2017 BookTube-A-Thon TBR

booktubeathon

Look! It’s back! Back again! BookTube-A-Thon 2017!!!! The BookTube-A-Thon is running this year from July 24th-30th and I am so excited to get started!! I participated, just barely, in the BookTube-A-Thon last year and I didn’t do quite as well as I had hoped. I am definitely hoping for better this year! I definitely have quite the TBR for the week, but before I get into that, let me link the main video with the “Reading Challenges” for the week below!

And now for my overly ambitious TBR for the 2017 BookTube-A-Thon!! booktubeathon2017

  1. Read a book with a person on the cover
    • For this challenge, I will be reading “Windwitch” by Susan Dennard! I am so excited to finally be back in this series again!!
  2. Read a hyped book Continue reading
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Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag ;)

mid year book freak out tag

It’s July. Of 2017. Already. Commence freak out! 

I don’t know about y’all, but I am still so confounded about how it’s already half way through the year! 2017 has been a great year of reading so far for me and I’m happy to share that I’m about halfway to my reading goal! So I thought this would be a fun way to look behind at the reading that I’ve done and look ahead to what I’m still exciting to read!

I’ve seen this tag circulating around the BookTube for a little while now, so I decided to bring it to our little blog home! I’ll link below a few videos that I enjoyed watching and inspired me to do this tag. With that being said, let’s get on with the questions!

  1. Best book of 2017 so far // I think I’m going to have to go with Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. I’ve reviewed this book here on the blog already, but let me tell you…this was stunning, it made me feel all the feels and I think everyone needs to read this!! 
  2. Best sequel of 2017 // I think hands down it’s going to have to be Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. This was incredible for so many reasons, I’ve reviewed this book here too! This was such a huge sophisticated jump for Cassandra Clare and I adored it! 
  3. A new release I haven’t read yet // I think this has to go to Strange the strange the dreamerDreamer by Laini Taylor. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews, so I definitely know I need to get to this ASAP! 
  4. Your most anticipated release for the second half of the year // Most of my most anticipated releases have already come out and I’ve read them, but I am also really excited for Warcross by Marie Lu. I’ve just started reading Marie Lu’s other books and have been really enjoying them, so I cannot wait to pick up another one of hers later this year. 

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Does Shelter Always Equal Comfort?

Shelter by Jung Yun
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I was so excited for this book when I first heard about it. This is a debut novel that sounded like it was going to address the Korean-American child experience with sheltertheir Korean immigrant parents. This story follows Kyung Cho and his wife, Gillian, as their debts and bad decisions catch up with them and begin to threaten their livelihood. They live very close to Kyung’s parents, Jin and Mae, who gave Kyung everything they could’ve, but never showed a shred of kindness or love or patience. Seemingly out of the blue, a violent act towards Jin and Mae force them to move in with Kyung and Gillian, which also forces out the many issues that the family has bottled up over time.

In reading the synopsis for this, I was strangely excited for the opportunity to read about a struggle that I could partially relate to. My parents were much kinder and more loving growing up, however, we still had to learn the tricky balance that immigrant parents and their American-Born children typically need to learn. How does the family balance the importance of culture and the new culture that they live in? How does the child balance honoring where their ancestors come from and figure out making a new life for themselves? These are so many questions that don’t get addressed or represented in books, so I was excited for a Korean author to take a leap in addressing these issues in this debut novel. Warning: Spoilers ahead and trigger for abuse/rape. 

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Quick Take: ADSOM

A Darker Shade of Magic (#1) by V.E. Schwab
three-star-rating-black-hi (.75)

a darker shade of magicI first fell in love with Victoria Schwab’s writing when I read her Archived duology
back in 2015. Since then I had been meaning to read some more of her books, particularly the ones written under her V.E. Schwab pen name. I’ve read that she was branching off into adult books under her V.E. Schwab pen name and I was excited to read about her venture into Adult Fantasy from the Young Adult Fantasy world. On top of that, I’ve heard some rave reviews about her books!! So I was so excited to finally get my hands on this one and I was happy that I got to read it.

In this book, we travel through four different parallel Londons with Kell, who is one of the last Antari (magicians). The different Londons are denoted by color which reflects the main characteristics of each one; Red, the vibrant magic-filled London; Grey, a London like ours that has lost all its magic; White, a London ruled by power and manipulation; and Black, the London that has been lost. Kell is an ambassador, traveling between the Londons carrying messages to each of its rulers. However on the side, Kell is also a smuggler…bringing back and forth little artifacts for people who are willing to pay. In Grey London, he meets Delilah (Lila) Bard, a pirate who earns for a ship of her own. In Grey London, however, he also stumbles upon an object from Black London that shouldn’t even exist…and this is where all the trouble begins. Continue reading

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Dualing Quick Takes: The Handmaid’s Tale

the handmaid's taleSo happy to share with you all a little dual quick takes style review of “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood! 🙂 Christina and Rachel have both recently finished it, and with the Hulu adaptation currently airing how timely these reviews seem! 🙂 We hope you enjoy our dual reviews of this book!

Christina: four-star-rating-black-hi

Y’all!!!! First of all…I am definitely slightly disappointed in myself that it’s taken me this long to read this. Shame on me. Alright…now that my self-shaming session is over, let’s get onto my MAJOR feels on this book! I will say, it did take me nearly 60 pages to really get into the book. I think this happened for two reasons: one, I had just finished a YA-fantasy book which was just paced so differently; and two, this book is shrouded in a strange sense of mystery/uncertainty and the pace of the book definitely matches that. This book was gripping and creepy, only in that this book just feels way too close to home right now…le sigh. I really can’t summarize my review/thoughts in words very well…so let me leave at this: Margaret Atwood’s writing is beautiful, gripping and incredibly thought-provoking. I can’t wait to watch the Hulu adaptation to see how it translates to the screen!

Rachel: four-star-rating-black-hi

Unlike Christina, I’m actually happy I read this when I did! Apparently like everybody and their mama, I picked this up because of all the happenings in the news we hear about on an almost daily basis. As a result, the story felt all the more timely and compelling. Atwood does seem to drop readers into this world with no apparent introduction, so the first portion of the book is a bit jarring. That being said, it seemed to add to the storyline as a whole. What is going on here? Why is this happening? These are the questions you want to be asking as you progress through the pages. I think it offered a very unique take on the dystopian genre, and it’s one I believe everyone should experience. I also thought the way the ending was designed was very unique–don’t miss that afterword type chapter like I almost did! Audiobook–yay or nay? Yay! Claire Danes narrated, and she did a marvelous job. She really helped bring Offred to life, especially in passages where she is expressing her reactions to events. The chapters also start out with muffled clips of old songs, which adds to the tone of the novel. Definitely worth a listen!

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Quick Takes: Milk and Honey

milk and honeyMilk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
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poetry is not just
hitting enter on the keyboard
so that quasi-
original thoughts
might all of a sudden
sound profound.

if that were
the case
i would take all
my high school
poetry and become
a bestseller.

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Happy 20th Anniversary to Harry Potter!!

harry potter

HAPPY 20TH ANNIVERSARY TO THE HARRY POTTER SERIES!!

It’s beyond difficult to comprehend and wrap my head around this whole thing. This means that I read the first Harry Potter when I was roughly 7/8, which is beyond crazy to think about. I’ll truly never forget the memories of my mom bringing me home the next Harry Potter book, running up to my room and savoring every single word of the next beautifully written book. I have loved this series from the first read of the first book all the way to today…and I know that I will continue to love this series for many years to come. In order to commemorate this incredible series, I thought I would do something fun here and share the 20 lessons that Harry Potter taught me. Both in what the stories taught me and what being a real Potterhead has taught me over these past 20 years.

  1. Cherish your family always. While family may drive you crazy, when things really hit the fan…they are going to be the ones to be there to protect you no matter what.
  2. With that being said, there is also value and beauty in the family that we choose for ourselves.
  3. Be proud of who you are, no matter what other people may say about you. Hufflepuff pride!! Continue reading
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