Books · Life · travel

Wanderlusting: Bookstores Around the World (Part 1)

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a wanderlust post. Don’t worry, it’s not because I’m losing my sense of adventure or desire to travel. I’ve actually been planning and researching for the upcoming trips I’ll be going on this year.

There are two things I look for first when considering a place to visit: the culinary scene and how many bookstores they have. As a proclaimed foodie and bibliophile, these are the things that speak most to me. They call me late in the evening and whisper in my ear whilst I’m asleep. “Come to me!” they say. And I listen.

Perhaps I will do a future series of posts about all the foodie destinations I plan to visit someday, but for now, since this is primarily a book blog, I’ll focus on the bookstores.

Eliot Bay Books (Seattle, Washington) – There isn’t much history to this one, but I’ve heard it’s the best bookstore in Seattle.

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Shakespeare and Company (Paris, France) – This one has been around since 1919. The apartment upstairs housed several famous authors over the years, like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Boyfriend and I will definitely be visiting this one when we visit Paris in the Fall.

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Livraia Lello (Porto, Portugal) – One of the most stunning bookstores in the world, the neo-Gothic building was said to have been the source of inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s depiction of Hogwarts.

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The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles, California) – Lots of quirky character packed into this store, in addition to a quarter-million new and used titles. I can’t even imagine how many people go here every year just to take pictures under the tunnel of books.

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!

 

Life · mental health · Writing

There’s Underwear In My Shoe

I feel like a bit of a mess lately. No, maybe mess is the wrong word. Blob is a better one.

Greetings, from the Blob Monster!

On my drive to work this morning I realized that I had underwear in my shoe. This would have been highly perplexing had I not remembered putting said underwear in my shoe yesterday. What is perplexing, however, is why I didn’t take them out before putting my shoes on.

I’m struggling a bit this week. Work has been a nightmare lately and even though I’m excited to have finished the first draft of my book, I’m finding that I have too much time on my hands now. Before, I was so absorbed in getting the story finished that I wasn’t giving my brain much down time. You’d think that having some down time now would be good, right? As someone with mental health issues, too much idle time leaves room for my depression and anxiety to creep back in. That’s kinda what’s been happening the last week. I get home from work and find that I don’t have anything to do, so I start thinking about everything and nothing at once, then I get overwhelmed and just go to bed really early.

And that’s how you become so blob-like that you end up with underwear in your shoe. I’m going to sit down tonight and start working on book two. Otherwise, I’ll end up with a bra in my ear tomorrow.

(I have no idea where this post was meant to go. Please excuse my rambling.)

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 · Writing

Achievement Unlocked

GOOD MORNING! I am not usually one to be chipper and excited on Monday mornings, but this week is an exception. For starters, I don’t have to work today, which automatically bumps the day up to a Friday’s level of joy. Secondly, something really exciting happened yesterday, which is precisely why I am writing this post. Who better to share my happy news with than a group of people who can appreciate it?

For the past eight months I’ve been mentioning the fact that I’ve been working on my first novel. Well…as of yesterday afternoon, after spending the majority of my weekend cranking out the final scenes, I finished the first draft of my book! 😀 😀 😀

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You guys, I am so excited I don’t even know what do with myself. Seriously, I got up and came to the coffee shop this morning (like I always do on days off), but I don’t know what to do with myself because I don’t have the book to work on. Obviously, I’ll have to start editing it at some point, but that won’t be for a little while, sooooo what do I do in the mean time?

Since I’ve yet to share any details about the book and its contents, I’m going to be nice and finally share a little hint with you. But just one.

I guess it’s time to start working on ideas for the second book now. 😀

Adult · Books · Fantasy

First Impression Friday: In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a First Impression Friday post. I was going to write one last week when I  started re-reading The Hobbit but decided against it because it felt like I was cheating, since I already read it years ago and knew what was going to happen.

(For those who are unfamiliar, FIF is a weekly meme created by J.W. Martin. The goal is to talk about a book you recently started reading. Share you impressions, predict what you think will happen, say whether you think you’ll enjoy it, etc.)

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This is the story of 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.

Just like the previous Wayward Children books, you immediately become immersed in the story’s main character. I love the way the author makes you feel like you already know and understand her characters right off the bat.

The Goblin Market is an intriguing one. The rules and nuances are rather unique compared to the previous worlds she has written about. For that reason, I am interested to see what kind of trouble Lundy gets in. Because you just know she’s going to break the rules at some point. Perhaps she will get in trouble with the Goblin ruler, if there is such a character.

Whatever happens, I already know it’s going to be beautiful and heart-breaking.

(Check out my reviews for the other books in the Wayward Children series: here)