I’ve been blogging for two years!

Two years ago I created this little corner of the internet and have had a blast with it. Blogging has not been exactly what I expected, but I’ve enjoyed it greatly. It’s led me to some amazing books, and helped me to figure out what I want to do with my life. So yeah it’s been a good two years and hopefully I’ll be blogging for many more years. Now let’s take a look back at my five favorite posts so far.

  • Realizing your fave is problematic / Analyzing The Mortal Instruments: Practically every post I wrote before this makes me cringe because of the ceramic errors and awkward writing. This is the first time I was really critical of a book, and I feel I do a good job summing up my conflicting feeling on this series.
  • Book trends I love: I’ve written a lot of bookish lists there one of my favorite type of post, I can’t actually pick a favorite of the dozens I’ve written. I choose this one because you guys seem to like it the best, it’s one of my most popular posts.
  • Are book bloggers too nice?: I am so proud of this discussion post I always struggle with them but I think I did well with this one. I also loved all the comments I got it sparked a really interesting conversation.
  • Book review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner: I do pretty well at reviewing books but reviewing all time favorite, possibly life changing, books is another matter. This is the only time I’ve managed to properly sum up why a book is a favorite.
  • Why I love Squirrel Girl and why you should too!: This post has more views then any other posts I’ve written, is the only post of mine to get to a hundred views, and was retweeted by Squirrel Girl herself. Most importantly I had more fun witting this post then any other.



Since You’ve Been Gone // the perfect summer read

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um…

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Since You’ve Been Gone was the perfect first read of Summer! It’s everything you want from a summer contemporary. There’s romance, adventure, lists and ice cream. Now that I’ve read two Morgan Maston books I can safety say that I see what the hypes about, her books deserve tons of love and recognition. I loved everything about this one all of the  shenanigans that take place are charming and amusing.  
There are a few moments that gave me major second hand embarrassment, but I also admittedly found Emily’s awkwardness relatable. Emily has a great character arc she goes from living in the shadows of her best friend, to learning to take chances, and face her fears. She starts out doing Sloane’s list in the hopes that it will bring her back, then she does it more for herself. It becomes less about Slone and more of summer project for her and her friends. I liked all the characters, and really enjoyed how the romance was slow building and first started as a great friendship.
I was inspired by this wonderful story to create my own summer to do list. Many of them are directly inspired by the events of the book, all much easier to accomplish then Emily’s list.
  1. Be a tourist for a day
  2. Watch a movie at the drive in
  3. Treat yo self to the spa
  4. Make a summer playlist
  5. Have a girls night out 
  6. Eat lots of ice cream 
  7. Photograph everything 
  8. Thrift shop
  9. Bake something homemade
  10. Look up more
  11. Take a trip
  12. Read a series in a day
  13. Hug a Zac

What’s on your summer to do list? Are there any books you plan on reading? I definitely want to read the rest of Morgan Maston’s books this summer.

Children of Blood and Bone

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

There’s so much to say about this book that I don’t know where to begin or how to properly summarize everything I’m feeling. I’m going to do things a bit differently and separate my thoughts on the characters plot etc.

The characters

Usually in fantasy series the characters are my favorite part, that is surprisingly not the case here. That however in no way means the characters aren’t great, they are. Everything about this book is good and it definitely deserves all the hype it’s been receiving. At first I didn’t care much for Zellie the protagonist but now I don’t know why, by the middle of the book I had grown to love her. My favorite character was Amari, I liked her from the beginning and enjoyed her arc and how much she grew throughout the book.

I liked the Prince at first but by the end I didn’t know how to feel about him and I still don’t. He made some choices I didn’t entirely understand that made his storyline go in a direction I didn’t expect. I’m curious to see what the author will do with him in the next book, it was interesting to read from the antagonists point of view and that made me really enjoy his chapters.

The story

At first glance the story seams simple, a familiar battle against good and evil and a quest to restore magic. This book features many classics fantasy elements, there’s a chosen one, a rebellious princess, hate to love romance. This book has all these things I love to see in a fantasy novel, and it has things I’ve never seen done before. It feels refreshing and new in many ways. This book is a nonstop adventure, you will not want to stop reading, you also won’t want the book to end. It ends with a bang, that has me eager to read the next one.

The magic and world

The magic system and world building is absolutely spectacular. Normally I don’t care about how complicated or cool the magic system is, I just care that it works within the story without being too confusing. In this case magic plays such a key role in the story that’s it’s something I paid attention to and, was impressed by. It first I thought I was never going to remember what all the different types of Maji are called, but I caught on easily. The magic is truly very awesome and made for some fantastic fight scenes.

The writing

I could tell from just a few chapters in that this was a solid fantasy novel, that deserves to become the next big thing in YA. I am impressed by everything in this novel including the writing. Despite being huge and a little daunting, I found it extremely easy to read. The chapters are short, which I always like, and the end of each one makes you want to read the next one. This is one of those books where reading just one more chapter before bed quickly turns into five. I am so satisfied by this and exited to see where the story will go after that epic ending.

The Changeling’s Journey

Ailsa is dead. Leaving Morven the last surviving changeling in the village. Everyone knows it is only a matter of time before she too is dead. Desperate to find out why the fairies steal human babies, and to save her own life, she leaves her family behind, travelling north into the fairy kingdoms with her best friend. 

They soon find that making their way through vast magical forests, across kelpie-ridden lochs and over seemingly endless mountain ranges is more than they were prepared for. Despite the countless evenings spent listening to stories about adventures, fairies and magic, they find themselves out of their depth. Fighting to stay alive. 

Meanwhile in the fairy kingdoms, Princess Freya of Culhuinn struggles to cope with life now that her love has been taken from her. Whilst Queen Euna of Norbroch spends more time lost in her memories than she does ruling her kingdom. 

One changeling’s journey to save her life will alter their world forever

This book took a while to get into, but I’m glad I kept reading because it dose have many good qualities. It’s told in three points of view and that element was done well. You follow Morven and Glen on their adventure to the fairy realm, to get answers about changelings. Then you have Princess Freya who is separated from her lover by her cruel father, and finally Queen Euna whose chapters are mostly flashbacks. They each have individual stories that connect in the end. Their all interesting characters, but they could have been flushed out more and been even better.

This book is about a long Journey and it felt long, there isn’t much dialogue, and it was slowly paced. The story is character driven normally I’m all for that, unfortunately, I didn’t like the characters enough. The side characters especially needed more development, I felt like many of them hardly had a personality. Even Glen who is Morven’s best friend wasn’t developed enough for me to care about. I think Fraya was the most interesting and likable, but her love interest was boring, and that detracted from Fraya’s arc.

I’ve never been to Scotland, and I don’t know much about Scotland, but I could tell that everything about this book is very Scottish. The descriptions of the landscapes they traveled through are beautiful and detailed, it was easy to visualize them, and to wish I was there. I adore how many different fairies are featured, there’s Changelings, Will-oh-the-wisps, fea and more. All the folklore was integrated into the book so wonderfully, the world is fantastical and charming. The writing is lovely as well, however the story sadly wasn’t as compelling as the word.

Reading update #2 // Indieathon wrap up

I had a wonderful time participating in Indie-a-thon this past month, sadly I didn’t read as much as I wanted to. But I read three wonderful books so I would say it was mostly successful. I discovered a bunch of indie books through this event that I’m so excited to read, that alone makes me glad I participated. I will definitely be making an effort to read indie more often.

I have read a lot of books since my last reading update post but I’m not going to talk about all of them. I have already talked about most of then so for the sake of length I’ll be skipping those. All of the books I’ll be discussing are ones I read for indieathon except the two comics.

Books I read recently

  • The Color Project: this book was so lovely! The main character Bee has a strong distinctive voice that was a pleasure to read. The romance was adorable, the whole thing was so sweet! It had basically everything I look for in a contemporary. Review
  • Vinyl: I really wanted a new series to read mostly one that would give me lovable characters and that’s exactly what this did. The characters are great, the world is underdeveloped but compelling, and I’m exited to see where the story goes. Review
  • New World Rising: I saw this recommended to people who liked Vinyl, I loved Vinyl but after reading it I felt myself falling into the dreaded book hangover. So I picked this one up in the hopes that another fun Dystopian would get me out of it. Sadly I did not enjoy this and ended up not finishing it. I couldn’t connect to the characters the plot was slower then expected, there was a few good things, but they didn’t seen good enough to keep reading.
  • Pasty Walker Aka Hellcat: vol 1: I needed something to get me back into the reading mood this was just the right book. I ended up enjoying this so much, it is extremely charming. I knew like nothing about Hellcat and now I’m mad this series got canceled.
  • Infinity Gauntlet: I am so exited for Infinity War before I see it I wanted to read the comics it’s based on. This comic is epic that’s really all I can say because of spoilers.
  • The Changlings Journey: This was an interesting read, I don’t know yet how exactly I feel about it. I enjoyed many things about it. but it took me a while to get into the story and it felt longer then it Review to come soon.

Current read

  • Children of Blood and Bone: This has been getting so much hype lately, a lot of my favorite authors and bookish people have loved it. So I bought it when I was at the bookstore the other week on impulse. I’m glad I got it. I’m halfway through and really liking it. It has a lot of similarities to other YA fantasies yet it is new and exiting. The characters are all interesting but for once it’s the story and magic system that have me hooked.

What was the last book you read? What are you currently reading?

Sky in the Deep

I am always exited when I find a standalone fantasy novel there is something so satisfying about a well done standalone novel. I am very impressed and satisfied by this strong debut. The writing is lovely I was enticed by every page, somehow Adrianne even made doing chores interesting to read about. There wasn’t as much fighting as I expected from a book about rival viking clans. But I’m not complaining because I think there’s enough and each battle epic, besides the story is really about the relationships.

Each relationship was beautiful, even though the book is only a little over 300 pages, the relationships all developed naturally and slowly. I really liked the main character Eelyn she’s tough and compassionate. Throughout the book she questions everything she believes in and the journey she goes on is heart wrenching. I sympathized greatly with her and there was quite a lot of unexpected emotional moments.

I strongly suggest going into this knowing as little as possible. I had forgotten most of the synopsis before starting it and I’m glad I feel like knowing nothing added to my enjoyment. That’s why I haven’t included a synopsis, all you really need to know is that this is a standalone viking YA novel. In a nutshell it’s about fighting for what’s right, letting go off prejudice and finding love in unexpected places.

I was given this title from the publisher through Netgally in exchange for a review.

Why I love Squirrel Girl and why you should too! 

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comics are one of the most me things ever. They have been a favorite of mine for a while, however I haven’t been able to find the words to talk about them. Today I’m going rave about this wonderful comic series and hopefully one of you will be inspired to read it.

Firstly let me tell you what they’re about, the series follows Doreen Green aka The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl who has all the powers of squirrel and girl! It’s about her kicking but’s, eating nuts and attending college as a computer science mayor. She has a sidekick named Tippy-Toe who is a squirrel, who has all the powers of a squirrel. There written by Ryan North and illustrated by Erica Henderson.

  1. They make my Hufflepuff heart happy. Squirrel Girl is one of the most Hufflepuff esc characters I’ve ever come across.img_5170-1 She is loyal, quirky, hard-working, courageous and kind. That’s all the essential Hufflepuff quality’s, plus she’s super sassy. She’s pretty much everything I aspire to be.
  2. She often convinces criminals not do crimes. She helped one get a job she, talked Galactus out of eating earth. She talked Kravem into turning over a new leaf and now their friends, he appears often in the series.
  3. These comics are the funniest things I’ve ever read. They have these humorous footnotes that often break the fourth wall, and add so much to each issue. This series never fails to make me laugh and always cheers me up if I’m down. They are so positive and fun.img_5151-2
  4. They don’t take themselves seriously. The writer is clearly aware of the fact that Doreen’s powers are sorta ridiculous and so they have fun with it, and embrace the silliness.img_5147-1
  5. Nancy Whitehead. Nancy is Doreen’s roommate is the best, she had a cat named Mew whose named after Thor’s hammer. She writes fanfiction titled cat Thor, she has been to Asgard and is friends with Loki.

I cannot say enough good things about this series. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comics are practically perfect in every way. Perhaps my favorite thing about Squirrel girl is that she’s unbeatable, it’s cannon that she’s beaten everyone in the marvel universe, and is one of the strongest marvel characters, I love that.  A lot of people think of her as a silly character while she is silly it doesn’t mean her victories don’t count. Squirrel girl is so confident every time she says I can do this thing she then does the thing, she also believes in the people around her and wants to give villains a chance to change. All of this is why I think her powers of girl are her greatest abilities, why little girls should be reading squirrel girl, and why I admire her so much and think everyone should.

“You could walk away from reading the book and say “that woman’s victories don’t count, because Squirrel Girl is a joke character.” But they do count! And they’re really good victories.” – Ryan North


Vinyl book review

 All citizens within the soaring black walls of Revinia have metal Singers grafted into their skulls at birth. The parasitic machines issue a form of auditory hypnosis called The Music, keeping their minds malleable and emotions flat. All artistic expression–especially real music–is strictly prohibited.

On the edge of the city, nineteen year old Ronja struggles to support her cousins and disabled mother. A chance meeting leads to her kidnapping by an underground resistance striving to preserve the human spirit.  Violently severed from her Singer by the brash young agent Roark, Ronja revels in her newfound freedom until the consequences of her disappearance begin to unfold.

The first in a trilogy, Vinyl is a story of loyalty, passion, trauma, human connection, and the extraordinary power of real music

It has been so long since I’ve read a good Dystopian I don’t read them much anymore, I’m glad I gave this one a chance. While it’s is naturally similar to other books in the genre it stands out, the plot is original the world is slightly steampunk and interesting. The steampunk elements are both a high and a low, they added a unique element, but the world is ultimately underdeveloped. There was a great opportunity to create a richly detailed steampunk world, maybe (hopefully) the next book will further expand the world. There is so few steampunk anything I would love to watch and read more in the genre, and I’m glad I found a book that fits into it.

The story was engaging and well written it pulled you in and kept you captive. Your given just enough information in the beginning to make you keep reading to learn more. Then the last half was filled with action, emotional twists and surprises. The characters are all likable and the romance is one I can actually tolerate! I actually enjoyed it there is undeniable chemistry between Ronja and Rorak and I’m excited to see their relationship develop further. Ronja is a wonderful, sassy protagonist her adjustment to her new freedom, and all the things it could cost her, was authenticity done. This is a solid dystopian, with a great cast of characters, that brings something new to the genre.

Narrowing down my TBR

As I write this my Goodreads TBR is 182 it might still seem large to some but this is the lowest it’s been in a long time, in years. I have been going through my TBR a lot recently and I think I’m finally done narrowing it down. I got less and less picky each time I went through it today when I started it was around 230. I decided that there was no way I was going to read all of 230 of those books. Many of them have been on there for years it was definitely time to acknowledg that I’m never going to read them. I thought it would be fun to go through what made me decide to keep or get rid of a book, and share some of the notable books I kept and removed.

What I kept
  • Fairytales and retellings: My love of fairytales is the one constant in my reading tastes I will never grow tired of them. If someone says a book reads like a fairytale or is inspired by them then I immediately add it to my TBR. Examples: The Shadow Queen, Tiger Lily, The Forbidden Wish.
  • Historical fiction: I have really been in the mood for Historical fiction so therefore all the ones on my TBR are staying put. They all sound appealing so I will definitely be reading some soon. Examples: Under a Painted Sky, Among the Red Stars, Code Name Verity.
  • Must read books: I kept most anything that is widely considered to be something everyone should read. Or that is loved by the entire blogging community like A Darker Shade of Magic. Other examples: The Book Thief, Wonder.
What I got rid of
  • SciFi: I don’t like Sci-fi books I want to like them but I can’t seem to get into the genre. I think the only kept about three that looked to good to remove, hopefully one of them will be the one sci-fi book I actually like. Examples: Red Rising, Ender’s Game, Zenith.
  • Books I couldn’t remember: If it had been on my TBR for a while and I couldn’t remember what it was even about then I removed it. I clearly was not going to read it anytime soon. No examples because I didn’t keep up with what I got rid of and can’t remember exactly.
  • Books I had already tried: There was a few books I had read a few chapters of but never got back to. There’s some I kept because I genuinely want to read but just wasn’t in the mood at the time. The ones I got rid of are mostly hyped books that I don’t think I’m going to pick up again. Examples Walk the Earth A Stranger, Tower of Dawn, Perks of Being a Wallflower.

There are obviously other reasons for keeping or removing a book from a TBR but those are some of the main things. Mostly though I just took off books that no longer interest me and I’m sure a lot of you are going to disagree with my choices, but I think I choose well. There’s simply not enough time to read every book I have to be choosy and not wast time reading bad or okay books. I only have time to read books I love of course there’s no way to know for sure if you like it until you read it and this is why bookworm are forever agonizing over our TBR’s.

The Radical Element

I was kindly given this title from the publisher through Netgally in exchange for a review.

To respect yourself, to love yourself, should not have to be a radical decision. And yet it remains as challenging for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927 on the steps of the Supreme Court. It’s a decision that must be faced when you’re balancing on the tightrope of neurodivergence, finding your way as a second-generation immigrant, or facing down American racism even while loving America. And it’s the only decision when you’ve weighed society’s expectations and found them wanting. In The Radical Element, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today tell the stories of girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs.

Original stories by:

  • Dahlia Adler
  • Erin Bowman
  • Dhonielle Clayton
  • Sara Farizan
  • Mackenzi Lee
  • Stacey Lee
  • Anna-Marie McLemore
  • Meg Medina
  • Marieke Nijkamp
  • Megan Shepherd
  • Jessica Spotswood
  • Sarvenaz Tash

I’m determined to start reading more historical fiction and more books with feminist themes. This book fits into both those categories and is why I want to read historical fiction particularly ones inspired by real women. Many of these stories are inspired by real events and real women. There have been many wonderful radical women who helped pave the way for equality, you don’t get to hear about many of those ladies in history class. This book makes me want to make an effort to learn about them.

I hope this collection will provide an impetus for you to be the radical element in your own community, dreaming big, loving yourself fiercely, and writing the next chapter of history – Jessica Spotswood.

I’m fascinated by short stories I love how a whole and lovely story can get told in so little pages. All the stories are about different things and different girls but at there heart there all about the same thing, girls taking charge of their lives. Girls who stand up for what they believe in fight for the life they want, and in some cases learn to accept and love themselves. Most of the stories left me feeling inspired to continue to make my life into the one I’ve been dreaming of, they made me want to be the radical element in my own story.

My favorite story is definitely Better for All the World by Marieke Niikamp, it has an autistic #ownvoices protagonist who wants to be a lawyer. I was blown away by this story and now I must read Marieke’s books. I also greatly enjoyed Daughter of the Book by Dahilia Adller it’s about a jewish girl who rightly believes she deserves the same education as her brother.

Some of the stories didn’t impress but I enjoyed most of them and would give the majority of them a four star rating. Overall I’m in love with this book, with the lovely stories in contains, and the brave, inspiring and radical protagonists that are featured in each of them.

“Respect, and perhaps, one day, even love yourself. It’s the most radical decision you can make.” – Marieke Nijkamp