As I was preparing my traditional What I Read post for February, I realized that I did a few more bookish, fandom, and bloggish things that I want to talk about! Because I don’t just want to discuss books today, I’m going to be guiding you through what I wrote and watched this month, as well as some fun, in-real-life happenings.
February was a weird reading month because I feel like I didn’t read a lot, between school life and being busy on the weekends, but I managed to read 7 books! I tend to read less during the school year because I like not having to concentrate too much when I get to relax (hence a lot of Youtube and TV watching). I spent a lot of time reading for my English classes this month (2 books from my contemporary American lit class are included down below), and while I’m not including them on my list, I read Logicomix and Berlin: City of Stones Vol.1 for my graphic novels course.
If I don’t talk about the books below right now, it’s because you’ll find reviews for them in the next section.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden | 4.5/5 Stars
This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith | 4/5 Stars
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | 4/5 Stars
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado | 4/5 Stars
Her Body and Other Parties is the second book I’ve read for my contemporary American lit class, and it was a book that was on my TBR radar before I found out it was on the syllabus!?! I’m still slightly in shock that I’m reading books published within the past year in SCHOOL (not-so-patiently waiting for my school to add a YA lit class). Anyways, I really enjoyed Her Body and Other Parties for its genre-bending short stories and focus on women. My favorites include “Inventory”, “Eight Bites”, and “The Resident” (all of which you can find online!).Read More »
But you know what I don’t love? Reading amazing series, like Neal Schusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, that aren’t complete just yet. Because I need book 3 right now… please!
Since Thunderhead is the second book in the Arc of a Scythe trilogy, I am not going to be providing a summary for the sake of spoilers. If you’re interested in learning more about this series, I recommend checking out my review and non-spoilery thoughts on the first book,Scythe. Scythe and Thunderhead have deservingly caused a lot of hype in the book community in 2018. DON’T be like past me and avoid reading these books because you’re scared of the hype, WELCOME IT INTO YOUR BOOKISH HEART. If you still haven’t found a series that quenches your post- The Hunger Games feelings, Scythe is the one for you.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Everything below the following GIF I consider to be spoilers, so bye for now non-spoiler folks, courtesy of Ron Swanson.
Even weighing in at 499 pages, Thunderhead is the type of read I totally would’ve flown through if it weren’t for one of the busiest weeks of my semester (pre-spring break crunch time is REAL). I recommend reading Thunderhead in the shortest amount of time possible for you just because it will be a bit easier for you to connect the dots (unless you’re a fantastic note taker while reading, unlike me). For example, it took me some going back to the very beginning of the book to realize the significance of Scythe Brahms gleaning Rowan’s dad, or you know, the fact that RAND IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ALIVE. I didn’t catch this until Murina mentions the “late” Rand before meeting Faraday in the Library of Alexandria. Thinking back on these instances, if there is one word to describe Thunderhead, its revenge. You have Rowan gleaning scythes, Rand and Goddard (!?!) taking their role in the new order back, and overall, scythes getting back at scythes.
One of my favorite aspects of Thunderhead was of course reuniting with our cast of characters from Scythe. Scythe Curie/Marie remains to be my favorite character and while I’m so sad that we won’t see her journeying on to book 3 (unless Neal Shsuterman throws another crazy plot twist at us), I think her story ended in the best way possible in context. I do like Rowan as a character and his storyline with Goddard and Rand, but I have always preferred Citra/Anastasia. I would love to go back into the story and mark where we see Citra differentiate between calling herself Citra or Anastasia (I’d say she really delves back into Citra at the end of the book). BUT CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT THE CHARACTER THAT FREAKED ME OUT THE MOST: GODDARD! I cannot get over how he took Tyger’s body and did the things and ahhhhhh, he’s back.
Thunderhead expectingly expands the world of Scythe with many new terms, places, and characters. The only new element I wasn’t too crazy about was how the majority of the journal entries were from the perspective of the Thunderhead. While this betters our understanding of the Thunderhead, I often found myself wanting entries from the scythes. Character-wise, I liked Murina’s role as Faraday’s research assistant and I’m super intrigued to see their role in this book three—which all depends on how much of a time jump we’re going to experience (more on the ending to come). Greyson easily became our third central character in the series, and I loved how his perspective gave us insight on how the Thunderhead works, unsavories, and Charter Regions. I’ve seen a few reviews compare Greyson to Jesus and the Thunderhead to God, which actually makes sense (Christine of polandbananasbooks did a fantastic job of describing her Garden of Eden and Greyson-as-Jesus theory in her review here). I would love to find an interview with Neal Schusterman to see if he actually took this into consideration when writing the series.
I guess this is where my book three theories and Thunderhead ending discussion is going to begin because I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT! I really wonder how Greyson is going to come into play in book three. Has the Thunderhead given him instructions about Citra and Rowan? Will he find them?? I would love to see Faraday and Murina save them, especially with their knowledge of maps and the Thunderhead’s blindspots, but their ending was also quite ominous. I’m also interested to see how many revivals book three will bring. I think it’s safe to say that we will get Rowan and Citra back and unfortunately/rightfully not Marie, but maybe Xenocrates??? And how long is our time jump going to be? Will there even be one? If Citra and Rown start the book, I think there will be some sort of time jump, but maybe we’ll start with Greyson’s conversation with the Thunderhead. Or will we go between the past and present??ONLY BOOK 3 CAN TELL.
Have you read Scythe or Thunderhead? Do you have any theories about book 3? Share in the comments!
Summary:Fate seems to come in the form of an email for seventeen year olds Ellie O’Neill and Graham Larkin. After Graham accidentally emails Ellie about his pet pig, the two strike up a conversation that lasts for months. Ellie and Graham talk about everything—expect for Graham’s life in the spotlight and a secret hidden within Ellie’s family. When Graham creates an opportunity for the pair to spend time together in Ellie’s small beach town, their relationship is taken to the next level, as Ellie and Graham determine if two people from two different worlds can be together.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I started my Jennifer E. Smith book journey backwards. My first Jennifer E. Smith book was her latest release, Windfall, in 2017. It was after reading Windfall that I decided to pick up more of Jennifer’s books, who I’d say is most well-known for The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Then I met Jennifer, who’s also one of the sweetest authors that I’ve met, at a signing at my local Barnes & Noble, where I learned that most people start with This is What Happy Looks Like when starting her work.
I’ve been craving and eating up fantasy books this winter, butI needed a quick break with a contemporary read. Little did I know that I was picking up a book that takes place in the complete opposite season: summer. I’m always on the lookout for summery contemporaries for the summertime, and while I’m a tad disappointed that I picked up This is What Happy Looks Like now, I was not disappointed by this light, fun read.
This is What Happy Looks Like flips between the perspectives of Ellie and Graham, and I liked how each chapter began with a snippet from their email exchanges. I feel like the ‘boy and girl from completely different worlds’ trope worked really well in this book, as Graham is an A-list teen actor and Ellie is the small-town girl working at the ice cream shop and her mom’s store (and who has her eyes set on a Harvard poetry course, so more power to you girl!). AND ELLIE HAS A BEAGLE NAMED BAGEL! This is What Happy Looks Like immediately earned points in my book for not only having a dog, but for having a dog named after my favorite food. Un-trope-like, I really enjoyed how there’s no ‘oh-my-gosh do they know that I’ve been emailing them for the past X months and how will our relationship and trust be affected’ action from either character; from the moment they meet, Graham tells Ellie that she’s the guy who’s been emailing. I feel like this saved some unnecessary drama and allowed the plot to move in a less expected direction.
For me, This is What Happy Looks Like fits as a summer contemporary for a few reasons other than the fact that book takes place from May to July. We see Ellie’s sleepy hometown in Maine transform into a summer tourist destination, and her town’s Fourth of July festivities alone would’ve made this a summer read. Ellie’s job in the ice cream shop and getting ice cream with Graham was enough for me to long for summer nights at the beach with a soft-serve.
Jennifer E. Smith’s writing really flows in This is What Happy Looks Like, and it’s the type of read where you don’t realize that you’ve read over 100 pages in just one sitting. I really enjoyed the book’s fast pace, but I wish we got more time with Ellie and her best friend, Quinn. The two get into a fight over Ellie’s secret relationship with Graham pretty early on the book, and I wish their disagreement ended earlier so we got more interaction from Quinn.
Overall, I highly recommend picking this one up for when you’re in the mood for a light-hearted read or need a companion for a beach day. My next Jennifer E. Smith book is going to be The Geography of You and Me.
Have you read This Is What Happy Looks Like? Share in the comments!
Some of my favorite blog posts to read are about book bloggers’ reading experiences, and I’ve grown to love reading vlogs (10 out of 10 recommend checking out Regan of PeruseProject’s vlogs). The Book Blogger Test allows readers to learn more about a book blogger’s reading life, and I was tagged to do so by Rebecca of mylifeasasportsfangirl.
Top 3 Book Pet Peeves
1. Books that don’t stay open while I’m eating. This often happens with hardcovers that I’ve just started or I’m about to finish because of the weight of the pages?? I often try to tuck one of the corners under my plate, in fear that something will slip over. Look at me reading on the edge.
2. Rainbow bookshelves. By no means do I hate rainbow bookshelves, or bookshelves that group books together based on the color of the covers. They have rightfully taken over bookstagram. And I know this is problem that people with rainbow shelves have themselves, but I could never order my books in that order BECAUSE I WOULDN’T KNOW WHERE ANYTHING IS. I would never be able to have my books in a series out of order or all over my bookshelf, and I even prefer to have my books categorized by author, with a few exceptions—mostly space and yes, the aesthetic of my main bookshelf.
3. My Goodreads Want-to-Read shelf. So one weekend back in January, I took some time to organize my Want-to-Read/ TBR shelf on Goodreads. I was getting a bit confused about what books on my list had been released yet and decided to reorganize my shelf by genre and unreleased books. NO LESS THAN TEN MINUTES LATER DID I GO BACK TO MY SHELF AND EVERYTHING WAS BACK IN THE OLD ORDER. The new organization of my shelf is on the Goodreads apps, but I tend to use Goodreads on my desktop a lot more. As you can see below,I hate having books that have been on my shelf forever with books that aren’t being released until 2019 right next to each other.
Perfect Reading Spot
I love reading in bed. No, it does not make me more tired nor do I wake up in the morning with drool on the pages. I read on my bed throughout the day, and even when I read at night in bed, I often find myself wanting to stay up longer to read. One of my favorite things to do on a morning where I can have bit of a lie-in is to grab my book and stay under the blankets.
Three Reading Confessions
1. This is probably more of a book blogger confession: I don’t like book tags that are straight-up book tags. What does this mean as I’m doing a book tag right now? I don’t like book tags where you only talk about books, like ones that ask you to pick a book with a green cover or a book that has a love triangle. Instead, I like tags that are about your reading life (like today’s) or reading experiences (like this awesome library tag that I saw on The Darlings Diary).
2. Besides The Fault in Our Stars, I don’t really cry over books you’re “supposed” to cry over. For example, I’m talking about Adam Silvera’s books, Me Before You, The Book Thief, All the Bright Places, etc.
3. A few of the books that I read when I was 9 or 10 years old, like the Inkheart trilogy, are probably filled with food stains. I’ve definitely gotten better reading and eating at the same time, but 10 year-old me liked reading Inkspell and eating pizza after swim practice too much.
Last Time I Cried During A Book:
I’ve definitely read books that have brought tears to my eyes since, but the last book that absolutely made me sob was Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.
Number of Books on my bedside table:
Usually 1-4. If I do have more than one book out, it’s because I checked out more than one book at the library.
Favorite Reading Snack:
Like how I’m a mood reader, I’m a mood snacker. Lately, I’ve been in the mood for some cheesey snacks, and cheddar rice cakes are always a favorite.
Three Books I’d Recommend to Anyone
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (so you could then properly watch the TV show)
A Picture of my Bookshelves.
I give you guys a picture of my “main” shelf all the time, so you’re in for treat today by seeing two out of three of my bookcases. My third bookcase is tucked away in the corner next to my desk, and I didn’t have enough space to take a picture of the whole shelf. And yes, I know they don’t match and yes, I wish they did, but as of right now, I don’t have enough space in my bedroom for those huge (and wonderful) IKEA shelves.
Biggest Reading Secret:
I didn’t read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows until the summer before my senior of high school. I’ve always had the HP books in my house because my mom loves them and while I read books 1-5 when I was in fourth of fifth grade, I just wasn’t as obsessed with them as I am now. Flash-forward to summer 2015 when I got the motivation to pick up Order of the Phoenix and proceeded to read the last three books in a matter of two weeks. While I enjoyed the Harry Potter films growing up, I feel like going back and reading/rereading the series (I then read books 1-4) in 2015 was when I really fell in love with Harry Potter.
Now here’s a question for you: Do you cry when you read? If so, what books have made you cry? Share in the comments!
As you may have noticed, this is my only Top 5 Wednesday post for February. I’ve read a few books with m/m and f/f parings and while I obviously support LGBTQ rep in books and have some favorites of my own (I’m looking at you, Wylan and Jesper), I couldn’t come up with pairings/books that I would honestly recommend. And spoiler for next week, but urban fantasy is one of my least-read genres. And guess who’s breaking this week’s topic with talking about books that aren’t straight-up romance novels??
I don’t really read straight up romance novels, but if you’ve been here for a little while, you know or will soon realize that I love contemporary. This genre typically involves some sort of relationship, and today, I’m going to be discussing some of my favorite YA contemporaries with romance vibes.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon-When Dimple Met Rishi is one of my favorite YA romantic comedies, and in my opinion, there’s a really awesome gender reversal in this book. Instead of Dimple, our main female protagonist, being head-over-heels for Rishi, our main male protagonist, in the beginning, it’s Rishi! I’m really looking forward for Sandhya Menon’s next book, From Twinkle, With Love, to come out in May 2018.
The Start of You & Me by Emery Lord- I think The Names They Gave Us will always be my favorite Emery Lord book, the more I reflect on The Start of Me and You, the more I love it! As Paige rebuilds her life after the death of her boyfriend, she finds herself spending more time with Max Watson, Quiz Bowl captain and lover of Girl Scout cookies. I loved Max, and I wish I could’ve been on coffee dates with him at the bookstore instead of Paige.
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo- Like When Dimple Met Rishi, I Believe in a Thing Called Love has plenty of rom-com vibes. Inspired by her dad’s love for K-dramas, Desi tries to get the guy of her dreams by using her “K Drama Steps to True Love”. While I wasn’t completely in love with the with the plot’s direction, I still had a really fun time reading I Believe in a Thing Called Love.
Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz- ELIZAAAAAA! How could I not read the love story of how Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler met?? Despite its mixed reviews on Goodreads, I absolutely adored Alex and Eliza, and if you’re a hardcore Hamilton fan like I am, it’s a must read!
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell- I guess books with rom-com vibes is a theme for this post! The only adult book today, Attachments is my second favorite Rainbow Rowell book, and I have a section in the notes app on my phone dedicated to quotes from the book (I especially love Beth and Jennifer’s email exchanges). I think an Attachments reread is a must for this year.
Do you like romance novels or do you prefer contemporaries with romance mixed in? Share in the comments!
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 hereon Goodreads.
I’ve been reading true to the season this January and February with plenty of fantasy, and I’ve been absolutely loving it! I read a lot of contemporary in 2017, so I really want to spend time in 2018 catching up on some backlist titles and ALL of the amazing releases in the fantasy world coming out this year. Today, I’ll be giving you mini reviews of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and The Cruel Prince by Holly Black.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
I never realized that I needed Russian-inspired fantasy until I read The Bear and the Nightingale, the first book in the Winternight trilogy. This book has been on my radar since New York City Comic Con in October (I think the publisher was giving out paperback copies), and it’s been described to me as the perfect winter read, which I can now say is true! The Bear and the Nightingale follows a family who lives in a village on the edge of the Russian wilderness, where folklore and spirits are part of the way of life. After her mother dies, Vasilisa is left to figure out life and her secret powers on her own. Her father’s new wife does not help matters by forbidding that Visalia and her siblings honor the household spirits.
While the story primarily focuses on Vasilisa, we get plenty of third person POV from almost the entire cast of characters. I love her brothers, Sasha and Alyosha, and I like how Vasilisa’s stepsister, Irina, is not pited against her. My favorite aspect of the book is definitely a tie between Katherine Arden’s writing style and her world building! I love how she incorporated Russian folklore, culture, and even history, from what I understood, in her own fantastical world.
Regarding the ending, I was pretty content with that there weren’t a million and one questions left open at the end (okay, maybe there were like five). I’m really excited to pick up the The Girl in the Tower, especially since I’ve heard that the book features Vasilisa’s siblings that we don’t get throughout The Bear in the Nightingale!
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I am here to admit that all the hype surrounding The Cruel Prince made me want to pick up this first installment in Holly Black’s The Folk of the Air trilogy. While I have seen some mixed reviews, so many reviewers that Ifollow have raved about TCP and have placed it among their all-time favorites list. TCP was my introduction to Holly Black, and I’m sure like many, the only Fae-inspired books I’ve read are Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
TCP reminded me of Amanda Hocking’s Switched trilogy for its human-enters-fantastical-world element (Switched is about trolls, TCP is about faeries). Despite the hype, I didn’t know too much about the book going in, and I really enjoyed how Holly Black incorporated humans and the mortal world into the story. In the most basic synopsis, The Cruel Prince follows a mortal girl, Jude, who must fight off the trickery of the Fae in order to be in a place of power and respect in their kingdom.
I like how the book starts off with the reason why Jude and her sisters are whisked away from the mortal world to the Faerie realm, then transporting into the future with the girls adjusted to living among faeries. Like I said before, I haven’t read too many faerie books, but Holly Black’s world-building and world of Fae seemed really unique, and I’m definitely interested in seeing the world expand in the next book. My favorite part was learning more about the royal court and seeing what Jude’s role would ultimately be.
While I do think TCP is worthy of the hype, it’s not my all-time favorite book. I feel like Jude quickly escalated to being pretty dark to OH MY GOSH THIS GIRL IS ABOUT TO HAVE ALL FAERIES BOW AT HER FEET against all of the plot development, and I can already see the insta-love/hate-to-love forming. However, I am interested in picking upmore of Holly Black’s work and I plan on reading The Wicked King upon its release date.
Have you read The Cruel Prince or The Bear and the Nightingale? Share in the comments!
I think we can all agree that Funko Pops make for the best bookshelf companions. J started collecting Funko Pops a few years ago, and I now have 15 Funko Pops in total, along with some other Funko Pop merchandise. Today, I’m going to walk you through my current Funko Pop collection- I may have to do a part 2 as it grows!
Parks and Recreation
Bert Macklin—I remember running and screaming around my house, much to my family’s delight, when it was announced last year that Funko was creating a Parks and Recreation series. Bert was my first Parks and Rec Funko and so far, he’s the only Hot Topic exclusive from the series. I recommend using Hot Topic when ordering Funkos online—they usually have a ton of sales and do a lot of exclusives.
Ron Swanson– I snuck Ron into my textbook order last semester on Amazon, out of fear that I would never find him again. HOW COULD I NOT HAVE RON GUYS? IT’S LIKE LESLIE WITHOUT WAFFLES.
Leslie Knope– Speaking of Leslie, I was gifted Leslie this past Christmas. I love how much detail they put into her Pawnee book!
April Ludgate- April was a surprise Christmas gift and like Leslie, I love how much detail went into her (her eyeshadow game is strong).
Andy Dwyer- Andy was the third Funko I received for Christmas and I’m happy I now own both “Andys”. I don’t plan on finishing the first Parks and Rec series with Lil’ Sebastian—his role in the show is funny, but I think a few other characters should have been more important to include in the first series of pops.
Luna Lovegood- I love how detailed Luna is, between her earrings and the spider on her hand.
Ron Weasley- I couldn’t have Harry without Ron, who was a Christmas present from one of my sisters a few years back. For some reason, he falls over the most.Read More »
Summary:Seventeen-year old Molly knows about unrequited love: she’s had 26 crushes in her life and none of them have formed into relationships. While her sister, Cassie, tells her to go for it and even face rejection, Molly feels that she has to be careful. Meanwhile, Cassie has become completely lovesick for the first time ever, and her new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick, Will. Will seems to be the perfect crush material, and Cassie and Molly have always talked about dating best friends, right? So why does Molly keep thinking about her Tolkien-loving coworker, Reid?
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
I read The Upside of Unrequited in less than 2 days (and yes, I made sure all of my homework was done), and let me tell you it is the perfect binge/weekend read because you will not want to part with it. I admit that I loved this book even more than Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agendabecause MOLLY WAS JUST SO FREAKING RELATABLE (NOT TO MENTION THAT REID IS NOW THE MOST RECENT MEMBER OF MY BOOK BOYFRIEND SQUAD). But for my Simon lovers (who I of course love as well), there are so many Simon character cameos!
Let’s first talk about our main character, Molly, who has quickly become one of my favorite female protagonists in YA. I feel like she is a really relatable character for readers who may have not been in a relationship before, and even though I have dated before, I could really relate to Molly’s anxiety over forming relationships. Another favorite aspect? Molly is not skinny. While her grandma gives her some problems about it, Molly is plus-size and for the most part, she embraces it and I love her sense of style—dresses and tights forever please! Additionally, Molly influenced me to rediscover my love for Pinterest (can we have a sequel set a few years in the future featuring Molly as an interior designer or wedding planner?). With her love for design and baking (!!!), she really reminded me of Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before—I hope this is enough to get you running to the bookstore or the library.
The Upside of Unrequited has a phenomenal, diverse cast: for example, Molly and Cassie have two mothers, Cassie is queer, Mina is Korean-American and pansexual, and Molly’s town seems to really embrace the LGBTQ community. The best part? This diversity didn’t feel forced at all, it just felt so natural! There’s no ‘omg you’re gay’ or ‘omg you have two moms’ moment. I loved Molly’s family, and I discovered one of my new all-time favorite book quotes in a big family moment:
“ “I get this hot chocolate feeling in my stomach – cozy and content. I love this day and I love this job”” (89).
I was rooting for Reid from the moment that we meet him in Bissel-why can’t I have a job in this store? C’mon guys, he loves Mini Cadbury eggs, he cares about his shoes, he’s an insanely hilarious texter, and he has such a caring, nerdy heart! My heart squealed to no end when he insists on bringing Molly to the grocery store to get the best ingredients for her edible cookie dough. What else do you need in a guy?? I also liked that him and Molly were on the same level, in the sense that they both on the same page about the speed of their relationship and what they were each comfortable with.
And while I loved The Upside Down of Unrequited’s cast of characters, there was one particular character who drove Molly and I up a wall: Cassie. I understand that Molly begins to realize that her and Cassie may not always be super close, and I guess someone had to play the antagonist, BUT CASSIE WAS SO FRUSTRATING. I liked Cassie for her ballsy personality and her closeness with Molly, but I disliked how she tended to put the blame on Molly when they argued (which Molly thankfully recognized) and how she didn’t see the nonexistent chemistry between Will and Molly. I just found her to be really selfish at times, but like I said, this was probably on purpose to show how siblings may grow apart, and yes, Cassie does recognize her faults. HOWEVER, there is just one line from Cassie that I cannot let go (I care about Molly too much, okay??):
“ “You know I’d never laugh at you about Mina, right?”
“No, I know. It’s just.” She shuts her eyes. “Like, I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a dick, but, like, maybe it’s one of those things you’re not going to understand until you get a boyfriend.”” (124)
LET IT GO, HALEY, LET IT GO.
Overall, The Upside Down of Unrequited is a cozy read with a super diverse and heartfelt cast, growing up, and plenty of love. I cannot wait until Leaf on the Offbeat comes out this April (please let there be a Molly & Reid cameo, please let there be a Molly & Reid cameo).
Have you read The Upside Down of Unrequited? HOW EXCITED ARE YOU FOR LOVE, SIMON TO COME OUT IN MARCH? Share in the comments!
I love The Blending Blog’s TBB Asks series ( I did their Fall-Themed and Holiday Q&As in 2017), so I figured I’d participate in their February edition: All About Love.
However, I’m just not a huge Valentine’s Day person, and no, this isn’t because one of my bookish boyfriends has yet to knock on my door. I also really won’t be “celebrating” this year because I am not in a relationship at the moment and I also have this thing that keeps away from my blog and books more than I wish called school (honestly by the time you’d expect me to go out, I’d be passed out in bed).
Because of my Valentine’s Day feelings, I am going to be doing this Q &A a bit light-heartingly, while incorporate some humor and fangirl things.
Kisses or Hugs?
Obviously we’re talking about chocolate, specifically Hershey’s, so let’s go with kisses. I love making pretzel hugs using checkered pretzels, kisses, and M&Ms around the holidays.
Candy or Flowers?
I actually not a huge candy person and I can get a little picky about chocolate, so I’d take the flowers.
Baking or cooking?
Baking! I don’t mind cooking, but baking is so much more fun. In the winter, I like making chocolate-inspired treats, and chocolate chip cookies and magic bars are my go-to.
Favorite color of roses?
I don’t really have a preference, but if if you’re asking about my favorite color for book covers, I really like pastels (I’m thinking about the various editions of Fangirl).
Conversation Hearts, Yes or No?
Yes for cute decorations, no for eating. They definitely do not taste as cute as they look.
Do you leave love notes?
If my book boyfriends could read them, then this answer would be yes (I’ve already tried leaving notes for Chaol in Crown of Midnight, I guess he’s just not getting the message).
Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day?
Some pink, red, and white book piles would be a nice touch. Like this one below:
Red or Pink?
Milk, White, or Dark?
ANY! GIVE ME ALL THE NUT-FREE CHOCOLATE. And books. Please.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
If we’re talking about book covers, then yes.
Do you give Humorous or Serious Valentine Cards?
Humorous/light-hearted ones are the best! In high school, my friends and I would give each other handmade ones incorporating some of our inside jokes or we would buy cards that you would typically give out to your classmates in grade school. I still have a Harry Potter themed one from one of our high school exchanges!
Favorite Chick Flick or Romantic Movie?
The Devil Wears Prada and Bride Wars are among my favorites (and probably among the most played on TV, but hey, they’re fantastic!).
Stay In or Go Out?
ALWAYS STAY WITH THE BOOKS.
Do you like celebrating Valentine’s Day? What are some of your favorite books that incorporate V-Day feels? Share in the comments!
I am definitely not a new-year, new me kind of person. But when it comes to being a reader, I guess I kind of am because I started one of my 2018 reading goals ON THE FOURTH DAY OF THE YEAR. On the first snow day of the year, I craved a fantasy read and I knew that it was time to reread Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Until now, I hadn’t picked up Throne of Glass since 2015, and with the final book coming out in October(not to mention the fact that I still haven’t read Tower of Dawn) , I want to give myself plenty of time to reread the series before then.
Because I still need to reread Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, and Empire of Storms, today I am only going to be discussing Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. I’ve decided not to reread The Assassin’s Blade at the moment because I actually have a pretty decent memory of the short stories in that book. However, if you are currently or planning on reading the Throne of Glass series, I recommend reading The Assassin’s Blade before Queen of Shadows because this is where the characters from the short stories really come into play.
I’m not going to be going into serious spoilers for Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight until closer to the end. Call me lazy, but I’m also not going to be giving a synopsis for the Throne of Glass series because after reading the first 6 books, Throne of Glass’s (the book) blurb barely covers the world and fantastical elements that make up the series. Also know that I am a huge fan of Sarah J. Maas’s books; I don’t want to use the term that “I am trash” for them because I think Sarah’s books are insanely good and have really gotten me into the fantasy genre overall; it’s not like I’m reading them because they’re easy to fly through (granted it was my first semester of college, but it took me two weeks to read Empire of Storms in 2016) or that I enjoy just one character (but please, give me all of the Chaol). And as much as I love the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, I admit that I enjoy ToG more than ACOTAR. For me, it comes down to the main protagonist; Celaena over Feyre, please. Honestly, I just love Celaena’s brutalness and sass in her world.
I decided to commit to taking notes for my reread by using the “Rattle the stars” notebook I received from the preorder promotion for Empire of Storms. I actually haven’t written in it before (I might have lost my temper a bit when I found my sister ripped out a page; IT’S A BOOKSHELF DECORATION,OKAY?) so I’m glad it has more of a purpose now. My notes vary anywhere from some of my favorite quotes to my reactions and finally taking down details or page numbers about the main plot.
Speaking of plot, my main reason for rereading this series is because it’s one of my all-time favorite series and I wanted to be reacquainted with some of my characters (hi Chaol)…. Sounds typical, right?
I sort’ve wish this was my main reason, but in all reality, I’ve forgotten most of the basic plot details of the series, especially when it comes to magic and the Fae. Even when I read Empire of Storms, I found myself having to flip back to Queen of Shadows for reminders. Granted, there isn’t too much about Fae in these first two books, but there’s a lot about the magic system in Erilea, including WYRDMARKS (aka, something that I almost entirely forgot about). I also caught a lot of hints about what is to come for Celaena in the other books with the Fae and Terrasen.
I really enjoyed this section of my reread because I got to revisit what I currently believe is my favorite book in the series, Crown of Midnight (as you can see below, I was able to have Sarah sign my copy at Book Con in 2017!). I 100% admit that this mostly because of how much Chaol we get in this book (which I know is a hot topic that I’ll get into more in the spoilery section), but I also enjoyed seeing Celaena’s role in Adarlan and watching her explore magic.
With this go-around, I found myself less invested in the Team Dorian vs. Team Chaol debate– I think this taken a lot more seriously in the ToG fandom until Queen of Shadows. Without considering anything else in the later books, I think either would be a great partner for Celaena– and if Celaena doesn’t take Chaol, I will!
I loved being back in Dorian, Chaol and Celaena’s dynamic. Yes, Chaol is my book boyfriend, but I also love Dorian for his caring nature and how different he is from the king. And I absolutely love the sass, sarcasm, and humor between the three. I feel like we miss this in Queen of Shadows and Empire of Storms, although they are dealing with more serious issues. And without mentioning a spoilery name, I remember missing Celaena so much in the later two books. She just don’t feel like an act or disguise to me…
As you may tell, I am on the verge of spilling a thing or two so IT’S SPOILER TIME: IF YOU HAVE NOT YET CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, THIS IS WHERE YOU SHOULD LEAVE
The only spoiler I really want to discuss right now is Chaol and Celaena’s split, and I think this is where we see a divide in the Throne of Glass fandom over Chaol. Before rereading, I had forgotten what had happened surrounding Nehemia’s death, other than Celaena putting a lot of blame on Chaol. There is some sort of resolution between the two, as Celaena realizes that they were both set up, but she repeatedly says that she cannot trust him again. While I think Chaol does have some responsibility in the matter, I think he is not deserving of Celaena’s wrath. What it really comes down between the two is one factor: loyalty.
If Celaena’s been reminded of anything, it’s that 1. fortunately or unfortunately, Chaol is true to his word and must abide by his position as Captain of the Guard and 2. He’s the enemy. Even without factoring the Aelin stuff, Celaena represents Terrasen, while Chaol represents Adarlan, the kingdom that destroyed Celaena’s family and home. It makes me sad for the both of them, just because they care so much for one another and if there weren’t the whole following her destiny/Queen of Terrasen thing, I’d sure they’d be together (and we’d have less books).
So that does it for this recap of my Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight reread! Have you read the Throne of Glass series? If so, what’s your favorite book?
AND HAVE YOU SEEN THE COVER FOR A COURT OF FROST AND STARLIGHT??Share in the comments!