book freak out

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag – 2019

I am just destined to be late on things in July, apparently. But that’s okay! Because I’m still going to do what I want, and what I want right now is to do this really awesome tag I found on Soffi’s blog at A Book. A Thought (she’s super amazing and posts some really awesome stuff, so you should def follow her if you aren’t already).

I’m not sure who came up with the tag originally, but whoever you are: you’re lovely and amazing, too!

Here’s hoping you guys like this one. It’s the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

Best Book I’ve Read so Far in 2019

middlegame

Seanan McGuire just flexed on everybody with Middlegame. This is a standalone that packs a punch, the story grounded in real-world New England and California but rendered incredibly complex with alchemy and the cosmic forces of the universe summed up inside, well, people. McGuire demonstrates how much she’s mastered her craft with this one, similarly to how her character Reed attempts to master the Alchemical Doctrine: it’s stunning and terrifying, beautiful and unbelievable all at the same time. Combine all that with superior characterization, flawlessly balanced third-person omniscient, and timeline juggling, and we have an ambitious masterpiece I will live in awe of for years to come.

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The Birthday Book Tag

Hey, everyone! Today is my birthday, so I wanted to do a quick book tag for it because why not? This is actually a combination of questions from book tags I liked, so not 100% original but oh well.

I hope everyone’s having an amazing day so far. Other than my birthday, May 2nd marks some cool historical events:

  • The Soviet Union announced the Fall of Berlin in 1945
  • Dwayne Johnson was born in 1972
  • Osama bin Laden, the FBI’s most wanted man, was killed by U.S. Special Forces in 2011

And as far as fandom events are concerned—Battle of Hogwarts and Voldemort’s death, anyone?

Cool facts, let’s get to the tag!

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books my brand

10 Books That Are #MyBrand

Hey, everybody! Recently, I saw a trend on Twitter going around, asking people what books were “their brand.” In other words, what books represent you—body, heart, mind, and soul? It’s more than asking what books you’d bring with you on a deserted island, but rather what books you carry with you always because they speak to every fiber of your being.

Plus, I think it’s a great way to get to know other readers and what their interests are.

I’ll be tagging some folks to do this, but if you like this post and want to do your own, please feel free and tag me with your answers! You can also do however many books you want. The Twitter post originally called for five, but I had to do ten, you feel me?

So what books are #MyBrand?

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reading challenge

Reading Challenge Update – January 2019

Hello, everyone! We’re all still hyped for the new year and our goal settings, and I am no exception. Honestly, I’m surprised, but so far, I’m getting a kick out of doing these reading challenges. Let’s see how I did this month:

The Five-Star Favs

illuminae
Finished: 1/3/19 | Rating: ★★★★★

Challenges met:

Clocking in at 604 pages, Illuminae is told in various files such as mission reports, ship logs, IMs, interviews, and other formats, with civilian characters and civilians-conscripted-into-soldier characters on board a military warship as they attempt to escape annihilation from an enemy warship. In space. Talk about stressful. [Review]

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january 2019 books

January 2019 Book Releases

It’s official: 2019 is here and with it comes a brand new year of wonderful new books. I’m simultaneously geared up for and dreading what’s going to catch my eye this year, both because I’m easily obsessed and because my TBR list is out of control.

One of my goals this year is to trim that TBR list down, but in the spirit of breaking goals early, let’s talk about the books I’m eyeing coming out during January 2019.

My most anticipated read goes to…

the wicked king

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Release Date:
January 8 | Goodreads

Why I Want to Read This: Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince was my favorite read of 2018, so of course, I’ve got to see where its sequel, The Wicked King, goes. I’ve been dying for this book since January of last year. Jude’s my girl, and I need to know how she and Cardan are going to complicate everything the other is trying to accomplish. Plus, I’m excited to see what Locke and Madoc have up their sleeves, and ugh, I guess Taryn, too. Will I be able to hate her more? Or less? Make my day, Holly Black!

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Short Reviews: The Darkest Part of the Forest + The City of Brass + Iced + Burned

I’ve finished a lot of books in the past few months, some I’ve wanted to give full-blown reviews for and others I’ve wanted to mention, or at least explain my ratings for them. That gave me an idea: let’s try some short reviews for a change!

images


Title: 
The Darkest Part of the Forest
Author:
 Holly Black
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Version: Paperback
Page Count: 331
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: POC love interest and LGBTQ characters
Recommended Readers: Fans of the author, fantasy, and fae stories
Rating: ★★★★★

 

Holly Black just keeps delivering for me. I wouldn’t say that this book is as good as The Cruel Prince, but I had a great time just the same. Hazel and Ben, my ginger darlings, were wonderful characters and siblings–the things they sacrificed and did for each other were so bittersweet, and the drama surrounding them showcased how in your head you can get, blaming yourself when the other person never actually blamed you at all. Likewise, I loved how Black subverted certain tropes with them, making Hazel the knight/hero character and Ben the hopeless romantic/love interest for faerie prince Severin.

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Book Review: The Cruel Prince

the cruel prince

Title: The Cruel Prince
Author:
 Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Version: Hardcover
Page Count: 370
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Everything. Writing, characters, plot, the works.
Recommended Readers: You like revenge, right? Everyone likes revenge.
Rating: ★★★★★

I had a lot of expectations for The Cruel Prince. This book looked at them, sneered at their paltry designs, burned them to the ground, and then built from the ashes something so inconceivably better that all I can do is sit here and go

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If you’ve been keeping up with me, you’ll know this was one of my most anticipated books releasing in January, if not the most anticipated. And it did not disappoint! I have been in mental and emotional turmoil since I finished it, I don’t even know what to do.

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Book Review: Ironside

Ironside

Title: Ironside
Auth
or: Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Version: Paperback
Page Count: 323
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: POC characters, LGBTQ+ characters
Recommended Readers: Ages 14+, Lovers of Dark Themes
Rating: ★★★★☆

 

I chose to skip Valiant, book two in this Modern Faerie Tale trilogy, because it didn’t have much bearing on the actual plot. Ironside picks up where Tithe left off, with Kaye preparing for Roiben’s coronation and Corny trying to discover how he, as a human, can become immune to faerie charms. When Kaye drunkenly declares herself to Roiben in front of his court, he gives her a seemingly impossible task to fulfill: find a faerie that can tell an untruth.

Kaye spends much of the novel separate from Roiben, attempting to solve his riddle while wrestling with her Changeling status. Meanwhile, Roiben is dealing with Fae politics, both from the Seelie Court and within his own court, which he’s chosen to rule and protect although the denizens there revolt him.

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Book Review: Tithe

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Title: Tithe
Author:
 Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Version: Paperback
Page Count: 331
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: POC Character, LGBTQ+ Character
Recommended Readers: Ages 14+, Lovers of Dark Themes
Rating: ★★★★☆

 

What a strange but enjoyable book this was. I borrowed Tithe from my roommate because I’ve been dying for a good Fae story, one where the Fae are all unbridled passions and cruel whims and outside the realms of human morality. Because that’s what Fae are supposed to be. I’ve heard Holly Black is dubbed by fans as the Faerie Queen, so I was hoping she wouldn’t disappoint me.

I’m happy to say that, by and large, she didn’t. She gave me the Seelie and Unseelie Courts in all their ethereal beauty, perverse horrors, and glorious madness. She gave me faeries that largely regard mortals as playthings to trick and lead to ruin.

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