Song Request Book Tag (Original)

Hi everyone! I haven’t posted an original tag since the Spring Cleaning Book Tag, so I figured it was about time that we did another one!

Rules:

  • Thank and link back to tagger.
  • Credit to Daniel @ Page to Page
  • Listen to tagger’s song requests! After you’re done listening to the three songs the person who tagged you has chosen, choose a book that you think best goes along with that song and tell us why you chose it!
  • Request 3 songs of your own! Give any three songs (and your corresponding book choices that think go well with said song) you want for your taggers to listen and respond to!
  • Tag 5 people!

Note:

Since I am starting the tag, I will, obviously, only have “requests”.

My Requests

1. “Falling Apart” by Broods

I feel like I’m definitely going to have to go with my most recent read, The Witch Elm by Tana French for this one, as it seems everything is “falling apart” for Toby, and he’s constantly wondering when he’s going to get his hold on things.

2. “Not What I Meant” by dodie

This one brings to mind You’d by Mine by Erin Hahn for the reason of the line “have I built a little empire or made a fucking mess,” which is kind of how I feel Annie feels throughout the work.

3. “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds

For this, I chose Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. This song and book very much remind me of my own situation. And that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.


Tagged

Sara | Kaleena | Laura | Destiny | Ally

Also! Just because I did not tag you does not mean you can’t do it! I am excited to see where this goes ❤

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THE WITCH ELM by Tana French | Review

Amazon | TBD | Goodreads

528 Pages

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life: he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden – and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.


I don’t think it’s any surprise to say that I absolutely loved this book.

First, let’s address some things:

  • this is a standalone
  • it’s a “slow burn”
  • but it’s absolutely bloody brilliant

Standalone — The Ending . . . ? (no spoilers)

Yes! This book, unlike the rest of French’s work, is a standalone. I was slightly nervous about this. The idea that there would (probably) be no more of these characters or “world” once the final sentence was read kind of scared me. What if she didn’t wrap it up well?

Why did I ever doubt?

This book . . . let me just say that this book has one of the tightest, most mind-reeling endings I’ve read in a very, very long time. There could have been a more perfect ending for this work.

Slow Burn

This book was not her best rated on Goodreads, because a lot of people complained that the plot didn’t start or pick up until page 250 and because the main character is an ass.

I would argue that they are wrong and that it being a “slow burn” (though I wouldn’t say that, and I’ll explain why in a second) is what makes this possibly French’s best work to date.

The first part of this book is a very, very deep character development-type device that French is a master of. Sure, she could have condensed everything you read up to page 250 into a cool 50 pages, but, I will scream this so the people int he back can hear, YOU CANNOT BUILD A HOUSE WITHOUT A FOUNDATION!!!! I will tell you that I was never once bored when reading this book. Getting to know Toby, his family and the people around him are what make the rest of this and the ending so impactful.

French is a master at this, people! Trust in her skills.

This Book is Bloody Brilliant

No, I am not British.

BUT THIS BOOK IS ABSOLUTELY BLOODY BRILLIANT.

Am I biased since I have a previously liking to the rest of French’s works? I don’t think so.

This book is so smart, from beginning to end. Even if you figure out the “who”, I guarantee you will not figure out the “why”. And, if for some miraculous reason you do figure that out, I bet you won’t figure out what happens at the end.

French is setting you up. The second you read that first paragraph, you’re trapped, because the last one will have you screaming.

This could possibly be French’s best work to date. If you have not read anything by her yet, please, what are you doing?!?! I implore you: READ THIS ONE!

Rating


Have you read anything by Tana French? Have you read The Witch Elm? Let’s chat in the comments!

VICIOUS by V.E. Schwab | Review

Amazon | TBD | Goodreads

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. 

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end? 


I found myself at the end of my sophomore semester in college having nothing to read, and I was having a stroll around the library and decided to pick this one up. For as long as I can remember, this has been on my TBR, and I’m glad that I decided to pick this one up!

I found myself actually liking Victor’s motives, and I understand this is supposed to be like a “villain v villain” type of story, but I actually felt sympathy for him, while having absolutely no remorse for Eli.

While I really enjoyed all of the stories and characters, my one critique would have to be the extremely short chapters. While I prefer short chapters over extremely long ones, I just felt that the short chapters in this one made it hard to really get into the story. The story just seemed chopped up so much.

But, overall, I really enjoyed the story and would recommend picking this one up if you haven’t already.

Rating:

(CLOSED) Giveaway | Signed Copy of THE WICKED KING!

Hello everyone! This is such an exciting announcement! I was fortunate enough to attend the Holly Black event last night, and in coordination with the amazing Sara, we are going to be giving away one signed copy of The Wicked King to one of you amazing people!

I really, really enjoyed The Cruel Prince, and I’m so excited to be able to give away a signed copy of the sequel to one of you amazing people.

The rules for the giveaway:

  • You have to be following both Sara and me!
  • You can enter through the Rafflecopter!
  • One follower will win a signed copy of The Wicked King by Holly Black.
  • The giveaway is open internationally!
  • The winner will be drawn on January 19, 2019!

Note: If you are selected the winner, you will have to give us a valid mailing address so we can send you the book.

Good luck!

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?

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!