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! ūüôā

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. ‚̧ԳŹ

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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. ‚̧ԳŹ

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MONTHLY WRAP-UP #11 | January 2019

Hi, everyone! Can you believe it’s already February? Because I sure can’t. Well, here’s what I’ve read this past month, and what I’m currently reading!


 

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź .5
4.5/5 stars

Review

This was the first book I finished in 2019, and I loved it! I don’t read as much middle grade as I would like, so I really enjoyed this one. It’s a spooky ghost story with Cass, a girl who can see and talk to ghosts, and Joacob, her ghost-y best friend!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź
5/5 stars

Review

Another V.E. Schwab book finished, and I loved it even more than City¬†of¬†Ghosts! I loved everything about it: the characters, the plot, the magic, the setting. All of it. The book follows Kell, a magician, and Lila, a girl with the love for adventure, as they try to take a mysterious stone back to its rightful place. Please read it, it’s my new fav next to Six¬†of¬†Crows.

Sula by Toni Morrison

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź .5
4.5/5 stars

Review

If you’re interested in classics, black authors, or anything remotely connected to either of those two, look into Sula. I’m usually not for books considered classics, but I really enjoyed this one. Sula is about the lives of two childhood best friends, Sula and Nell, throughout their lives.

Maurice by E.M. Forster

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź .5
3.5/5 stars

This one doesn’t have an official review because I read it for a class. It was pretty good; nothing to call home about, though. I wasn’t really connected with any of the characters. However, I do have to say, that last scene between Maurice and Clive made me laugh. I don’t think it was supposed to? But it did.

Sister Citizens: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry.

Another book for a class — I’m almost halfway through it, and so far, so good. It’s pretty self-explanatory: it delves into stereotypes about Black women in the United States and how shame may affect them. There’s a lot I’ve annotated so far, so if social science and race are your thing, give it a try.

The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount

It is so hard for me to finish e-books, apparently. I started this in the beginning of January, and I’m still working on it. It’s not bad at all — I’m actually quite enjoying it — but I just can’t seem to bring myself to open the Kindle app on my laptop. The¬†Shadow¬†Girl is about an invisible girl, both literally and metaphorically!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

So this would¬†have¬†been¬†finished, except 65% of the way through the audiobook, my account decided to log itself out. And the password and login weren’t saved. Pair that with the fact that I didn’t feel like digging out my library card (it was through OverDrive), and you have an unfinished book.


There you go, my January wrap-up! I didn’t do qute as much as I wanted to, but that’s okay. I’ll have all next month to catch up! …Says every reader every month.

Let me know what you’ve read this month! What was your favorite and/or least favorite book of the month? Do you constantly see yourself pushing books back to read?

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

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REVIEW #36 | “A Darker Shade of Magic” by V.E. Schwab (Shades of Magic #1)

Title: “A Darker Shade of Magic”

Author: V.E. Schwab

Pages (paperback): 398 pages

Original Publishing Date: 24 February 2015

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“Kell is one of the last Antari‚ÄĒmagicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.¬†

“Kell was raised in Arnes‚ÄĒRed London‚ÄĒand officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

“Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

“After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

“Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.”

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • self-harm (for blood magic)
  • gore
  • blood
  • character death
  • [Note: yet again, I forgot to write down TWs and rep, so my apologies if I missed anything!]

Representation in the novel:

  • bisexual side character
  • disabled character (character is does not have an eye)
  • ??? (Note: see the prior note)

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź
5/5 stars

Almost every book blogger and/or Booktuber I read/watch has loved this series. So after hearing about it one hundred thousand times (okay, that might be a tiny exaggeration, but still), I finally picked up the first book. And hello, new favorite book…outside of¬†Six¬†of¬†Crows, of course.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab follows Kell, a magician called an Antari who can control the four types of elemental magic (earth, water, air, and fire), as well as blood magic. Antari are rare magicians; outside of himself, Kell knows of only one more, Holland. Kell is also part of the royal family. While he is not a biological brother to the prince, Rhy, he is often considered family on top of carrying messages to the different Londons.

Yup, you read that right, different Londons. Because, you see, Kell has the ability to pass through doors to different worlds that all incidentally have a city by the name of London. There is Red London, which is where Kell lives. Magic is used fairly regularly hear without much commotion, and Antari are revered. Grey London is the “regular” London, if you will. Most people do not know or believe in the existance of magic. White London is in the midst of a civil war due to magic; there, magic is seen as something that should be dominated, and whoever has the most control over it is the ruler. Finally, there is Black London, which is fabled to not even exist. Many years ago, magic tore through the entire world, destroying it from the inside out.

Although Kell passes through the different Londons for his king, he also goes on…unofficial business. Unbeknownst to the king and queen (though, not to Rhy), Kell is also a smuggler; he travels to Grey London to give items from the two magical Londons in eschange for trinkets and tokens from the “regular” London. However, while out on a smuggling job, he runs into trouble. Not only is the smuggled item a dangerous relic of magical power, but a girl from Grey London, Lila Bard, is thrown into the mix. Soon, both she and Kell are forced to work together in order to dispellthe relic back to Black London.

For me, this book definitely lived up to the hype. All of the characters are fun to read about, except the king and queen of Red London. They seem a little flat, though that could just be due to the fact that they were in the book so little. Everyone else, however, is amazing. Rhy is relaxed and flirtatious, but he deeply cares for, and often worries about, Kell. Kell himself is a wonderful protagonist: although he is an all-powerful Antarie who works for the royal family, he smuggles items through the different Longdons when that is strictly against the law. He is witty and a tad sarcastic, and I love him. Lilah is just a girl who wants an adventure so bad she would practically kill for it. She is impulsive and head-strong, and she exudes strong queer energy. I cannot wait to see where she will go in the next two books. And the only thing I will say about the twins is that they easily became my favorite love-to-hate villains. 10/10.

On to the plot and setting! I enjoyed both of them immensely. I was not really thinking about what was going to happen next; I was just along for the ride. I did not push to see what happened afterwards just because what was going on at any given time was so captivating, I did not see a reason to peak ahead. The ride itself ended up being a bit of a rollercoarster, abut that is more than okay. Seriously, though, the plot was engaging for me, and I was able to tear through the book fairly quickly, mostly due to anticipation. I knew in some way or another that Kell and Lila would succeed because A¬†Darker¬†Shade¬†of¬†Magic is the first of a trilogy, but I needed to know how. And, oof, I got the “how” alright.

Along with that, the setting and world-building were marvelous. At first, I was confused on which London was which, but as the book continued, I thought it was explained very well. As the reader travels along with Kell, they also learn the differences by simply being at Kell’s side throughout the novel. There was not a ton of info-dumping, and I enjoyed that; it made it much easier to read. I am pretty neutral about having different or alternate worlds within the same book because I have not read many books prior to this with those sorts of settings. However, I thought it worked extremely well, and now I have actually fallen in love a little bit with these Londons.

Overall, I devoured A Darker Shade of Magic, and I cannot wait to get my hands on A Gathering of Shadows. If you have yet to pick this up, I would recommend it if you have the chance.

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MONTHLY TBR #11 | January 2019

…It’s already 2019? Excuse me? Wow, time flies. Well, another month, another TBR. Before we get started, though, I do want to point out that I am trying something new with my TBR. I noticed that my stack of unread physical books have been…growing, to say the least. So, to help minimize this, I put slips of paper with the titles of these books written on them in a jar. Each month, I will draw a number of slips from the jar to read these books while still having a few books I choose to read as well. Hopefully, this can decrease my physical TBR stack by a considerable amount throughout the year. What that explained…let’s begin!



A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Like I said in my December wrap-up, I started this but was not able to finish before the month ended. So here I am! I hope it is as good as everyone says it is.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

I rented this from my library when I first come home for winter break. I am very excited to start it; I love ghost books. And I love the cover!

Campfire by Shawn Sarles

Another book I picked up from the library that I have to read before going back to college. It sounds very spooky, and it has been a while since I read a nice horror or thriller book. I have not seen anyone that I know review it, so it will be interesting if I like it or not.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

One of my favorite Harry¬†Potter books! I’m so excited to listen to the audiobook. I wonder what Professor Lupin and Sirius Black sound like… Ohhh, can’t wait!

The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount

I got a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review. I’m pretty excited for it! It is another YA book, and it seems to have a ghost-y feel. I cannot wait to see what this book has for me!

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loener

I am a semi-big history buff, so I love these kinds of books. I always like learning about how crappy the U.S. education was in teaching me accurate history. On top of that, I just like learning history in general, especially when it involves marginalized groups.

Empire of Sin by Gary Krist

I do not even remember when I bought this book…maybe a couple years ago? Though, I am pretty sure I bought it for the reasons I bought the prior book: I love learning the lesser-known parts of history.

Sula by Toni Morrison

I actually read most of this a few years ago, but I do not remember it at all. So, I figured that re-reading it would be a great idea. On top of that, it is a classic, and one written by a black woman, too!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

I am so glad I drew this book! I have been meaning to read the GrishaVerse trilogy, and what better time than the beginning of the new year? It will be a nice refresher, too, before I read King of Scars when it comes out!



And that is it! I know that 9 books is a bit much for me, but I am up for the chllenge. So, what are you all reading this month? Let me know!

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MONTHLY WRAP-UP #10 | December 2018

Hi, everyone! This is a little late, but I still wanted to get it up. Here is what I read in December, along with what I am still working on!



Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź .5
3.5/5 stars

Since it is a Harry Potter book, I did not review it on my blog. I listened to it on audiobook, and I actually quite liked it. I thought the narrator (forgot which one) was very good, and I enjoyed myself. Now I just have to wait for the Prisoner of Azkaban audiobook from my library before I can continue it.

Choosing Evil by Kristina Rienzi

‚≠ź .5
1.5/5 stars

Review

If you saw my 12 worst books list and/or my review of this book, you will know my thoughts. And that is all I am going to say about it.

And I Darken by Kiersten White

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź
5/5 stars

Review

I loved this book; it was so good. And this is coming from someone who does not read historical fiction. The characters were interesting, and the plot was both moving and character-centered, which is awesome. Definitely a new favorite.

1984 by George Orwell

I only got thirty pages in, and that was thirty too many. Since I DNFd so early, I did not write an official review. Ugh, the writing style was “meh,” and the constant “THOSE EVIL SOVIETS” parallels were obnoxious. I did not even make it that far, either!

Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź .5
4.5/5 stars

Review on 1/2/19

I have not published the review yet, as you can see, but this book. Wow. It is heartbreaking how much suffering a single person went through, especially by the hands of the people that are supposed to love her most. If you can handle it, I recommend this memoir. However, be warned: CWs for child abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and mentions of child/sex slavery (this last one is only once or twice, in passing).

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I started this in December, but was not able to finish before the month ended. I am about 25% done and loving it so far! Love Kell and Lila already, and I am only at a little past 100 pages. And that writing style? Gorgeous.


And that’s it! What have you all read this past month? Have you read any of these? Let me know!

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

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BOOK TAG #8 | Fall Book Tag

The Fall Book Tag

Hi, everyone! I know it’s been a hot minute since I’ve last posted (getting ready to go back to college was a struggle, haha). So, I wanted to start out nice and easy with a book tag! I understand that it isn’t quite fall yet, but I always made fall synonymous with September, so here we are.

Here are the rules for this tag:

  • Link back to¬†Bionic Book Worm, as the creator of this tag!!
  • Use the graphics ‚Äď if you want¬†ūüôā
  • Have fun!

Without further ado, let’s begin!


1. Crisp Fall Air: a book that felt fresh and new

The Diviners

I’m going to have to pick¬†The Diviners¬†by Libba Bray! Even though I’m only five or six hours into the audiobook, I’ve been loving it. I suppose the aspect of kids having magical powers isn’t entirely new, but the setting (1920s New York) has a great feel to it, and I think the narration is phenomenal. Definitely something that’s new. Continue reading “BOOK TAG #8 | Fall Book Tag”

MONTHLY TBR #6 | September 2018

September TBR.png

So, if you’ve read my August 2018 wrap-up, you would know that I finished¬†zero¬†books last month. It was partly due to a reading slump and partly because it was just a really busy month for me, and I couldn’t give nearly as much time as I wanted to reading. I’m hoping once I get back into school (omg, it’s my last year of undergrad, wtf), I can make up a schedule for both reading and keeping up on my blog. Because of that, I’m going to try and keep it light this month.

1. “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins (audiobook)

Catching Fire

I’m pretty sure this has been on my “currently reading” shelf since July…well, let’s see if I can finish it this month. I only have about nine hours left on the audiobook? So I should be able to.

Continue reading “MONTHLY TBR #6 | September 2018”