Friday, September 8, 2017

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

The Shades of Magic series has definitely made my top ten list. I've been reading (and loving) V.E. Schwab for years and she never fails to amaze. A Conjuring of Light is a perfect example of how authors should wrap up series, with heart, skill, and a touch of danger.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Popular Books I'll Never Read

I'll admit, there are just some super popular books that everyone reads that I have zero interest in, for whatever reason. It can make me feel a little out of the loop sometimes while everyone discusses said books with excitement and ardor, and once and a while, I do cave and read them (The Fault in Our Stars, namely). But there are just some popular books I know I will never even open. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

"Just like the good old days: marching together into the unknown, searching for missing magical weapons and risking painful death. I’d missed my buddies!"

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Best of Netflix (2017)

Like everyone else, I have a slight obsession with Netflix. I've binge watched a problematic number of movies and TV shows, and while it is difficult to choose my absolute favorites, I've attempted to narrow the frighteningly long list down to the best. (Although, I'm still upset about the removal of Doctor Who and Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue

Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Picador
Pages: 272
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Horror
Synopsis: In the Old City of Qu├ębec, Kay Harper falls in love with a puppet in the window of the Quatre Mains, a toy shop that is never open. She is spending her summer working as an acrobat with the cirque while her husband, Theo, is translating a biography of the pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge. Late one night, Kay fears someone is following her home. Surprised to see that the lights of the toy shop are on and the door is open, she takes shelter inside. 
The next morning Theo wakes up to discover his wife is missing. Under police suspicion and frantic at her disappearance, he obsessively searches the streets of the Old City. Meanwhile, Kay has been transformed into a puppet, and is now a prisoner of the back room of the Quatre Mains, trapped with an odd assemblage of puppets from all over the world who can only come alive between the hours of midnight and dawn. The only way she can return to the human world is if Theo can find her and recognize her in her new form. So begins a dual odyssey: of a husband determined to findhis wife, and of a woman trapped in a magical world where her life is not her own.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Road Trip Reads

You may be wondering, "What is a road trip read?" The answer is simple: to me, it is a book that is exciting enough to capture and keep your attention, that is fun to read and not too dense or serious, and something that could inspire you on your own trip. So what books fit this description?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

YA Tropes I Hate

Admittedly, one of the reasons I stopped reading an abundance of YA books is due to the surplus of insanely ridiculous and overused cliches that seem to appear in every other novel.  I think we are all a little sick of them.  

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Pages: 368
Series: The Queens of Renthia #1
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: An idealistic young student and a banished warrior become allies in a battle to save their realm in this first book of a mesmerizing epic fantasy series, filled with political intrigue, violent magic, malevolent spirits, and thrilling adventure. Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . . But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms. With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land...before it’s bathed in blood.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Martian by Andy Weir

Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Publisher: Crown
Pages: 369
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Science Fiction
Synopsis: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, Mark won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth. As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive. But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Publication Date: July 31, 2007
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 643
Series: Mistborn #1
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land. He failed. For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably. Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Postcards from May

Summer is finally so close I can almost taste it...or feel it?  Smell it?  Who came up with these expressions anyway?  But in all seriousness, May has been a whirlwind of end of the school year insanity and I'm a little shocked I made it through all in one piece.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Pages: 352
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Horror
Synopsis: When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the manor is cursed. The endless creaking of the house at night and the eerie stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too—questions that Silla can’t ignore: Why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Who is the beautiful boy who’s appeared from the woods? And who is the tall man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night… a man no one else can see?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

On Turning 17 (And Becoming a Dancing Queen)

One month and one day ago, I turned 17.  In the grand scheme of things, I suppose it isn't the most exhilarating or eventful age.  To me, 17 is a bridge--a gap year between "child" and "adult."  Whatever that's supposed to mean.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Publication Date: 1932
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Science Fiction
Synopsis: Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mental Illness in Literature and Media

With the recent release of the Thirteen Reasons Why TV series and other publications featuring characters with mental illnesses, one could hope that the world is slowly becoming more accepting and understanding.  However, I find that there is one key component that is always off gear in these types of books:  that mental illnesses are rare, that they are wrong, and if the character has one, they are broken.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Publication Date: January 15, 2015
Publisher: Tor UK
Pages: 329
Series: The Invisible Library #1
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission - to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book. 
Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested - the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene's new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own. Soon, she's up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet

Friday, April 7, 2017

My Heart and Other Black Holes By Jasmine Warga

Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 320
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Contemporary
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness. There's only one problem: she's not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel's convinced she's found her solution—Roman, a teenage boy who's haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner. Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other's broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Spring TBR

For as long as I can remember, Spring has been my favorite season.  Although this might have something to do with my birthday being in April, it's also the flowers, the rain, and the warm weather that has yet to become unbearably hot and humid.  Maybe I'll even take my reading outside for once...

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Publication Date: September 6, 2016 
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA 
Pages: 693
Series: Throne of Glass #5
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't. As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear. Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hello, 2017

Perhaps this would be more aptly titled "thank god 2016 is over" or "where in the world did you disappear to, Erin?"  But alas, no, I stuck with the more positive, generic title because those did seem a little long, I suppose, no matter how true they are.