BOOKISH A-Z SURVEY (Tag)

A to Z survey

While I wasn’t tagged by anyone, I saw this tag done by Sara @ the Bibliophagist, and it looked like so much fun! This was originally started by Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner!

AUTHOR YOU’VE READ THE MOST BOOKS FROM

I think, by now, that would have to be Sarah J. Maas or Ellen Hopkins. Hopkins more in my younger teen years, while I still read Maas today!

BEST SEQUEL EVER

Game

  • Game by Barry Lyga – While I haven’t read this series in quite awhile, I remember being blown away at the time. This is definitely one of those underrated series. The ending of this book killed me.

CURRENTLY READING

  • The Pawn by Skye Warren – I downloaded this because it seems to be a smash hit in the world of self-book publishing. We’ll see…
  • Nevernight by Jay Kristoff – I saw a review awhile ago that got me interested in this, and I ordered it a couple of weeks ago and am just now getting into it. Boy, is it a monster, but it’s kind of addicting. So far, it’s amazing.
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – I’m re-reading this for the third time as a buddy read with Sara!!

DRINK OF CHOICE WHILE READING

Hot mint tea!

E-READER OR PHYSICAL BOOK

Definitely the physical book. But, I recently purchased an E-reader, so I’m slowly getting accustomed to reading off of that, right now.

FICTIONAL CHARACTER YOU PROBABLY WOULD HAVE ACTUALLY DATED IN HIGH SCHOOL

Ha! I only seriously dated one person in high school, which was an actual disaster and has resulted in a crap ton of awful poetry.

That being said, I feel like Celeana from the Throne of Glass series would fit me, because I feel she’s the kind of girl who doesn’t like to send mixed signals and would tell me exactly what she wanted, and I like that.

GLAD YOU GAVE THIS BOOK A CHANCE

SOC

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo –  While not ranking among my favorites, was still one that I’m glad I decided to read after putting it off for so long.

HIDDEN GEM BOOK

IMG_3851

  • Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett – I honestly wasn’t sure I would like this one. But. It. Was. Amazing.

IMPORTANT MOMENT IN YOUR READING LIFE

Probably when I realized that anyone can write a story…whether that be good or bad, but anyone, nonetheless.

JUST FINISHED

SAM

  • Surviving Adam Meade by Shannon Klare – I’m actually going to be on a blog tour for this (official announcement soon)!

KINDS OF BOOKS YOU WON’T READ

I will give a lot of things a chance, but I tend to avoid nonfiction, and romance involving BDSM. But, recently, I’ve been really open.

LONGEST BOOK YOU’VE READ

The Wise Man's Fear

  • The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss – 993 pages of AMAZINGGGGGG

MAJOR BOOK HANGOVER BECAUSE OF

See above. How many more years until the final book, again? The entire series takes place over “three days” and it’s been 6 years since day two. Don’t worry, I’m not mad or anything. I understand genius like this doesn’t happen overnight. I’m still patiently waiting.

NUMBER OF BOOKCASES YOU OWN

Right now…zero. I just moved and all of my books (minus the ones I’m reading) are in boxes.

ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES

The Catcher in the Rye cover

  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – I know this book keeps coming up, but this is the only book I can think of that I’ve re-read. I typically don’t re-read.

PREFERRED PLACE TO READ

I used to read on the loudest school bus in the world, because I was always the last stop. So, pretty much anywhere, haha.

QUOTE THAT INSPIRES YOU/GIVES YOU ALL THE FEELS FROM A BOOK YOU’VE READ

I say, “You look great.”

She cocks her head at me. “Are you flirting with me, Jack Masselin?”

–Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

This inspires me to never write anything like this ever. It gives me “all the feels” to actually want to chuck a book into a paper shredder. (Check out my review here!)

READING REGRET

I don’t think I have one. I feel that any book you read, no matter how bad, teaches you something.

SERIES YOU STARTED AND NEED TO FINISH (ALL BOOKS ARE OUT IN SERIES)

Probably the Six of Crows Duology. (It’s still a duology, right?)

THREE OF YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOKS

It’s not like I mention these in every post I ever do, but (in no particular order):

  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (looking at this old review makes me cringe at my old rating system. FIVES ALL THE WAY!!)
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

VERY EXCITED FOR THIS RELEASE MORE THAN ALL THE OTHERSKOA

OH MY GOODNESS THE COVER WAS JUST REVEALED AND I WANT TO CRY BUT I LOVE THIS SERIES AND IT’S THE LAST BOOK AND I WANT TO CRY AHHHHHHH

  • Kingdon of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

WORST BOOKISH HABIT

I use a different bookmark for every book that I read, and I only put the bookmark in the very front of the book when I’m completely done with it. It’s, like, my ritual. It’s usually Walmart receipts, but still.

MARKS THE SPOT: START AT THE TOP LEFT OF YOUR SHELF AND PICK THE 27TH BOOK

Ayeeeee, I don’t have shelves right now, but I can tell you every book that’s sitting on my table right now!

  • Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
  • Storm Front by Jim Butcher
  • Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

YOUR LATEST BOOK PURCHASE

I actually bought all of these books together.

 

ZZZ-SNATCHER BOOK (LAST BOOK THAT KEPT YOU UP WAY LATE)

It’s been awhile since I’ve stayed up really, really late reading a book. Maybe…

inifnity

  • Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I hated it.

Notes:

Well, that was fun!! I’m not going to tag anyone, but please feel free to do this one, if you wish!

Best,

Daniel

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HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE by Jennifer Niven (Book Review)

HUTU

388 Pages

Oh, I had heard rumors through the grape vine about this author and All the Bright Places and how she likes to make characters based off of stereotypes or something like that.

When I ordered this book, I wasn’t entirely aware that this was the same author, as I have never read ATBP. But, when I did find out it was the same author, I was honestly excited to see what this book had to offer.

I, myself, have struggled with weight and know what it’s like to go through mass weight loss, so I was super interested to see how this was going to be handled through one of the characters.

The other character in this book seemed interesting, too. Plus, it seemed like a cute love story of finding out who you really are.

Well, here’s what have to say about all of that bullsh*t.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours. (from Amazon)

Review:

If you can’t tell already, I have a lot to say about this novel.

Let’s start with the positive.

I could not put this book down. This book is so, so hard to stop reading. I remember being in the car, thinking maybe 30 minutes went by, checking my page count, and seeing I had flown through 50 pages.

That. Never. Happens. To. Me.

The writing is very good (style wise), and very easy to follow.

In fact, this is the only book it has ever happened to where I had something negative to say about it.

Let’s get with some broad topics first.

1.) Has the author ever actually been to high school?

Here’s a direct quote from the book.

“He’s not exactly a model student, and there was that one time junior year . . . when he and Dave Kaminski kidnapped a freshman and locked him on the roof outside . . .”

– Holding Up the Universe; Jennifer Niven

Kidnapped? Are you kidding me?

I don’t know about where Jennifer Niven lives, but here, on Earth, kidnapping is illegal and you get arrested for it.

2.) The “cute” scenes are atrocious.

I say, “You look great.”

She cocks her head at me. “Are you flirting with me, Jack Masselin?”

-Holding up the Universe; Jennifer Niven

“Oh, I like your shirt.”

“aRe yoU FLirTing wIth mE???!?!??!?!?!!”

Now, let’s go to the more specific, main reason I’m so upset after reading this book.

I feel sorry that these characters had and are going through this, but I’m even more sorry that Niven was the one who decided to narrate their lives.

1.) Both of these characters are filling a huge stereotype.

Libby, the “fat” girl who just wants to be seen.

Jack, the jock who has a secret.

2.) Every character is defined by their weight.

Not only is the “mirror” trope done multiple times in this work, everyone described seems to be personalized by their weight.

Oh, they’re fat thus they are the nicest person in the world.

Oh, they’re skinny, thus they’re a huge bitch.

EVERYTHING IN HERE IS A STEREOTYPE

3.) THIS BOOK IS DOWNRIGHT OFFENSIVE

There is a scene where Jack is dancing with Libby, and he describes it as “having all that woman” (yes, italicized), and I nearly chucked the book out of the car window.

Is that supposed to be flattering?

While I know he doesn’t know this, but with as much as Libby has been through at this point in the book, I’m pretty sure she would have socked him in the face if she had heard this out loud.

DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED. They, kid you not, were playing “fat girl rodeo” and everyone acts like this is a funny and happens in real life high school? Are you kidding me?

I’m just going to end this rant saying, the way the author handles these situations and writes like she briefly skimmed the Wikipedia articles for “obesity” and “prosopagnosia” is just skimming the surface of why you should never read this garbage.

Rating:

Untitled design

Don’t buy this book.

Best,

Daniel

STORM FRONT (DRESDEN FILES) by Jim Butcher

 

Storm Front352 Pages

I was scrolling through one of my favorite author’s blog one day and came upon a list he published over his favorite fantasy books. This series was close to the top on the list, so I thought I would check it out.

As a professional wizard, Harry Dresden knows firsthand that the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most of them don’t play well with humans. And those that do enjoy playing with humans far too much. He also knows he’s the best at what he does. Technically, he’s the only at what he does. But even though Harry is the only game in town, business—to put it mildly, stinks.

So when the Chicago P.D. bring him in to consult on a double homicide committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name… (synopsis from Amazon)

I enjoy fantasy and mystery/detective fiction. But, do they work well together?

Review:

I’m going to do something that I haven’t done before and summarize this review in the first sentence: Meh.

Yup. a giant meh.

This series has a lot of followers and good things said about it, so this review probably won’t hurt its reputation much, if at all. So, I don’t feel that bad about writing it.

I’m going to go ahead and start off with the positive.

Harry Dresden, as a character, is very well written. Minus the fact that he’s a wizard, his character was extremely tangible, and he had all of the qualities that I look for in a good, witty detective. He’s funny, seems like a good guy, and definitely has some character background (not quite delved into too deeply in this book) that made him interesting.

Now, before I go into the things that I didn’t enjoy, I’m going to tell you that I didn’t hate this book (however, if you want to see a review like that, click here or here).

So, my main issue with this book was that a lot of things were solved because of magic.

Wait, wait, wait, Daniel, you know this is a fantasy, right?

Yes, let me explain.

There were several instances where Harry would be in a predicament, let’s say falling off of a cliff, and then, in the midst of falling, he’d be like Oh, wait! I forgot I have my anti-falling bracelet around my wrist! and then it would save the day.

Maybe I’m not far enough into the series or I’m missing something, but it just seemed like there was a lot of things unexplained, and that kind of irritated me. Maybe I’m just not used to magic in books unless their are strict rules. I’m not entirely sure.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed myself with this one. Did I think I wasted my time? No. Would I recommend this, though? Also, no. But, a lot of people seemed to have enjoyed this, and I get that – I get that there is a market for this book. But, in the end, it just didn’t keep on the edge of my seat and excited to read on to book #2.

Final Rating

Untitled design-2

Best,

Daniel


If you would like to purchase this one, you can do so here.

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag

Autumn _ Winter 16

I was tagged by the amazing Sara to do this tag! Enjoy!

1. How long have you been blogging?

Well, my first post on here was on January 13th, 2018. So, about 6 months now. I tried book-tubing once or twice, but it just never really seemed to work out for me. But, this has honestly been amazing.

2. At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?

When I get tired of it, I guess. But, I don’t see that happening in the foreseeable future.

3. What is the best thing about blogging?

Being able to talk to so many amazing people.

I’ve made some great friends on here who all seem to love the same things I do.

4. What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?

Well, one of the main reasons I didn’t like book-tubing was because there was a lot of pressure to be constantly reading and reviewing. Being in college and having a job and trying to have a social life, I can’t constantly be reading and trying to post things.

The pressure is way less on here, but sometimes I still feel it. I just try to remind myself that I’m doing this for me, so it shouldn’t matter what other people think.

5. How long does it take you to find make/find pictures to use?

I just use Canva. So, not very long.

6. Who is your book crush?

This is difficult. Maybe Devi from The Kingskiller Chronicle? I honestly couldn’t tell you.

7. What author would you like to have on your blog?

There are a few who I think I would have a mini freak-out if they contacted me.

  • Patrick Rothfus
  • Tana French
  • Sarah J. Maas
  • Marissa Meyer

8. What do you wear when you write your blog posts?

Clothes.

9. How long does it take you to prepare?

I usually, at most, only have one or two posts qued at a time.

It takes me an average of 15 to 30 minutes to write a review, depending on how in-depth I want to go.

10. How do you feel about the book blogging community?

I think they’re amazing. I don’t understand why this is a question, haha. Would someone actually say something negative here?

There’s something about social media and their follower count that, for some reason, can make people think they’re better than you. But not on here. Everyone is so nice.

11. What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

Not worry about follower count.

I think if you enjoy what you’re writing and posting about and it makes you happy, then you’ve been successful.

 

Tagged: Lotte | Laura | Ashley & Katie

Please tell me your thoughts on any of these questions!

Best,

Daniel

STARRY EYES by Jenn Bennett (Review)

 

IMG_3851

I had seen this one floating around the blogging community, and when I was in NYC, one of my friends was very kind and ended up getting me a copy.

In this romantic dramedy from the author of Alex, Approximately, a teen girl’s way-too-ordinary life is driven off the beaten path when she’s abandoned in the wilderness with her worst adversary—the boy who broke her heart.

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

I’m going to be 100% honest with you. I almost didn’t read this book. The fact that this is true hurts me so much, as the thought of not having absorbed this book makes me ache.

Review:

When I went into this, I wasn’t sure how I would like it. I feel I never read books where the focus is on a love interest. Usually the books I read the love story always is second to the main plot.

In the beginning, I was unsure what the author was trying to do with the whole thing with the main character’s ex best friend’s moms having a sex shop, etc. And at first I felt it was slightly awkward, but as the book progressed I started getting the flow and didn’t have an issue with.

My number one issue, if this is even an issue, is how many freaking times they say the word “glamping”. For some reason I feel if you were rich enough to go on one of these excursions, you wouldn’t say the word 10,000 times. But, like mentioned, this is something very minor that bugged me.

Zorie: I thought Zorrie and her situation (which you find out by the end of the second chapter), her cheating father and her basically having no dedicated friends after Lennon. She often talks about how her and Lennon used to be friends, and she mentions how they became enemies – everything centered around “The Great Experiment”. While, in the beginning this “Great Experiment” is more of a mystery, I felt Bennett did a great job of pacing in, slowly revealing the details of this. Overall, I felt she was a very relatable and well-rounded character, and I was rooting for her all of the way.

Lennon: I’m not going to lie. Lennon was my favorite of the two. The way they portray Lennon as the quirky, cool, yet kind of unpopular character was amazing and made me believe that I would actually be friends with him. And it, honestly, makes me sad that he’s not real.

I’m always scared that love stories in books are going to take the cheesy route, as  a lot of them usually ride on the edge of almost doing that. But, Bennett manages to not even come close to that mark.

The story, altogether, is very, very good and had me swooning SO HARD and rooting for the love in this story. Five years ago, I don’t think I would have ever given a strict contemporary book like this a go, and I’m honestly so happy things have changed, because I just want to consume more like this one.

Basically, the hype behind this book is true. If you haven’t read this one, you should definitely consider it.

Rating:

Untitled design-4

Buy the book here.

Best,

Daniel


I have provided an amazing song that I feel is the perfect pairing with his fantastic book. This was originally shown to me by my friend Reaghan @ thats so reaghan.

Enjoy.

 

P.S. Why does this band not have more recognition. Like…seriously…

IMG_2375
Cover picture outtake. 

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you to Sara @ The Bibliophagist for tagging me!!

My Answers

1. What’s your perfect “me” time?

Oooo. Probably getting up super early and going to one of my favorite breakfast places. I usually read until my food comes, chow down, then grab a cup of coffee and write for a couple of hours!

2. Who’s your most-read author?

Thta’s a tough one. As it stands, it’s probably Ellen Hopkins. While I don’t religiously read her works as much now, in high school I would read her books constantly.

3. What book are you always thinking about even though you read it a long time ago?

This probably isn’t much of a surprise, but either The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfus or Faithful Place by Tana French. Every once in awhile I’ll catch myself thinking of particular things about those books. All such good ones!

4. What was the happiest day of your life?

The happiest day of my life *so far* has probably been multiple days. All of the times I was able to see Lorde in concert, the day I saw Taylor Swift on the 1989 World Tour, and probably (I’m predicting), a day in the near future when I get to see Taylor on the Reputation Stadium Tour.

But, I have so many days other than concerts, that I couldn’t choose one.

5. If you could spend the day with any fictional character, who would it be and what would you do?

Easily Kvothe from The Kingskiller Chronicle. And I would make him teach me name calling (not what you think, I promise).

6. If there’s one unfinished book/TV/any other medium series that you could have finished right now, which would it be?

THE LAST BOOK IN THE KINSKILLER CHRONICLE. I understand masterworks like that take time, but it’s been 6 years since the second book was published.

7. You’re given the option of knowing the exact date and time of your death or staying blissfully unaware. Which do you pick?

Blissfully unaware. Knowing me, I would just fret about it and not be able to enjoy life.

8. If you were told you could be an expert in any one thing instantly, what would you pick?

Probably playing the piano. I’ve played for almost 5 years now, but it would be cool to wake up one morning and be able to play Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

9. What’s the most recent book that you were unable to (or struggled to) finish?

How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball. What garbage. Check out my review here.

10. If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with the time?

Work on getting a project I’m working in polished to where I want it. Then I would go to California and visit all of the theme parks. Then Europe probably.

11. There was no question, so hi

I Tag: Rebecca | Maddie | Becky

Tagging 11 people is a little excessive, in my opinion. Plus, I’m volunteering at a summer camp right now, so I don’t really have time for all of that haha.

My 11 Questions

  1. If you could prevent one book from ever being published, which book would it be?
  2. You can get front row and backstage passes to any concert of your choice. Who would you see?
  3. Who are three people that you look up to?
  4. If you published a book, who would you want to blurb it?
  5. Hot chocolate or chocolate milk?
  6. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor and topping?
  7. What’s the worst book in your favorite series?
  8. What’s the best book in your favorite series?
  9. If you had your own island, what would you name it and why?
  10. Which book character would live with you on that island and why?
  11. If you weren’t answering these questions right now, what would you be doing?

 


Thanks to Sara again for the tag!

Best, Daniel

ME IN BOOK CHARACTERS TAG

Me in Book Characters

I was tagged by Sara @ The Bibliophagist, so thank you!

Rules:

  • Thank the creators of the tag – Ash and Lo @Windowsill Books
  • Thank whoever tagged you.
  • List 5 book characters who you relate to most and explain why.
  • Tag some of your friends!

Character #1: Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Every time I think of Holden I feel the pain of feeling like everyone around you is a phony, because that’s exactly how I felt in the last 2 years of high school. His witty sarcasm and look on life are a little extreme, but I feel are entirely relatable. I think there is a little something for everyone in Holden.

Character #2: Howie Gersten from the I Hunt Killers Series by Barry Lyga

When I think of charters I really connected with, I look back on this series. Howie is a hemophiliac and faithful friend of Japer Dent, the main character. While I am not a hemophiliac, the way Howie is such close buds with Jasper reminds me of how I am with my friends. Once you’re my friend (and continue to be my friend), I try to everything I possibly can to do you right.

Character #3: Mary Katherine Blackwood from We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

While I am not a murderer, I do feel this innate connection with this character. I feel her squirly and spontaneous ideas and imagination match me in some way, and I can connect with that.

Character #4: Kvothe from The Kingskiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfus

I can’t pin-point exactly what is that I relate to this charter. Maybe the idea that he is constantly trying to achieve his dream, is loyal to the that people who treat him right, and has a passion he is constantly working to get better at. Yeah. (And if you haven’t read these books yet, WHAT ARE YOU DOING STILL READING THIS POST).

Character #5: Detective Stephen Moran from The Secret Place by Tana French

If I had to pick a character I felt I related to the most at this point in my life, it would probably be Stephen. Throughout the three novels you get to know him, his willingness to do what it takes to achieve his dream, yet his idea of life and the importance of friendships and relationships closely reflect mine.

Tagged:

Erin @ Undercover Binge Reader

Ivy @ Ivy’s Well Used Library Card

Rebecca @ Bookishly Rebecca


Well, this one, I will admit, was difficult to pinpoint. But, it was so much fun! And, if you haven’t read any of the books above, I would highly recommend any of them!

Best,

Daniel