Mood & Music Monday: 10/16/17

Hello, friends, and welcome this week’s Mood and Music Monday! (Finally!)

Mood and Music Monday is a weekly meme I’ve started, wherein I’ll post a song and talk about how it relates to my day/week, as well as a few other things. (And, in case anyone’s wondering, this meme has no relation to Lauren’s [from Always Me] “Music Mondays.”) Feel free to participate and to leave a link to your posts down in the comments!

Here’s the update for this week:

SONG(S) OF THE WEEK

What are you listening to? I’m singing this song in vocal training, and while I’ve been listening to several different versions, this is the one I listen to again and again. Cecilia Bartoli has a richness in her voice that resonates, and I love listening to it. That’s the nice thing about classical music: whether you’re listening to it or singing it, it always makes you feel like a million bucks.

What are you reading? I’m still reading Always And Forever, Lara Jean, and Miss Peregrine, but I finished Bad Romance. It’s slow progress, but it is progress.

What are you drinking? Water to offset my allergy medication. This heat is bleh. -_-

Any goals for this week? NaNo planning NaNo planning NaNo planning NaNo planning NaNo planning. I NEED TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO IT, BECAUSE WE ARE ALMOST TO NANO AND AHHHHHH. I have not worked this hard just to give up on plotting altogether the month before NaNo starts!

How about you?

  • What song(s) are you listening to today?
  • What is your current read? Are you enjoying it?
  • Do you have any plans or goals for this week?
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#GetGraphic Readathon 2017: TBR

If you know me, you know I’m all about routine. I hate change and transitions, and I thrive off of rituals and knowing when, how, and how often I’m going to do something.

So I’m trying to push my comfort zone a little this October and read some graphic novels.

I have a few on my TBR, but it’s not a medium I’ve really explored. Then I saw Sam from Thoughts on Tomes do a video on #GetGraphic, a challenge where you can only read graphic novels, comics, or manga. Hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes, Kayla from BOOKadoodles, Kristin from whatskappening, and Adriana from perpetualpages, the readathon starts at 5 p.m. on October 6, and it ends at midnight on October 8. Though I have a commitment spanning the whole of that weekend, I’m attempting to squeeze some books in between.

Here’s what I’ll be reading. Wish me luck!

13615Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom (Death Note, #1) by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata (Illustrator)

This series has been on my TBR for literally years, and this readathon is the perfect excuse to jump right into it! I hope I like it. 🙂

 

 

 

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Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening (Monstress, #1) by Marjorie M. Liu (Writer), Sana Takeda (Artist)

This sounds so different from anything I’ve ever read, and the cover art looks incredibly cool. Steampunk? Matriarchal Asia? Sounds like a recipe for awesome. I can’t wait.

twilight_the_graphic_novelTwilight: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 & 2 (Twilight: The Graphic Novel, #1) by Stephenie Meyer, Young Kim (Art/Adaptation)

I know, I know. But the artwork looks so pretty and shiny and AHHH, I’M CURIOUS. JUST LET ME INDULGE IN THE PRETTY, OKAY? And if I end up hating it, that’s completely on me.

17929637East of West, Vol. 1: The Promise (East of West (Collected Editions) #1) by Jonathan Hickman (Writer), Nick Dragotta (Artist), Frank Martin (Colourist), Rus Wooton (Letterer)

This is supposed to be about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, only Death has gone rogue. Sounds epic, right? I’m going to try reading it. 🙂

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Maus: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1) by Art Spiegelman

I’ve had a friend recommend this to me before, and I love anything to do with WWII, so this is a must-read. I look forward to reading it; a lot of people say this book is a classic!

6369113Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor, Jim Di Bartolo (Contributor)

I tried to read this once before and ended up putting it down. But the artwork was beautiful, so I think I’ll give it another chance. Perhaps the second time’s the charm?

 

 

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Objectif Lune (Tintin, #16) by Hergé

Yes, I know this is in French. But this book was a gift to me from some friends several years ago, and I took some French back in the day, so it’d be fun to go back and review. I’m excited to see how much of it I can understand.

There are a few more I want to try and read, but we’ll see if I can get my hands on them. I’ll be sure to let all of you know how this goes, because I’m really, really excited about it!

 

 

 

 

Mood & Music Monday: 10/2/17

Hello, friends, and welcome this week’s Mood and Music Monday! (Finally!)

Mood and Music Monday is a weekly meme I’ve started, wherein I’ll post a song and talk about how it relates to my day/week, as well as a few other things. (And, in case anyone’s wondering, this meme has no relation to Lauren’s [from Always Me] “Music Mondays.”) Feel free to participate and to leave a link to your posts down in the comments!

Here’s the update for this week:

SONG(S) OF THE WEEK

What are you listening to? The queen has released a new song, and I LOVE its sound. The evolution in style reminds me of Bastille’s: different, but a natural progression; it still sounds like Banks, but better. I can’t wait for her new album!

What are you reading? I’ve Dreamland and A Torch Against the Night, so now I’m working through Always And Forever, Lara Jean, along with Miss Peregrine and Bad Romance. I’m a busy bee!

What are you drinking? Hot chocolate! And lots of water, because post-nasal drip is killing me.

Any goals for this week? Making progress in NaNo planning. The official prep period has begun!

How about you?

  • What song(s) are you listening to today?
  • What is your current read? Are you enjoying it?
  • Do you have any plans or goals for this week?

THRONE OF GLASS (Throne of Glass, #1): Review

Hello, all! This post should technically be a September wrap-up, but I’m going to skip that this month, as I haven’t made much of a dent in my TBR. :/ So I’m posting a review instead. Enjoy!


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Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 7, 2013
Genres: young adult, fantasy
Pages: 404
Format: Hardcover
Amazon Goodreads | Audible

Rating: ★★★


This is going to be another one of those not-so-helpful reviews. This book was fine, but, for me, it wasn’t fantastic. I actually don’t remember that much about it.

Wait, I take my first statement back. Maybe this review will be more helpful than I thought. Because I can’t remember much about this book, which means I don’t have many concretely specific details. But that also tells you a lot about my reading experience.

Given all the hype, this book is a surprisingly generic fantasy. The characters, the kingdom, the contest–it’s all stuff I’ve read before. And given how much people rave about this series, I was disappointed by Throne of Glass‘s mediocrity.

Granted, I may not remember much about the book because I’ve read the other four, too, and I read this a long time ago. However, having read the other four, I can confidently say that this series is engaging–just not in this book. Maas begins coming into her own as a fantasy writer in Crown of Midnight, and, by Heir of Fire, she’s hit her stride. It just takes time, and these books aren’t short, especially by the third one.

My verdict? If you’re interested in giving this series a try, read Throne of Glass without setting your expectations too high. If you happen to love Throne of Glass, though, that’s excellent. Because, in my opinion, the books only get better and more sophisticated from there.

CRUEL BEAUTY (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1): Review

I know I’ve been absent a lot lately; school has been drowning me. In the meantime, here’s a review! I hope to be back regularly soon!


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Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1) by Rosamund Hodge 
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 28, 2014
Genres: young adult, fantasy, mythology, retellings
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Amazon Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Audible

Rating: ★★


My review of this book will likely be (unacceptably) brief, because there’s not much for me to say. Just a fair warning.

I read this book a while ago, and I can barely remember anything about it. All I really recall is being fascinated by some of the elements of the world: a parchment sky, a world ruled by demons (one of which is ironically called the Gentle Lord), a mischievous, deadly house filled with almost as many secrets as its master himself. As individual ideas, these were unique and unlike anything I’ve seen in YA  fantasy. But none of them were very fleshed out when put together, which made everything seem disconnected and underdeveloped. If you’re going to give me a unique world, you need to give me the whole thing, not just tidbits of it.

Nyx has the potential to be an intruiging character, but she came across more as snarky than bitter to me. As interesting of a character as she could be, she alone is not enough to carry this novel. Her relationships with Shade and Ignifex (yes, there is a love “triangle,” if you can call it that) are incredibly superficial; they consist of clinging to Shade and engaging in “witty” banter with Ignifex, the latter of which is so underdeveloped I never really saw him as a love interest in the first place. He read like a reluctant cardboard cutout of a villain.

Also, I don’t remember much about the twist–only that it confused me a lot and left me thinking one word: anticlimactic.

I’m not very familiar with Greek mythology this novel is supposedly based on, so perhaps  I cannot fully appreciate this adaption. But, to me, Cruel Beauty read like a hodgepodge (I’ll refrain from making an author-related joke here), that’s more unsatisfying than it is original.

Mood & Music Monday: 9/11/17 + SEPTEMBER TBR

Hello, friends! I am still alive! I’ve just been under the radar because of school. :/ But I’m trying to get back into things. So welcome this week’s Mood and Music Monday!

Mood and Music Monday is a weekly meme I’ve started, wherein I’ll post a song and talk about how it relates to my day/week, as well as a few other things. (And, in case anyone’s wondering, this meme has no relation to Lauren’s [from Always Me] “Music Mondays.”) Feel free to participate and to leave a link to your posts down in the comments!

Here’s the update for this week:

SONG(S) OF THE WEEK

What are you listening to? I’ve been listening to this guy a lot in anticipation for fall, but “King of Leaves,” in particular, has been repeat. I just love the way it sounds.

What are you reading? I’ve finished Empire of Storms. And I finally found my copy of An Ember in the Ashes after losing it for a few weeks, so I’m still working my way through that and Sarah Dessen’s Dreamland.

What are you drinking? Kombuchaaaaaaaaaaaa. It’s been so warm here lately! (Why do you hate us, September??)

Any goals for this week? Updating this blog. I mean, really.

How about you?

  • What song(s) are you listening to today?
  • What is your current read? Are you enjoying it?
  • Do you have any plans or goals for this week?

Books I Plan to Read This Month

 

20560137An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1) by Sabaa Tahir

I’ve been meaning to finish this forever, and now that I finally found my copy, I can!

 

 

 

 

 

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A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2) by Sabaa Tahir

Right after EMBER, I’m diving into this! I hope it feeds my fantasy fix; almost all the other novels on my TBR are contemporaries/historical fiction for book research.

 

 

 

 

480204The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

This is for NaNoWriMo book research, seeing as my book is supposed to be a Phantom retelling. I’ve loved the musical my whole life, so I can’t wait to read this!

 

 

 

 

 

22752127The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

This looked interesting when I picked it up at the library, so I checked it out. I guess we’ll see.

 

 

 

 

29749107Ahsoka (Star Wars Disney Canon Novel) by E.K. Johnston

I love Star Wars and Ahsoka, I’ve heard great things about this novel, and I have my eye on this author, so I’m giving this book a shot.

 

 

 

 

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Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick

This is a reread I’m doing for book research. Needed some good examples of unhealthy paranormal romances in YA fiction, so I’m picking this book up.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Six books for September. Can I do it?

What about you?

  • How many books will you be reading this month?
  • Which of those books are you most looking forward to reading?

NIGHT (The Night Trilogy, #1): Review

1617Night (The Night Trilogy, #1) by Elie Wiesel
Published by Hill and Wang on January 16, 2006 (first published in 1958)
Genres: memoir, nonfiction, historical
Pages: 120
Format: Paperback
Amazon Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Audible

Rating: ★★★★★


This is not really going to be a review, per se. Because I don’t feel this is a novel that can be rated on the typical scale, seeing as it’s somebody’s story, a part of somebody’s life. And I feel strange trying to rank or rate that.

This is not really going to be a review because I’m not rating its prose, its atmosphere, or its storytelling component. All of those elements are here, and they are fantastically written, but this book is not here as entertainment. Night is a reminder–the still, small solitary voice that echoes in the wide, dark room of our world. And as Wiesel tells his story of being kept in a ghetto, of surviving Auschwitz with all its shadows and flames and hunger, of marching in the snow with a bleeding foot, it’s impossible not to listen.

We live in a time where events like the Holocaust and the terror of WWII are reduced to pages in a history textbook and slides on PowerPoints. For those of us who never experienced such events ourselves, it is terrifyingly easy to forget the pain and suffering that occurred. But Wiesel spreads awareness by sharing his experiences very intimately, without exploiting those experiences.

This book is not propaganda. It is a testament–and a warning to the world, told through the eyes of a teenager who was persecuted solely for his heritage. It’s a story that’s impossible to forget, which is crucial if we want to prevent such things from happening again. This just as heart-wrenching as it is important. It’s a difficult read, but a vital one. Because shame on us the day we ever forget.