Update: recent reads

I started writing this post nearly two weeks ago and the first line was life as always is busy well evidently is was true since it’s taken me this long to get back to writing. So yeah it’s been quite a while, I don’t even actually know how long, since I posted but I’m back for now at last to fill you in on what I’ve been reading and hopefully this time it won’t such a long before I post again.

Recent reads

Norroway by Cat Seaton

This was everything I expected it to be the art is enchanting the story is amazing and has everything you could want in a feminist reading of the Black Bull of Norroway. I hope this gets a second volume, it ends on a cliffhanger and so naturally I’m impatient for answers. My younger brother read this one shortly after I did and also enjoyed it though not as much. He’s not much of a reader so it always gives me a sense of accomplishment when I convince him to read something.

The Sun and Her Flowers

I don’t know if I actually like this collection more than Milk in Honey or if I just appreciate poetry more or perhaps both apply. Whatever the case may be I really enjoyed this Rupi Kaur is an inspiration. She is what started this new era of poetry or at least she’s the person who brought what some people are calling Instagram poetry into the limelight.

Water Runs Red by Jenna Clare

This poetry collection is amazing, the design is beautiful, the words equally so and I just adore it. I am really late posting about about it but you can expect me to recommend this often. I’ll hopefully be posting a review on here or goodreads soon, and get time to take Instagram photos of it. It is beautiful outside right now and all I want to do is go take pictures but I would feel too self conscious taking photos of books around campus. I don’t want to receive odd looks. Do any of you take bookstagram photos outside when there’s people around?

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

It is has been so long, since I read a book this quickly. This high drama novel was a nice escape from my hectic life I would much rather read about fictional people’s problems then face my own. Everyone on the internet has been singing this books praises since it came out, I’m late to the party and at this point I’m not sure there’s anything new to be said. All I know is this is one of the only adult fiction books I’ve read and enjoying it makes me feel like I’m at last ready to dive into the genre. Also I need to read her other books ASAP.

Love Looks Pretty on You

This is Lang Leav’s 6th poetry collection but it’s my first time reading one of her collections. I was however familiar with her work, I have seen it on Instagram and Pinterest and heard praise for her poems all of it deserving.  I read this last Saturday while I was sitting outside with some friends it was a nice and peaceful self care day which I think we all needed.  I had a great time reading this and it was all around a lovely day.

So far I’ve done a great job diversifying my reading this year I have been reading things that I would have considered outside my comfort zone not long ago. I don’t know what I’ll read next, probably nothing until the end of the semester, but hopefully whatever it is will be as good as all my recent reads have been.

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Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard // I’m head over heels for this series

With each book in this series the stakes are raised and I grow more in love with the characters and the world. The last hundred pages or so were so darn epic and completely blew me away. So much happened and so much more is to come, there’s two books left in this series and there is many questions I need answered in them. This series keeps surprising me and that’s not a easy thing to do anymore. Nothing happens the way I expect it to.

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March TBR // Women’s History Month!

March is Women’s History Month I will be celebrating by reading books by and about wonderful women and girls. Most of the books on here are nonfiction which is not a genre I usually gravitate towards but I’m reading a lot of different things lately and I want to learn about women’s history this month. I don’t just want to read about girls in fantasy worlds, I want to make more of an effort to celebrate the lives of real women who have and or are making a difference in the world.

  1. A Diary of a Young Girl: I feel like I should have read this years ago there are so many books people read during high school that I didn’t, and now I feel like I’m going to be spending my twenties playing catch up.
  2. Amina’s Voice: I don’t know too much about this, but I’ve only heard positive things. I’ve seen it on multiple recommendation lists and it seems like a good fit for Women’s History Month.
  3. The Sun and Her Flowers: I want and need to read more poetry and Rupi Kaur is probably the biggest poet out there right now so reading her second collection seems like a must.
  4. A Short History of Women: I wanted something to read that would teach me something that I didn’t but should have learned in history class, and this seems like a good fit.
  5. Hidden Figures: The movie adaptation was everything, and I want to know more. I’m sure there are details that weren’t in the movie or things that got changed and I’m looking forward to finding them
  6. Bloodwitch: This isn’t exactly on here for the same reason as the others I just really want to read it. But there are a lot of badass women in this series and it’s written by a badass woman so it does still tie into the theme of this months tbr. Honestly though when am I ever not reading books by and about badass ladies? Unless there assigned reading.

I’m being very ambitious considering I read two whole books in February, but I have a plan, and I think I can read at least four of these. I’m going to make reading more of a priority even if that means spending less time on other things I also enjoy doing, like watching tv or youtube. None of the books on my list are very long, and I’m feeling excited to read each of them. I’m not often motivated to read for pleasure anymore so let’s hope this feeling lasts. Spring break is in March so I’ll have a whole week off of school, and (hopefully) not much to do during that time besides reading. I think I’m going to dedicate one whole day during spring break to reading, it’s been so long since I’ve done that.

Book review: Beneath the Sugar Sky

Warning: This summary contains spoilers for the first book in the series and my review may contain some spoilers for the previous books as well. If you would like to read my review of the first book Every Heart a Doorway you can find it here.

When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save!

If she can’t find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests…

A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do.

Warning: May contain nuts.

This is my least favorite in the series so far I liked that you traveled to different worlds but the plot was too much for me. I don’t mind time travel, but it doesn’t work for me when it’s just thrown into the middle of a fairytale series and is seemingly out of place. It was all a bit far fetched. I’m not sure how this fits into the rest of the books. I don’t know what will follow this, the books are designed to be mostly self-contained but they do tie into one another and I’ve not convinced this story was needed. Even though we get to travel to multiple worlds as I whole I don’t feel like it adds much to the Wayward Children universe.

This series has a pattern, the first book established the world and characters and is set in our world. The second and fourth books are about different character’s finding their Doorways and are essentially prequels. In this third book were back on earth in the present, it picks up shortly after the first book. It follows a new character named Catherine who gets swept up in an adventure involving familiar characters. I like the characters and writing as much as ever, I just couldn’t get completely behind the plot. It isn’t what I wanted I knew going in that it wouldn’t be, but I still expected more. No details have been released about the fifth book yet, but I’m hoping it will be about what we all wanted this one to be about. I think it will be the last book in the series, so maybe it will bring all the characters together and tie up all the loose ends.

The only thing I really care about at this point is what happens to Jack and Jill the next one is called Come Tumbling Down so surely it is about them. To me it would have made more sense for this book to have been about Jack and Jill, I don’t see the need for this story, but maybe that’s just me. I’m saying a lot of negative things but this book was not all bad, it’s just that compared to the other’s in the series it is lacking. I still enjoyed it I liked that it was very short, all the books are, I listen to them on audiobook and each one is narrated wonderfully and about four hours long. I liked being back in the Wayward Children universe I really love the worldbuilding in this series, and this installment did expand upon it and added another great character.

My favorite books at this moment

The Hunger Games

This book was when I really started to love reading it was one of the first YA books I read, if not the first. It led me to read Divergent and The Mortal Instruments, together those three series are what got me into fandom culture. They all had movies coming out when I read them, The Hunger Games was the first book adaptation that I read the book for before seeing the movie. My youth group dressed up for the midnight premiere I was Prim and my sister was Katniss (it was adorable) I think that moment is what sparked my love of fandom.

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Creativity and originality

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“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

One thing I’ve learned about myself is I need to be constantly creating something. For me creativity is an important part of self-care if I’m not doing anything creative then I do not feel like myself. If I’m not creating anything for a long period of time it tends to mean I’m not in a good place mentally. There are lots of things I do to be creative: journaling, scrapbooking, writing, taking pictures, and of course, blogging. Journaling is a major stress relief for me I love documenting my life through journals and scrapbooks. Blogging is sometimes stressful, but it’s also a way for me to challenge myself. When it comes to blogging I’m always trying to push myself to be more creative, and come up with ideas that I haven’t seen done before. That is much easier said than done.

I definitely don’t think I’m the best at coming up with original content, then again originality is tricky. Pretty much every idea you come up with has been done before, you have to find a way to add your own spin to it. That is something I’m constantly trying to reiterate to myself. When I first started blogging it was hard to feel confident in the content I was creating, there were a lot of days filled with doubt, now I feel a lot more certain about what I’m doing. After you do something for a while it gets easier, but there are still days when it feels like no idea I have is any good. There will always be days when I’m just not in the mood to blog on those days there will be other creative outlets to keep me sane. If you make blogging a habit it’s a lot easier, but I am not a good example, I do not prioritize blogging like I should. I’m trying to have a designated day a week to blog; however, things just don’t always work out the way you want them to.

Occasionally creating anything is a struggle and I’m not sure I believe in absolutes, but generally, the quote I put at the top is true. The more time I spend creating the more inspiration and motivation I have. To summarize, I make time for creativity because the things I love doing are creative pursuits, and most importantly it’s how I stay grounded.

Why do you blog? And what other creative outlets do you have? Do you make creativity a part of your everyday routine?

Strong Female Protagonist: A bullet point review

With superstrength and invulnerability, Alison Green used to be one of the most powerful superheroes around.

Fighting crime with other teenagers under the alter ego Mega Girl was fun – until an encounter with Menace, her mind-reading arch enemy, showed her evidence of a sinister conspiracy, and suddenly battling giant robots didn’t seem so important. 

Now Alison is going to college and trying to find ways to help the world while still getting to class on time. It’s impossible to escape the past, however, and everyone has their own idea of what it means to be a hero… 

  • Interesting and multi-layered
  • A great beginning
  • Unsurprisingly has many feminist themes 
  • The last half got pretty intense 
  • Makes you think: surprisingly philosophical, and dealt with complex issues regarding moral values
  • Like the last chapter was deep and left me and the characters with a lot to ponder
  • Brings up questions like: can the world ever be saved? Are superheroes really making a difference? Who are the real heroes of the world? Etc.
  • It’s not your average superhero story, it was refreshing to read a superhero comic that isn’t Marvel or D.C and that is doing its own awesome unique thing.
  • If you love superheroes but want to see something different, or if you hate superheroes, give this heroic tale a chance.
  • Alison literally just wants to go to college and then she gets dragged into trouble, and I sympathized with her.
  • She also wants to make the world a better place, but in a way that doesn’t involve being a superhero.
  • She has good reasons for quitting superheroing. (Is that a real word?)
  • Has funny footnotes, that reminds me of the ones in Squirrel Girl. 
  • Overall it has depth and it has my attention, the author did their job well, I want to know what happens next. 

Will you be reading this comic? Book one is available as a physical copy and the rest is available to read online.

Furthermore review: a tale of whimsy and self-discovery

“She would be strong and she would be weak, and both would be okay.”

Alice Alexis Queensmeadow 12 rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Fernwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss. 

This was my first experience reading a book by Taheri Mafia and it will not be my last. I always hear people talk about her writing more then any other aspect of her books and I can see why. Although I am curious to know how much the writing in her middle grade and YA books differ, I wonder which writing style of her’s people prefer.  Instead of struggling to describe her writing style why don’t I give an example?

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January Haul: Books and Stationary

Hello, hello I hope 2019 is off to a great start for all of you. At the start of every new year, there are a million things I decide I will start doing, I never stick to most of them. But one thing I’m starting that I plan to follow through with is a book journal I’ve been keeping up with what I read on Goodreads for years but I would like a tangible way to document my reading.

Continue reading “January Haul: Books and Stationary”

My 2018 Year in Books and Goals for 2019

Reading Stats:

Books read: 52
Rereads: 4
Pages read: 15,497
Most read genres: fantasy, contemporary, historical fiction, feminism/women’s fiction
Average rating: 3.9

52 Books seem to be my average per year it’s the same about I read last year but I read about a thousand fewer pages this year but I also read ten more graphic novels.

Favorite books of the year:

Overall best: Unquestionably The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesslie Walton. This book is peculiar and lovely, and I really need to read more magical realism because I always enjoy them.

Best debut: Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi. This one was so close to being my number one favorite of the year. It is epic and reminiscent of Avatar The Last Airbender.

Best sequel: Sightwitch by Susan Dennard. Technology this is a prequel but it’s the latest installment of the series so I’m going to say it counts. I loved this one more than I expected it made the Wichlanders world that much wider and more amazing.

Made me cry/most moving: Speak (The Graphic Novel) by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll. This graphic novel is beautiful the story works better in this format. The art makes the story more impactful.

Book turned movie: Infinity Gauntlet. This was my first time reading a comic turned movie and it was just as epic as the movie and it was nice to know what was going to happen although they changed a lot I knew how it would end. Yet I was still nearly as shook as everyone else was.

2019 reading goals

  • Read 30 books: this is what I set my goal to this year and while I clearly read a lot more then 30 books I don’t feel like setting my goal any higher. I want it to be something I know I can achieve.
  • Read more classics: This has been my goal for the past two years and I did not do well either time but now I’m taking English lit classics so I will have to read more classics.  Hopefully ones I enjoy.
  • Read more broadly: I have sorta started doing this I just need to start doing it more actively. I need to continue to read books in genres I used to think I didn’t like or never read for whatever reason. I also might try reading more adult books but I don’t know they almost always sound less interesting.

What are your favorite books you read this year? And your goals for the new year?