July and August Wrap-Up

Hey everyone! It’s been awhile, I know. I am finally able to type again, and I FINALLY *fingers crossed* got a place to stay closer to campus assuming the background check stuff goes well. Thank you to everyone who wished me well while I was recovering! ^^

I’ve got a lot to catch up on, so I’m starting off with combining my July and August wrap-up. After July, I finally convinced myself I needed to stop reading what I think I should be reading and just read what I felt like reading because according to the last few months of ratings, I wasn’t enjoying myself. I read only 3 books in July… but 12 in August! Let’s just assume there will be a review and rating to come for everything here lol ><!


July:

1. City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This was an okay read for me, but like I keep saying in my review, middle grade isn’t really my genre. I think you’ll definitely enjoy it if you like middle grade, though! →my review

2. The Devil You Know by K. J. Parker ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

In the Devil You Know, a great philosopher makes a deal with the devil to extend his life so that he may finish his life’s work. Hell is set up like a bureaucracy, and the devil is more like your average guy working at the DMV. He doesn’t seem that evil. In fact, the man who sells his soul seems much more intimidating.  A quick and interesting read you can knock out in a couple of hours. Highly recommend!

3. Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

3.5 stars. I don’t think I’ve ever been angrier while reading a book! This was not the fluffy, body positive book I was expecting, though I probably should have done my research before reading. Instead, this book is about the reality of being a fat woman trying to navigate through life. All Cookie’s insecurities and decisions she makes because of her insecurities hit a little too close to home, and I ended up so incredibly upset when I finished. HOWEVER, I think this is an important read because too many people just don’t get what extra worries people have when they’re fat.

August:

1. The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I’m going to have to come up with some sort of rating system that let’s me rate a book on enjoyment as well as the book as a whole because this was such an addicting read, but there were many things that could have been done better. I enjoyed the first half of the book where Rin is a poor dark-skinned Asian girl trying to make it in an elite military academy full of rich heirs. I also enjoyed the martial art scenes and Rin’s eventual “group of friends” (spoilers so that’s what I’m calling them lol). But during the last half, Rin served as more of a witness to another character’s glory and eventual downfall. I don’t think the ending makes sense as is. Maybe if it was expanded by 2-5 more chapters I might be able to come to terms with the end. With that being said, I’m still eager to get my hands on the next installment.

2. The Art of War by Sun Tzu ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I listened to this on audiobook after hearing that there were many references to it in The Poppy War. I wish I read The Art of War before because The Poppy War seems much more impressive now that I know many of the references. Also, I listened to the edition with Aidan Gillen from Game of Thrones as the narrator. Just imagine Littlefinger reading The Art of War to you. What an experience!

3. In Shadows We Fall by Devin Madson ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This was really good. It’s also self-published so I’m glad I read it! I was first introduced to this through Petrik’s review of The Blood of Whisperers, the sequel series to In Shadows We Fall. It’s an Asian inspired fantasy that features and empath prince who is imprisoned for sorcery. Not gonna lie, I was interested because of the cover and the prince’s name (Endymion like Prince Endymion from Sailor Moon haha…). Anyways, In Shadows We Fall features Endymion’s mother, an assassin queen. In the beginning, she is told of a prophecy that says she and her children will die. Another short novella that I highly recommend. I’ll definitely be continuing on with the series.

4. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I have no clue why I even chose to read this, but I feel like I gained some IQ points after reading it. It talks about human progression as a result of societies’ need as a whole to progress. Also! It emphasizes that humans’ ability to think abstractly and daydream is key to our survival. Fiction is good, people!

5. Wires and Nerve Vol. 2 by Marissa Meyer ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This was the last book I needed to finish to complete The Lunar Chronicles. It was funny and charming just like the rest of her books!

6. Throne of Glass by Sarah. J. Maas ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

Oh man, I hate to say this, but I liked this waay more the first time I read it. I’m trying to re-read the series before the last book comes out, but Celaena is so annoying. Everything is about her even when it doesn’t involve her. I’ve read about some pretty amazing assassin’s since my first read of ToG, so my assassin bar is set a little high. This was still a fun read, especially if you’re looking for romance in your fantasy! Also, I’m now team Chaol after being team Dorian because, Dorian, you had no business even talking to Celaena!

7. The Ice Dragon by George R. R. Martin ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The Ice Dragon is a middle grade book set in the same world as A Song of Ice and Fire. I believe it takes place in the time of the Targaryens. This book features a cold young girl who is able to ride the Ice Dragon. A new book for my favorite shelf. I wish GRRM wrote ASOIAF like this. It’s still lyrical and atmospheric without droning on and on about the history of the world.

8. One Small Thing by Erin Watt ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

3.5 stars. I had so much fun reading When It’s Real by Erin Watt, that I knew I would be reading their next book. This is kind of a cute romance with heavy themes. It’s about a girl who’s trying to move on her life after the death of her sister and a boy who’s trying to move on after 3 years in juvie. You can probably guess the plot, and if you think it’s too predictable, it actually happens. There’s just something about Erin Watt’s novels that make them so charming! I even purchased The Paper Princess for when I need another romance fix.

9. Nana Vol. 1 by Ai Yazawa ⭐ ⭐

I loved this anime in high school so decided to read it when I saw it at my school library. Nana is a coming of age story about two young women both named Nana who decide to live together. They are as different as they come. The first Nana is boy crazy. Her life basically revolved around boys. The other Nana is a singer for a punk rock band and had a long time relationship with her previous lover. The first volume is about the first Nana. I’m not a an of her character, so I didn’t enjoy this volume, but I completely adore the other Nana so I know I just need to push through.

10. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I DID IT! I conquered the beast, and it was amazing, and I am obsessed. OBSESSED! I obsessed about this so much a non-reader friend decided he had to pick it up and another friend joined me while I read it. I KNEW this would become my favorite Sanderson once I read it. The world building is incredible! I like how Sanderson goes into a ton of detail, but everything unfolds when needed. It’s a 1000 page novel, but the writing never felt like it dragged on. Also, man, Kaladin and Dalinar became some of my all time favorite characters. They’re the kind of characters that make you want to go out and do something good in the world. If you want to fangirl about The Stormlight Archive with me please do! I LOOOVED it!

11. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The obsession continues! I gave this one 5 stars, too, but I enjoyed The Way of Kings more. Sanderson expands an already large world in the second book, and Shallan and Pattern stole the show! Shallan’s magic is probably the most interesting magic systems I’ve read about. Serious question, though: how do you convince a stick to become fire? o.o I enjoyed this less because Kaladin was a little too angsty for me, and I don’t always like how Sanderson’s male characters fall for their lovers. I’m not the biggest fan of people falling for the girls who “aren’t like anyone else.”

12. Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

3.5 stars. I think if I didn’t have to read this before Oathbringer, I would have enjoyed it more. I read this right after Words of Radiance only because I wanted to get to Oathbringer. This book is literally full of awesomeness!  It’s about Lift, a side character in Words of Radiance who is being chased by someone named The Darkness. Lift and her spren are adorable! I want a spren just like Wyndle!


There you have it! If you’re wondering, yes, I am now reading Oathbringer lol. How was your reading month? Have you read anything I read? Did you come up with a way to convince a stick to become fire? I’d love to hear from you all again!

Cya! ^^

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June Wrap Up

Hey everyone!

I was really busy with school and work in June, but I was still able to read 4 books. I’m actually pretty happy with that number. I went into the month hoping to just read books for fun so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed by school work, and that’s what I did. I did manage to post a couple reviews, though!


1. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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I don’t know why I decided to try this one this month because I knew it would be on the slower side. However, I loved it and all it’s characters. It’s actually simpler than I thought it would be in regards to the world and magic system, but the characterization is probably the best I’ve ever read. I’m not as attached to the characters as I am with other characters, but it’s only the first book so I’m sure they will get up there. Here is my spoiler free review.

 

2. Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Not my favorite read this year, but it still has a really good message. There’s themes of feminism and oppression all throughout this book, but it was too structured and overall predictable. You can read my spoiler free review here.

 

3. America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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I finally finished it! At first I thought I would call this an ode to Filipinos, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a story for those who haven’t been represented enough. I feel like Elaine Castillo was trying to say, “Hey, Filipinos exist! And Filipinos can be bisexual! And not everyone in America speaks English!” AINTH is also riddled with the U.S. and Philippine’s intertwined history. There’s this saying in America that Asians are the “model minority,” and I think people feel this way because many of us are taught to keep our heads down and work diligently so we can succeed in this society. But that doesn’t mean that Asian people are respected, and I think when Elaine Castillo wrote our histories she was trying to remind us of that.

 

4. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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This is the third and possibly my favorite installment in the Wayward Children series so far. I swear Seanan McGuire has heard of Sailor Moon because a girl named Rini falling out of the sky to save her mother? Sounds familiar! I’m going to be honest, I read this completely for entertainment purposes during breaks, so I didn’t read it as critically as I probably should have. However, I have to mention how much I LOVED Cora, a fat and fit mermaid. Because of my mental health I have gained and lost so much weight one too many times, and I’ve always struggled with feeling attractive and confident when I’m bigger (like now). Lately I’ve been really working on the self-love thing, so I was so thankful to have read about a fat character who wasn’t presented as lazy and/or disgusting. I can’t even begin to describe how empowered I felt reading about Cora!


And that’s all the books I read in the month of June! How did your reading month go?

Cya! ^^

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April 2018 Reading Wrap-Up and Mini Reviews

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My first reading wrap-up of the blog! I didn’t read as much as I wanted to this month because I explored new bookish things, but I did get some really good books in! I read a total of 4 books this month and was pretty pleased with them.

In chronological order I read:

1. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Actual rating is 3.75 stars. I read this after not liking The Mistborn Trilogy as much as the hype surrounding it made me believe I would. I actually liked this a lot more than Mistborn probably because the premise had me more interested. I am all for deities and mysterious cities! With the being said, you can definitely tell that Elantris is Sanderson’s first novel. The characters are one dimensional. Sarene is the outspoken princess who doesn’t know she’s beautiful and who is “different from any other girl” the prince has met. And Raoden is the charismatic, good prince that all the people love. Going along with the characters, sometimes it felt like whatever the characters thought and talked about conveniently turned out to be right without any real reason. But even with all that, ah man, I was hooked! It was like a fantasy lover’s guilty pleasure.

 

2. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Actual Rating 4.5 stars. This is my favorite Sanderson novel so far! The world is colorful, the characters are more complex and often times hilarious, and the magic system is so interesting! The one character I will mention is Lightsong who caused a lot of late night giggle fests. In Warbreaker, if you die heroically you become a god. Lightsong becomes a god, but he doesn’t believe in gods! As a result there is a whole lot of funny, nonsensical gibberish and a whole lot of not believing in oneself. The only reason I am hesitant to give this novel 5 stars is because though I am now definitely a fan of Sanderson’s work, I still can’t get over his hand holding. He tends to describe something and then tell you what it means. I can see this being helpful for someone who isn’t used to reading, but this takes me out of the novel too much.

 

4. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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I absolutely loved this and cried my eyes out over it! It is a retelling of The Illiad from the eyes of Patroclus. You can find my full review here.

 

4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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This is one of those books that I’m proud to have read but will probably not read again anytime soon. I found the Bennet’s comical and endearing and Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s  interactions pretty addicting to read. I appreciate Jane Austen’s study of the human psyche and often found myself thinking how interesting it was that people still feel the way these characters do today. I also understand that Jane Austen wrote what she knew and her people went to parties and gossiped and sat around and entertained themselves. But I found this so boring! It took me about half the novel to get into it. I’m pretty sure I’d like other works by Jane Austen, but this was not my favorite read.


There you have it!

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Have you read any of these? Do you agree or disagree with any of my mini reviews? Let me know!

Cya! ^^