The Mystery Blogger Award | Take #2

Hey everybody! I was tagged by one of my favorite bloggers, Ally!


WHAT IS THE MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD?

It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion. –Okoto Enigma


THE RULES FOR THE AWARD ARE:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Things About Me

  1. I have a godcat — Aubrey! :’D
  2. I’m going to Rome this year, and it will be my first time going abroad! I am so excited about it!
  3. I have seen Lorde in concert 3 times (one of which I practically waited in line for 86 hours to get front row . . . but that’s another story, and it was totally worth it).

Questions from Ally

  • Who was your favorite childhood author?

I used to love love love Andrew Clements. I remember walking into the library sometimes and seeing his new book on the shelf and getting to the edge of my seat so I could grab it before anyone else could.

  • What’s your favorite dessert?

I can’t really choose a favorite! I love to bake, so anything that I bake for that day is my favorite!

  • Which fictional character do you relate to the most?

A character who keeps coming to mind is probably Kvothe from the Kingskiller Chronicle. His drive to achieve his dreams is something that reminds me of my mind set — to never give up.

  • What book would you recommend to your younger self?

While I can’t think of a specific book, I would have told myself to pick up ERAGON by Christopher Paolini sooner, so I could get into fantasy at an earlier age. It is now one of my favorite genres.

  • Tell me your very specific coffeeshop order.

A grande, carmel, latte machiato with almond milk OR an americano, no cream.


Tagged

Hamad | Rebecca | Tshepiso | Jessica | Alyssa


5 Questions for Tagged

  • What book has been on your TBR the longest?
  • What color shirt are you wearing right now?
  • Where’s the last place you visited?
  • What was, to your recollection, the first chapter book you ever read?
  • What was your favorite holiday gift this year — giving or receiving?
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LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff | Review

Amazon | TBD | Goodreads

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.


(Jay, if you’re reading this, please know that I still love your work, and it pains me greatly to write this.)

I really did buy this very randomly, though it’s slightly shocking it took me so long to, since Nevernight and Godsgrave have been some of my favorite books this year. Unfortunately, this one was not.

The first thing I thought when I started reading this was of The Lunar Chronicles, probably the only sci-fi series I’ve ever read. Maybe it was the constant comparison to that or the fact that this really didn’t feel like a “book one” to me and more like a prequel.

I felt the Kristoff’s skill in world building for some of his other novels just didn’t come through with this, and that’s probably another reason this fell flat for me. And the fact that I just didn’t really care for the main character.

Another issue I had with this is that, in general, Kristoff seems like a very non-censored person, and this just seemed to held back. I understand that this is YA, but would I have liked it more had it been intended for the adult audience? While I can’t answer that accurately, I can say that the answer is, most likely, “probably”.

On the good side, I really enjoyed Lemon’s character, and her alone is what kept me reading.

In the end, maybe it’s just that sci-fi isn’t my thing or that I just felt this world was described as a heaping pile of metal and nothing else that made me not like this that much. The story is fun and I can see the audience that would really read and enjoy this, but unfortunately that just wasn’t me.

Rating:


Do you like sci-fi? Have any recommendation? Let’s chat in the comments!

Most Anticipated Books of 2019

Here is a quick list at what I’m looking forward to the most, this year! These are just a few selections and in no way reflect all of the reads I’m looking forward to.

Note: Some of these include sequels, thus the synopsis may contain spoilers.

The Story That Cannot Be Told by J. Kasper Kramer | October 8th, 2019

A middle-grade novel that weaves together folklore and history to tell the story of a girl sent to live with her estranged grandparents in a remote mountain village during the final months of Communist reign in Romania, where she must find her voice and the strength to use it to survive the danger she thought she left behind.

While the cover is still not released, I’ve had some very nice chats with this author, and she’s just spectacular. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a middle grade before.


Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett | April 16th, 2019

Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel.

In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel.

To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.

Not only does one of the main characters have my name, I was just so impressed with Starry Eyes that I cannot wait to get ahold of this one.

Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff | September 3rd, 2019

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

Nevernight and Godsgrave were two of my favorite reads for 2018, and I just can’t wait for this.

You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn | April 2nd, 2019

Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things. 

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen. 

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

So, I’ve already read this and loved it. I’m just excited for everyone else to read it .

The Wicked King by Holly Black | January 8th, 2019

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. 

Though Jude annoyed the every-living hell out of me, I am still looking forward to see what happens.


What are your most anticipated for 2019? Let’s talk in the comments!

HOMECOMING S:1 | Podcast Review

Download here.

The first scripted series from Gimlet Media, starring Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, Amy Sedaris, and David Cross. Homecoming centers on a caseworker at an experimental facility, her ambitious supervisor, and a soldier eager to rejoin civilian life — presented in an enigmatic collage of telephone calls, therapy sessions, and overheard conversations. The result is an innovative, immersive audio experience — a mystery unfolding across the twelve episodes of Seasons One and Two.


The drive back to my home town is about two and half hours, and I find that listening to music only tires me. So, I decided to give podcasts a try, and this was one of them.

Let me say that this is, so far, the best story podcast I’ve ever heard. Every time I listen to it I feel like I’m in on a little secret — like I’m the only one in the world who knows what’s happening to these people.

The acting is superb. The leading actress really does remind me of Sarah Paulson’s voice, and I swore it was her at first. But, everyone does an amazing job in this.

It’s spooky, suspenseful, and has characters you really get to know and love. Season 1 was fantastic, and I’m excited to see what season 2 brings.

Rating


Do you like listening to podcasts? Let’s chat in the comments!

3 Best & 3 Worst Books of 2018

Hello! Welcome to the New Year! I hope everyone has a good one and achieves all of their goals for 2019!

So, I’m a sucker and love these kinds of posts, as anytime where I can be a little snarky or shed some great light on my favorite reads, I will take! Please note that these are just my opinions, and yours may differ from mine! I’d love to chat about it with you in the comments!

This is not limited to books published in 2018, but to books that I have read throughout the year.

These books are in no particular order.

3 Best Books of 2018

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

This book checked all of the boxes for me — it was spooky, great characters, great story. If you’re looking to ease into some American classics, but are intimidated by some other authors (Herman Melville, I’m looking at you), this is such an amazing one to start with.

Read my review here.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

This is the perfect adult high-fantasy — amazing characters, page-turning with an awesome story (not to mention the violence and sex). Again, the perfect ADULT fantasy . . . be warned this is not YA, haha.

Check out my review here.

The Secret Place by Tana French

While I would recommend reading Faithful Place before this one, this is probably the best thriller I have read, so far, in my life. French just keeps raising the bar.

Read my full review here.

Runner Up

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

While I only gave this book 4 stars, I think this one holds the most memories this year, as I read the entirety of it on the train traveling places in New York City. I will forever remember it.

Check out my review here.

3 Worst Books of 2018

How to Set a Fire and Why by Jessee Ball

If you have a blurb that compares your book to the author of probably my all-time favorite book, and then your book is absolutely nothing like it and trying way too hard, automatic one star.

Read my rant here.

The Living End by sStanley Elkin

I don’t even want to think about this.

You can read my review here. (It was one of my first reviews ever, so beware.)

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

*clears throat* YOU WILL NEED TO SIT DOWN WHEN READING THIS REVIEW. I think this book upset me the most from all of my reads in 2018. Get someone to write about topics who has no idea what they’re like (particularly being overweight), and you wind up with a disaster.

Terrible, terrible, terrible. Offensive, poorly written, just terrible.

You can read my rant here.

Runner Up

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

Looking for a cliché filled, over-trying novel that everyone else seemed to like except me? Well, you’ve found it, and you can read my review here.


I hope you all have a wonderful New Year. Thank you for being here and supporting me! I cannot wait to see what 2019 brings!


What was your best/worst read of the year? What are your New Year’s resolutions this year? Let’s chat in the comments.

Holiday Drinks | Book Tag

Merry Christmas!! I was tagged by the amazing Sara and this tag was created by Ariel @ WavesOfPages as part of Browsing For Books’ Bookmas.


HOT CHOCOLATE: MARSHMALLOWS AND CHOCOLATE AND WHIPPED CREAM, OH MY! RECOMMEND A BOOK THAT’S SWEET THROUGH AND THROUGH

Okay, okay, this isn’t even out yet. But, I received this as an ARC and loved every second of it. PRE-ORDER THIS ONE!! IT’S SO GOOD!

PEPPERMINT MOCHA: THE FLAVOR OF PEPPERMINT IS STRONG AND DISTINCT. RECOMMEND A BOOK WITH A LOT OF STRONG EMOTIONS.

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfus

This book . . . laughing, crying, everything . . .

APPLE CIDER: IT’S SO GOOD IT CAN’T BE GOOD FOR YOU, BUT IT’S FROM APPLES—THAT MEANS IT’S HEALTHY, RIGHT? RECOMMEND A BOOK FULL OF CHARACTERS WITH QUESTIONABLE MORALS.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Every character’s morals change so drastically in this book, and by the end you really don’t know who to trust and it’s kind of frustrating.

EGGNOG: IT’S CREAMY AND SMOOTH, WITH A LITTLE SPICE, AND SOME PEOPLE EVEN ADD ALCOHOL TO IT. RECOMMEND A BOOK THAT’S MOSTLY FUN, WITH JUST A HINT OF DANGER.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Surface level, Holden is a funny, carefree kind of guy, but as you dig deeper, you start to see his layers of emotion may be more serious than you once thought. Plus, walking through New York City alone at night as a teen? Scary!

GINGERBREAD LATTE: A DRINK WITH A VERITABLE EXPLOSION OF SPICES. RECOMMEND A BOOK WITH A LOT OF ACTION.

The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer

For some reason I don’t think this was the best received book, but when I read this, it was a full 5 stars. This is a PAGE TURNER. And, who knows, maybe if I read it now, I would hate it. But who doesn’t like a scientist who’s company tried to kill her and is on the run?


OH, here’s a little bonus of my cat, Jonas, in his little Christmas sweater 😀


Whatever holiday you are celebrating, I hope you have the best of it!

OMG THAT SONG | Book Tag

I was tagged by the always wonderful Sara @ the Bibliophagist

MY JAM | A SONG YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU’VE HEARD IT AND A BOOK THAT YOU’LL NEVER GET SICK OF

“Green Light” by Lorde

I have listened to this song over a thousand times in the past year and a half if that’s any question as to how much I love it.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Well, I bet you saw that coming. This is one of the only books I’ve re-read (twice, actually), and will continue to re-read.

THROWBACK | A SONG THAT REMINDS YOU OF THE CRINGIEST TIME IN YOUR LIFE AND A BOOK YOU READ THAT YOU WOULDN’T LIKE NOW

“Redneck Woman” by Gretchen Wilson

I grew up in the south, and can any of us look back on our adolescence and not cringe just a little?

Tonight on the Titanic by Mary Pope Osborne

Boy did I think I was the smartest first grader in all the land when I was one of the first to be allowed to read chapter books (yes, *rolls eyes*, “allowed”). This was one of my favorites, but I’d like to say I’ve grown up a little from these, now. (This one was my favorite).

REPLAY | A RECENT SONG YOU HAVE ON REPEAT AND A RECENT FAVORITE BOOK

“Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” feat. Miley Cyrus

For some reason, I cannot stop listening to this song.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

While I did only give this four stars, in the end (review here), I was very shocked at how much I enjoyed this one.

GETS ME | A SONG THAT IS LITERALLY ME AND A BOOK THAT IS ME IN BOOK FORMAT

“Ribs” by Lorde

I don’t think there’s anyone in the world who can’t relate to this song.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

No, I do not have crazy powers, but I feel Kvothe and I have a lot in common.

WUT | A WEIRD SONG THAT YOU LIKED ANYWAYS AND A UNIQUE BOOK THAT STUCK OUT TO YOU FOR SOME REASON

“Atomic” by Blondie 

I only say this is weird because of how much instrumental is in it, which is typically  not my style, but boy can I jam to this song.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I think this book stuck out for how much I hated the “protagonist” and how much I ended up loving the suspected “antagonist”. You can read my review here.

LET’S GO | PICK YOUR BEST PUMP UP SONG AND A BOOK THAT INSPIRES YOU

“Don’t Kill My Vibe” by Sigrid

THIS SONG GETS ME SO FREAKING HYPE I LOVE HER

The Secret Place by Tana French

If I could ever come even close to the way she writes prose, I’d be happy. (Review here.)

CHILL | YOUR BEST CHILL OR RELAXING SONG AND A BOOK YOU’D CURL UP WITH ON A RAINY DAY

“I Know How to Speak” by Manchester Orchestra 

If you haven’t heard this song yet, you’re missing out . . . so good.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

This is my favorite of Flynn’s work, and nothing beats a great thriller on a rainy day.


NOSTALGIA | A THROWBACK SONG YOU LOOK BACK ON FONDLY AND A BOOK YOU READ AND LOVED WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG

“You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift

I still listen to this song, haha.

Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

I remember how excited I was to get this when it came out. This is one of my favorites from her.

Tagged

Kaleena | Sahi | Alyssa


What’s your favorite song?