robyn Schneider. I liked their writing styles, how they developed plots, and their realistic young adult characters. I’ve only read one book from each of them so far, but I enjoyed Two Can Keep a Secret and Invisible Ghosts so much I plan to get my hands on their other books.

 

Your new fictional crush

Again, I could not narrow it down.

The first is Sebastian Wyatt from A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin. If you love Thomas Cresswell from Stalking Jack the Ripper, Sebastian will turn your knees to jelly. The other is Liam Gerling from Evermore by Sara Holland. In the first book, Everless, he’s portrayed as an arrogant loner with a supposed nasty streak. In Evermore, we see a sweeter side to him that is impossible to resist. Lastly, Tyler and Kal from Aurora Rising by Aimee Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Both of them were handsome, strong, and serious men that could be utterly adorable (especially Kal, the alien fae, OMG).

 

New favorite character

There are few characters I can say I have truly seen myself in. One of those is Rose Asher from Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider. She was smart and sensitive, and had a lot to offer, but her own insecurities (and the ghost of her whiny dead brother) kept holding her back.  I also really liked Sydney Clarke and Victor Vale from Vicious from V.E. Schwab. Both were complex and flawed, especially Victor. And though I don’t think I would call her my new favorite character, I was fascinated by Tetisheri, the protagonist of Death of an Eye by Dana Stabenow, a book I stumbled upon at the library. She was a private yet caring young woman with a strong will and a sharp mind. Plus, she had a complicated backstory we don’t know much about yet.

 

A book that made you cry

Voices: the Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott made me feel all the feels. It hurt me knowing a heroic young woman was ultimately killed by the patriarchy she was trying so hard to save. Saga, Vol. 9 slapped me so hard across the face, it took me a minute to fully absorb how hard I’d been hit.

 

A book that made you happy

kissmeinparisscreenshot

A book I found browsing my library, Kiss Me in Paris by Catherine Rider, was an adorable young adult/new adult romance set during a 24-hour exploration of Paris. Serena arrives to Paris on a mission to collect mementos for her family after a tragedy until her strict schedule goes out the window. Broody Parisian photographer Jean-Luc is determined to show this uptight American girl the “real” Paris. As you can imagine, neither gets what they bargained for. If you love The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, I highly recommend Kiss Me in Paris.

 

Your favorite book to movie adaption that you’ve seen this year

season 1 friends GIF by Good Omens

I have seen two book to movie adaptions so far this year. The first is Good Omens, the Amazon Prime show based off the book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I haven’t read the book yet. I only ended up watching the show because my dad was interested in it. Still, the Good Omens adaption was entertaining and made me want to read the source material.

season 2 trevor GIF by NETFLIX

The other is about two or three scores away from the original, and I’m not entirely sure if I watched in early 2019 or late 2018, but it’s the Netflix adaption of Castlevania. Castlevania is the name of a video game the show is supposed to be based on. Only there are elements in the storyline taken from Bram Stoker’s Dracula that make me still qualify it as a book adaption. The second season made up for the fail that was the first season with its dark humor and complicated views on humanity.

 

Favorite blog you’ve published this year

I’m not sure if I have one. To be honest, I was lacking in creativity during school (and now, if I’m being honest). I liked my Book Buying Ban Challenge post as well as the Game of Thrones tag. Book Blogger Confessions was fun. The Top 5 Tuesday on Slytherin House recommendations was also a good one.

I can’t pick one. Are you sensing a theme here?

 

The most beautiful book you’ve bought or received this year

Screenshot_2019-06-23 Sorcery of Thorns

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

 

What are some of the books that you need to read by the end of the year?

Where to begin?

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (PLEASE DON’T AT ME!)

Tower of Dawn and Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Lord of Shadows and Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

There are plenty more where those came from. I had these books on the list last year. They WILL be taken off this year.

 

What are some books that have been on your TBR for too long?

Belated Top 5 Tuesday: ABCDE Books

I don’t know what happened….

It’s not like I have an active social life. Somehow, I forgot to write this week’s Top 5 Tuesday. But better late than never, right?

This month’s alphabet theme of Top 5 Tuesday is interesting to say the least. For the books beginning with each letter, I did a combination of read books and TBR books, either choosing ones I don’t talk about often or the first ones that randomly popped into my head. So, here it goes….

 

A

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren (unread)

Screenshot_2019-07-06 Autoboyography

Two boys from conservative, Mormon Utah fall in love in a creative writing class. Why have I not read this yet?

 

B

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough (unread)

Screenshot_2019-07-06 Blood Water Paint

I want to read this really, really badly. But, stupid me, I have too many unread books on my TBR that have been waiting too long.

 

C

(The) Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton (unread)

Screenshot_2019-07-06 The Clockmaker's Daughter

A book with a gorgeous cover by an author I’ve wanted to get into for years. I have it facing forward on my bookshelves because it is that pretty.

 

D

(The) DUFF by Kody Keplinger (read)

Screenshot_2019-07-06 The DUFF

A friend in college actually talked me into reading this one. It was funny and entertaining, and one of my favorite contemporaries. Except I don’t think I have mentioned it before, or at least not in a while.

 

E

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (read)

Screenshot_2019-07-06 Everything I Never Told You

This one was in my head because I mentioned it in a book review as a recommendation. Plus, I have good memories attached to it, as a friend’s mom generously gave me this book for free.

 

Did anyone else find this week’s post almost too easy?