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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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‚Äôs 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‚Äôt much better than a prison cell.

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

“Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth‚Äôs dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she‚Äôs 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

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź .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‚Äôs perfect for fans of The 100 and The Fifth Wave.

“Zara Cole was a thief back on Earth, but she‚Äôs 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‚Äôll 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‚ÄĒbut in the wrong direction.

“Soon Zara will have to make a choice: run from the ultimate evil‚ÄĒor 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

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź .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. ‚̧ԳŹ

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MONTHLY TBR #12 | March 2019

Uww, look, a month in which I have a break, so maybe I can get some reading done! (…unlikely, but still). I’m pretty excited for this month. However, for this month, I’m not going to be picking out new books from my TBR jar because I didn’t finish the ones I picked last month. But! I’ll still put them down in this TBR. Also, since my in-progress books have been on here for…a while, I’m not going to have any commentary on them!


 

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

The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount

Another Country by James Baldwin

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist

Bulletproof by Jeff LaFerney


Okay, so I actually have read this book before, back when I first got it in elementary or middle school. I just don’t remember a thing, so I figured I would reread it. I actually met the author when my mom bought it for me! He was running a writing workshop I went to — I was really into writing at the time and wanted to be an author when I was older. He personalized it and everything! Anyway, it’s a mystery book with a main character with psychic powers who tries to solve a murder.

February 2019 TBR

Hoping to get to this next week over break…we’ll see, haha.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury


I originally read the classic in school and remember liking it. So, I figured “why not?” Let’s see if it holds up after five years! It probably won’t because I’m really picky now about classics I think are good, but we can at least try it out. For those who don’t know, Fahrenheit¬†451 is a dystopian book set in a world where books are considered illegal and are burned upon seeing them.

February 2019 TBR

Another book I hope to get to over spring break!

Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World by Bill Nye


Fun fact: I bought a copy for both myself and my partner back when it first came out. It was signed! I actually pre-ordered it! Well, guess what, y’all. Neither of us have read it yet. It’s been almost four years, and we haven’t touched it. So I was pretty content when I pulled it out of my TBR jar.

February 2019 TBR

I don’t think I’ll be able to get to this, but…sometime this month, yes. I don’t think a few months would make a huge difference since it’s been almost four years since I’ve bought, but ya know.

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen


This was one that was on my TBR last month, and it’s being transferred to February. Still hoping it’s good and that, ya know, I actually get to it. It’ll be interesting to see if there are things I don’t know about in this books.

February 2019 TBR

I know for sure I won’t be able to get to this for break — I left it in my dorm room. But I really want to read it this month!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


The more I stare it, the less I want to read it, but I really want to read King of Scars. So. You see my predicament. I do have to say, though, I absolutely love the cover. Just not that excited for the plot, ya know?

February 2019 TBR

Another book I didn’t bring home with me, but I’m not too worried about it. It’s a quick read.

Sadie by Courtney Summers


I’ve had the audiobook on hold since the day after Christmas, and I’m fifth on the list now…I just want to read it because I’ve heard nothing but good things about¬†Sadie. I hope I can get it this month.

February 2019 TBR

I’m number one on the list now! Yay! I’m really excited for this book, I can’t wait to get it!

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

I found this at the library when I came home from college, and it seemed interesting! I usually don’t go for sci-fi, but I’m intrigued. It has a space crew who work with their sentient space ship, and…that sounds so cool??

Parkland by Dave Cullen

Another book I found at the library! It’s about the Parkland shooting, but it isn’t really focused on the shooting itself. Instead, it’s about the teens who go out and advocate in the aftermath of the shooting. I’m hoping to finish it before break ends and that it’s good!


And there you go! I know it’s…a ton of books, but I think I can do it.

What about you all? What do you plan on reading this month, or are currently reading? Let me know!

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

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