FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell | Review


Amazon | TBD | Goodreads

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan.

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?


This is one of those books where I really have to step back and remind myself that I’m reviewing this on my blog and not as an academic. Because from an academic point of view, this story hardly had any plot-line, and even if you counted it as a plot, it hardly moved, there was hardly any climax, the characters hardly got anything done. It’s a mess, really.

But, then I have to step back and be like, “Daniel, this is for your blog. Did you enjoy it?”

And the answers to that is yes. I enjoyed this book so, so much. Do I wish that it had had more of a climax? Yes. But, in the end, I just really loved all of the characters, the romance, the everything.

This is definitely one of those, feel-good, we’re all in the same boat kind of reads that’s just really relaxing.

I’m kicking myself for waiting this long to read a Rowell, haha.

Rating:

Advertisements

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?

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.