Thursday, December 7

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger


Hello, you beautiful hoomans! I've been meaning to talk about exactly what blogging means to me for quite some time now, and this short hiatus I've been on has given me quite some stuff I want to talk about here. Instead of opening up a discussion of sorts though, I figured this tag would give me a good framework to work around what I want to talk about and so here goes! 

Thursday, November 30

List of PROs & CONs in Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

“I am done being careful. I am done being quiet. Let them see me angry. Let them hear me wail at the top of my lungs.” 

Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.


Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together.


Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.




Tuesday, November 28

Ten Books On My TBR I *Think* Will Be Perfect Winter Reads

Top Ten Tuesday = weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hello, friends! My question for you today is this: Do you have that one genre - or type of book - that you love to read in certain times of the year? For example, twisty mystery or horror novels for a rainy autumn day, or, for me, something with a CERTAIN happy ending for a cold winter day. 

Now, for today, I picked out ten books from my to-read pile that I think will work for winter. There are some mysteries, thrillers and horrors for those gloomy, dark days, but also some adorable-looking romances for the coldest days, as well as some winter- or Christmas-themed novels. 

Thursday, November 23

All My Negative Feelings About ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS by Maggie Stiefvater

"This is the way of our work: We cannot help but color it with the paint of our feelings, both good and bad."

Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one.


Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.



Tuesday, November 21

Ten of My Favorite Books I've Never Reviewed


Hello friends! Do you know the feeling when you are so totally in love with a book that you are left speechless? Or, rather, not really speechless, because you keep freaking out, screaming and flailing all at once, but you are far from being able to write a coherent review? Now THAT was me after finishing each of these books - no matter how much I wanted to and actually sat down and tried, I could NOT write a review for any of these books, because I found that my words couldn't do justice to how good these books are. 

But it simply doesn't do that I don't mention all these fantastic books here, SO I decided to make a post - maybe a series of posts?? - about some of the books I absolutely adore, but didn't review. 

Also, on a side note - THIS is my Top Ten Tuesday (weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) post for today, because I don't like the original topic.


Saturday, November 18

CLARE MADE ME READ IT: Dating Sarah Cooper by Siera Maley



“And I didn't realize it then, as Sarah and I left the parking lot and sped down the road in her little four-door, but I think that by the end of that very first school day I'd already fallen a bit in love with her.”


Katie Hammontree and Sarah Cooper have been best friends since the 2nd grade. Katie's welcoming, tight-knit family is a convenient substitute for Sarah when her distant parents aren't around, and Sarah's abrasive, goal-oriented personality gels well with Katie's more laid-back approach to life.

But when a misunderstanding leads to the two of them being mistaken for a couple and Sarah uses the situation to her advantage, Katie finds herself on a roller coaster ride of ambiguous sexuality and confusing feelings. How far will Sarah go to keep up the charade, and why does kissing her make Katie feel more alive than kissing her ex-boyfriend Austin ever did? And how will their new circle of gay friends react when the truth comes out?





Tuesday, November 14

Ten Truly Exceptional Books *Everyone* Should Read


Hello everyone! Today marks the day when I'm back with a Top Ten Tuesday (a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) post after not doing any for a few weeks. And y'all, I am so excited for today's topic! It's about books I'd make my future children or other relations read, but I twisted it up a bit, and will be listing ten books EVERYONE should read, because they are just so damn good

*click on the covers for Goodreads!*

Sunday, November 12

Interview with Emily Suvada, Author of THIS MORTAL COIL + INT giveaway


Hello everyone! I'm super-excited to present a sort of 'different' post than the usual - an AUTHOR INTERVIEW with Emily Suvada, author of This Mortal Coil, ONE OF MY MOST AWAITED BOOKS! 

                                                            

First, let me showcase what this beautiful book is about: 


Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?


Wednesday, November 8

Classics Mini Reviews featuring Books By Daniel Defoe and Shirley Jackson

‘I grew as impudent a Thief, and as dexterous as ever Moll Cut-Purse was’ Born and abandoned in Newgate Prison, Moll Flanders is forced to make her own way in life. She duly embarks on a career that includes husband-hunting, incest, bigamy, prostitution and pick-pocketing, until her crimes eventually catch up with her. One of the earliest and most vivid female narrators in the history of the English novel, Moll recounts her adventures with irresistible wit and candour—and enough guile that the reader is left uncertain whether she is ultimately a redeemed sinner or a successful opportunist. Based on the first edition of 1722, this volume includes a chronology, notes on currency and maps of London and Virginia in the late seventeenth century.

Goodreads

Honestly, Moll Flanders was so very bad lmfao. We had a totally unconventional female lead here, who 1) tricks men into marrying her despite her being poor, 2) doesn't give a shit about the rules, and 3) becomes a criminal. Umm, does that not sound great??? Welp, I thought so, but, unfortunately, from the very first page, Moll Flanders was a tremendous disappointment. 

Thursday, November 2

10 Notable November Releases You Should Look Out For


So far this autumn the theme was "spend all that you can afford on books", because there were so many new releases in both September and October. November, however, does not follow in the footsteps of the first two fall seasons. I'm only interested in four new releases, whilst Ruzi is excited for six books altogether. A lot less than the previous two months, huh? Anyhow, we ARE super-duper excited for these few titles at least, so let's get right into them! 

Wednesday, November 1

October Recap With Lots of Fangirling, Some Scary-ish Movies and Not So Fantastic Books


Hello everyone!! This is my second official recap in the blog, and, first of all - thank you all for the great feedback on my September Recap! I love doing these, so the fact that y'all seem to enjoy them makes me super-happy. 

Anyhow, October was a rather disappointing month, to tell you the truth. I don't think I did a lot of stuff, to be honest. Partly, because I've been trying to concentrate on my studies with more or less success. Also, with the weather turning colder and colder each week, I've had very little desire to leave the house and meet people. I just cannot stand the cold at all, AND IT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF NOVEMBER. *shivers* Speaking of November - THAT IS MY BIRTHDAY MONTH, so, obviously, I am pumped to start the new month.

With that, let us jump into this massive post about the books I read, the shows I watched, the music I listened to & lots of other things I did or heard about this past month. 

Tuesday, October 31

Survival of the Fittest


Hello, you beautiful human beans! Today we reach the end of Spooky October, and to commemorate this, Vera came up with a unique idea for a post- as the name suggests, we'll be pitting two characters against each other and then deciding who would win and who would die if they were ever to fight. Fun, right? We think so too! 


For those of you who already got the gist of this- please bear with us as we go through what happens briefly, and for those of you who know neither head nor tail of this, here's what it's all about! First we will put a bunch of character names in a bowl/ jar/ whatever- both male and female- and then pull out two names. Next we let the other person decide the fate of each character in the likeliness of a tussle between them. Simple, huh? 


Vera and I chose 10 character names and drew out couples for each other. We each then made the oh-so-fun decision of who lives and who dies. So. Much. Fun. *rubs hands together* Without further ado, put your hands together for...

Thursday, October 26

Rose-Tinted Glasses, Graveyards. and Lots and Lots of Tea in A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan


Violet never wanted to move to Perfect.

Who wants to live in a town where everyone has to wear glasses to stop them going blind? And who wants to be neat and tidy and perfectly behaved all the time?

But Violet quickly discovers there's something weird going on – she keeps hearing noises in the night, her mum is acting strange and her dad has disappeared.

When she meets Boy she realizes that her dad is not the only person to have been stolen away...and that the mysterious Watchers are guarding a perfectly creepy secret!




Monday, October 23

Going DEEP into the Mysteries Surrounding Elizabeth "Blood Countess" Báthory


Hello friends! Today I am here with another Halloween-themed post, this time about Elizabeth Báthory, aka one of the most prolific (yes, there's a typo on the picture, I know) female serial killers in history. I'm actually super-pumped to be finally sharing this with you, because I legit worked on this post more than I've ever worked on any essay for university. *shrugs*


Quickly, if you don't know anything about Báthory, here are some of the basics, the tip of the iceberg, one shall say. She's said to have tortured and killed hundreds of people, most of them innocent young girls whose blood she proceeded to drink and bath in to remain youthful and beautiful. I know, yikes, imagine having to wash that blood off of yourself afterwards. She must have had loads of time. On a more serious note, she is actually half the inspiration behind Dracula by Bram Stoker, the other half is, of course, Vlad Tepes.

My original plan was to write about various female serial killers, with Elizabeth Báthory being one of them, but... I kind of fell down a hole researching her. The mainstream media has always painted all the gruesome things in connection with her as facts, and I didn't know any better either. Then I started to look more into her for this post, and as soon as I dag just a bit below the surface (like, below wikipedia and the likes), I found information that seems to suggest that she was, in fact, innocent. 



I know, I know, that sounds unbelievable. She is positively notorious. She is even featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most prolific female serial killer, for fucks sake, and isn't that a reliable enough source?



Welp, I don't really think so anymore, at least not in this case. Upon doing some research, I found that the evidence against Báthory is VERY flimsy, practically non-existent, and many people, including numerous historians, believe that she did not commit any of the crimes associated with her. 

So, instead of writing about her grave murders, as per my original plan, I'm going to discuss in detail all the evidence, or lack thereof, against her. But, also the accusations, because it IS Halloween, and we all love to discuss murder, right? Then you shall decide & vote (!) - was she a horrid murderess, or was she falsely accused and punished? 

Friday, October 20

Coraline: Which is Better- the Book or the Movie?

    
The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring....

In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.

The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

Only it's different.

At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.

Monday, October 16

Creepy Dolls + Complex Heroine = the PERFECT Halloween Read, aka Charlotte Says


"It was at the toy room window first," she said. "Then it went away from there and then it was suddenly in the dormitory window and then your bedroom window, miss. It's running around up there, I think, peering out from all the different rooms."
"Estella," I said in my gentles voice. "Dolls don't move around on their own."

The much-anticipated prequel to the bestselling FROZEN CHARLOTTE, a Zoella Book Club title in Autumn 2016.

Following the death of her mother in a terrible fire, Jemima flees to the remote Isle of Skye, to take up a job at a school for girls. There she finds herself tormented by the mystery of what really happened that night.

Then Jemima receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender and she begins to remember – a séance with the dolls, a violent argument with her step-father and the inferno that destroyed their home. And when it seems that the dolls are triggering a series of accidents at the school, Jemima realizes she must stop the demonic spirits possessing the dolls – whatever it takes.



Saturday, October 14

The Most Authentic Portrayal of Mental Health in Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.





Trigger warnings: self-harm, rape, abuse, addiction, drugs, alcohol


“Don't let the cereal eat you. It's only a fucking box of cereal, but it will eat you alive if you let it.”

Tuesday, October 10

Drop Dead Gorgeous Book Covers That Scream AUTUMN


Hello everyone! I've been quite busy with uni and all lately, so I was really-pumped to see that today's Top Ten Tuesday (a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) topic is a relatively easy one - book covers that remind me of fall. As you may know, I am a HUGE fan of gorgeous book covers - I mean, who isn't!? - so I had tons of fun browsing through my "read" shelf, looking for covers appropriate for the topic, and then organizing them by color. So, let me proudly present you - ten of the most gorgeous, autumn-themed covers. 


Saturday, October 7

All the Motivation to Smash the Patriarchy in We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

In this personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists. 








“My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.” 

We don't usually review nonfiction on the blog, and nor do we such short books (this is an essay adapted from a 2013 TEDx talk of the author), but I feel this is so very important, and relevant even to this day- will always be relevant, to be honest- that I cannot not talk about this here. I actually have the compulsion to throw a copy of this in the face of anyone and everyone I meet, so yeah. It's pretty good.

Thursday, October 5

Breaking All the Clichés in It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

Audrey is over romance. Since her parents' relationship imploded her mother's been catatonic, so she takes a cinema job to get out of the house. But there she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. Nobody expects Audrey and Harry to fall in love as hard and fast as they do. But that doesn't mean things are easy. Because real love isn't like the movies...

The greatest love story ever told doesn't feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy clichés. Oh, and zombies... YA star Holly Bourne tackles real love in this hugely funny and poignant novel.

Received in exchange for an honest review from Usborne Publishing UK.

There's like 671943 things I want to say right now but first off, this book? You need it in your life ASAP.

Tuesday, October 3

Top Ten Book Boyfriends of 2017


Hi everyone! As per usual, Tuesdays are for Top Ten Tuesday (a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish). Instead of trying to list the qualities that made me love these characters, I'm going to share a quote by each them, so you can sort of feel the "vibe" of the characters. 

Click on the covers for the Goodreads pages!

Monday, October 2

New Releases - October 2017


Hello, you lovely, lovely human beans! Not to state the obvious here but there's just three months left of the year. 



Did you even feel September fly by? We did not, we really did not but here we are at the start of another month with the best of new releases handpicked just for you! 

Saturday, September 30

September Recap, Where I Share Songs, Shows and All the Books I've Read This Month


Original photo by James Pritchett.

Hello all of you beautiful unicorns! As you can see from the title, today I am here with a kind of post I have not done in a looong time - a monthly recap!! I know, I know, not very exciting, BUT I've tried & failed to be into these type of posts years ago, so trying it now - and being super-excited about it, too! - IS a big deal for me. 

I've been inspired by various amazing monthly wrap ups I've seen around the blogosphere, and I can't wait to show my own, a teeny-tiny bit messy version with y'all. I'll talk about books, music, movies, tv shows, and share ALL our posts from the last month + bookish news and a couple of truly-truly amazing posts by some cool bloggers. Ugh, SOUNDS TOO MUCH, I KNOW. But I truly put my all into making this post logical, clean and well-organized, so let's take a look at all that, shall we? 

Thursday, September 28

Mary Ann Rodman - Yankee Girl

"What a dumb idea, white people thinking they were better than black people." 

It's 1964 and Alice has moved to Mississippi from Chicago with her family. Nicknamed 'Yankee Girl' and taunted by the in-crowd at school, Alice soon discovers the other new girl Valerie- one of the school's first black girls- has it much worse.

Alice can't stand the way Valerie is treated, and yet she knows she will remain an outsider if she speaks up. It takes a horrible tragedy to finally give Alice the courage to stand up for what she believes.

Set in the deep South in the 1960s, Yankee Girl is a powerful, resonant and relevant story about racism and doing the right thing.

tw: racism and racial epithets used in line with the era and location

Received with thanks in exchange for an honest review from Usborne Publishing UK.

Tuesday, September 26

Top Ten #OwnVoices Novels I've Read in 2017

Original photo by Albertus Galileo

I know the title seems like I strayed a bit from the original topic - books that feature characters                - but, technically, I didn't. I think most of you know this, but for those who don't - #OwnVoices means that a book about a marginalized person (or group) is written by an author of the same marginalization(s). There's been an increase in diverse and #ownvoices novels lately - even though, that increase could and should still be much-much bigger - and I've read quite a few this year. 

On this list, I'm going to showcase my favorites - some are more popular, some are less well-known, but all of these are fantastic. So let's get right onto them, shall we?