Monday, October 31, 2016

5 Star Book Review: The Blind Assassin


Author: Margaret Atwood
Edition: Paperback
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a book that's so out of my regular genre it's a wonder I even picked it up. This year, on campus, I joined the book club, and this was what they picked to read. I was a little wary because it didn't exactly sound like my favorite thing to read, but hey, it's won a bunch of awards so it's probably pretty good. And I can guarantee that it is pretty good! But, it's definitely not for everyone.

The book starts with the narrator's sister driving her car off the road and dying. That's more or less the first line of the novel. From that point on, the story is told in a number of ways. There's the chapters from the book that the main character's sister wrote, the book being called "The Blind Assassin" and within this fictional book is another fictional book. There are also newspaper clippings and announcements that help fill in the holes that the story really doesn't get to tell. And then there's the main character's story- Iris- who tells both about her present day life as an old woman and the history of her family in the novel she is writing. That's a lot of threads, and at first it's hard to follow and a little annoying to be switching in between plots so often. As the story progresses, this becomes less of a  problem as the reader begins to figure out there are ties between everything.

There aren't really "likable" characters in this book. There are a lot of characters you want to like, but everyone has at least one flaw that prevents them from becoming truly lovable by the reader. Which i didn't mind at all. It came off as realistic and stylistic. Less the author saying no one is perfect and more the author saying, because of their situations, these characters can't be perfect, and I liked that. Because it centers around Iris and her sister Laura, they were my favorites in the book. The way other characters treated them made me extremely sympathetic to them. They were also an interesting window into the life of the upper class during that time period.

The plot is also slow and meandering. It's supposed to be since it's more a narrative of a life and lives don't tend to have narrative arcs or they seem more fantastical and this wanted to be grounded in reality. Because of the slow plot, I don't recommend reading this quickly. It took me about four weeks to read this book, and that was a good length of time to get through it without being either overwhelmed or underwhelmed. Don't rush through this one, actually take the time to enjoy it's small pleasures and the wonderful writing.

TL;DR? It's not the perfect book for everyone, but if you have the time and patience you'll enjoy the flawed characters and wandering plot.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Liebster Award

I was tagged by Lys (The Mad Reader) back in September, and being an awful person I totally forgot about it! It's such an honor to be tagged and I'm surprised I didn't write it down as soon as I saw it the first time. I will admit, that was back when I was still adjusting to school and struggling to get everything under control, but that it took me this long to get to is kinda sad. Here's the original post I was tagged in by Lys' blog is now over at a new domain which you can find here. Thank you so much for tagging me!

The Rules
Answer the questions given to you
Give ten of your own questions
Tag people who you think deserve it

The Questions
1. Name a character you like but wouldn't get along with.
Celaena. I love her as a character but I think we'd get on each other's nerves. And we'd have very little to talk about besides books, which would be a great starting point, but beyond that there's nothing.

2. What book influenced you the most?
This isn't one book, but the Spiderwick Chronicles. My dad read them to me when I was younger and they were what got me interested in fairies and fantasy and still influence my own reading and writing to this day.

3. Would you be a hero, a sidekick, or a villain?
A villain. I'm pretty sure about that. Maybe a sidekick but definitely not a hero. I'm not sacrificial enough.

4. What weapon would you like to fight with?
Knives, or, lacking a proper weapon, either a hammer or frying pan. You can do a lot of damage with those. Or a bat. Actually, a metal bat might be best.

5. If you had magic ink, what book ending would you change?
The ending of The Cursed Child. SPOILERS if you haven't read the book: I'd have Scorpius and Albus actually be gay instead of the forced heterosexual ending that's there instead. END SPOILERS

6. Do you listen to music while reading?
Nope. Pretty much never because it's too distracting. Although, when I read A Thousand Pieces of You I did have the Haley Reinhart version of Can't Help Falling in Love With You stuck in my head the whole time. I ended up listening to the song while I read and it went well together.

7. What type of post do you like writing the most?
Weekly wrap ups are my favorite! They let me reflect and plan and those are two of my favorite activities. They're also, more or less, completely unplanned in the way I go about writing them and I just get to talk about big things happening in my life.

8. Which character would you like to be more like?
Karou because she's such a good artist! And also she has awesome blue hair and knows a bunch of languages.

9. Express an unpopular opinion.
I think Snow Like Ashes is an overrated book. I want to give the other's a try but the first one just fell so flat and I didn't see what had other people huge fans for it.

10. What's the most embarrassing thing you did while reading a book?
Haha well funny story... I was reading a book, was so shocked by the twist (and damn was it a good twist), that I stood up and threw the book to the other side of the room. What makes it funny and embarrassing? There were like five other people in the room and they just stared at me. BTW: The book was not harmed too severely in this event and it landed pretty softly.

Like I said, thank you Lys for tagging me! I know I'm supposed to come up with ten questions and tag ten people, but right now I don't think I can pick and choose! There are so many blogs I love and I don't want to narrow it down. And I'm being lazy. So I'm breaking the rules. I'm not awarding this to anyone, at least not today. Don't be surprised if in a few weeks I nominate ten people.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where I've Declared My Major)

I'm so happy to say I am now officially a Creative Writing Major with a Film Studies Minor. I had to meet with the head of the creative writing department and she's such a sweetie and I love her so much now that I've had the chance to talk to her. Since I'm part of the department officially, now, I get emails with advice and submission chances to get my work published, and also get a writing magazine delivered to my mailbox for free every other month. It's so cool! I actually feel like I've been invited into another family and everyone is happy to have me, and guys, this has just been a great feeling!

Blogging News
Harper has stopped giving physical ARCs to bloggers (they may still be doing digital, but I don't think that's been confirmed yet). It seems there is also going to be a cap of some sort preventing a lot of bloggers from going to BEA. Honestly, this was the last thing I expected to see come across my radar today. My reaction? Upset. I've never gotten a lot of ARCs, and that's partly because I don't have that much time to read them so I don't tend to request them. I love Netgalley because I don't mind requesting there and I can do it on my terms and at times when I have the time to read. But other than that, unless it's a book I'm super excited for (like Caraval) I don't request it through email. But with Harper deciding not to give bloggers ARCs it really makes it feel like blogging is looked down on by the industry. I put around 7 or 8 hours a week into blogging, oftentimes closer to 10 or 11 if you count interacting with other bloggers. That's little more than a hobby, at least in my opinion. And that's not counting the time I spend reading each week outside of that. I know most people in this community see blogging as more than a hobby and have invested time, talent, and money into this. Not because they want ARCs, which I'm fine without getting, but because they love sharing their love of books. I'm not mad that Harper isn't giving ARCs, I'm mad that by doing this Harper is making it seem as if they don't appreciate the hard work that has been put into blogging. Any way, those are just my two cents. I might write up a discussion about this, I might not. In general, I feel hurt and I feel like the community has taken a blow.

Finished This Week
I haven't finished anything, but I haven't had much time to read because of school and getting everything ready so I could declare. Next week I should have a bunch more time and I'm looking forward to it.

Currently Reading
I'm only a chapter or two into The Lies of Locke Lamora but I'm enjoying it so far!

Last Week

Next Week
Sunday-- Tag I'm It
Monday-- Blind Assassin Book Review
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Friday-- On Writing Book Review
Saturday-- Wrap Up

I also wanted to remind you all that even if you didn't get the chance to win my last giveaway, I have another one going on right now! It's a chance to win a candle from The Melting Library!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Announcing Giveaway Winner

Congrats to Szelina B. for winning my giveaway!

I already sent out the email, so if you could please respond within 42 hours or I'll have to choose a new winner.

Congrats!

5 Star Spoiler Review: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)


Author: Sarah J Maas
WebsiteTwitterInstagramEdition: Hardcover
Buy Links: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Book DepositoryGoodreadsRelated Reviews: The Assassin's Blade - Throne of Glass - Crown of Midnight - Heir of Fire - Queen of ShadowsRating: 5 Stars
There will be SPOILERS for this book and all the books in the series. If you want to see my non-spoiler review, you can find it HERE.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

College Journey: Apps for School

I bet you were expecting to see the title Dorm and School tour, since I've been promising it for ages, but, alas, I didn't have time to record or edit it. So, yes, if you were looking forward to it, please feel free to suggest a "punishment" in the comments and I'll make sure to get to it next month.

Recently, though, I've found some apps that help keep me both motivated and healthy, and I thought I'd share them with you. If you have other apps that you love please share in the comments!

Forest. Forest is an app that you set as a timer for a certain amount of time, and during that time a tree grows in the app. If you exit the app on your phone the tree dies, so it keeps your phone from being a distraction. Of course, my computer can still be a distraction, but I actually feel pretty bad about it if I get distracted while the tree is growing, so it's worked to keep me on track. And if you grow enough trees and get enough points, an actual tree is planted!

Plant Nanny. This is one to remind me to drink water, because I've been having an issue with dehydration lately. If I don't drink enough I feel pretty terrible throughout the rest of the day. This app not only reminds me to drink water but when I drink water and log it in, the plants I plant get bigger and stay healthy! You may have noticed I like digital plants (perhaps because I can't grow them in real life).

Those are just the two apps that have really been helping me along. Only recently have I thought to use my phone as a tool for school, and it's been wonderful!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: The Crown's Fate

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine
Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red Queen, The Crown’s Fate is the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Crown’s Game, an atmospheric historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia.
Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.
Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.
For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.
With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.
Why I'm Waiting
I wasn't a huge fan of the first book when I read it earlier this year, but I do want to see where the series goes and since it's only a duet I'm not worried about investing a lot of time. Plus, these covers are just so pretty, I can't help but want it on my shelf!

The Crown's Fate is released on May 16th, 2017

You can preorder the book here

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Chicken Challenge Wrap Up

I know the challenge doesn't technically end until the end of the month, but I don't think I'll have time to really finish up any more posts for it. School, while going well, has sort of taken over my life again. And, anyways, I'd prefer to finish this up on a high note!


The Chicken Challenge was hosted by Lys from the Mad Reader and it was such an awesome challenge! I hope she does it again next year (hint, hint Lys if you're reading this I think you should do it again next year) because I had such a great time participating.

There were a bunch of opportunities to participate, but you didn't have to finish every single thing. I did at least a post a week for the challenge (or at least I tried to).

My goal was rather little- I wanted to finish one book during this challenge, and that book is Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard. Well, I haven't finished it, yet, but I'm on track to completing it by the end of the month, so I think I'm going to count that as successful.

I loved this challenge! It was such a fun time. I am a little biased since I helped create it, but, hey, it was great.

This was also a really great experience. I rather enjoyed this one, too. Although, I am, generally, a sucker for tags (I think they're great!). 

I hope everyone who participated had as good a time as I did!

Monday, October 24, 2016

5 Star Book Review: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)


Author: Sarah J Maas
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: 5 Stars
It shouldn't be any surprise that this was one of my most anticipate releases of the year, since I am absolutely gaga over this series. Sure, it's somewhat problematic (but we're not going to talk about that in this review) and that aspect of this series should see the light of day, but overall it's one of my favorite series' of all time. Not only does it give women emotional agency and power that I don't see replicated everywhere, but it delivers the full force of escapism and good storytelling.

There won't be any spoilers in this review for this book, but there may be SPOILERS for previous books in the series, so read on at your own risk.

I had no idea what to expect going into this book. I mean, how could I? The way Queen of Shadows ended was crazy and while it closed a bunch of plot lines it also opened even more. And this book did not fail to deliver on any of them. It was nearly constant action and motion on every page and it flowed smoothly. Many questions were answered and the whole story is finally starting to fall together- as heartbreaking as that is.

The characters were the shining point in this novel, as always. I love Aelin, Rowan, Lysandra, and Aedion, don't get me wrong. In fact, they're some of my favorite characters among all the characters I love. But this book was easily stolen by Elide and Lorcan, and also Manon and Dorian. First of all, I adore Dorian as much as ever (he may be my favorite character in the history of characters, so that's no surprise) but I've often had swaying thoughts about Manon. This book, not at all. She was awesome! I see why people have loved her all along. During the first half of the book the Manon chapters were some of my favorite and I was on the edge of my seat. As for Lorcan and Elide: they are my new favorite ship. I don't want to say too much because I don't want to give it away, but they went from being two of my least favorite characters to me wishing they had a series all about them.

One of my favorite things about this book was finally seeing characters and plot lines from Assassin's Blade coming into play. I don't want to say exactly how or who shows up, but it did not disappoint. Another thing I loved is that the characters seem to be settling or are settled into the roles that they're going to play in the final book.

TL;DR
I loved it (no surprise) and still recommend this series. Things are beginning to tie up and certain characters I disliked have now wormed into my heart.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where I Finally Finished Some Books)

I'm actually spending the weekend at home, this week, so I'm writing this post from the comfort of my room, surrounded by all my books. Aw how I've missed them! But in even better news- I finished some books this week! Three books, to be precise. How did I do it? I finally made time to read. And I was pretty close to finishing them all anyways, so it wasn't that hard in the end. It still feels great to say I've finished three books though.

I also posted on my bookstagram for the first time since getting a new one. I have to update a bunch of links here on my blog, and I plan to do that soon, but I may not get to it today. So it's been a good week!

Finished this Week
I finished Empire of Storms (and loved it!), The Blind Assassin (which was a book club book and I loved it!), and On Writing (which is nonfiction but had me tearing up quite a bit several times as I read it).

Currently Reading
Lies of Locke Lamora is my main read, but I'll also be starting The Ugly Teapot very soon. If I somehow manage to finish Lies of Locke Lamora (it's a big book so I'd be very surprised) I'm going to be picking up Rebel Genius.

Last Week

This Week
Monday-- Empire of Storms Review
Tuesday-- Chicken Challenge Wrap Up
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday-- College Journey
Friday-- Empire of Storms Spoiler Discussion
Saturday-- Wrap Up

Instagram

I meant to post this Wednesday since the book came out Tuesday, but I didn’t get the book until Thursday. Oh well. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to dive into it! . Since this is my first post I want to introduce myself. My name is Sam and I’m a book blogger (link in bio). I’ve been book blogging for nearly two years now and I love the community. Earlier this year (or was it last year?) I had a bookstagram account that I’ve now deactivated. It didn’t really have to do with anything anyone did, but with the fact that I was really unhappy with my feed, was really bad at interacting with people and putting time into bookstagram, and had accidentally hooked it up to my personal Facebook account so people I went to school with and was related to were seeing the account and it was just kinda weird. So I deactivated and here I am. . I plan on posting regularly on this account, with my goal being three times a week. I don’t expect to hit that goal until December, though, because I want to ease myself into this account and take only pictures I’m happy with. The schedule will be Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays around noon each day. I think Wednesday posts will mostly be for new releases, or if no new releases some other book I want to showcase, and Fridays will be whatever I’m currently reading or just finished. Mondays will be for books I just want to spotlight for one reason or another. . . . #bookstagram #booknerd #bookrelease #yabook #books #gemina #theilluminaefiles #scienefiction #prettybook #amiekaufman #jaykristoff #knopf
A photo posted by Sam Frost (@tsundokusam) on

Giveaways
I still have two giveaways going on, and one of them only has five days left to enter. May the odds be in your favor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

College Journey: Making Time to Read

I know I've been promising a dorm/campus tour for a while now but I haven't had time to record it yet. So next week. I PROMISE. And if I fail... well, you can think up a punishment.

For those who are new: College Journey is something I post the last two Thursdays of every month to both record my own experiences and help those who will be starting college next year or have just started this year. It's been a while since I collected all the posts in one place, so I'm including all the links in this post as well.

Freshman Year
Sophomore Year

I know that's quite a few links, but I like for it to be accessible to people. If you ever have a question about college life, personal or broad, don't be afraid to email me at tsundokusam@gmail.com 

I think I've spoken about this topic sporadically, but reading college can be hard. It took me about a month this year to get into the habit again and figure out my time management in a way that let me actually read regularly, so I wanted to share with all of you, who might be having a hard time carving out time to read. And, honestly, this is applicable to not just college students but all students.

Read before you sleep. I go to bed at midnight every night. That might seem late, but it actually gets me 8 hours since I wake up at 8:30 every day. I never have enough energy at night to really make it worth doing any homework. I could stay up and talk to friends, and sometimes I do do that, but since I see them a lot every day anyways, unless there's something special going on it's not my priority. What tends to happen is around 10 I retreat to my room and read. This only works for weekdays, though, since on weekends I don't even aim for midnight to sleep.

Read when you wake up. This is what I tend to do on weekends. I don't meet friends on weekends until around noon, since everyone likes to sleep in. I have a hard time sleeping in that late, so I normally, unless I have pressing homework, just read until it's time to meet everyone. This is one of the times I get the most reading done.

Read after classes are completely over. I love to read once I get home after all my classes are done for the day. I don't normally read for that long during these times of the day, since I want to get to my homework, but a chapter or two doesn't hurt and it lowers my anxiety.

Don't read in spurts. This is what I was doing wrong. I was using reading to be the padding between other work, but only reading one chapter in between hours of work was just killing my reading juice and I needed more than that. Now that I read for huge chunks of time I can actually notice a difference- I do more work during work time and relax more during reading time and enjoy reading more.

Don't force yourself to read or feel bad about not getting things read. This hasn't been much of a problem this year as much as it was last year, but sometimes I get mad or start to hate a book if it takes me too long to read, even if it's not the book's fault. And this, too, drains the fun out of reading when I'm stressing about finishing a book.

That's just my advice for reading! Do you have any particular advice? I'd love to hear it, so please comment!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Now I Rise

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine
Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.
What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?
As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.
Why I'm Waiting
I unexpectedly enjoyed And I Darken and absolutely cannot wait for this book to release. Not to mention the cover! I can't decide if I like this one more or the previous.
You can preorder the book here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Chicken Challenge Book Tag


This is part of the Chicken-Challenge which is hosted by Lys from The Mad Reader. I've been having so much fun participating and I'm kinda sad that it's drawing to a close.

1. A book that scared you.
I've only read the first two books in this series so far but when I read the first one, while it was an edge of my seat thriller, this one absolutely scared me, in all the right ways! I don't want to say how, since it happens in the last act of the book, but if you're looking for chills these books are a great place to start.

2. What's the funniest prank you pulled?
Okay, so it wasn't a purposeful prank, but one time my friends and I bought our other friend a bookmark. We didn't tell him and we had it mailed directly to his box. We expected he would know it was from us because it's something we would do. Apparently he thought someone was stalking him, though, and started to freak out and did a bunch of research onto the person we bought it from. When we learned this was what we thought we decided to leave a comment on the Etsy page that we bought it from and expect he would know it was one of us (particularly because we continued to tell him to check the comments section) but when he saw that he started freaking out even more and was so scared. We were all laughing so hard because he had never thought it was us and when we told him he just kinda breathed a sigh of relief. We apologized profusely but it's still one of the funniest things that has ever happened in our friend group and we don't let him live it down.

3. Share a spooky ghost story.
This isn't much of a story, but it's something that happened two me two years ago. When I go to sleep I pull the chain for my ceiling light and also flick the switch, just out of habit. But then, in the middle of the night one time, I woke up around 3am and the light in my room, which shouldn't have been able to turn on at all, was flickering on and off. I wasn't really scared but I was like "whoah" and then after it didn't happen for another half hour I went back to sleep and when I woke up was thoroughly freaked out.

4. What's the scariest movie you've ever watched?
Okay, this isn't a horror film but I was still so scared by it I was actually crying silently in the movie theatre, but Jurassic World. The Jurassic Park franchise just scares me (I'm not sure why) and even though I loved the film I don't think I could ever see it again.

5. What is your dream costume?
This definitely has a Celaena Sardothian vibe but even more then that it would be such a badass costume! Like, I would wear it around outside of Halloween.

6. What is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
Hahahaha I don't eat weird things. Like, I eat what I like and that is that because I'm super picky. I suppose it might be strange, but I love to eat Vegetarian Vegetable Soup with Pepperoni (I know I've talked about this before but it's still a little weird).

7. If you were a fictional who would you be and why?
I'd want to be an antihero of some kind, so maybe Mystique (but not the Jennifer Lawrence version, as much as I like her I don't think she does the character justice).

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where I'm Back in the Blogging Mood)

For me there's this weird cycle of blogging, reading, and buying books. The more I blog the more I want to read and the more I read the more books I buy. The more books I buy the more I want to read them. And the more I read them the more I blog about them. And then I tend to fall into a slump at some point. Which is what I seem to be pulling out of. I'm in the blogging mood and have loved being an active part of the community again and I've also carved out time each day to read so I'm slowly starting to get back into the books I was in the middle of. WHOO.

One big reason for this is Instagram. You may have noticed that my account was deactivated. There were several reasons for that (all to do with me and school really) which I'll be addressing in my first post on my new account. More info to come soon.

Last Week
Wednesday-- Another Giveaway!

Next Week
Tuesday-- Tag
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday-- College Journey
Saturday-- Wrap Up

I also want to mention the two giveaway's I have going on! If you want the full details I'll include links to the original posts, but here's a quick way for you to enter:

You can enter to win a book and this is international as long as Book Depository ships to your country. Here's the original link.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also enter to win a candle from The Melting Library. Unfortunately this isn't an international giveaway. Here's the original link.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have a lot more time to enter the Melting Library Giveaway and for both of the giveaways you can enter at least once a day by tweeting out the message, so don't forget to stop back to continuously enter! Best of luck to everyone and thank you for entering!

Friday, October 14, 2016

5 Star Reaction Review: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)


Author: Sarah J Maas
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: 5 Stars
BEWARE OF SPOILERS

This was my final reread before I could pick up Empire of Storms, and my opinion of it nearly completely changed. The first time I read it I had said that I thought it was the weakest book in the series and that characters were developed poorly and there seemed to be a lot missing in between the pages. Well, I still think some of the character development was a little rushed, but not nearly so much as I once thought, perhaps because I knew where the characters were ending up in this book.

Which is one huge thing I loved about rereading this book. That's one of my favorite things about rereading in general- you know where the book is going and how it's going to end so you can pick out pieces that are foreshadowed at the beginning and just enjoy the overall storyline. And since it's been a while since I read it the first time there were a lot of details that were still rather murky in my head. I couldn't remember exactly what would happen or when and what all the details were and it was so nice to have both an experienced eye and a naive eye reading this book at once.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Book Scavenger Hunt

This is part of the Chicken-Challenge, a read-along and challenge hosted by Lys from The Mad Reader. This is the challenge I was most excited to do for the whole event (I'll admit maybe that's because I helped create it but also because it sounds like so much fun!) and since I didn't have the time to do every challenge I made sure this was one that I could do for sure.

The Rules: You have 2 minutes to think of as many books as you can corresponding to the categories given. 

LET THE GAMES BEGIN

Books with Royalty
Lunar Chronicles
Heir of Fire

Books with Murder
Throne of Glass

Books with an Unexpected Love Story
Shadow and Bone

Books with a Female Friendship
Lady Midnight
Queen of Shadows

Books with at Least One Animal Pet
Crown of Midnight
City of Bones

Books with Travels
Six of Crows

Books with Covers that Don't Match the Interior
Hunger Games

Books with a lot of Food
The Crown's Game

Books You Can't Read Outside (and give a reason)

Books with Illnesses
The Movie Version

This was so much harder than I thought but I had a lot of fun doing it! Two minutes is really fast and I just kinda froze as I was doing it and would just stare at the words and not comprehend, LOL. Great game!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Another Giveaway!

Thank you everyone who follows me on Bloglovin' and has boosted that number up to 100! It's been a goal of mine since day 1 to have a hundred followers for this blog. I know it's just a number, but it's such a pretty number don't you agree? And it's also so nice to see that people actually read the things I put out, since I spend quite a bit of time each day blogging. So thank you everyone!

And like I promised in my previous giveaway post, now that I've reached 100 followers I'm going to be hosting another giveaway. And this time it's not for a book... it's for a candle! From the Melting Library, to be exact. I love their candles so very much that I don't think I can even begin to shed my love for them anywhere. I use their Night Court candle nearly every day and I'm waiting patiently for the Dirtyhands candle that I ordered to arrive. If you haven't heard of them, I recommend going and checking out their Etsy Shop which I've linked above.

For this giveaway I can only ship within the fifty states, and I'm sorry about that for my international friends who would like one. Hopefully someday I'll have the spare cash to ship something internationally (perhaps my two year blogoversary....). Again, I'm trying to get people to follow on Bloglovin' because I find it a convenient way to keep track of everyone, but you can follow however you want. This giveaway is actually running longer than the other one, because I want more people to get the chance to win one of these amazing candles.

Because they have a revolving stock the prize is up to you. You can win one full size candle from the Melting Library of your choice. May the odds be ever in your favor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can actually send out the tweet every day, so if you want to increase your chances of winning please feel free!

And if you haven't had the chance to enter into my other giveaway, here's your chance:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

5 Star Book Review: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy, #3)


Author: Leigh Bardugo
Edition: Hardcover
Related Reviews: Shadow and Bone - Siege and Storm
Rating: 5 Stars
There won't be any spoilers in this review, so worry not.

Because of college I've both been in a reading slump and a reviewing slump, which is why this review is so late coming. It should have been out ages ago, and I actually promised to have it out by now so I'm sorry that I didn't have it out before now. I'm not just sorry because I disappointed people curious to see my thoughts, but because now the details for this book are blurry and they get blurrier every day.

Ruin and Rising is the phenomenal finale to the Grisha Trilogy, which I fell in love with last winter. After finishing Siege and Storm I didn't really think I could handle the feelz that this one would bring, and I didn't want to say goodbye to these characters, particularly Nikolai. Of course, there is Six of Crows (which I have read) and now Crooked Kingdom (which I need to read) that will take me back to this world and have just as amazing characters within them, but they aren't the same ones from the Grisha trilogy so it's still hard to say goodbye.

And say goodbye I did. I know the ending is either hated or liked, but honestly, I loved it. I had no idea how the series was going to end but I thought Bardugo did it perfectly. It hit all the emotional points and wrapped up stories the way they should have been wrapped up. And, yes, I do approve of who Alina ended up with. As much as I loved the other two "options" this was the one I was rooting for the whole time because it was what Alina needed the whole time and clearly the one that made her happiest.

Besides the ending, the whole book was fantastic. There's a twist in the middle that I called from book one, but it was still well played and worked into the story beautifully. I'm always taken off guard by how brutal these books can get, but at the time time they do it in such an enchanting way that as gruesome as it is I can't look away from the page. 

As always, the world building is what gets me the most. I want to live in Ravka! Or maybe a peaceful version if there is one. There's just so much atmosphere in these books that I can't get enough of it. I would find myself daydreaming about the setting, which is absolutely amazing. For those of you who want to learn to write setting well, the Grisha trilogy is a great teacher.

TL;DR This book did not disappoint. I know ti split fans, but I approved of all the choices, including the final ship, and had a hard time saying goodbye to these characters I'd grown very attached to.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Mini-Review: In Search of Lost Dragons


Author: Elian Black'mor
Artist: Carine M
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: 3.5 Stars
This is a book I was rather excited for ever since seeing it on someone's youtube channel (forgive me I don't remember who's). It's meant to be the journal of a french explorer who goes looking for dragons and finds them. It's filled to the brim with gorgeous artwork that is meant to depict his travels and it's the art that really does capture the eye of the reader.

The story itself is slim and fleeting and a hard to follow. Part of this I want to blame on the translation, not because it was a bad translation, but because things are often lost this way and in a book where every word really counts if even one meaning is lost it can be difficult to appreciate it. Another problem was the set up of the book, which didn't really make it easy to understand how much time was passing or when things were written. Only every once in a while would something be dated making it hard to figure out if things were meant to be done in chronology or not. Additionally, while the dragons are incredibly pretty to look at I would have loved to see some pictures of the people because I couldn't picture anyone and that was getting on my nerves, to be completely honest.

Overall, I don't really recommend buying this book since it's pretty expensive. If you can, check it out from your local library to enjoy the absolutely stunning art and somewhat interesting story. I think I spent most of my time with this book just petting the pretty pictures and that was worth the time invested even if it wasn't worth the money.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where I'm 20)

Wow, I'm 20 years old today. Kinda a weird feeling not to be a teenager anymore. I guess I should be prepared for people to tell me I'm to old to read YA? Okay, probably not a funny joke. Also! Thank you to everyone who's been wishing me Happy Birthday! I love you all THANK YOU! 

In other news, I still haven't finished a book. This week I really really hope I will. However, I do have midterms so we'll see.

Last Week
Thursday-- Chicken Read-Along

Next Week
Monday-- In Search of Lost Dragons Book Review
Thursday-- Book Scavenger Hunt 
Friday-- Queen of Shadows Book Review
Saturday-- Wrap Up

You may have seen my current giveaway, and if you want all the details check out that post, but to make it easier, here's the Rafflecopter again:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 7, 2016

It's My Birthday So I'm Giving You a Book!

Tomorrow, October 8th, is my 20th birthday (whoo!) and to celebrate I thought I would do a giveaway!

This giveaway is open international as long as Book Depository ships to you. If you live in the States I'll send the book to you via Amazon instead because it's quicker. What you can win is any one book that has already been published (sorry no preorders this time around for reasons) that is $20 or less. It's a pretty standard giveaway format, and you can enter on the rafflecopter below.

One thing I will note: I currently have 95 followers on Bloglovin', which is sooooo close to 100! And reaching 100 followers on there has always been a goal of mine. So, if before the giveaway ends I reach 100 followers on there I will be giving away another really cool prize (hint: it's not a book but it's bookish).

Best of luck! And may the odds be ever in your favor!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Chicken Read-Along


I'm participating in Lys' Chicken Challenge this month and I'm so excited for it! I can't do every challenge because I don't have the time (sad face) but I'm going to do the best I can. Besides this post I'll also be participating in the Book Scavenger Hunt (so excited!), the Tag, and perhaps the Guest Post. If I have time to do more I totally will.

For my TBR for this challenge I'm setting very low expectations for myself. I haven't been able to read very much lately because school has gotten in the way, so I'm only planning on reading one book for the challenge. I don't think it completes any of the challenges per say but it's got a spooky concept so I think it will fit in nicely.


This book is about zombies and necromancers and it's got a steampunk flair so I'm rather excited to read it! I haven't read a Susan Dennard book yet, though I've seen mixed reviews. Here's to hoping I enjoy it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

ARC Review: The Movie Version


Author: Emma Wunsch
Edition: eARC courtesy of Netgalley
Release Date: October 11th, 2016
Rating: 4 Stars

I received a copy of The Movie Version from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Contemporary isn't normally my genre, and I only pick it up when there's something specific about the book that catches my interest. For this one, that thing is movies. The main character, Amelia, loves movies and retreats into them the same way I retreat into books. As someone who's an aspiring filmmaker I love picking up books that make reference to great movies and know what they're talking about. In that regard, this book did not disappoint, though it did take me on a ride I was not expecting when I began the story.

The Movie Version follows Amelia, who has just spent the summer nannying for a affluent family. She's also got a boyfriend for the first time- someone she met over the summer. When she returns home she imagines things will go back to being how they were, her older brother will be her best friend and her best friend (and the whole school's best friend) and her spending her time trying to achieve a "movie version" of life. Something is wrong with her brother though, and it will change her life forever.

This book is about mental health. It deals with it fairly and justly and I think gives an interesting position on it. The main character spends her time trying to deny it's a problem while being faced with it being a problem. At once it's taking over her life and something she's completely distant from because it's not happening to her. She feels guilty when she lives her life but she feels lonely when she isn't. She becomes detached from her friends and who she was before everything happened and sinks into a mental hole. The book spends time looking at her side, as someone affected by the mental illness without having it herself, and I liked that because the impact felt real. I'm not saying I would do what she did given the circumstances but it didn't feel made up it felt like I was reading a natural reaction.

The rest of the book is about Amelia figuring out who she is in relation to the rest of the world. With her new boyfriend, her changing status at school, and new friends it's almost as if her life has been tossed in a blender and she needs to situate herself again. And it's in this journey that she's also relatable and the story is also incredibly realistic.

My one qualm about the book? There were parts in the middle that were a little boring. I would find myself spacing out slightly. And I blame a large part of this on myself since I'm not a huge fan of contemporary books as it is and these "regular" parts grate on me a little. Overall, I would recommend this book.

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Monday, October 3, 2016

5 Star Mini Book Review: Clash of Kings (Game of Thrones, #2)


Author: George RR Martin
Edition: Leather-bound
Related Reviews: Game of Thrones
Rating: 5 Stars
Clash of Kings starts not long after book one finishes and immediately introduces us to many different characters right off the bat, including some fan favorites (Stannis, Brienne). As with book one, this revolving cast of characters stretches across the wide world taking the reader near and far. Besides the plot, little changes between books, but perhaps that's a good thing.

The slow and steady nature of Martin's writing is what draws me in and makes me continue wanting to read. Especially when it's interspersed with quick, intense scenes, normally with at least one named character dying in said scenes. I particularly like how all the characters plots are unique to the characters and while they may overlap it is in a completely real way but not in a forced way like some fantasy tends to do.

I give this boo five stars namely for the absorbing elements that won't let me go once I sit down and start reading. I always feel so engrossed in the book when I'm reading that I forget where I'm at. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where I'm Still Behind)

*hides head in shame* So, I missed a post I was supposed to write this week and I'm still majorly behind on catching up on some of my favorite blogs I love to read and comment on, and I haven't spent any time on tumblr in over a month. Yeah, that's where I'm at. September was just sort of a garbage month for me, blogging wise, and I got farther behind than I had ever planned to get and I feel so awful about it for a few reasons. Number one being that I disappoint people who are looking forward to reading certain posts on certain days and number two being that I disappoint myself that I can't keep up with one of my favorite things. From here on out I am going to make sure I blog every day and keep up on everything I need to keep up on. I'm also going to make sure I begin reading regularly again, because that has sort of fallen by the wayside thanks to school. As for the post I missed, which was my review for Ruin and Rising, I plan to write that tonight and post it on Wednesday, but that date might end up changing depending on school. 

Finished This Week
Still nothing. I'm going to remedy that this month when I plan to finish a book a week.

Currently Reading
The same as the last two wrap ups- Empire of Storms and when I finish Lies of Locke Lamora.

Last Week

This Week
Monday-- Clash of Kings Review
Tuesday-- The Movie Version Review
Friday-- Start of a Giveaway
Saturday-- Wrap Up