Whew! I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a busy two weeks! Between deadlines and outings and events and classes/lessons, I’ve been running around. Hence, why I missed a week of Obsession Confession (but…let’s just not mention that…). Anyhoo, somehow, between all of the insanity, I managed to discover new obsessions to share with you! So, let’s not delay any longer!
Was there any doubt in your mind that I’d choose A Court of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J. Maas this week? If there was then let me officially put those doubts to rest! I have been waiting for this book since I finished ACOMAF and oh my god I am loving it!!!! I haven’t finished it yet because I want to savor it, but everything about it so far is everything I could’ve ever wanted and more! I adore this series and I’m so happy to finally have ACOWAR in my hands!!!
I’ve been listening to and loving “Ultralife” by Oh Wonder lately. The song is just so happy and catchy and it makes me feel like speeding through the countryside with my friends on a sunny day! I also love the vocals on the track, which manage to be ethereal, yet still have this sense of gravity.
I started watching National Georgaphic’s new biographical Albert Einstein mini-series, Genius, and I am loving it! Fun fact about me: Albert Einstein is my favorite scientist! Not because I’m a physics/biology major and I’m being basic and cliché, but because I relate to Einstein so much that it’s actually scary. So when I heard about Genius, I just knew I had to watch it! And, what’d’ya know?! I adore the series! (Surprise!)
The second season of Sense8 was released this past Thursday and I am super excited for it! I can’t believe that the moment I’ve been waiting for for two years (oh, the agony! the pain!) is finally here! I haven’t had time to watch it yet, but rest assured, that will be rectified ASAP!
It was quite the busy week in TV-land because in addition to releasing the new season of Sense8, Netflix also dropped the official trailer for The Defenders! This show looks amazing and I can’t wait for our four heroes to finally come together!
It probably sounds silly, but I bought new clothes for the summer and I’m in love with them! They’re so lovely and soft! I know I’m being quite stereotypically “girly” (although, who cares because eff gender norms!), but I adore fashion. As a low income person, I’ve experienced the difference that good, clean, pretty clothes can make, both in how people see you and in how you feel about yourself. Besides that, I’ve always loved expressing my personality via my clothes! And these clothes make me feel really good!
It’s FINALLY official! The Chaos Walking movie starring Daisy Ridley & Tom Holland, directed by Doug Liman will shoot this summer. We’re on!
Big news came for Patrick Ness fans this week and that is that the first Chaos Walking trilogy film (which stars Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland) begins filming this summer! I’ve never read the Chaos Walking trilogy, but I know that it’s very beloved in the YA literary community and I’m sure many of y’all are excited by this news. I am interested in the movie, though, so hopefully I’ll give the book a try before the film is released.
Hey, y’all! Lila reporting for duty! I’ back at it again with the wrap ups! This timme, I’m calling my wrap up segment “Spilling The Secrets” because within this segment, I’ll be spilling the beans on all of my favorite things from the past month!
This first segment of Spilling The Secrets is kind of a special one, as in the “Life Events” section, I’m going to be sharing with you my life events which have occurred since the beginning of 2017! Other than that, every other section covers only April! So let’s jump right in!
I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve been doing a different format of review lately called “Five Reasons To Read…[Book Title]”. Have no fear, hough, the old style of reviewing will still be here! The “Five Reasons To Read” format is actually how I’ve decided to format my “mini reviews.” I say “mini reviews” in quotations because I know mine tend to be longer than most reviewers’, but, what can I say–I never said I wasn’t opinionated and long-winded!
Sadly, I only finished one book in April and that was…
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
I really liked this book despite the fact that, because of my reading slump, it took me about five months to finish it! The Diabolic is fast paced and action packed and full of romance and political intrigue. The one thing I wish it had done better was the diversity. There were no people of color and only one LGBT+ character, whose sexuality was used as a plot device and who was killed off in the end. Aside from that, it was an entertaining read and I cant wait for the next book. You can check out my “mini review” here.
My musical favorites this month is an eclectic collection of pop. From slower melodies to fast paced ditties, traditional American tunes to songs inspired by music from around the world, and modern pop to older beats and sounds, this playlist has it all!
I’ve been watching Netflix’s Iron Fist and I must say that I’m really enjoying it! It can be a bit cheesy and cliche–but in my opinion, most superhero stories are! It drags in a few places, but once you get going, the pace starts to pick up. I like thee layers of mysteries, the appearances of other characters from the Defenders universe, and, of course, the action! I’m not too happy about the whitewashing, though, and I can understand why people would choose to pass on Iron Fist because of it. I’m not gonna go saying it’s my all-time favorite show that takes place in the Marvel/Defenders universe, but it’s pretty good nonetheless.
I really fell in love with the wax tarts sold by Wick And Fable in April! They smell absolutely delightful! For Easter, my mom bought three sets of them for me: Liesl (inspired by Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones), Der Erlkonig (also inspired by Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones), and To Whatever End (inspired by the Throne of Glass series by Sarah. J. Maas) and I highly recommend those three because they make my room smell incredible!!!
I Participated in An International Women’s Day March And in A Day Without A Woman
Since I live literally 10 minutes fro Washington, D.C., it’s pretty much impossible not to be involved in liberal, Democratic politics. It’s also pretty impossible to not participate in at least one of the recent anti Trump protests.
Despite my proximity to the capitol, I’ve never actually participated in a protest. Until International Women’s Day, that is! On that day, which also was the day of the A Day Without A Woman strike, I decided to not only wear red in solidarity with the cause, but also to take to the streets to protest the infantile Cheeto currently occupying my home city. I had a great time and there were some really great speakers who spoke on intersectional women’s rights and why they are so important.
I Visited A Korean Spa with My Bestie
Fun fact about me: before this year, I’d never been to a spa. But I corrected that earlier this year! My best friend got two free tickets to a Korean spa and decided to treat me and herself. I only visited the saunas and the cold room (which I fondly dubbed “the freezer”), but it was so nice! It was very relaxing and I can now say that I highly recommend going to a spa!
I Planted A Garden…And Haven’t Killed It Yet!
Planting a garden and not killing it is quite the accomplishment for me as I usually am quite the plant killer! My mom wanted a garden for when she returns home, so my best friend, my godmother, and I went out, bought some plants, and got to planting! Ad,, what do ya know?! Three weeks later, plants are springing up everywhere!
I Started Volunteering At Koru Magazine And Stay BookisheZine
This is an important life event/semi-announcement that’s happened and that is that I’m now a graphic designer and copy editor at Koru Magazine and a writer at Stay Bookish eZine! I’m immensely proud to have scored these positions and I’ve been having so much fun working for both!
I Marched for Science
The March for Science recently occurred, so I headed into the city and took to the streets once again, this time with my best friend and another once of our friends! It was such a fun day (despite the rainy weather in D.C. on that day) and the march was HUGE! It was so great to see so many people come out in support of science! Before the march, my friends and I went to the National Gallery of Art and then in the evening, we went to a seminar on science and art which took place in a renovated underground trolley station! I had an AMAZING time!
The only major thing that is coming up on the blog, on my end, is that I’m taking part in blog tour! The book is a diverse, #ownvoices one that seems to be highly anticipated by the community, so I think y’all will enjoy my tour stop! Otherwise, things will be running normally around here on my end!
So that’s all! How was your month? Anything fun or exciting happen? Tell me all in the comments!
Heya, folks! Lila here! Welcome back to Obsession Confession, your weekly spot to learn about all of my latest bookish and non-bookish obsessions! This week’s segment is pretty tiny, I must admit, but what’s there is good stuff (in my humble opinion). So let’s jump right in!
I began Lain Taylor’s latest book, Strange The Dreamer, and, though I’m still at the beginning, I’m already melting with feels! Taylor’s writing is pure perfection. Lazlo Strange is pure perfection. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK IS PURE PERFECTION AND ASDFGHJKLKJHGFGHJKL!!! JUST READ IT OKAY?!!!
I discovered “Paris” by The Chainsmokers this past week and I am absolutely in love! Thhe song has a slight 80s sparkle pop vibe to it, mixed with kinda 90s grunge and with a pinch of modern pop and that sounds like a really weird combo, I’ll admit it, but when you actually hear the song, it’s actually really good? I love the singers’ voices; they harmonize perfectly, in my opinion! I feel like this song is definitely one that would fit on a playlist for when you’re roadtripping with your besties, ya dig?
Freeform released a trailer for a new mermaid show called Siren and it looks…interesting? I’m not sure how I feel about it. It looks very dark and it also has Alex Roe (who played Evan in The 5th Wave movie) in it so that’s a bonus, but…I’m still not fully on board yet. I don’t know. What do y’all think of the trailer? Yay or nay?
Tahereh Mafi announced that there will be three new books in the Shatter Me series and I just…I just…I just…
If y’all have read and finished the Shatter Me trilogy, then you’ll know that, while we get closure on some storylines, a lot is also left open ended. It sounds like Tahereh is ready to revisit the world and finish what she started and I am so on board with this!!!
I’ve had “Easier” by Mansionair playing on repeat for the past few days. I discovered it because it was in the background of Freeform’s Cloak And Dagger trailer and I looked it up. It’s a little moodier than what I normally listen to, but I kinda like it for that reason.
Freeform’s upcoming adaptation of Marvel’s Cloak And Dagger got a trailer and I’m surprised at how good it looks for a Freeform adaptation. I’m wary of the network after their Shadowhunters adaptation, but this actually looks like it could turn out well. Of course, I have yet to read the source material, but still! I like the dark, gritty direction they seem to be taking the show–less fluffy-fluff, more real life monsters, ya know?
Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere
Beth at Reading Every Night wrote a great post on if romance is overshadowing character development in YA books. I definitely hadn’t thought about that topic before and I loved the points Beth made! On the one hand, romance is a must for my enjoyment, but on the other hand, I think Beth has a great point. Definitely check Beth’s post out and see what you think!
Hey, y’all! It’s Lila and this week I decided to join in Diversity Spotlight Thursday! Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by a Aimal at Bookshelves And Paperbacks.The meme’s rules are simple; each week, you choose three diverse books that fall under a certain category of marginalization and you fit the books into three categories: 1) a diverse book you’ve read, 2) a diverse book which has already been released and which is on your TBR, and 3) a diverse book which has yet to be released and which is on your TBR. So let’s get to it!
This week, I chose a diversity category which is very close to my heart: multiracial main characters! This category means so much to me because I, myself, am multiracial and I love to see good portrayals of multiracial people in media. And let me tell ya: there ain’t many. While I have seen more books featuring multiracial protagonists lately, I’ve rarely seen #ownvoices stories written by actual multiracial people. I’ve also seen a lot of the “tragic mulatto” trope, a harmful trope which, in the words of Wikipedia, depicts ” an archetypical mixed-race person (a ‘mulatto’), who is assumed to be sad, or even suicidal, because they fail to completely fit in the ‘white world’ or the ‘black world’. As such, the ‘tragic mulatto’ is depicted as the victim of the society in society divided by race, where there is no place for one who is neither completely ‘black’ nor ‘white’.” For me, I view this trope as very harmful because instead of empowering multiracial people to accept all parts of who they are, it implies that we are simply fragments and percentages who will never fit in with anyone.
So this week, I wanted to focus on books that I a) know have gotten multiracial rep right or b) hope that they will get the multiracial rep right, based on what I know about the book and/or the author. So let’s jump right in!
Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Diverse Element: Multiracial (Korean/White) Main Character
#OwnVoices: Yes…And No. While Han is Korean herself, I do not believe that she is multiracial.
Goodreads Summary: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.
Why I Loved It: Aside from possibly being the most adorable YA contemporary series to exist, the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy is also one that I think really gets multiracial life right. First off, the series doesn’t use the “tragic mulatto” trope. Lara-Jean, the main character, and her sisters never question who they are or where they belong, not once. Second off, Han never makes Lara-Jean and her sisters “choose a side.” Instead, Lara-Jean and her sister seamlessly integrates their Korean heritage and their White-American culture together, creating a unique blend tailored to them, accepting and nurturing all parts of their heritage. And finally, the series also perfectly exhibits how multiracial families integrate and honor the different parts of their heritage. The Song-Covey girls’ Korean mother died when Lara-Jean and her sisters were just children, so they now live with their White-American single father. Throughout the book, the girls’ father seamlessly integrates and honors the girls’ Korean heritage, without ever acting like it’s a big deal–because it’s not a big deal for them, it’s just normal. The girls’ father frequently takes them to visit their Korean side of the family, celebrates Korean holidays with the girls and their Korean side of the family, honors Korean traditions, and even makes (admittedly much too salty!) Korean food for the girls.
All of these things are normal, everyday aspects of being multiracial and living in a mixed race family. It’s the little details Han placed in the series with such care and respect that make the difference, taking the representation from average too superbly stellar, out-of-this-world amazing! If you want to learn what it’s like to be multiracial and to live in a mixed race household, then definitely add this series to your TBR!
Title: The Steep And Thorny Way
Author: Cat Winters
Diverse Element: Multiracial (Black/White) Main Character
Goodreads Summary: Scene: Oregon, 1923.
Hanalee Denney, daughter of a white woman and an African American man
Hank Denney, her father—a ghost
Greta Koning, Hanalee’s mother
Clyde Koning, doctor who treated Hank Denney the night he died, now Hanalee’s stepfather
Joe Adder, teenage boy convicted of accidentally killing Hank Denney
Members of the Ku Klux Klan
Townspeople of Elston, Oregon
Question: Was Hank Denney’s death an accident…or was it murder most foul?
Why This Book Has Me Excited: A historical novel that’s a Hamlet retelling and which features a multiracial protagonist? Hi, there! Sign me up, like, immediately, please and thank you! I don’t think I’ve seen/read many historical fiction novels that have a multiracial main character. I don’t usually go for historical fiction but I like the mystery/thriller and potential paranormal aspects that it sounds like this one has. I don’t have much to say on this one as I haven’t read it (yet) and haven’t heard much about it, but I’m eager to read it and to see how the representation pans out.
Title: Song of The Current
Author: Sarah Tolscer
Diverse Element: Multiracial (Black/White) Main Character
Goodreads Summary: Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.
Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.
From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.
Why This Book Has Me Excited: I was interested in this pirate fantasy before I knew it had a diverse element, but learning that the main character is multiracial (like me) has added a whole new layer of excitement. I’d made it five pages into the ARC and was already imagining the edits/graphics/aesthetics I could create, so I decided to check Tolscer’s Pinterest board for inspiration. I was giddy to find a ton of pictures of multiracial (Black/White) model Sabina Karlsson pinned and labeled “Caro” (which is the main character’s name in Song of the Current)! Just to check I decided to tweet Tolscer to confirm that Caro is mixed race and Tolscer confirmed it and added that she sincerely hoped she got the representation right.
I’m so, so, so excited to see a Black/White multiracial character and in a fantasy novel to boot! We have so little representation in fantasy unless it’s like “oh she’s half European-inspired elf and half European-inspired human–so fantasy multiracial, so diverse [despite the fact that the elves and the humans are both European inspired]!” *eye roll* But I digress. The point is that there’s a multiracial character (who looks like me! with the Black facial features, lighter skin tone, and big, curly hair!) and she’s in a fantasy novel written by an author who seems sincerely interested in getting the multiracial representation right! I have high hopes for this one!
So that’s all for this week’s segment of Diversity Spotlight Thursday! If you want to add some books with multiracial main characters to your TBR, check out my Goodreads shelf dedicated to the topic! And tell me in the comments–have you read any books with good multiracial representation?
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!
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!
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.
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!
ALSO! The cover for Leigh Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales And Dangerous Magic was revealed and it is gorgeous! The 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!
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 fascinating! The 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!