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! 

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Sci-Fi · Young Adult

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Winter TBR List

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is Top Ten Books On Your Winter TBR List. Between all the books I’ve purchased recently and the few that I’m still waiting to be released, I’m racking up quite a TBR list.

Here’s what I’m planning on reading over the next few months:

  1. Sand by Hugh Howey – I don’t know much about this one, but it sounds intriguing. Boyfriend has already read it and said that I have to hurry up and read it so we can talk about it.
  2. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson – It’s been a while since I read this one. After reading Edgedancer I want to go back and start the series over. (This would be a good time, since the 3rd book was just released.)
  3. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – This one isn’t even out yet, but it sounds like a fun read.
  4. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust – This one came out pretty recently and I’ve heard good things. I’m always a sucker for any type of fairy tale re-imagining.
  5. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson – A funny perspective on living with depression and anxiety? Sign me up. I could use a more humorous outlook on life.
  6. Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet by James Goss – This one isn’t out yet, but I already feel like it’s going to be a good one. I loved Goss’ other Doctor novel, City of Death.
  7. Poison by Sarah Pinborough – A short Snow White re-telling. It doesn’t have amazing reviews, but it was on sale, so we’ll see how it is.
  8. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston – Another impulse Black Friday buy. (I have no shame!)
  9. Dune by Frank Herbert – My boyfriend has been telling me to read this one since we met, since it’s favorite book of all time.
  10. Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas – I absolutely adored the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, so I am interested to see what this series is like. I’ve heard lots of hype about it.
Adult · Books · Fiction · Young Adult

Goodreads Challenge Update

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I did it! I finished Made You Up by Francesca Zappia this weekend, meaning that I’ve reached my goal of 30 books in 2017. I didn’t set too high of a goal, but one that seemed realistic. Given that I have a full-time job, other hobbies, and have been going through some personal issues, I figured 30 would be an attainable number. I’m usually terrible at keeping up with goals that I set for myself, so this makes me happy. 🙂

I was going to write a review of Made You Up, but truthfully I am not sure what to say. I can’t decide if I liked the book or not. The protagonist of the book has schizophrenia. As someone with their own mental health issues, parts of this book felt realistic to me, but then other parts bothered me quite a bit. (I’m actually curious as to how someone who actually has schizophrenia would feel about this book.) Representing mental illness in books can be challenging and I’m super torn about how it was represented here.

Have any of you read this book? What were your thoughts on it? 

 

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…

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
Book Reviews · Books · Fiction · Young Adult

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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As part of the Halloween read-a-thon I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. That’s two books, so far. It’s getting pretty close to Halloween, but I’m going to try to squeeze another book in just for fun.

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My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

The death of Jacob’s grandfather turns his life completely upside down. Left with nothing but outrageous stories and strange photographs, Jacob decides to travel to the small island in Wales where his grandfather spent his childhood. Upon discovering the abandoned orphanage, he realizes that there may have been more to his grandfather’s stories and the children who lived there after all. 

This book was a pretty quick read. Being a YA book, I was expecting there to be more substance and character development, but it didn’t quite hit the mark. Judging by the blurb on the back and the creepy photographs on the inside, I expected something a little more eerie and different than what was actually delivered.

The story itself has potential, but it feels like there’s too much going on at one time. The author tries to tie together differences in time, the “peculiar” children, World War II, and monsters all together, which didn’t really work. Some of it just felt out of place with the other elements in the story. Given that the orphanage is based around the unique children that live there, I would have liked to see more of them. The book felt like it barely brushed the tip of the iceberg there.

I didn’t hate this book, but I wasn’t super impressed either. I don’t think I’ll be picking up the sequel.

Adult · Books · Fiction · Middle Grade · Young Adult

Goodreads Reading Challenge Progress

Friday is upon us once again! 🙂 I hope you’ve all had a good week. The past few weeks have been a little crazy for me. I’ve been crafting away and putting the final touches on my Halloween costume and dancing my ass off. Our studio is doing our annual Halloween showcase tomorrow evening, so I’ve been rehearsing quite a bit. (I’m kinda glad we’re almost done with it though. I’m quite sore and bruised at the moment!)

Earlier today I was messing around on my Goodreads page and I realized that I’m actually doing really well with my reading challenge for this year. I only set a goal of 30 books for the year. Between having a full-time job, dance, and a lot of personal issues that I’ve been dealing with, 30 seemed like a reasonable number for me. According to Goodreads I’ve already read 25 books so far, which puts me one ahead of schedule.

This isn’t a huge number compared to what I’ve been able to manage in the past and compared to some of your challenges, but I’m pretty pleased with myself anyway.

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How are your reading challenges going so far?