Amanda Lovelace & Cyrus Parker Event + the princess saves herself in this one

On Saturday, my best friends and I spent our second-to-last day of spring break right by attending a poetry reading at our local Barnes and Noble. The best part? The event was in honor of Amanda Lovelace and Cyrus Parker, the cutest poetry-writing married couple. Amanda is known for her debut collection, the princess saves herself in this one, and both authors just came out with new books last Tuesday: Amanda’s the witch doesn’t burn in this one and Cyrus’ debut DROPKICKromance.

The event kicked off with Cyrus reading a few poems from DROPKICKromance. The collection tells his experience being in a toxic relationship and then transitions to his much healthier and happier relationship with Amanda. One of the poems he read was about Amanda and he looked at her while he read (*major swoon*). I didn’t pick up a copy at the event, but I’m hoping to borrow it from the library really soon. After his reading, Cyrus discussed his inspiration behind the collection—it’s named after his favorite move when he was a pro-wrestler (!!!)- and the work behind his writing.

thwitchdoesntburnAmanda then read a few poems from the witch doesn’t burn in this one, starting off with her dedication. I love that Amanda dedicated the princess saves herself in this one and the witch doesn’t burn in this one to fictional characters, respectively to the boy who lived (Harry Potter) and the girl on fire (Katniss Everdeen). I’ve been trying to slow down my book-buying habits due to my lack of shelf space, but the fact that Katniss and The Hunger Games were large inspirations for her collection made me buy it immediately.

After Amanda’s reading, there was a Q&A with both authors. My favorite poems in the princess saves herself in this one were about the protagonist’s  relationship to words and fiction, so I asked Amanda and Cyrus what their favorite books were. Amanda discussed her love for Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, as well as her latest read, Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough, which she blurbed. Cyrus talked about his love for Leigh Bardugo and Six of Crows and that they were married by Leigh herself!! * INSERT PSA FOR MORE AUTHORS TO BECOME WEDDING OFFICIANTS HERE*

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The event was in serious need of chairs so my friends and I separated when it came to seating. Blame my friend’s head for blocking out Cyrus’s face

 Toward the end of the event, Amanda signed my copy of the witch doesn’t burn in this one and we talked more about Six of Crows (Amanda loves Nina and Cyrus loves Kaz and Inej) and Book Expo/Book Con- I will always find a way to work this into any conversation ever. If you’re attending Book Con in June, Amanda and Cyrus are going to be on a panel during the convention!

 Overall, I’m so happy that I attended this event and that my B&N is holding more and more author events (I met Jennifer E. Smith here back in September!). I can’t wait to read the witch doesn’t burn in this one and DROPKICKromance in the near future.

In anticipation for the reading & signing, I read Amanda’s the princess saves herself in this one over my spring break and you can check out my mini review below.

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the princess saves herself in this one

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My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

the princess saves herself in this one is the first collection in Amanda’s women are some kind of magic trilogy. Fun fact that Amanda discussed at the above event: the final collection is going to be about mermaids, entitled the mermaid’s voice returns in this one!

The collection is divided into four sections: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. the princess saves herself in this one can most definitely be read in one sitting (I separated into two just because of work, other reads, and a Brooklyn Nine-Nine marathon tiredness). The book addresses numerous, heavy topics, including abuse, death, and self-harm. Amanda’s writing is largely inspired by her own life and her writing just felt so real. I think this is why so many readers have been able to resonate with her poetry. Personally, I related the most to the book-related ones, like the one below:

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I admit that I don’t read a ton of poetry so this might be more common than not, but I enjoyed how the titleswere placed at the bottom of the poem. This technique often made me have an a-ha moment and it was interesting to see what each poem was really about AFTER reading. My biggest problem with reading poetry is figuring out how the poems should be read. Amanda’s poetry heavily use spaces and while I don’t mind this practice, I often had trouble figuring out how the poem should be read aloud. I know it can be up to the reader’s interpretation or can be easily solved by listening to the audiobook.

Have you read Amanda or Cyrus’s poetry collections? Share in the comments!

Monthly Recommendations: LET’S DISCUSS *EVERY* DUOLOGY I’VE READ

In a world filled with standalones, trilogies, and more, duologies are considerably rare. Today, I’m going to be discussing my duology recommendations, which has basically formed into a list of almost every duology I’ve ever read. Please give me more duologies and less trilogies where the second books act as plot fillers (and if someone can do this, can they also get me more bookshelf space???)!

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Monthly Recommendations is a group on Goodreads and each month, there’s a new theme for recommendations. The group is for Booktubers and bloggers alike, and I discovered Monthly Recommendations through Cece of Problems of a Book Nerd.

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Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo– A duology that I’m sure will deservingly top everyone’s list, Six of Crows is a perfect example of a series that just needed two books to both break and warm our hearts forever wrap up this story in the Grishaverse. However,  if Leigh Bardugo wants to write a third book, I would be the first in line. Honestly, I’d read a whole book of Wylan and Jesper living together or Inej and Kaz just staring at each other or Nina kicking butt.

This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet by Victoria SchwabThis Savage Song was my first Victoria Schwab book and it made me understand why everyone loves her books.. little did I know then what Vicious would have in store. While I still enjoyed Our Dark Duet, I wasn’t completely crazy Our Dark Duet. I think my feelings would have differed if I read TSS and ODD back-to-back.

 Just One Day and Just One Year by Gayle Forman– While I have fuzzy memories of Gayle Forman’s Just One Day duology, having read it back in 2014, I remember loving its travel and self-discovery aspects.. I’d say Gayle Forman is better known for her If I Stay duology, a series I also loved at the time of reading it and I definitely don’t have fuzzy memories of me sobbing in my backyard while doing so.

Warcross by Marie Lu- While we don’t yet have the second book, I’m including Marie Lu’s Warcross because I don’t think I’ve ever anticipated a duololgy conclusion so much. As of right now, Warcross is set to be a duology, but Marie Lu has said that she will write a third book if she thinks it’s needed (she talked about this in an Instagram story Q&A in February). I’m interested to see if Warcross will stay a duology, especially since her other series are all trilogies.

Prisoner of Night and Fog and Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman – Definitely the least talked about on my list, I loved Anne Blankman’s Prisoner of Night and Fog duology for its unique story during the rise of the Third Reich, as Gretchen questions everything she’s ever known growing up in the National Socialist Party. While the plot is not entirely historically accurate, you can easily tell how much research Anne Blankman put into these books and it was interesting to see how she intertwines historical accuracy with her own spin.

Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin– Another historical fiction-esque duology, I adored and I admit was a bit freaked out by, is Ryan Graudin’s alternate history and genre-bending take on what would have happen if the Axis Powers won World War II.

The Monthly Recommendations Group can be found here on Goodreads

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Have you read any of the duologies above? What are some of your favorite duologies? Share in the comments!

I’m Ready to Play More Than the Wii: Ready Player One Review

Summary:
In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. 
   But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

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My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is a much-loved book among my fellow readers and reviewers that I knew would one day pop into my own reading. The book earned a priority spot on my TBR when I saw a trailer for its film adaptation and after finishing, Ready Player One has become one of my most anticipated film releases of 2018.

Ready Player One takes place in a world and virtual reality immersed in video games and sci-fi & fantasy content. While a lot of the games and films are from the ‘80s (reminder that I must watch every John Hughes film now), I was reminded of my own video game experience. I really enjoy playing video games, and by video games, I basically mean Nintendo. I grew up playing GameCube and Sony’s PlayStation 2, and the Wii continues to be my favorite console. My favorite way to play Animal Crossing is on my DS (let’s take a moment of silence for the disappointment that was Animal Crossing for iPhone).

Returning to Ready Player One, I loved the separation between the real world Wade lives in and the virtual world set within the OASIS—the world building overall was phenomenal! The book physically takes place in a near-future United States destroyed by energy/fuel consumption and basically any non-Earth saving ways you could imagine. I really liked learning about this society and how much the way of life is influenced by the OASIS. The OASIS is an even more mind-blowing, with all of the different worlds set inside. I think it’s safe to say many of us would be spending our days in a virtual stimulation of Hogwarts! I also loved learning about the creators of the OASIS, Og and Halliday, and seeing all of the pop cultural references.

I liked when Wade and his avatar, Parzival, team up with his friends and fellow gunters (people who make it their mission to find James Halliday’s egg) for their quest, and it was just really fun seeing them talk and play games. Art3mis was definitely my favorite “secondary” character—I loved how she was a blogger and that she could solve Halliday’s clues just as well as Wade. However, I was a bit frustrated when Wade or Art3mis magically came up with the solution to one of Halliday’s clues. Obviously, we would be reading Ready Player One all day if Ernest Cline had given us their entire thought process, but sometime it felt too easy, even for experts. I also had trouble visualizing some of the action scenes, which may have resulted from my own unfamiliarity with most of the games.

Lately, there has been a ton of hype over Ernest Cline’s confirmation that a sequel to Ready Player One is in the works. While I think the novel works really well as a standalone, I wouldn’t mind seeing Art3mis and Wade’s relationship develop and I’m curious about the future of IOI. I would even love to just have a novella to see what the winner of the Hunt (no spoilers for you!) does with their winnings.

Overall, I highly recommend reading Ready Player One if you’re looking for a unique dystopian read or if you have a love for video games and all the sci-fi things! I am more than excited to see Ready Player One in theaters when it comes out on March 29. 

I received Ready Player One from Blogging for Books for this review.

Have you read Ready Player One? Are you looking forward to the movie? Share in the comments!

Top Five Wednesday: Most Anticipated 2018 Movies

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I’ve recently realized that 2018 is THE year of movie releases.There’s so many book-to-movie adaptations (especially YA), my childhood is returning to the screen, and there’s at least one movie coming out this year for plenty of fandoms. I created a thread on Twitter of my most anticipated releases and will definitely be going back to add more on– feel free to comment what films you’re looking forward to this year there as well!

Since today’s Top Five Wednesday prompt is a freebie, instead of going back and choosing an old topic, I’m going to be discussing my current top 5 anticipated movies of 2018.

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The Fae Have Landed: Heir of Fire Reread Discussion

The Fae are here to stay in Sarah J. Maas’s Heir of Fire, and I am here for it.

My reread of the Throne of Glass series continued in February with Heir of Fire, and I am having a great time being back in this series. Just as a refresher, one of my reading goals for 2018 is to reread ToG in anticipation for the final book to come out on October 30, 2018. I know some readers aren’t happy that the book isn’t coming out until Halloween-time, since ToG usually releases in September, but I don’t mind as much. Yes, I do find time to read during the school year, but I want to be able to set time aside to solely focus on the ending of my favorite fantasy series either during Thanksgiving or winter break.

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Since Heir of Fire is the third book in the series, this discussion will be featuring spoilers. Before my non-spoiler readers leave, just know that my 5 Star rating for this installment remains. One of the reasons why I’m rereading the series is because I’ve forgotten a lot of the plot details surrounding the magic system and Fae. After my reread, I am really impressed with how SJM was able to interweave new information about magic in Wendlyn and Adarlan with new characters and multi-POVs. Heir of Fire also has a special place in my heart because SJM signed my copy at my first signing of hers in 2015. I remember talking to her about Queen of Shadow’s release and writing & editing, with my college application deadlines coming up.

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And listen, I am all for the envrionment, but ToG-wise, after the publication of Heir of Fire, SJM’s books got a lot thinner because of Bloomsbury’s paper-saving ways. The hardcover of HoF is over 550 pages long AND I LOVED HOW IT FELT LIKE A 550+ PAGE BOOK IN MY HANDS.

When thinking about each book in ToG, I’ve started to break them down by how much Fae have come into play, hence the title of my discussion. I reread Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight back in January, and you can find my discussion points in Before the Fae.

For my non-spoiler folks, this is where I leave you, courtesy of Ron & April.

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I don’t really remember my exact feelings of HoF from my first time around, other than my immediate need for QoS after that ending with the King of Adarlan. However, I do remember my feelings over Sorscha’s death and the fact that Dorian gets turned into one of his father’s demons. I LOVED Sorscha and Dorian’s relationship, and I am so sad that we obviously won’t see her in the series any longer. It would have been really interesting to see her survive and escape to the South, especially since she was low-key part of the resistance with Ren and Tower of Dawn takes place in that setting . The only thing I’m grateful for during that scene is the survival of my bf, Chaol. AND I ALSO COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT THE FOLLOWING FEELS BETWEEN HIM AND DORAIN:

“He looked at his friend, perhaps for the last time, and said what he had always known, from the moment they’d met, when he’d understood that the prince was his brother in soul. “I love you.”

Dorian merely nodded, eyes still blazing, and lifted his hands again toward his father. Brother. Friend. King” (550)

Regarding Chaol, I never really had the impression that he was scared of Dorian’s magic or helping the resistance because it went against his loyalty. Above all, I think he was just scared for Celaena and Dorian’s futures and what he might do that could make matters worse (especially after everyone freaks out over him sending Celaena to Doranelle, aka Maeve). I did enjoy seeing him partake in the resistance in Aedion, who has definitely become one of my favorite characters in the series.

While I could read a book all about Chaol all day (and one day soon, I can!!), my favorite character and perspective in HoF goes to Manon Blackbeak. I know some readers aren’t totally sold on having Manon in the series, but I freaking love her. Yes, we do get badass Celaena in this series, but Manon takes cold-heartedness to a whole new level. BUT OF COURSE THAT COLD HEART HEATS UP WITH HER LOVE FOR ABRAXOS. Correction, Abraxos, Manon’s soft yet menacing yet loveable dragon (yes, I know he’s a wyvern) is my favorite character. He brings out a softer side to Manon that she begins to acknowledge, especially with the Crochan witch and her grandmother at the end of the novel. I don’ t exactly remember where Manon is and what’s she doing by the end of Empire of Storms, but I could totally foresee a spin-off about the Wastes.

The biggest plot element I wanted to explore in this reading of HoF is Celaena’s relationship with Rowan. Before jumping into their relationship, I forgot how much goes down at Mistward, between the skinwalkers and all the information revealed about the Wyrdkeys. Like I said, my memory of EoS isn’t too reliable when it comes to the smaller details, but I hope to see Luca and Emrys make a reappearance. Regarding Rowan and Celaena as a couple, while the two don’t get together in this installment, I think SJM layed enough of their relationship out for them to become mates in QoS. Their relationship in HoF progressed at the right rate, and it’s not like they ever get down to some intimate business. I loved how much they opened up to one another, especially since learning more about Celaena’s experience during the downfall of Terrasen was among my favorite scenes in the books. So my conclusion? I like Rowan and Celaena as a couple. However, I do think they need some time to develop romantically in Queen of Shadows before sailing as a ship.

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I plan on rereading Queen of Shadows in March and Empire of Storms in April, so I’ll be able to treat myself at the end of my spring semester in May by FINALLY reading Tower of Dawn– I know Chaol is waiting for our reunion!.

Do you read Throne of Glass? Have you read Heir of Fire? Share in the comments!

IT’S TIME TO BUY ANOTHER BOOK SHELF : Most Anticipated Spring 2018 Releases

We have been blessed with amazing book releases this January and February, and the book gods, otherwise known as authors and publishers, have even more in store for us! There are so many series conclusions and continuations coming out this spring and fall, not to mention ALL the contemporaries. Today, I’ll be discussing my most anticipated spring releases, i.e. books that are coming out from March to May.

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff -March 13- I actually haven’t read the blurb yet for Obsidio, but from what I’ve gathered on social media, we’ll be reunited with our main cast from the first two books as well as some new faces. If you don’t plan on rereading Illuminae or Gemina beforehand like me, make sure to check out Book Series Recaps for a refresh.

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman -March 27- I’ll read almost anything Gayle Forman writes, including this YA book about three teens in New York City.

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