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.

robert pattinson twilight GIF

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

acrownofwishes718

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?

book read GIF

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?

come jackie collins GIF

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?

book GIF

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)?

s reactions books GIF

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?

caroline matilda of great britain GIF

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

 

A Large TBR & a Small Haul: Books for My YA Literature Class

Remember how around this time last year, I was worried about how much I would be reading come graduate school? I won’t have to worry about that Fall 2019.

In my reference services class last fall, one area of library and information science we covered was reader’s advisory. As the name suggests, these librarians recommend books to patrons as well as select books for the library stacks, among other things. It was my favorite section of the whole course. When I mentioned to my advisor, who also happened to be the professor that taught the reference services class, that I was interested in reader’s advisory, she recommended I take the Collections and Materials Young Adult course.

The professor teaching the course (which is online) released the reading list for the course last week. If I am reading it right, for each section we will have to read at least two books a week: the required book and one out of the five or six others she recommended. Fortunately, I own a lot of them. Some are even on my TBR or I have already read. Even better, there are some on this list I’ve wanted to own for a while. Now, I finally had an excuse to buy them.

However, unfortunately, there are a lot of really good books on this list I am interested in. I’ve already gotten some of them from the library, and will likely get more

throughout the semester.

So, yeah, I don’t have to fret about not reading this semester.

 

The book haul

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry was a book I had marked as “read” on Goodreads since summer of 2016. I got it out from the library back then. However, at the time I “read” this book, I was recovering from an unexpected health scare. I was in a lot of pain and the medication made me very sleepy. In other words, I’m not sure if I finished The Passion of Dolssa. While I do want to read it again, there are other books in the historical fiction section of the course that I want to reread. (The struggle is real for this class.)

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is a book I’ve heard so, so many good things about. I see it in the bookstores, along with Elizabeth Acevado’s sophomore novel, With the Fire on High, resisting the urge to buy them. Now, I finally had a reason to buy The Poet X. Even though I need to read it for school, I’m pretty positive I will still really love this book.

March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin is the required read for the nonfiction section of the course. I’ve seen this graphic novel floating around, only I never paid much attention to it. All I know is it’s about the Civil Rights movement.

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater is one of the recommended books from the nonfiction section. I bought it mostly because, of all the ones on the list, it was the only one I recognized. I mentioned before that I struggle with nonfiction sometimes. The 57 Bus, though, I think I might like. It is a true crime story about two teenagers, one being accused of committing a hate crime against the other.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman was a book I intended to get out of the library, due to my conflicted relationship with dystopian. However, with the finale of the trilogy coming out around the same time my class will get to this book (which is the required read for the final section of the course), I didn’t want to chance a possibly long library waitlist. Despite whatever apprehension I feel, Scythe will definitely be an intriguing book to study.

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins is the required read for the historical fiction section of the course and another book I’ve wanted to get for myself. It has one of my favorite tropes: intergenerational family stories. It follows five women of the same family as they come to terms with their identities while also still holding onto their Indian culture.

 

TBR Books I Will Read for the Course (or might not, depending on my mood)

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy is a book with a plus-size teen heroine that I have wanted to read for ages. When I saw it on the list for the recommended reads of the first section, I got really excited. Problem is, there are other books on the list I’ve already read that I want to reread from an academic perspective. I still might read Dumplin’, just because I want to.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds is one of the recommended reads for the same section as The Poet X. Jason Reynolds is an author so many people sing praises for. Long Way Down is told in verse during an elevator ride where a grief-stricken, angry teenaged boy on his way to commit murder encounters people from his life that have passed on.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is one of the recommended reads for the final section. Though there is a reread on that list I think would be fascinating to study and other books that have peaked my interest, if I am being honest, I will likely pick Children of Blood and Bone. Mostly because it has been on my TBR for longer than it should and the sequel will be close to release by then.

 

Other Books on the List I’ve Already Read and will be (or not) Rereading

 The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon is the first required read of the class for the semester. Looking forward to finding out what my classmates have to say about this one.

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson was on the same list as Dumplin’ as part of the first section of books to read for the semester. Though Dumplin’ and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli were also on this list, I’ve wanted to reread The Impossible Knife of Memory. Also, of these books, it would be the most intriguing to discuss in an academic setting, due to topics covered like PTSD and children living with mentally ill parents.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is the one I’m torn between for the historical fiction section. Like The Impossible Knife of Memory, I have wanted to reread Salt to the Sea and I think it would be a good book to study academically. However, I also want to read The Passion of Dolssa…I’m in such a predictament at the moment. Hell, I might end up reading both.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer is one I had no idea if I wanted to add to the “possibly reread” list. At first, I was not going to. Like two other books on the recommendations lists, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia, I initially thought it too early to reread. I only read them last year. On the flip side, I can’t deny the academic appeal. Fortunately, I have until the near end of the semester to make up my mind.

 

Other Books on the List I Want to Read

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle is part of the same section as The Sun is Also a Star and The Impossible Knife of Memory. Though not one of the ones I bought, I could not help myself when I saw my local library had a copy. A closeted gay budding filmmaker struggles to come out of his shell following the tragic death of his sister. Then, he meets a guy that inspires him to take back the starring role of his own life.

Burn, Baby, Burn by Meg Medina doesn’t come up until the historical fiction section in a few months but a book I felt like I needed to read right this second or I might die. It is set in New York City during the terror that was Son of Sam while a teenaged girl is still trying to live her life in fear of getting shot with her new boyfriend. I don’t need to know anything else beyond that, honestly.

I, Claudia by Mary McCoy another book on the recommendations list for the first section of the course, I, Claudia was a book I had seen floating around but never paid attention to. When I saw it on the list, realized it followed a girl who never wanted power is suddenly thrusted into power, and my library had a copy, I felt more compelled to read it. And I already checked it out of my library.

 

The rest of these I have saved onto a list on my library account. A lot of them are part of later sections in the course. Like I said, this class offers a lot of great choices. I actually would not read them for school, if I ran out of time to use them for their respective sections.

#Not Your Princess: Voices of Native American Women by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

I’m Just Me by M.G. Higgins

The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric L. Gansworth

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson

Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal

Frogkisser! By Garth Nix

 

Have you read any of these books?

Which ones do you think I should or should not read or reread?

Do I make library school sound fun?

Recommending Books I Did Not Love, But You Might #2

As a reader, I do not like hating or even disliking books. Because I know for every person that hates a book, another loves it. Because I know authors put all this time and effort into a piece of art. But not everyone reads the same book.

As I think I have mentioned before, one of the fields I am most interested pursuing in library science is reader’s advisory. In the library and information science profession overall, we are urged to be neutral. Just because I liked a book does not mean other people will. So, if a patron ever comes in asking for a book recommendation or asking about a book I did not necessarily love, I still want to give them the recommendation.

The same can be said for my blog. There are books I gave a low rating to, but they were not without their qualities. I’ve wanted to do another unique recommendations post since the first one I posted back in January of 2018. But since then, I guess I have gotten more critical in the books I choose to read, because I have not found books for these types of recommendations.

Still, a book is a book. It should be read by someone who can appreciate it.

 

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Screenshot_2019-08-29 Let's Talk About Love

Let’s Talk About Love follows an asexual college student who is done with dating after a bad break-up. Now, all she wants is to hang out with her best friends, work in the local library, and figure out what she wants to do with her life while meeting her family’s extremely high expectations. The writing style in Let’s Talk About Love is super simplistic and the book is not hard to get through. Just be aware of a lot of parenthesis.

 

Girls on the Line by Jennie Liu

Screenshot_2019-08-29 Girls on the LineGirls on the Line is a book I would classify to fall under the new adult genre, just without the sexy times. It is set in 2009 China, following two girls that get wrapped up in the country’s bride and child trafficking rings. The plot goes in all different directions. Also, one of the girls definitely qualifies as an unlikeable narrator. The author tries to cover all sorts of topics, particularly those relating to women in China. If you are interested in learning more about issues women face in other countries or social issues in other countries, I recommend Girls on the Line.

 

Where I Live by Brenda Rufener

Screenshot_2019-08-29 Where I Live

Continuing along the line of social issues, this one closer to home, Where I Live deals with teen homelessness. The main character tries to hide from her friends that she is living inside their high school and hiding from a traumatic past. When a classmate gets in trouble, she risks exposing her situation to help. If you are looking to educate yourself on how teenagers live on the street and what society can do to prevent such a situation from ever happening, I would recommend Where I Live.

 

Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub

Screenshot_2019-08-29 Still Star-Crossed

Still Star-crossed is a “sequel” of sorts to Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, set right after the events of the play. When someone threatens to break the fragile truce between the Capulets and the Montagues, the prince makes Rosaline, Juliet’s cousin, marry Benvolio, Romeo’s cousin. To prevent this, the two reluctant newlyweds try to find out who is committing the heinous crimes across Verona. If you like Shakespeare and are looking for more retellings of his works, Still Star-crossed is one you should look into it.

 

Freeks by Amanda Hocking

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Freeks is one of those books I would recommend for someone who loves paranormal romance. It follows a travelling freak show that gets swept up in a murder mystery in 1980s New Orleans. There is a strong element of insta-love, so that is something to be wary of if that is not your thing. Besides that, the atmosphere with spooky and an easy, entertaining read. Reading Freeks can be compared to something like eating chocolate cake: it’s too yummy to stop.

 

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

Screenshot_2019-08-29 RoseBlood

The main positive thing I have to say about RoseBlood is that the writing is beautiful, borderline flowery. It is a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. I know a lot of people are looking for more retellings based on classics, instead of fairy tales. RoseBlood takes elements of the source material and puts it in a modern Paris setting with a fantastical twist. If you don’t mind long descriptions, or plots that tend to tell more than show, RoseBlood is a dark, romantic retelling.

 

The Life and Death Parade by Eliza Wass

Screenshot_2019-08-29 The Life and Death Parade

The Life and Death Parade has an intriguing concept. A grief-stricken teenaged girl tracks down a group of charlatans that claim to be able to move through the veil between life and the afterlife following the tragic death of her boyfriend. She meets the psychic that told her boyfriend he will never have a future, then meets another member of the group that lures her and the rest of the boyfriend’s family into a twisted game of dark magic. If you like really scary and/or depressing books, The Life and Death Parade might be something you will enjoy.

 

 

What is a book you did not love but might recommend someone who might?

 

Top 5 Tuesday: Six TBR Books I Do Not Talk (or Think) About Enough

There are a lot of books that I have read I don’t talk about, like Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. However, over the last couple of weeks, I noticed there are many unread books on my shelves that I somehow seem to forget I have. Most, admittedly, I bought on impulse.

This week’s Top 5 Tuesday got me thinking about my reading goals for next year…but more on that in December. Right now, here are six (because one I felt I had to mention) randomly selected TBR books that I do not talk, or think, about enough.

 

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Screenshot_2019-08-13 The Notebook (The Notebook, #1)

Yes, you read that right….

In hindsight, I’m not sure why I bought this tiny mass market paperback from Rite Aid back in 2015. The Notebook, in case you live under a rock, is a love story between a rich girl and a boy from the wrong side of the tracks who are separated by circumstances. Nicholas Sparks has had virtually every single one of his books made into a movie. That says something about his writing, right? Even though I’m trying hard to forget how he tried to stop his school from hosting a LGBT book club….(Google it)

 

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

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I bought The Casual Vacancy during the same trip to Rite Aid as The Notebook. With this one, I know the main reason I have not picked it up was because of polarizing reviews. People said it was “boring” and “not as good as Harry Potter.” Now, having read her Cormoran Strike series, I know J.K. Rowling is a good writer regardless of genre. I’m still going into The Casual Vacancy with mediocre expectations, knowing that not everything can be compared to Harry Potter. Because Harry Potter is in a class all his own.

 

Love Story by Erich Segal

Screenshot_2019-08-13 Love Story (Love Story, #1)

In college, my friend took a romantic literature course and, when she couldn’t sell certain books back to the school bookstore, I offered to take them off her hands. Love Story by Erich Segal was one of them. It was interesting to me, similar to The Notebook only in a more modern setting with an ending not nearly as hopeful. What really pushed me to read this book was the movie Dark Shadows, as it is the book the two lovers of the film bond over.

 

The Madman’s Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepard

There is no excuse I can give as to why I have not read The Madman’s Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepard. Each is a retelling of classic Gothic literature: The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Frankenstein. The protagonist, Juliet Moreau, is a genius in her own right struggling with her presumably inherited madness from her father.

In other words, why have I not read these books yet?

 

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Screenshot_2019-08-13 A Tale of Two Cities

Before someone asks: no, I did not buy A Tale of Two Cities because of the Infernal Devices trilogy. Over a year after completing my Bachelor’s in English literature, I felt compelled to read classics again. It was embarrassing to me how little I’ve actually read, since mainly the only time I read them was for school. A Tale of Two Cities, which follows a love triangle set during the French Resolution, seems like something I might enjoy. Not just because it was mentioned in the Infernal Devices trilogy.

 

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

Screenshot_2019-08-13 My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel is the book I could not resist the urge to add this list. I read Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca when I started using my local library. I enjoyed it, though I have yet to buy my own copy. I bought My Cousin Rachel impulsively while having a bad day at Target. But it sounds a little more interesting than Rebecca, anyway.

Philip Ashley takes in Rachel, the widow of his recently deceased favorite cousin, but rumors surrounding his cousin’s death make him suspicious of her. As he searches for answers, Philip cannot deny his attraction to Rachel. Except he can’t figure out if she’s a conniving murderess or a victim of circumstance. If Daphne Du Maurier is the writer I think she is, it’s both.

 

What books on your TBR do you forget you have? 

The Book Snob Tag

I never understood how a “book snob” could exist until I met one. You know the type—the ones that only read Pulitzer Prize winners or consider reading primarily classics as “real reading” or say their favorite book is something outrageous like Dante’s Inferno.

Considering readers have gotten bad rep over the years, this is just wrong.

I was trying to avoid tags and make use the creativity I won an award for in college. Then, earlier this week, I saw Heather of Bookables do this tag. Mainly what drew me to it was that I did not have to think of a book for each answer. It is specifically an opinion piece.

I like giving my opinion.

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Let’s find out if I am a book snob. (Spoiler alert: I’m totally not!)

 

Adaption Snob

Do you always read the book before you see the movie?

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If I can and if I want to. One example is Fifty Shades of Grey. I have no interest in reading the books. I did want to see the movie though, out of curiosity to see if I liked erotica at all. However, there are times I do want to read the book before seeing the movie or TV adaption. This was the case with Good Omens. I didn’t want to watch it without having read the original material. But my dad wanted to watch the show and when he finds a new TV show he wants to watch, he binges the show. So, of course, I got sucked in. If anything, it made me want to read the book Good Omens even more.

 

Format Snob

You can only choose one format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which do you choose: physical books, e-books, or audiobooks?

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The only format I can, and want, to read is physical books. I’ve tried e-books, but I’m uncomfortable reading on my phone or computer. Audiobooks were spoiled for me in grade school, with storybook narrators that put you to sleep. It also does not help that I love the look of bookshelves.

 

Ship Snob

Would you date or marry a non-reader?

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Absolutely yes. It makes me sad when bookworms give prospective partners a hard pass just because they don’t like reading. I also do not like it when they try to force said prospective partners to like reading. To me, dating or marrying a reader is more of a bonus than a requirement. As long as he does not look down upon my love of reading or outright hate it and try to make me stop, it’s fine if he himself does not enjoy it.

 

Genre Snob

You have to ditch one genre—never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

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Nonfiction is a genre I would give up. However, this one is a cop-out. I rarely read anything from this genre. Most of the times I did read it was for school. I doubt I would miss it much, honestly.

 

Uber Genre Snob

You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

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Fantasy, which is another easy answer. It’s mostly what I read and what I am drawn to. Plus, the genre itself is so vast, I doubt I would get bored.

 

Community Snob

Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

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It’s a tie between romance and adults that read young adult literature. I am 26; the majority of what I read is young adult. Though I personally have not dealt with it (yet), I know many adult readers of YA get crap about “reading their age.” Truth is, most adults read YA because they are easy to get through and we need something to help us decompress from daily adulting.

Romance I know is a genre that gets snubbed a lot. I know I am one of those people that would not touch romance novels for years. This was mostly because I thought they were all about relationships and sex without any actual plot. Now, having read blogs and watched BookTube, I know better. With my own lack of love life, as well as overall new interest, I’m drawn more and more to picking up romance novels.

 

Snobbery Recipient

Have you ever been snubbed for something you have been reading or for reading in general?

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When I was younger, I was definitely snubbed a lot for liking to read. I was made fun of for “reading too much,” too. Nothing truly nasty happened to me, but still, the scorn was there. And it wasn’t just kids either. A lot of adults in my life did not like my reading so much. They thought I should be more “social.” But I became a deeper introvert after forcing myself to put the book down. More often than not, I still found myself sitting alone at lunch anyway. Thankfully, at college I met people who appreciated my love of reading as a part of who I was.

Now that that therapy session is over, I tag:

 

Shanah

Rebecca

Grey

Crystal

Kristin

Sophie

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Backlist Dystopian Novels on My To Be Read Pile

I read dystopia back when dystopian novels were a thing. I liked the genre and I didn’t. I loved The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I overall enjoyed The Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken, though in the end I was left disappointed. And I’m not going to waste more time by discussing the Divergent trilogy.

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Despite my on-again, off-again relationship with dystopian, lately, it has been drawing me back in. I’m drawn to dystopia with more adult themes. There are books that came out back in the day that I never got around to reading for one reason or another. I would likely still read them now when I need something light and entertaining to hold me over during a slump.

Of the series on this list, I own two of them. The other I plan to check out from the library or buy my own copies, whichever comes first. Most of you have probably already read these books, so you can let me know if they are good or not.

Those backlist dystopian series are:

 

Matched trilogy by Ally Condie

Screenshot_2019-08-13 Matched (Matched, #1)

From what I remember, the Matched trilogy is set in a world where everyone is assigned a romantic partner based on science and the government controls what poetry or artwork people can look at. If I’m being honest, it was the latter that made me want to read this series more than the former. I also remember someone mentioning that the main character’s inner rebellion begins when her grandfather recites a forbidden poem on his deathbed. I also heard this series goes downhill after book two, but that is the case with most young adult dystopian.

 

Legend trilogy by Marie Liu

Screenshot_2019-08-13 Legend (Legend, #1)

I’m not sure why I never read the Legend trilogy when it first came out. The best (worst) explanation I can offer is that the trilogy came out during a time where I didn’t have my own income to buy books, relying mostly on gift cards. I had to be selective with what I bought. Then again, I didn’t seem to think to use the library, either. Somehow, the Legend books fell to the wayside, even though I was drawn to the idea of a criminal and a socialite teaming up to take down the government.

 

Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver

Screenshot_2019-08-13 Delirium (Delirium, #1)

Thinking about it now, I’m almost positive I had no interest in reading Delirium during the height of its popularity. At the time, it seemed too romance-heavy for my liking. In recent months, though, I have been drawn more and more to Lauren Oliver’s books. I also heard that the Delirium trilogy has an interesting ending regarding the love triangle of the series, which had me more intrigued.

 

Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Screenshot_2019-08-13 Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

I checked the Shatter Me series out from the library to read for two reasons. First, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, especially once Restore Me came out. Second, because I felt like I should read the author’s original work before picking up her contemporary, A Very Large Expanse of Sea. As you can guess, I did not read the series. I wanted to check them out from the library again, since I’ve heard less than ideal things about the writing and plot. But, I have to admit, those new covers are super pretty….

 

Forget Tomorrow trilogy by Pintip Dunn

Screenshot_2019-08-13 Forget Tomorrow (Forget Tomorrow, #1)

I first heard of Forget Tomorrow on Benjamin of Tomes YouTube channel a few years ago and that was the only place I saw or heard of it again. It is set in a world where, on your seventeenth birthday, you are given a vision from your future self. The main character, Callie, receives a vision of her murdering her younger sister and is then arrested. The rest of the trilogy is her trying to figure out why and if she can change her future before becoming the criminal everyone thinks she already is. I really hope these books are as good as they sound.

 

Which of these dystopian series have you read?