Books · Favorites

Will you be my villaintine?

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Or Thursday, if you want to just pretend this whole made up holiday doesn’t exist. I’m sure there will be lots of posts about everyone’s favorite book couples today. I believe I did one last year. This year I’m mixing it up a little and doing something a little less cliche.

Forget romance. Today we’re talking about villains. *evil laugh*

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Moriarty – What has always made Moriarty such an interesting villain is that he could just as easily have been the protagonist of the Sherlock story. He’s every bit as clever and cunning as his counterpart. Sometimes I wonder what could have happened if Sherlock and Moriarty teamed up instead of becoming enemies.

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Cersei Lannister – Just try to name a more ruthless female villain. I dare you.

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Eli Ever and Victor Vale – I suppose you could argue that both Victor and Eli are the villains of Schwab’s series. Both are fabulously complex characters. At times, I found myself sympathizing  rather than hating them, because despite their abnormal abilities, at the end of the day they’re still human like the rest of us.

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The Master – Similar to Sherlock and Moriarty, The Master is the evil counterpart to the Doctor’s character. I love the dynamic between the two, especially the latest version (aka Missy).

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Dorothy Gale (from the Dorothy Must Die series) – Dorothy is not the lost little girl from Kansas in this story. She’s been in Oz a long time and rules the place, like the straight up bitch that she is. This iteration of her character is definitely one of the more unique ones. There’s just something I love about an overdressed villain in rhinestone heels.

 

Who are some of your all-time favorite villains? 

Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Favorites · Young Adult

Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

I enjoyed The Cruel Prince when I read it last year. Now, having read The Wicked King, I feel like first book pales in comparison. Jude’s grows from an angry, mistreated mortal living in the faerie world to a scheming, manipulative, powerful player in the fight over the throne. She’s not only determined to seize power from those who wish to steal it from her brother, but she’s determined to use every and anyone in the process. Jude is a freaking badass. (Although, I admit, I was still doubting her at the end of the first book.)

Not only do we begin to understand Jude better, but we see a different side of Cardan, as well. I liked him much better this time around than I did in the first book. While I’m normally indifferent to most hate-to-love relationships in YA books, I was totally on board with Jude and Cardan’s blossoming romance. Or hate-mance. Or whatever the hell it is. It’s a perfect mess.

We got to see a bit more of Taryn this time around, but never enough that I really developed much of an opinion of her. Throughout both books she’s kinda just felt like she was there as filler, which is weird, considering she’s the protagonist’s twin. That’s the only real complaint I have.

I loved every little twist and turn Black threw at her readers. By the end of the book, it’s clear that you can’t trust anyone. It’s faerie versus faerie. Human versus faerie. Faerie versus the sea. Sibling versus sibling. Father versus daughter. WHO IS GOING TO WIN!?!

I have no idea, but I want more!

 

Books · Favorites

Tropes Book Tag

It’s Saturday night and I have absolutely zilch going on tonight. (I did have a margarita with my tacos tonight though, so at least I have that going for me.) I’m finding it difficult to keep myself occupied now that I’ve finished writing the book.

A few weeks ago I was tagged by bookishlyrebecca to do the tropes book tag. Thank you Rebecca! I feel like her answers were way better than mine are going to be. 😛

Hopelessly Devoted: Name two characters from separate series that you ship Princess Lira and Alucard Emery

Damsel in Distress: Name a female MC who didn’t need a man to complete her Lila Bard. She’s got a thing going with Kell, but it’s pretty obvious that she doesn’t need a man in her life.

Love At First Sight: Name Your OTP (Full disclosure: I had to Google what “OTP” meant. I’m getting old, aren’t I?) Clary and Simon. I don’t care what anyone says, Clary and Jace are a terrible couple and she should have stayed with Simon.

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Mental Illness As A Quirk: Name a book that represented mental illness well Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand. It’s a middle grade book, but it portrays the most accurate representation of depression that I’ve ever read before. (And that’s coming from someone who’s struggled with depressed for 15+ years.)

The Chosen One: Name a main character that did (or almost did) ruin a series for you Quentin from The Magicians. If he’d been less whiny and self-absorbed I might have actually finished the series.

Friends To Lovers: Name a duo that went from friendship goals to relationship goals Ron and Hermione. I still don’t quite understand how that one happened.

Amnesia: Name a book you would forget for one reason or another Like, intentionally? Or accidentally? I’m not sure why I would intentionally choose to forget a book unless it’s one that I didn’t like. In that case I’m going with a handful of the classics I was forced to read in high school and did not enjoy: Tess of the d’Urbervilles, The Scarlet Letter, and The Grapes of Wrath are a few that come to mind.

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Bad Boys: Name your favorite villain Eli Ever

Missing Parents or Adults: Name a book that could’ve benefitted from a bit of parental guidance or adult supervision I feel like there are a million YA books that fit this category, yet I’m drawing a blank on every single one of them. Blergh. Blame it on the margarita.

~

I Tag: 

Kerri

Whit

Sofii

 

 

Adult · Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Favorites

Book Review: In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

In an Absent Dream was one of my most ( if not the most) anticipated reads for this year. After devouring it last weekend, I am pleased to say that it most certainly did not disappoint.

The world of the Goblin Market is one of the strangest and most complex worlds that McGuire has created for the series. It is both beautiful and terrifying, putting emphasis on the importance of rules and the consequences of breaking them. Through the market’s rules force its inhabitants learn to be better people and give fair value to the world around them.

Before Lundy finds her door she’s a quiet child, keeping her head down and trying to figure out what it means to blend in. She’s already accepted that her life is going to be mundane and like everyone else’s. Her visits to the Goblin Market help her figure out who she really is and who she really wants to be. Through the rules and her friendship with Moon, Lundy finds a place she belongs and a sense of family that she never experienced before.

This was an absolutely stunning and heartbreaking tale. I wanted to cry when it was over because I was not ready for it to end yet. This might be my favorite book in the series, so far.

Books · Favorites

Favorite Books of 2018

As we approach the end of another year, it’s time to look back and reflect on all the amazing books that I discovered. As of November, I had already completed my Goodreads Challenge. I’m currently finishing up book #45 for the year. I probably would’ve been able to squeeze a few more in, had I not being spending so much time on my own book, but c’est la vie. It seems like a good trade off.

Of all the books I’ve read this year, a handful of them really stood out enough to make my list of “favorites.” If you’re a regular reader of mine, I’m sure you can already guess which ones I’m going to pick. 😛

 

Darker Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab (My reviews: herehere, and here)

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Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames (Review here)

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My Life in France by Julia Child (Review here)

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City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (Review here)

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Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman (Review here)

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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (Review here)

 

It’s hard to narrow it down to just a few, isn’t it? What were some of your favorites this year?

Adult · Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Favorites

Book Review: Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames

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My Rating: 10 out of 5 stars

Live fast, die young.

Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.

When the biggest mercenary band of all rolls into town, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.

THIS BOOK IS BLOODY BRILLIANT. Everything about it, from the characters to the jokes to the subtle, yet deft music references is absolutely perfect. Bloody Rose definitely jumps onto the list of my favorite reads in 2018.

This story follows Tam Hashford, who leads a somewhat boring life compared to those who patronize the local bar she works at. Seeing the bands of mercenaries that come to town is the most excitement that Tam gets on most days. But everything changes when the band Fable comes to town. By a brush of luck and her own determination, Tam lands the gig as the new bard for Fable.

The adventurous journey that she embarks upon is even more exciting than the stories and songs she’s heard. The band tackles everything from monsters to love, loss, and facing death head on. This isn’t just a story about a bunch of bad ass mercenaries, it’s a story about following your passion and your heart, wherever it may lead you. It’s a story about family, loyalty, and doing whatever it takes to protect the ones you love.

This one gets two thumbs up from me. If I had more thumbs, I’d stick those up, too.

Books · Favorites

Top 5 Tuesday: Favorite Book Titles

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This week’s Top 5 Tuesday is a fun one: Favorite Book Titles. I’m eager to read everyone else’s answers for this one, because we all have such differing opinions in terms what makes a title good or bad.

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Shanah the Bionic Book Worm. (Click here to check out the list of topics for December.)

  • I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats
  • Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky
  • The View from the Cheap Seats
  • Pack of Dorks

I will now leave you to ponder why I chose these five titles. 😛

 

Do you have a favorite book title?