Tag Archives: Books

TOME Topple, Round 5 TBR!!


Hello everybody!!

I am here to participate in the TOME Topple, yet again!! Now, I tried participating last time and I failed miserably. Le sigh. I had a lot going on, so attempting to read multiple 500+ pages books was just definitely not a good idea. This time around, I’m definitely feeling way more motivated!! 🙂

Here are some details about the read-a-thon:

  • Duration: November 17-30th
  • Parameters: Read tomes – books that are 500+ pages
  • Challenges:
    • Read more than 1 tome
    • Read a graphic novel (still over 500 pages)
    • Read a tome that is part of a series
    • Buddy read a tome
    • Read an adult novel

Now…with all that in mind, I aim to read…3 tomes!! Ambitious? Maybe? We’ll see! Here is what I will be aiming to read over the next two weeks!

  1. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (audiobook)
  2. The Ask & the Answer (#2) by Patrick Ness (Note: I do have to read the first one still, so we’ll actually see if this happens)
  3. Full Metal Alchemist (Vol 2) by Hiromu Arakawa

With these three books, I am hoping to complete 3 challenges: read more than 1 tome, read a graphic novel and read a tome that is part of a series! 🙂

Now…will I actually make it through these books? We’ll see! I’m pretty hopeful seeing as how one is an audiobook and one is a graphic novel, so I’m really only reading one full physical tome, haha!! But, with the Thanksgiving holiday and needing to read the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy first, we’ll have to see…haha!!

If any of you are participation, let me know in the comments! I’d love some community love and cheering one another on as we conquer our tomes! 🙂

Happy reading all!!

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Spook-A-Thon 2017!!

I participated in yet another read-a-thon in October, the Spook-A-Thon, which took place from October 16th-22nd. I recognize that we are well past that, but…not only did I want to share my reading experience, but I also thought that this would be a great concise way to share a few of my recent reads.

This was a great read-a-thon and I had a lot of fun with it! 🙂 The read-a-thon consisted of 5 different challenges:
1. A thriller
2. A book with orange on the cover
3. Spooky setting
4. Spooky word in the title
5. A book based on a childhood fear

My TBR for the Spook-A-Thon based on the above challenges was:

  • The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

I ended up completing 3 of the 4 books that I had on my original TBR, which I really think was pretty good!! I’ve had a streak of bad reading luck when it has come to read-a-thons this year, so this was a great change of pace! The only book I ended up not completing was “Every Heart a Doorway”, which I ended up completing later in the month.

I’m going to go ahead and get into two mini-reviews for the books that I’ve read! I will not be doing a mini-review of “The Wolves of Winter” by Tyrell Johnson, as it was an ARC so you’ll be getting a full review next month!

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Modern American Epic Mountain Cowboy

Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Keseyfive-star-rating-black-clip-art-hi

It’s June. I’m a few days away from my trip to the Pacific Northwest, and I’m looking up books that take place in these gorgeous states. Scrolling past Twilight and Fifty Shades of Gray, I land on Sometimes a Great Notion. And there is just nothing about it that should interest me…650 pages detailing a union strike that sweeps across a small logging town? An easy pass, were it not for the rave reviews calling it a masterpiece and one of the Great American Novels™. So, I pick it up.

Four months later, after wrestling to get into it, struggling through 70-page chapters and paragraphs chock-full of points of view that switch mid-sentence(!), I can add my voice and say that anyone who appreciates literature needs to read this book. This, this is the book I needed to read in my Literature classes, because there’s so much going on here, and it does it all so, so well. Because like any poignant novel, what makes it so great is never just about the plot. Continue reading

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Series Review: “Monsters of Verity” Duology

This Savage Song (#1) by Victoria Schwab
four-star-rating-black-hiOur Dark Duet (#2) by Victoria Schwab

I’m so excited to bring y’all another series review! 😀 Yet again, I marathoned through another series and while it was just a duology, it definitely knocked me completely off my feet! 🙂 I am in a major book hangover and in my mind, that says quite a bit about a book. I just finished the “Monsters of Verity” duology and I absolutely loved it!!! Like, LOVED it!!!

First can we just admire the two covers of these books? Major heart-eye emojis!!! 😀 I love when we get simple, yet eye-catching covers that are just so appealing on my shelves.

I will obviously not be getting into “Our Dark Duet” because SPOILERS but I will share a few of my thoughts on “This Savage Song” here before getting into my more spoiler-y thoughts. The main thing that I loved about this first book (and really, the duology) were our protagonists, Kate and August. Kate is the daughter of a corrupt man who provides protection for humans against the monsters, but for a price. Kate wants nothing more than the approval of her father, which causes her to make rash, violent decisions. August is a monster who wants nothing more to be human and not feared by humans. Both are deeply flawed, yet so endearingly relatable.

I also love the world creation and the concept of the monsters in this book. There are three classes of monsters, each born out of different violent crimes which is just a fascinating concept. In doing my research, I found out that the author wrote this book in response to the mass shootings in our country and I think this is an incredibly profound response to all of the violence in our country today.

The last thing that I truly love about these books and all of Victoria Schwab’s writing is her atmosphere creation. These books are incredibly dark, creepy and they just linger with you. I couldn’t help but think of these books when not reading and when I finished “This Savage Song”, I immediately needed “Our Dark Duet”. And I did go immediately purchase the second book.

All in all, I loved this duology!! 😀 I am going to get into a few more spoiler-y thoughts now! 🙂

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Quick Takes: Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Image result for cruel beautyGoing into this, I thought I was going to end up with a completely different story than what I was left with at the final page. Cruel Beauty is about a young woman, Nyx, who trained her whole life to defeat the evil ruler of their kingdom. When she finally reaches the castle and meets the enemy, things  don’t go as planned. There’s more to Ignifex than meets the eye, and her mission must adapt.

I kept hearing how this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Though I usually find those cringe-y, I actually think this book would’ve been better off if there were more similarities. I wish it were as simple as that summary, as Beauty and the Beast, as another YA novel with a love triangle and predictable twists and turns. Because my biggest problem with this book was that it was jam packed with all this mythology.

Beauty and the Beast is fine. Mythology is fine. But trying to do both, and so heavy handedly, is trying to do too much. Anytime authors lean too much on another culture/society or whatever, it just starts to feel lazy and gimmicky. The naming, the world-building, the constant myth-referencing, just…ugh. Come on. It was like reading an allegory–am I supposed to enjoy the story, or is this some sneaky way to brush up on my history? Greco/Roman Mythology is great, but you can pull from it without being so obvious about it. The plot would have been way less clunky/cluttered that way.

So this is one of the few instances I’m not complaining about the “meh” protagonist or the love triangle or insta-love. In fact if those would have been my only critiques, I probably would have enjoyed Cruel Beauty a whole lot more.

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In Defense of the Foolish(Romantic)

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauerfive-star-rating-black-clip-art-hi

My high school students don’t typically read even when they’re required to, so when one makes a point to recommend a book she’s read multiple times, I stand up and take notice. She brought it up to me so often that I became moved by her love for Into the Wild. I decided to pick it up this summer when I took my solo trip to the Pacific Northwest–a perfect opportunity for this tale of travel and survival.

“As for me, I’ve decided that I’m going to live this life for some time to come. The freedom and simple beauty of it is just too good to pass up.”

I could not have read it at a better time. I was in the right mindset to completely understand and empathize with the characters in this book–not just Chris McCandless, but also Krakauer and the numerous other examples of adventurous travelers he gives. Because this seems to be the key to falling in love with what appears to be a very polarizing book: understanding the mind of the Romantic.

“At long last he was unencumbered, emancipated from the stifling world of his parents and peers, a world of abstraction and security and material excess, a world in which he felt previously cut off from the raw throb of existence.”

Chris was a Romantic, simply put. People quickly paint him into many other things he’s not. He’s not much of an Idealist: he prepares too much for that, though his practicality will fall short. He’s also not a Hero. He made mistakes, we can all agree on that. But he’s not a Villain either, as so many of these mistakes were understandable, especially when we stop trying to be curmudgeonly, self-righteous adults and remember the romanticism of our youth. This leads me to a quick aside, because I have some beef with the people who don’t like this book.

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Series Review: “Legend” Trilogy

I’m here to do my first ever series review on this blog! 🙂 I recently binged the “Legend” trilogy and so I thought legend trilogythat this would be the best and concise way to share my thoughts on the trilogy as a whole! I have been wanting to read Marie Lu’s books for quite some time now, so I thought that this was a great place to start and it definitely was!

I’ve recently done a quick take review on the first book in this trilogy, “Legend”, here on the blog…so check it out before continuing to read on! 🙂 Now, I am going to share my star reviews for each of the next two books and then my overall series rating!

Prodigy (#2)
Champion (#3)
“Legend” trilogy

Since this is a full series review, there are definitely going to be spoilers…so do not read on if you haven’t read this trilogy! Go read them and come back to enjoy the review! 🙂 And I’ll definitely be checking out more of Marie Lu’s book and most specifically, I am super stoked for her newest book coming out in September!!! 🙂

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