Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Book Covers (so far) of 2019

When Shanah announced September’s topics and I saw this on the list, I realized three things.

  1. I have never done a post specifically on book covers on my blog before, or none that I can recall.
  2. I don’t do posts dedicated to book covers because I have no idea how to critique them or give an explanation as to why I like them so much.
  3. I am not a fan of most of the book covers I’ve read so far in 2019.

 

In the initial draft of this post, I was going to focus on book covers of books I had bought so far this year, though the majority of them I have not read. Only that turned into a post with more books than I had the time to write about.

Aside from not loving most of the covers, a lot of the books I have read this year I got out of the library. In most cases, I don’t own copies yet. That was part of the reason I initially focused more on the books I bought this year.

Most of these will I buy eventually, or maybe ask as presents for Christmas. I am currently on another book buying ban that might last for the rest of 2019.

Until then, here are my favorite book covers (so far) of 2019:

 

Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

marinalibrarybook

I love the hardcover copy of Marina, as it fits the creepy yet romantic atmosphere of the novel. Sadly, it’s one of the books I don’t own yet.

 

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

aurorarising

After the fail that was Illuminae for me, I had no intention of reading Aurora Rising. I confess, besides the synopsis, I was drawn in by the cover. I love this particular shade of purple.

 

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

acrownofwishes718

If I had to pick one of the prettiest books I own, it would be A Crown of Wishes. I love the color scheme and the mysteriousness of the girl riding on the horse.

 

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

vicious

I had known about Vicious for years, never bothering to buy my own copy or reading it from the library. Not until the reprint of the cover. And, as far as I’m concerned, it was worth the purchase. It fits the story way better than the original did.

 

Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider

invisibleghostslibrarybook

Another book on this list I don’t own yet, the Invisible Ghosts cover gives off a cheerful kind of sadness. If you have read the book, you might understand what I mean.

 

What are your favorite covers so far of 2019?

Rereading Books: Yay or Nay? (Discussion Post)

When the professor for my YA literature class released this semester’s reading list, there were a lot of books I have read. Quite a few I have wanted to reread for a while. Now, I finally had a reason.

But did I really need one?

Rereading books is something I don’t do enough. I did it more when I was younger. I relied on money and gift cards on my birthdays and Christmas to get new books. My high school library was all right, but I didn’t have a lot of access to it by junior year. More often than not, I reread books because when I found something I liked, I was all in. I would literally read nothing else than the books by the same author, over and over.

Once I got a job, I could buy the books I wanted to read. I did not think of using my college’s library until my senior year, when my boss at the school library asked me to start writing book reviews for the library’s Facebook page. When I graduated college, I found out my local library had improved so I started using it more. Thus, I had basically stopped rereading books.

I do like rereading, though. Revisiting an old favorite is always fun. You find things you missed the first time. Sometimes, rereading an old favorite, like a Harry Potter book, helps me get out of a reading slump. Rereading my favorite parts of books also improves my mood sometimes, too.

On the flip side, reading tastes change. I attempted to reread Twilight a year or two ago, only to put it down after 200 pages. It was not as good as I remembered. Or, it was better to a sixteen-year-old than a twenty-five-year-old.

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Last year, I reread Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll before picking up Heartless by Marissa Meyer. When I first read it, I gave it three stars. That was during a time I was scared to give books low rating, unless I truly hated it. Turns out, when I read Alice in Wonderland again, I did hate it more than I thought I did.

You might also notice problems that do not sit well with you anymore. Regarding Twilight, I was Team Jacob, so Edward was already a dickhead in my eyes. However, when thinking about the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong, there was a toxic relationship that would make today’s readers puke. At sixteen, I was able to ignore this as best I could, even if they made me uncomfortable most of the time. At twenty-six, I’m not so sure if I can put up with Elena and Clay’s BS anymore.

Then, of course, there is the age-old argument against rereading that your unread books are ignored. By rereading books, you put yourself at risk of missing out on new stories. This is primarily why I don’t reread books as much as I want to. I’m constantly adding books to my TBR on Goodreads. I have had enough income over the years where I could buy new books. My local library has a good selection. In other words, with so many new stories coming into my possession or within my reach, I didn’t see any reason to read books I had already read.

Personally, I have come to realize I am not big on rereading as much as I was years ago. With all the new books coming out, I felt as though I was missing out. I also don’t like the idea of possibly realizing I don’t like an old favorite as much as I thought I did. I would rather not taint my memory of an otherwise good experience. That’s what happened with me during my Harry Potter reread last year.

To be honest, I sometimes would like to reread more often than I do now. I buy books I read from the library to add to my collection, as well as to possibly reread in the future. Only after my Harry Potter reread, I’m not quite sure how I feel about rereading overall anymore. I will most likely reread first books in series before continuing with the remaining books if I took too long to get around to them. This was the case with The Rosie Project trilogy by Graeme Simison and the Masque of the Red Death duology by Bethany Griffith. I enjoyed the first books and own the sequels, except I haven’t read the following novels. I read The Rosie Project in 2014 and Masque of the Red Death in 2012. I have forgotten a lot of what happened in these books.

For the next few months, the rereading I will mainly be doing is for my YA literature class. Given that The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson, and Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, I am looking forward to it.

 

How often do you reread books?

Do you like to reread books or do you prefer to read new stories?

 

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Series I Need to Finish

I have a very, very, very bad habit of not completing series in a timely manner. I’m sure many of you can relate to that. Thing is, I tend to have years in between books.

I have a lot of series, in various stages of completion, on my shelves. Often times, I buy the first book and then don’t read it until the series is finished. Most, however, have been gathering dust for longer than they should have. These are the ones where I really loved the first book, bought the second one almost immediately after, and then proceeded to not keep up with each release.

Most of the books here are on my list for books I want (need) to read before the end of the year. Then, I jinx myself by not doing exactly that.

Right now, the series I currently need to finish are:

 

The Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare

I read and loved Lady Midnight in 2017. When I read it, Lord of Shadows came out shortly thereafter. Then, of course, I didn’t read it. Now, Queen of Air and Darkness is out in the world and in my possession. I actually think The Dark Artifices could be my new favorite Shadowhunters series, neck and neck with The Infernal Devices trilogy. Thing is, Cassandra Clare’s books are massive and her chapters too long. Even if I wasn’t in graduate school, her books take a lot of energy for me to get through.

 

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

I have the same problem with Sarah J. Maas’s books as I do with Cassandra Clare’s. While I enjoy them overall, the books can be hard to get through due to their length. Also, part of the reason I sometimes put off Sarah J. Maas new releases is that she has a tendency to butcher characters for the sake of making another one look good. But with the Throne of Glass series, I made it this far (surviving Empire of Smut) that I cannot avoid seeing through the last two books.

 

The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White

I read And I Darken, the first book in the trilogy, two ago from the library. Then, I bought my own copy, and then the other two books, Now I Rise and Bright We Burn when I could. Unlike most people, I really liked And I Darken. I’m pretty positive I will enjoy the remaining two books as well. I also like to deny myself things even more.

 

Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

Screenshot_2019-08-29 Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist, #2)

Smoke in the Sun is the sequel to Flame in the Mist and the concluding novel in the duology. I gave Flame in the Mist five stars, based more on enjoyment. But since then I’ve reconsidered some things, like the romance was not quite up to par with The Wrath & the Dawn and Renee could have gone a different route with it that would have done much better. Regardless, I still enjoyed it. That, and with there being only two books, it seems ridiculous not to finish what I started.

 

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Screenshot_2019-08-29 Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)

I honestly have no idea why I have not read Our Dark Duet yet. It’s the concluding novel in the duology. This Savage Song was amazing. I like Victoria Schwab as an author. That is all I have to say for myself. I have no excuses.

 

What series on this have you finished (or not)?

2019 Reading Wrap Up #6

When I opened my agenda to write down my work hours last week, it hit me: I start school again in a week.

Now that I’m down to fourteen hours a week at this place I’m currently working, I am at a loss of what to do on my days off. To be honest, I am not reading as much as I should be on those days.

In the past month or so, I have fallen down the rabbit hole of the scary side of YouTube, watching channels like Mr. Nightmare and Corpse Husband. I also want to write and post all the ideas I had before I become so busy with school I won’t be able to give my blog much attention. But thanks to this young adult literature course I’m taking this semester, I will be reading a lot.

While I will be reading, I don’t know how much I will be posting after all my pre-written material goes up. One of the priorities is the next reading wrap-up.

Since my last reading wrap-up in July, I am delighted to say that I have read four books on my list of books to read before the end of the year. Then, in the middle of August, I took a week off at the insistence of my boss. I suddenly had an urge to visit my local library again. I checked out a bunch of books, then returned a bunch a couple of weeks later. Of the original ones I checked out, I managed to read two. There are others I kept or checked out later. You will see those in a future reading wrap-up (if I ever get around to reading them).

In between the last few weeks of July and August, I read six books. Those were:

 

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

4.75 stars

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A Crown of Wishes is the companion novel to The Star-Touched Queen. It follows Gauri, Maya’s younger sister, who teams up with Vikram, the prince of a rival kingdom, to compete in a tournament for a wish. Gauri does this in hopes of winning her kingdom back from her wicked brother.

The setting was simply gorgeous, set in an otherworld where humans and mystical creatures all compete in various challenges for a wish. It was also a little spooky at times, since you never really knew what happened next. Roshani Chokshi’s writing was as beautiful as ever. She created a complicated heroine in Gauri; she was flawed, but she was someone you could root for. Vikram was also a very likeable character and the romance was a satisfying slow burn. The plot was also well thought-out, with webs weaving and interconnecting as the book went on.

I wanted to give A Crown of Wishes 5 stars. However, there was a POV introduced that I was not sure why it was included. I liked the character, but I wasn’t sure why we had chapters narrated from her perspective. Lastly, the end of the book seemed to drag a little too long. By that point, I simply wanted to reach the happily ever after and get hit with the feels I was waiting for.

 

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

4.5 stars

Sightwitch by Susan Dennard

4 stars

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

4 stars

I am finally caught up with the Witchlands series by Susan Dennard. I said before this series has potential to be greater than Throne of Glass and I stand by that statement. Admittedly, I am still confused about what directions certain aspects of the plot are going, which is why I have yet to give any book in the series over 4.5 stars. I love the character dynamics and how not all the main relationships driving the series are romantic. Obviously, I can’t go any further than that because of spoilers, but I highly recommend the Witchlands series. My favorite so far would have to be Windwitch.

 

Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer (library book)

1 star

killmymotherlibrarybook

Kill My Mother was facing front and center in the graphic novel section of the local library; the title in big, bold lettering that immediately pulled me in. It is a noir mystery set in the 1930s and 40s, following five women connected by two murders.

On the surface, it sounded interesting. Two of the characters are a mother, who works as a secretary for a drunk loser private investigator, and her grief-stricken teenaged daughter. The daughter felt abandoned by her mother, who threw herself headfirst into her new job after the murder of her cop husband, leaving her daughter alone in her grief. That was the only thing I remotely understood what was happening out of this entire graphic novel.

I liked the artwork, but that’s about it. Nothing about the plot made sense. It bounced from one thing to another without any warning. I had no idea what was happening or why the writer was introducing so many characters at once or how all these people could be connected. Graphic novels are usually quick and easy to get through. Only Kill My Mother was a real struggle for me.

 

Mary Shelley: The Strange True Tale of Frankenstein’s Creator by Catherine Reef (library book)

3 stars

maryshelleylibrarybook

2019 is the year of nonfiction for me apparently. I found this biography of Mary Shelley in the young adult section of the library. I picked it up expecting a fictional retelling. Only it turned out to be a literal biography, written in plain English for a teenaged audience.

            At first, I was intrigued. I learned that Mary Shelley’s mother was feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft, who died shortly after giving birth to Mary. Mary also had an older half-sister, Fanny, her mother’s child by an American lover than abandoned her. The girls were brought up by their father, a writer in his own right, and he would eventually remarry a woman with two children of her own. One of those children, a daughter, would grow up to be Claire Clairmont, lover of Lord Byron.

Another fact I learned that surprised me (though not really) was that Mary’s husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, was married to someone else when he met Mary. She was sixteen, smitten with him as he was with her. Eventually, Percy would abandon his wife Harriet and their two children to run off to Geneva, Switzerland with Mary and Mary’s stepsister Claire (who, by the way, was born Jane). I was also heartbroken to learn that Mary lost three children before the age of five to illnesses.

However, at a certain point, I felt like I was reading an extended Wikipedia page on Mary Shelley. While all the information I was getting provided insight to how she might have come up with a novel like Frankenstein and most of what I learned about her early life was fascinating, eventually I got bored. If you are interested in Mary Shelley though, I would recommend picking up Mary Shelley: The Strange True Tale of Frankenstein’s Creator by Catherine Reef.

 

What is a book you’ve read recently that you did not like much?

Inside and Out Book Tag

“No book tags,” I told myself. “Make up your own stuff.”

So far, I have done that. For the most part. Trouble is, the day this goes up is my last free weekend before I start my next semester of graduate school. I wanted something fun to write before throwing myself headfirst into academics again. Plus, I like tags where I don’t have to come up with a specific book for an answer. Kristin Kraves Books knows how to get to me with the book tags she posts on her own blog.

 

Inside flap/back of the book summaries: too much info or not enough?

Season 1 Too Much Information GIF by Friends

A summary is usually what draws me to a book, after title and cover. Often times, I find a book with a gorgeous cover, only to put it back on the shelf because the information on the front flap or back cover just does not do it for me. I personally want to know what I’m reading and if it is something I want to put time into. Even though it can be annoying, I also sometimes don’t mind if a synopsis offers too much information or is too vague. If it has the right buzzwords, I’m game.

 

New book: what form do you want it to be in? Be honest: audiobook, e-book, paperback, or hardcover?

fox films book GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Despite the current overflow in my bedroom, I prefer books in physical format. Hardcover or paperback, it doesn’t really matter to me, so long as the book is in good condition.

 

Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, take notes, make comments, or do you keep your books clean, clean, clean?

fairy tale books GIF by Primer

CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!!! I absolutely cannot bring myself to write in my books. The only books I can justify scribbling in are textbooks I bought for school. For my YA literature class, I will be taking notes in my notebook while I read.

 

Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?

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An author’s gender has never even been a considering factor for me when choosing a book. If I took a hard look at my Goodreads, I would probably find that 90% of what I have read is by white female authors. But there have been books by male authors that I have truly enjoyed, too. I think it is more important to focus on whether or not you are reading books by people of color or are of a different sexual identity than yours.

 

Ever read ahead? Or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?

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Sometimes, I read ahead if I am worried about a certain character. I will flip a few chapters to make sure they are alive by the end of the book. I try not to read the last page to avoid major spoilers. Most times I don’t care about spoilers, but I still do like to be surprised sometimes.

 

Organized bookshelves, or outrageous bookshelves?

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I would love to have organized bookshelves, preferably in alphabetical order by author. However, lack of space and a somewhat impulsive book buying addiction makes them outrageous.

 

Have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?

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Yes and no. What I mean by that is, I will be drawn to a book because of the cover. But only after I read the synopsis do I bring myself to buy it, such as was the case with books like The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston and The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. A book I can say I specifically bought for the cover was the reprint hardcover edition of Vicious by V.E. Schwab. It was a book I had wanted to read for years. And, admittedly, I thought the new cover was cooler than the old one.

 

Take it outside to read, or stay in?

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Nine times out of ten, I stay inside to read. I cannot tell you how many times this summer I have promised my dog Ziva I will take her outside on cooler days, and then I end up staying inside with the AC. Plus, my dog is nine years old, and the heat takes a lot out of her to begin with. I also have a really stupid pet peeve where I don’t like wind blowing the pages while I’m trying to read.

 

I tag:

Shanah

Sophie

Rebecca

Sahi

Joe

Grey