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WWW Wednesday | June 29, 2016

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On A World Of Words in which we answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you just finish reading?
  • What are you planning on reading next?

Tell me your three W’s in the comments! Here are mine…

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi and I’m actually feeling kinda *meh* about it, which is a major disappointment. I mean, the writing is beautiful, but the story is kinda flat. Then again, I just finished ACOMAF and it’s really hard to follow that up, so it might just be me…

WHAT DID YOU JUST FINISH READING?

I just finished A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and ohmygod, guys. Talk about life changing. This book was 123,456,789,098,765,434,567,987,898,789x than A Court of Thorns and Roses (and A Court of Thorns and Roses wasn’t bad by any means, so that’s saying something!) and I’m still mind blown. I have a ridiculously bad book hangover and I don’t know what to do with myself while I await the third and final book. Who knows, maybe now’s the time to finally start reading fanfic to lessen the hangover…

WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING ON READING NEXT?

 I just checked out The Last Star by Rick Yancey from the library and I’m really excited to get to it! I loved The 5th Wave but wasn’t such a huge fan of The Infinite Sea and thought that the story got really convoluted and tangled, so I’m interested in seeing how Yancey wraps things up.

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Waiting On Wednesday | June 29, 2016

Title: Hunted

Author: Meagan Spooner

Expected Publication Date: March 14, 2017

Goodreads Summary: Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. 

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

So, I’m pretty darn excited for this for a two reasons. Number uno: it’s Meagan Spooner’s solo debut and I love the Starbound Trilogy, which she wrote with Amie Kaufman. Number dos: this kinda sounds like another A Court of Thorns and Roses, but a little more brutal and badass and I’m totally all there for that.

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Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

Well, folks, it’s that time of year again. And by that I don’t mean that it’s Christmas time (yes it’s you I’m side-eyeing right now, Christmas-In-July-Radio-Stations), I mean it’s midyear. And that means we’ve gotten a sneak peek at what literary genius 2016 has to throw at us. Now it’s time to reflect. I recently saw this tag done by Jessica at Paper Utopia and really wanted to do it! I’ve been searching for a tag of this sort, since it’s halfway through the year and I’ve already read so many incredible books. This tag was created by Chami at Read Like Wildfire and Ely at Ely Jayne (both of whom are two lovely booktubers you should check out)! Let’s just jump straight into it!

The Best Book You’ve Read So Far In 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas is without a doubt the best book of 2016 so far, in my humble opinion. Maas seems to top herself with each of her successive publications and this is making me nervous for the upcoming Empire of Storms because A Court of Mist and Fury was so good that I have no clue how she could top that (but I have no doubt that she inevitably will). ACOMAF blew my mind and tore into my heart, leaving my soul in so many pieces you’d think I was Lord Voldemort! I just–I can’t even…Just read the book already!!!

The Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far

If I hadn’t already given A Court of Mist and Fury the Best Book of the Year (So Far) Award, it would win this award, but since I did give it that award, I’m going to give this one to The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh, which was also fan-freakin-tastic! Ahdieh’s gorgeous writing blew me away once again and her incredible storytelling ability sucked me in.

A New Release You Haven’t Read Yet (But You Want To)

Goodness, there’s so many! But I’m going to go with a debut instead of a sequel and say The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye. I’ve heard mixed things about this one that lean more toward the good side, but still. From what I know of this book, it sounds like a cross between The Night Circus and Shadow and Bone and that sounds like something I definitely want to read!

Most Anticipated Release For Second Half Of 2016

Oh god, I can’t just pick one! So instead, I’m going to tell you my top 5! These are the releases I just have to have or I will literally die (okay, so that may be a slight exaggeration, but you get my point…)

1. Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

2. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

3. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

4. Replica by Lauren Oliver

5. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Biggest Disappointment

I was so, so, soooooo looking forward to Truthwitch by Susan Dennard…Aaaaaand it unfortunately fell short of my colossal expectations. I think the problem was that Truthwitch was massively hyped up for the 7 months prior to its release date. And not many books could hold up to that sort of expectation. So, yeah. I was burned by the hype 😦

Biggest Surprise

 I was so shocked that I actually loved Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry! First off, it’s contemporary, and while I don’t hate contemporary, it’s not my favorite genre either. And second off, this book/series centers around bikers. That sounded like a recipe for cheesiness to me. Yet…it was great! It quickly became one of my favorite contemporary books and I can’t wait to read the sequel!

Favorite New Author

 

Alwyn Hamilton is one of the most promising 2016 debut YA authors I’ve read this year. Her world building and characterization were both stellar in Rebel of the Sands and she told an interesting first story.

Newest Fictional Crush

Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. Need I say more?

Newest Favorite Character

Amani from Rebel of the Sands is definitely one of my new favorites. She’s tough, independent, and, perhaps most importantly, she’s flawed. She’s one of the only heroines I’ve ever read about who makes whoppers of mistakes. But she learns from them and grows as a person in a realistic way. That’s part of why I like her so much.

A Book That Made You Cry

Now this was almost a hard one because I am cold and heartless and have never cried because of a book UNTIL…The Anomaly. Or at least, that’s what I’ve started calling it because this year, it finally happened. One book rose above others to become The Book That Made Me Shed A Single Tear (and I mean that quite literally it made me shed a single tear–just one!). And that book was…The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh. Now, the ending of this book made me shed a single tear–I won’t say why because *spoilers* but the ending of the chapter before the epilogue left me so shocked and sad that a single tear slipped from my eye. I know. I’m shocked too. Maybe it was just before my time of the month. I dunno. But I’m hoping this whole crying over books thing isn’t the new norm…

A Book That Made You Happy

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan was just a really great fun, fluffy, cutesy read that left me feeling happy!

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi has an absolutely stunning cover! I mean, just feast your eyes upon that color palette of red-orange, raspberry pink, midnight blue, and gold! Perfection!

Favorite Adaptation So Far This Year

I…hmmm…I actually haven’t seen any book-to-movie/TV adaptations this year aside from The 100, which is my all time favorite show ever but which is also an incredibly loose adaptation of Kass Morgan’s The 100. So I guess it wins by default? I will say that I have read The 100 and the TV show is 100x better, in my opinion.

What Books Do You Need To Read Before The End Of This Year?

Of the books on my TBR that I actually own? That would have to be A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. I have never read a Schwab book before, but I hear this one is incredible. And you know what makes it even more tragic that I haven’t gotten to this gem? The fact that I own not one, but two copies of it–a digital audiobook copy and a signed physical copy!

Favorite Post You’ve Written So Far This Year

Hmmm…That’s hard. Probably any one of my posts for my bookish Travel Guide series. I love compiling and collaging photos and people seem to really enjoy having a visualization of their favorite imaginary places.

Favorite Book Community Member Of The First Half Of 2016

This undoubtedly has to go to Nori of ReadWriteLove28! Nori, who has come to be known as “blogger mom,” is such a wonderful member of the book blogging community and I love her to death! She is always willing to help and offer advice and she coordinates massive community events which especially help new bloggers get introduced to and integrated into the community. She’s helped me enormously this year and I look up to her so much! Thank you Nori for being an astoundingly outstanding role model, friend, and community member!

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A Court of Awesomeness | A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas Audiobook Review

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Recorded Books

Format: Audiobook

Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda

Running Time: 23 hours, 16 minutes

Source: Purchased

Goodreads Summary: Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

‘Scuse the French but Holy. Fucking. Wow. I just, I can’t even….I’m speechless. A Court of Mist and Fury (which I’m going to be abbreviating as ACOMAF from here on out) blew me away. I don’t know how Maas does it, but she’s constantly topping herself with each successive book she writes. It’s incredible.

Where to start? Let’s start with the characters.

Okay, so let’s get the elephant out of the room. Tamlin. I know some people were devastated to see the change in his character. But we all have to face the fact that grief and trauma affect us all differently. And some of us don’t react well to it. Tamlin was one of those people. I don’t think he acted out of mean-spiritedness, though, just out of fear. But that doesn’t make his actions any less condemnable.

I loved the growth we saw in Feyre and how we got to see how her time under the mountain affected her so deeply. When she began the book, she was weak and fearful and by the end of the book, she was a total BAMF (again, excuse the French). I adored seeing her come into her powers and strength (emotion, mental, and physical strength), it was truly beautiful.

I fell in love with Rhysand. First off, he is the sass master. But he’s also just such a good guy. He respects Feyre and pushes her to grow and become who she is instead of cloistering her. It warmed my heart to see that. And there’s such emotional depth to his character as well.

That brings me to the fact that Maas writes all of the characters–including the side characters–with such depth. They all have incredible, intricate backstories and authentic motives for their actions. I think the fact that Maas now writes such deep characters particularly shows how far she’s come as an author.

The plot was superb, as per usual for a Maas book. Maas weaves all of the story elements and mysteries and action and adventure together into a delectable blend! There was never a moment when I wasn’t on the edge of my seat.

Finally, I just want to give Maas a shoutout for writing a book which addresses/portrays the issues of PTSD, toxic relationships, and male rape! These are all such serious topics which desperately need to be spoken about and represented. It is so incredible that a popular, best selling author included them in her book and I hope this book gives people a platform to speak about those issues.

All in all, I loveloveloveLOVED ACOMAF! I now have a massive book hangover and would probably kill to get the sequel in my hands ASAP. If you’re wondering whether you should read this book or the series, at this point there’s not a doubt in my mind: just read the bloody book!

Jennifer Ikeda absolutely killed it as a narrator! She’s one of those quieter narrators who doesn’t do a ton of voices, but rather distinguishes between characters through tone and emotionality. I particularly liked her voice for Rhysand; she did an incredible job embodying his power and confidence and I could practically hear the smirk behind her words! Like I said, just a terrific grasp on character emotion without being overwhelming. I thought the audiobook for ACOMAF was absolutely wonderful and I’d definitely recommend the format!

Final Rating: 5/5 Stars

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The Monday Musts | June 27, 2016

It’s Monday and that means it’s time for The Monday Musts! The Monday Musts is a weekly meme hosted by Jessica at Lovin’ Los Libros in which we talk about our must reads, must listens, and must sees of the week!

Must Reads

Ah, my second foray into traditional comics and it was quite grand! I loved Batgirl Vol. 1: The Batgirl of Burnside. I thought it was very fresh, young, hip, and accessible to those of us who didn’t grow up on traditional comics. The storylines were fun and playful and the art young and modern. Definitely a must read if you’re a budding comic book fan.

Must Listen

So I’m pretty late to this party. Like, awkwardly late. Like, so late I pretty much missed the party entirely. But hey, at least I got here, right? If you didn’t know, Hamilton is the musical sensation that’s been sweeping the nation. Now you may be asking, “Lila, as a classically trained singer, how on Earth have you not listened to Hamilton until now?!?!!!” Well, ya see, I’m not a huge fan of Broadway style music and singing. Sorry? I loved In The Heights (Miranda’s other musical), though, so I have no idea why I thought Hamilton would be different. My favorite songs so far (I haven’t listened to all of the songs yet–BUT JUST YOU WAIT!) are “Satisfied,” “Non-Stop,” “Alexander Hamilton,” “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)”, and “The Room Where It Happened.” So far. I’m sure I’ll gain more faves soon enough.

Must See

Season 1 of Mr. Robot is now streaming on Amazon Prime and I’ve always wanted to watch it. I’m only halfway through episode 1 but I’m really enjoying it. I love the whole unreliable narrator thing the show has going on, but also as a STEM person, I love that aspect of the show too. Plus the acting is top notch!

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Sunday Post | June 26, 2016

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little. Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies. Link up once a week or once a month, you decide. Book haul can include library books, yard sale finds, arcs and bought books..share them!

THIS WEEK IN BOOKS

Currently Reading Oooooooh! *Squeals* I’m so excited to finally get to this one…

  • The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Books Borrowed And Bought 

So, funny story. I didn’t buy, borrow, or receive any books this past week…Oops?

READ AND REVIEWED

  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

LIST OF THE WEEK

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

1. By working a lot harder

2. By being a lot smarter

3. By being a self-starter

LINK LOVIN’

SUNDAY SNAPSHOTS

For More, Visit Me On Instagram @thebookkeeper5

PERSONAL AND BLOGGING NEWS

So my laptop’s power cord is broken and 2 weeks ago I called and ordered a new one and the person on the phone told me it’d arrive in 2-4 days. Yet…it doesn’t (*narrows eyes*). So I call the company up again and I’m like, “Yo, where’s the cord?” And do you know what the man on the phone tells me??? THAT IT’S BACK ORDERED TIL AUGUST! Meaning that joker had lied to me on the phone 2 weeks ago AND I won’t be able to use my laptop til August!

So, in case you didn’t get how I feel about this development, I am:

I mean–I just–

ARGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

So. Yeah. I’m a little peeved. But other than that, I’ve been just peachy. In good news, though, my new glasses came in and I ADORE them! They are just fabulously cute and make me feel really pretty! Who knew new glasses could boost your confidence?

In other news, I finished ACOMAF and asdfghjklkjhgfdsadfghjklkjhgfdfghjkl!!! READ THE BOOK IT’S SOOOOOOOO GOOD!!! Maas #NailedIt yet again! I think my heart gave out for a moment at the end, though, it was so tense!

Also, I FINALLY LISTENED TO HAMILTON! You’re probably wondering why it took me so long to listen to this cultural phenomenon, especially given that I’m a classically trained singer. Well, let me explain. By singing standards, the Broadway style of singing is considered “classical” as well as opera singing. So I did have a very small part of my vocal training devoted to Broadway. And for the most part it was fun. But for the most part I trained in opera. This was because I’m actually not a huge fan of the sound of Broadway singing; I think it sounds slightly nasal versus the open sound of opera singing (*cue shocked and horrified gasps of indignation*). So when I heard there was this new Broadway sensation sweeping the nation called Hamilton, I wasn’t rushing to hear it. I was slightly more interested when I heard it involved Lin-Manuel Miranda, though, as I love his other musical In The Heights. But I still wasn’t too interested in hearing Hamilton. After almost a year of hearing about Hamilton, though, I finally cracked last week and was like, “Okay! Okay! I’ll just listen to it! What could go wrong?” AND I FREAKING LOVED IT! So, kids, that’s your mini lesson on why any sort of prejudice is bad–if you’re so prejudiced against something that you’re not even willing to give it a try, you may miss out on something amazing! Lesson adjourned.

Anyhoo, I’ve babbled on for long enough. There’s no blogging news for this past week–not much happened, just the usual. Tell me all about your week in the comments. Have you listened to Hamilton? Do you like it? Are you a fan of Broadway? Ever been lucky enough to see a play or musical on Broadway? Tell me all about it!

Over And Out!