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Month In Review | July 2016

Wowie, ducklings! Can you believe it’s been another month? Of course you can, you’re sensible people! I, the nonsensical one, on the other hand, am utterly and completely shocked at the passing of time! Yet here we are. Anyhoo, the books, that’s what you want to hear about, right? I had an alright month in terms of books, I read 6 things, 3 of which were actual books (or audiobooks, in my case) and then I read 2 single issue comics and 1 bindup. So it wasn’t exactly the best month, namely because I fell into the most humongous reading slump. But I’m slowly clawing my way out now and things will be okay (I hope). Let’s get on to the recap!

Books Read + Mini Reviews

DC Comics Bombshells Issue #1 by Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage | 4/5 Stars

That was waaaaaaaay too short! But from what I saw, I think I’m gonna love this series. I love the storyline and the art is excellent! I can’t wait to see what other superhero ladies show up!

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi | 3/5 Stars

Honestly, this book really disappointed me. I thought the prose was beautiful, but at times it got out of hand and overtook the story. The plot and the characters were underdeveloped and the pacing had a weird feel to it. Still, despite this, the style of the writing was beautiful and I do think Chokshi shows promise as a developing writer.

Hawkeye Issue #1 by Matt Fraction and David Aja | 2/5 Stars

This issue was pretty “meh”, in my opinion. They could’ve started with a stronger story to introduce Clint Barton/Hawkeye as a character. It didn’t quite have me hooks. It’ll take more than a cute dog to do that, I’m afraid…

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins | 3/5 Stars

This was a cute read, but by no meas substantial in any way. It was short and sweet, cliche and fluffy, but ya know what? I enjoyed it anyway. It was enough to begin to pull me out of my horrid slump, at least.

Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios | 3.5/5 Stars

This book was fun. By no means was it phenomenal writing, but it was fun. Demetrios does a great job of creating a spectacular journey full of trials and challenges and I had a great time reading about it. Plus there was a steamy romance! I can’t wait to see where the next book goes, as it feels like the story is really building up to something awesome!

Young Avengers Vol. 1: Style > Substance by Kieron Gillen, Mike Norton, and Jamie McKelvie | 2.5/5 Stars

This book was really meh for me. The art was gorgeous, but the story was really lacking and even kind of boring. It just didn’t pull me in that much and the characters didn’t have much personality. Sorry?

Challenge Updates

Goodreads Challenge 

Read: 55/86 books

Achieved: 64%

Timing: 6 books ahead of schedule

Debut Author Challenge

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Bookish Bingo

Second Chance

Set In Space–Starflight by Melissa Landers

Non Binary MC

Under 200 Pages–“Bridge of Snow” by Marie Rutkoski

Ugly Cover

Set Over 200 Years Ago–Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

March, April, May Release–A Study in Charlotte by Britany Cavallaro

Criminals

Metallic Lettering–Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Based On A Real Event

Book Toward Another Challenge

Green Cover–Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

FREE

Retelling–Stars Above (The Little Android) by Marissa Meyer

Set In More Than One Country–The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Characters Aren’t Human–Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Rec’d By More Than One Friend

Flowers On The Cover

MC Shares Your First Initial–Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr

Written Under A Pen Name

More Than One Author–Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

End Of The World

Number In The Title–Zero Day by Jan Gangsei

Nonfiction

Standalone–Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Audiobook Challenge

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios

Book Haul

Book Bucket

And Most Likely More To Come!

Blogging

Looking Ahead-Blogging

The schedule is pretty open and clear for this month!

Monthly Snapshots

for more, follow @thebookkeeper5 on Instagram!

Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere

My Favorite Things

  • I can’t stop dancing to Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home” and “That’s My Girl”
  • I’m also really into Ariana Grande’s “Into You”
  • I just adored the look of the upcoming Wonder Woman film from the SDCC trailer!
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Obsession Confession | July 2016

Hello, my lovely little ducklings! Welcome to Obsession Confession, my newest monthly feature in which I confess to you all of my obsessions this past month! I sure do have a ton for July so let’s get straight to it!

Book

Have I droned on about this book long enough? Yes? Well I’m about to blather on some more! Why? BECAUSE I JUST LOVE THIS BOOK SO FREAKING MUCH THAT’S WHY!!! In case you were somehow dozing under a rock for the past year, A Court of Mist and Fury (or ACOMAF for short) is the second book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) series by Sarah J. Maas. The first book is a very loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast and ACOMAF is a very loose retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth. There’s fey and hot fey men and evil overlords and magic and romance and adventure and asdfghjklkjhgfdsdfghjkl it’s basically everything!!! If you haven’t read the series yet, do yourself a favor and #justdoit. Also, if you don’t like the first book, try out the second because a lot of people who disliked the first book loved the second for *reasons*. Namely because ACOMAF is one of the greatest things since sliced cheese (and sliced cheese is pretty darn great because can you imagine having to take a huge mouthful out of a giant wheel of cheese? i mean, ick)! SO READ IT GOSHDARNIT!!!!!

Music

Okay. So…Confession time. I just cannot get enough of the song “That’s My Girl” by  Fifth Harmony. It’s just so danceable and full of girl power! I dare you not to at least bob your head to the song! I also love the melodies and harmonies woven through the song–I can totally imagine this being turned into a great acapella song by an all girls group!

TV

 

Have you ever seen CW’s The Flash? No? You really should (after all, I have been blathering on about it for a while now…). It’s an all around great and wholesome family kinda show for all ages to enjoy. If you have no clue what it’s about then allow me to enlighten you. The show follows Barry Allen, a young crime scene investigator who gains the power of super speed after being struck by lightning. It’s good stuff, folks, good stuff.

Movies

 

So July saw Comic Con come and go and with the passing of that major fandom event, we got tons of trailers. My favorite? Wonder Woman. This movie looks so freaking awesome and full of girl power! I love that it’s set during World War II too! That’s one of my favorite time periods and I think it makes such a statement to put a powerful woman in a time of female repression. This movie looks all sorts of promising and I, for one, can’t wait to see it.

Online/Blogs

 

So I decided each month to feature a blog or website that I love and I figured, “Why not start with the best?” And that would be Paper Fury, a book blog run by the mother of dragons herself, Cait! Cait is smart and funny and her blog is hilarious and heartfelt! But best of all is how Cait interacts with her readers! Despite literally having millions of followers, she still takes time to respond (in length) to each and every comment and if you’re a blogger, she’ll comment back with a lengthy, meaningful comment! Cait is just a great person all around and her blog sure reflects that!

Fashion & Beauty

Friends, Romans, countrymen! I…have discovered the wonders of red lipstick. Kind of. I’m still a little shy to wear it and I think my shade is a little darker than that in the picture above (which, btw, is a crappy pic but it’s the only one I had so I apologize). But I digress. I know a lot of women feel that a nice, bold red is a confidence booster once you get used to it. I don’t know if that’ll be the case for me but it did make me want to start wearing a bit of makeup again. So we’ll see how it goes.

Quote of the Month

“But books are curious objects. They have the power to trap, transport, and even transform you if you are lucky.”
The Reader by Traci Chee
(ARC Edition which is subject to change)
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Potter Week Day 5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Guys. I had a major realization yesterday. I haven’t reread Harry Potter since I was 11. To give you some perspective, I am 21. I haven’t reread the series in 10 years! I think I’m due for a reread! I do have the entire series on audiobook, but one major thing keeps me from listening to them all: they’re all on cassette tapes! And I got rid of my cassette tape player a long time ago as it broke. And I don’t want to buy the entire series on audiobook again from Audible as a) they’re exorbitantly priced and b) I’m not wasting my credits buying audiobooks I’ve already listened to and own. You may be thinking, “Lila, why don’t you just read the physical books???” Well, my friend, let me tell you! My physical books are falling apart. That’s right. I read them so much they literally fell apart. So they’re missing huge chunks of pages. Forgive me, I was young and did not know how to treat books well! So my HP reread is kinda doomed. Oh, well. *sigh* Such is life sometimes.

Anyways, on to the main topic of today. The above paragraph was basically one big long excuse to say, “Forgive me if my Potter knowledge is a tad rusty.” Why should my Potter knowledge matter? Because Shivalika at Whimsy Journals tagged me for Potter week! So join me while I recount some of my fondest memories of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix!

Potter Week Day 5

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Favorite Character:

Luna Lovegood

[credit goes to the artist (who is not me)]

To be totally honest, Luna Lovegood has an incredibly special place in my heart because she was the first character I ever seriously related to. Like myself, Luna is incredibly smart and sees things beyond their surface value. But what sets Luna apart is her unwavering belief in the unseen and her ability to open her mind to the possibility of the impossible in order to find the truth. This makes her a target for bullies as she is seen as a weirdo who believes the impossible. Which is exactly like me and is why Luna has always been and will always be one of my all time favorite characters.

Favorite Scene:

Dumbledore’s Army Trains

My favorite scenes in Order of the Phoenix were always the Dumbledore’s Army training scenes which took place in The Room of Requirement. I think part of why I loved it was the idea that all of these teens from different houses and different walks of life came together to work as a team and lend their own individual skills to a greater cause. That was just a great moment of togetherness that I always loved. Plus, it seemed like s much fun too, so that helped!

Favorite Trio Moment:

Reunion at The Gaunt House

I always really liked the reunion scenes when it came to the trio. They were always just such great moments of love and friendship. I like that in this book, we get to see the trio reunite in a wholly new place that they have to kind of learn the ropes of, that was pretty neat!

Favorite Object:

The Prophecies

I LOVE the prophecies! Just all of the history behind them and the idea that they’re captured in these orbs that the Ministry keeps “on file”! They”re just so mysterious. I’d love to learn more of the history and love behind them!

Favorite Spell:

???

I actually don’t have a favorite spell that’s specifically from Order of the Phoenix. I can’t remember learning any new spells from the book. How about this! You guys tell me in the comments what new spells you learned in Order and what they do and which one is your favorite!

Favorite Creature:

Phoenix

Okay, so I know the phoenix seems like an obvious, cop out choice, but I swear to you it’s not! The phoenix actually has great meaning to me as my middle name actually means phoenix and the mystical bird is my chosen patronus. The legend of the phoenix has also always brought me great hope and courage in times of struggle and so I love it very much.

Favorite Quote:

This quote from Luna Lovegood is such a great one (a direct quote that was taken from the book and made it into the movie). I have lost many things and many people in my life and so the idea that they are always with us and can never be truly lost is very comforting to me. So these wise words from Ms. Lovegood are truly a gem to me!

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What’s Up On Wednesdays | Particle People

Friends, Romans, Fellow Beings Made of Matter! I come bearing great tidings of great books! Gather round and gobble up these tales of strange beasts and magical creatures in this wondrous edition of What’s Up On Wednesdays! What’s Up On Wednesdays i my Fankenstein-esque mishmash of the memes WWW Wednesday (hosted by Taking On A World Of Words) and Waiting On Wednesday (hosted by Breaking The Spine). Now let us not delay any longer–to the fun!

Whatcha Readin’ Now?

Since I just finished a book last night, I’m not sure where to go. I’m going back and forth between The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons and Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. On the one hand, I’ve already listened to about 3 hours of The Bronze Horseman and I know I love it. It’s romance and Russia and angst and tension and it’s just so freaking good! But on the other hand, I want to get a sampling of Paige’s writing since I’m interested in her upcoming book, Stealing Snow. We’ll see where it goes, I guess…

Whatcha Been Readin’?

Since last week, I finished both The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins and Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios! So I’d say getting out of my slump had been good going so far! Both of the books were more fluff reads than “serious fantasy,” but they did the trick! I can’t say which one I liked better, they were both pretty solid reads. The Great Hunt is the first in a series about a fantasy land ravaged by a terrible beast and Blood Passage is about genies. So they’re pretty incomparable, lol!

Whatcha Gonna Read Next?

As so often happens, I honestly can’t say. You know me–I like to be spontaneous when it comes to my TBR. You know, the whole “young, wild, and free” concept, but applied to reading.

Books On My Radar

So, remember how above I said I wanted to get a taste of Danielle Paige’s writing? That’s because this week’s book on my radar is Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige, set to be published on September 20, 2016. This book is a retelling of The Snow Queen (and no! that is not the same story as Frozen!) and I can’t wait as that story has always been one of my favorite fairytales! This retelling has mental institutions and antiheros and love shapes and it sounds pretty decent, imo. But, hey, if you don’t wanna take my word for it, here’s the Godreads synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she’s not crazy and doesn’t belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.

Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn’t what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid–her true home–with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she’s sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything…including Snow’s return to the world she once knew.

This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.

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My Must See Movies | Late 2016-2017

What can I say? I’m flabbergasted! I usually am not that interested in movies (I’ve always been more of a TV kinda gal), but late 2016 and early 2017 is shaping up to be an astounding season for movies and a ton of films that I’m interested in are being released all at once! From cute Disney princess films to action packed marvel films to films that “look like a contemporary YA novel”, filmmakers are pulling out all the stops and they sure have gotten my attention! Here are the films releasing in late 2016 and in 2017 that I’m most interested in!

Moana

 

It’s the newest Disney princess and it’s diverse–how could I not go see it? How could I not love it? We still don’t know much about the storyline of this movie, but it’s got my attention. Plus, the animation and art looks absolutely beautiful!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

 

Okay, this one is probably the most obvious. It’s a new film in the Harry Potter world, co-written by J.K. Rowling. Obviously I’m gonna see it. But it does look like it’s shaping up to be stunning–in visuals and in its story! I’m so excited to see this one!

Doctor Strange

 

I’m a newbie Marvel fan, but this looks fan-freaking-tastic! It’s like Marvel meets Inception! Which sounds incredible to me!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

 

I’m also a Star Wars newb, but The Force Awakens was my favorite movie so far this year, so I have high hopes for Rogue One. This movie looks like it has a great storyline and incredible actors! I like that it centers around a female rebel too, that just makes my little feminist heart beat with glee!

The Edge of Seventeen

 

In the words of my fellow blogger Kat, “This looks like a YA contemporary novel!” It really does and it looks so awesome and funny and heartbreaking and heartwarming!

Beauty and the Beast

 

Its Disney. Its Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. How could I say no?

Wonder Woman

 

I’m also a DC newb, but this movie looks so freaking amazing! Talk about girl power! Gal Gadot looks like she’ll make one fierce Wonder Woman (regardless of what crittics say about her weight! ugh, that was such a stupid critique!)! I can’t wait!

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The Monday Musts | July 25, 2016


It’s Monday, Monday, Monday!!! And you know what that means, folks! 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

In all honesty, it wasn’t a super stellar week in terms of my reading. I managed to slowly claw my way out of my reading slump, but that meant I only finished one book. So instead of recommending a book to you this week, I’ve rounded up articles on the latest bookish news!

 

MUST LISTEN

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: man, with her set of pipes, Ariana Grande is shaping up to be the next Whitney, Mariah, or Xtina! “Into You” is another catchy song with a good beat and a solid tune, but Grande’s voice is what makes the song. She grinds and trills through the highs and lows of the melody, perpetually smooth and blemish free. With songs like this, Grande is securing her place in history as a pop icon!

 


MUST SEE



This trailer is, dare I say it…wonderful! Sorry to be punny guys, but jokes aside, this movie looks so great! Gal Gadot looks like she’ll be an amazing Wonder Woman (of course Lynda Carter, the original Wonder Woman, will always have a special place in my heart as she was an acquaintance of my mom’s)! On a side note, I hate all of the flack Gadot has gotten with people saying she’s too skinny to be Wonder Woman–if she’s a good actress, the part should be hers, regardless of weight! But that’s a side note. The movie looks incredible and is 100% on my watch list, especially after seeing this trailer!