Review Mirage

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

I nearly never read Scifi books, the few I’ve read haven’t been impressive but this one seemed like it might have a lot of elements I like, and it turned out to be a really enjoyable read. I’m not entirely satisfied by it, but it did deliver an engaging, well written, and surprisingly character driven, plot. The concept of this sounded like it had so much potential, and while I liked it it wasn’t as exiting as I’d expected or wanted. There was a lot of political intrigue and that’s something I always enjoy, but there wasn’t much action, I always expect a lot of action in a Scifi novel so I was surprised by what I got. I got a book that feels more like fantasy then Scifi, which was an unexpected delight since I love YA fantasy more then scifi. There was so much focus on the myths and religion of the world, and how those affect the characters and all of it was done wonderfully. 
This follows a girl names Amani, a dreamer but she doesn’t feel like she can do anything to change the corrupt world she lives in, then her circumstances become even worse but she eventually get’s her chance to make a difference. Princess Maram who Amani becomes a body double for is my favorite character, she is cruel but you gradually see that there’s another side to her. Her character development is slow and wonderful, it never felt forced, and I’m really exited to see where her story will go. I also loved the relationship between Maram and Amari, they developed an unlikely friendship that I found far more compelling then the romance. At first Maram treats Amani horrible those actions are never excused or forgiven, however Amani does begin to understand Maram and sees that there is good in her.
This book was kindly sent to me from the publisher through Netgally in exchange for a honest review, it will be released on August 28th from Flatironbooks.
Advertisements

Books I’m bringing to University

Deciding what books to bring to college was so hard, I kept going back and forth between books. There are so many that I love and I want to bring. But dorms are small so I’m having to make myself bring only a few. I decided to only bring books I completely love, that will help me feel more at home to have nearby, and then some books I’m excited to read.

Comfort books

  • Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom: I love these two books so much I can’t seem to ever be able to explain why, but they are two of my favorite books, and I simply have to bring them with me.
  • The Heir: This series suprising ended up meaning a lot to me especially this forth book. I named my cat after the protagonist, and I have great memories of reading this series and discussing it with my mom and sister.

TBR

  • Squirrel Girl vol 5, 6 & 8: Deciding which volumes to bring was practically impossible, then Barnes and Noble put there marvel comics on sale for buy 2 get 2 1, so I got the three that I didn’t have. Now I can get caught up with the series. I’m excited to have new Squirrel Girls to read they will be a great way to cheer me up after a stressful day.
  • Strong Female Protagonist: My brother got me this for Christmas, I had never heard of it but it sounds really good. I decided to wait on reading it since it does center around a collage student and I thought it might be nice to have something set in college to read during college.
  • Furthermore: I have been in the mood for middle grade, and this one is supposed to be whimsical and have beautiful writing. I will probably read this the soonest, it sounds really appealing.
  • Amulet vol 2: I might read this on the way to school, but I’m not the biggest fan of reading in the car so I could listen to an audiobook instead. Whatever I do I will read this soon, I’m looking forward to continuing the series.

I’m actually supposed by how little books I’m bringing, and by how many of them are comics. A few years ago I never read comics as and didn’t care to, now there what I find myself gravitating towards the most. It’s hard to have to limit myself to so few books but I can always check stuff out on Libby or Hoopla. Plus there’s a Barnes and Noble close to campus, so if anything comes out that I have to have, I will be able to get it. I’ve never lived close to a bookstore before, then nearest one has always been about half in hour away. it will be so nice to have one that’s less than five minutes from me.

15 mostly magical books to read on a rainy day

Lately it’s been raining/storming all the time where I live, it’s literally raining right now, and that gave me inspiration for today’s post. Everytime it rains I want to make a cup of tea and curl up with a book and a cat, here’s a few examples of of books that are great to read when it rains.

  1. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: Perhaps the most understated Austen novel, this is her take on the popular gothic romance genre. Filled with the wit, and charm you can expect from every one of her novels.
  2. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie: A great mystery is always a good choice for a rainy day, this one is short so you could read it in one day if you wanted.
  3. Clockwork Angel: I think this is the only love triangle I’ve never heard anyone complain about, it’s too well done to find a reason to. I love the setting, and the characters of this trilogy.
  4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman: I tend to forget about this book, but I did really enjoy it. It was heartbreaking, and meaningful.
  5. The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse: If you want something intense and impossible to put down, then read this World War II mystery.
  6. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson: The first in a trilogy, this was wonderfully written and a blast to read.
  7. Amulet by Kazu Kibuish: The art is so beautiful, and the story is magical and exciting, I loved the world.
  8. Shadows by Robin Mckinley: To be honest I didn’t entirely understand all of what was happening in this, but I liked it. And it made me want to learn origami.
  9. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: This book has the perfect most magical setting, and lyrical writing that will make you feel like you’re at The Night Circus.
  10. The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoskie: I love this trilogy, it’s full of political intrigue, emotional twists and turns. It’s beautifully written, and has one of the strongest, smartest YA heroines.
  11. Harry Potter by JK Rowling: I don’t think I nead to sale you on this one, I wanted to add something to read for nostalgia, and HP is the best book I could think of for that.
  12. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma: I’m still not over this books ending, this whole book is interesting and mysterious.
  13. The Raven Boys: I definitely had my problems with this series, but I do love the first book, it’s so beautifully written and I love a good squad of characters.
  14. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesslie Walton: This book is lovely, it’s about love but also about circumstances, about how one small thing can lead to something consequential.
  15. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young: This was suprising emotional, and featured wonderful characters and existing viking battles.

Have you read any of these? What books do you like to read on rainy days?

A bullet point review of Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

As soon as I finish a book a write out my thoughts in bullet points, I’ll write the words I associate with the book, what I thought of the characters and anything that jumped out at me. Then a few days later I use that as an outline to write my review, this time I’m not doing that last step. I’m leaving my bullet point list practically the same as when I first wrote it and that’s going to be my review. It’s as comprehensive, but it gets the main points across.
Review
  • So short: it made it super quick to get through, and there was always something happening, but it leaves you wanting more.
  • I think every book is going to be focused on a different character, but tie into one another. I’m practically always a fan of series that are like this.
  • Reminded me a of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, but not as slow, and I liked this better. They do both have a similar vibe, and are set in wonderful magical boarding schools, run by similar women.
  • Whimsical, charming, and diverse.
  • All the characters are wholly developed, and likeable. Even though there’s a not much time to develop them they felt completely developed, I loved the main cast of characters.
  • Asks such an interesting question what happens when the adventure is over? What do you do after traveling to a wonderful place and ending up back in the ordinary boring world.
About Every Heart a Doorway

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost. 

I hope you enjoyed this different style of review, I have seen other people do reviews this way and liked reading those, so I thought I’d give it a try. It took much less time doing it this way, I might do more bullet point reviews in the future simply to save myself some time.

Booktubeathon 2018 wrap up

I was so hoping this post would be titled I read seven books in one week, but that did not happen. At least I did manage too read more than usual so even though I didn’t meet my goal I still consider it a success. I read four books and considering life often got in the way of reading I think I did pretty good.
  • The Book Thief: (3.5/5 stars) I only actually read fifty pages of this, I had already read most of it, and was aiming to finish it before booktubeathon but it didn’t happen. I finished it at twelve thirty am on the first day so it probably shouldn’t even count, but since I didn’t read a lot of the books I intended to read I’m going to count it.
  • Everything All at Once: (2/5 stars) This was not what I wanted or expected, it had a creepy love interest and I just did not enjoy it.
  • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender: (5/5 stars) I loved this one, loved it enough for it to be a favorite of the year and it made up for my disappointment in my last read. Review
  • Avatar the Last Airbender The Search: (4/5 stars) This was exactly what I wanted and was so satisfied and happy with it. These comics are not as good as the show, but it is so nice to have new adventures with team avatar.
  • Every Heart a Doorway: (4/5 stars) I listened to this on audiobook and it was wonderfully narrated, and I really enjoyed it. I’m listening to the second book now, and will listen to the third one soon as well, this is a really interesting series and I’m glad a found a new series to marathon.

Did you participate is this years booktubeathon?  How many books did you read this weak?

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Trigger warning for rape and sexual assault.

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human

The name of this book just about says it all, it’s perhaps my favorite book title and if it doesn’t make you want to read this I don’t know how I’m going to convince you. But I’m going to try anyway.

This book is equally beautiful and tragic, it’s ultimately a story about love, and it’s exactly what I wanted it to be. I love this book it’s filled with wonderful characters who each have great names that suit them perfectly. It has elements of magic that are excellently woven into the real world, it’s the best magical realism novel I’ve read. It is extremely atmospheric, and I become completely absorbed in the story forgetting about the world around me.

This is a generational tale about a family where all the women are peculiar, the book starts with Ava’s great grandmother and Ava doesn’t come into the story until halfway through. It’s definitely odd to introduce the main character so late in the story, but it undeniably works. Learning about her ancestors makes the story more vast and intriguing. All of the women in Ava’s family are strange, she’s the most obviously so because of her wings, and like most people who are considered different she wants to fit in. There is a lot of character’s however they all are interesting, and have distinct personalities, so it was surprising easy to keep track of them all.

This reminded me a lot of a fairytale and that’s a big part of why I loved it, many modern fairytales are not dark like the tales there inspird by, but this one doesn’t shy away from tragedy. The writing style is so lovely, and lyrical, that’s what ultimately makes it feel like a fairytale, and what pulled me in. The entire book is expertly crafted it didn’t take me long to become lost in it. I have a feeling this story will stay with me, and become a favorite, I already want to recommend it to everyone.

My Booktubeathon TBR

I loved watching all my favorite booktubers vlogs during last’s years booktubeathon and this year I’m exited to take part in it. I was planning on having a self hosted readathon around the same time this one is happening so the timing is perfect. I might be a little busy that week, but I’m still hoping to do a lot of reading. I am striving to complete the challenge of reading seven books so I tried to choose books that I can get through quickly.

Love and Luck

I really enjoyed Love and Gelato it’s was a great blend of serious and fluff, and that’s what I tend to look for in contemporary novels. I’m excited to read this companion novel and I know I’m going to like it. This is going to count for the challenge of read a book about something you want to do, I would love to explore Ireland. I knew I had to read a European travel book for this challenge, and I think most people will probably be doing the same.

Invictus

This book is over 400 pages,I didn’t want to choose anything that long, but I have been wanting to read this for such a long time. I’m hoping that it will be exiting, and fast paced. I don’t read much sci-fi but this one sounds really appealing to me so hopefully I’ll enjoy it. This is going to count for the challenge to read a book with a beautiful spine.

Every Heart a Doorway

This book sounds different the concept is really interesting and it’s been on my TBR for too long. I’m going to listen to this one on audiobook it’s only four hours long, so I can easily finish it in a day, and start reading another book. I think I’m going to enjoy it enough to read the sequel which is also  four hours long on audiobook. These seem like perfect books for a readathon, and this is for the challenge of reading a book with green on the cover.

Everything All at Once

This is what I’m reading for the challenge of read a book while wearing the same hat the whole time. This challenge is so funny to me, I’m probably going to feel silly doing it though. This book is about a girl going out of her comfort zone, and I usually enjoy those types of stories. And it’s also supposed to be about books, the main characters Aunt is a famous author.

Matilda

This is for the challenge of read and watch a book to movie adaptation, I’m not actually sure if this is what I’ll end up reading for this challenge. There’s a lot of book to movie adaptations but I’ve read and watched most of them, and there’s not many on my tbr. I would like to read Matilda but I’m not sure I’m in the mood for it right now, and I might read something else and not end up doing this challenge.

The Search

I have been a fan of Avatar the Last Airbender for so long, I don’t know why it took me so long to read the graphic novels but I’m so excited to continue with them. I read the first one recently and it was nice to get a new story about characters I love so much, but while enjoyable it it wasn’t amazing. This is the one I’m most excited to read it’s about the one thing the show left unresolved, and I’m ready for some answers.

My seventh book will either be Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2) or The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, actually I’ll probably end up reading both and not read Matilda.

Are participating in this years booktubeathon? If you are what books are on your tbr?

Tag: The secret life of a book blogger

1. How Long have you been Blogging?

Two and a half years! I created this blog in May of 2016.

2. At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?

I don’t really know, probably whenever I get to busy to do it anymore. The plan is to become a children’s book editor or get any job at a publishing house but I really want to work with middle grade books, whenever that happens will probably be when I stop blogging. I don’t see myself wanting to spend all day reading/ talking about books and then go home and blog about them.

3. What is the best thing about blogging?

Having a place that’s my own to post whatever I want on, and that challenges me to be creative. I love writing, I love books writing about books is so much fun. Discussing my favorite books, and being able to recommend and introduce people to new books is wonderful.

4. What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?

Coming up ideas, I have figured out ways to come up with ideas, but it’s still often a struggle. A lot of time I think that’s been done too often, or I start writing a post and realize that idea isn’t good after all. There’s always going to be days when I can’t come up with anything to write and that’s okay, I usually take a break read a book, watch a youtube video and come back feeling more motivated.

5.How long does it take you to make/find pictures to use?

I use Canva to make all my images and it usually only takes a few minutes.

6. Who is your book crush?

I liked the love interest in both of the Morgan Maston books I read this summer my favorite was Peter from Since You’ve Been Gone.

7. What author would you like to have on your blog?

There is so many authors I would love to have do a guest post or interview, there’s not really one I would want to have on here more then another.

8. What do you wear when you write your blog posts?

My blogging look is typically lounge wear, yoga pants, tanks, t-shirts that sort of thing. Or just pajamas’s. I don’t really get this question or see how this can be interesting information.

9. How long does it take you to prepare?

I am not good at planning posts, and this is the biggest thing that I need to work on in regards to blogging. As far as how long it takes me to prepare to sit down and blog, just the three minutes it takes to make a cup of tea.

10. How do you feel about the book blogging community?

Really good, the book blogging community is wonderful, it’s made up of lovely people who give great book recommendations. I would never have read some of my very favorite books if it weren’t for book blogging.

11. What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

I think that as long as your enjoying yourself, and are proud of the content your creating, then you have a successful book blog.

I tag whoever wants to do this, if you’ve already done this then leave a link to your post on the comments so that I can read what your responses were!

A few of my favorite quotes

“I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.” – Emma, by Jane Austen

Emma Woodhouse has many wonderful lines this sassy gem is my favorite. So many of her lines, sound like something I would have said if I’d been alive in that era. Jane Austen had a wonderful witty way of writing and I always find wonderful lines in her novels.

“I know my value, anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.” – Agent Peggy Carter

Agent Peggy Carter will forever be one of my favorite heroes, and an inspiration. If I ever get a tattoo this is quote is what I’ll get.

“Today is going to be a good day and here’s why. Because today at least you’re you.. and that’s enough.” – Final from Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen quickly and unexpectedly became my favorite musical, I can relate to so many of the songs and I hope I’ll one day get to go see it. I love this line from the last song, I think we all can all sometimes use a reminder that being ourselves is enough.

“Have courage and be kind” – Cinderella (2015)

This one is pretty much what I strive to do everyday, whenever I’m having a bad day at work I tell this to myself. I think it should be the hufflepuff house slogan.

 “You know what’s better than being cool? The thing I think is better than being cool, and chill, and bored, and unaffected – I think the thing that’s better than all of that is being happy, and that’s what I’m seeing a lot of tonight, so thank you for being who you are.” – Taylor Swift 1989 tour Atlanta

The 1989 tour is one of the best things I’ve ever gotten to experience, the entire night was perfect. I often think about the speech Taylor gave before she sang Clean, that was probably my favorite moment from a night filled with wonderful moments.

What are some of your favorite quotes from books, movies, shows, etc?

Book Adaptation wish list

I did a post similar to this when I first started my blog, I still would love to see adaptations off all the books on that list, but now that it’s been over two years I feel it’s time to revisit the topic. Even though there’s always a book being adapted, there usually books I haven’t read and don’t care to read, therefore it’s been a while since I’ve gotten really excited about a book to screen adaptation. Here’s five books I would be thrilled to see a good adaptation of.

Anything by Morgan Maston

I’ve read three of Morgan Matson’s books, I’ve enjoyed all of them. She has quickly become one of my favorite contemporary authors, I would love to see any of her books turned into a movie. They all have to potential to be a perfect summer movie.

Geekerella/ Starfield

I loved Geekerella and it would be great for it to get a movie, however I really want Starfield the fictional TV show the main character Elle is obsessed with to become a movie. Or a book, or well anything, the author did such a good job creating this fictional TV show and I want to see it get a story of its own. A Geekerella movie really would be great though, it could be so cute!

The Night Circus

This is on every list of books that should be movies and now that I’ve read it I understand why, it’s fantastical, and different then anything else I’ve read. The setting is so well done and detailed that you feel like your there, I would love to see The Night Circus come to life on screen.

The Selection

Even though this was optioned forever ago for a movie, and there’s still no news about it, I’m still holding out hope for a Selection movie. I really love the aesthetic of this series, the beautiful gowns and grand palace setting, I think that would translate wonderfully to screen. I would love to see my favorite moments on the big screen, and relive all the wonderful drama and romance.

Six of Crows

It’s time for the Grisha verse to get adapted to screen. I would be exited for a Shadow and Bone movie, but I would rather Six of Crows get turned into a TV show. It has the potential to make a wonderful TV show, if done well. I want it to be extremely accurate to the books, and have all the best scenes.

What books would you like to see get adapted into movies or TV shows? Do you agree with my choices?