BOOKS, TV, & FALL THINGS: October 2019 Wrap Up

October was a month filled with so many (good) things and moments in my academic and personal life. That being said, my life was more busy and honestly hectic than it’s ever been before. October often marks midterm season in the college world, which meant a few papers and writing assignments on my end, including having to start drafting my first of two senior research papers. I know I haven’t been too specific about my senior project for my English major (honestly I’m still working out my subtopics and arguments even with my 15-20 page draft in the works), but I can reveal that I’m talking about Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give! I’ve luckily read a decent amount of contemporary literature in my English courses, but this is my first time studying YA.

Between also balancing my course-load alongside my jobs and social time (trying to make the most of my last year living with all of my best friends), my brain has been feeling fried and not exactly in the mood to read at the end of the day. Probably also not helping my reading life, I watched so many great new TV shows this month.

I really wish I was reading more, but I’m at the point where I have to dedicate my free time to the aforementioned things. However, I 100% admit that my senioritis is definitely kicking in and I’ve been finding myself drifting  to blogging and reading when I should probably be doing school work. I think it’s also because it’s almost (!!!) the end of the year and I’ve been working on my favorites, yearly wrap-up, and holiday-themed posts, but I’ve been so in the mood to read lately because of all the new books coming out still this year (I’m looking at you, The Toll and The Queen of Nothing.

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The Chase by Elle Kennedy | 4/5 Stars

I was so excited to jump back into the Off-Campus world with The Chase. Although it’s not my favorite Elle Kennedy book, I loved having Fitz as one of the protagonists.

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The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh | 4/5

The most Halloween-esque book that I read in October, I enjoyed The Beautiful for its atmospheric setting and for the fact that it broke my usual reading habits with its paranormal and mysterious story.

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston (ARC) | 4/5

October marks Christmas season prep in the Fangirl Fury handbook, which further encouraged me to pick up 10 Blind Dates. 10 Blind Dates was a fun holiday mood read. I really enjoyed its family focus.

 

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A 2019 FAVORITE FANTASY: Crier’s War Review

Summary (from the publisher): Set in a universe after the War of Kinds destroyed criers warthe land of Old Zulla, the man-made beings known as the Automa species have risen to power, forcing their inferior human counterparts into living lives of service and suffering. When Ayla’s family is murdered under Sovereign Hesod’s reign, she vows to seek revenge by killing his daughter, Lady Crier. However, once Ayla and Crier start spending more time together, Ayla’s blood-thirsty rage and burning desire to kill Crier quickly shifts into a different kind of desire. Turns out, the feelings are mutual and Crier is just as confused and curious about her attraction to Ayla when unexpected feelings of love and longing begin to surface. While their seemingly inconvenient, romantic feelings for one another continue to grow stronger, so do the intense political divisions and tensions throughout the land.

 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Blame it on the fact that I haven’t been reading as much as I usually do this fall, but lately I haven’t been head-over-heels in love with my past few reads. That soon changed when I picked up Nina Varela’s debut novel, Crier’s War. I didn’t think I’d be adding too many more fantasy books to my favorites list year, but Crier’s War is hands-down one of the best books and best debuts I’ve read this year!

Crier’s War takes place in a world where people are divided into two categories, humans and Automae, or humans that are ‘Made.’ The daughter of the kingdom’s sovereign, Crier is an Automa. Although she looks human and acts like one, Crier isn’t supposed to have human feelings like passion- until she sees her blue prints and discovers that she isn’t the flawless creation she is meant to be. Meanwhile, ever since her family was murdered during one of the sovereign’s raids, Ayla has always had vengeance on her mind. Her goal? Murder Lady Crier. However, Ayla’s plans are complicated when she begins to work for Crier and her feelings of hatred turn into something more.

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The book has received much attention for featuring a female/female romance, Crier and Ayla. The execution of their relationship, as well as the enemies to lovers trope, was done really well. While their relationship was well-developed, Crier’s War is so much more than the romance. Crier’s War is told both from Ayla and Crier’s perspectives, which allowed Nina Varela to expand upon the world of Zulla and all the political inner-workings even further. Out of the two, I’d argue that Crier experiences the most character development and while I want book #2 for a ton of reasons, I’m especially excited to see her grow in the next installment. I would’ve loved to see Crier’s War go even further, but nevertheless, I’m really excited to see this story expand into a series.

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BEST NERDY ROMANCE: Comics Will Break Your Heart Review

91rMd4ffzqLSummary (from the publisher):

Miriam’s family should be rich. After all, her grandfather was the co-creator of smash-hit comics series The TomorrowMen. But he sold his rights to the series to his co-creator in the 1960s for practically nothing, and now that’s what Miriam has: practically nothing. And practically nothing to look forward to either-how can she afford college when her family can barely keep a roof above their heads? As if she didn’t have enough to worry about, Miriam’s life gets much more complicated when a cute boy shows up in town . . . and turns out to be the grandson of the man who defrauded Miriam’s grandfather, and heir to the TomorrowMen fortune.

 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Everyone knows that I absolute love contemporary books having anything to do with characters who love nerdy and fangirl things. Enter Faith Erin Hick’s Comics Will Break Your Heart, one of my most anticipated contemporary releases of 2019. Miriam’s grandfather was the co-creator of the hit comic series, TomorrowMen. But after selling his rights to the comic for practically nothing, Mir’s family is left with practically nothing, stressing Mir even more as she thinks about paying for university. Things in Mir’s life get even more complicated when a cute boy shows up in her town for the summer. It might not sound so complicated, except that Weldon Warrick happens to be the grandson of the other TomorrowMen co-creator. The book is told from the third person perspectives of Mir and Weldon.

Comics Will Break Your Heart has almost all of the things I crave in YA contemporary: romance, self-discovery, family, and in this book’s case, fandom. On that first element, I really enjoyed Mir and Weldon’s relationship. There are some slight Romeo and Juliet vibes, as Mir and Weldon’s family history gets in the way of them being friends, let alone having feelings for one another. Mir and Weldon’s families are complicated as it is, with Mir’s family having financial struggles and Weldon’s family torn apart over the massive success of the TomorrowMen franchise. While their family struggles added to the characters’ individual story arc, I was really invested in how the TomorrowMen past affected Weldon and Mir. In light of the family tension, I really liked the progress of their relationship. There are plenty of swoon-worthy and nerdy moments between the pair.

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Top Five Wednesday: Most Halloweenish Books on My TBR

Some of you may know that I am not the biggest fan a scary movie fan. I can’t even try to pretend that I enjoy them—and yes, I am that person who jumps and screams at the slightly jump scare. Even though I haven’t read a ton of them, I luckily have a better time reading horror or gothic/horror-esque thriller books. I’m also here to admit that I don’t have a ton of them on my TBR either, choosing to go down the mystery and spooky route instead.

With Halloween approaching, I wanted to do a holiday-themed evaluation of my TBR and talk about the most mysterious or scariest books on my TBR. The following books have something to do with mysteries, paranormal happenings, and darker themes & atmospheres.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab – I think I keep putting off reading Victoria Schwab’s The Archived in hopes that one day she’ll be able to publish the third book. True to Victoria Schwab, The Archived falls into the spooky/creepy category. I’ve heard that this is the quintessential Halloween read, as the main character’s job is to prevent the stories of the dead from wrecking havoc on the living.

Now Entering Adamsville by Francesca Zappia – I have much love for Francesca Zappia’s Eliza and Her Monsters and Made You Up, so I couldn’t be more excited to pick up her latest release, Now Entering Adamsville. The book screams mystery, as Zora must clear her name after being accused of starting a fire that results in a death. With the help of her cousin, Zora finds herself following ghost stories and uncovering a string of fires that left others in her Indianan town dead.

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody – Another mystery-esque read, Amanda Foody’s Ace of Shades has a darker, mysterious & fantastical setting. After her mother goes missing, Enne is forced to enter the City of Sin and a world of magic and violence.

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STAR-CROSSED SWOON: Twice in a Blue Moon Review

Summary (from the publisher):
During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in 45186670only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

 

 My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

 My Thoughts:

 Many of my fellow bloggers absolutely love Christina Lauren’s books. This author duo is much loved by both YA and adult book audiences. That being said, I knew it was time to finally pick up one of their books when I was able to get their latest release, Twice in a Blue Moon, at Book Expo 2019.

Twice in a Blue Moon has the perfect crossover appeal for YA and adult readers. This book is all about the love-to-hate-to-maybe-back-to-love trope (watching out for spoilers as always). During a vacation abroad in London, Sam and Tate experience first love.  Tate is one of the first people Sam feels that she can share all her hopes, dreams, and secrets with- including that her estranged father is one of the world’s most famous movie stars. When it is clear that Tate’s trust has been betrayed, her world and first love fall apart. The book then transports readers fourteen years later, when now up-and-coming movie star Tate runs into Sam on a movie set.

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THE BOOK OF YOUR READER DREAMS: The Library of Lost Things Review

Summary (from the publisher):
GUEST_4b82a404-b296-4ed9-b8d9-523a6b7d5fddFrom the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.

While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter.

Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.

 My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I think it’s safe to say that most readers love books about characters who are readers  or books that take place in bookish settings. The Library of Lost Things hits both of these reader dreams, as the main protagonist, Darcy, spends most of her time with books. A lifelong reader, literary genius, & bookstore employee, Darcy constantly finds herself surrounded by books.

The Library of Lost Things is such a relatable read for readers because of Darcy. Her family life has often forced Darcy to hide her personal life from her classmates, other than her super supportive friend, Marisol. Literature is Darcy’s sanctuary in numerous ways. Between this comfort and her genuine love for books, I found myself keeping post-it notes by my side throughout reading to mark some of my favorite reader-inspired quotes. Some more bookish-ness comes into play of course with Darcy’s part-time job working at the bookstore. The Library of Lost Things is a cozy read for plenty of reasons, but Yellow Feather books is definitely the most cozy of them all (aside from its grumpy owner). Laura Taylor Namey’s descriptiveness left it so easy for me to picture the setting.

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With a book about a book-loving character, Laura Taylor Namey definitely delivers on the literary references. I really enjoyed how each chapter started with a literary quote in line with said chapter’s theme. While I don’t much about this classic other than its Disney adaptation, I really enjoyed how a certain children’s classic is incorporated into the story, and I didn’t see some of the allusions coming.

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LIBRARY LOVIN’:The Library Loves Tag

As someone who has always loved the library, it shouldn’t be too surprising for me to realize that I absolutely love writing posts about libraries. Back in my early blogging days, I did a post on all the reasons you should love the library and I did the Library Lovers Tag back in 2018.

That being said, I think I have officially established a Fangirl Fury tradition in which I must do a least one library-related post every year. 2019 shall thus be the year of The Library Loves Tag, created by Jess of Read by Jess in honor of Library Loves month. I saw this tag done by Kate of Reading Through Infinity.

When did you first go to the library/get a library card?

I cannot recall my exact age when I first got my library card, but it had to be when I was in elementary school. My mom is other sole bibliophile in my family, so I would always accompany her to trips to the library. I think she made me check out my own card at some point because I would take out so many books on her account!

How often do you use your library?

My use of the library is an ever-changing question, as it really depends on my school schedule and the amount of books I have received for review or purchased myself. I definitely use the library way more when I am home for school breaks, given that I have way more time to read than during the semester. While I am somewhat close to home, I tend not to check out books from the library during the semester so I don’t have to worry about constantly renewing books. I used my college town library a lot during my sophomore year- although my library at home is awesome at ordering in books from other libraries, my college town’s YA selection was amazing- but my school schedule have gotten significantly more hectic in the past two years that I rely on my review and owned books for reading.

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I don’t think I have ever explained this before, but I use my county library system (I live in the US). This means that while I primarily visit one of the local branches in the town over from me, I can borrow books from almost any library in the county (some libraries are private and only the town’s residents can borrow books from them). If my local library doesn’t have a title, I can put the title on hold from another branch.

Have you ever had a late or lost library book?

I’ve definitely had late books before. This usually happens when one of my parents borrow a book from my account (yes, I made the mistake of giving them my library card number), but even I admit that I am the delinquent user from time to time. BUT NEVER DELINQUENT ENOUGH TO LOSE A BOOK!

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