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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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 #35 | “City of Ghosts” by Victoria Schwab (Cassidy Blake #1)

Title: “City of Ghosts”

Author: Victoria Schwab

Pages (hardcover): 285 pages

Original Publishing Date: 28 August 2018

Synopsis (from the inside flap):

“Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

“When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass‚ÄĒand Jacob‚ÄĒcome along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.”

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • death
  • blood
  • drowning
  • [Note: I’m sorry, for some reason I completely forgot to keep track of CWs and rep for this book, please forgive me if I forgot something ūüė≠]

Representation in the novel:

  • N/A (??) [Note: look at the prior note]

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź .5
4.5/5 stars

I absolutely loved City of Ghosts, and I hope Victoria Schwab continues the series soon. I usually stick to YA, but I am glad I picked it up from the library out of curiosity.

City of Ghosts is about a young girl, Cassidy Blake, who can interact with ghosts and the Veil (where ghosts reside) after a near-death experience. Her best friend Jacob is even a ghost. Over the summer, she and her family (and Jacob!) pack up and go to Scotland. Cass’ parents are authors of paranormal books, delving in the the history and stories of haunted places, and they were given the opportunity to make a “Most Haunted Places Around the World” television show. Scotland is their first stop. Soon after they arrive, however, Cass must team up with another girl with similar paranormal abilities in order to solve a mystery of the ghost variety.

I enjoyed this books so much; I read most of it in two sittings. The narration was very fun for me. I do not remember Cass’ age, but since it is a middle grade book, I am guessing she is nothing older than 12 or 13. The narration, first person from Cassidy’s point of view, really shows her age: although she can see ghosts and interact with them, she still has this child-like quality to her (but don’t tell her I said that). She is not naive, exactly, but she still acts like a girl in middle instead of a senior in high school, for example. She is a goofy girl who loves photography and Harry Potter.

Speaking of Jacob, his friendship with Cass was wonderful. They snark back and forth with each other and are extremely close. However, like most friends, they also get into arguments every now and then. But they communicate! And apologize! Probably the best thing of all, though… From what I inferred as I was reading, there seems like there is simply a friendship between Jacob and Cass. I mean, I suppose it would be tricky to be in a romantic relationship with a ghost, but you know what I mean. They are just really good friends, and I love that.

On top of that, I pretty much liked all the other characters, too. Lara, the other girl with the same abilities as Cass, grew on me as the book continued. I am intrigued as to how her character will develop throughout the series (imagine…Cass and Lara become girlfriends, Jacob teasing them endlessly. Please and thank you.). Cassidy’s parents were also fun characters to read; I appreciate the Ghosthunters vibes.

Moving on, I thought the plot and setting were both engaging. The plot was fast-paced, and I did not want to put the book down. The setting really helped with this — I love that the first place they family travels to is named the City of Ghosts. The city is constantly given a spooky atmosphere, which is thanks to the history. I have not looked anything up, so I might be wrong, but I love how actualy history of ghost sitings and the history of Edinburgh were incorporated thrhought the book. It was interesting to read and kept things ~spoopy~. SEriously, Edinburgh has a ton of murder and blood in its history.

So, yeah, overall? I really enjoyed The City of Ghosts and cannot wait until the next book in the series comes out.

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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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