About a month or so ago I had the great pleasure of reading Bright Smoke Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge. This book is a Romeo and Juliet retelling where we follow four main characters as they work on seemingly separate missions. Romeo Mahyanai and Paris Catresou work to expose the higher ups of the Mahyanai clan, who seem to be breaking various laws that hold the dying city together. Juliet Castresou and Mahyanai Runajo work to save the city through finding the ancient knowledge that could save the city. In this book the small city known as Viyara is the last living civilization in a world ruled by the dead, and seem to simply be buying time until they all become a member of the undead.
Overall I give this book four out of five stars. It was an awesome read that I couldn’t put down. Ultimately this book lost the last start because I wanted to see more of the world, watch the characters grow more, and learn more about the magic system, the Juliet, and The Sisters of Throne. I felt like these characteristics really set this book apart from others but we didn’t see a lot of it, which could really set this book apart from a traditional retelling.
If you haven’t read the book I urge you to stop here, but if you’re ready for some spoilers keep reading.
1. How many books is too many books in a book series?
I believe that there needs to be at least 3 books in a book series just because it really makes a beginning middle and end of the story, and seems like the least you would need ot really call it a series.
2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?
No thank you! I hate them and they drive me nuts!! Except in Managa… then I half halfheartedly put up with them.
3. Hardcopy or paperback?
Hardcopy. If I’m reading a physical book I like to annotate it and I honestly don’t take the best care of my books so they’re all going to get tossed around a lot.
4. Favorite book?
A Great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Brey. Hands down, no questions asked.
5. Least favorite book?
The Catcher and the Rye because I had to listen to it for school and it made me soooo mad for no reason
6. Love triangles, yes or no?
It really depends. It can be a great thing or a horrible thing, it just depends on how it’s done.
7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?
Witch and Wizzard… I don’t remember the author’s name but I couldn’t finish it.
8. A book you’re currently reading?
Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I’m listening to chapter one as I’m writing this.
9. Last book you recommended to someone?
Every Heart A Doorway. I suggested it to my friend Laura because I thought it was interesting.
10. Oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date)
Probably something for school. AKA no clue
11. Newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)
12. Favorite author?
13. Buying books or borrowing books?
Buying books and borrowing audiobooks.
14. A book you dislike that everyone else seem to love?
I didn’t like Cinder as much as everyone else, but I haven’t outright hated a book that everyone loved.
15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?
Bookmarks first, dog-ears if I’m really really desperate.
16. A book you can always reread?
Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children.
17. Can you read while hearing music?
yeah, I just block it out.
18. One POV or multiple POV’s? (POV’s = Point of views)
I don’t really mind one way or the other. It’s just sort of whatever is best for the story.
19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?
A day or two… honestly I like at max a week.
20. Who do you tag? (You can invite them to the group to do the tag)
Whoever wants to do it! 🙂 Go for it!
So… I stumbled upon this tag while looking for some tags to do (I don’t think I do enough of them) and I found this one while looking over the blog Dreamland Book Blog and you can see her version of this post here.
So if you don’t know anything about Avatar The Last Airbender let me catch you up a little bit… well… let this video catch you up a little. The opening does a great job of giving you a great basic idea of the show.
And because I can here’s the opening for the second series in the Avatar universe, Avatar: The Legend of Korra!
Alright so let’s get on with the tag. My love of these shows pry shouldn’t take up much more of your time.
The Water Tribe
Katara and Sokka: The Best Siblings
For this one it took me a few minutes to really figure out who I wanted to pick, because every single book I could think of I really didn’t like the sibling relationships or they just didn’t have the relationship. I finally settled on Cinder and Peony from Cinder by Marissa Meyer because even though Cinder owes her nothing she always goes out of her way for Peony and even takes steps to be there when she was sick and passing. I think that they have my favorite sibling relationship honestly.
Yue: Favorite Star Crossed Lovers
As oddly as it is I really like Luka and Sorina in The Daughter of The Burning City by Amanda Foody. I know that it’s really bad because she created him, but they both kept each other in their best interests and simply seemed to truly love each other. I know that this one is pry not the best answer, but it’s honestly my favorite.
Blood Bending: A book with an unsettling/disturbing concept
I’m really split about answering this one, but I’m going to be honest. Hands down this is Scythe by Neal Shusterman. Hands down. The Program was a great runner up, but Scythe wins. That’s honestly what draws me to the series and what has made me fall in love with it, so in this case I love it. I hate the idea of someone having a job of killing people for all eternity and the idea of people enjoying it, but that’s part of what I absolutely love about this series.
The Earth Kingdom
Toph: A Character Who’s Strength Surprised you
I’m going to say Sloane and Quinlan from the Program Series by Suzanne Young. I love the two of them because simply to live in their worlds and do what they need to they need such amazing strength. Sloane has to watch person after person in her life be erased without any consent, and then she loses her own memories and she begins to fight back even while facing her depression and other mental illnesses. Quinlan has to be strong just to force herself to stand up for what she believes in regardless of the possible punishments that can include losing her memories. The two of them are some of the strongest characters I’ve ever read about, and I really like them.
The Tales of Ba Sing Se: The Best Collection of Short Stories
I really don’t read many short stories so I’m going to go with a story that I loved when I was little even though it’s kind of cheating. I love the large American Girl Doll books that contained all of the historical stories… mostly because that’s the only one I can think of.
Kioshi Worriers: The Best Worrier Character
For this one I’m going to go with Lada from And I Darken by Kiersten White. She is such a great worrier and constantly is challenging everything that has to do with her life and won’t let up about any of it. I love how rough she is and how she won’t stop until she gets what she wants. Even at the end of the first book she looks to her country and moves on simply to do what’s best for it, no matter what.
The Fire Nation
Zuko: Best Redemption Story
I don’t remember the name of this character, but I’m going to go with the Dad from The Remedy by Suzanne Young because at the end he does everything he can to make sure that his “daughter” is able to move forward with her life and be safe.
Iroh: The Wisest Character
This one took me so long to decide on… and then I figured it out and I wanted to scream because I didn’t think about it before. Scythe Fryday! He’s such an amazing teacher in Scythe that I can’t help but love him. While I was reading the book I was highlighting so many of his lines and passages because he took into consideration so many things while teaching and carrying out his job… I can’t help but love him and he’s really the wisest character I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
Azula: The Best Downfall
Second time I don’t remember the name of the Character, but the King from Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie. His downfall was so sweet to read.
Appa: Your Favorite Fictional Animal
This made me laugh because the day I’m writing this I started playing this character in a video game with my boyfriend for about a half hour. This would be Cebures the three headed dog form Greek Mythology because he’s puppy. He’s a very good puppy. At least in my mind.
Aang: The Purest Cinnamon Roll
Easily this is Iko from Cinder. Throughout the entire book she’s so innocent and so blindly kind and really makes Cinder think about what she’s doing in her life among all of the chaos and everything going on. She’s such a great relief and I can’t help but love her and deem her the purest cinnamon roll to ever come into existence.
The Avatar State: The Most Stubborn Character
I’m not sure anyone will really remember this character or know about her, but Rhine from The Chemical Garden series would have to be the most stubborn character that I can think of.
*** All pictures were found on google images and are not mine ***
A few months ago I finally got around to reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and I’m very conflicted about how I feel about it. On the positive side I really did like the story and I got through the first two thirds in a day or two, but then I just sat on it and I didn’t end up loving it by the end. The story itself was very compelling, and I loved it, but I felt like many of the characters fell sort of flat and I didn’t really end up feeling like many of them grew over time. I am still going to continue with the series for two reasons. 1) I have the first book 2) I’m hoping the characters grow and become more 3D in the second book.
Shadow and Bone is set in the Grisha universe, where the elite of the population have abilities to manipulate, create, or change things around them. Shadow and Bone is mainly about an orphan named Alina who lives in a country named Ravka and worked as a map maker for the military. Her best friend, Mal, knew her since she arrived at the orphanage and followed Alina as they both continue their paths in the military. That is, until the day they are sent on a mission to attempt to cross the fold, a great darkness that has taken part of the country hostage. While in the fold Alina releases a great power that fends off not only the darkness of the fold, but the monsters that live inside it. The problem? She didn’t know it was there, she doesn’t know how to control it, and she’s taken from her friend to be taken to the small palace and serve the Darkling. That’s where this story begins. During the book we follow Alina as she spends her time at the small palace developing her power, growing stronger, and falling in love.
Overall this book got a four out of five stars because I love the universe and the story was entertaining. I didn’t love the characters as much as I hoped to, but they have a lot of growing to do and I think in the next book is when that I will really happen because they are left to a much more difficult situation than what they’ve been used to. I also hope to watch as their relationship grows a little more.
Warning: stop here if you haven’t read the book. I recommend it if you’re looking for a new fantasy series, and I really do hope that you read it, but if you don’t want spoilers stop here. If you’re read it, keep going.
I really liked Shadow and bone to be honest. I think that it was such a unique universe that has so much area to be explored that I couldn’t help but love it. I also really liked to examine the motives of the individual characters because I think that it puts a lot into the individual characters and what they do. I really want to look into the Darkling’s background more because he just overall is an interesting character that I think deserves to have the spotlight a little bit more. I hope to learn more about him with the next books but I’m not going to really hold my breath on that. Honestly, I didn’t have the next book I pry wouldn’t actually continue the series, regardless of how great the world is. I didn’t like the real overall story very much and I didn’t find myself connecting to the individual characters. I did start to like the two main characters’ relationship once they left the palace, but I wasn’t too overall interested in the main story because it was pretty normal where a girl gets taken away by a prince and goes to live happily ever after. I enjoyed the story overall but I didn’t really like it enough to continue it.
I did like The Lightning Thief a lot, but I’m not able to give it all five stars. I honestly loved the audio book and can’t wait to continue it via OverDrive. The biggest drive for me to continue this series is because I really like to look at Mythology and I find it one of the most interesting subjects I have ever had the pleasure to learn about while I was in school. I enjoyed the story and I really liked how many of the demigods had learning disabilities outside of camp because it’s such an amazing representation for people, especially the marketing audience, to have in great books because it makes them seem more real to the individual. I also just liked it as a “new classic” that many people read and is known by most people if not just by the basics of the story. I was afraid that this story had been inflated beyond a point of being able to live up to its hype, but it was great and I really did like it.
I liked the idea of Witch and Wizard, I really did, but I just got so bored halfway through that I couldn’t finish it. I loved the production of the audiobook too, but it was such a slow story that I wasn’t able to complete it. I ended up stopping around 3/4 of the way through and I just haven’t been able to pick it back up. Because of this I’m giving this a 2/5 stars even though I ended up DNF-ing it. It honestly made me sad that I had to do that, but what are you going to do sometimes? I completed most of it so that I feel like I can discuss it and talk about it, which is why I gave it a review but it just wasn’t my favorite read by any stretch of the means.
I LOVED Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children. I flat out loved this book and I can’t explain to you how happy I am that I read this book. I fell in love with all of the characters and I can’t wait to read more about them in the next books. I also really like that the inspiration behind this story was pictures that the author found AND that the pictures were included in the book, just because it’s such a unique thing. I also love seeing Jacob and Emma together, they’re so cute and Olive is hands down my favorite because she is so sweet. I just love this book, so watch out for a video and blog post that’s just me gushing about it.
I don’t know why I really read Burning Glass to be honest. It seemed interesting and the cover was cool but it just didn’t hold my attention and I don’t know why. The story was good, and when I sat down and forced myself to listen to it the story was great. The story overall was really good and I really enjoyed it. I loved the character and the settings, but just overall this book just wasn’t my favorite and I don’t know why.
Today I wanted to talk a little bit about my opinions about annotating and writing in books. Typically annotating a book causes bookworms to gasp and feel like someone had hit them or destroyed something they love. I want to talk about it a little bit, though, just to discuss my thoughts about it and what I think.
I’m going to spoil you right now, I annotate my books. I’m going to talk later about how exactly I do this, but I’m going to spoil you right now.
I see why people don’t want to, and honestly I take all of my pictures of my books before I even start reading them most of the time. I would like to change that process in the future, but for now I like the way that I take my pictures and interact with them.
Not annotating your books keeps them in perfect condition, and if the book is your absolute favorite book that’s signed by the author I totally get it and don’t suggest writing in the book. I have a few books like this and I wouldn’t take those books out of the house for anything, because let’s face it those books are my favorite things in the world.
On the other hand, when I first read a book I don’t know that it’s my favorite. Let’s take a recent read for an example. I recently read Scythe by Neal Shusterman and I absolutely loved it and can’t wait for the squeal to be released in the near future. I decided to annotate this book just because I liked the cover and I had a feeling that this book would bring up great ideas and thoughts. I didn’t know that the book would become my favorite, but now it is and I’m happy that I actually have highlighted my favorite parts and quotes. I like the fact that I can go back and see what I wrote in the margins when I was first reading it. Especially when I got to a few huge plot twists and I as able to go back to see what I was thinking before then.
I was actually reading through my notes after I finished it and it really helped me put together the story as a whole and suddenly something small made so much sense all of a sudden.
I also recently gave a book that I had annotated to a friend and they said that once they got into the book they thought it was amusing to see my thoughts and what I was thinking at any point in the book.
The main reason I choose to annotate my books is because I keep looking at one of my most loved books, A Great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Brey, it is my most loved book. The binding is beat up, the cover is ripped, and the pages are dog eared where I absolutely loved the page or something important happened. To me seeing this makes me happy because things aren’t always meant to stay perfect. They’re meant to be bent, used, and wear down. That’s what I love about books because the more beat up a book is the more it’s read, the more the story is heard, and the more those characters have found their way into your heart.
I feel like this post is a little messy and unorganized, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on the topic with you.
What side are you on with this discussion? Let me know in the comments below!
I wanted to take a little break today and talk about my TBR pile, because after my Black Friday Book Haul I sort of have a TBR shelf that’s a little too big and overwhelming.
1. A book on your TRB that you haven’t finished?
Right now I am reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and Witches and Wizzards by James Patterson. So those would be the only two books that I’ve started and haven’t finished.
2. A book you haven’t had time to read
All of them
3. A book you haven’t read because it’s a squeal?
Witch’s Pyre by Josephine Angelini. I bought this in my latest book outlet haul and didn’t know that it was a squeal but this is the only book in my TBR that is a squeal that I don’t have the first book for.
4. A Book you haven’t read because it’s brand new
All the books in my haul.
5. A book by an author that you’ve previously read and didn’t like
Alright so this is pushing it a little bit because I didn’t not like the previous book I just marathoned them and got tired of them. I have The Adjustment by Suzan Young and although I loved the program and the treatment I felt like The Epidemic and The Remedy just dragged it out and I didn’t really need those books in comparison to the others so I’m not looking forward to the next book or reading The Adjustment
6. A book in your TBR pile that you just aren’t excited to read
Honestly Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. I don’t know why i don’t want to read this book, because it sounds good, but I just don’t want to read it. I want to read every other magical book on my shelf but not this one.
7. A book on your TBR that you haven’t read because it’s enormous?
Besides the Game of Thrones books? City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I want to read this book, apparently this series is great, but I just can’t get around to it. It’s too intimidating of a series because they’re all bigger books.
8. A Book on your TBR that you bought because of the cover
All of them. Isn’t that how you buy your books?