Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Summary: Princess Diana wants to prove herself to her immortal warrior sisters and mother, and when she finally has the opportunity to, she can’t tell anyone because it will likely lead to her exile. Mortals aren’t exactly welcomed on her island of Themyscira, much less ones who are shipwrecked there like Alia. Alia thought a semester at sea would be the perfect way to get away from her controlling brother and would allow her to get away from all the unfortunate things in her life. When her arrival causes trouble in Themyscira and the mortal world,  Diana and Alia must work together to prevent war.

My Rating: 4.25/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

I’ve been looking forward to the DC Icons series throughout 2017 and my anticipation will extend to 2018, with Marie Lu’s Batman: Nightwalker and Sarah J. Maas’s Catwoman: Soulstealer , and of course, Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer. Not only are these authors all-stars in the YA world, but they’re among my all-time favorite authors!

I went into Wonder Woman: Warbringer not knowing too much about the plot other than teenage Diana having to team up with a mortal girl, Alia. If you are not the world’s biggest Wonder Woman fan and maybe have only seen Wonder Woman, the 2017 film, no worries; Leigh Bardugo does a great job of introducing us to the world of Diana and her home of Themyscira, an all-female island for immortal warriors.

My favorite setting in the novel was New York City, specifically for Diana’s reaction. I loved seeing her experience the World of Man and outwit guys on the subway. However, as much as I liked seeing Diana in the mortal world, I wish that we spent some more time in Themyscira before things started hitting the fan. I enjoy world building, okay??? I liked exploring Diana’s relationship with her sisters and her mother, as Leigh Bardugo displays that Diana isn’t exactly the Wonder Woman that we all known in her home.

Being a fan of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology, I wasn’t surprised at all with how much I enoyed Wonder Woman: Warbringer’s cast of characters. Jason added some mystery to the novel with his information on Alia’s origins and the family company, and Nim and Theo were absolutely hilarious. I loved this gem from the pair: 

“ “We have a driver,” Diana said, new hope surging through her. “Now we just need to find a car.”

“You know this means I get to choose the radio station,” said Nim as they set out across the field.

Theo whimpered. “How about I just let you run over me?” ” (242).

While I really enjoyed the book overall, there were a few elements that weren’t my cup of tea. The ending of the novel really dragged on to me, even with all of the action scenes. We spend a lot of the novel building up to a certain moment that Alia and Diana must face, which I figured wouldn’t go exactly to plan, and it took so much time to get to a resolution. Some of the chapters in the beginning of the novel were also a bit long, and I felt that they could’ve been separated into shorter sections. A few of the chapters in the rest of the novel are also long, but they seemed to go faster with the dialogue between our cast—there are plenty of funny Nim and Theo moments!

Have you read Wonder Woman: Warbringer? Share in the comments?

Top Five Wednesday: Authors I’d Like to Write Like

Many readers dream of one day publishing their own book. While I don’t practice creative writing myself too much these days, it’d be amazing to be able to dedicate my life to storytelling. The following authors would inspire me through their creative and beautiful stories and writing styles.

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Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl. Eleanor & Park, Carry On, Attachments, and Landline) Besides her characters and writing style, I love the premises of all of Rainbow Rowell’s stories. I think they’re all just so creative and accurately depict how people feel, whether if they’re a girl who writes fan fiction or a boy who’s trying to navigate life in the wizarding world with his part-vampire roommate. AND I CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT FOR HER GRAPHIC NOVEL WITH FAITH ERIN HICKS! IT’S ABOUT A PUMPKIN PATCH AND FOOD, GUYS!!!

Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogies)- Jenny Han is just like Rainbow Rowell for me in the sense that I’m in love with all of the ideas she comes up with for her books!

Jandy Nelson (The Sky is Everywhere and I’ll Give You the Sun)- If there’s one thing that I remember from I’ll Give You Sun, it’s Jandy Nelson’s beautiful writing style. Hopefully 2018 will bering a new Jandy Nelson novel!

Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere)- Celeste Ng has a writing style that I just fall into, and I remember not wanting to let go of Little Fires Everywhere this summer.

Morgan Matson (Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, Second Chance Summer, Since You’ve Been Gone, and The Unexpected Everything) Like Celeste Ng and honestly all of the authors above, Morgan Matson has a writing style that I’m so obsessed with that I become shocked over how many pages I’ve flown through! Her books are also perfect summer contemporaries (aka the best kind of contemporary books) AND HAVE THE BEST COVERS! DOGS MAKES COVERS EVEN MORE MAGICAL!

Top 5 Wednesday is a collaborative group of book bloggers from various platforms who love sharing lists on Wednesdays. The T5W group can be found here on Goodreads.

 

Review: The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

Summary: From the moment Lucy met Gabe when they were seniors at Columbia University, she knew that she had feelings for him. And Gabe felt the same way for her. Lucy couldn’t imagine being in love with anyone could feel this good, and she wants nothing else but a life with Gabe. But Gabe wants something else in the form of a photojournalism assignment in the Middle East. Choosing to pursue her career in New York than follow Gabe, Lucy is left heartbroken. As years go on and Gabe comes in and out of her life, Lucy’s own life begins to take shape with her career, her friends, and a stable relationship with a new guy. Through it all, she questions if she’ll ever be able to find the same kind of love that she had with Gabe.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

It took me less than four days over a school week to read The Light We Lost. Yes, some finals prep may or may not have been out on the backburner for a bit, but I was completely absorbed by Jill Santopolo’s writing style. We’re introduced to Lucy from the day she meets Gabe and we travel well into their adulthood. Lucy narrates the entire novel, narrating as if she’s directly talking to Gabe, often referring to Gabe as ‘you’. I love books that really carry the audience through a character’s life and relationships. If you’re a fan of Cecelia Ahern’s Love, Rosie or Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Reid After I Do, The Light We Lost is sure to please.

My favorite aspect of the novel was seeing Lucy grow more independent, even if she’s in a relationship. I liked how she told Gabe that she wouldn’t follow him to the Middle East because she wants a career. If I were in the same situation, I would 100% do the same. Darren also annoyed me in the sense that he wanted to Lucy to sideline her career for his goals. Seeing Lucy put her foot down in that similar situation made me so happy as well. Jill Santopolo did a great job of showing throughout the novel that women are entitled to having a career as much as men are. When it comes to the relationships in the novel, I thought her and Gabe had a great relationship and you easily learn why Lucy loves him so much, but I wanted her to fully embrace a life with Darren. I understand that a piece of Lucy would always love Gabe, but I wanted to see her really move on.

While it became a bit predictable at times, I loved how cozy The Light We Lost made me feel. I just wanted to stay in with a cup of tea and read more about Lucy’s life—I needed to know how the book ended ASAP. I really liked seeing her build a life with Darren, and as much as I wanted to see her move on, I liked how Gabe continued to play a part in her life. It might have been frustrating for Darren, but he just couldn’t understand the comfort that Gabe provided Lucy. I recommend reading The Light We Lost if you’re looking for a contemporary read that you won’t want to put down—a perfect rainy day read!

Have you read The Light We Lost? Share in the comments!

The Awesome Blogger Award

The lovely Ally from Ally Writes Things nominated me for the Awesome Blogger Award. Ally and I have been friends since my early WordPress days, make sure you give her blog a visit! The Awesome Blogger Award was created by Maggie from Dreaming of Guatemala to honor bloggers who “have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers.”

awesome-blogger-award-header1.jpgTHE RULES

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Include the reason behind the award
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you
  • Nominate some awesome bloggers
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Super strength, like Wonder Woman. That film still has me feeling very inspired, even if I don’t have superpowers!

What’s your favourite book-to-movie adaptation?
The Princess Diaries, I always forget it that it’s technically a book-to-move adaptation. I also love The Hunger Games films and The Fault in Our Stars.

Describe your perfect reading room

A room with plenty of natural light and a comfy bed & blanket.

What were your favourite childhood books?

Junie B. Jones, Nancy Drew, The Baby-Sitters Club, and Main Street are among my al-time childhood favorites.

Are there any hobbies you wish you did? Or wish you had more time to do?

I wish that I could bake more at school. Thankfully, I’ll be home from school very soon and it’s the holiday season, aka the best baking season!

Do you do any sports?

Currently, I don’t play any sports on a team. In high school, I played field hockey and I still practice with my sister.

Do you have any pets? If yes, please show pictures!

I have two dogs!! They are my two favorite things in the world and I miss them so much while I’m at school. Below is a photo of one of my dogs with a shirt on, she surprisingly loves them!

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If you could study anything, what would it be?

I’m currently studying English and Communications as my majors, but if I had to study another subject, it would be sociology.

What’s your Harry Potter house?

Hufflepuff

Best book of 2017 so far?

Ahhhh this is such a hard question! I’m going to have it finalzed when I write my 2017 wrap-up posts, but right now I’m going to go with Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

I nominate:

Dani from Life of a Literary NerdLife of a Literary Nerd, Rebecca from mylifeasasportsfangirl , and Caitstiel from Caitstiel’s Book World.

My questions:

  1. If you could change one thing about Goodreads, what would it be?
  2. DC or Marvel?
  3. What’s your favorite Christmas or holiday song?
  4. Bookish candles or bookish artwork?
  5. Do you have a routine when it comes to writing blog posts?
  6. What’s your favorite book review that you’ve written?
  7. If you’re a Taylor Swift fan, what is your favorite Taylor Swift album?
  8. What’s your most anticipated book of 2018?
  9. What’s your dream vacation spot?
  10. If you could give one piece of advice to your past blogging self, what would it be?

Top Five Wednesday: Books I’m Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! In the spirit of the holiday, today’s Top Five Wednesday is about books you’re thankful for whatever reason, big or small.

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Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han– I love the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series as a whole, but I am most thankful for Always and Forever, Lara Jean because I felt I could relate to Lara Jean the most in this section of the trilogy. Obviously Lara Jean would be best friends already for the fact that we love baking, but I could relate to Lara Jean’s anxieties over college and her relationships. I’m also grateful for the cozy feelings this series gives me.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I think many of my fellow bloggers will have Fangirl on their list because most of us can relate to Cath for her love of fandom and her anxiety. As much as I relate to Cath in those senses, Fangirl also holds a special place in my heart for helping re-amp my love for reading and YA books back in 2015.

 Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys– I remember reading Between Shades of Gray when I was sick and stayed home from school for a few days. In short, I learned something more important by staying home and reading the book than what I would have in school. I’m thankful for Between Shades of Gray and Ruta Sepetys because I learned about the horrors that people living in the Baltic States experienced during and after World War II. I’m also super thankful for this reading experience because Between Shades of Gray was my first Ruta Sepetys’s book, and she quickly became one of my favorite authors. 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins– In this case, I am thankful for Anna and the French Kiss’s cover change, because if it weren’t for that, there’s a 99% I wouldn’t have picked up this book and the rest of the series.

Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl by Barbara Parks– Forever grateful for this book, Barbara Parks, and my kindergarten teacher who read this book during story time. Thanks for kick starting my love for reading.

Top 5 Wednesday is a collaborative group of book bloggers from various platforms who love sharing lists on Wednesdays. The T5W group can be found here on Goodreads.

 

Fall-Themed Q & A

In order to feel a bit more festive for Thanksgiving, today I’ll be doing the Fall-Themed Q & A. I am a huge Christmas fan (reminder that I must do a Christmas or winter Q & A as well!) and the holiday season for me begins on November 1st ,my Spotify Christmas playlist ready to go. As much as I love Christmas, I do love the fall and Thanksgiving, and I see Thanksgiving as the last major fall event. The Fall-Themed Q & A was hosted by The Blended Blog and I was inspired to do this post by Kristin of Super Space Chick.

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Favorite fall sweet treat?

Banana bread! I just starting making banana bread this year and it’s become one of my go-to things to bake. If you’re looking to make your recipe a bit healthier, substitute butter with applesauce!

Red, yellow, or green apples?

Green apples forever! I like red apples as well, but Granny Smiths are my absolute favorite. If I’m looking for something sweet, I love dipping green apples in caramel.

Favorite fall sport?

I love going for walks and runs in the fall because the weather isn’t too hot or too cold.

Best drink for fall?

If I want a festive drink, my go-to is apple cider and I love drinking it with Thanksgiving dinner. I also enjoy the fall for feeling that I can really embrace drinking tea and hot chocolate.

Favorite fall activity?

Spending time outside, whether I’m reading, running, or picking pumpkins

Must have fall purchase?

Cardigans! I recently bought a green cardigan from Forever 21 and I’ve been wearing it at least once a week. I’m really impressed with its quality.

Pumpkins: pick your own or store-bought?

Pick your own!

Real or fake pumpkins?

Real

Favorite Halloween costume?

I was really happy with my costume this year—I dressed up as “You Belong With Me” Taylor Swift. I love home-made costumes over store-bought ones, and one of my all-time favorite costumes was being a scarecrow, put together by my mom.

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College football or NFL?

I don’t really watch football, but I’ll go with NFL. If there’s two days that I watch football, it’s Thanksgiving and Super Bowl Sunday.

Fall or Halloween décor?

Halloween décor. I think Halloween décor is really fun, and if you can often implement fall decorations into Halloween, like mums and of course pumpkins.

Raking Leaves or no leaves to rake?

No leaves to rake since I’m at school.

Favorite soup?

Not a soup fan in the least bit.

Favorite fall candle scent?

Apple-cinnamon.

Love or hate pumpkin spice?

Not the biggest fan of pumpkin flavoring in general, so a no-go for me.

Short booties or tall boots?

I love both, but having an athletic build, I often have trouble finding boots that will fit over my calf muscles, so short boots for me!

Favorite Halloween candy?

Ah this is probably the hardest question on here! This year I went through my sister’s Halloween candy for Twix, but I also love Kit Kats and Hershey’s Cookies and Cream.

PSL? Yes or No?

Confession time: I’ve never had a pumpkin spice latte and since I don’t like pumpkin, I think I won’t be trying one for a while.

Hayride or Corn Maze?

Hayride.

Favorite Fall TV Show?

This fall I’ve been keeping up with Riverdale and Season 16 of Project Runway, and I actually enjoyed the first half of season 3 of Fuller House.

My Experience Seeing Waitress the Musical

There are only a few shows on my Broadway bucket list, and Waitress was of course one of them. I’ve wanted to see the show since Sara Bareilles and Jessie Mueller’s performance of “She Used to Be Mine” at the 2016 Tony Awards, so when I had the opportunity to see the show last Tuesday, it was easy as pie to say yes! It’s a musical featuring baking, for crying out loud, my inner Lara Jean Song was screaming!

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I went to the show with a friend and we had little over an hour to kill before the show, so we decided to walk around Times Square and the theatre district, which meant that we were obligated to walk past Hamilton: An American Musical, which also meant going into the Hamilton merchandise shop. AND I’M VERY PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT I RESTRAINED MYSELF FROM BUYING ANYTHING—I kept reminding myself that Christmas is near, despite my NEED for a “Wait for It” mug.

We made it to the theatre a half hour before the show began and that left me plenty of time to buy some Waitress merchandise. I ended up picking up a really cute Waitress mug, and I’m still debating if I’m going to display it on my bookshelf or use it for tea and hot chocolate.waitressmug

Waitress is currently on a national tour in the US right now, but if you see the show at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City, don’t worry about where you sit! While the theater sits around 1000 people, it’s on the smaller side. I sat a few rows back in the center mezzanine and could see everything perfectly!

In short, Waitress was absolutely amazing. I loved how pie was incorporated throughout the set, even though they made me crave something sweet- thank gosh Thanksgiving is this week! I was super lucky to be able to see Jason Mraz as Dr. Pomatter in his ten-week engagement with the show. I never really listened to the Waitress original cast recording prior to the show but now I couldn’t imagine anyone else as Dr. Pomatter. Stephanie Torns played Jenna and she was absolutely perfect, I was so impressed with her singing. While the show is very emotional, there were many comedic moments. As much as I loved Jenna and Dr. Pomatter, the side characters stole the show for me, including Dawn, Becky, Ogie, and Joe. I admit that it takes a lot for me to cry when it comes to books, TV, or musicals, but I was broken during the last five minutes of the show, as there was just such a heartwarming (and a bit heart-breaking) of an ending. My favorite songs from the show include “Opening Up”, “Bad Idea”, and “She Used to be Mine” .

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Waitress was my fourth Broadway show and aside from Hamilton, it was the best Broadway show I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend seeing it if you have the opportunity to and I would love to see it again one day!

Have you seen Waitress the Musical? Share in the comments!