Books · Fantasy · Favorites · Fiction · Young Adult

Twelve Days of Christmas Book Tag

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In an attempt to try to get more into the Christmas spirit, I’m doing the Twelve Days of Christmas Book Tag. About halfway through I realized that this took entirely too long and that I’m probably insane for finishing it. So, um, enjoy!?

ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE. – The partridge stood alone in the pear tree. What is your favorite stand alone? 

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I love the concept of the story and the main character, Bod. It’s so interesting to read about Bod’s life among the inhabitants of the graveyard and see how he learns so much about life through the dead. I love the variety of characters in the book, as well. Gaiman does an amazing job incorporating modern humans, ghosts from different historical periods, ghouls, and other paranormal beings together without it being too over the top.

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ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: TWO TURTLE DOVES. – Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?

Romeo & Juliet. I don’t care how cliche and cheesy the whole premise is. The hopeless romantic side of me adores the passion and dedication that Romeo & Juliet had for each other. (You can go ahead and roll your eyes now :-P)

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ON THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: THREE FRENCH HENS. – In the spirit of threes, what is the best trilogy you have read?

The Wendy Darling series by Colleen Oakes. I wouldn’t call it the best trilogy ever, but it’s definitely one of my favorites.

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ON THE FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: FOUR CALLING BIRDS. – Since series usually consist of four or more books, what is your favorite series?

The Harry Potter series! You can read all about how much I love the series in multiple posts on my blog. (Like here and here)

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ON THE FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: FIVE GOLDEN RINGS. – One ring to rule them all! Who is your Favorite Villain/Antagonist?

Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones. She’s so horrible that it’s fascinating.

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ON THE SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: SIX GEESE A LAYING. – Creation is a beautiful thing. What is your favorite world/world-building?

Any one where castles and magic exist.

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ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: SEVEN SWANS A SWIMMING. – Who needs seven swans when all it takes is one good animal sidekick? Who’s your favorite animal sidekick?

The 3 witches familiars in the Elsewhere series. It’s a middle grade series, but it’s adorable and the cats add so much character and humor to the story. (One of them is a little kooky and likes to pretend he’s random historical/fictional characters. It’s fantastic.)

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ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: EIGHT MAIDS A MILKING. – Milk is so 18th century. Which book or series takes beverages/food to a whole new level?

I love the food scenes in the Harry Potter series. The descriptions of the feasts laid out on the long tables in the Great Hall always made my mouth water. (The irony is that I’m not particularly fond of British food.)

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ON THE NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: NINE LADIES DANCING. – Dancing is just one skill of a Lady! Who is your favorite kickass female lead?

Jane from Jane Eyre. She wasn’t the physically strong and rebel type of female, not compared to today’s standards, anyway. She definitely had feminist characteristics that were not common of women during her time. She stood up for herself when she needed to and she knew how to stay true to what she believed in. She endured many a hardship during her life, yet she didn’t let that slow her down. She didn’t let love or emotions cloud her judgement either. She was pretty badass.

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ON THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: TEN LORDS A LEAPING. – How about your favorite leading lad?

It’s a toss up between Jamie from Outlander and Rhysand from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

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ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: ELEVEN PIPES PIPING. – What is your favorite book or bookish thing with musical influence? (It can be about music, reference music a lot etc.)

This is a tough one. I’m actually drawing a blank. Does the Hobbit count with all the Hobbits singing?

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ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: 12 DRUMMERS DRUMMING. – Drum roll please…what is your favorite read of this year?

This question is so hard! I’ll probably have to go with A Court of Mist and Fury.

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If you made it this far in the post I congratulate you. Consider yourself tagged! 

Books · Classics · Fantasy · Favorites · Fiction · Non-Fiction

Books I’m Thankful For

There have been multiple posts popping up in my feed today honoring the books that bloggers are thankful for. I really like this idea, given that there are so many books I adore and am thankful to have read at some point in my life.

These are just a few of the books that have pulled me through hard times, taught me valuable lessons, and have helped shape who I am as a person. These are some of the books that not only hold a special place on my bookshelves, but hold a very special place in my heart.

 

What books are you thankful for? 

Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Favorites · Fiction · Young Adult

Book Review: War of the Cards by Colleen Oakes

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My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Dinah’s whole world was turned upside down the night her brother was murdered. Since then she’s been on the run, hiding among the Twisted Wood and the Yurkei Mountains, planning her next move. With the help of the Yurkei, the rogue Cards, and the man she now calls her father, Dinah is plotting to take back the crown that is rightfully hers. 

Dinah quickly learns that trying to be a ruler is not that simple, especially when you’re contending with a broken heart and an unbridled rage growing deep inside you. 

I was SO freaking excited when this book arrived on my doorstep this week. It’s been 2-3 years since the second book in the series was released and I have been waiting for the final book ever since. After all the hype I built up in my head, I was pleased that this book did not disappoint.

The series has always had an overall dark tone to it, but this book was by far the darkest. We got to see a side of Dinah that was on par with Lewis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts. At the same time, despite all her fury, it was easy to sympathize with Dinah. She had been a pawn in a very corrupted political game for her entire life and is now trying to figure out how to put all the pieces together.

The wicked deception and plot twists were fantastic. (I would love to go into more detail about this, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers.) The supporting characters in the story are rich with personality and intrigue. There isn’t a single character in the story that I didn’t love.

The only reason I’m rating this one a 4.5 and not a 5 is because of a few details that bugged me. A few times Oakes alluded to things/people from the original Alice in Wonderland that didn’t feel necessary or critical to the story. I appreciated her attempt to incorporate as much of the original story into her take, but some of them felt a little sloppy.

Overall, I enjoyed this book as much as the previous two. I loved the way the story played out and Dinah’s character. Even the ending, which wasn’t quote so happy, felt perfect.

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I have finished another beloved series. Let the withdrawal begin…

Books · Classics · Favorites · Fiction · Middle Grade

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Think Children Should Read

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Books I Want My Future Children to Read.” Now, I don’t expect to have my own children in the future, so I am making these recommendations based on what I think all children should read at some point in their lives. I chose books that have taught me valuable lessons about life, the world, and growing up.

…To avoid overthinking this whole thing (What age group are we talking about? Technically they’re still children if they are under the age of 18. But wait. are they?) I’m going to make my recommendations for children under the age of 12.

  1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  3. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  4. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  5. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco
  6. Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
  7. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  8. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
  10. Pack of Dorks by Beth Vrabel

 

Do you agree with any of these? Which of these are your favorites? 

Adult · Books · Favorites · Fiction · Middle Grade · Non-Fiction · Young Adult

Top Ten Tuesday: Unique Book Titles

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Unique Book Titles.” Some of the ones on my list I’ve read and some I haven’t. Either way, I enjoy their titles.

  • Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
  • All My Friends are Dead by Avery Monsen
  • Pack of Dorks by Beth Vrabel
  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  • I Could Pee on This And Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Marciuliano
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

 

  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams
  • My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Adult · Books · Favorites · Fiction · Middle Grade · Young Adult

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Fall Covers/Themes

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is another fun one: Ten Books with Fall Covers/Themes. Since I am obsessed with all things Halloween at the moment, all I can say in response to this week’s theme is YAY.

Don’t worry, there is nothing pertaining to pumpkin spice anything on this list.

Top Ten Books with Fall Covers/Themes

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Cemeteries are one of my favorite places to visit this time of year.

To Kill a Mockingburd by Harper Lee – I confess that I dislike this book, but the cover of this particular version feels very Fall-y to me with with colors and the tree.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackon – Creepy family and a black cat. Perfect for a Halloween read!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling – The colors on this one reminds me of the leaves changing from green to orange to brown. (Obviously, the themes of the series itself are perfectly suited for Fall reading.)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving – I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory.

The Books of Elsewhere series by Jaqueline West – The series is an appropriate one as most of it takes place during Fall and around Halloween. Pus, magic, talking cats, witches, people trapped in paintings…

The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass – I actually know nothing about this book, but I’ve seen it pop up on the blogosphere and the cover is appropriate.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – I love the creepy covers on these books.

Dracula by Bram Stoker – There’s no such thing as October without vampires.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield – This one is a cozy, gothic-mystery to curl up with in the evenings.

Books · Favorites · Fiction · Middle Grade

Top Ten Tuesday: Books From the 90s

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and The Bookish) is a throwback freebie. Because you can never have too much of a good thing, I would like to pay homage to some of my favorite books that I read in the 90s. (Keep in mind that I was a youngin’ in the 90s and that my tastes weren’t quite as refined as they are now.)

*Straps on platform shoes* Ready? Here we go.

Top Ten Books From the 90s

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – As one of my favorite book series of all time, obviously this one is going to be at the top of the list.

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews – This one came out several years prior to the 90s, but I didn’t discover it until sometime in middle school. A big old mansion, mean grandmother, kids locked in the attic, brother-sister incest. This one is totally appropriate for kids of all ages. 😛

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney – This one was another favorite in middle school. The made-for-tv movie wasn’t quite as good though.

The Prom Queen (Fear Street)  and The Halloween Party (Fear Street) by R.L. Stine – I was a big fan of the Fear Street books around 5-6th grade. I’m pretty sure I read the entire series. These are just a couple of the ones I still remember reading.

Kristy’s Great Idea (Babysitter’s Club) by Ann M. Martin – Because what girl in the 90s didn’t want to be part of the babysitter’s club!?

Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar – Cute and funny. I would still recommend these to kids today.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – Such a classic. I still love this one.

The Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka – Goofy spins on classic fairy tales. This one always made me chuckle.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl – Chocolate. Oompa Loompas. Enough said.

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What were some of your favorite books that you read in the 90s?