Top 5 Tuesday: Five Complicated Characters for Complicated Slytherins

When I think of Slytherins, and I think of characters like Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape and Albus Severus Potter, I think of one word: complicated.

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            Complicated, because, in the case of Draco, they show different sides of themselves when you least expect it. In the case of Snape, they spend seven books proving how horrible they are until the last second when they do something so unbelievably unselfish you wonder why they acted the way they did. And, because of a character like Scorpios Malfoy, you realize not all Slytherins fit the mold the rest of us made for them.

In the previous posts this month, I recommended specific books for members of the houses. This week, I put on the Sorting Hat and thought of five book characters I think would fit right in with the Slytherins. And it was surprisingly easier than I thought.

 

Lada from And I Darken trilogy by Kiersten White

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Lada was the first Slytherin I thought of. The girl is the definition of ruthless. She will attack first, ask questions later. While I admire her determination to take back her family’s empire and to prove a woman can be as strong as a man, she tends to treat those who love her like crap. Though her love interest is seriously unlikeable, her little brother Radu is not. Lada justifies her neglect as a way to protect him so he can’t be used against her, but that doesn’t mean her overall behavior towards him should be tolerated.

 

Audrey Rose Wadsworth from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco

Screenshot_2019-02-17 Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)

Audrey Rose represents the more positive traits of the Slytherin house: demands respect from others, ambitious, self-reliant, and assertive. She pushes Thomas away not because she is disinterested or denying her feelings, but because she is terrified of losing her independence to a man. She can be charming when she wants to be. She likes praise when it’s owed to her. But, unfortunately, from what I’ve learned of Escaping from Houdini, she might be disloyal, too….

 

Shazarad from The Wrath & the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh

Screenshot_2019-02-17 The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

Like Audrey Rose, Shazi has the better qualities of the House. While her bravery might make her a Gryffindor, once she is inside the palace and interacting with Khalid, she shows her inner green serpent. A Gryffindor would have tried to stab him the first chance she got, but Shazi buys her time. She charms him with the tales from A Thousand and One Nights. She survives on her wits and occasionally uses her charm, or her body, to get what she wants. Shazi went into that palace prepared and driven to get justice for her friend and all those other girls. While she might only trust a few people, once you have her, she is yours.

 

Grace Marks from Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

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When you look at Grace Marks, you could see either one of two things: an innocent Irish girl falsely accused of a crime or a conniving murderess that seduced a hapless man into killing two people. Grace shows you what she wants you to see. She’s selective with her loyalty, only that is because she grew up in an abusive household, then endured more years of abuse at the hands of a patriarchal society. She’s also realistic in how she sees the world. She has no problem calling out everything wrong with the world others ignore. The best part about Grace, though she comes off as docile, she can cut you down with her words, so politely you don’t realize you’ve been insulted until she walks away.

 

Lizbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Screenshot_2019-02-17 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)

Lizbeth is the ideal Slytherin. Though she’s not exactly charming, she operates on her own moral code. She is ruthless and determined in her pursuit to make sure those who hurt others don’t get away with it. She makes sure people like rapists and those who take advantage of the less fortunate get what they deserve. Lizbeth also incredibly adaptable, changing her looks and personality to fit in with any setting in her mission. And she’s scary smart.

 

Who is your favorite non-Harry Potter character Slytherin?

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Get to Know Ya Tag!

I found the Get to Know Ya Tag on Kristin Kraves Books. I saw the opportunity to talk about some books I have not mentioned on my blog for a while now, or maybe some I’ve never mentioned before. Plus, it’s a super fun tag getting to know people.

I don’t know who created it, but if you do know, give them a shout out.

 

Favorite book of all time

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I honestly have no idea how to answer this question. It’s like asking me to choose my favorite child, or more appropriately, since I am childless, my favorite friend. That, and I firmly believe that nobody can have just one favorite book. How is that even possible?

So, I’m going to choose five of my all-time favorite books, which are:

The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

 

Favorite book five years ago

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At first, I was going to say maybe The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong or Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. For the heck of it, I checked on Goodreads for my reading stats in 2013. That was the year I picked up Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson.

Confessions of a Murder Suspect was the first novel in a young adult mystery/thriller series following Tandoori “Tandy” Angel, the daughter of two extremely wealthy parents who are found dead in their bedroom. The only suspects are Tandy, her twin brother Harry, and her younger brother Hugo, as well as their older brother Matthew. There were a lot of twists and turns as Tandy tries to figure out who killed her parents, even if it means she did it, but the plot twist shook me to my core. I was obsessed with Confessions of a Murder Suspect, as well as its sequel, The Private School Murders, which I also read in 2013.

 

Favorite Duology/Trilogy/Series

Not surprisingly, I have an answer for all three of these.

Duology: It’s a tie between The Wrath and the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh and the Passenger duology by Alexandra Bracken. Both of these made me feel everything plus they were fun, exciting reads with characters I adored.

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Trilogy: Easily the Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. I found very little fault in these books when I read them. However, since I have not read Lord of Shadows yet and Queen of Air and Darkness is not out until December, I’m wondering if maybe The Dark Artifices will soon take its place as my favorite trilogy. And there are a few other contenders on my TBR that could prove worthy competition.

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Series: Does it count if your favorite series are incomplete? The two series (again, I’m indecisive) that I am certain are my favorites are the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco and the An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir. I just loved everything about these books.

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Last book you read

At the time I am writing this, the last book I read was A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell, a cheesy thriller about two mothers you think are best friends but they both have deep, dark secrets they use to manipulate each other. Unfortunately, it was not that entertaining.

 

Last book of poetry you read

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The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace, which I read and bought as soon as it came out. While I did enjoy it, sadly, I did not love it as much as her debut collection.

 

What book most influenced your life?

Honestly…I can’t say it was just one book, because a lot of books have influenced me in different ways throughout the years. To name a few:

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume is the book that awoke my passion for storytelling and inspired my first “novel” when I was eight years old.

At fifteen, The Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong made me realize my strongest writing niche was in the fantasy and paranormal genres.

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The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace and The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur came to me earlier this year, making me feel empowered when I wasn’t really feeling like it.

 

 

 

 

 

Book that made you ugly cry

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Definitely A List of Cages by Robin Roe made me ugly cry. It takes a lot to make me cry in books in general. With this book, it was a full on sob fest.

 

Book that made you laugh

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All the Rick Riordan books I’ve read so far. That includes the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series plus the first two books in the Heroes of Olympus series, The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune.

 

Character you’d like to be for a day.

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No brainer: Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I get to practice magic and go to Hogwarts, plus share a brain with one of the most badass women in literature.

 

Book so good you dreamt about it

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Hmmm…. I don’t remember my dreams. I remember my nightmares though. One book that was really good but also one I should not have read before bed was The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich. There was a scene with a mirror…and I have one in my bedroom, right across from my bed, so it took me a while to go back to sleep after.

 

Book you DNF’D

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After You by Jojo Moyes, which I tried to read over a year ago. I got about 35 pages in before I had to put it down. I think it bothered me that Me Before You got a sequel when it was perfectly fine as a stand-alone, in my opinion. However, I’ve heard decent things about the third book, Still Me, when Louisa goes to New York City, so I might pick up After You again, eventually.

 

What book are you most excited to read?

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

…To name a few.

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I tag….

Grey (once she’s back from her hiatus! I completely forgot. Sorry Grey!)

Crystal

Shanah

Joe

And anyone else that wants to do this tag!

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Books I’ve Read Because of YouTube

I’ve been watching YouTube since I think about sixth grade. In high school, I watched mostly beauty guru videos out of fascination (how do girls do that?) and baby name videos, because I struggled to name characters in my stories. I only knew about books like The Hunger Games and Twilight because of other kids at school. Then, I found book reviewers like Katie from Chapter Stackss and the girls from Get Bookish. That changed everything.

When Shanah announced this month’s topics, I knew right away which five books I was going to pick. Thanks to BookTube, I found some of my all-time favorite books that I am not sure I ever would have found on my own.

The top five books I have read because of YouTube are:

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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The Handmaid’s Tale is actually recommendation from Katie of Chapter Stackss. It is one of her all-time favorite books and the concept intrigued me. I think at that point the only dystopian books I read were The Giver and The Hunger Games, and those were meant for young adults. The Handmaid’s Tale was not heavy with action scenes, but you feel the despair within this world. Religion has taken over the government, women are subjugated, and violence is everywhere. If I had to choose, I think I prefer to live in the world of The Hunger Games to the one in The Handmaid’s Tale.

 

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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I remember reading The Wrath and the Dawn the summer after I graduated from college. I was unemployed and distracted myself by visiting the library almost daily. The Wrath and the Dawn, as well as its sequel The Rose and the Dagger, was everywhere on YouTube by that point. I checked this one out of the library because I was interested in reading it but it was not something I was used to reading. As you can imagine, I read it and loved it.

 

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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If I remember correctly, I wasn’t sure if I would like An Ember in the Ashes either. Much like The Wrath and the Dawn, I heard a lot about it on YouTube so I checked it out of the library just to give it a try. Now, this series is one of my all-time favorites and I find little fault in the books.

 

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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Though I was a newbie to high fantasy at the time and Throne of Glass was only beginning its journey to becoming a social media phenomenon, somehow I was confident that I would love this book. I not only bought Throne of Glass, but also Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire, all of which had been published by the time I picked up the series. Admittedly, I did not love Throne of Glass, only enjoyed it just enough where I read the rest of the series. And, of course, loved those books.

 

Clockwork Angel/City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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I read both Clockwork Angel and City of Bones in 2013 or 2014, after some years seeing Cassandra Clare’s name everywhere. Once The Infernal Devices trilogy and The Mortal Instruments series became more popular on YouTube, I watched enough reviews where I felt I would enjoy them if I read them. I did, though I gave Clockwork Angel 5 stars while City of Bones got 4 stars.

 

What was your favorite book you read because of YouTube?

 

The Music Book Tag

The Music Book Tag was created by bookchanted and I wasn’t tagged by anybody, but this looked so fun I wanted to participate, too.

 

Ed Sheeran: an adorable book that left you feeling warm and fuzzy.

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli was cuteness overload. It was very lighthearted the whole way through. The kind of book I needed to keep away a reading slump towards the end of the summer.

 

Taylor Swift: a book with way too much drama to keep track of.

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The Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor is a book that comes to mind. The main plot of the novel had a lot of drama to begin with, but then extra stuff involving friends and family were thrown in. At its core, The Definitions of Indefinable Things was a good book, but it had too much drama for my liking.

 

Zayn Malik: the broody, mysterious character you totally fell for.

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Like Zayn from the formerly One Direction band, broody boys don’t do it for me. In fact, they annoy me most of the time. The only broody, mysterious character I can think of that won me over was Khalid from The Wrath & the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh. Mainly because he had a reason to be broody, though at his core he was a kindhearted person, a good ruler that only wanted the best of his people, and I agreed with his philosophy that he did not say the words “I love you” to people he loved, but chose to express it through his actions.

 

Jelena: a ship you really wanted but it never sailed. (Selena could do better, honestly.)

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Celeana Sardothian and Chaol Westfall from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. That is all I’m going to say.

 

Fall out Boy (aka one of my favorite bands ever): a series that just keeps getting better and better.

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The Half-Bad trilogy by Sally Green, which follows a war between white witches and black magic witches in modern-day London. The story is dark from the beginning, but only becomes more so as the books go on. All the characters are morally gray. The magic system is complex. And the government of witches is filled with twisted psychopaths.

Seriously, read this trilogy if you haven’t already.

 

Halsey/Demi Lovato: badass female character you really admire.

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Easily Tina from City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson, who is a Congo refugee that survived by her wits in the streets of a Kenyan city as a thief and doesn’t use how hard her life was as an excuse for anything. She just rolls with it and lives her life by her terms. I don’t remember her ever complaining about unfair her life was. Tina’s sole motivation was getting justice for those who deserved it.

 

One Direction: the romantic, cheesy book you couldn’t help but love.

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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is not exactly what I would call cheesy. Don is a genetics professor hired by a young woman named Rosie to help her locate her biological father while in search of his perfect mate. Though the attraction is strong, Rosie does not fit Don’s requirements for a significant other, but as they grow closer, he opens up to the possibility that not everything can be solved by logic or science. So, the book does cover some serious topics, but in a more lighthearted, humorous manner that pulls at the heartstrings.

 

Adele: a book that delivers a really powerful message.

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A book I thought of that I don’t talk about often is The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It follows Mallory, who is reunited with her foster brother Rider after four years. When she discovers he’s involved in some dangerous activities, she struggles to find her voice again after years of abuse at the hands of her and Rider’s former foster parents. Rider also learns that just because he was a foster kid does not mean he doesn’t have a chance in building a new life for himself, especially since he has so many people around him offering support.

 

Miley Cyrus: a book/series that exceeded your expectations.

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A recent read for me, which was And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Classic novels are always a hit or miss, as they are open to interpretation. And Then There Were None is declared one of the greatest mysteries of all time and Agatha Christie reigns as the Queen of Mystery. Needless to say, the book lived up to its reputation and did not disappoint.

 

Katy Perry: a book/series that didn’t live up to the hype. HA HA!

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Definitely The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton for me. In hindsight, I suppose the author was being realistic in her writing about the characters, but I just did not connect to it. I felt very underwhelmed the whole time and, for such a short book, it took me a long time to read.

 

I tag anyone that wants to do this tag!

The Fall Book Tag

When Shanah over at @BionicBookworm created this book tag, I was ecstatic. I love seasonal tags and fall is my favorite. It means cooler weather, Halloween is coming up, Christmas is around the corner, and, when I was growing up, a new school year. Although, hopefully this time next year, I will be starting my first semester as a graduate student.

Now, onto the tag!

Crisp fall air: a book that felt fresh and new.

The Upside of Unrequited

The book that came to mind is The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. The protagonist, Molly, is overweight and has anxiety. Her twin sister Cassie is a lesbian whose girlfriend, Mina, is Korean-American and pansexual. The sisters are sperm donor babies born to two moms. One of the moms, Nadine, is black, while the other mom, Patty, is Jewish and bisexual. Reid, one of Molly’s love interests in the novel, is also an underrepresented body type, “husky.” The Upside of Unrequited is just full of diversity.

Howling winds: an ending that blew you away.

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Saga, Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples—the story started off slow and didn’t get interesting until the middle half. But the ending of that graphic novel went there. Worse yet, when I read it, I was on the train home from work and couldn’t cry because there were people around.

Comfy sweaters: book that gave you the warm and fuzzies.

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Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist, which follows Will, a teenaged boy born blind that undergoes an experimental surgery that promises to give him his sight. At the beginning of the book, he transfers to a public high school from his school for the blind, where he makes new friends and falls in love for the first time, with a girl named Cecily. Will and Cecily’s relationship has its ups and downs, but is so cute it made me feel like my heart might burst with the cuteness.

Bright colors: cover with either red, orange, or yellow.

I found covers for all three of these colors.

Red: The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. While the plot seems more like a summer read, the color on the cover reminds me of leaves turning red in fall.

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Yellow: The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. Some might consider this shade of yellow to be too bright, but historical fiction is an ideal read for the autumn season.

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Orange: Half Lost by Sally Green. This is the perfect shade of fall orange, in my opinion.

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Leaf fight: a book with non-stop action.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir was non-stop action from the beginning. There were three storylines going on at once, yet it was easy to follow along. Sabaa did a great job with developing plot, building suspense, and working in character development. I could not put it down when I read it. Plus, the third book in the An Ember in the Ashes series, A Reaper at the Gates, is coming out April of 2018 and I am PUMPED!

Pumpkin spice: your most anticipated read.

At this moment in time, An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson is my most anticipated read. This book doesn’t come out until the near end of September, but the reviews are good and I have a feeling I will enjoy this book when I read it.

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Random question: how do people feel about the cover change with the An Ember in the Ashes series?

            I have a love/hate relationship with it, honestly. I like the cover for A Reaper at the Gates, only I am too attached to the original covers of the first two books.

 

Thank you Shanah for making the tag!

August 2017 TBR

It’s been a hot minute since I did a monthly TBR. I posted one for the first time this year in May. Some of these books were actually on that particular TBR. The pressure to read was on and I had just started a new job that wore me out mentally.

I set a goal of eight books to read in August, books I know I want to read. A little ambitious, considering the last few months I did not read more than six. But since the job I had was temporary, I have more time on my hands until the next opportunity comes along.

In August, I hope to read:

 

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

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At the time I am writing this, I am on page 92 of The Serpent King and liking it so far. It is a young adult contemporary novel set in the Bible Belt of Tennessee. Dill, the son of a disgraced preacher whose religion is based on handling snakes, and his two best friends, Lydia and Travis, are entering their senior year of high school. While Lydia is dreaming about the possibilities presented to her from her successful fashion blog, and Travis is lost in his fantasy world of the books he loves, Dill fears graduation and what it means for his future, particularly his feelings for Lydia.

Where I am in The Serpent King, I can say for certain I don’t like Lydia. While I admire her confidence, sass, and ambition, she is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, or some variation of one. She thinks she knows what is best for Dill and that she knows what he really wants. Dill is a good kid; just trying to find his way after everything his dad put him through. Travis is a good kid, too, and I think most people can identify with his love for a fandom.

These are only my preliminary thoughts on The Serpent King. They could change by the end of the book.

 

The Angel’s Game & The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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The Angel’s Game and The Prisoner of Heaven are the companion and sequel novels, respectively, to The Shadow of the Wind, my all-time favorite book of 2016. They are historical mystery novels set in Barcelona, Spain and centered around a mysterious bookstore called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.

The Angel’s Game takes place about twenty years prior to the events of The Shadow of the Wind. David Martin is a struggling pulp fiction author living in an old mansion in Barcelona when a publisher offers him the book deal of a lifetime. But as he unravels the mystery behind his home and its connection to his book, he finds himself inside his own story.

The Prisoner of Heaven is a direct sequel to The Shadow of the Wind, and features the same main characters from the novel. A stranger visits Daniel Sempere’s family’s bookshop and threatens to reveal a terrible secret if Daniel and his best friend Fermin do not do as he asks.

The Shadow of the Wind was a beautiful novel. Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a celebrated storyteller, so I already have high expectations before reading these novels.

 

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

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Set in feudal Japan, Flame in the Mist follows Mariko, the cunning daughter of a respected samurai, who is betrothed to the son of the emperor’s favorite consort. On the way to her wedding, the Black Clan, who have been hired to assassinate Mariko, attacks her convoy. She survives, disguises herself as a boy, and infiltrates the ranks of the Black Clan to find out who wants her dead. But in doing so, Mariko learns the truth behind everything she’s ever been taught and begins to question her role in what is happening.

Two things that let me know I will love this book. 1) I enjoy Renee Ahdieh’s writing and I loved her The Wrath & the Dawn duology. 2) The story of Flame in the Mist screams Mulan. That is all I need.

 

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

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When I was in junior high, I was obsessed with the Tudor dynasty in England. Lady Jane Grey, otherwise known as the Nine Day Queen, is related to the Tudors: her grandmother, Princess Mary, was King Henry VIII’s younger sister. At sixteen, she was an unwitting political pawn by her father and others who sought control over the throne after the death of King Henry’s only son, Edward, and made queen. Her reign was exactly nine days and she was later convicted of high treason by Queen Mary I, and then beheaded.

My Lady Jane is a retelling of Lady Jane Grey’s story, but with a more comedic fantasy twist and the authors promised a happier ending. Sickly Edward arranges for his favorite cousin, Jane, to marry a strange boy named Gifford (“G”), who turns into a horse during the day, to secure the line of succession. But the three of them are soon drawn into a conspiracy to steal Edward’s throne and send all of them to the executioner’s block.

 

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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I received this beautiful limited-edition exclusive cover of Heartless in my November 2016 Owlcrate box and I have been dying to read it. Not just because the book is stunning, but also because it is a retelling of the origin story of The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

Catherine is a duchess in Wonderland that has caught the eye of the King of Hearts. Instead of wanting to be queen, though, she wants to focus on baking and open a bakery with her best friend. On the night the king is expected to propose to her, she meets the mysterious Jest, and begins a secret courtship. But how does such a nice girl become the Queen of Hearts? I’m going to find out.

 

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

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Denna is a princess with the gift of fire betrothed to the prince of a kingdom where magic is banned. Hiding her magic will be hard enough, yet things get a little more complicated when she falls for her future husband’s sister. I have picked this book up a few times since May with every intention of reading it. The book has gotten good reviews and I want to read more books with LGBTQ main characters. The fact that it is set in a fantasy setting makes it even more exciting to read.

 

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

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The Valiant is based on an untold story within Ancient Roman history: female gladiators. Fallon is a Celtic princess who witnesses her sister murdered and her kingdom taken over by the Romans. She is then sold to a school training female gladiators, suddenly finding herself at the mercy of Julius Caesar, the man she vowed to destroy. Like I said with virtually every book, I’m excited to read The Valiant. I think this will be a great book to end the summer with.

 

What is everyone else reading in August?

I Have No Self Control Book Haul (First Book Haul on Blog!)

I can’t remember the last time I bought so many books….

To clarify: I did not buy all these books on one trip. Two of these books are from Amazon (A Crown of Wishes and Eliza and Her Monsters), the rest are from an independent bookstore three blocks away from the library I worked at for the last four months. Bad news is, that job was temporary and the project I was hired for is over. Good news is, I have more books on my TBR pile I am excited to read and will keep the time I have off entertaining until the next opportunity arises.

But, before anyone says anything, I already know that getting a job was the biggest mistake I ever made.

 

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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I read The Upside of Unrequited this month and really enjoyed it. It was cute and fluffy, and I have also heard great things about Becky Albertalli’s first book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. That’s why I bought it.

The book is about a boy named Simon, who is gay but has not come out to the people in his life. He is exchanging emails with a boy that calls himself Blue, but then the class clown discovers these emails and threatens to expose his secret. Plus, this one is being made into a movie.

 

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

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I’ve had my eye on Between Shades of Gray for years, even before I read Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. It is about a fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl who is rounded up with her family by the Soviet secret police and sent to a prison camp in Siberia. The first time I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had never learned anything about this in school. It is another untold story from World War II, much like the Wilhelm-Gustloff in Salt to the Sea.

 

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

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I read the first book in this series, Truthwitch, in June and became enthralled with the story as well as the characters. I knew I had to pick up the sequel, Windwitch, because it mainly focuses on a character I adored from the previous book and it has gotten really great reviews.

 

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

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Like Truthwitch, I read the predecessor of A Crown of Wishes, The Star-Touched Queen, and enjoyed it so much I had to pick up the companion. While I think you can read A Crown of Wishes without having read The Star-Touched Queen, I am glad I read the latter first. Knowing who the characters will be in the second novel has given me context of what I can expect from this book. Besides, I loved the world of these stories and the influence of Indian mythology.

 

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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Eliza and Her Monsters is a young adult contemporary novel about a shy teenaged girl with anxiety who is an outcast at her high school. But online, she is the anonymous artist behind a popular web comic series. Then, Wallace, her web comic’s biggest fan and most popular fan fiction writer, transfers to her school and he has no idea who Eliza really is when they strike up a friendship. She wants to keep it that way, until her identity as the web comic artist is unintentionally revealed.

I saw Eliza and Her Monsters EVERYWHERE on BookTube and other bookish Internet places when it first came out. Everyone was reading and loving it. At the time I bought it, I had not read Made You Up, Francesca Zappia’s debut novel that I owned. Now that I have, I can honestly say my expectations for Eliza and Her Monsters are quite high.

 

Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage

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I first saw Beautiful Broken Girls on a YouTube video, but when I saw the cover in person, it drew me in. It has a haunting feel to it and it matches with the synopsis. Reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, teenager Ben is left clues by his friend Mira after she and her sister commit suicide. It leads him to unravel some shocking secrets about the girls, as well as forces him to face a traumatic event from his own past. While the reviews of Beautiful Broken Girls are not the highest on Goodreads, I am still interested in reading it.

 

How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

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After reading several books with main characters of the LGBTQ community, I wanted to read more books within the genre. How to Make a Wish is right up my alley: a bisexual girl that has a turbulent relationship with her mother falls in love with another girl who helps her realize her home situation is worse than she lets herself believe. While I am interested in learning more about bisexuality, I am drawn to books with kids dealing with mentally ill parents. I think I might really like How to Make a Wish once I get around to reading it.

 

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

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Spindle Fire is another book I am really excited to read. It is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty featuring two sisters; one of them the Sleeping Beauty trapped in a horrifying dreamland with fairies and her half-sister is searching for a way to break the curse. Given how popular young adult retellings are, I’m surprised I have not heard much about Spindle Fire.

 

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

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You’re Welcome, Universe is a young adult contemporary novel featuring a deaf graffiti artist who gets kicked out of her school for the deaf and forced to attend mainstream high school. As she adjusts to life at a school where she is the only deaf person, Julia finds herself in a heated battle with another mysterious graffiti artist that is sabotaging her work—except it is not a romance!

 

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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Adam Silvera is an author I have been meaning to read for a while. Of the two books he has out so far, History is All You Left Me is the one I was most interested in. A teenaged boy, Griffin, loses his first love Theo in a drowning accident and the only person that can help him through his grief is Theo’s current boyfriend, Jackson. The book is all about Griffin’s relationship with Theo, past and present, as well as covers him dealing with his OCD. Also, I’ve heard History is All You Left Me is supposed to be a major tearjerker.

 

Mansfield Park & Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

I enjoy Jane Austen’s novels and, up until now, I read/owned four of her published books. When I saw these beautiful Signet Classic editions of Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park for cheap, I had to buy them. These are two of her least popular novels, but I’m still excited to read them. Particularly Northanger Abbey, which a college professor told me, is satire of the classic Gothic novel from the Victorian era.

 

Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra

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I saw this book on Hailey in Bookland’s YouTube channel, but she only mentioned it was set in Victorian London. I saw this at the bookstore and read the summary, immediately liking it as much as I did the cover and title. Mad Miss Mimic follows Leo, a beautiful young heiress with a speech disorder that gives her a dreadful stutter as well as the ability to mimic any voice she hears, who gets wrapped up in the mystery behind a deadly opium poisoning the streets of London in 1872.

I love historical mysteries. I want to read this book right now. But, of course, there are others I need to read first.

 

Dumplin’ & Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

Julie Murphy is an author I have wanted to get into for a while. Mainly, Dumplin’, which is about a plus-size girl who enters a beauty pageant to prove a point. As a plus-size girl myself, this book speaks to me on a certain level.

As for Ramona Blue, part of what drew me to it in the first place was the controversy surrounding it when its release was announced. The main character, Ramona, identifies as a lesbian, but she develops feelings for her childhood friend Freddie. This angered people as the summary implied that “the right guy can make a lesbian straight.” However, the author herself identifies as bisexual and the idea behind Ramona Blue is that sexuality is fluid. Of course, there is more to it than that, which is why I want to read it.

 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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Another book I saw everywhere after it came out, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a young adult historical fiction novel about scoundrel Monty, bisexual young English lord who does not want his title and has a crush on his best friend, Percy. When their year abroad takes an unexpected turn, Monty finds himself in a middle of a manhunt that takes him all across Europe. I’ve heard this book is hilarious, plus I love the cover’s color scheme.

 

The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

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I did not pay much attention to The Library of Fates when its release was announced. Then, I saw it advertised as a book fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath & the Dawn would enjoy. I read the synopsis, and I totally agree with that statement.

The Library of Fates follows a young princess who promises herself as a bride to the brutal emperor to spare her kingdom. Only her sacrifice is not enough and she goes on the run with an oracle the emperor enslaved. The girls set out to find the Library of All Things to change their pasts, but the princess begins to wonder if the future holds more for her than she thought.

 

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

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The cover is what drew me to this book, although the insides don’t look too bad, either. Rachel had a crush on Henry and wrote him a love letter before she moved away, slipping it inside his favorite book at his parents’ bookstore. But he never responded. Years later, after her brother tragically drowns, she returns to that same bookstore and forced to work alongside Henry. The story centers on books and bookstores, which is the kind of plotline I love.

 

Hunted by Megan Spooner

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Another Beauty and the Beast retelling—I’m game! Yeva is the daughter of a hunter that gains fortune, then loses it, and moves the family back to the woods. A born hunter, Yeva is happy to return and hears the call of the Beast like her father had. When her father loses his mind, disappearing into the woods, she goes looking for him. So is the Beast, but he has met his match in Yeva.

The plot of the story, as well as the fact that Yeva is a hunter from high society, reminds me a lot of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. That is probably why I finally gave in to buying it.

 

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

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I already own another of Agatha Christie’s books, The Monogram Murders, except I haven’t read it yet. And Then There Were None is said to be her best novel ever, as well as one of the best mysteries ever written. Ten strangers are lured to an island and are trapped there during a storm while they are killed off one by one. It sounds terrifying.

 

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

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Young adult thrillers are my guilty pleasure. Particularly ones set in small towns where the main character can’t trust anyone. Little Monsters is exactly that. Kacey moves in with her father and is welcomed into a loving new family after years of living with her unstable mother. She makes new friends, Bailey and Jade, who invite her to do everything with them until they don’t. Then, Bailey disappears after the party of the year and all eyes are on Kacey. So, she goes to look for answers and realizes not everyone is who they appear to be.

 

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

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Norah is a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from agoraphobia and OCD. She never leaves her house as a result. Then, she meets Luke while struggling to bring in the groceries off her porch with a stick and the two become friends. But when they grow closer than she ever thought possible, Norah has a decision to make: let Luke go or finally see herself beyond her disabilities.

While I am not a fan of “the boy changing the girl’s perspective” plot device, I do see the potential. I am interested in reading more mental health books and the cover is absolutely beautiful.

 

Lastly, there is a lot of Jojo Moyes, my favorite women’s fiction author, in this haul. I have read two of her books, Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind. I enjoyed both of those books, yet I did not read any of her works this year, or last year. Now that I own all the books she has published in the USA, I plan on changing that in 2018.

Of her books, I bought:

 

 

The Horse Dancer

A recently divorced lawyer takes a fourteen-year-old girl with a horse under her wing. But as her grandfather is sick in the hospital, the girl is hiding a secret.

 

One Plus One

A single mother and her math-whiz daughter get stranded on the side of the road on their way to a competition when their car breaks down. A tech millionaire whose life is falling apart comes to their rescue, leading to a road trip that changes their lives for the better.

 

The Ship of Brides

Set right after World War II has ended, 650 war brides board the HMS Victoria from Sydney, Australia to England to fulfill the promises to the men they married. One of those women is Frances Mackenzie, whose past comes back to haunt her midst her journey to her new home.

 

Silver Bay

A heartbroken single mom moves with her little girl to a seaside town to help her aunt run the family’s hotel. After vowing to never fall in love again, she meets a kindhearted Englishman that threatens to break that vow, as well as the bay and hotel she values.

 

Sheltering Rain

A woman is emotionally estranged from her teenaged daughter and physically estranged from her mother. When the teenaged girl goes to visit her grandmother in Ireland, the grandmother is forced to face secrets of her past that will hopefully repair the relationships between mother and daughter, as well as granddaughter and grandmother.

 

Windfallen

A designer and newly minted single mom moves into a crumbling estate she is hired to restore, left behind by another young woman with broken dreams years before. The estate they both have come to love intertwine their lives.

 

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Whew! OK…I’m done.

Top 10 Leading Ladies from Books

My second post in honor of Women’s History Month is my list of top ten female heroines from books. I don’t have a “type” really of what I look for in a leading lady. These are characters that I personally identified with, or who have inspired me in some form, or I simply enjoyed them as a character. Some of the girls on this list are what made their book for me.

Here are my top ten (current) favorite heroines from books:

 

Lizbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Lizbeth Salander is the definition of an anti-heroine. She dresses like a punk Goth, has outrageous piercings and tattoos, hacks people’s computers for a living, and lacks social skills. But she always fights for the underdog and is a fierce advocate for women’s rights. She ignores sexuality labels and the few friends she has she is loyal to. A survivor of child abuse and rape, she never allows her past to blind her. She uses her skills to help others who can’t help themselves. Lizbeth does some things that would be considered wrong or illegal to others, but her motives are always good.

 

Audrey Rose Wadsworth from Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

A girl that rejects all expectation of a young lady in Victorian London society, feisty and smart Audrey Rose Wadsworth pursues forensic medicine, aiming to follow in her Uncle Jonathon’s footsteps to become a medical examiner. While other girls her age of her standing are searching for husbands, she is sticking her hands inside corpses. Audrey is independent, smart, feisty, and makes it clear to Thomas Cresswell she is his equal. Plus, she still loves pretty dresses and still enjoys other “girly” activities, even if she is not afraid of getting dirty.

 

Laia of Serra from the An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir

Of all the girls on this list, Laia is one I identify with the most. In the beginning of An Ember in the Ashes, she does something dangerous but brave—going undercover as a slave to help rescue her brother—as well as some other awesome things, but doubts herself the whole time. Slowly, she gains more self-confidence and embraces who she is. Laia is quiet, but fierce in her own way.

 

Agnes Grey from Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

Written by the youngest and, in my opinion, least popular of the Bronte sisters, Anne, Agnes Grey is a kindhearted, devout Christian governess that is repeatedly abused by the families she works for. She makes her way on her own, staying true to her moral code and providing social commentary on how poorly the upper classes treated the lower classes. There are times she comes close to breaking down, but Agnes always pulls herself back up again.

 

Manon Blackbeak from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

When Manon was first introduced in Heir of Fire, I was not sure how I felt about her. In Queen of Shadows, I liked her and enjoyed her storyline. In Empire of Storms, I loved her and now I want a whole spin-off series dedicated to her. She’s a flawed character and, unlike Celeana/Aelin, she is morally gray. Manon has had to make some of the more painful choices other characters avoid. But her intentions are always good, even if her actions are not always the most favorable.

 

Shahrzad from The Wrath & the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh

Strong, beautiful, independent, fierce, and kindhearted: Shazi is the whole package. She’s stubborn and she’s got a sharp tongue that has gotten her into trouble as much as out of it. Everyone in her life, she loves and she never hesitates to put herself in danger if it means saving someone she cares for. Shazi and Khalid are also in my top ten book OTPs, but they are another couple that are amazing both together and apart.

 

Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

A classic heroine on this list, Jane Eyre reminds me a lot of myself. She’s quiet; people don’t think too much of her. But she’s smart and stubborn. She sticks to her guns. Mr. Rochester loved her in his own way and he wanted to give her everything, only she was not going to be his side dish while his crazy wife withered away in the attic. Jane proved herself to be strong in her own silent way, determined to make it on her own during a time where women had virtually no rights.

 

Elizabeth Milton from Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman

An underrated heroine, Elizabeth Milton is the fictional daughter of literary legend and poet John Milton, as well as the protagonist of Anne Blankman’s novel, Traitor Angels. Like most of the others on this list, she knows how to handle herself in a sword fight and hides knives in her Puritan dresses. But Elizabeth’s greatest strength is her brain. She uses her head to solve problems. She’s also curious about everything and eager to learn. Not a whole lot of young adult heroines are like that.

 

Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Most people would say Lizzie Bennet is their favorite Jane Austen heroine. She’s a great character, but my loyalty is to Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility. I identified most with her, because she is the older sister with too much responsibility on her shoulders and the sensible girl who denies herself the ability to feel or want something she thinks she can’t have. Overall, Elinor is a good friend to those around her, smart with a strong head on her shoulders, and a devoted sister.

 

Tandoori “Tandy” Angel from the Confessions series by James Patterson

Another severely underrated heroine, Tandy is a brilliant and sassy, but sometimes vulnerable, teenaged detective genius. While she had a rocky relationship with her wealthy parents, who basically used their five children as science experiments, she is fiercely devoted to her siblings, especially her twin brother Harry. Tandy is all about logic and exposing the truth, even if it hurts.

Top 10 Female Authors

In honor of women’s history month, I want to give a shout out to some awesome women, real and fictional. This first post is my top favorite female authors, whose work I enjoy or who have impacted me. I excluded authors I have read only one book and J.K. Rowling. Her being on my favorite authors list is a given.

Here are my (current) top 10 favorite female authors:

 

Kelley Armstrong

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The most influential author for me on this list, Kelley Armstrong is the one who made me realize that the fantasy and paranormal genre is my niche for writing. I was introduced to her work when I happened upon The Summoning, the first book in her the Darkest Powers trilogy, at Barnes & Noble when I was 15. I fell in love with her writing, her world building, and her characters.

Kelley Armstrong writes urban fantasy and paranormal suspense novels for both adult and young adult audiences. Her Women of the Otherworld series follows a diverse cast of strong, independent women as well as some of the sexiest male characters I’ve ever seen in literature. Her stories are so well planned out. Authors these days could learn a lot from her.

 

Meg Cabot

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Meg Cabot is the author that got me through my adolescent years. She does not stick to one genre. Her main focus is contemporary and chick-lit, but she writes fantasy and mystery novels as well. They are all filled with snarky wit and lighthearted humor. Plus, they are fun and easy to get through; the perfect kind of beach reads.

If I had to choose my favorite of Meg Cabot’s work, my first answer would definitely be The Mediator series. Suze Simon was a smart, funny, kick-ass heroine. Jesse da Silva was my first book boyfriend: sexy, caring, compassionate, and devoted. Of her young adult novels, my other favorites are Teen Idol, Avalon High, and Jinx.

Regarding Meg Cabot’s adult novels, I have a few favorites, too. I love her Queen of Babble trilogy. It’s about an aspiring fashion designer with a bad habit of blabbing whatever is on her mind, even if it’s something she really shouldn’t. I also love the Heather Wells Mysteries series (which I unfortunately haven’t finished yet) and her Boy trilogy. All of these books I just mentioned have swoon-worthy men I still obsess over even years after reading these books: Chaz Pendergrast, Cooper Cartwright, John Trent, and Cal Langdon.

 

Sabaa Tahir

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Author of An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night, Sabaa Tahir wins the number three spot on this list. Her books are chunky, but her writing is beautiful and I fly through them. It is evident she puts a lot of thought into her work by how she maps out her world building and storylines. They are intricate but not hard to follow. She has multiple plots going on at once, except they are connected and I have never felt overwhelmed by it. Plus, she writes the best cliffhangers. Most importantly, I can identify with her characters. And, while romance is an element in the story, it does not take away from the main focus of the plot.

I’ve watched interviews with Sabaa Tahir. Not only is she a great writer, she’s a funny, well-rounded person. And the fact she’s making us all wait until 2018 for the next book in her An Ember in the Ashes series shows she takes her writing very seriously.

 

Sarah J. Maas

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One of the most obvious on this list, Sarah J. Maas is the reigning queen of young adult high fantasy. While I appreciate her writing skills and world building techniques, my love of her Throne of Glass series and her A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy is rooted in the same reason as virtually everyone else: her characters.

Some characters you love them, some you hate, and some you don’t know if you love them or hate them—side characters included. In some cases, I love the side characters more than I love the main characters. The romances are swoon-worthy.

The best part, though, is the discussions among readers that open up about these characters. Such as, with Chaol Westfall from the Throne of Glass series and with Tamlin in the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy—readers are divided in their opinions of these characters. But the gray area is always visible.

 

Cassandra Clare

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Another obvious pick, Cassandra Clare and her world of Shadowhunters is phenomenal. So far, I have read books 1-4 of the Mortal Instruments series and all three books in the Infernal Devices trilogy. Of all these, I can say the Infernal Devices is my favorite of hers so far I have read.

The worlds and stories she creates are dark but fun and exciting. Her characters are not overly complex, but they are like real people and their relationships are healthy as well as romantic. Best of all, Cassandra Clare’s writing gets better with each book. She’s willing to build on the Shadowhunter world, not just recycle the same plotlines over and over again. I can only imagine what she’s going to come up with next for future books.

 

Renee Ahdieh

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I can’t begin to describe how much I loved Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath & the Dawn duology. Her writing style is beautiful and her characters are amazing. The world she created is incredible, with a feel better than any Aladdin retelling. There was war happening, but she didn’t go overboard with the gore and violence like some young adult novelists do in their books.

The Wrath & the Dawn had more action, but the sequel, The Rose & the Dagger, was more about the complex political intrigue and how the magical system came into play. Also, the world itself did not seem to reject magic. Instead, it embraced magic’s qualities and how it benefited the world at large.

Knowing how much I loved The Wrath & the Dawn, I already have high expectations for Renee Ahdieh’s upcoming release, Flame in the Mist. It is a retelling of Mulan, with what I know to be a badass heroine and likely an angsty romance. I already preordered this book.

 

Dawn Kurtagich

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I was introduced to Dawn Kurtagich in 2016 and immediately fell in love with her books. So far, she has two out, both of which I have read: The Dead House as well as And the Trees Crept In. In case you couldn’t tell, both of them are horror novels. But they are not the kind of horror novels involving monsters and gore. Dawn Kurtagich’s books do have some fantasy element to them, but it is all about the psychological horror, featuring heroines that are a little messed up yet you can’t help rooting for them. Her writing style is unique, told in both prose and other formats throughout. And it adds to the unease present in the story. With both of Dawn Kurtagich’s books, I had a hard time putting them down once I started reading.

 

Jessie Burton

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Like Dawn Kurtagich, I discovered Jessie Burton in 2016 and fell in love with both of the books I read by her: The Miniaturist and The Muse. Both are adult historical fiction/mystery novels with lovely writing and virtually little to no romance. Instead, the plot is a complex mystery with commentary on social issues of the time periods. The Muse is set in two alternating decades and countries: 1967 in London and Spain in the 1930s while The Miniaturist is based in 17th century Amsterdam. The characters in these novels are also fleshed out and realistic. I found myself liking them, but not always loving them, and learned not to make any couple in a Jessie Burton novel my newest OTP. However, given how much I appreciate her realism involving historical events, I also appreciate her realistic take on human relationships.

 

Jojo Moyes

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My obsession of 2015, I read Jojo Moyes because I saw her book Me Before You everywhere. I decided to take a chance on it, expecting a lighthearted chick-lit novel. Instead, what I got was an emotional train ride of a book that pulled at my heartstrings like no other women’s fiction book had before. I read another of her books, The Girl You Left Behind, not long after that same year and it was yet another strain on my emotions. I own The Last Letter from Your Lover and After You, the sequel to Me Before You, but I haven’t read them or any of her other books yet. Mostly because, I need to be in the right mind when I get involved with her sympathetic characters, romantic storylines, and writing that messes with the emotions.

(Yes, I’m being dramatic but I really don’t care.)

 

Alexandra Bracken

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I almost didn’t put Alexandra Bracken on this list. While I enjoyed The Darkest Minds trilogy, I didn’t love it like some of the other authors on this list. Recently, though, I read her book Passenger and that one I loved. Alexandra Bracken’s writing has improved a lot and the story she wove together for the book was much better than her dystopian. The characters are more likeable and the time-travelling element is fascinating. The romance is a little insta-love, yet she writes it in a way that it doesn’t bother me as much as it normally would. That’s why I plan on picking up Wayfarer, the sequel to Passenger, within the next few months. I’m really excited to see how this duology ends.

 

Who are your favorite female authors? Or your favorite authors in general?

January 2017 Wrap Up

I read a total of five books in January. That’s pretty good after weeks of barely reading anything. Taking off monthly TBRs has allowed me to read whatever I want, while still crossing off the priority books on my list. Plus, I met my goal of reviewing at least three of the books I read this month. I hope to continue with this trend for the rest of the year.

This month, I read:

 

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

3.5 stars

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All the Bright Places was my first book review of 2017. I have owned this book for a while and had heard mixed things about it. Some people loved it and said it changed their lives. Others said it was OK, but the portrayal of mental illness was an issue. I fall into the latter category.

When I first picked up All the Bright Places, I was just coming off my epic reading slump from December. I needed a contemporary to help me get back into the swing of reading. That is exactly what this book did. I flew through it in a few days and I really enjoyed it. However, there were some issues with it, which I go into further detail about in my review, if you are interested.

Link: https://jillianthebookishbutterflyblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/review-of-all-the-bright-places-by-jennifer-niven-spoiler-free/

 

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

4 stars

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Milk and Honey is a recent book purchase; I went on a spending spree in honor of my 24th birthday this month. I had heard so many great things about this poetry collection, but I didn’t intend on picking it up right away. However, the book I was currently reading at the time was slow. Milk and Honey was simply calling to me from its new home on my bookshelf.

I have a full review on this book, too. Since it’s a poetry book, you can’t really have spoilers. To sum it up, I enjoyed Milk and Honey very much and found it an interesting read, except I was not blown away by it like so many others. I determined it was because of my own personal experiences, particularly my relationship with members of the opposite sex, is why I did not feel so connected to the content.

Still, I would recommend both women and men read Milk and Honey. Something can be gained for both of the sexes reading this book.

 Link: https://jillianthebookishbutterflyblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/review-of-milk-and-honey-by-rupi-kaur/

 

Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman

4 stars

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This is one of the books on my TBR I was really looking forward to. It’s a historical fiction young adult novel about Elizabeth Milton, the daughter of poet John Milton, who teams up with a handsome Italian scientist to unlock a secret hidden within her father’s poem, Paradise Lost. It was also the book I took 10 days to read, despite it being roughly 380 pages.

To sum it up, the writing was very good, the characters were great, and the plot was intricate. Despite all this, I considered putting it down several times while reading, because it was so slow. I pushed through and I’m glad I did. The final chapters were packed with action. By no means a disappointing book. I go into more detail in my review.

Link: https://jillianthebookishbutterflyblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/review-of-traitor-angels-by-anne-blankman-spoiler-free/

 

The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

5 stars

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I meant to read this at the end of 2016 and, of course, that was an epic fail. Still, I’m glad I finally read it.

The Rose & the Dagger is the sequel to The Wrath & the Dawn, and the last book in the duology. The writing was beautiful and the world building was fantastic. Some of the perspectives I read from were boring, like Shazi’s younger sister Irsa, but I warmed up to her by the end of the book. For most of the book, I wanted to give it 4.5 or 4.75 stars. I found the plot to be lagging at times, but then there were moments that brought me close to tears. If you have read The Rose & the Dagger, you know what scenes I am talking about.

Shazi and Khalid have made it on my list of favorite literary couples. They love so much it hurts. I never thought I would love angsty romance until I read about these two.

 

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

4.5 stars

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The Sun is Also a Star was one of the books in my birthday book haul. Like Milk and Honey, I did not plan on picking this up right away. But YouTube was blowing up with it, praising it and giving it rave reviews, even from reviewers that did not usually read contemporary YA novels. Plus, I read Nicola Yoon’s debut novel, Everything, Everything, last year and I really liked it.

The Sun is Also a Star tells the story of Daniel, a Korean-American, and Natasha, a Jamaican immigrant, and the day they spend together before Natasha and her family are deported. I had heard the story is heavy with insta-love, only it was written in a way that did not make it feel as such.

Daniel and Natasha are both likable protagonists. As two people, they are so different, yet their personalities don’t clash as a couple. He’s a dreamer that helps her find passion in life. She brings him back down to earth to face his problems.

In between Natasha and Daniel’s chapters, there were insights to other people they interacted with as well as what I call “fun fact” sections. Those I had mixed feelings about. Some I enjoyed, like Irene’s chapters. Others I found boring, like the lawyer and his love affair with the paralegal. The ending is what made this book for me, though.

 

What was your favorite book you read in January? Mine was The Rose & the Dagger.