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.
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?
Hello, hello, helloooooo, ducklings! How art thou on this fin spring day? I hope y’all are well! It’s time for this week’s installment of Obsession Confession! So many obsessions, so many confessions! Let’s see what we have…
And once again, we have a week where I don’t have a featured book. Which is not to say that I haven’t been reading! The issue is that, after finishing Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones and The Valiant by Lesley Livingston (which are two vastly different, yet equally amazing books that you totally need to read!), I have been starting books, but not loving them enough to stick with them. *sighhhhhhhh…*
I’ve been rocking out to “Human Touch” by Betty Who for the past week! The song is such a fun tune that’s easy to dance to and sing along with! In fact, I dare you not to do just that when listening to this song!
Recently I got into Syfy’s Ascension! The show was cancelled, but I’m loving watching the first (and only) season on Netflix. I love the mmystery and the science and the stark contrast between life on the spaceship–which is like a snapshot of the 1960s–and life on Earth–which has progressed forward. It’s a fun show full of intrigue and politics and I recommend giving it a chance, especially if you enjoy sci fi mysteries!
I’ve recently really gotten into creative journaling, a fact which is completely hilarious to me as I’ve never been much of a journaling person. But. I’ve always loved collaging and I’ve always loved writing essays, especially taking a prompt and twisting it to write my own story and I also love how people personalize their bullet journals. So I took those ideas and kind of smashed them all together to create a personalized journal! Of course, I wasn’t the first one to have thought something like this up. I searched the tags #creativejournal and #creativejournaling on Instagram and I’ve been getting ideas from all of these stunning journals that people have created! I also looked up “journal challenges” on Tumblr and found some awesome prompts! So I’ve been doing some creative journaling for the past week and a half and I really love it!
Big bookish news came this past week when Marissa Meyer announced the title and release date of her new book, which I can officially say is going to be called Renegades! The book will be available in digital, print, and audio format on November 7, 2017. Renegades also is now available for pre-order on Audible! I’m super excited for this book! I lovedThe Lunar Chronicles, though I wasn’t a major fan of Heartless. However. I am really interested in this book in that it’s Meyer’s first book that’s not a retelling (as far as I know) and I’m interested in seeing how she crafts a story that’s all her own! I have faith that she can pull it off, but I guess we’ll see!
Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere
Kaja at Of Dragons And Hearts had a neat post on loving shifty characters. I was drawn to the post because I didn’t quite know what Kaja meant by a “shifty character.” To my surprise, I discovered that I too am a big fan of the “shifty character”! So naturally, I loved the post!
Laughing The Pain Away
So this week’s bit of laughter is a little personal for me. Those of you who have been here for a good while probably know three things about me: 1) I attend the #13 best university in the United States, 2) I study biology and physics, and 3) I have horrible academic anxiety that I am currently working through/slowly recovering from. Those things do not spell happiness for me, but I’m leaning to be happy anyway. Part of learning to be happy is learning how to laugh at certain situations and realize that I’m not alone. As a science student at a top university, I’m constantly around people who have accomplished major things. And me? I’ve done…nothing. Really. I’ve been on two medical leaves. That’s it. So I always feel like I’m alone and everyone is better than me. My therapists are always trying to convince me that everyone feels that way, but I wasn’t so sure. I wasn’t so sure until I saw the comic below by Cassandra Cain. It made me laugh, but even more, it made me feel less alone. And slowly, the pain died a little more. So this ones for all y’all with anxiety, academic or otherwise. You’re never alone ❤
Goodreads Summary: Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.
However, it’s not so simple.
The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.
So…This book and I had a …tumultuous…relationship. Though I eventually pulled through to the end, there were multiplesections of the book where I just wanted to DNF it. The book was very touch and go in terms of being interesting and was filled with fantasy tropes and clichés. To make it worse, I abhorred the audiobook narrator’s voice. So. Where to begin?
Let’s talk about the characters first. I really didn’t feel any connection to them. They were bland, uncompelling, and watery. Britta doesn’t really have any defining personality traits to make her stand out. Like, I can’t think of any adjective for her other than…bland. Nothing stood out about her. The same goes for every other character. The only standout trait about Cohen, the love interest and the boy who Britta’s “hunting,” is his over-protectiveness when it comes to Britta. Which is not exactly a shining trait to be recognized by, in my opinion. Inat was the clichéd “wizened, old witch in the woods” and also—you guessed it—had no personality traits that jumped out at you, other than having a vague “wise woman” air about her.
In truth, I think this lack of characterization was what really made the book fall flat. The plot—which I’ll get more into in a minute—fell flat because the characters were so emotionally untethered from it, lacking depth and intense motive. The relationships lacked oomph because the characters were so vanilla that you ended up why on earth someone would be interested in someone so boring. For me, I need that emotional connection to at least one character because it gets me invested in wanting to know what happens to them. Instead, I found myself asking “Who cares?” And that? That spells doom for a book when it comes to the chances I’ll want to continue on.
So enough about the characters. Maybe you’re the type of reader who can take bland characters, so long as there’s a good plot. Well don’t hold your breath for this one then. The book switches courses so many times, that the plot completely falls apart. It is due to this that it starts to feel like the characters are just running around for no reason. It’s like “First we have to do this!–Never mind, let’s do that!–Oh, no, wait, let’s do this other thing!” This made me feel like there was no point. Summerill attempts to tie it all together in the end, but it just feels like she’s slapping a Band-Aid on a gaping wound.
Of course, all of this wasn’t helped by the fact that the audiobook narrator, Helen Johns, had the most annoying voice! Her voice was squeaky and high pitched and those qualities were magnified by when she read particularly emotional passages. She read with a good amount of feeling and an even pace, but that was overshadowed by the actual sound of her voice. If you want to read Ever The Hunted, I wouldn’t recommend the audiobook, unfortunately.
So, all in all, Ever The Hunted was not a hit with me, unfortunately. If you’re looking for something fluffy and light, though, this might be something you like. Ya never know!
Hello, ducklings, and happy new year! Whew! I can’t believe we made it through the sh*tstorm of 2016!
Anyhoo. I’m sorry I’m late on posting this–my internet was out for 2.5 days due to a technical glitch on my cable company’s side (ugh) and then I got really sick. But, nevertheless, I have arrived!
So let’s get straight to it…
*sobs* CURSE YOU FIVE MONTH BOOK SLUMP!!!
Ugh. I hate myself for this. I’m not a huge fan of Zayn’s music or of Taylor Swift as a person but this song is just so dang catchy! Grrrr!
I’ve been watching Netflix’s Travelers lately and I’ve gotten sucked in! It did begin a little slowly, but its premise was intriguing enough to keep me going and now I’m obsessed! The show is about time travelers from the post-apocalyptic future who travel back to the present day and inhabit the bodies of modern day people. The travelers are tasked with the mission of preventing the apocalypse. Together they attempt to avert the impending apocalypse, while also navigating the 21st century day to day lives of their hosts. I think where this show excels is in its characters–who are also so unique and complex and intricate. I’ve gotten so attached to all of them! Definitely check Travelers out!
It was announced the other day that The CW is making a prequel to Charmed and I’m actually pretty on board with this. First off, I love Charmed and I’d love more. Second off, there’s no better network to try and pull this off than The CW which, in the past four years, has really become an incredible network creating amazing content! The show will reportedly follow the sisters’ mother, but after she’s given birth to them–in the sisters’ early childhood. I think this is interesting, as The CW has been focusing more on shows with teen protagonists lately, and also doesn’t generally follow families. But even still, I have high hopes for this new show and I can’t wait to see how it pans out!
Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere
The big thing these days throughout the YA book community is the #DiversityBingo2017 challenge. Diversifying your reading has been a real hotbutton issue in the community of late and this particular challenge was one of the things born from that discussion. Basically, you have a bingo sheet (see below) and the squares are filled in by the description of a diverse book. Once you’ve read a book fitting a particular description, you can fill out the corresponding square and voilà! The goal is to fill out as many squares as you can, thus diversifying your reading a bit more. I think this is a super fun challenge and a great way to diversify your reading!
So I caved and gave in to the whole Pop Funko obsession thing. Up until now, I wasn’t really into the craze, but then I saw the figurines for Batgirl, Ms. Marvel, and Queenie (from Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them) and I heard they were making figurines for The 100 and I lost it. Now I’m obsessed and my wallet is preparing for some serious damage.
The Last Laugh
For this week’s dose of giggles, I present to you not one, but TWO(!), side-busting-ly hilarious tweets!
First up is author Heidi Heilig’s tweet on her newest WIP (“work in progress”)–a.k.a. the novel that every woman has always wanted to read:
My next time travel book–a girl who goes back to tell that one guy those three words she always regretted not saying: “You’re an asshole.”
Ah! Another week in the life of a 22 year old mad woman has passed me by! And, of course, that week brought said madwoman (i.e. me) many new obsessions. Let’s see what’s been occupying this particular madwoman’s mind…
*hangs head in shame*
Um…Sooooo…I have a confession…This past week my reading slump majorly caught up with me and…Welllll…I haven’t read anything so I don’t have any books to recommend *winces*…I KNOW I’M A BAD BOOK BLOGGER, OKAY?!!! DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT!!! *flees to hide in shame*
I love absolutely everything about this song! From the soprano women’s choir part to the old school guitar melody slowly winding through the song to the rumble of the singer’s voice on the low notes! It’s a gorgeous, genre-mixing song and I just can’t get enough of it!
I swear when I saw that The 100‘s season 4 trailer had dropped I fangirled so hard! BECAUSE IT’S COMING BACK SOON!!! This trailer promises more darkness, death, destruction, tough decisions, and moral complexity–so, ya know, the usual! It seemed like the revelatioin at the end of season 3 left the group in a seriously tough spot and there’s no telling how they’re gonna get out of it this time!
So do you remember that incredible, insanely amazing standalone book I was talking about called The Diabolic? Written by S.J. Kincaid? Has a giant red and metal, part clockwork butterfly on th cover? WELL IF YA DON’T REMEMBER, I’M GONNA TELL YA NOW: IT’S AMAZING AND YOU NEED TO READ IT!!!!
The big news this week is that…THE DIABOLIC IS BECOMING A SERIES AND THERE ARE GOING TO BE TWO (!) MORE BOOKS SURROUNDING NEMESIS!!!! Yippee!!! Hooray! *explodes in joy*
You can check out the official announcement here and see S.J. Kincaid’s blog post about the news here! *squeals giddily* Eeeeee! I’m so excited!!!
Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere
After this past week’s dust up over Book Expo (formerly known as “Book Expo America”) raising ticket fees for bloggers on top of asking bloggers to complete a (ridiculous) application, Ashleigh over at A Frolic Through Fiction posted her take on the situation in her post “Should Publishers Do More To Acknowledge The Work Of Book Bloggers?” As a non-US resident who could never have attended BE[A] for that reason, Ashleigh provided a great new perspective. Her post made me think things over and look at the issue in new ways!
So a few weeks ago, I decided to check out what all the buzz was about when it comes to book inspired candles. Big mistake. For my wallet, that it. Why? Because you can now consider me a full-fledged bookish candle addict. I love the idea of taking the scents of your favorite books or settings or characters and putting them into a candle! I already tried out a candle inspired by Kestrel from The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski and just ordered a candle inspired by Manon from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas! If you’re either a fan of the classics or a fan of YA, then you’re majorly in luck when it comes to bookish candles! Some of my favorite shops that sell bookish candles (most of them YA book inspired) are Novelly Yours, Meraki Candles, and The Melting Library!
I also “rediscovered” Society6! Let’s just say this booknerd died and went to heaven upon seeing all of the book inspired merch on there! Posters and tees and blankets and prints and pouches and so much more!!! R.I.P. wallet. I finally broke down the other day and bought a mini print after ogling it for a good while. Some of my fave Society6 shops are Evie Seo, Read At Midnight, and Paper Fury!