WWW Wednesday

It’s time for the WWW Wednesday meme brought to you all by Taking on a World of Words

img_1384-0

What are you currently reading?

GoodReads Blurb: – …Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada, the last emirate of Muslim Spain, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Hassan has a secret—he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls? As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain with the help of a clever jinn to find safety, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

I’m really enjoying this book, this kind of mixture of historical fiction and magic/folklore really just speaks to me. I know some have complained about the pacing over 30% in, I haven’t faced that, yet, could be on the horizon though, who knows! So far it’s been really keeping me intrigued and entertained! (Actually, I just finished this an hour ago but I haven’t started anything new since then so pffft, it stays)

What did you recently finish reading?

I’d give you the blurb but I just did like two posts ago and I’m doing a review post on this, this week so I don’t want to be so redundant. Just know, this is five cups of coffee on my rating and shelved on my favorites list on GoodReads. It was amazing, I’m having a slight book hangover but knowing how much I have to get through, I have no choice but to buck up and move on!

What do you think you’ll read next?

GoodReads Blurb:

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

I’m super excited my friend’s FB Bookclub picked my suggestion for to read next, I got approved for an eARC for this after it was published, funnily enough, I had just bought it anyway, so, I suppose it was meant to be! I’m really looking forward to it, but I also need to get through six more eARCs for this month to meet some goals. Anyway, here you go, my WWW Wednesday!

Toodles!

Ready Player One Review

ringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-5

Hey Everyone! So, another review, I know, so many this week, it makes for a boring read. I’m sorry! But I’ll have a different sort of post tomorrow! I just really wanted to finish this so I could focus on my eARCs. [Especially Descendant of the Crane] Not to mention I really wanted to see what was going to happen next. I would say if I was giving it a harder look I’d give it a half instead of full rating on my last planet. And that’s because of a few issues that really just kind of kept jumping out at me. So, know, I enjoyed this 4/5 but I’m giving it 3.5/5 on this review so I can point out the flaws I think are important to note.

So here we go again, me being a cynic, but Parzival and Art3mis just didn’t gel well for me. I just feel like Art3mis felt more animosity than affection which is within her right all the way, but, it doesn’t make for a great romance when it’s like that through like 89% of the book.

Aech was definitely my favorite, I mean, hands down as their avatar and in real life, Helen was amazing. I also felt it was heartbreaking that in order to do well in even a virtual reality world, Helen became Aech and hid the color of her skin. But, the reasoning is sadly logical from the point of where her Mother was coming from in advising her to do that.

I freakin loved the 80s references, I’m an 80s baby which means my early life is plagued by 80s, and even now my hair naturally looks like I’m from an 80s hairspray commercial, which is…sad, but you know, what you can do. My nickname at Uni was Flashdance (no, I didn’t strip, I just like to wear legwarmers, probably could have paid off debt if I had decided to strip.)

But, let me break this down in my usual style.

Pros:
– 80s, 80s everywhere
– The connection of living a slightly isolated life made me feel for the protagonist and his buds more.
– There is a sharp hint of today’s society in that our world is crumbling around us and we are seeking refuge in the only places we can. So good job Cline, and this has only gotten even more realistic since published in 2011.
– The OASIS is awesome, and I love the idea of having haptic chairs that can move and the treadmills as well, it makes for a much better visual of what it was like when you were reading
– Halliday at the beginning was amazing in his video to announce the contest, it made me want to go watch a Hughes movie
– Art3mis really kicked butt and was super smart (as long as we kept her away from Parzival where she then became either catty or mushy and it was, see this listed in the cons)
– Aech is a better friend than Parzival deserves
– It really captured how helpless the poor would have felt and once more it made sense why people would run to the Oasis.
– I loved that the red button at the end.
– Ogden was amazing, he has a dance club, let’s think about that, he loves to go jamming and DJing still.
– Did I mention 80s references galore?

Cons:
-Parzival should have known how much the IOI were capable of, so I get angry that he put himself in such a dumb situation. This isn’t so much a con as me venting lol.
– Halliday being in love with Kira was such an eye roller, BUT I have to give credit, he didn’t tell Ogden or try to steal her, he just brooded in silence so that was nice.
– This didn’t need romance from the High Five peeps at all, this probably would have been a solid 4/5 without Parzival and Art3mis.
– ^ The romance also takes away from Art3mis being badass, and Parzival is useless in love, so, I’m glad Art3mis was stronger than him.
– We could have had more of Aech
– There were some distasteful jokes I didn’t care for.
– Uh…what was with very stereotyped and hyperfocus look at our two Japanese characters who we barely got to know but my god, Cline wanted you to be sure they were ‘really’ Japanese when they were in the book. Probably my biggest issue. It’s a vast culture, why pinpoint it to some small parts? Not to mention with all the Japanese pop culture references, there should have been more of them in general.
– I could have used more of Wade realizing just how lonely his life was outside the OASIS and what that exactly meant.

Toodles!

Off Planet eARC Review


ringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copy

GoodReads Blurb: In an all-too-plausible future where corporate conglomerates have left the world’s governments in shambles, anyone with means has left the polluted Earth for the promise of a better life on a SpaceTech owned colony among the stars.

Maité Martinez is the daughter of an Earther Latina and a powerful Aunare man, an alien race that SpaceTech sees as a threat to their dominion. When tensions turn violent, Maité finds herself trapped on Earth and forced into hiding.

For over ten years, Maité has stayed hidden, but every minute Maité stays on Earth is one closer to getting caught.

She’s lived on the streets. Gone hungry. And found a way to fight through it all. But one night, while waitressing in a greasy diner, a customer gets handsy with her. She reacts without thinking.

Covered in blood, Maité runs, but it’s not long before SpaceTech finds her…

Arrested and forced into dangerous work detail on a volcano planet, Maité waits for SpaceTech to make their move against the Aunare. She knows that if she can’t somehow find a way to stop them, there will be an interstellar war big enough to end all life in the universe.

There’s only one question: Can Maité prevent the total annihilation of humanity without getting herself killed in the process?

Maité Martinez is half human, half Aunare, a Latina Aunare who has grown up hiding her background and constantly having to cover her tracks. Even with life in Albuquerque being stable enough, a job as a waitress, volunteer teacher at a gym and a Crew that consist of some of the only people she trusts. Unfortunately, Maité isn’t just a half Earther/half Aunare, her father is someone that SpaceTech would love to goad into a catastrophic game of war.

Not only that but SpaceTech has a different plan for Maité, instead of giving her the same punishment as other half Earthers, she’s sent to the planet Abbadon. The question is, can Maité survive long enough to try and thwart SpaceTech’s plans, and will she be able to help her friends and family?

Honestly, I found Maité so relatable, she’s a young woman thrown into a world where she’s struggling to survive and that’s it, that’s her goal, sure, in the end, she wants to do more but at the very start, we have someone who is trying to just survive. Her Father is a very important Aunare but she has no memory of him after Liberation week (when all the Aunare were shunned by Earthers, but I won’t go too much into that and give it away). All Maité knows is that he’s alive out there and that her Mother and her hope to someday be free of Earth with possibly reuniting with him.

People can show incredible strength when faced with adversity and Maité shows just that, I was so impressed by her throughout the book, and I loved the people who helped her along the way, not to mention there’s Declan the human who she trusts and enters her life as everything goes crazy and then there’s Lorne an Aunare who she’s not sure how she’s connected to other than he knows her and is close to her father.

This has been my best sci-fi read in a while and I loved that it was not only YA but that Maité was half Latina, it made me so happy ❤

Erin does a great job of world building with Abaddon and I cannot wait to see who she expands her universe in book 2. Though I definitely would never want to go to Abaddon lolol. She also does a spectacular job of making Maité more than just a slightly ‘alien’ looking human, her body is different and therefore reacts differently to human things and that is a breath of fresh air as sometimes people forget their aliens are NOT humans. The attention to detail is there and I loved it. And you can’t help but feel for Maité for all she goes through and all she’s willing to go through to prevent a war between the humans and Aunare. Not to mention she’s lost and dealing with finding herself and being comfortable with who and what she is and the changes she’s faced with.

Trigger warning: Sexual assault, violence, extreme pain.

Pros:
-Kick ass Latina-Aunare protagonist
– Humanoid alien race that is still different enough from humans to be interesting especially in their internal workings
– Strength in more ways than one, not just physically but emotionally and not just from our Maité but from those around her
– Not all humans are evil, and there’s such a great level of trust between Maité and those that become her friends in New Mexico and Abaddon.
– Amazing platonic male best friend (Roan) who does not turn into part of a love triangle!
– There’s still the hint of a love triangle trope between Maité and two others if you love that trope!
– YA Sci-Fi (something we always need more of!)
– Some very cool fight scenes
– The antagonists aren’t there much as individual characters but man do you hate them!

Cons:
-Not enough Roan
– You may hate that there’ll probably be a love triangle
– It may be hard to read all Maité goes through (most of it is just pushing past physical and emotional endurance, which is traumatic for her and you feel for her)
– The Aliens could have been more alien but I thought Erin did well by making them human enough looking that you’d believe mating between species was possible
– Uh, there could have been more cool space flying but I’m not gonna complain -too much-
– You will have to wait until 2020 to read more lol

** I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review, and I truly did love this book and if you love YA/Sci-fi, I recommend you give it a try and hope you enjoy it! **

 

Charity Shop Finds!

I swear this will not be every Sunday, in fact, we’re swearing off the High Street until next pay period and even then we’re not going crazy again.  [Or so we say pahaha]

So what did we grab this past Saturday??

 

Mini-Spawn also got two books of her own, a mini guide to Venice [My Mother is Venetian and she is a very proud Nonna at the moment lol] and her free book for World Book Day which I’ll be talking about more this week.

So instead of having full sized pics like the other times, I thought this might be a bit less scrolling for you all! So! We did not spend more than 1.50 for any of the books you see here! Overall we spent about 12 pounds.

Mary Stewart writes the Merlin series I’m tackling this year (Arthurian Saga technically) but she also wrote mysteries and I really wanted to check them out. Probably about 2-4 of these will go back to donation!.

The ones where there’s no title that you can see are: The one with the geometric cover is The LIght and the Dark, the one next to it is War and Peace, we own this but the cover’s too pretty to pass up lol, and the faded blue one is part of a favorite saga of mine, The Forsyte Saga; In Chancery. There we have it! Books, books everywhere! I have no idea where I am supposed to put them all??? Not to mention I have my books from Amazon coming [This is not the usual, I haven’t bought new books in like years on my own lol].

Anyone read any of these or score any deals of your own you wanna share??

**Also, when is a good time to do a first giveaway, should it be here or on Instagram, should it be after a certain number of followers? I’m asking because I’m most likely about to have two copies of Priory of the Orange Tree and if that happens I might save it for a giveaway.**

February Wrap-Up

Ugh, February is only a few days shorter than the other months but it feels like it just sped by in two weeks, amiright?

So I’ll put what books I read, include the links to their Goodreads if you’re interested, that way that saves this post from being HUGE. Anything with () Means I don’t have a blog review/it isn’t up yet, but the rest do and you’re welcome to click on my reviews page to go scope them out!

I’ll also talk about my February book haul and my March aspirations, I’m finishing a book tonight so I’ll reserve the review for that until March 1!

What Did I Read This Month:

Stalking Jack the Ripper


ratingiconratingiconhafrating

Boneseeker: Here Walk the Dead


ratingiconratingiconratingicon

Hashtag Authentic


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Betty Church and the Suffolk Vampire


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Eden Chip


ringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copy

 

The Spitfire Girls


ratingiconratingiconratingicon

The Hound of Death


ratingiconratingiconratingicon

In Search of a Witch’s Soul


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Bloom: A Monster Love Novella


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Dead Man’s Blues


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

The Parlor Girl’s Guide (To Hell, apparently)


ratingiconratingicon

Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain


(Review to come in mid to late March)
ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Infinite Dark Volume 1


(No Review, thriller comic, good, but not much to it)
ratingiconratingiconratingicon

Seraphin


(Very whimsical children’s story/Children’s Picture Book, apparently someone else thought this had some Pedophile message…I didn’t really get that, but like they were just friends?? And also they never say that anyone is a kid?? Idk, maybe I’m misreading! It was just a man and his friend who built his house and a musical instrument and had tea together by the fire…..so…maybe I’m missing subtext, idk again. )
ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Star Collector Volume 1


(Western Manga, love manga but this one was missing some depth to the characters)
ratingiconratingiconratingicon

Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Storm Front


(Review to come tomorrow!)
ratingiconratingiconratingiconhafrating

February Book Haul

 

Favorite Read this Month?

A tie between La Belle Sauvage and Serving the Servant!

Also, The Priory of the Orange Tree showed up as I was belatedly writing this!

Highlights:

-I did my first Bookstagram Challenge! Posting my final picture after this! [#Februarylibrary19]
– I’ve hit nearly 150 followers on my blog!
– This is my 50th Post
– I’ve signed up for my first Blogtour(s) (Coming to you April-May)
– I found out I’ll be receiving my first physical review copy all thanks to Kal @ Reader Voracious spreading the word about an amazing book, Anna Undreaming!
– I got my first blog tag(s)! THANK YOU GUYS!
– I’ve started my spreadsheets and a new notebook to keep things tidier this week (you’ll notice Kal’s blog is linked right to those amazing spreadsheets as she is spreadsheet Queen)
– This month was a nice easy ride compared to next month!

Bloom

This review is going to be done a bit differently!

Today, I will not be giving a rating!

Why? I’m not usually a romance reader and I don’t think this should be constricted to a 1-5 scale as I don’t want that to impact you all on reading it [or not] so today, there shall be no coffee cups or planets!

Blurb: Holly Juniper had no idea she would fall in love with a monster. 

Every winter a mysterious portal appears in her family’s barn. Nothing has ever come out of it, and she barely pays it any mind. Until a woodland nymph named Nia steps through it and into her life. 

Holly is vehemently opposed to her sticking around, not wanting her family play host to a monster, but eventually, Nia grows on her in a way she never expected. 

Over the course of three months, the two fall in love. Despite them both knowing, come spring, Nia will have to return to her world through the portal, and she can never return. 

[Book One in the Monster Love Novella series.]

As I said, I typically don’t read romances but who couldn’t resist one with a female trans protagonist who is completely relatable as a ‘youngin’ in love? Not to mention in love with a Nymph who is the coolest looking nymph I’ve ever heard described.

On a more serious note, you root for Holly the whole time, she’s insecure, she’s shy and drawn into herself from the world and you want her to know she’s worth so much more than she thinks, and Nia does just that and it’s so palpable the way Holly’s insecurities and fears are written. It’s also written in a nice easy going style, you read it as if someone is orally telling it, the dialogue that you would hear from people of that age group (there is some profanity and steamy scenes for those who would like to know this). And I love how much that Holly’s family supports her and clearly love her.

I really want to hit home that I’ve been wanting to diversify my reading, I want to grow as a reader and so I was thrilled to be offered a chance to read this novella that gives us such a great girl as Holly and as I’ve never read a book with a trans character before (don’t worry guys this won’t be my last) this just felt like such a breath of fresh air!

If you’re into romance and wanting to read some urban fantasy mixed in with some slice of life (it’s set on a farm in Pennsylvania) then this is the novella for you!

[I received a copy of this in exchange for my honest review as part of #Reviewpit]

GoodReads Link Here

 

My Top 5 YA Dystopia Picks!

Here we go, guys! My top 5 YA Dystopia picks!

My Classic 5 Dystopia picks can be found here.

5. Across the Universe

ringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-5

Beth Revis’s Across the Universe trilogy has such a neat plot, I mean yes a lot of Dystopian novels have the same elements [that’s why I love them] but I loved that this one’s setting was on a freakin ship! Best of both worlds; more sci-fi and all Dystopia! My only issues were with the style of writing, sometimes it was just a bit too awkward how she wrote the dialogue and the feelings were a little too well controlled at times for our lovely protagonist. I would say this has the lowest rating on my top 5 only because of this, otherwise, I really do enjoy it!

4. Matched

ringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copy
Condie’s Matched trilogy is not only on my top 5 but it’s one of the few series that I love to reread. This is the one that Eden Chip reminded me of a bit [no spoilers though] where science/statistics is used to give you the most compatible partner, but what if there was a glitch and you knew? What if there was someone else who could have been it? I really loved how she set it up and it was so chillingly good, had a bit of an echo of The Giver in it as well to me. The turmoil the characters go through is always one that tugs on my heartstrings a lot and is one of the reasons I reread it. It’s got your typical love triangle trope but I think it does a great job of the nuances of feelings people go through in said love triangle. I could go on forever about this, but I’ll refrain and move on.

3.  The Uglies

ringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copy
I have loved The Uglies trilogy since it came out, and yes there is a fourth book in the series but it’s not connected to the characters…at all…and even the issues in it don’t really connect…so…I don’t connect it to the first three. Think about it! A world where beauty is valued over everything [sound a little familiar? Lol] and once you finally hit 16 you’re no longer an ‘ugly’ someone who has kept their natural appearances, you get to become a ‘pretty’ you’re made into a beautiful person…..so what happens if you don’t go through with it? Is there anyone else left aside from the pretties and uglies?

2. The Giver

ringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copy
I loved this book and not to mention it was my first dystopian novel and I didn’t realize it! I read this in elementary when it was still new! Now, I’ve not said The Giver series as I’ve said with the others because frankly, I haven’t read the others yet, this was shown as a standalone novel for so long I didn’t even realize it was a series! So! I have to get to that but, I still think it works great as a standalone. A world with suppressed emotions and colors, where people are picked to give birth, others picked to raise those children, everything neat and tidy, and then the role of the Giver is given to a young boy who seeks answers and finds out more than he bargained for. LOVE IT.

1. The Hunger Games

ringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copy
And finally, The Hunger Games trilogy. Another one I love to reread. I think Suzanne Collins does such a freakin precise representation of how corrupt power can be the most deadly tool of all. Yes we all know that, but look at it, it happens today, people pull strings, they show you news to distract you from other news, they use stories to cover up the darkness they don’t always want us to see. Not to mention I love Katniss, the love triangle in this is fun for me. Katniss doesn’t care about love triangles, she cares about food. Tell me I’m wrong. Not to mention she doesn’t do her actions with the intent to start a rebellion, it happens and she takes on the mantle, and not always because she wants to. Ugh. Another one I could gush over all day.

Okay, there you have it, my top 5 YA dystopian novels/series! I’m currently over halfway through Dead Man’s Blues so hopefully, I’ll be reviewing that soon! But I do have a lot going on this week, two more rehearsals, a concert, and then another concert next Sunday too, so, I’ll try to keep up every day!

Toodles, guys!