BOOK TAG #17 | Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to another book tag. I actually did this same one last year (here’s the link!), but I figured I would makea habit of doing it every year ’cause my answers would change! Without further ado, let’s get into it! 🙂

Best book you’ve read so far in 2019

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Ya know, for the best book I read in 2019, I haven’t read the sequel yet (and I read it back in January). But seriously, I loved A Darker Shade of Magic. The characters, magic system, plot, narration… Literally loved everything about it. 10/10.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019

Honor Bound by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

I was about to say that I haven’t read any sequels this year, but look! I read one! It’s the only one I read, but I really enjoyed it. In this rare case, I thought the sequel was better than the first book.

New release you haven’t read but want to

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Look at the gorgeous cover, and tell me you don’t feel the urge to read all 800+ pages right this second. There’s queens, dragons, and queer ladies. What’s not to love?

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Belle Revolte by Linsey Miller

I have two because I can’t just choose between two of my auto-buy authors. So we have Ninth House, which sounds mysterious and dark and cool. Then there’s Belle Revolte, a queer fantasy that already owns my heart.

(So apparently I’m a Dumb Queer who doesn’t understand release dates: Belle Revolte isn’t published until 2020, but I’m still counting it. Bite me.)

Biggest disappointment

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Here I was, thinking that I was going to read this cool sci-fi classic, and what do I get? Slow, repetitive, misogynistic nonsense! Ugh! (If you want to read my full [semi-rant] review, here it is, y’all). Oh well, you don’t love them all.

Biggest surprise

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

I swap one sci-fi nocvel for another! Seriously, I was not expecting to like Honor Among Thieves as much as I did. I mean, going into it, I just hoped I wouldn’t hate it. But I ended up absolutely loving it, and all the characters are my kids. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. (Here are my mini-reviews for Honor Among Thieves and its sequel, if you’re interested!)

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)

This is the year that I hope to read all of V.E. Schwab’s work. I’ve only read two, but I’m so down to read more! Just. Wow. I love everything about her writing.

Newest fictional crush

I don’t really do fictional crushes, but I would protect Beatriz from the Honors series with my whole life.

Newest favorite character

I don’t know about my bestes favorite character ever, but Rook from An Enchantment of Ravens was a fun character to read about. I enjoyed his interactions with others, as well as his personality and quirks.

Book that made you cry

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

As far as I remember, there hasn’t been a book this year that has made me cry yet. However, a book that made me sad was We Are Okay. It was such a powerful and moving read, and I really felt for the protagonist.

Book that made you happy

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab! I dunno, it just made me excited to read a middle grade novel again. It was super fun, and I can’t wait for the sequel!

Most beautiful book you bought (or received) so far this year

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Look at this cover! I can’t wait to start Girls of Paper and Fire, and even if I wasn’t interested/knew the story, I’d buy it because of the cover. Just saying.

What books do you need to read by the end of this year?

Here’s a short list:

  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
  • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  • Check, Please! Vol. 1 by Ngozi Ukazu
  • I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
  • A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  • Now I Rise by Kiersten White
  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  • all of the new releases this year, let’s be honest

And there is 2019’s Mid-Year Freak Out tag! I hope you all enjoyed seeing the different books/reactions I’ve had so far this year. Let me know if you’ve read any of these, or maybe what your fav and less fav books of this year are so far!

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Hey there, everyone! I recently created a Patreon that has more bookish stuff. If you like what I do on this here blog, maybe you could think about supporting me with a few dollars in exchange for even more bookish content!

You don’t have to worry about any content from here being behind a paywall, either. Absolutely everything on this blog is staying here, including reviews, book tags, weekly memes, discussions. Everything. The content on Patreon could be seen as extra perks and a way of saying thanks for supporting me!

Depending on the tier you choose, being a patron allows you to have:

  • early access to reviews (24 hours)
  • the ability to collectively choose 2 books for the following month’s TBR
  • exclusive posts on bookish tips and tricks
  • character analyses
  • and more!

Regardless if you become a patron or not, I really appreciate the support you have all given me throughout my blogging journey. ❤️

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NON-BOOKISH ADVENTURES #2 | 5 Reasons Why I Love Skyrim

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to my second Non-Bookish Adventures post! For those of you that don’t know, NBA is a feature that I (try to) put on once a week, where I talk about something that isn’t solely related to books! It could be something like this, where I give a list of reasons as to why I love a certain video game, or it could be like my first NBA post, where I made up a small team of Pokemon for different book/TV show/etc. characters (which you could read here). This week’s theme, obviously, as stated before, is related to video games, specifically Skyrim. Read on to find out a few of the many reasons why I love it!

5. It’s the first open-world RPG I’ve ever played single-player.

I like to specify the “single-player” part because I think I was playing this really cool open-world MMORPG before Skyrim (I…can’t remember the name of it at all). I love open-world RPGs, which includes Skyrim, obviously. They give you so much freedom to do what you want! I don’t think I’ve played through Skyrim’s main quest all the way simply because I get sidetracked by all the sidequests.

4. I just love magic, okay?

Skyrim isn’t the first game with magic/have a magic system, but it’s still one of the easiest to use, in my opinion (which shouldn’t amount for much because I don’t play many video games). Like, oh, lemme just hold down L1 and R1 and, bam, you’re dead. Also? I love how the magic looks in the game — it’s very pretty, and that’s part of the reason why I’m nine times out of ten a magic user.

3. Sometimes you just need to take a horse and live off the land.

Meh. Forget about the main story quest. Skyrim let’s me walk away into the forest with my horse and stay there for who knows how long. I mean, sure, I stumble upon an abandoned tomb or crypt and immediately get killed by an evil tree thing that’s guarding it, but it’s the adventure that truly counts. Speaking of horses…

2. H O R S E S

I get to ride a horse, own a horse, steal a horse. The possibilities are endless. And you get variety! There’s the brown horse, the cute grey speckled horse, and I’m pretty sure there’s a black horse. You go, horses, you truly make Skyrim the best. (Also, I love your near endless stamina for galloping/sprinting.)

1. Thieves Guild? Thieves Guild.

May I present to you the single most amazing thing about Skyrim (outside the magic): the Thives Guild. You know what I love to do? Sneak around and steal shit from people’s manors. With the Thieves Guild, I can do that and get cool stuff out of it. Like some really nice armor and knives. Also I think a snazzy bow. (Can you tell I’ve never played the tanky knight character in my life?).

And there you go! There are more than five reasons I love Skyrim, but I figured I would let y’all know about a few of them. Do you like Skyrim? Or other video games? Let me know!

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Hey there, everyone! I recently created a Patreon that has more bookish stuff. If you like what I do on this here blog, maybe you could think about supporting me with a few dollars in exchange for even more bookish content!

You don’t have to worry about any content from here being behind a paywall, either. Absolutely everything on this blog is staying here, including reviews, book tags, weekly memes, discussions. Everything. The content on Patreon could be seen as extra perks and a way of saying thanks for supporting me!

Depending on the tier you choose, being a patron allows you to have:

  • early access to reviews (24 hours)
  • the ability to collectively choose 2 books for the following month’s TBR
  • exclusive posts on bookish tips and tricks
  • character analyses
  • and more!

Regardless if you become a patron or not, I really appreciate the support you have all given me throughout my blogging journey. ❤️

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REVIEWS #43 and #44 | “Honor Among Thieves” & “Honor Bound” by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

Title: “Honor Among Thieves”

Author: Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

Pages (hardcover): 467 pages

Original Publishing Date: 13 February 2018

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead of moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

“Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

“Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • drug use and abuse
  • gore
  • violence
  • blood

Representation in the novel:

  • black girl MC
  • Brazilian girl MC
  • Chinese girl side character

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

I know going into this book that sentient alien ships were a “thing” in science fiction, so I was not sure I was going to like them. But, y’all, I am a full-on Nadim supporter now: I love him with all my heart. And honestly? I love all these characters, too.

Honor Among Thieves is a young adult science fiction novel following Zara Cole, a teenaged girl living in the slums of New Detroiet. After being picked as an Honor, a person who teams up with giant sentient alien ships called Leviathan to travel space, Zara finds herself being whisked away from all she has ever known. She teams up with Beatriz, a Brazilian girl, and Nadim, the young Leviathan they are in charge of navigating. However, as more time goes by, the three realize that the Tour (their journey through space) is actually hiding things from Leviathans and human alike.

Let me just say that I love the characters. Zara is unlikable and does not trust easily. She is irritable and wants to be left alone most of the time. Nadim is the naive Leviathan on his first tour, and he wants to learn everything about humans. Bea is shy and not as confident in her abilities, but she does the best she can. They all grow throughout the novel — Zara learns to trust, Nadim learns not to be so naive, and Bea learns to be more confident in herself — and I loved being witness to it.

Tied to that, the plot kept itself moving. While the beginning was a tad slow for my taste, it did not take long to pick up. Since it has been a month or two since I read this, I cannot remember exactly what has happened, but it had me hooked. A lot of it was character-focused, I believe, which I absolutely love. But it was also fast-paced? Not quire sure how that works, but I will not question it.

And, oof, the narration. I know not everyone likes the perspective of the unlikeable “edgy” protagonists, so I would not suggest this book if you are not a fan of 1st person POV from an unlikable character’s perspective. But if you do? I think you would love it. The reader is inside Zara’s head the whole time, and it is a wonderful experience. On top of that, there are these little “intermission” chapters that are interview transcripts or journal articles/book chapters about certain things within the world. They allow the reader to have greater insight on whatever is going on, which I think is cool.

Overall? I loved Honor Among Thieves, and that is coming from someone who usually does not read science fiction.

Title: “Honor Bound”

Author: Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

Pages (hardcover): 467 pages

Original Publishing Date: 19 February 2019

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“Savvy criminal turned skilled Leviathan pilot Zara Cole finds new friends and clashes with bitter enemies in the second book of this action-packed series from New York Times bestselling authors Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre that’s perfect for fans of The 100 and The Fifth Wave.

“Zara Cole was a thief back on Earth, but she’s been recently upgraded to intergalactic fugitive. On the run after a bloody battle in a covert war that she never expected to be fighting, Zara, her co-pilot Beatriz, and their Leviathan ship Nadim barely escaped the carnage with their lives.

“Now Zara and her crew of Honors need a safe haven, far from the creatures who want to annihilate them. But they’ll have to settle for the Sliver: a wild, dangerous warren of alien criminals. The secrets of the Sliver may have the power to turn the tide of the war they left behind—but in the wrong direction.

“Soon Zara will have to make a choice: run from the ultimate evil—or stand and fight.”

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • gore
  • violence
  • character death

Representation in the novel:

  • black girl MC
  • Brazilian girl MC
  • Chinese girl side character
  • (the beginnings of a) polyamorous relationship
  • side character uses neopronouns

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

Note: This mini-review may contain small spoilers for Honor Among Thieves. Do not read past this point if you do not want to be spoiled whatsoever.

Here I was thinking, “Honor Bound won’t be better than Honor Among Thieves. Second books in a series usually pale in comparison to the first.” For once, I am so glad that I was wrong.

Honor Bound picks up right after Honor Among Thieves, with Nadim and Typhon, another Leviathan, both injured, along with four other HOnors Zara and Bea met along the way. With the two Leviathan severely injured, the Honors have few options. In the ned, they decide to go to the Sliver (and not the Silver, which I kept reading it as), a distant planet full of rogues, criminals, and thieves. There, they find something even bigger and quickly become sucked into something unexpected.

Again, characters? Absolutely love them. Of course, Zara, Beatriz, and Nadim are still around, but there are also Typhon and his Honors, as well as the two other Honors that lost their Leviathan. It was nice to see everyone’s interactions and, again, to see them develop throughout the novel. They all learn to trust one another (or at least try to), and I especially love seeing the developing trust and relationship between the Leviathans and their Honors. They trust one another explicitly, and I love seeing them all together. There also seems to be the beginnings of a polyamorous relationship between three of the characters near the end of the novel. I will not spoil it and say who, but I totally support it and hope it actually happens.

I still love the narration. Zara is just such a good character to be in the head of, and it was enjoyable to read. The reader sees her debate with herself and others because, at the end of the day, she is trying to do what she thinks is best for Nadim. And for everyone else, too, I suppose. To see that conflict was interesting, thinking about what she was like in the beginning of the first book and how she progressed to where she is now.

The plot itself was…interesting. It does not seem like a lot happens through a good 75% of the novel, but I did not mind. It was still fun to read through. However, it is kinda weird: not a lot happens, it seems like, but a lot did at the same time. I think that this was mostly due to how I read it: I had a 19-hour drive down to Florida last month, and I read it all during the ride back. I felt that this book sets up the next one nicely. However, there was a side plot including characters from Honor Among Thieves that… I am not so sure about. It was mentioned in the first book, but it did not pop back up until the last portion of Honor Bound. I can see where it would lead, and I do not think I would like it. I hope my mind is changed with the third book, though.

I loved this one, and I cannot wait for the next book. Next year cannot come fast enough!

Hey there, everyone! I recently created a Patreon that has more bookish stuff. If you like what I do on this here blog, maybe you could think about supporting me with a few dollars in exchange for even more bookish content!

You don’t have to worry about any content from here being behind a paywall, either. Absolutely everything on this blog is staying here, including reviews, book tags, weekly memes, discussions. Everything. The content on Patreon could be seen as extra perks and a way of saying thanks for supporting me!

Depending on the tier you choose, being a patron allows you to have:

  • early access to reviews (24 hours)
  • the ability to collectively choose 2 books for the following month’s TBR
  • exclusive posts on bookish tips and tricks
  • character analyses
  • and more!

Regardless if you become a patron or not, I really appreciate the support you have all given me throughout my blogging journey. ❤️

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REVIEW #42 | “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Saga #1) (Audiobook) (*INCLUDES SPOILERS*)

Title: “Ender’s Game”

Author: Orson Scott Card

Length of Audiobook: 11 hours 57 minutes

Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki; Harlan Ellison; Gabrielle de Cuir

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“Andrew “Ender” Wiggin thinks he is playing computer-simulated war games at the Battle School; in fact, he is engaged in something far more desperate. Ender is the result of decades of genetic experimentation, Earth’s attempt to make the military genius that the planet needs in its all-out war with an alien enemy. Ender Wiggin is six years old when his training begins. He will grow up fast. Ender’s two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world-if the world survives. This, the author’s definitive edition, also includes an original postscript written and recorded by the author, in which he discusses the origins of the novel.”

Trigger/content warnings for the novel:

  • anti-Semitism
  • character death
  • [There may be more; I DNF’d at 64%]

Representation in the novel:

  • literally none that I could remember, so that’s cool /s
  • [There may be some; I DNF’d]

⭐⭐
2/5 stars

Note: as the title of this review indicates, there may be small spoilers ahead.

Ender’s Game is one of the first sci-fi novels I have ever read, and… I am so disappointed. The beginning showed promise, but as I listened further, I found myself disengaging and being puzzled over, well, everything.

The first book in a saga, Ender’s Game is a science fiction novel about a young boy named Ender who is sent off to this battle school in order to eventually fight off the aliens that are supposedly bent on eradicating the human race. However, Ender is not just a regular boy — he was genetically modified with the hope that he would eventually be whisked away for just this purpose. The first book follows Ender from the tender age of six. And the reader then watches him grow as he lives for years in the battle school, coming up with new strategies in the “games” they continuously play, rising through the ranks, and puzzling the higher-ups. About halfway through the novel, when he is around ten or twelve, Ender’s siblings, Peter and Valentine, also get a spotlight as they become more entrenched in political games back on Earth through the use of pseudonyms.

So…for a book that sounds so interesting, why did I DNF it at 64%? It was not because of the narration: I really enjoyed the full cast, and I thought they all made it entertaining to listen to, before I just could not take the book itself anymore. Yeah, narration? Pretty dang good. One of the issues I had was with the characters. It came to a point where I could not easily identify who was who outside of Ender and his siblings. no one really jumped out at me and, as a result, they all blurred together.

Speaking of characters blurring together, all the major characters, except for one, is a man or boy. There is only one girl, Valentine, and she is Ender’s sister. I suppose there is also Ender’s friend who is a girl, but she is one of those characters where she is basically “one of the boys,” which… nah. I get that this was published back in the 1980s, but still. I can be annoyed that the two characters that are girls are either “just one of the boys” or is supposedly “too caring and emphatic” to be part of the battle school. It is like there are two stereotypes for girls to the extreme, and I am not a fan.

On top of that, most of the other characters were flat and only had one or two qualities to them. However, I will say that I found Ender’s thought process throughout the novel intriguing. I liked seeing that development. Althought I did not get through all of it, like I said, I still felt that there should have been some sort of growth or something outside of Ender’s thoughts that made me care for these characters. But alas, here we are.

Another issue (well, technically two, I suppose) was the plot and the pacing. the book sounds so interesting on paper, but the actual novel pales in comparison. While it was interesting in the beginning as the reader follows Ender through his beginning years at the battle school, it soon became tedious. Sure, he gains friends and a platoon to lead, but those interesting moments were overshadowed by so. many. battle. sequences.

By the third or fourth or fifth time, the reader understands that Ender is smart and good with strategy and that he is the underdog. They understand that, yes, the military is tedious and repetitive. There comes a time where the reader is hit over the head with all of this, repeatedly, and it stinks. It makes the book ungodly slow, and this is coming from someone who usually does not mind slower novels. I was over halfway done with the book, and what do I have to show for it? Close to nothing. And what I did have, I just did not like.

Most of it comes from me not being able to suspend disbelief. I get it, I do. I understand genetic engineering, war, making children part of war, and the combination of the three. I understand these things happen in our world today, and that it should only take a few extra steps to believe in what happens in Ender’s Game. But I cannot make those steps. Children being used for war? Okay. Children being genetically modified for war? Now we are getting into the sci-fi part, cool. Children having the mental capacity of grown-ass adults, making decisions as if they were adults, and essentially being adult characters but aged down to children in order to be shocking because, “oh no, children and war!”?

Nope, sorry, Card does not pull this off. Maybe if they were teenagers, but for most of the book, Ender is younger than 10. I do not buy it. You know what else I do not buy? Valentine and Peter’s side plot. Two young kids trying to, essentially, take over the world through the use of two blogging personas? Card does not try hard enough to make it seem believable for me. It just seems to pop up out of nowhere, right when Ender’s plot becomes unbearably boring. And then, voila, the reader has two extremely boring plots. Lovely. Who knows, maybe that particular sideplot somehow becomes 100x more exciting in the last 35% of the novel, but I slogged through enough.

So…yeah. Tl;dr: while the audiobook narration was wonderful (and the sole recipient of the two stars), I could not get behind every other lackluster part of this novel: the poor characterization, boring and repetitive plot, slow placing, gross lack of diversity, and the inability to allow me to believe most of the actual science fiction elements.

Hey there, everyone! I recently created a Patreon that has more bookish stuff. If you like what I do on this here blog, maybe you could think about supporting me with a dollar or two in exchange for even more bookish content!

You don’t have to worry about any content from here being behind a paywall, either. Absolutely everything on this blog is staying here, including reviews, book tags, weekly memes, discussions. Everything. The content on Patreon could be seen as extra perks and a way of saying thanks for supporting me!

Depending on the tier you choose, being a patron allows you to have:

  • early access to reviews (24 hours)
  • the ability to collectively choose 2 books for the following month’s TBR
  • exclusive posts on bookish tips and tricks
  • character analyses
  • and more!

Regardless if you become a patron or not, I really appreciate the support you have all given me throughout my blogging journey. ❤️

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REVIEW #41 | “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichi

Title: “We Should All Be Feminists”

Author: Chimimanda Ngozi Adichi

Length of Audiobook: 51 minutes

Narrator: Chimimanda Ngozi Adichi

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same name—by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun

“With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences—in the U.S., in her native Nigeria, and abroad—offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike. 

“Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a bestselling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.”

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • cisnormativity
  • cissexism
  • heteronormativity
  • biological essentialism

Representation in the novel:

  • A Black woman is the author

⭐⭐
2/5 stars

This was an impulse read: I saw it on the “Available Now” tab in OverDrive and thought, “Why not?” It was less than an hour, and the weather was crappy one day, and I have been meaning to read Adichi’s work for a while.

Well, everyone, the verdict is in, and uh. I wished I never read it.

If you want an extremely basic (and I really do mean basic) run-down of what feminism, misogyny, and sexism are, it would probably do the trick. Adichi goes into how men and women are treated differently, even from birth, and how it is not right. Good, right? I guess. You see, the only thing that is touched on is gender. Nothing else. That is an issue because feminism encompasses so much more than just gender. There is race, disability, class, religion, sexuality, and more. Obviously, not everyone can focus on absolutely everything, and they should not be expected to. That is burn out waiting to happen. But I would expect more in-depth analysis than simply, “men are treated better than women in society,” especially when this is an essay essentially persuading people to become/call themselves feminists. But yeah, not only is it extremely basic and does not recognize different experiences, but I already know that. What else?

On top of that, even the current analysis is not all that…good, I suppose. It uses cissexist and cisnormative language, talking about women being the only people to have children or become pregnant. It was also heteronormative: queer identities were not even mentioned. Non-binary people? Forget about them, I guess. On top of that, we have our friend, biological essentialism. I already touched on how women were said to be the only people capable of pregnancy, of course. But Adichi also touches on how men and women are inherently different and how that is “okay,” and that women still deserve to be treated better. Which…no. That is not true. Obviously, women should be treated better than they are currently, but men and women are not that different. And they do not inherently gain skills based on gender (and vice versa). That is just not how it works. From what I remember, Adichi brings this up. Multiple times.

I just did not like this essay. It was basic in its analysis, and the cissexism, cisnormativity, and lack of analysis regarding other identities just set me away from this. Do not recommend.

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Hey there, everyone! I recently created a Patreon that has more bookish stuff. If you like what I do on this here blog, maybe you could think about supporting me with a few dollars in exchange for even more bookish content!

You don’t have to worry about any content from here being behind a paywall, either. Absolutely everything on this blog is staying here, including reviews, book tags, weekly memes, discussions. Everything. The content on Patreon could be seen as extra perks and a way of saying thanks for supporting me!

Depending on the tier you choose, being a patron allows you to have:

  • early access to reviews (24 hours)
  • the ability to collectively choose 2 books for the following month’s TBR
  • exclusive posts on bookish tips and tricks
  • character analyses
  • and more!

Regardless if you become a patron or not, I really appreciate the support you have all given me throughout my blogging journey. ❤️

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TOP TEN TUESDAY #7 | Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Hi, everyone! I’m back with another TTT! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by That Artsy Girl. Go check her page out if you want to participate. This week’s theme: unpopular bookish opinions! Get ready for some salt, my friends, because I’m probs not holding back.

5. Cassandra Clare’s books are over-hyped.

I’ll start this off by saying I am entirely biased — I only ever read The Mortal Instruments series, and that’s it. I did hear that her work gets better the more you read, but I’m petty and refuse to read more. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

4. People who critique books when they have problematic elements aren’t “bullies” or “being negative” simply for the critique.

Listen. I see this time and time again when people (especially marginalized folks) call out books for being problematic/having problematic elements. They (rightfully) critique it and then people tend to talk about others (meaning the criquers) being negative or mean within the community. Which…no. Nope. That’s not it, my dude.

3. Harry Potter isn’t as good as everyone says it is, and people aren’t the worst if they never read it or don’t like it.

I said what I said. While I enjoyed Harry Potter, it isn’t the best series ever for me, and *whispers* I don’t think it deserves the pedestal people put it on. Also, uhh, can the fandom stop being ridiculous whenever people say they never read or liked it?

2. New Adult deserves more wide-spread recognition.

I don’t think this is necessarily unpopular with readers, but it may be with publishers and agents. New Adult has so much potential, and the themes it could explore are nearly endless. Please, for the love of everything, give New Adult the attention it deserves.

1. Dog-earing books isn’t the end of the world.

This is actually going to partially be the subject of a post that I have planned for sometime this month or next, but I still want to mention it. Dog-earing book pages isn’t going to make the book go up in flames…even if a lot of people act like it would. Obviously, don’t do so if it’s not your’s unless told otherwise, but damn, some of y’all need to chil out about it, especially if people own the book they’re dog-earing.

And that’s it, y’all! Do you share any of these opinions? What are your unpopular bookish thoughts? Let me know!

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

Hey there, everyone! I recently created a Patreon that has more bookish stuff. If you like what I do on this here blog, maybe you could think about supporting me with a few dollars in exchange for even more bookish content!

You don’t have to worry about any content from here being behind a paywall, either. Absolutely everything on this blog is staying here, including reviews, book tags, weekly memes, discussions. Everything. The content on Patreon could be seen as extra perks and a way of saying thanks for supporting me!

Depending on the tier you choose, being a patron allows you to have:

  • early access to reviews (24 hours)
  • the ability to collectively choose 2 books for the following month’s TBR
  • exclusive posts on bookish tips and tricks
  • character analyses
  • and more!

Regardless if you become a patron or not, I really appreciate the support you have all given me throughout my blogging journey. ❤️

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TOP TEN TUESDAY #6 | Books From My Favorite Genre

Hi, everyone! It’s been a hot minute since I did a Top Ten Tuesday post…and now you’re getting two because I wanted to do this one, even if it was last week’s prompt. TTT is managed by That Artsy Reader Girl; go check the page out if you want to join! This week’s prompt is “books from your favorite genre.” Oh, and also, I do top five instead of top ten because it’s easier for me. Let’s begin!

5. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Magic is always fun to play around with, and Schwab does it wonderfully in A Darker Shade of Magic. On top of that, there is an awesome cast of characters and alternate Londons! What more could you want?

4. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

I just finished this a couple days ago (you’ll see my review in a week or so), and I absolutely loved it. Faerie books usually aren’t my thing, but An Enchantment of Ravens was such an atmospheric and gorgeous book. And that cover? Wow.

3. The Diviners by Libba Bray

If I’m being honest, I almost forgot about The Diviners, which would have been a travesty. With a group of characters, and Evie as the protagonist? Oh, and the creepy murder mystery! If you love the 1920s, friend groups, and supernatural powers, this would be perfect for you.

2. Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Imagine: fantastical fairy tales with gorgeous colored illustrations. This is basically Language of Thorns, and I fell in love. It’s definitely a book I would want to own if only so I could admire the illustrations every once in a while.

1. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

A magical fantasy novel set in a world based on West African culture and mythology, and it was everything I needed. I love the characters, and the magic system is pretty cool, too. I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel to come out!

And that’s it for now! What’s your favorite genre/books? Are they any of the books up top? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

Hey there, everyone! I recently created a Patreon that has more bookish stuff. If you like what I do on this here blog, maybe you could think about supporting me with a few dollars in exchange for even more bookish content!

You don’t have to worry about any content from here being behind a paywall, either. Absolutely everything on this blog is staying here, including reviews, book tags, weekly memes, discussions. Everything. The content on Patreon could be seen as extra perks and a way of saying thanks for supporting me!

Depending on the tier you choose, being a patron allows you to have:

  • early access to reviews (24 hours)
  • the ability to collectively choose 2 books for the following month’s TBR
  • exclusive posts on bookish tips and tricks
  • character analyses
  • and more!

Regardless if you become a patron or not, I really appreciate the support you have all given me throughout my blogging journey. ❤️

TWITTER GOODREADS |

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BOOK TAG #16 | Pre-Netflix GrishaVerse Tag

So, Nox @ Nox Reads tagged me in this tag…back in January. I’m just now getting to it. This is fine. I’m fine. Not like I had a hiatus that went on for several months right after she tagged me… *nervous laughter* Anyway, let’s get into it!

Note: some of the prompts can contain spoilers for books in the GrishaVerse.

Nina Better Be Plus-Sized: a books with fantastic fat rep

Outside of the Six of Crows duology, Undead Girl Gang is one of the only books I’ve read with good fat rap. And I need to change that. This was a really good book, too, and I would recommend it (here’s my review for more info!).

Malina Are Not My OTP: a book where you couldn’t get behind the romance

I wanted to love this book so bad, but I could not get behind most of If I Loved You Less by Tamsen Parker. There’s slow burn (which I love), and then there’s “let’s throw these two characters together at the last 10% OUT OF NOWHERE.” Ugh.

“The Darkling Isn’t Dead”: a book where you connected with the villain

Hello, Adelina Amouteru, I love you. Seriously, grey characters in YA fantasy series? Here, have my whole soul. I mean, she was the villain to some of the characters, so this totally counts.

Don’t You Dare White Wash: a book-to-movie/TV show adaptation where the character’s ethinicity was respected

I don’t watch many movies or TV shows, so I’m the wrong person to ask. But I guess Rue from The Hunger Games? Wasn’t she black in both the book and movie? That’s all I got.

The King of Scars: a book by a beloved author that you’re excited about

I read A Darker Shade of Magic the beginning of this year, and I absolutely loved it (here’s my review)! I can’t wait to read the sequel, A Gathering of Shadows, hopefully sometime soon.

Inej and Kaz: fancast your faves

*whispers* I’m not doing this because I have no Idea™️ how to.

No Mourners, No Funerals: a book quote that has stuck with you

May I present to you what fucking killed me in Crooked Kingdom? “I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together — knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.” Fuuuuck me.

Tag Your Faves and Spread the Hype

Listen, if you want to do it? Boom, you’re tagged. Go at it, my dude!

And that’s that! I hoped y’all liked it (especially you, Nox!). Lemme know if you decide to do this tag — I’d love to see your answers! Also…super excited about this Netflix series.

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

Hey there, everyone! I recently created a Patreon that has more bookish stuff. If you like what I do on this here blog, maybe you could think about supporting me with a few dollars in exchange for even more bookish content!

You don’t have to worry about any content from here being behind a paywall, either. Absolutely everything on this blog is staying here, including reviews, book tags, weekly memes, discussions. Everything. The content on Patreon could be seen as extra perks and a way of saying thanks for supporting me!

Depending on the tier you choose, being a patron allows you to have:

  • early access to reviews (24 hours)
  • the ability to collectively choose 2 books for the following month’s TBR
  • exclusive posts on bookish tips and tricks
  • character analyses
  • and more!

Regardless if you become a patron or not, I really appreciate the support you have all given me throughout my blogging journey. ❤️

TWITTER GOODREADS |

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REVIEW #40 | “Undead Girl Gang” by Lily Anderson (Audiobook)

Title: “Undead Girl Gang”

Author: Lily Anderson

Length of Audiobook: 8 hours 20 minutes

Narrator: Rebecca Soler

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There’s not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley’s favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.

“So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.

“Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again.”

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • character death
  • grief
  • metnions of suicide
  • self-harm
  • PTSD joke
  • racist remarks

Representation in the novel:

  • fat Mexican Wiccan girl MC
  • Wiccan side characters
  • fat black side character
  • side f/f relationship

⭐⭐⭐⭐
4/5 stars

I was not sure how I would feel about the audiobook narration: it felt awkward to me at first, but by the end of the book, I loved it. Undead Girl Gang follows Mila after her best friend and two other classmates supposedly died by suicide. She does not believe her friend died that way, however. She intends to find out what happened by bringing her friend back to life. The spell, however, backfires, and the two classmates were resurrected as well. They then have to race against the clock to find out what — or who — actually killed them.

What I noticed right off the bat was the diversity within the book: Mila is a fat Mexican Wiccan girl; there is an f/f side relationship; and a side character is also a fat black girl. On top of that, there are Wiccan side characters, too! I liked how everyone’s identities are another part of who they are: while the book itself is not necessarily an “issues” book, it did not shy away from the characters’ identities or use them as props. Also, those little feminist tidbits thrown throughout the book were pretty good. However, I do want to point out that I am a white athiest, so I cannot for certain say if the black, Mexican, and Wiccan representation was good. I thought it was, but take that with a grain of salt.

Moving on to the characters themselves, I thought they were engaging and interesting . I was worried that it was going to turn into something where feminity was mocked because the two clasmates were very feminine, but I was pleasantly surprised. While the two other classmates (listen, it’s been two months since I read this, and I am horrible with names) did not get along with Mila at first, their character development were amazing. I loved seeing Mila and her friends grow throughout the novel. Granted, most of the book focuses on only sevent days, so it may seem unrealistic to some, but I still thought it flowed well. Also, Mila herself? I loved her. She is not a likable character, in my opinion, and that is why I like her so much: she does not try to be likable, just herself. She can be rough around the edges, but she still thinks she is doing the right thing. I enjoyed looking through her eyes for the book.

The plot was interesting, too. I mean, you have a young teen witch making her dead friend not-dead in order to find out how she died. How rad is that? Although the pacing was off sometimes, I found it hard to stop the audiobook. More than once I stayed up far longer than I should have, listening to it. However, there was one thing I had an issue with, and that was the ending. I will not spoil anything, but it took me for a loop, and not in a good way. It just seemed very out of character for the certain character I am talking about. I was not a fan of it at all.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed the book, especially seeing the characters grow. I would keep my eyes out for Anderson’s next book, definitely.

Hey there, everyone! I recently created a Patreon that has more bookish stuff. If you like what I do on this here blog, maybe you could think about supporting me with a few dollars in exchange for even more bookish content!

You don’t have to worry about any content from here being behind a paywall, either. Absolutely everything on this blog is staying here, including reviews, book tags, weekly memes, discussions. Everything. The content on Patreon could be seen as extra perks and a way of saying thanks for supporting me!

Depending on the tier you choose, being a patron allows you to have:

  • early access to reviews (24 hours)
  • the ability to collectively choose 2 books for the following month’s TBR
  • exclusive posts on bookish tips and tricks
  • character analyses
  • and more!

Regardless if you become a patron or not, I really appreciate the support you have all given me throughout my blogging journey. ❤️

TWITTER GOODREADS PINTEREST |

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REVIEW #39 | “Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman (Audiobook)

Title: “Norse Mythology”

Author: Neil Gaiman

Length of Audiobook: 6 hours 29 minutes

Narrator: Neil Gaiman

Synopsis (from Goodreads): “Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly reincarnating Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, the son of a giant, a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. From Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerges the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.”

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • gore
  • violence
  • character death
  • [Note: There may be more — I forgot to keep track of them as I was listening]

Representation in the novel:

  • …They’re gods and goddesses, I don’t know if anything really counts or not?

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

I will admit, this was one of those audiobooks I impulsively borrowed from OverDrive because I wanted another book to read, and I am so glad it was. It was my first time with both a Gaiman book and Gaiman as a narrator, and I was floored.

Norse Mythology is exactly what it sounds like: it is a book about Norse mthology, with both the beginning of the world and the end of the world and some fun stories in between. You have the major players most people know — Odin, Thor, and Loki — along with many that people may not recognize. The sroies range from Loki’s trickery to how the end of the world comes about, and they also seem to go in a somewhat linear order.

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience. Like, really enjoyed it. Gaiman is such a good narrator: he not only has a soothing voice, but he puts so much emotion into the story. I am pretty sure I teared up a couple times, and I definitely laughed out loud at least five. I am surprised about that latter part. I thought it was all going to be serious, similar to a dry textbook on mythology, but that was not the case. While there were indeed some serious moments throughout the novel, there were plenty of scenes between Thor and lokie, as well as Loki one-liners, that had me chuckling out loud. I think this enhanced the novel immensely: without it, the reader would have a book with dry characters and not-as-engaging stories.

Moving on to the plot and characters: I liked how the short stories/chapters were arranged. The beginning and end were quite clear, but there seemed to be a bit more leeway regarding when the rest of the chapters took place. They sort of flowed from one to the other, and while a lot of them had repeating characters, the reader does not have to necessarily read the other chapters in order to understand the chapter they read at any given time. But why would you want to skip anything? I loved most, if not all, of the chapters/stories. They were engaging and action-filled. And the characters! I knew about Loki, Thor, and Odin (thanks, Marvel), but there were a lot more that I had not idea about before I read this novel. They were interesting to read about, and I loved all of their personalities.

Tl;dr: Norse mythology books are rad, and I love them. Gimme more.

Hey there, everyone! I recently created a Patreon that has more bookish stuff. If you like what I do on this here blog, maybe you could think about supporting me with a few dollars in exchange for even more bookish content!

You don’t have to worry about any content from here being behind a paywall, either. Absolutely everything on this blog is staying here, including reviews, book tags, weekly memes, discussions. Everything. The content on Patreon could be seen as extra perks and a way of saying thanks for supporting me!

Depending on the tier you choose, being a patron allows you to have:

  • early access to reviews (24 hours)
  • the ability to collectively choose 2 books for the following month’s TBR
  • exclusive posts on bookish tips and tricks
  • character analyses
  • and more!

Regardless if you become a patron or not, I really appreciate the support you have all given me throughout my blogging journey. ❤️

TWITTER GOODREADS PINTEREST |

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