fun

Obsession Confession | Dear White People, Put Wax Tarts in Your Castle on the Hill

Hey, y’all! Another week has sped by and we’ve come, yet again, to the time for your favorite segment of the week–Obsession Confession! Happy belated Easted to those who celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful holiday! Well, let’s not delay any longer! It’s time for me to “confess” all of my newest obsssions!

Music

I feel 100% certain that I am the last person on Earth to discover Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill.” But I did discover it eventually, which is the point! And once I heard it, I fell in love, of course!

Movies/TV/Trailers

Sense8 Season 2’s trailer was released and I am ridiculously excited! Sense8 was my favorite show of 2015 and after a two year wait, I am beyond ready to find out what’s going to happen to all of the sensates!

In other news, the Thor: Ragnorak trailer also dropped! It’s hilariously and delightfully 80s, down to the costuming and music. I have yet to watch any of the Thor movies, but I can still appreciate how exciting and funny this trailer is!

But wait! there’s more! Just the other day, we finally got a teaser trailer for The Last Jedi! Of course, the internet promptly exploded. The trailer has reignited my newfound love of Star Wars and has me buzzing with excitement for this winter!

Aaaand I’m still not done! Netflix’s new series Dear White People (based on the movie) got a trailer and, damn, it is on point! I can already tell that this show is gonna be hit with me and I’m hoping and praying others will put their judgments aside and give the show a try.

Other Stuff

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I’ve graduated from bookish themed candles up to bookish themed wax tarts! I decided I wanted to give wax tarts as try as they’re a cheaper addiction i the long run, so for Easter, my mom got me a tart burner and some wax tarts themed around Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones! The tarts smell absolutely heavenly and I ca’t wait to melt them!

News

The big news of the week was that Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle is coming to the silver screen! That’s right, folks, it’s being adapted for TV!

ALSO! The cover for Leigh Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales And Dangerous Magic was revealed and it is gorgeousThe Language of Thorns is a collection of fairytales from the grishaverse illustrated by Sarah Kipin.

So…erm…Jude Law will be playing a young Albus Dumbledore in the Fantastic Bests And Where To Find Them franchise? I’m not really sure how I feel about this…I’ve only seen Jude Law in that really kooky adaptation of Sherlock Holmes which starred Robert Downey Jr., and Law’s performance was…kinda weird? So yeah, I’m not totally on board with him playing Dumbledore, but we’ll see I guess!

Lila, reviews

Diabolically Delightful | Five Reasons To Read…The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

26836910Title: The Diabolic

Author: S.J. Kincaid

Narrator: Candace Thaxton

Running Time: 12 hours, 30 minutes

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Summary: Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…

Hey, y’all! It’s Lila and today I’m here to share my thoughts on The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid with you! Despite the fact that it took me a eternity to finish this book due to my book slump, I really did love it! The Diabolic is one heck of a wild ride, filled with twists and turns, suspense, intrigue, and romance! So without any further ado, here are five things I loved about The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid…

1. Et tu, Brute?

The Diabolic‘s the name, backstabbing’s the game! The Diabolic is all about politics and deceit and betrayal and it’s absolutely fascinating to watch these elements unfold! Everyone is playing a power game and you realize pretty quickly that there’s no character you can trust. If you love the intricacies of politics, this is the book for you!

2. Love Or Lies?

I loved how, to the very last word of the book, Kincaid has you questioning almost all of the relationships that the characters form. You never know if characters are allies or enemies. The only character you can be certain of is Nemesis, because you are inside her head. But when it comes to the relationships Nemesis forms, you really don’t know how the other person truly feels. Plus, the relationships change at the whims of characters’ schemes, adding an additional layer of complexity. The intricacy of all of the relationships between characters and how the characters manipulate the threads connecting them to each other is so interesting.

3. Catching Feelings

I adored the characters! In particular, I loved Nemesis and Tyrus! Nemesis was so strong and I loved how we saw that while the world thought she was just some emotionless creature, she really had such depth of emotion and love. One of the things I like about Nemesis is that she’s a dynamic character. We watch her constantly growing, changing, and evolving on the page. She begins the book one way and ends the book a different person.

And Tyrus! *Swoon*! I loved him! He was so intelligent and cunning and calculating. I love how he was a well-rounded love interest, with his own motives (some of which we know and some of which we may not know). I also liked how we saw that Tyrus wanted change and wanted to do right by his people, but he was also willing to be ruthless in order to get just that. It brought up the great, old moral question: how much bad are you willing to do for the greater good and do the ends justify the means? Further, I liked how Kincaid made us question Tyrus right up to the last word! We’re lead to always feel some unease about his character and I like that we never know whether or not he’s truly on Nemesis’s side.

4. A Galaxy Far Away

The world was absolutely fascinatingThe Diabolic is set far in the distant future, presumably in a different galaxy. But Kincaid doesn’t just build an interesting setting–she also has created a fascinating society, one in which gods are worshipped and knowledge is banned. In many ways, though the society of The Diabolic has progressed technologically, they have regressed in culture and attitude, creating a fascinating dynamic. I could study this world all day long and never get bored and that’s what shows me that Kincaid has done not just a mere good job in world building, but a great one!

5. Choose Your Own Adventure

The Diabolic was originally intended to be a standalone and can be read as such. It’s not like other “standalone” books where there’s an open ending. Instead, the end of The Diabolic wraps up all of the threads of the story! Or you can read The Diabolic as the first installment in a series, as the publisher bought two more books following the same characters! It’s completely up to you!

Juuuust In Case, Some Things That Might Make You Say “No Way!”…

  • There is a short scene of attempted sexual assault.
  • There is a lot of graphic violence in this book. A lot.
  • There is a single diverse character, a lesbian side character.  There are two problems that I found with the representation in The Diabolic, although please note that I am a heterosexual, cisgender female and therefore am not the best person to speak on this. That being said, I feel like if the representation was poor enough that even I, a heterosexual, cisgender reviewer, notice it, then it’s probably really problematic. Okay, so I’ll move on to telling you the two issues I had. First of all, the lesbian character’s identity is used as a plot point and glossed over as simply “unrequited love” that Nemesis, the heterosexual, cisgender main character,  now awkwardly “has to deal with.” That’s my first problem, which leads into my second problem which is that at the end, Kincaid kills off the lesbian character as a way of catalyzing the actions of Nemesis, the cisgender, heterosexual protagonist. To me, it felt cheap to first use the lesbian character’s identity as a plot twist and then to (pretty promptly) just kill them off. That’s just me, though.

So all in all, I really enjoyed The Diabolic and I can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon for our cast of characters!

Thoughts In A Gif

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About Me, fun, Lila

Lila Does The “Anything But Books” Tag

I’ve seen this tag floating around and I figured, since it’s been a while since I’ve made any posts with fun fun facts about me, I’d jump on this tag! Now, I must warn you…what you are about to read is very, very nerdy. You have been warned! Now let’s get this show on the road!

1. Name a cartoon(s) that you love.

Uh oh, it’s already confession time…My confession is that sadly, I’ve never really liked cartoons, save for Disney movies, which I’m not sure if those count? If they do, then my favorite Disney movies are Mulan and Pocahontas.

2. What is your favorite song right now.

I’ve had “Human Touch” by Betty Who on repeat for the past few weeks and, miraculously, I’m still not sick of it!

3. What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)?

I could spend ages just singing, making art, learning new skills, and/or socializing!

4. What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

Something that everyone (even my irl friends) save for my mom seems surprised by is that I enjoy listening to hip hop and rap, especially from 90s artists like Tupac, Arrested Development, and Digable Planets. I think this surprises people because I’m an opera and jazz/blues singer, so people think I only like classical music. But, no. I like all music, even rap!

5. What is something unnecessarily specific you like to learn about?

Anything science related! I love any and every branch of science and I love learning new science stuff! I can’t help it–I’m a nerd!

6. What is something unusual you know how to do?

I know how to do the lab parts of a basic paternity test, as well as how to analyze the raw data results of the test. Ya know, swab, centrifuge, gel electrophoresis, analyze gel? We did a live lab on how to do it in my IB Biology class in high school…

7. Name something you’ve made in the last year?

My long term project that I began in about February of this year is my journal. It’s a work in progress, but I’m really proud of how it’s coming along so far.

8. What is your most recent personal project?

Myself? Hah! I kid…sort of. I am working on being a bit more organized and put together.

9. Tell us something you think about often.

I often think about the physics of how the universe began and about uniting quantum mechanics and relativity.

10. Give us something that’s your favorite, but make it something oddly specific.

I love the feeling of singing a really heartfelt song–and, for me, there is a very specific physical feeling when I do this. I’ll sing a really emotionally pure sequence and I feel something in my chest, right above my stomach, pang and leap, like my heart is flying. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but I know for sure the people who are musicians and who consider music more than a hobby can relate to what I’m talking about.

So Those Are All The Quirky Facts About Me That You’re Getting Today! Thanks For Sticking Around! And Tell Me An Oddly Specific Favorite Thing Of Yours In The Comments! SMuch Love And TTYL! 💗

 

Uncategorized

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer Blog Tour | Mood Board + GIVEAWAY!

Hey, y’all, it’s Lila and today I’m bringing y’all something special! A mood board for Lexa Hillyer’s new book, Spindle Fire (in stores now!), and a GIVEAWAY (US ONLY–sorry international peeps)! Lexa’s newest book is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, which I think is really nice because we haven’t seen many retellings of that tale. The book has magic and fae and sisterly love–so, ya know, basically everything you need for a good story! So check out my mood board for Spindle Fire and the other tour stops and then hurry on over to your local bookshop and grab a copy! You won’t regret it!

Spindle Fire Mood Board

BeFunky Collage

About Spindle Fire

30163661Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.

Spindle Fire is the first book in a lush fantasy duology set in the dwindling, deliciously corrupt world of the fae and featuring two truly unforgettable heroines.

Amazon | B&N  

About Lexa Hillyer

unnamedLexa Hillyer is the co-founder of Paper Lantern Lit, former YA editor, and author of Proof of Forever. Lexa is also an award-winning poet: Her first collection, Acquainted with the Cold, won the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize as well as the 2012 Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Reviews. Her poetry has been anthologized in Best New Poets 2012, and has appeared in several journals. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their daughter.

Website | Twitter Instagram

THE GIVEAWAY!

Enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 finished copies of SPINDLE FIRE (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For More, Visit The Other Tour Stops:

4/3: Lost In Lit – Bookish Inspirations

4/4: Ex Libris – Review

4/5: The Irish Banana Review – Makeup Inspirations

4/6: Reads All the Books – Review

4/7: In Wonderland – Guest Post

4/10: Book Scents – Review

4/11: The Fake Steph – Q&A

4/12: Swoony Boys Podcast – Review

4/13: The Bookkeeper’s Secret – Mood Board

4/14: The Story Sanctuary – Review

book fashion, fun, Lila

Literary Looks | The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Title: The Sun Is Also A Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Goodreads Summary: 

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

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reviews

Reasons To Read…The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

30375703Title: The Valiant

Author: Lesley Livingston

Narrator: Fiona Hardigham

Publisher: Listening Library

Running Time: 10 hours, 21 minutes

Goodreads Summary: Princess. Captive. Gladiator.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.

Ya know that giddy feeling you feel when you step off a rollercoaster and you’re like “Let’s do it again! Let’s do it again! Let’s do it again!”? That’s pretty darn close to how I felt after finishing Lesley Livingston’s The ValiantThe Valiant is one heck of a non-stop, whirlwind, action-packed thrill ride that’ll leave you begging for more! If you’re looking for action, adventure, romance, and friendship all tied up in a light historical fiction novel (that honestly reads more like fantasy), then this is the book for you! Here are five reasons why you (yes, you!) might love The Valiant

1. Female Gladiators For The Win!!!

So it was discovered fairly recently that there’s a decent chance there may have actually been female Roman gladiators. It was from this discovery that Livingston says she drew most of her inspiration, noting that she wanted to imagine what that life could’ve been like. And, in Livingston’s capable hands,  th idea totally works! I loved how Livingston chose to make being a female gladiator not only about strength and capability, but also about sisterhood and solidarity (which I’ll get to in a bit). Through the lens of Fallon’s journey, Livingston vividly imagines not only what life as a female gladiator may have been like, but also how a woman might end up living that life and why she may have chosen to continue to live that life. This blends together to form a tale that is full of action, adventure, and fun, while still being compelling.

2. Strength In Sisterhood

One of my favorite aspects of The Valiant was the strong female friendships in the book. We have Elka and Fallon, who have a hate to best friends relationship that was both lovely and hilarious to watch unfold. We have the bonds of friendship and sisterhood that are forged between the girls at the academy and which the academy really is built on. And we have one last example of strong female relationships that I won’t divulge because I don’t want to spoil you, but it’s really touching. It would’ve been easy  for Livingston to turn Fallon’s situation into a catty competition full of girl hate, and for a moment there at the beginning, you think she might, but then she totally subverts that expectation! Throughout the novel, most of the girls cheer each other on and build each other up. It was such a nice change from the norm in YA and such a lovely aspect of the book.

3. Falling For Fallible Fallon

I think the thing that really sold me on The Valiant was the characters. I loved all of them so much! I especially loved the main character, Fallon! The thing about Fallon is that she’s a strong heroine, but she’s DEFINITELY NOT an example of the Strong Female Protagonist™ who we see so often. Fallon is…fallible. We see her grow and train and learn new things, we see her make mistakes–sometimes whoppers! Livingston gives Fallon time to realize her own mistakes and to consider them and learn and grow from them. But no matter what, the thing that remains consistent is Fallon’s fierce heart. It is Fallon’s heart that allows her to be both strong and compassionate. Livingston recognized that those qualities aren’t mutually exclusive, rather that they in fact feed off of each other and build each other up. And Fallon recognizes that too and it keeps her from becoming bitter and jaded. I found as I was reading that there was no other companion I’d want on the journey through the story other than Fallon.

4. Perilous Politics

Ancient Rome in the time of Julius Caesar was full of intrigue, mind games, and literal backstabbing. So, ya know, the norm for an ancient (or modern) empire. Anyhow, Livingston doesn’t shy away from playing around with the materials provided by her chosen historical setting. Fallon is taken from her fairly free minded Celtic society and forcefully brought into a new society which is centered on the principle that not everything is as it seems on the surface. How well Fallon navigates these treacherously tricky and deceptive new waters will determine whether or not she’ll be able to get out with her honor, her freedom, and her life!  Livingston wonderfully explored Ancient Roman culture through the eyes of Fallon, who was experiencing Ancient Rome for the first time along with us readers! Livingston not only took every historical and cultural detail in stride, she made learning the facts fun–and she never once info-dumped!

5. Is This The Real World? Is This Just Fantasy?

I don’t know about y’all, but I love YA fantasy. It’s the bread and butter of my reading life. Historical fiction?…Not so much…And yet, I fell in love with The Valiant! Why? Because it felt like a fantasy! There’s no magic, but there’s a world vastly different from our own, whispers of gods and goddesses, mystery and court intrigue, action, and adventure–all classic elements of fantasy. Everything about the way that the world of The Valiant was written felt like magic and mystery were in the air and just a snap away. In a way, it makes you think about how magical real life can be. So, fantasy fans, put this on your TBR!

Juuuust In Case, Some Things That Might Make You Say “No Way!”…

  • Seeing as this is a story about female gladiators, there is a fair amount of gore, which might make you a bit squeamish…

Other than that, though, this book was golden!

Thoughts In A Gif:

the valiant.gif

 

fun, Lila

Obsession Confession | Song Of Anne’s Party

Hello, friends! How are you? What have y’all been up to? I’ve just come back from my journey around the world wide web, lol! And I’ve brought back with me many new obsessions to share with you! So let’s dive right in!

Books

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I began the eARC of Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser and am making my way through it at a painfully slow pace because #thatchronicfatiguelife, ya know? Anyhow, I’m really enjoying it so far! I tweeted Tolscer to ask and she confirmed the Caro, the main character, is mixed race (Black/White) and Tolscer imagines Sabina Karlsson as Caro. This made me totally squeal because asdfghjklzxcvbnmpoiuytrewq Caro is like me and looks like me!!! So if that don’t show y’all that representation matters, then i don’t know what will!

Movies/TV/Trailers

Netflix’s Anne of Green Gables adaptation (simply titled Anne) got it’s first trailer and it looks absolutely wonderful! As a child, I wasn’t a major fan of the book series, but I did love the Anne of Green Gables cartoon that used to air on PBS. This adaptation looks really adorable, though, and I can’t wait to see it!

Music

It’s been literal years since I last listened to Fall Out Boy, but I broke that streak the other day, when I discovered their song “Where Did The Party Go.” It’s your typical Fall Out Boy pop rock song that you can’t help but want to dance to. On a sidenote: as a classical singer, I must say that Fall Out Boy’s lead singer has a really good voice and A+ diction! Anyhoo, it’s a great, fun song that’ll have you singing and dancing along!

Other Stuff

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So, as y’all know, I’ve taken to journaling of late. It was during this new venture that I discovered a new obsession: washi tape. It’s colorful and fun and you can use it in collages or to spice up a plain page! It makes a great addition to my journal! I discovered washi tape because it was already quite popular in the journaling and bullet journaling community, and now I can totally see why. I ordered three rolls the other day and I swear I have to stop myself from sticking it all over everything in my vicinity, haha!

News

Alas, dear friends! I could find no news this week! So I’m turning it over to y’all–what’s one piece of recent bookish news that you’re excited about?

Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere

Guys, I messed up. I meant to share my good friend Fadwa’s (at Word Wonders) post last week and I accidentally just shared the link. So I’m trying to make up for it ad sharing it now. Fadwa wrote a really great post on whether or not characters need to be relatable in order for a book to be enjoyable. In typical Fadwa style, the post made many great, thoughtful points. Go check it out!

Laughter Makes The World Go Round

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