Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Wires and Nerve

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

In her first graphic novel, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller Marissa Meyer follows Iko, the beloved android from the Lunar Chronicles, on a dangerous and romantic new adventure -- with a little help from Cinder and the Lunar team.
In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.
Why I'm Waiting
Well, I just about adore the Lunar Chronicles to death (even though I haven't read Winter yet....) and I'm super excited to see Iko get a story of her own! I remember when she was introduced in Cinder and I thought she would just be the annoying sidekick and she turned out to be so much more! Plus, it's a graphic novel, and i think this is just the perfect series to continue this way. 

Wires and Nerve Vol. 1 comes out January 31st, 2017 
and you can preorder it here 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

5 Star ARC Review: The Graces (The Graces, #1)

Author: Laure Eve
Edition: eARC courtesy of Netgalley
Release Date: September 6th, 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This book is just WOW. I mean, I was excited to read it once I heard it existed, but I never expected to be completely blown away by this book. If I had to compare it to something tangible, I'd say it's a heady and sweet smelling candle that you can smell even in your dreams.

The Graces is about River, the new girl in town, and the Graces, a rich family that the whole town seems obsessed with. And, according to local legend and the gossip at school, they're witches. Thalia Grace (LOL I know she shares her name with the Percy Jackson character), Fenrin Grace, and Summer Grace are the most popular, most beautiful, and most lusted after kids at their school. They rarely have friends, and when they do they're disposable friends. And then River and Summer connect and suddenly they're best friends. But River has a secret motivation for wanting to get in with the Graces...

My favorite sort of narrator is the unreliable one, and River definitely fits into this category. We know from pretty much the first page that what River is telling the reader probably isn't the whole story. We also know that she's not perfect at telling this story. The whole book revolves around the idea of whether magic is real or not, and what it means if it is or it isn't. River is convinced that it's real and that the Graces are witches, but the reader is only acquainted with coincidences that may or may not be the result of spell casting, so everything is cast in this beautiful shade of doubt and suspect. The story does wrap up with answers, though, so don't worry about being left hanging even though it's only the first book in a duology.

The characters are all wonderfully done. They come off the page with such realism! And I will admit, I wished I was a Grace half the time I was reading it. Every character is painted in shades of black, white, and gray which is delightful. As much as you love them you hate them. Rarely do I read characters that are at once heroes and anti-heroes.

Plot-wise things meander and wander and slowly come to a dramatic and breathtaking climax I never saw coming. All that wandering that the middle takes, the small things that make the book perfect an beautiful, all come back to haunt at the end and it's fantastic. Besides focusing on magic the book places a huge emphasis on friendship, with female friendship being the spotlight. A lot of the questions asked involve what it means to be a good friend and how you find your real friends, especially in high school. There's a little romance but it's handled with care and a very curious twist (that really ties into the gray-area-ness of the characters).

TL;DR? Basically, this is one of those books that's going to haunt me forever and is perfect for fans of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and The Mermaid's Sister.

Monday, August 29, 2016

My Hogwarts Story Tag

I saw this post on Tracey's blog Printed Words and even though I wasn't tagged I thought it sounded pretty awesome and couldn't help wanting to do it. It was originally created by Underland to Wonderland and it's just such a brilliant idea for a tag!

Basically, the idea is to imagine what your life/story would be like at Hogwarts.

1. Are you a Pure-Blood, Half-Blood, or Muggle-Born?
Okay, just kinda guessing at how my family would be in this sort of world, I think I'd be Pure-Blood.

2. Which wand chose you?

3. Did you take an owl, cat, rat, or toad with you?
I want to say a cat, but my father is terribly allergic and I don't know where it would go when I wasn't at school, so probably an owl.

4. Where did the Sorting Hat put you?

5. What house did you want to be in?
Eh it didn't matter really but Hufflepuff seems right. Way back when, during the first Pottermore sorting test I was in Gryffindor which did always seem strange to me, though.

6. What lessons are your favorite and least favorite?
I love Transfiguration and Potions (though I'm really bad at potions, let's be honest) and find Divination an interesting class but pointless. I probably dislike History of Magic because of the professor. Oh, and I almost forgot, but Care of Magical Creatures is probably my favorite class.

7. The form your patronus takes is a...
A bird of some sort! I don't know which one, but as long as it flies that's it!

8. When confronted with a Boggart what does it look like for you?
Fire maybe? 

9. Do you partake in any school sports or magical hobbies?
Is there a book club? Because I'd definitely be part of that. If there's a magical creatures or a dragon club, I'd be part of that as well.

10. If you have free time where would you find yourself hanging out?
The library and the common room, and probably my own room as well. I'm very much a homebody, even at Hogwarts, haha.

11. You are most likely to get detention for what?
Oh I hope nothing at all! But probably something foolish and accidental.

12. What career do you want after leaving Hogwarts?
Working with magical creatures somewhere. I think it would be a bunch of fun, and while I don't exactly wish to go to Romania and work with dragons, I wouldn't say no to that job either.

I Tag

And if I didn't tag you and you want to do it, feel free! I love this tag it's so much fun.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

5 Star Reaction Review: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

Author: Sarah J Maas
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: 5 Stars
There will be minor SPOILERS for the series.

My fourth time going through and this is the book that always changes the most for me. When I first read it, when it came out, I more or less hated it. I loved it, but I also hated it. A very strange relationship I had with this book. Most of that initial hate came from the change of ships in the book and the things that happen at the end that I was just not prepared for.

Of course, now that I know what to prepare for, and now that ships have changed once again in the series (for the best- Rowaelin is just everything) it's actually become one of my favorites for the past two years. But this time... it was just lackluster, I think.

The big problem? The characters I've come to love from the most recent books just weren't in it! I mean, they haven't been introduced at this point, but they're some of my favorite parts of the later series (I'm talking about Aedion, Lysandra, Rowan, and Nesryn... and Manon and Elide and am I forgetting anyone else? Basically the rest of the characters, haha). As much as I enjoy this book, it feels like a filler compared to the rest of them. Which is crazy, because so much happens during this one!

Here are some other things I really noticed this time around:

I remembered Archer. This may sound strange since he's a big character, but honestly, on my last two rereads I totally forgot to hate him when I started the story. How? I really don't know. But going into it and hating him has actually made it a really interesting game of seeing how much he fakes and is a liar.

Nehemia bothered me. I do love her to death (RIP you brilliant character), but she does bother me because of the way she treats Celaena. As much as Celaena holds Nehemia up on a pedestal as the best friend she's ever had, I know that so much more is waiting for her in the next few books. Better friends. Nehemia keeps secrets from her the whole time even though she expects Celaena to share things and gets mad at Celaena's own secrets. She also expects a lot from Celaena, someone who is still healing. Nehemia should be able to recognize this and yes, Celaena was being hard headed and not reasonable about certain things, but she wasn't even a year out of Endovier and has lived her whole life in fear. Also, I find it hard to forgive Nehemia for what she did and leaving Celaena like that.

I kept thinking of the song Castle by Halsey as I read this

Reading this series is like watching a TV series. I hope some day it does translate onto the small screen.

I remember why I dislike Chaol. Okay, hold your horses, I don't actually dislike Chaol. He's just not my favorite. And I remember why he's not my favorite- he's kinda boring. Okay, that actually doesn't explain it, because later in the series he's really not boring. But in this book, I just get weary of his point of view. I think it has something do with the fact that I'm far more interested in Celaena and Dorian in this one (they're both on really, really interesting arcs and Chaol is just there in comparison). So, no, I don't dislike Chaol, and I actually like him and Celaena together during the first half, but I always seem to forget how little he actually does in this book.

Yep, that's it for now. Quite the longer post than I meant to write, but I'm pleased with it. On to Heir of Fire!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where I Finally Have a Posting Schedule Again)

I love to schedule things so it's surprising that I went so long without and "official" posting schedule. I was scheduling in my planner and everything, but I didn't have a specific day for everything that I could promise people would be the regular schedule. Well, now I do and I'm so happy! It's going to be really great having this extra level of planning and scheduling and will help keep conflicts out of blogging I hope. Without further ado:
Sunday -- Discussion or etc. post
Monday -- Review
Tuesday -- Most ARC Reviews
Wednesday -- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday -- College Journey or etc. post
Friday -- Review
Saturday -- Wrap Up
Just a note: this schedule won't actually be implemented until the latter half of next month and there's a reason for that which I'm not going to share quite yet but will be revealed in next week's wrap up. Stay tuned!

I also want to start incorporating a "news" related portion to my weekly wrap ups where I can talk about what's been happening in the book blogging community. If there's anything you want to see my thoughts on, email me tsundokublog(at)gmail(dot)com and I'm going to start that this week as well.

The big thing this week revolves around the current queen of YA fantasy, Sarah J Maas and the fact that Empire of Storms was released into the wild a little earlier than expected for some people. And of those people who have been able to read it, a lot aren't happy with one thing or another. That's fine- everyone's entitled to their opinion. It isn't great for author's and publishers when books are bought early, but honestly, if I were faced with the option of picking this one up early I probably would, and still buy the three other copies I planned to get. Okay, whatever. The big problem lies with the fact that people who don't like the book are spreading that hate and sending awful messages to the author. I think there have even been death threats. Which is ridiculous on so many levels. And sickening. Don't do this shit, guys. If you want to see a great rant about it, check out Christina's post here.

Finished this Week
I finished my reread of Heir of Midnight and also read (in one day) Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies. I wasn't a huge fan of the latter, but it's an interesting book that hasn't gotten very much attention lately. My reread of Heir of Midnight has reminded me why it's my favorite in the series so far.

Currently Reading
I'm just shy of the halfway point in Ruin and Rising and will likely finish it either tomorrow or Monday. After that I'm picking up The Movie Version (an ARC that shouldn't take me took long) and then starting my reread of Queen of Shadows.

Last Week

Next Week
Sunday-- Crown of Midnight Reaction
Monday-- Hogwarts Tag
Tuesday-- The Graces Review
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday-- The Raven King Review
Friday-- The Raven King Spoiler Review
Saturday-- Wrap Up (A VERY IMPORTANT ONE)

What are your thoughts on the SJM thing? Are you excited for Empire of Storms? What do you plan on reading this week?

Friday, August 26, 2016

5 Star Book Review: Elantris

Author: Brandon Sanderson
Edition: Hardcover (Author's Preferred Edition)
Rating: 5 Stars
I'm a pretty big fan of Brandon Sanderson, and incredibly in awe of his Cosmere. Elantris is the first novel he had published and the first piece of the Cosmere to fall into place. I finally picked this one up after owning this copy for half a year or so. If you're a fan of the Cosmere and don't already own the tenth anniversary edition, you're really missing out one some important information and need to get on that ASAP.

Elantris is about three people: a prince who becomes cursed and is locked within the walls of the city of Elantris, a foreign princess who was set to marry him but now will have to deal with being a widow in a land where women are nearly powerless, and a priest from a kingdom set on conquering the entire world. At it's heart, Elantris is about doing the right thing, and how the "right thing" changes depending on each person.

This is not my favorite Branson Sanderson novel, but I still loved it dearly. I think, what really did it for me in this book, was the characters. Brandon is a pro at writing intriguing and morally diverse characters, so these, in comparison, might seem very black and white in comparison. But I think it's that simplicity to them, without taking away from how real they feel, that makes it a piece of stand out fantasy. Raoden is a really good guy stuck in a bad situation, and he does what he does because of his own morals. His were probably my favorite chapters to read because I was most interested in what was happening in Elantris and the "magic" there. Sarene is an incredibly strong character and she's forced to compete with a society that will always see her as lesser because she's a woman. I loved seeing her play the court against itself and do what she wanted regardless of what it took, but I also liked being able to see her vulnerable side. She's sensitive but she's also strong and it's this duet of characteristics that really makes her a stand out. As for Hrathen, I have complicated feelings about him. He was at once the most interesting character and also the most annoying. I was often more interested in Sarene's and Raoden's chapters, yet his story is just as important if not more so. He's definitely not what I expected as a character, and he's the most morally gray of the three. He's an antagonist in the series and a really, really interesting one. I don't want to give much away because he's pretty awesome in his own right.

Now, most people know Sanderson for his fantastic magic systems that he writes. And, yes, Allomancy is just about the coolest thing in the world. But for the most part, Elantris is not about magic. It's a subtle thing that exists sparsely and seems rather poorly developed in comparison to his other works. I think the focus on court politics, though, is a strong point for the novel. The fact that a large chunk of the plot is figuring out what happened to the magic in this world, thus what happened to the city of Elantris, is an interesting mystery, and while I do look forward to sequels (eventually, he's said he'll write them eventually) where we get to explore the magic a bit more, I liked that we only got a taste of it so far.

World building is another one of his strong suits, and he doesn't disappoint. There are pretty diverse nations in this book, and while we don't really leave the cities of Kae or Elantris, there is a lot of talk about the other countries that really make this world feel quite large. Again, I look forward to seeing where eventual sequels take the characters because I honestly can't wait to explore! And it's a testament to Sanderson's writing that I feel as if I explored the two cities along with the main characters and they don't feel like they were just on the page. I wouldn't be surprised if one day I forget they're fictional for a moment (it has happened with characters before it's so weird).

TL;DR? Basically, it's gotten me back into the mood to read epic fantasy and helped fix the book slump I've been in lately. Rarely do I read a book this big this quickly and when I do it means it's super immersive and totally worth your time.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

College Journey: Leaving

Last Thursday my College Journey post was all about packing and what to bring. And, as a reminder, I'll be posting these the last to Thursdays of every month for the foreseeable future.

Now, after you've finished packing it's time to leave. For some people it's going to be incredibly hard, you won't want to say goodbye to friends, family, pets, or stuff. For others it's exciting and you can wait for the new adventure. Most people will experience both. And everyone will be nervous. Because, chances are, it's your first time away from home living on your own. Not everything will be up to you, but this is a mark of you becoming a bona-fide adult! Isn't that terrifying? You'll learn to love it.

I don't want to scare you too badly. But I do want you to understand the reality that it's okay to be frightened of the unknown that's about to be shoved your way. It's a natural reaction and in this case the best way to treat it is just to go with the flow of it. Talk to someone about how you feel, rant on the internet, or write it down in a notebook. I hope with this post I can guide you through some of the rougher patches, so that when you do leave you know it's going to be okay.

First off: leave your room the way you want to return to it. This is a mistake I made. While my room wasn't a complete disaster when I left for school, it wasn't completely put together and made up nicely. It didn't bother me when I was away, but when I would come back even for a weekend it was so annoying to be dealing with my old mess. It's not worth it, especially when you want a relaxing environment to fall back into when you return for winter break (or whenever you return) so make sure to clean up before you go!

Have a game plan to stay in touch with friends and family. For family I recommend setting aside a certain time every week or day where you can actually call them and talk to them. I don't have a set time, but I also don't talk to my parents on the phone that often. While that's fine now, and something I'm totally used to, for the first few weeks it was hard to not know when they would call or if it would be when I had time. You may not have your schedule when you leave for school, but as soon as you get it work something out with loved ones you want to touch base with regularly. For friends I try to keep an open correspondence with them. I try to write handwritten letters because it's so nice to get things in the mail and I try to text each of them at least once a week. Everyone has their own lives which get in the way, though, so don't feel awful if it's not contact all the time like you may be used to. My friends go to schools pretty far from me and we still manage to talk, though not as frequently as we used to. Our relationships are still pretty great! Of course you'll also be making new friends at your school so don't worry about being lonely.

Have some good food for the two days before you leave. Where I go to school, at least, there just aren't very many restaurants nor do I get decent home cooked meals. So the two days before I leave (more like three actually) I make it a point to only eat the food I know I won't get the chance to eat during the semester. Whether it's restaurants that are only near my house, places to expensive for me to afford without my parents, or something my mom makes in the kitchen, it's nice to have these things before you have to say goodbye to them as well.

On the same note, stop in at your favorite stores. It shouldn't be a surprise that I will be stopping in at the two local Barnes and Noble's by me before I wave my little town goodbye. At school the nearest one is an hour away and while I don't mind the drive I can't go all the time when I want a new book or just to enjoy the atmosphere. I'll also be stopping into a few other places that I won't be able to see again for a while.

You've finished packing, but it's best to double check you have everything. First of all, you don't want to forget something super obvious, which can happen if you don't pack it away. My blanket for example. I probably wouldn't forget it, but I can't pack it until the day I leave. Things like my hairbrush, though, which I'll use until I go are easily forgettable. You want to go through your room and your house and make a mental checklist of stuff deciding whether you will need it at school and how important it is.

Sign up for Amazon student prime. If you haven't done this already, seriously do. It's well worth it. Just search up Amazon Student Prime and you'll find links that will guide you through the process. How it works is that you feed it a .edu email address to prove you're a student (or a teacher because actually they can do this it's nice). For the first six months you get free prime, albeit a version of prime that leaves out the streaming services. You do get free two day shipping though (which is what I use for everything I swear it's a life saver!) and same-day release delivery for book preorders. After the six months are up you get the option to renew the prime service, for half the price of regular prime but with all the features that you didn't get before. And man is it worth it! I strongly recommend it.

Finally, keep your chin up and smile. You'll be back, and while homesickness may hit, it will also pass. School will go well and while it may be a hard transition you'll be able to do it. I believe in you. And so does this puppy ;)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Spindle Fire

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, Spindle Fire is an enthralling, wholly original re-imagining of a classic faerie story.
Half-sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.
And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood, a Faerie Queen who is preparing for war, a strange and enchanting dream realm—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.
Spindle Fire is a tour de force fantasy set in the dwindling, deliciously corrupt world of the fae, and featuring two truly unforgettable heroines.
Why I'm Waiting
Well, I don't know if comparing a book to the queens of fantasy Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo is ever the best idea in case it doesn't live up to it... but this is a really interesting description! And if it can live up to it, well, then obviously I'd love it. Which is why I've already gone and preordered it, haha!

Spindle Fire releases April 11th, 2017 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Book Sacrifice Tag

I was tagged by Lauren from Always Me to do this tag and I'm super excited to do it; thank you so much for the tag!

To make this a little harder/more interesting, I'm only choosing books that I've read this year. (PS. each photo is linked to the Goodreads tag)

1. An Over-Hyped Book
Situation: You’re in a store when the zombie apocalypse hits. The military informs everyone that over-hyped books are the zombies only weakness. What book that everyone else says is amazing but you disliked do you start chucking at the zombies?
This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and to say I was disappointed is a bit of an understatement. I seem to be in the minority here, though.

2. A Sequel
Situation: A torrential downpour. What sequel are you willing to use as an umbrella to protect yourself?
I have to agree with Lauren on this one. A disappointing sequel.

3. A Classic
Situation: You’re in English class and your professor raves about a Classic that “transcends time”. If given the opportunity to travel back in time, which Classic would you try to stop from ever publishing?
Okay, so this book isn't really a classic, but I would consider the characters classics. And it's such a wreck of the characters.

4. A Least Favorite Book
Situation: Apparently global warming = suddenly frozen wasteland. Your only hope of survival for warmth is to burn a book. Which book will you not regret lighting?
It's not one of my most hated, but I honestly wouldn't care too much if I had to burn this one. I would rip out a few choice scenes that I enjoyed and keep those for myself, though.

This is such a fun tag! I don't know who's done it yet, so if you want to do it, I tag you!

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Summer Reader Book Tag

I was tagged by the marvelous Lys from The Mad Reader to do this and I'm super excited to get into it! This tag was originally created by IslandofBooks
. . .
1. Lemonade: Pick a book that started off bitter and got better
I'm going to go with The Bane Chronicles for this one. I'm a huge fan of these books in general, and even though I love Magnus to death, the first two or three of the stories in this collection just didn't delight me as much as the rest did. The first time I tried to read it I put it down and didn't pick it back up for a long time, but I'm glad I continued to read it because it was so good after those first three!

2. Golden Sun: Pick a book that made you smile beyond compare
Okay, it's not a book it's a manga, but Horimiya has me smiling the whole way through. It's such an adorable series about two students who have a certain image at school, but a completely different one when they're home and when they both figure out what the other person is actually like they start falling in love and it's so cute! 10/10 would recommend this series!

3. Tropical Flowers: Pick a book set in a foreign country
Okay... so it's not a country but it's certainly foreign... I'm going with The Martian! Yes, it's set on Mars, but hey, how much more foreign can you get than outer space?

4. Tree Shade: Pick a book in which a mysterious or shady character was first introduced
Rook! Basically everyone in this book is hiding something and the whole plot is built on wondering who can be trusted. A lovely read, I highly recommend if you're looking for something different.

5. Beach Sand: Pick a book that was grainy and the plot barely developed
I'm going to pick Seeker for this one. There was some sort of a plot and things did happen, but there wasn't really any developing because suddenly there was action a and then without any prompting or natural movement towards action b would just happen. Not a fun read.

6. Green Grass: Pick a character(s) that were full of life, making you smile
Ah this is so hard there are so many! Well, I'm going to go with three characters from the same series (and don't think I don't love all the characters in this series I just don't want to go overboard haha): Vin, Elend, and Kelsier from the Mistborn series. Ugh they were so vibrant they just came off the page! Love them all dearly.

7. Watermelon: Pick a book that had some juicy secrets
The Queen's Thief series! I've only read the first two, The Thief and The Queen of Attolia, but the former was told from the viewpoint of an unreliable narrator and the latter has quite a bit of trickery going on near the end. Beautiful, beautiful books.

8. Sun Hat: Pick a book that had a vast, bug universe/setting
Six of Crows is part of quite the large world and I loved that there was so much to explore. I hope Leigh Bardugo keeps returning to this world so that I can explore every corner of it!

9. BBQ: Pick a book in which a character is portrayed as a hunk
This one was kinda hard, and hopefully this character isn't a spoiler (he's introduced later in the book... but his existence isn't a spoiler I don't think?), but I'm going to choose Nyphron from Age of Myth. He's not a main character, but, and maybe I'm wrong, I always pictured him like a hunk.

10. Summer Fun: Pass the tag on!
So, I'm not sure who has been tagged, so if I don't tag you and you want to do it, please do!
I tag:

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Books I Have Multiple Copies Of

I have the (expensive) habit of buying more than one copy of the same book, particularly when there are different editions. Sometimes I go into a book knowing I'll be buying multiple copies of the book, but most of the time it just sort of happens after I absolutely fall in love with the book. For this post I'm not counting books I had ARCs of and then bought a final copy, just books that I actually bought  (or won) the multiple copies of. 

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
I originally got an ebook of this, which I read, and then, later, I won the whole series in paperbacks in a giveaway. I'm SOO glad I have a copy to decorate my shelf with, because they're gorgeous! 

The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
Okay, get ready for this super long list:
-I have the new paperbacks (with the spines that line up into a picture) for both the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices
-I have hardcover copies of the first four Mortal Instruments books in the new covers (I don't know why those exist but of course I had to buy them when I saw them)
-I have paperbacks with the original covers for the first two books in the Mortal Instruments series
-I have hardcovers of the whole Shadowhunters Chronicles series' that have been published to date

Theft of Swords by Michael J Sullivan
I originally read this book as an ebook which is how I fell in love with the series. I immediately went out and bought the book in paperback (and the rest of the series) and also ended up getting the audiobook later on.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Well, originally I preordered this book because OBVIOUSLY I wanted to read it ASAP and I loved it to death. Then I found out there was a Target edition so I bought that, too, because I really NEEDED the Cassian/Nesta story in that edition. And, as a neat surprise, I discovered Sarah J Maas was going to be signing near my house on my Dad's birthday and so I went home both to celebrate him and get another copy of the book and meet her when she signed it. So, three. I have three copies. But it's totally worth it.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
I bought this not long after it came out and absolutely loved it. I thought it was a marvelous book! And it was one of the first New Adult I ever read. It actually wouldn't be out of line to say I was obsessed with this book for a bit. When I was in Europe a few summers ago I saw a copy of the book there and had to bring it back as a souvenir.

Game of Thrones/Clash of Kings by George RR Martin
I have mass market paperbacks of these two books but I ended up buying the really nice faux-leather editions, which I've been devouring.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling
This shouldn't be a surprise at all. We have a family set of all the hardcovers which my parents originally read, and then I read, though we haven't convinced my brother to read them (yet). As for my own personal collection I have the new American paperbacks of the whole series, which I've been rereading, my own hardcover of book one, and the illustrated edition of book one. A few years ago I also bought my dad the original British copy of book one, which he thought was just the coolest thing.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher
I originally read the British edition of this, which I had picked up from my local Half Priced Books but then decided I wanted the American paperback. Later on, I changed my mind about collecting them in American paperback, and now the first seven books are mass market American paperback and the next six are British paperback, and finally, the most recent two are American hardcover. I am, surprisingly, really okay with how these all look on the shelves.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
This is, by all accounts, my absolute favorite book in the world. I originally read it as an eBook when I was in Europe (same trip as mentioned before) and I have distant memories of when and where I read it. Then, when I got home, I HAD to buy a physical copy, so I got the American paperback that served as the author's definitive edition. A year later I found a copy in my Barnes and Noble that was signed and hardcover (and it was the LAST copy) so of course I snatched it up (and to this day it's one of my favorite copies of a book I have on my shelf). Earlier this summer I picked up the full cast audio book which I listened to (and thought was wonderful!) and only two weeks ago I got a British paperback edition that was also bound up with Anansi Boys (which I have yet to read). I also preordered the new paperback edition that will be coming out in a few weeks and has a classic 60s cover and looks so awesome.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
While American Gods is my favorite book of all time (thus being my favorite Neil Gaiman book of all time), if that book didn't exist, this would be my favorite Neil Gaiman book (maybe it would be easier to say second favorite, but it's really more than that). This is another one I own as an eBook but I actually read it as a paperback that I picked up while in Savannah. I fell in love with it over that vacation and picked up the full cast radio production which is stellar and I highly recommend. I also purchased (and it's on it's way right now!) the recent edition with Chris Riddell's art and I couldn't be more excited.

So, yeah, I have WAY to many copies of some books but LOL they look great on my shelf. What books do you have multiple copies of?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Warp Up (The One Where Some Invisible Decisions Were Made)

Okay, let me explain. By invisible, I just mean it probably won't be noticeable to anyone reading this blog. They are changes for the better, though, and they do affect the blog so I wanted to share what I have decided with all of you.

Basically, I feel like I've been cluttering up my blog again. I've felt this way before, and what it means is that quantity has started to take over for quality and I want this to be a quality blog so I need to change some things. You may have noticed I've been doing a lot of rereads lately, and I've been reviewing or at least reacting to those rereads, which I enjoy doing, but some of the books have already been reviewed on this blog before, so the rereads do very little for the content I post except to please myself. Instead of stopping rereading, I'm going to stop reviewing them (sort of).

I already have a few rereads going that I've been reviewing here and I don't want to cut off in the middle of the series (I'm talking about Harry Potter and Throne of Glass). Well, once I finish up those two you won't see any reread reviews unless one of two things happen:
1) I originally read the book so long ago that I actually don't remember what happened and want to continue with the series so I need to go back and get through the first one (or however many) again.
2) I reread a whole series and do a reaction to the whole series and not individual reviews.

Another change I'll be making is for every non-review I want to post (not counting WoW's and Wrap Up's) I have to post at least two reviews that same month. So, I want the ratio of review:non review to be 2:1. I love doing tags, college journey posts, and just discussion posts in general, but lately I feel like I do some not because they sound fun or I was tagged but also because I want to make sure something publishes nearly every day of the week. And when I do that I have less time to focus on reading and reviewing, which is the whole point of the blog. If a month truly is slow and I'm not reading much at all, I will bend this rule a bit, it's just that during months like this, where I read more than normal, that it really does hurt the blog to have so much excess, I feel. So, yeah, that'll be a change starting next month.

But that's what's going to be happening. Like I said, it's not going to be something super noticeable because it's behind the scenes things, but I feel like it's only fair to share with all of you. 

Finished This Week
I read so much! Like, an absolutely crazy amount. I'm so proud of myself :) I finished volume 15 of Noragami (so good!), finished rereading Crown of Midnight, and then read for the first time The Raven King (so many thoughts so many thoughts) and Thirteen Reasons Why (a book that I have very complicated feelings for). Reviews for The Raven King (both a spoiler and non-spoiler review) and Thirteen Reasons Why will be posting next month.

Currently Reading
I'll be rereading Heir of Fire, which will probably take up the bulk of the week since it's such a big book, and then I'll be picking up Ruin and Rising and finally finishing the Grisha trilogy (Nikolai here I come!)

Last Week

Next Week
Sunday-- Books I Have Multiple Copies Of
Monday-- Summer Reader Book Tag
Tuesday-- Book Sacrifice Tag
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday-- College Journey
Friday-- Elantris Review
Saturday-- Wrap Up

How was your week? How do you feel about the changes? I'd love to hear your feedback!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

College Journey: Packing

Hello! It's been a while since I've done a College Journey post, but with school starting up very soon I thought I'd jump back into doing these. A quick recap for people who are new to the blog:

I go to a small liberal arts school in the middle of nowhere Illinois. I love my school, and wouldn't trade it for another college ever. I'll be the first to admit, though, that even your dream school can be hard work and stressful. So these posts are both a little diary of sorts (however, I do have a side blog now that will get the chunk of the diary portions) and a helpful guide for both first-years and returning students. If you ever have a question or need advice, don't hesitate to contact me! I'm not a pro but I've managed to survive the first year and learn quite a bit about surviving as a shy bookworm in a place where I'm expected to be outgoing all the time.

Here are my past College Journey posts:

Last year there wasn't a set schedule, per say, for these posts but this year I plan to do two college journey posts a month. I'm thinking that the last two Thursdays of each month will work out well for this, so keep an eye out.

Now, onto the actual intended content of this post: PACKING

Yes, it's very daunting to be packing up your things in order to move out of your house and into a college dorm. But, worry not, there are about a billion packing lists out there that will help guide you on your way to figuring out what to bring with you. The one from is my favorite because you can actually print it out and it's a really nice, easy to use list. But, like most lists, it's got way more stuff on it than you probably need. I've decided to more or less share my packing list and strategy. This is what I actually ended up using last year and what I plan to bring back this year.

I'll be following the categories put in place by HerCampus, by the way, but I won't be going into so much detail. If you do plan to use their list, I recommend printing it out and crossing off anything you don't need before you start using it as a checklist. It helps to prevent from getting lost.

First and foremost- bring a comforter and an extra, lighter, throw blanket that you can still sleep with even if it's a million degrees outside. I can't sleep without a blanket on, so having a light one has been a life saver. I was also able to use it when I did homework outside on the grass. You're also going to want a mattress pad and don't be afraid to invest in a nice one. It's the best thing that has ever happened to my sleeping! I'm not even kidding a little bit. The mattresses at school aren't awful, but they're not the best so it's a nice comfort there, but even at home over the summer I use it on top of my rather comfortable mattress. (Everyone at home is super jealous of my bed now, haha.) The number of pillows really depends on each person. I bring two, one a really puffy one that I sleep on and one a little flatter that I use under my knees (it helps with my back, actually). I also recommend getting one of these sitting pillows that has the little armrests on the sides and can be used to make sitting in bed more comfortable. I use mine all the time and sometimes fall asleep reading with it, it's comfortable enough. And don't forget pillow cases (I recommend at least two for each pillow but personally bring three per pillow just in case) and sheets (again, two or three should do it). An important reminder: you're bed at school with probably be an extra long twin, so prepare for that with the proper size sheets and mattress pad! If you want to get fancy with your bed, a few throw pillows can tie the room together. I don't have any (yet) but I'm currently on the hunt for cute, bookish ones.

Adhesive hooks are a must even if you don't quite know what you're going to do with them yet. I promise you will find a million reasons you need them, so get at least one pack of the sturdy ones. I also see the perks of a closet organizer, especially if you only get a small dresser. I didn't need one last year because of the way my room was set up (and I got double the dresser space) but this coming year I know I'm going to have to pick one up pretty early in the game. As for lamps it can't hurt to bring one, but until you see the set up of your room and figure out how much you're actually going to be using one (and whether you'll be able to fit any and if your desk has a built in light like many do) don't bother getting too many. Same with a full length mirror. I know you're going to want one because rarely do rooms come with them, but wait until you see where it would fit. Last year there wasn't really room for one in my room and it wouldn't even fit over the door. Hangers are super easy to overlook, but you need enough to hang at least half your clothes (if you have a dresser) and all your clothes if you don't. Don't skimp on these. I know you can get them pretty cheap from a bunch of places. Getting a safe is also a brilliant idea. I'm not saying you won't trust your roommate, but there are some things (like, maybe some extra cash or your birth certificate) that you don't want to take any chances with. I use a safe that's meant to be kept under the seat of a car (it's actually a mini gun safe I think, lol) and it's a pretty perfect size. I wish I knew where my dad had gotten it, because it's perfect. There's a chance your bed will be lofted, so you're going to want some sort of step ladder to get up if you're short like me. I use a little blue box that also serves as extra storage and I got it at Target. I'm pretty sure I saw them there again this year, and they're pretty durable. Last but not least, decorations. Go a little crazy because you want this to feel like your home since it is, at least for the rest of the semester. Wall hangings, pictures of family and friends, funko pop figures, whatever! Just bring a little of everything. And don't worry about setting it all up the first day, because you will have time in the coming days as school gets rolling in order to get comfortable.

This is a pretty short but important list: bring whatever you use at home to use at school. Not sure what you use? Ask whoever does the laundry. I use fabric softener, the occasional garment bag, laundry detergent, and a portable stain remover pretty regularly. I also recommend a lint brush because, yes, you will use that for more than lint I promise (I don't know how many times I used it on the most random things, honestly). And don't forget a hamper and if you can splurge get a bag as well. I had to travel three floors in order to get to the laundry and the bag saved my life. Most important, find out how you pay for laundry and bring a surplus of that. Chances are, you're going to need a butt-ton of quarters so stock up!

Food is a comfort for me, so I bring a little more than I probably need. My advice: if you drink soda or something else regularly and don't want to have to get up and leave your room every time you want some, bring enough of that drink to satisfy you for half the term. If you have the ready ability to go shopping (money, a car, whatever) then you probably don't need that much, but during the first weeks of your freshman term you want to make sure you have your comforts with you easily. The same goes for snacks and favorite meals. Bring enough to sustain you for quite some time. Obviously, you can't make elaborate meals, but I bring my favorite soup, pepperoni, and even macaroni that I can only buy near my house and it really helps on hard days to have these things. Also, make sure you have a steady supply of water. I have a  filtered water bottle and that's enough for me because next year I actually have a water fountain practically outside my door. A lot of people I know recommend a filtered water pitcher.

Kitchen Supplies
Now, this really depends on where you're living. If you have a kitchen, bring a few basic things like some pots and pans and spoons and whatnot. I don't have the luxury of an easy to get to kitchen (though I do have access this year, which is great!) but I still bring some basic necessities: chip clips (I actually use pipe cleaners which we have in quite the abundance here and they work in such a neat hack, honestly), a dish towel (if you make a lot of food bring more; you want something to clean up with, after all), plates (I have four), bowls (again, four), cups (sensing a pattern yet? four), and a portable mug for whatever I might need. I can't recommend the mug enough. I also keep sponges and dish soap ready at all times because I hate when dishes pile up. Also, utensils can be easily overlooked, but beyond bringing the regular sorts (knives, forks, spoons) bring an extra sharp knife that can be used for cutting things like pizza (or cake). I had to get one last minute and I've used it so many times it's crazy. If you're school allows it, bring a fridge and a microwave, too. Make sure to talk with your roommate to see who brings what, though. I personally don't drink coffee but if you need a coffee maker then make sure you pack one away. Another important addition: paper towels.

Towels! Bring at least three (I bring four) and make sure they're the extra long type, especially if you share a shower with many people. You want to be able to wrap yourself in one securely. I also bring a robe because it is plushy but if you have long enough towels you should be okay. Though, for someone a little uncomfortable with their bodies (like myself) a robe is a must. And don't skimp on the shower caddy because it will save your life. If you can, keep it in your bathroom. If you can't, keep it by the door. Before I forget: bathroom/shower shoes. I have two pairs. And even then I got some rash on my foot which was really really itchy but otherwise fine. Honestly, a pair of flip flops will do the trick.

Anything you use on a regular basis at home. That's the general rule here. If you're not sure, just take not for a few days of everything you use when you go in there. And I'm counting things like hand soap and toilet paper. Yes, some school don't supply toilet paper. I'm lucky mine does. It might seem hard to forget, but not having your favorite toothpaste and a decent toothbrush will seriously mess with you. A tip I learned from my mom: dry shampoo is the way to go for early classes after late nights. A few other necessities I don't want you forgetting: hairbrush, glasses/contacts and related supplies, hair ties, nail clippers (my poor friend had to suffer without them for weeks! it's dreadful when you want to do something but can't), a razor, sunglasses, tampons/pads (if applicable, obviously), tissues (you will use! because you WILL get sick), and tweezers.

I'm really bad with clothing, so I don't know what you're going to want. But a rule of thumb: bring two weeks worth of outfits. Ideally, you can do laundry once a week, but if you're swamped you're going to want clean clothes that didn't take an hour and a half of your time to wash the day before. Also, make sure to prepare for whatever climates you'll be moving into.

I'm not sure what you use on a regular basis, but bring that. And bring the chargers for that and any batteries you will need. A laptop case won't hurt, either. And spare headphones/earbuds is something you won't want to go without, no matter how much you love the people you're living with.

School Supplies
A backpack or similar bag, letter writing paper (which is a splurge but I love handwritten notes on nice stationary, sue me), envelopes, an eraser, folders (I actually have a folder with six pockets and that's my favorite thing in the world), highlighters (my bae!), notebooks, pencils, pens, pencil case, sharpie(s), a planner (or two if you're crazy like me), post-it-notes, a ruler, scissors (a must!), stamps, a stapler, tape, and white out. Obviously you'll want your textbooks, too, but whether you wait until you see the syllabus or get them in advance to do some early reading is up to you. I wouldn't worry too much if you forget any of this stuff because your school store will surely have it. But it's nice to be prepared during the middle of the year when midterms start keeping you up late, so be prepared before then. It depends on how the school works, and how much is costs, but a printer is not a bad investment. Or at least make friends with someone who has a printer and chip in on the ink (which is expensive!).

Anything you use on a daily basis and anything you need to be comfortable at the drop of a pin. I mean, obviously be safe about it, but make sure you have not just medicine but a basic first aid kit and cold packs. Also, because it is college and you're an adult, condoms. Chances are, though, your school will proved some for free (it's humorous how many places one could get free condoms at my school- like, literally any study room you walk into has a box of them). A small word on sex: if you're going to do it be safe. That is all.

Well, this is actually the fun part imo. Bring any art supplies you need. For me, a writer, that's a journal or two and colorful pens. I also bring a sketchpad and my watercolors because that is the best way to relax when I'm super stressed out. On the same note I bring my small collection of coloring books. Like, there are only two, but it's practically a collection, right? LOL I just realized I had three but one's a joke so still, two. Also, I'm obviously a book nerd (what gave it away?) so I bring books. And I've finally cracked the code on how many to bring! Observe: figure out about how many books you read a month. For me, that's around five. Then figure out how many months you'll be at school before you can get home and switch some books out. For me that's nearly three months. Now multiply: fifteen. I plan to bring about fifteen books with me. That's a fluid number, and not counting any preorders that will arrive at my school while I'm there, but it's a pretty solid number (at least for me). You don't want to bring to many books. I've been there done that and while it's nice, you won't get the chance to read them all and then you'll have to bring them home and they are heavy, dammit! A must have is games. I bring Settlers of Catan, three different packs of cards, and this year I'm also throwing in Exploding Kittens. These are games I love to play and they're fun for a bunch of people. Bring things you can play on your own and things you can play with others to help break the ice. Truth be told: it was over a game of cards that I found some of my best friends. Any religious materials you need should be brought as well. Religion is such a source of comfort for many people. Normally, I bring my bible (btw I'm Catholic, a liberal Catholic but still a Catholic), my rosary, and a statue of Mary that was carved from wood from the Holy Land. It's just a small collection of things but when I'm in a bad way they're nice to have by my side. A sleep mask is also a must for me. Even if it's not bright in the room you're sleeping in, it sometimes helps remind my eyes that they should stay closed because I'm falling asleep. And don't forget an umbrella. It will rain at least once and you don't want to get caught in the rain with an open backpack and no cover (my poor TA...). Also, an extra bag or two so you can travel and visit home for a weekend and have a way to get things back and forth.

So, yeah, that's it! That's what I would recommend. Didn't see something on the list you can't live without? Well, then bring it anyways. As much as packing lists are nice, they are only a guide and shouldn't be taken as the be-all for college. I do hope this helped quite a bit!

And best of luck with moving into college!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: The Bone Witch

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.
Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!
Why I'm Waiting
It was a combination of the striking title and even more striking cover that caught my interest for this one, but after reading the synopsis I was sold. I have a soft spot for necromancers and, well, throwing around big names like Memoirs of a Geisha and Name of the Wind has me curious.

The Bone Witch releases March 7th, 2017 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

5 Star Book Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Edition: Hardcover
Related Reviews: The Raven Boys | The Dream Thieves
Rating: 5 Stars

Beware of SPOILERS for the first two books.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue's plot picks up where the last one left off, with Mara underground looking for someone leaving Blue feeling alone without her. Blue and her raven boys are about to discover things they have only been able to imagine and as destinies are revealed not everyone is quite so happy with the results.

Well, that was a hard book to sum up right there. I don't think I quite nail it. But trying to describe this series is not unlike trying to catch a fish with your bare hands. I absolutely adored this book. I don't think it's my favorite of the series (I kinda want to give that award to Dream Thieves) but it certainly blew my mind, just as the other two did. Obviously I want to give this book an unlimited amount of praise because it totally deserves it.

The new characters introduced were all great. Even if they weren't good guys I enjoyed them quite a bit. Every one of Maggie's characters really manages to be a true "character" in that they are both cliche and anything but- they're all interesting. Even The Dog. Most of the people introduced where nothing at all what I was expecting to find in this book. Similar to how the Gray Man just sneaks into the story and suddenly makes sense along with everything else, so do these new characters.

Things are ramped up in this book. The plot is about to reach its crescendo and I am just on the edge of my seat waiting for this grand finale. The way this one ends, where all the characters are (particularly dear Gansey), left me with one heck of a cliffhanger. Just writing this review has me all excited for the final book. 

I think I've said this with every review of this series so far- but really, give these books a try. They're phenomenal.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Happiness Tag

I was tagged by Lauren from Always Me.  Thank you so much Lauren!

The Rules
1. List 5 things that make you happy
2. List 5 songs that make me happy
3. List 5 bloggers that make you happy and let them know they've been tagged

Five things that make me happy
1. Reading
2. Writing
3. Good TV and Movies
4. Understanding how to do something and then doing it
5. The internet

Five songs that make me happy
*okay, so generally speaking, I listen to Disney music when I want to be happy and pretty much every Disney song counts so I'm going to pick songs that aren't Disney songs to make this a slightly more interesting answer.
1. Good Grief by Bastille

2. Can't Take it In by Imogen Heap

3. Wunderkind by Alanis Morissette 

4. Everything is AWESOME by Tegan and Sara (feat. The Lonely Island)

5. Geronimo by Sheppard

Five bloggers that make me happy
*obviously is Lauren wasn't the one to tag me I'd be tagging her, too

Thanks again for the tag, Lauren!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Book Connection Projection

A few weeks ago I got to thinking about what it must be like to have bookish friends that I can meet up with in real life and hang out.  As much as I love the bookish community here online, it's not the same as meeting someone face to face.  And while my friends here are all pretty much readers, they aren't as infused with this online community as I am and don't share the same passion I do for everything books.  And I can't be the only one who feels like this.  So what if I somehow combined the two communities?  That's what I'm trying to do with this project.

The Book Connection Project starts with a form you fill out.  Find THE FORM by following the link.  If you're having problems, please contact me (either in the comments or with my email).

After you fill out the form I'll sort you into the proper category on The Book Connection Project page (above).  You'll find your name, and a link connecting to your blog (or instagram or goodreads or whatever you choose to link to) go live within the week.  And you'll be able to see other bookworms in the same state/region/country as you.

Which is all pretty great, but here's where things can get even cooler:

If two bookworms in the same state/region sign up I'll contact both of you and share information about contacting between the two of you.  Then, you'll be able to determine how close you actually are and whether meeting up is possible.  If it works out that's fantastic!  If it doesn't work out, don't worry, because more bookworms will be signing up to the project and you'll also have made a friend online.  Don't worry about constantly checking the page, because I'll be doing the checking and contacting for you!

I'm really excited for this project and I hope it works!  If you have ideas for how to make this run even more smoothly, please don't hesitate to contact me here: tsundokublog(at)gmail(dot)com.  And if there are any questions I'd love to be able to answer them so either shoot me an email or sound off in the comments.

And, here, grab a button to show the rest of the world that you're a part of the project!