books

The Reading Quest Update!

Hi! So as I mentioned on my twitter, I’m on a semi-hiatus until school gets going  and I get situated. I start the day after tomorrow, so I should probably be posting regularly after about two weeks from then.

Until then, I still want to post once in a while, so let’s get into my reading quest update!

In the last two weeks, I have read four books, two from the mage’s path and two side quests.

First, I read The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. This fulfilled the requirement of The First Book of  Series.

 

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Who doesn’t love a polar bear???

I really enjoyed it, although it took me a long time to read. I don’t quite know why, because it was really quite short, but I could only really manage like 50 pages a day. Despite this, it was a great book and I rated it 5/5 stars. I think I would like to review this one sometime.

The other mage book I read was Everyday Angel: Last Wishes by Victoria Schwab for A Book that Contains Magic. I. Cannot. Get. Over. This. Title. This is probably the most low-key and happy book out of all of V Schwab’s books, and it’s called Last Wishes??? Her book allllll about freaking dead people was called The freaking Archived but Last Wishes is about some kid dancer and a guardian angel? I loved it, and I knew what it was about before I started but still, pick a better title, Scholastic.

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Awww adorable wittle tweenagers

Anyways, I gave it a 5/5 stars as well, because it was a beautiful end to the Everyday Angel series, and beautifully written. I really appreciated it even though it is a middle grade book and I, as you can probably tell, am not 11 years old. I will likely do a series review in the future.

 

Also, I read two side quest books concurrently with The Golden Compass because I needed some quick books to pick me up.

One of these was Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai for the Open World side quest.

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I really enjoyed it, and it was a very quick read. It is under 300 pages and the story is told in free verse poetry. I rated it 4/5 stars and am not currently planning on reviewing it, but I could do so if requested. It was emotionally moving, and I’m grateful to have finally gotten a chance to read it since I’ve wanted to for a while now.

Finally, I read the Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs for the Expansion side quest. That book is basically a collection of short fairy tales from the Peculiar universe featured in the Miss Peregrine’s series.

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And plus the book itself is just plain beautiful, complete with gold foiling

I did quite enjoy this, and had fun reading it, but I didn’t think it was really analogous to fairy tales, like it is marketed. A lot of the writing felt very modern, and a lot of the tales didn’t feel authentic. That being said, I certainly did enjoy it and thought it was well written aside from that aspect. I gave it 3/5 stars.

Currently, I have 110exp and 175hp which puts me at level 3!

Up Next:

I was originally going to read Sabriel by Garth Nix for the A Book Based On Mythology prompt, but I don’t think I’ll be able to finish it by next week, so I switched to Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi. I’m  not too far into it yet, but am enjoying it as of now.

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Also, I have started reading Haru Hana: The Complete Collection by Yuana Kazumi, and it’s not my favorite so far. I think this is because the genre isn’t my favorite. Anyways, if there is time before the end of the week I’ll be sure to finish it up!

Image result for haru hana the complete collection

Are you participating in The Reading Quest? If so how is your quest going?

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The Reading Quest Update 1

So I said that I would update weekly my progress for the challenge- and here is my first update!


I chose these four books books (and Everyday Angel 3 by Victoria Schwab) for the mage path, and I’ve finished with two of them: Legend and A Torch Against the Night. I absolutely adored these two books, and I gave Legend 4 stars and ATATN 5 stars.


Now, I’ve started reading The Golden Compass. I like it, but I’m not really motivated to read it for whatever reason.


Now let’s talk about points!

Everyone starts at 10xp, and the two books I read gave me 20xp each because they were from marginalized authors.

Also, everyone starts at 10hp. Legend gave me 30hp and ATATN gave me 45 hp.

So, I have 50xp and 85 hp which puts me at level 2!! Woo level up!!

Thanks for reading everyone and I will see you all soon.

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I so don’t do spooky- Barrie Summy book review

So I read this book because I had it on my bookshelf, and because I’m trying to read all the books I own, and also because my friend Cameron got it for me forever ago as a gift. In like 6th grade. She was basically like, “You like books, right? Here you go!” And then a copy of I So Don’t Do Spooky suddenly belonged to me.

Rating: 2.5 stars

This was a difficult rating to decide on, but I just gave it 2.5 stars because while it certainly did have things that I enjoyed, it mostly had aspects that were either flat, poorly written, or I just didn’t like.

Characters: This category is a big one, since there were many characters that played a variety of somewhat important roles. The main character, Sherry, was actually really mean. She was mean to her family, her best friend, her boyfriend, and basically everyone she met throughout the story. In the end, she did some pretty selfless things, but she was still rude and mean to friends and other people when talking to them- or about them. And all of her meanness goes unpunished, after making unreasonable demands on her friends and demeaning their hobbies for the entire book, they still think she’s the best!

Aside from this, almost all of the side characters were flat, and stayed the same for the entire book. They seemed to change to Sherry the narrator, but this is just because she wasn’t paying attention to them before, and simply learned new things about her friends that were there all along, had she been paying attention. Character and Character development rating: 1.5/5 stars

Plot: The plot was fun, and I can see why it would appeal to kids in middle school. It has fun, friends, a mystery, a devoted boyfriend, and even ghosts. I knew several people on middle school who would have loved to lead the life of the characters in the book. But the thing is, a lot of events just don’t make any sense. The ghostly aspect is especially dripping in plot holes, but the whole thing (no pun intended) has continuity issues as well.

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Spoopy af

Also, the plot twists were quite obvious, and I guessed them all before they happened. A younger person, I think, could have as well, and I think that this book kind of talks down to kids in that it assumes that they cannot guess the plot twists.

Also, the book tries to imitate teen texting, which is hilariously inaccurate at best, and cringe-worthy at worst. Plot and plot development rating: 2.5/5 stars.

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“omg wat r u doin? want 2 hang out w/out the ‘rents?” Literally no one texts like that.

Other: Other than the things I mentioned earlier, the book was slow. Buuuuut there were enjoyable things as well!

The emotions of a daughter and her mother were captured very well, which is good since it was one of the main themes of the book.

Also, there is a sense of fun in this book that I think is lost in a lot of young adult books. There’s fear and sadness and everything too, but this book is very optimistic and lighthearted at its heart. I really liked this aspect of it. Other things rating: 4/5 stars.

These three ratings average out to 2 and 2/3 stars, but its really more like 2.5 stars because the first two categories are more important to me.

Overall, I would really only recommend this book to people in middle school, because it can be fun, even if I don’t think it’s the best written book in the world.

Review also posted on Goodreads and Amazon.

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Anticipated releases for the rest of 2017

So for the next few months there are several books coming out that I am quite exited for, and so I have decided to compile a list of them. There aren’t that many, but there are enough to make a list about, I decided.

  1. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C Yee- I haven’t read any of Yee’s books before (actually I believe this is his debut) but have heard incredible reviews by several people and I really want to check this book out once it comes out (which is tomorrow June 8).
  2. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken- I read Bracken’s Passenger and really enjoyed it! I’m looking forward to reading Wayfarer sometime soon, and the Dreadful Tale sounds really neat, and fun, and spooky.
  3. The first book of the second Miss Peregrine’s trilogy- This book comes out this September, so it seems like it should really have a title by now, but like whatever. I finished the last trilogy recently and enjoyed it, so I’m exited for the next one!
  4. When I Cast Your Shadow by Sarah Porter- I read Vassa in the Night by Porter and loved it, so I’m exited for this one, and think I even want to preorder it.
  5. Tentacle and Wing by Sarah Porter- This goes along with the last one, and also I think it is impressive that Porter has two books coming out so close together! WICYS is a ya book, while this one is a middle grade.
  6. Warcross by Marie Lu- I have seen this book ALL OVER social media and the hype is real. I’m planning to read Legend as part of The Reading Quest, but I haven’t read any of Lu’s work so far.

Well I hope you enjoyed this brief post! What books are you looking forward to reading? Are you anticipating any of these books? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

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Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

Hey guys!! Today I’m doing a book tag, which is a kind of post that I haven’t done for a while (because it seems like I’ve only been doing reviews lately). Partially, I’m doing it because I want to blog but not write a review and partially because I’m stressed out over college apps. For example, I need to take SAT subject tests in Math II and Physics, the regular SAT with essay, and the ACT with writing in the next few months. And I need to write essays and decide which colleges I’m applying to early decision vs regular decision. ITS JUST TOO MUCH.

Anywayyy, this is a book tag created by Du Livre so definitely go check out their blog!

QUESTIONS

1.Oh what a guy, Gaston! A villain you can’t help but love.

Image result for gastonImage result for a darker shade of magic

I actually hate Gaston with a passion. I really have to go with the evil Dane Twins from A Darker Shade of Magic (go read it this instant by the way) because they are just the best evil (evilest?) characters I know, and idk, I just love them even though what they love is murder.

2. Here’s where she meets Prince Charming- Your OTP

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Okay let’s be real, I’m not the biggest shipper around, but I do have a few ships. Like my personal favorite: Harry and Luna from Harry Potter. Don’t question it, just accept, dear friends and enemies.

 

3.I want much more than this provincial life- A character that’s destined for bigger things

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I’m going to have to go with Nikki Tate from Overturned by Lamar Giles, although I haven’t finished the book yet. Even so, her character and personality just scream destined for greater things.

4.Be Our Guest- A book that makes you hungry

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As much as I try to stay away from books that do this (I don’t like to torment myself with food that I can’t have nor even exists!) there is one book that comes to mind… It is The Hobbit. If you’ve read it, you’ll know what I’m talking about, trust me. I wish I could eat as many meals as a hobbit because that’s like living the dream.

 

 

 

5.Beauty and the Beast-Opposites Attract

Kate and August from the Monsters of Verity duology! Even if I don’t ship them I love love love that series and both characters, and their friendship. Read this series too, along with A Darker Shade of Magic.

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Ooohhh yeaahhh that’s some good stuffff

Anyways, that writing process was a good distraction from college apps, and also very much thanks for reading. What would you say to answer these questions, and what did you think of my answers?

Before I go, I’d like to tag these three people:

Alex from Whimsy Pages

Sarah from Written Word Worlds

Cassiopeia’s Moon

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The Reading Quest Sign up and Announcement Post!!

Hello everybody! This is my post to sign up and announce my participation in The Reading Quest which is a long readathon/challenge based on adventure video games. It was created by Aentee at Read at Midnight and features beautiful artwork by CW of Read, Think, Ponder.

I am so exited to participate in this amazing challenge! How it works is first you choose one of the four character options:

The Reading Quest Character Classes

I’m choosing the mage to start. Then, for the quest period you follow the predetermined path of your character on this grid: Reading Quest Board

The mage’s path is the first one down so here are the books I plan to read to fulfill each challenge:

  1. A book with a one word title- Legend by Marie Lu
  2. A book that contains magic- Everyday Angel: Last Wishes by Victoria Schwab
  3. A book based on mythology- Sabriel by Garth Nix (it isn’t entirely based on mythology but apparently has inspirations in it)
  4. A book set in a different world- A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
  5. The first book in a series- The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

I think I’ll focus on reading these at first, and if I have time before the challenge is over I’ll do some of the blue side quests, and update you as I go. Who knows, I may even have time to add another character!

As you read you gain xp and hp which count towards winning prizes.

So, yay! I’m looking forward to it! It doesn’t start until August 13, so it will be a while before my next update post about it. The link to all the info is at the top of this page, so you can sign up for the challenge too!

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Double Comparison Review: The Twenty One Balloons and Mr. Popper’s Peguins

Hello everybody! This is the first of a new series I am going to do for my reviews. For each post I am going to read two books with similar pub. circumstances and themes and then review them side-by-side. Today I’m reviewing The Twenty One Balloons by William Pene du Bois and Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater. Both were written at around the same time, Popper’s Penguins in the 1930s and Balloons in the 1940s, and both were awarded a Newberry. Both were children’s books (I’m pretty sure they could be classified as middle grade) focusing on themes of exploration and defying other people’s expectations.

Image result for the twenty one balloons  Image result for mr popper's penguins

Balloons is about a man who sets off to spend a year in a balloon, and is found only three weeks later with twenty balloons. The story tells about how this came to be. Conversely, Popper’s Penguins centers around a bored house-painter who acquires penguins. Both are supposed to be tales of adventure and fun, and could probably be considered modern children’s classics by some people.

Both stories focus on imagination, but neither really make much logical sense. This is probably because they were written for kids, but the lack of sense, especially in Popper’s Penguins seems more like talking down to kids rather than making stories accessible to them. That book was so simple that I had to double check that it was for the middle grade category. I wouldn’t really recommend it for anyone beyond fourth (mayyyybe fifth) grade.

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In Balloons, the writing is less simplified, but the actual events are very simple. At one point, the main character is living on a Pacific island with 80 other white people (not even going to go there because there is no doubt that had the others been native islanders they would have been portrayed with much racism). Each family is a mirror of each other: they all have an inventive man of the house, a housewife, an assertive and inventive son, and a somewhat-less inventive-but-still-inventive and demure daughter. Each family has the same job and an equal share of the wealth of the island, and the society is portrayed as utopia. This is interesting as well, especially since the book was written in 1947 during the Red Scare in the United States. To think that a children’s book supporting communism was written and published and even won a Newberry during the Cold War!

In this book the inventions described are interesting, and could be very interesting for kids, but the uniformity of everyone shown in the book kind of rubbed me the wrong way.

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Both books do have very nice, well-drawn illustrations and reading them could make the right kid very happy. But I wouldn’t really recommend either for adults who want an interesting and inventive story.

Also, there are certainly many better (in my opinion) imaginative books for kids, many of which can be better enjoyed by people of all ages.

I rated both books 3/5 stars.

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Book Review- Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (non-spoiler review and spoiler discussion)

(I’m going to start with the non-spoiler review, and then head into the spoilery discussion after. Don’t worry, I’ll give you a head’s up. The non-spoiler section may still contain spoilers for This Savage Song, the first book in the duology.)

“I didn’t mean to startle you. But you are standing in my kitchen. And that is my favorite knife.”

It’s no secret that V Schwab is one of my favorite authors- I’ve read almost all of her books. They’re always about interesting people in interesting worlds (with exquisite world building), and it seems like she never runs out of fascinating ideas. So I had high hopes for Our Dark Duet, and somehow it still managed to surpass my expectations.

The book starts a few months after the events in TSS (This Savage Song) with Kate leaving Verity for Prosperity, and August staying with the Flynn Task Force. Ilsa can still reap souls, but no longer with music. Much has happened between the two books.

One thing that was exceptional about this book was the character development- August and Kate of course, but also all of the side characters. The reader gets a lot of insight into characters like Ilsa and Soro (new character) and even those like Sloan so they are understandable, and in several cases purposefully unlikable. Not only does everyone have a backstory, but you can see layers of character shift as the story goes on.

The world building was exceptional as could be expected. It was interesting to see the contrast between Verity and Prosperity too, and how they were both independent territories in the same dystopian world yet very different. The pacing was phenomenal too. I feel like this is a book that you could read quickly or slowly depending on your preferences.

An unapologetic 5/5 stars. Actually, scratch that. 1,000,000/5 stars.

 

Discussion:

(Spoilers beyond this point!)

Damn, V. Why did you gotta go do me like that??? That ending was so rude on your part.

Kate was ma gurl. KATE WAS MA GURL.

But to be honest if she had to go I’m glad it happened like that so we could see August have his soul crushed too. The ending was so evil- and yet so good.

Now I guess since that’s out of the way I’ll talk about the beginning and middle since they were phenomenal (if not quite as soul crushing) too.

I loved Soro. They were ma sunai, even if I kinda didn’t like them at first. I thought they were, like, just a little bit evil when we met them, if you know what I mean. But then their character developed and by the end I was just like

So yeah Soro was basically like my role model and favorite character all rolled into one.

Also Prosperity. Prosperity. It’s too cruel that we will never see more of this evil, insidious city.

So, in conclusion, thank you Victoria Schwab for creating this fantastic, and evil, book. Snail blogger ouuuut.

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Silhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin- Some cool lesbian historical fiction!

So I started reading this book not really knowing what it was about. My book club at school chose it for this month when I wasn’t there, and gave it to me later without really an explanation.

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My Attempt at Creating My Very Own Bird Silhouette

When I really started reading this book, I couldn’t stop. I finished it in just a couple of hours (it was under 200 pages but still). I got really attached to the main character (and all the characters for that matter) because they were all very developed and realistic, even if they may have seemed like archetypes at first. One thing I really liked about this book is that it showed Garnet’s (the main character) simplistic outlook on other people and the world, and how it progressed as certain events occurred.

Another aspect of this book that I thought was remarkable was the world building. Strong world building is rare, I think, in historical fiction, especially recent historical fiction, but I think this book perfectly captured the feel and look of the town and time period. Certain characters add to this world building by making the world seem more like a slice of life from the twenties, if that makes any sense at all.

And that brings me to the romance. I think as a whole the romance was well developed and the characters had good chemistry together, and that it added to the larger plot of Garnet’s personal decisions in all aspects of her life without being the sole factor pushing our characters along in their lives (as happens in many YA books). However, I feel like some people might feel like the romance develops too quickly in the beginning, but I feel like that is due more to the fact that the book follows the events of an entire summer in a short number of pages more than anything else.

Overall, I give this book a four and a half out of five stars and highly recommend it.

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Review- My Lady Jane

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows is a historical fiction young adult book that focuses on the adventures of Lady Jane Grey, the nine day queen of England. The first half of the book is somewhat historically accurate, but the second section just throws any attempt to being historically accurate out the window. The whole thing is just a really fun book to read that doesn’t take itself seriously.

 

The book is not a serious retelling of history, and is meant to be a comedy. It certainly lives up to that. It is entertaining and a quick read for its size. It has alternating perspectives (3rd person limited) between Edward (king of England), Jane, and Gifford Dudley (Jane’s betrothed). All of the characters are very likable individuals. The narration is very funny and adds to the whole experience; there is even funny commentary throughout.

 

One problem I had with this book was that it was slow in parts, which is a problem for a comedy, and I didn’t really feel the desire to keep reading. This may have just been a me problem though, so don’t let it throw you off of reading this book, because it certainly was very good overall.

 

I would recommend this book to anyone who is in the mood for a light fun read, and overall I give it a 4/5 stars.