Thursday, April 20, 2017

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (164)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme created by Uncorked Thoughts and hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
If You Could Change One Thing from the Fifth Film, What Would It Be?

The short answer is that Scene-That-Must-Not-Be-Named in which a certain wizard meets a certain fate at the hands of a certain Death Eater. *sniff* That happens in the book, though, and so it must be endured in the film version as well, I suppose.

Part 2 of my answer is: maybe tone down how grumpy Dumbledore continues to be in the OotP movie? In the book, Dumbledore tries to distance himself from Harry, but movie Dumbledore is pretty blatant about it. At the end of the scene where Umbridge is about to evict Trelawney, Dumbledore growls, "Don't you all have studying to do?!" at the assembled crowd of students and stomps off with Harry calling after him. It's just not very subtle, and it's like Mean Dumbledore from the Goblet of Fire film has returned.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review: Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars #1)
By Claudia Gray
Publisher:
Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

To Sum It Up: Noemi Vidal is ready to die for her home world of Genesis in its ongoing war with Earth, but her path takes a different turn when she ends up on board a ship that was abandoned thirty years ago with only a robot mech named Abel left behind. Abel longs to reunite with his creator, the renowned genius Burton Mansfield, but Abel’s programming dictates that he must also follow Noemi’s orders, even if they aid Earth’s enemy. As Noemi and Abel traverse multiple planets together, what began as a machine obeying its instructions becomes far more complicated, as Abel discovers just how much he’s evolved over thirty years and Noemi cannot help but see him as more than a mech.

Review: FINALLY—my first 2017 read above 3 stars! I’ve been in a horrible reading slump since late 2016, really, and I’d started to worry that it would never end. Thank you, Defy the Stars for breaking me out of the slump at last!

I’m sure that I would’ve loved this book as much as I did based solely on its own numerous merits, but the way in which it reminded me of HBO’s Westworld, a show that completely blew my mind, just pushed Defy the Stars over the top. Abel, one of the novel’s two main characters, is a mech, a combination of organic parts and technology, modeled after his brilliant creator, Burton Mansfield. Mansfield’s genius is so acclaimed, he’s practically a mythical figure. I did feel that there were even a few parallels between Mansfield and Westworld’s own mastermind, Dr. Robert Ford.

I absolutely loved Abel and his story line. After Mansfield and the rest of the human crew on board the spaceship Daedalus abandon it, Abel is stranded in space, all alone for thirty years until the book’s other protagonist, Noemi, unintentionally finds both the Daedalus and Abel. Although Abel’s been programmed to protect Mansfield, the man whom Abel considers his father, Abel’s programming also directs him to follow the orders of the highest human authority on the ship. Noemi ends up being that human. On Genesis, Noemi’s home planet, mechs are seen as soulless killing machines; having to place her trust in a mech goes against every one of her beliefs and instincts. Abel, being as advanced in intelligence as he is, realizes that his rescue from isolation may be short-lived with his fate in Noemi’s hands.

Claudia Gray gives both of her protagonists so many layers to their characters and develops them wonderfully. Noemi is a fierce fighter, willing to do anything to save her planet from being destroyed by Earth. Although ensuring a future for Genesis remains close to Noemi’s heart throughout the book, traveling to other planets with Abel opens her eyes and mind to the possibility that Genesis’s strategy for ending the war with Earth might not be the only way. Abel and his evolving programming also challenge Noemi to question everything she’s ever believed about mechs, which she’s encountered in battle all too often. Abel, however, proves himself to be a different kind of mech. He is the only model of his type, programmed with the skills of the other mech models but possessing a continuously developing personality. Sometimes Abel himself pauses to wonder whether a new feeling he’s experiencing is merely a malfunction or part of Mansfield’s design. The line between man and machine becomes very, very fine, and Gray just nails this aspect of the book. One thousand percent. It is so, so, so easy to forget that Abel is not entirely made of flesh and blood. He’s even got some sass! Abel melted my heart, too, which is not an easy feat.

I’m kind of a reluctant sci-fi reader; previous sci-fi books that I’ve read were too heavy on the technical details of the world and/or contained lots of info dumps. Defy the Stars features the perfect amount of world-building, enough where I feel immersed in the world but without being overwhelmed by endless minute details. The best thing about the world-building here? It’s done through showing, not telling! My last few reads employed a lot of telling, and it was exhilarating to finally encounter some skillful showing.

I’m still thinking about how amazing this book was, which pretty much illustrates the amount of love I have for it. Defy the Stars is a thrilling sci-fi adventure that also stirs the heart and asks how human a machine can be. There are many facets to this book, and each one is highly compelling and engrossing to read about.

All in All: Defy the Stars was so damn good! Westworld fans should find this especially intriguing, but even if you’ve never watched the show, this is such a winning, thrilling sci-fi novel!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (163)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme created by Uncorked Thoughts and hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
How Did Lockhart Add to the Overall Story Line?

I've always thought of Lockhart kind of as comic relief because of all of his preening and arrogance. I mean, they're really over the top, and I could never take the guy seriously. I also never trusted him; nothing he said ever felt sincere, and, well, he did turn out to be a big fraud.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Five Years of Blogging!

Five years ago today, this blog began with a five sentence post that didn't even have a graphic, lololol. I remember how sad and empty the Review Archive page looked because, well, it had no reviews. There are now over 300, which makes me think, wow, there was actually a time when Ally, Melissa, and I all had time to read? XD

As happy as I am to notch another year of blogging, I've always felt that there's something a little extra special about reaching an anniversary that's a multiple of 5. Because I'm weird like that. In all seriousness, though, I can't think of any other endeavor I've undertaken in the past five years that I've managed to stick with like I have with blogging. It's been challenging to keep at it, especially with adulting taking up more and more of my time, but there's no other place where I can gush about all things bookish and connect with equally avid readers.

You guys really are the best. I can't tell you how much your comments brighten my day and how much I LOVE chatting with you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being such wonderful bloggy friends! ♥

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (162)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme created by Uncorked Thoughts and hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Favorite Fred & George Moment

All of them, pretty much! XD Seriously, who else would find the humor in getting one's ear cursed off?! My absolute, complete, total favorite Fred and George moment, though, is hands down the Portable Swamp they used to buy Harry a distraction so that he could break into Umbridge's office to contact Sirius. Not only did it wreak its intended havoc, but it continued to do so even after the twins' unforgettable departure from Hogwarts.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Review: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion #1)
By Rosalyn Eves
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

To Sum It Up: Anna Arden’s family belongs to the elite Luminate—those who can wield magic. Anna, however, is Barren and unable to use magic, but she seems to possess the ability to break spells. After unintentionally wreaking havoc at her sister’s debut into Luminate society, Anna is sent to her grandmother’s native Hungary. Even there, though, the Luminate’s ruling Circle tracks her because her ability could possibly break even the Binding, the spell that keeps magic in Luminate hands alone.

Review: I’ve been in the reading slump from hell since the beginning of the year, and I really, really, really hoped that Blood Rose Rebellion would prove to be the slump-breaker. Alas, it was not.

I started feeling iffy about this book very early on, and I should’ve just listened to my intuition and called it a DNF. I hate not giving books a fair chance, though, and by the time I realize that a book isn’t for me, I’ve already invested so much time in it that I might as well just finish it. That’s what happened here.

I had some rather big issues with the book’s protagonist, Anna. The novel quickly makes it clear that she’s yet another special heroine. Anna’s family belongs to the elite Luminate class, those who have access to magic. Despite her family’s lineage, Anna is Barren, unable to wield magic. She does, however, exhibit an ability to break spells, and jealousy drives her to inadvertently break her older sister Catherine’s spell demonstration during Catherine’s grand entrĂ©e into Luminate society. Anna losing it just because Catherine’s spell reveals they were crushing on the same guy, Freddy, irked me quite a bit, especially since Freddy, who doesn’t even have a large role in the book, proves to deserve neither girl’s heart in his limited page time. Anna then proceeds to continue mentioning Freddy every once in a while when he should have been long forgotten.

Anna also assesses every guy she meets as a potential love interest, including her distant cousin. Even when she finally settles her attention on one of them, it still feels insta-love-y. The romance here was a complete no-go for me. I also found Anna condescending, as well as self-pitying over her lack of magic. Although she sheds some of her superior attitude by the book’s end, it’s not gradual enough to really illustrate any character growth.

In addition to never clicking with Anna, the novel’s pacing made this a long, slow read. After the disastrous debut, Anna is shipped off from England to her grandmother’s native Hungary, where rebellion is stirring. Emphasis on the stirring, because nothing actually materializes for quite some time. The rebellion aspect is one of the book’s highlights; the revolutionaries are fighting for an independent Hungary and to break the Binding, the spell keeping magic in the hands of the upper class Luminate. It’s an interesting mix of history, politics, and fantasy, but it takes some time for the revolution to ignite. In the meantime, Anna waffles over whether or not to use her power to break the Binding, which for me was not compelling reading.

It’s almost always impossible for me to read past a main character I don’t connect with at all, and unfortunately, Anna’s character and narration just didn’t work for me. The magic and the way it was tied to the social order had potential, but the majority of the book focused on Anna’s ultra special special-ness and a romance that was pretty standard YA fare.

All in All: The mid-19th century Hungary setting and the magic are the two highlights here, but everything else, including the protagonist and the insta-love, overshadowed them.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fandom Mashups (86)

Fandom Mashups is a feature hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. There's a different scenario each week, and you choose a "dream team" of five characters from five different fandoms whom you think are best suited for the situation.

This week's topic is:
Dude, you're in high-school again. Wait...what?! Imagine yourself as a teen again and tell us which characters you'd be hanging out with!

Oh gods, high school, AKA four years of PURE. HELL. So let's do this do over right with this crew:

  1. Hermione Granger: Hermione would be my study buddy for sure.
  2. Blue Sargent (The Raven Cycle): I adore Blue's no-nonsense attitude and how she doesn't give a sh*t what other people think. I could definitely learn a lot from her. And hello to hanging out at Monmouth Manufacturing with a certain group of Aglionby Academy students after school! XD
  3. Aelin (Throne of Glass): I have feeling no one would mess around with my friends with Aelin around. Plus she'd just be awesome to hang out with.
  4. Lisa Simpson: Lisa is technically still in elementary school, but there was an episode where she managed to pass as a college student. XD I think she could totally get away with posing as a high school student, and we could geek out together.
  5. Isabel Culpeper (The Wolves of Mercy Falls): OK, so Isabel isn't exactly friendly, LOL, but I just know that we would get along because we both speak fluent snark.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

March 2017 Recap

Hello, friends! Happy April Fool's Day! I hope you haven't been pranked too much so far today, LOL. Shelf Awareness sent out a hilarious April Fool's e-newsletter that included a "release date" for George R.R. Martin's much anticipated The Winds of Winter. It actually had me tricked for a second until I realized what today was. Well done, Shelf Awareness. Well done, indeed.

Whenever I put together a monthly recap post, I like to look back at what I wrote for that month the previous year. I was a little dismayed to find that in March 2016, I was in a reading and blogging slump. That about sums up March 2017, except my current reading slump is really, really, really bad right now. Most of the books I've read so far this year have been duds; I'm still searching for what's proving to be the elusive slump-breaker. I'm not too far behind my Goodreads challenge (yet), which is surprising because it's been taking me forever to get through a single book.

On a much happier note, Game of Thrones Season 7 has a premiere date! My ass will be parked on the couch in front of the TV on July 16. And here's a rather chilling trailer for you:

Reviews Posted:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (161)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme created by Uncorked Thoughts and hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Would you have joined Dumbledore's Army? Even with Umbridge breathing down your neck?

Hell YES! I wouldn't care how many detentions I got or whatever Umbridge threatened to do! Not only would I want proper Defense Against the Dark Arts training, but I'd do everything I could to undermine Umbridge's tyranny!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (160)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme created by Uncorked Thoughts and hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Which Cast Member Do You Think Was a Perfect Fit for Their Character?

Oh man, there were SO many amazing actors and actresses in the films! The acting quality was just top-notch from Sorcerer's Stone all the way down to Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Even choosing a couple of cast members doesn't seem adequate here. I especially loved Richard Harris's Dumbledore, Maggie Smith's McGonagall, Gary Oldman's Sirius, and Alan Rickman's Snape. I didn't love Snape as a character in the books, but Alan Rickman's performance was absolutely stellar, so much so that I got all misty-eyed watching the boathouse scene in DH2.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Review: The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
The Valiant (The Valiant #1)
By Lesley Livingston
Publisher:
Razorbill
Format: Print ARC
Source: YALLFest

To Sum It Up: Fallon is a Celtic princess, a proud warrior hoping to join her father’s war band to fight for her tribe. Her father, however, has a different plan for her, and his decision sets into motion a chain of events that ultimately leads to Fallon’s capture by a slave trader. She’s taken to Rome, where she’s sold to the Lady Achillea, who runs a training academy for female gladiators that is owned by Julius Caesar. Trapped within the very heart of enemy land, Fallon must find a way to prove herself in the arena.

Review: When I read the synopsis for The Valiant, images of ancient Rome, Celtic folklore, and fierce female gladiators kicking ass all immediately sprang to mind. While all of these are present to some degree in the book, I found the resulting combination to be a rather mixed reading experience.

The Valiant is really more historical fiction than fantasy with its mostly Roman Empire setting and appearances by both Julius Caesar and Cleopatra. I did not, however, feel fully transported back to that time. The world-building needed more than references to chariots and the occasional Latin word. One of the greatest eras in history just didn’t seem alive.

At first I was very excited to discover that our heroine Fallon was the daughter of a Celtic king because—warrior princess! I’m also very intrigued by all things Celtic: history, music, knitting patterns. As with the thinly detailed Rome, though, the book didn’t really capture much about the Celts during this period, either. Where the novel spends most of its time is setting up Fallon’s entry into the world of professional gladiatrixing. And it is a looong while before she ever sets her sandal in the arena. I wasn’t expecting this because the book got off to a frenetic start, with the complete upheaval of Fallon’s life in a matter of a few chapters. The plot then loses its urgency as we wait for Fallon first to reach Rome and then for any action to happen. For a novel about female gladiators, there’s more talk about competing than there are actual competitions.

I also wasn’t too impressed with Fallon’s character arc. Despite her believing the opposite, everything just seems to fall into place for her. Except for some mean girls at the gladiatrix academy, everyone instantly sees how extraordinary Fallon is, including Caius Varro, a Roman soldier who insta-falls for her. They go from using his formal title to, “Just call me Cai” in a nanosecond. There’s no buildup to the romance, and since I like my romances to simmer for a while first, this one didn’t do much for me.

The Valiant turned out to be very different from what I’d anticipated going in. After the opening chapters, the pacing slowed down considerably and never really regained its momentum. I’d also thought this would be action-packed with epic gladiatrix matches, but that wasn’t quite what this book delivered, either. The insta-love also made this kind of tough for me to see through to the end, but I got so far in that finishing the book made more sense than DNF’ing it. This isn’t a series I’ll be continuing with, though.

All in All: For me, The Valiant fell short of the potential its premise held. I’d hoped this would be the book to pull me out of my reading slump, but alas, it was not.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Fandom Mashups (85)

Fandom Mashups is a feature hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. There's a different scenario each week, and you choose a "dream team" of five characters from five different fandoms whom you think are best suited for the situation.

This week's topic is:
You're heading out on a travelling adventure to explore the world. Pick 5 destinations on your bucket list and 1 character to hit up each destination with!

  1. Hogwarts/Luna Lovegood: Letter or no letter, I'm going to Hogwarts with my fellow Ravenclaw, Luna! I was originally going to pick Harry to show me around, but I think Luna would be a most interesting tour guide. XD
  2. Gansey/Henrietta, Virginia: OK, so I'm going to Henrietta not so much for the location itself but because of who lives there. ;-) Like Gansey, Blue, Ronan, Adam, and Noah. It would be cool to check out the ley line and drop in at 300 Fox Way and Monmouth Manufacturing, too.
  3. Aang/The world of Avatar: The Last Airbender: I want to see all of the beautiful places the gAang visited during their travels together! I chose Aang as my travel buddy because having a flying bison definitely comes in handy for getting around.
  4. The Night Court/Rhysand: Just thinking about the Night Court (and Rhys, hahaha!) reminds me how much I can't wait to return to that world and how badly I need A Court of Wings and Ruin. May 2 isn't that far away!
  5. Regency England/Elizabeth Bennet: Because I've watched film adaptations of Jane Austen's novels too many times, lol. Maybe I can find my own Mr. Darcy while I'm there?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (159)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme created by Uncorked Thoughts and hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
If You Could Change One Thing from Book 5, What Would It Be?

This is probably the least amount of time I've ever had to spend thinking about an answer for an HPMotW. XD Without a single doubt, I would change what happens to Sirius!!!!! That was THE MOST devastating moment in the series for me, and quite possibly in any book ever. I had to go back and reread the scene like three times before my brain could even begin to process it. WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY JKR? JUST. WHY?????????!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Review: Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse
Seven Days of You
By Cecilia Vinesse
Publisher:
Poppy
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

To Sum It Up: In seven days, Sophia is set to return to the United States, leaving the life she’s led for the past four years in Tokyo behind. Before going, however, Sophia must first face the return of Jamie Foster-Collins, a former member of her group of friends. Sophia still isn’t over the hurt he caused her before being sent to an American boarding school three years ago, but the more time she spends with him, the more she realizes that he’s not the same Jamie she remembers. With the days ticking away until Sophia’s departure, saying goodbye becomes increasingly difficult.

Review: Seven Days of You caught my attention because of comparisons to Stephanie Perkins’s Anna and the French Kiss, which was a lovely surprise way back when I read it about four or five years ago. The latter’s sweet romance made me, a reluctant reader of YA contemporary, more willing to try other books like it. And so I gave Seven Days of You a shot, but unfortunately, it did not work out for me.

I had a really tough time trying to find protagonist Sophia and her friends Mika and David likeable. For friends, they turn on each other quite easily, and there’s a lot of drama between them. David is acknowledged to be an arse, and yet everyone continues to hang out with him and Sophia continues to crush on him. The only OK character for me was Jamie, who was part of the group before his parents sent him to a boarding school back in the United States and whose return to Tokyo at the beginning of the novel sends Sophia into a tizzy. She’s still not over an incident that happened right before he left three years ago, and while I could understand why she was upset with him initially, I didn’t feel the situation warranted the amount of time she spent stewing over it. I actually expected the misdeed to be much worse considering how much Sophia went on about it. On top of that, I couldn’t help thinking that there was some truth in what Jamie had said to set Sophia off.

Sophia was not an easy character for me to scrape together much sympathy for. She’s very woe-is-me, and I’m sorry, but I can’t exactly pity someone who’s lived not once but twice in Japan and has been to Paris. I also found her condescending and judgy; I especially took issue with her rather looking down on Jamie’s geekish tendencies. Sophia totally lost me here because there is nothing wrong with reading Harry Potter twenty times. Not now. Not ever.

While other readers might find the conclusion to Sophia’s character arc satisfying, her character development throughout the novel was too choppy to convince me that she had matured significantly by the end. If Seven Days of You hadn’t been a quick, short read, I’m not sure I would’ve stuck it out until the last page. I just wasn’t into the frequent melodrama between Sophia and her friends, and for me, it overshadowed everything else about the book.

All in All: Sadly, this did not measure up to the delightful Anna and the French Kiss for me, but don’t let me discourage anyone from seeing for themselves how the two books compare.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Fandom Mashups (84)

Fandom Mashups is a feature hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. There's a different scenario each week, and you choose a "dream team" of five characters from five different fandoms whom you think are best suited for the situation.

This week's topic is:
You have a birthday coming up and you want to celebrate in your-style. What kind of celebration are you having and which fictional characters are celebrating with you?

I'm really not looking forward to this year's birthday in a couple of months because of the particular age I'm turning, lol, but if these folks were partying with me, I might feel a little better. XD I'm not a party person, so there's no specific theme I'd be going for; I'd just want everyone to have fun!

  1. Tony Stark: If we're throwing a party, then the first person I'm calling is this guy because he always knows how to have a blast. Yes, that was a cringe-inducing Iron Man joke I just tried to throw in there. XD
  2. Gansey (The Raven Cycle): I'm totally inviting my beloved Gansey, and of course I'm extending the invitation to Blue and the other Raven Boys. This party may quickly turn into some kind of quest, which I'm totally down with!
  3. Aelin (Throne of Glass): Gotta have one of my all-time favorite heroines at my birthday bash!
  4. Jon Snow: Yeah, he's really serious about 99.9999% of the time, so maybe a party would help him relax a bit. And for my name day, would he let me tell him, "You know nothing, Jon Snow" a number of times equal to my age? Trust me, it's more than Ygritte utters the phrase in the books, LOLOLOL!
  5. Han Solo: Can we close out the party with a ride in the Millennium Falcon, obviously making the jump into hyperspace?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (158)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme created by Uncorked Thoughts and hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Which Books Would You Recommend to Sirius?

I tried to go for books with rebellious characters, awesome friendships, and maybe a little magic. XD

  • Shades of Magic by V.E Schwab: This series has time travel, elemental magic, and alternate Londons. I also think Sirius would love the hijinks of aspiring pirate Lila Bard.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin: I'd love to hear Sirius's thoughts on all of the Westeros craziness.
  • The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater: The friendship between Blue and the Raven Boys reminds me so much of the Marauders. Sirius would probably be highly amused by Ronan's snark in particular. XD
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: The ultimate revenge story would be perfect for Sirius.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Book Loot (28)

It's only March, but thanks to a bunch of must-have new releases, I've probably already reached my limit for book spending for all of 2017, lol. I regret nothing, though, because these all are truly MUST. HAVES.

For Review:

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy
Much thanks to Penguin Random House and Algonquin Young Readers for these!

Bought:

Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

I also received my sweet Wayfarer pre-order goodies!

I've been in a pretty bad reading slump for the past few months, but I'm sure that some of my most anticipated reads of 2017 will finally break me out of it!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 2017 Recap

WHAAATTTT???? How is tomorrow March already? Time is going way, way, way too fast, especially since I'm marching ever closer to a supposed milestone birthday. And it's not 30. :(

I got a little bit more reading done in February, but I'm still fighting a slump that started in the last few months of 2016. Falling asleep almost every night while sitting up also doesn't help get much reading done; it only leaves you with an achy breaky neck. Reading time has also been sacrificed in favor of binge watching Westworld, which has left me paranoid that everyone is a robot. Maybe even me. XD

Reviews Posted:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (157)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme created by Uncorked Thoughts and hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Would You Rather Battle Draco or Lucius?

I could be wrong about this, but I feel like dueling Lucius would be the more challenging option. Since I'm not that ambitious, lol, I'll take my chances battling Draco. I think I'd try to take a page from Fake Moody and attempt to Transfigure Draco into a ferret so maybe he'd just run away from the fight. XD

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fandom Mashups (83)

Fandom Mashups is a feature hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. There's a different scenario each week, and you choose a "dream team" of five characters from five different fandoms whom you think are best suited for the situation.

This week's topic is:
You've gained psychic abilities. SCORE. The only problem? You can't control them. D'oh! Who do you think could help you hone your talent?

I'm already a little concerned about my new psychic abilities because my brain could only come up with 4 characters this week. No one else sprang to . . . mind. XD

  1. Professor Charles Xavier: FINALLY—I get to enroll in Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters! Except I'm more of an oldster. XD
  2. Maura Sargent (The Raven Cycle): Not only is Maura a gifted psychic, but she also lives in a house full of psychics. And you never know who might drop by 300 Fox Way. *cough*The Raven Boys*cough*
  3. Obi-Wan Kenobi: I'd definitely seek some training from Obi-Wan because wielding the Force like a pro requires intense mind focus.
  4. Spock: This guy is an expert at self-discipline. I'm sure he could help me get my abilities in line in no time.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (156)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme created by Uncorked Thoughts and hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Favorite Molly Weasley Moment?

Molly is such an amazing wife, mother, witch, and all-around phenomenal lady. She has infinite kindness and love, and her practically adopting Harry shows just how huge her heart is. That same protectiveness of her loved ones also makes her fierce, as seen in the NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH! scene in Deathly Hallows. AS much as I loved Molly before, I loved her even more after reading that.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1)
By S.J. Kincaid
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: eBook
Source: Jellybooks

To Sum It Up: Diabolics like Nemesis are bred to protect a single human—and to kill anyone who poses a threat to that individual. Nemesis must do whatever is necessary, including sacrifice herself, to keep Sidonia von Impyrean, the daughter of a galactic senator, safe. When Sidonia’s father angers the galactic emperor, the latter retaliates by summoning Sidonia to court. It’s Nemesis, however, who assumes Sidonia’s identity and goes in her place. At court, Nemesis must navigate potentially lethal politics in order to guard her secret and Sidonia’s life.

Review: Promotion for The Diabolic around its release date drew my attention to the book, so when the opportunity to read it popped up, I totally went for it. A cool cover and a protagonist named Nemesis? Sign me up!

Nemesis certainly lives up to her daunting name. She is a Diabolic, engineered to protect only Sidonia von Impyrean, the daughter of a galactic senator, at all costs. Nemesis is a born killer, and her unique skill set is on display several times throughout the book. Nemesis and Sidonia inhabit a futuristic world where scientific advancement is banned and the elite Grandiloquy, led by the galactic Emperor, wield all the power. Politics are brutal in this world, and gentle Sidonia, the heir to her father’s title, is not cut out for them. So when the Emperor orders Sidonia to the galactic court as punishment for her father’s misdeeds, it’s Nemesis who’s sent in her place. All of the preparations involved in pulling off the impersonation reminded me of the transformation the main character in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising must undergo to also infiltrate the upper echelon of society. Unfortunately, I ended up having some of the same issues with The Diabolic that I had with Red Rising.

I’d seen some other reviewers mention that The Diabolic got off to a slow start for them and then picked up. I definitely found the pacing slow at the beginning, but it never gained any momentum for me. I also found the world-building rather thin, with a heavy reliance on titles to differentiate social rank. The details of the world just scratched the surface of it; I never felt immersed in it.

Politics and intrigue at the galactic court, which often resembles the Roman Empire with all of the debauchery that goes on there, take up a lot of the book. That would have been fine if there also hadn’t been so much telling. I couldn’t find much investment in the plot or the characters. I kept reading, hoping that I’d finally discover some aspect of the novel that would spur me on to read, but alas, I slogged through to the end.

Something that I do think the book does well is examining Nemesis’s increasingly conflict thoughts on her increasingly human behavior. Sidonia has always treated Nemesis like a sister—like a human being. Nemesis has always drawn the line, fully aware that she was created by science to be a killer. The novel touches on the nature vs. nurture debate, and it’s rather thought-provoking. It’s too bad that the rest of the book spends so much time on the excesses and scheming at court because the gray area Nemesis finds herself in, between human and a product of science, provides a really solid plot foundation. Or maybe I’m just feeling this way because I’ve been binge watching Westworld.

All in All: The Diabolic turned out to be a very long read for me. I definitely wasn’t expecting the intensive focus on the day-to-day goings-on at the galactic court. I also wanted to know more about the history of this world than what was given. Telling rather than showing was the biggest issue for me, and I won’t be going further with the series.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fandom Mashups (82)

Fandom Mashups is a feature hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. There's a different scenario each week, and you choose a "dream team" of five characters from five different fandoms whom you think are best suited for the situation.

This week's topic is:
With Valentine's Day fast approaching, you're feeling uncharacteristically romantic. Huh! Which 5 fictional characters would you like to spend a romantic evening with? -OR- Which characters would you like to hang out with and watch cheesy romantic movies with?

I'm not into Valentine's Day and view it pretty much as an excuse to eat lots of chocolate (Reese's Peanut Butter Hearts, specifically XD). Staying home and watching cheesy rom-coms, possibly while eating Reese's Peanut Butter Hearts, sounds more like me, but I'm going to venture out on a limb here and spend a romantic evening with these fictional guys:

  1. Gansey (The Raven Cycle): Obviously. XD
  2. Sam Roth (The Wolves of Mercy Falls): Yep, I'm spending Valentine's Day with two Maggie Stiefvater characters. Sam is just the sweetest.
  3. Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice): So he may not be the most sociable at first, but we all know what a true gentleman he is.
  4. Cassian Andor (Rogue One): I'm going to try and convince him to take a few hours off from rebelling.
  5. Sirius Black: Let's see if I can get through the evening without saying things like, "This is a siriusly awesome Valentine's Day!" and "I siriusly love you!" XD

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (155)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme created by Uncorked Thoughts and hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Who Would Your Favorite Professor Be?

It's a bit hard for me to choose only one, so I'm not going to. XD Of course I have to go with Lupin; not only is he a fantastic teacher, but he really cares about his students. Plus, he was a Marauder! I also have to go with McGonagall, another amazing teacher who, despite her tough exterior, also cares deeply for her students and is an all-around badass of a witch/Animagus.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...