3 Bookish Things Tag

Hey, everyone! Aah, I’m finally getting through all the tags that I was tagged for, which feels pretty nice! I was tagged for this one by Madeline @The Bookish Mutant quite a while ago, and it looks like a very unique tag!

3 Read-Once-And-Loved Authors

  • Darcie Little Badger is definitely one of these. I enjoyed her first book, Elatsoe, maybe not as much as I enjoyed other books, but it was definitely a fun read. But then once I read her second book, A Snake Falls to Earth, I now LOVE her.
  • Margaret Owen. I’m like a one-person hype train for Owen. I loved The Merciful Crow as soon as I read it, and she just has the best story ideas and you all REALLY NEED TO READ HER BOOKS.
  • Rosiee Thor is just such a great author, her first book Tarnished Are the Stars is super unique and I’ve also talked to her and she’s just such a great person! I’m super excited for her next book.

3 Titles I’ve Watched but not Read

I do not watch a lot of books that I have not read. I would definitely say Lord of the Rings for this one; I read the first one and a half books of LOTR, but never finished it, but I watched all three movies. Do…Marvel movies count? I mean, I haven’t read any of the Marvel comics, but I’m slowly getting into the Marvel movies, so I guess I’m counting those. As for a third, I honestly cannot think of anything at the moment.

3 Series I Have Binged

I don’t read many serieses very fast, first of all because usually I read newer releases, which means that their sequels aren’t out yet, and also because it’s actually fairly hard to get me into a series. I’m learning that I do enjoy standalones more than anything. But I will say, I read Raybearer and its sequel pretty much back to back. I also read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom very close together (really, who didn’t? Once you got into SoC, you had to read CK). And once again, I cannot think of a third book series that I binged.

3 Characters I Love

  • Nina from A Snake Falls to Earth. Ah, as you can tell, I REALLY enjoyed this book. And even though I feel like the book mostly follows Oli (and he was a total bean), it was really Nina who I liked most of all.
  • Aideen from Not My Problem. Okay, this book was 100% the funniest book I have ever read, and it was definitely because of Aideen.
  • Okay, Jesper is kinda a classic, but I love Jesper. I don’t know, he’s just funny but also really cool and…I don’t know, okay? We love Jesper. He’s great.

3 Current Favorite Colors

Well, okay. So, honestly my favorite color is probably orange. Like, a bright color orange, it’s really pretty. But also, I really like a lot of blues and blue-greens. Not with orange, obviously (I don’t like orange and blue together), but blue is just really pretty. And then of course there’s black, because I don’t know. Black goes with everything and it’s just a very nice color.

3 Things You Have Used as Bookmarks

So, I’m actually not going to answer this question, because I have a whole list of weird things that my family and I have used for bookmarks, and I want to do a whole separate post on it because I thought it would be a bit of a fun thing for a post. That one’s coming soon, I promise!

3 Unpopular Bookish Opinions

As soon as I am asked, all opinions about everything leave my mind. Okay, this isn’t exactly a bookish opinion, but it is one related to writing. It’s an opinion I am always very very scared to say, because I know there’s gonna be backlash, but here goes…I don’t always use the Oxford comma. Basically, my second grade teacher was the first one to really address the comma before the ‘and’ thing and she told me it wasn’t necessary, so that just stuck with me. I’m actually beginning to use it much more now (peer pressure? who knows) and I ALWAYS use it when it’s necessary. Like, I believe that it should be used, and I do use it, but not always.
Anyways, I guess the other two bookish opinions that are probably unpopular are that I don’t really like the friends-to-lovers trope. Also, I don’t get the big deal about Kaz Brekker. He’s cool I guess, but he’s probably one of my least favorite of the Crows. Everyone’s obsessed with him and I’m not totally sure why.

3 Book Goals for the Year

Okay, so I already published a post about bookish goals for this year, way back in the beginning of January, which you can find here. But a few of the goals from that post are to keep better track of my reads (so far, so good!), to not feel forced to write reviews (I wrote a discussion post about this earlier this year, you can find it here), and to DNF more books, which I honestly don’t think is going to happen because apparently I’m just terrible at DNFing and really only do it when I’m in a huge book slump or if I am REALLY bored by a book. Even if I hate it, I’ll keep reading it.

I tag:

What are some authors that you love? Do you binge book serieses? And what are some unpopular bookish opinions that YOU have?

Interview with Rosiee Thor, author of Fire Becomes Her

Hey everyone! Today I’m here with an author who’ve I’d had visit my blog before – Rosiee Thor! The last time that Rosiee visited here, it was my very first author interview and we discussed their debut novel, Tarnished are the Stars. You can find that interview here. But Rosiee recently had another book published – their sophomore novel Fire Becomes Her came out on February 1, and today we’re here to discuss this new book! Let’s check out what Fire Becomes Her is about, first.

Fire Becomes Her | Rosiee Thor

Published February 1, 2022

368 pages | Hardcover

Flare is power.

With only a drop of flare, one can light the night sky with fireworks . . . or burn a building to the ground — and seventeen-year-old Ingrid Ellis wants her fair share.

Ingrid doesn’t have a family fortune, monetary or magical, but at least she has a plan: Rise to the top on the arm of Linden Holt, heir to a hefty political legacy and the largest fortune of flare in all of Candesce. Her only obstacle is Linden’s father who refuses to acknowledge her.

So when Senator Holt announces his run for president, Ingrid uses the situation to her advantage. She strikes a deal to spy on the senator’s opposition in exchange for his approval and the status she so desperately craves. But the longer Ingrid wears two masks, the more she questions where her true allegiances lie.

Will she stand with the Holts, or will she forge her own path?

Summary from Goodreads

So first of all, just tell us a little about yourself!

Hello! I’m Rosiee, author of queer science fiction and fantasy novels. I have two published novels: Fire Becomes Her and Tarnished are the Stars. I’m also an avid gardener and mediocre gamer!

Fire Becomes Her is your sophomore novel, and it’s a fantasy, unlike your debut science fiction, Tarnished Are the Stars. What was different about writing a fantasy book this time, and why did you choose to do so?

It might be a little odd to say this but… not much was different. Science Fiction and Fantasy are really just two sides of the same coin. The difference is really just what you call it–technology or magic? So as far as genre, I still had a lot of the same considerations to make about how the magic/tech worked and how much of that was going to get explained. At the end of the day, it was more of a marketing decision than a clear distinction of genre, since they both contain elements of science and magic.

I think one of the biggest things in Fire Becomes Her was the extremely unique worldbuilding, as well as a government system that was a huge part of the book. The book centers around the use of magic called Flare. How did you come up with the idea of Flare and all its uses throughout the book?

Figuring out the magic system for this book was absolutely central to the world building. Basically, Flare is fire magic that you can drink, but it’s also so much more than that.

I wanted to play around with magic, but I wanted that magic to play a deep and inexorable role in the world. No one lives in that world without being impacted by magic in one way or another. I decided to tie it to multiple areas of society to make sure it was fully entrenched, so it’s the social equivalent of alcohol, the economic equivalent of oil, and the aesthetic equivalent of fire. This allowed me to play around with magic in every aspect of their society–wealth, status, politics, vibe…etc.

In FBH, you highlighted several different identities on the aromantic and asexual spectrums, and two of these characters also ended up in a queerplatonic relationship. Can you tell readers a little bit about these identities, and what it means for you to write them?

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write about a character discovering her aromantic identity and what it means to her, but I didn’t really know what that was going to look like until I started writing. Ingrid’s a lot like me and her experiences with relationships and the discomfort she feels in romantic situations is drawn directly from my life. When I first started writing stories, I didn’t think characters like her would be well received by publishing at all, so to have my editor give me the go-ahead to write the story the way I wanted to was such a freeing experience. I got to follow my own emotional logic instead of trying to piece it together based on how I assumed others might feel. I always knew I wanted Ingrid to make a big decision about her relationship to romance, but the idea to center a queer platonic partnership in the story didn’t occur to me until I was a bit further into the draft. Originally, I had planned to write a sequel which would allow more time and space for that relationship to form, but when my publisher only bought one book, I realized I didn’t want to leave it out in hopes I’d get the opportunity to write the sequel. I didn’t want to leave that up to chance and not get to write this relationship, so I reconfigured the story and gave certain characters more page-time to make sure they got the story I intended.

The first time I interviewed you, I asked how you grew through writing Tarnished Are the Stars and I want to ask you the same question again. Do you think you grew more through writing Tarnished or FBH?

I definitely grew a lot while writing Fire Becomes Her. As a writer, certainly, but also as a person. I always find things out about myself through writing that I don’t really anticipate. With Tarnished, I learned a lot about my own identity on the ace and aro spectrums, but with Fire Becomes Her I was surprised to find some of my own feelings about gender, pronouns, and perception echoed in one of the other characters in the book, Alex. I knew I was a lot like Ingrid and her journey would mirror parts of my own, but I did not expect to see myself in him and his non-binary experience. It forced me to think a lot about myself and my relationship to gender in ways that deepened my understanding of my own identity. 

How would you describe FBH in one sentence, to someone who hasn’t read it yet?

An ambitious girl must choose between her head and her heart during an election where magic buys votes.

What do you think would happen in an interaction between the main characters of Tarnished are the Stars, and Fire Becomes Her? Do you think your characters would get along?

I don’t think Ingrid would get along very well with any of the main characters of Tarnished, to be honest. She’s a little too prickly in a very specific way for them. She and Eliza might do okay, but I think Eliza would see right through her and Ingrid wouldn’t love that. I do think Charlotte and Nathaniel would get along swimmingly, and Louise and Anna would be like two angry peas in a pod.

And lastly, unrelated to your writing, but what are some books that you’ve enjoyed reading in the past few months?

The last year or so has brought some amazing books to my shelves. A few favorites are In The Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland, The Mermaid The Witch and The Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, and The Reckless Kind by Carly Heath.

Ha you read Fire Becomes Her, or heard of the author? What did you think of the interview? Are you interested in picking up this book?

February Wrap Up

I really wanted to write an intro to this post that did NOT talk about how fast time has gone, but I then spent a good five minutes (it was more like half a minute, but it felt like five) thinking of what I could start this post by saying, and having not thought of anything, you get this. I successfully avoided talking about the speed of time! Kind of!

  • Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland. I picked this one up on a whim, and it was a quick middle grade read. It’s interesting to read a middle grade that’s set in the earlier 1900s and I like how the author incorporated that in there. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. This book was very good for the first 100 and last 100 pages. It kept me reading and I really enjoyed the awareness that it spread. I did feel like the middle dragged considerably, however. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Thornhill by Pam Smy. This book was half told in drawings, half in diary entries, and it was a fascinating concept, but I did not end up enjoying it much. It was a dark story, and it had an inconclusive and sad ending. ⭐⭐
  • Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki. This was such a nice story, with found family and also lots of violins. I am definitely nowhere near as good at violin as two of the main characters of this story (nor do I wish to be) but it was still cool to see all the violin terms and techniques. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • White Smoke by Tiffany Jackson. Shockingly enough, this was my first book by Tiffany Jackson??? It was also horror, which I don’t read much, but I found this to be a really gripping and enjoyable book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. This book was a memoir in graphic novel form, and it was really interesting to see Maia’s journey to figuring out eir sexuality and gender. [no rating]
  • Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor. FBH was my most anticipated release of 2022, and I have to say, it was not what I expected. There were a lot of politics and just talking, but I did really enjoy the worldbuilding and!!! the!!! aroace spec!!! rep!!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • A Season of Daring Greatly by Ellen Emerson White. Woman playing professional baseball. Do I need to say anything else? This book was great for anyone who loves baseball, it’s a fiction story about a girl who becomes the first woman in professional baseball. You do have to love baseball to read it though, because there’s a lot of baseball game scenes. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Love and Other Natural Disasters by Misa Sugiura. At the time that I read this, it was just what I needed, a nice realistic fiction that I just enjoyed all the way through. This one also has the fake dating trope which has been coming out more and more and is always so fun. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Keeper of the Night by Kylie Lee Baker. This was a super unique story and was really fun to read. I loved a lot of the characters as well as the story itself, but I do think that the pacing was off at the ending and that the ending overall could have been better. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab. Given the popularity of this book, I cannot believe that I haven’t picked it up until now. That being said, I found it to be an awesome world and an altogether enjoyable book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy. Magical politics was most of this book. Still, I felt like it picked up a lot near the end and really interested me; I just wish there were more plots before then. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I posted four times this month and I’m very happy about this! And I mention it at least once more in this post because I’m going to keep talking about it! I have a good posting schedule! Anyways, these were all really fun posts and I hope that you enjoyed them too!

The Best Books of 2021 Tag
The Book Blogging Pressure to Review Books
The Evermore Book Tag
4 Awesome, Underhyped Authors

February Goals:

  • Keep up with my posting! ✅
  • Drink. Water.

I was able to keep up with my posting schedule, in which I posted once each week, every Sunday, and I’m really happy about this because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep going with this due to school!

  • Keep up with posting schedule (yes I will just keep writing this goal)
  • Organize my goodreads shelves
  • Do a little blog editing

I started to do a few things with blog editing and goodreads shelves and I hope to continue doing so when I have time!

If I’m being honest, nothing much really happened in February. We had a week long break from school, and my family went on a vacation to a farm, where we got to meet some animals, which was a very nice break from school.
Valentine’s Day also happens in February, and there’s a bunch of ways to sort of show your appreciation for your friends (and I suppose romantic partners if you have them) at my school on Valentine’s Day. The biggest way is that there’s a way to send carnations to people, so I ended up with a bunch of carnations, and it’s really just a fun day to see all the carnations and trade treats with people and just have fun!
The other thing that happens in February is aromantic awareness week! Aro awareness week starts the Sunday after Valentine’s Day (I think) and I’m a little sad that I didn’t get any posts out about aro rep or anything of the sort during this week, but I did just want to let everyone know about this! If you’ve seen any great posts about aro rep or anything of the sort, please let me know in the comments because I would love to read them, and you can also look back at my own post that I published last pride month about why aroace spec rep is so important in books!
Oh yeah the other thing that happened this month was that I DNFed a book haha. Not a super huge achievement, but I find it very hard to leave books half read, even if I’m not enjoying them, so the fact that I was able to step away from this book that was boring me was good for me. Now I will just live with the knowledge that I am probably missing an extremely interesting plot in the last half of the book.

What did you read this month? Were there any posts that you enjoyed? What are some of your goals for March?

4 Awesome, Underhyped Authors

Hey everyone! Today I wanted to write a really simple post, but one that I’m also very excited for. There are a lot of authors out there whose books get insanely hyped up, whose new releases are anticipated by what seems like everyone, and those books are awesome, and absolutely rightfully hyped and anticipated. But there’s also several authors whose books I have loved, but who I really don’t see read around the blogosphere or on goodreads. So, today I wanted to bring some awareness to these authors and their books, since they’re totally awesome and you should definitely read them!

As it turns out, you probably actually have heard of most, if not all, of these authors, simply because I love their books and hype them on my blog a lot. But I still wanted to take the time to write an entire post dedicated to them, because they deserve it and I wanted my time to sing their praises again.
Also, I will only be including authors who have published at least two books (and I have read at least two books by these authors, as well) given that debut novels sometimes are not as hyped as other books just because people don’t know of the author as well. So, these are authors who’ve gone through a debut novel and then another book and I still want to talk about them.

Buttons lead to goodreads pages for each book.

Rosiee Thor

Rosiee Thor’s second book, Fire Becomes Her, just came out on February first. I did see some hype for this book, but definitely not as much as I would have hoped. Rosiee’s first book, Tarnished are the Stars, was published in 2019 and it is a really unique science fiction book. Meanwhile, Fire Becomes Her is a fantasy with amazing worldbuilding. I think that the worldbuilding in Rosiee’s books is really what shines through, with a unique world forming the setting of Tarnished as well. Rosiee’s books also highlight aroace characters and characters on the aroace spectrum, which is always a win for me, and Tarnished are the Stars is actually very important to me because that was the book where I first learned of the terms aromantic and asexual. Not only are their books great, but Rosiee Thor themself is a really great person, who has an awesome personality and is definitely the nicest author who I, myself, have talked to. I wrote a book review of Tarnished are the Stars a very long time ago, and also interviewed Rosiee Thor about it, and you can check out the review here and the interview here, but please keep in mind that this was my very first book review on my blog 🙂 (by which I mean, it might be bad). And look out for another interview with Rosiee coming very soon!

Darcie Little Badger

Darcie Little Badger is a Lipan Apache author with two published books, both of which are magical realism. Darcie’s first book, Elatsoe, was published in 2020, and her second book, A Snake Falls to Earth came the next year in 2021. Both her books center around Lipan Apache main characters, and draw on Lipan Apache legends and stories. Darcie’s writing style is awesome as well! Another thing that was great about Elatsoe and A Snake Falls to Earth is that they’re not super fast books, but in a great way. There’s not a whole lot of action, but they both feel like they’re more an exploration of the world, and of the characters, especially A Snake Falls to Earth. Definitely do not go into these books expecting a fast paced adventure, but just let yourself get pulled along with the story and the characters!
Plus, and I always have to bring this up, the main characters in both Darcie’s books are asexual, as is she, and it’s some great casual ace rep – it’s mentioned on page both times, but it’s never made a big deal of; it’s just there!

Margaret Owen

Margaret Owen may be my favorite fantasy author, which is saying quite a bit. The first thing you have to notice when you read her books is just the worldbuilding. Her Merciful Crow duology as well as her newest book, Little Thieves are both set in fantasy worlds, and they’re honestly just like any other high fantasy worlds, but there’s something about the way that they’re written that’s just so great. And Margaret Owen’s books are just pure high fantasy which is absolutely something that I need every once in a while. There’s a lot of different types of fantasy books and worlds, and so many of them are great, but there’s just something about high fantasy that makes it so awesome to come back to once in a while.
The characters in Margaret’s books are also amazing, and they always end up coming together in the best way. Plus, her plots are sure to keep you hooked with their really unique stories that still manage to follow the high fantasy sort of plot structure feel! If you’re looking for a good fantasy, I would definitely recommend these books, and I will keep on recommending them until you read them (and maybe after, as well).

Justina Ireland

Justina Ireland is an author that I actually have not talked about as much on my blog, and I have no idea why! I’ve very rarely seen her book Dread Nation anywhere in the bookish community and this is a true oversight on all of your parts and I demand you fix it immediately. Dread Nation is a super unique book, set in an alternate timeline where zombies arose from the battlefields in America’s Civil War. I have honestly never read a book like this, and it may sound weird, but I promise you, it’s NOT. Both Dread Nation and it’s sequel kept me super hooked. The books also addressed some of the racial tensions of the time, and both of the main characters are black and queer (aroace rep!!!). dread Nation is NOT the only book that Justina Ireland has written, it’s simply my favorite of hers. She’s written quite a few books, but the only one that I have read other than this duology is her middle grade, Ophie’s Ghosts. I don’t delve into middle grade too much anymore because I’m not at that age range and it can affect my ability to enjoy a book, so while I definitely didn’t enjoy Ophie’s Ghosts as much as I did Dread Nation, it was still very enjoyable for a middle grade book, which really cements my love for Justina Ireland as an author!

Have you read anything by these authors? What are some authors you think are underhyped?

Evermore Book Tag

We’re at that time of year where I try to do all the tags that I’m way behind on. I promised I’d get to this one, so here I am, completing this tag over a year after I was tagged for it. Thank you so much to Ahaana @Windows to Worlds and Karla @Another Bookworm for tagging me to do this!

The first thing I do want to confess is that I don’t listen to a lot of music, and therefore do not listen to a lot of Taylor Swift. I have listened to Evermore once or twice but I’m not a huge fan of Taylor Swift or anything. Because I don’t listen to much music, NOT because I actively don’t like her music. Still, I wanted to do this tag because the prompts sound really cool!

Rules

  • Link back to the original creator’s post: Ahaana’s at Windows to Worlds
  • Tag at least 5 people
  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post!!

Willow: A book with a character you can’t help but fall in love with

A Snake Falls to Earth is a very recent read (at the time that I’m writing this post) but honestly I loved both Nina and Oli. Nina was really smart and I don’t know what it was about her that I loved, but I did. And Oli was just a total ‘bean’ character who I just wanted to protect with my whole heart.

Champagne Problems: A book with a broken relationship

In Girl Made of Stars, the relationship between Mara and her twin brother Owen breaks once Mara’s friend accuses Owen of rape. The twins were super close before this happens, so it was definitely a big break, but Mara chose to support and believe her friend, despite Owen’s denials and her parents’ insistence that the family stand beside Owen.

Gold Rush: A book you love with all your heart

This one is easily Felix Ever After, I just LOVED so many things about this book, and it just stuck with me long after I finished it. Definitely one of my favorite books, if not my favorite over all.

Tis the Damn Season: A book in which a character reconnects with their family/hometown

Darius the Great is Not Okay is a good one for this one. Darius lives in the USA, but travels to Iran, where his Mom is from, to be with and meet for the first time his grandparents. So he’s connecting with his family for the first time, and though Iran isn’t his hometown, it is where his Mom is from and he learns a lot about Persian culture while he’s there.

Tolerate it: A book with a suffering relationship

I feel like the relationships among the members of the band in Daisy Jones and the Six are suffering a lot of the time, as they work through everything that they talk about in this book. Like, there may have been one point when there was a good relationship between all of them, but a lot of the time, at least some of them were fighting.

No body, no crime: A book about murder

A pretty popular one in the murder mystery department, but Truly Devious is definitely a book about murder, albeit one that happened a long time ago that the main character is now trying to solve. A lot of people love this book, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected to, unfortunately.

Happiness: A book that’s an old favorite, but you just can’t relate to it anymore

Ah…I’m going with Harry Potter for this one. I mean, I really did love Harry Potter when I was younger, but turns out when the author ends up being a transphobe that really changes opinions.

Dorothea: A book featuring old (or strong) friendships

I really cannot go a tag post without mentioning Loveless (and Felix Ever After in that case). But the friendships in Loveless really are sooo good. Rooney’s whole friendship dialogue at the end is just *amazing*

Coney Island: A book that made you cry/completely destroyed you

We all know that I don’t cry when reading very often. I’m going with Mockingjay for this one, because the first time that I read it, back in like fifth grade or something, I did cry. Mainly because of Prim (that’s her name, right? Is that Katniss’s sister’s name?). But also because I didn’t really want Katniss to end up with Peeta (to be fair, I didn’t want her to end up with Gale either. I just don’t think that either of them was a good fit for her).

Ivy: A book that was an unexpected favorite

I hate repeats in tags, but I really did not expect to enjoy A Snake Falls to Earth as much as I did. I enjoyed the author’s first book, Elatsoe, but it wasn’t my favorite and it read a little young. And I definitely was looking forward to reading ASFTE, but it absolutely surpassed all my expectations.

Cowboy like me: A book about thieves or criminals

I want to say Six of Crows, but in an effort to use some less popular books in this tag, I’m going with Into the Crooked Place. Which, in my opinion, was kind of a less-well-written version of Six of Crows. Given that one of the main characters is a gangster, and two of the other main characters work for him, I’d say that this one is about thieves and criminals, though I’m not gonna lie, I can’t remember a particular time when they thieved or criminal-ed.

Long Story Short: A book that made up your childhood

Didn’t the Percy Jackson books make up most people’s childhood? (and I just mentioned how I wanted to use less popular books, whoops) I started reading these in third grade and I really think that Percy Jackson is when my reading really started to take off.

Marjorie: A book with a moving message

I really wanted to go with A Snake Falls to Earth again, but instead I’m going with The Edge of Anything, which is not a book that I talk about a whole lot on here. This book deals with mental health issues and overall it is a bit of a heavier book, but there are just so few books out there that discuss so in depth about mental health that I thought this would be a good fit because it’s very educational.

Closure: A series in which you NEED the next book

I actually don’t read very many serieses (that is a word. I’m calling it a word. Deal with it.) anymore, so I’m not sure what to put, but I’ll go with Little Thieves, since I loved the world and the characters, and even though the first book didn’t end in a cliffhanger and wrapped up pretty well, I’d love to see the characters and world again since I enjoyed it so much!

Evermore: The perfect conclusion to an extremely long (but worth it) series

When I do book tags, I really try to find a book for every single tag question, even if I have to stretch it, but here, the honest truth is that I just don’t read a lot of very long book serieses. After a while, I find that they get rather repetitive and I just lose interest in what’s going on. Either that, or my terrible memory forgets what happens in all the other books, and I don’t want to reread all of them just to read one that’s just been published, so I just sort of…stop reading the series. What I’m basically trying to say is that there are not really any long serieses that I am invested in.

I was tagged for this one a very long time ago, and I don’t really see it around anymore, but nevertheless, I’m going to tag several people. I tag:

What do you think about Evermore? Do you agree/disagree with any of my answers to this tag? What would you say for any of these answers?

The Best Books of 2021 Book Tag

It’s early February, I’m finally (kinda) getting used to writing ‘2022’ in the date lines of my school papers and…let’s look back at my favorite books of 2021 through a tag!

I was tagged for this one by Madeline @The Bookish Mutant, and I know that it’s February already, so we’re over a month removed from 2021, but the fact that I managed to get this tag out a month after I was tagged is pretty impressive. I call this a win, considering that the last few tags I’ve done were all from months and months in the past.

The Rules

  • Link back to the original creator, Hundreds and Thousands Of Books
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you
  • Share your favorite books of the year! And have a great new year 🙂

The Start (Jan – March)

I had to choose two books for this one, because two of my favorite books EVER were ones that I read sometime between January and March of 2021. Felix Ever After and Loveless both are so amazing and I highly recommend them to everyone, though if you’ve followed me for at least a few posts of mine, you probably already know this.

The Middle (Apr – June)

I read a lot of books in April through June, but not that many of them really stood out to me? But I did go on a realistic fiction reading binge, and Perfect On Paper was one that I just absolutely LOVED. The way that it dealt with biphobia while also just being fabulously written and such a good story was awesome.

The Middle but with Better Weather (Jul – Sep)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. This book is hilarious. But I feel like how much I talk about how funny this one is, I often overshadow how awesome this one is in general, too. There’s just so much to love about Not My Problem, from the amazing found family to the fascinating concept, you all NEED to read this one.

The End (Oct – Dec)

October and November were VERY meh months for reading, however in December I read quite a few that I enjoyed (ignoring the fact that two of those were rereads…). Little Thieves by Margaret Owen was the first book that I read which I got for Christmas, and it was awesome! (do I need to shout at you guys to go read Owen’s books? I know I do it a lot).

Its already mid February, so I don’t think I’m going to tag anyone for this, but if you do want to do it, of course please go ahead!

Have you read any of these books? What were some of your favorite books of the year?

January 2022 Wrap Up

It’s still so weird to write ‘2022’ right there, because it’s not 2021 anymore. It’s not 2021 anymore. How is this possible? (it’s also weird for me to write ‘2022’ there because I really only just started acknowledging that I have to put the year, because I have more than one January wrap up now).

Can we also just acknowledge that it’s now been a year since my ridiculous, insanely long January 2021 wrap up? Like that happened a year ago, and that consists of like…90% of my bookish fame. Right there. (joking, I don’t have bookish fame).

I read fifteen books this month, which is very good for me, and definitely the best reading month I’ve had since school started this year! This month, my reviews were all over the place, and I had more than one rating of 2, 3, 4 and 5 stars.

  • The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf. I got this book for Christmas, but don’t know much about it, but it was really interesting and I enjoyed about! It’s about the 1969 race riots in Malaysia, something I’d never heard before, but it was good to learn about! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo. I’d read a book by Christo before and enjoyed it, though I don’t see much hype around her books. This book gave off pretty big Six of Crows vibes, it felt like a slightly less-good version of Six of Crows until the climax hit, but I still liked it! ⭐⭐⭐
  • A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger. I loved this one so much. There’s not much a plot for a big part of the book, but honestly I was enjoying the story enough that I didn’t care. The characters are awesome! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Down Comes the Night: A Novel: 9781250623638: Saft, Allison:  Books
  • The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson. Multiverse books are always interesting and I’m never entirely sure what to think. I enjoyed parts of this story, but I always feel like multiverse books will have plot holes or at least worldbuilding holes. ⭐⭐⭐
  • Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft. I was not entirely sure what I was going to think of this one, because I found the beginning really slow, but it picked up and I ended up enjoying this one! ⭐⭐⭐
  • Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. This book was awesome. It’s been a while since I read such a high-fantasy-esq book (I’m aware I’ve read at least one high fantasy this month…but this one just had such a vibe you know?) and the world and characters in this book were so vibrant. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Crier's War (Crier's War, 1): 9780062823946: Varela, Nina: Books
The Stonekeeper: A Graphic Novel (Amulet #1) (1): Kibuishi, Kazu, Kibuishi,  Kazu: 0000439846811: Amazon.com: Books
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab. My first book by Schwab! Finally! I can definitely see where the hype came from on this one, though I didn’t really feel the hype myself. It was an enjoyable book, though. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Crier’s War by Nina Varela. This one got better progressively, and I ended up really enjoying it! I’m not a huge fan of sci fi (I say, having read two this month) but this one was super cool. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi. This is a graphic novel series, and I usually don’t put graphic novels up here, but it was an entire 8 book series, so I thought I should. This is a super fun series, I’ve read the first few books in the past, but never the entire series straight through. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amazon.com: Iron Widow: 9780735269934: Zhao, Xiran Jay: Books
Amazon.com: Fable: A Novel (Fable, 1): 9781250254368: Young, Adrienne: Books
  • Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber. Given that I wasn’t a huge fan of Caraval, I didn’t have super high hopes going into this one, and unfortunately I was right and didn’t enjoy this a whole lot. There were definitely aspects of the story that were fun, but overall it was eh. ⭐⭐
  • Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. This is one that everyone’s been raving about. I did end up enjoying it, but less than I expected, which was a little bit of a disappointment to me, since I’d really been anticipating loving this one. ⭐⭐⭐
  • Fable by Adrienne Young. A classic pirate adventure (not a literal classic, for the record). This one felt a bit bland to me, and I also did not like the romance, it came out of nowhere. ⭐⭐⭐
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
Amazon.com: Furia: 9781616209919: Méndez, Yamile Saied: Books
Amazon.com: Iron Heart (Crier's War, 2): 9780062823977: Varela, Nina: Books
  • Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart. This was a book that I was very much reading on again off again, so I’m not sure that I’m the best person to talk about it, but personally I felt like it was kind of confusing (read above before you take my opinion with a grain of salt) and just overall did not enjoy it very much. ⭐⭐
  • Furia by Yamile Saeid Mendez. Aaah, I love sports books so it’s always a treat to read one! This one was awesome, I’m not a soccer fan but I still enjoy reading about it and I really liked a lot of the plot! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Iron Heart by Nina Varela. Sequel to Crier’s War, I think I enjoyed this one more than the first, actually! It felt like a very different book, but it was still really enjoyable. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

January’s goals:

  • Read at least 5 books✅
  • Drink water
  • Keep up with your book google form thing✅

It was January 10th when I finished five books this month, so that was definitely nice. I didn’t end up drinking as much water as I was kinda going for, but I definitely drank some, and I have been keeping up with tracking my books! Hooray!

February goals:

  • Keep up with my posting!
  • Drink. Water.

I don’t have many goals for February, mainly because I don’t want to force myself to create goals that I don’t actually want to do/don’t think I need to do. But I would love to keep posting every weekend as I’ve done this month, so that’s definitely a goal of mine.

  • I finished my English project! I had a giant group project in English that we’ve been working on since November and we finally had our presentation in the middle of January. It went pretty well, despite a slight freak out at the beginning of the day because two of my group members were unable to show up and we had to reconfigure the script.
  • We also had our first snow day of the year, and got quite a bit of snow, which was pretty nice because snow is always fun.
  • The last week of January was finals week, which was semi-stressful but not a whole lot, because I didn’t actually have that many tests. I also got really ahead in homework on the first few days so it was actually kind of chill.
  • COVID kinda blew up at the beginning of January, which I think is pretty much what happened all over, and my school had a lot of cases, but I myself did not get it and I think it’s dying down now!
  • I also started listening to audiobooks again this month, which is not something that I do very often, but so far I’ve been enjoying what I hear! If anyone has any audiobook recommendations, I would definitely enjoy hearing them!
  • Wordle. Do I need to say anymore? Because Wordle has kind of taken over everything, like EVERYONE plays it now. If you don’t, it’s a word game where you have to guess a five letter word in six tries, and there’s one word per day.

How was your month? Have you read any of these books? Do you have any audiobook recommendations?

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen: Book Review

Hey all! Seeing as this is a book blog, I figured I should probably actually write a book review. You know, because that seems like a pretty important part of a book blog. And I haven’t actually done this in a while (when was the last time? July???) Whoops. Anyways, I got Little Thieves for Christmas and really enjoyed it, so I thought that this may as well be my first book review in a while!

Little Thieves | Margaret Owen

Published October 19, 2021

500 pages | Hardcover

Trigger warnings: Child abandonment, sexual harassment, poisoning (if you’re unsure if there’s a trigger, you might want to check someone else’s trigger warnings because I’m bad at this)

Vanja Schmidt looks after herself. Abandoned by her mother at age 4, she was adopted as the goddaughter of Death and Fortune, who raised her for some time until they left her to become Princess Gisele’s dutiful servant. But when Vanja’s godmothers reappear and demand she train under one of them as a price for their care, she knows that she needs to get out. So Vanja steals Princess Gisele’s place and begins a life as a princess, all while thieving from nobles and stocking up for a way to get out of this country and away from her godmothers’ grasps for good.

Vanja has almost reached the money she needs for freedom when she robs the wrong people and is cursed by a god to turn into jewels one by one unless she can figure out and complete the god’s riddled answer for how to break the curse. Not only that, but she’s stuck with the god’s daughter as a guardian and a junior detective on her tail who is eager to figure out who’s been stealing money. And she has two weeks before she turns into gems for good.

All summaries are my own unless otherwise stated. Parts of the summary may be borrowed from goodreads.

Wow. I knew I was in for a treat with this book after loving Margaret Owen’s first series, The Merciful Crow, but I just had no idea how much! Little Thieves is based off of the tale The Goose Girl, which I know very little about, but it did not at all stop me from enjoying this book.

The world and the plot were both beautifully done in this story, as always, but what I think really stood out to me was the characters. At the beginning of the book, Vanja is utterly by herself, posing as Princess Gisele and navigating the world as a noble while simultaneously stealing from the rich who she parties with. She’s clever and trusts no one. But as the story goes on, we meet more and more people and slowly she has a whole little group to work with and begin to trust.

I think that my favorite character was probably Ragne. Ragne is the daughter of the god who cursed Vanja, and she’s sent to watch over Vanja as she attempts to solve her curse. Ragne is definitely a bit of comic relief, because she’s a shape shifter who has NOT spent a lot of time in a human body or talking to humans, but she’s also the first person who Vanja really spends time with and trusts, and that was nice to see how she and Vanja started to get along.

Okay, the plot of this book is great, and I don’t really know where to start because there was just so much of it! There were a few times when I was halfway through or a little farther than halfway, and I would wonder ‘okay how is this not the climax’ but it kept going! And don’t worry, it made logical sense that it continued, and it was still very enjoyable. Still, I couldn’t wait to find out what happens next, and a lot of the characters were really clever or had different sides so it was very difficult to figure out what might happen or where the story was going! Plus, there were a lot of exterior forces at play, for example Vanja’s godmothers who she did NOT want interfering with what she was doing, so it felt like a twist could happen at any time.

I do feel like the world could have been explored a little better. It’s clearly set in a fantasy world, but we’re given a lot of names and not a lot of explanation for those names. Vanja wants to escape from the place where she is (city? country? see how little I know), and she keeps mentioning places she might want to go, but I don’t know anything about those places and it was a little frustrating. Even within the story and where she was at the moment, things were still a little foggy.

This is the kind of book that 100% needs a map, and I actually went back to check if it had one, because it really seemed like it should, but it doesn’t, unfortunately.

Still, even though the worldbuilding was a bit underdeveloped, and I’m kind of disappointed in that aspect because it seemed like an awesome world, I just knew nothing about it aside from names of places, I’m not going to take off any stars or anything because of that. For me, worldbuilding is always a bit of a bonus rather than a necessity. Obviously I need something, a book can’t be set in a totally undescribed setting and world, but as long as I know exactly where the main character is at any given time (for example: castle, marketplace, etc), I’m okay.

PS can we take a moment to appreciate the amazing artwork in this book? This book is separated into chapters, it’s also separated into different parts (part one, part two, part three) but it’s ALSO separated into different ‘stories’ which are different from the ‘parts’ in a way that I cannot discern. Still, at the beginning of each story (there are seven of them throughout the book), there is a page that depicts a scene, and the art is absolutely lovely.

Want to read a few other reviews of Little Thieves? Check some out over at Pages Unbound and Becky’s Book Blog!

Have you read Little Thieves or The Merciful Crow? Do you know the story of the Goose Girl? What did you think of my review?

Christmas 2021 Book Haul

Christmas is the time of year when I get the most books, without a doubt. It turns out I’m very hard to shop for, because the three things on my list are just books, chocolate and money. Not a very comprehensive list. But because of this, I end up getting a LOT of books. It’s been several weeks since Christmas actually happened (and I’ve read all but one of the books), but here I am with my book haul (hey, at least I didn’t get it out in March).

This Christmas I ended up getting 12 books! Here are all of the books together:

featuring little trees made from corks and knit tops

Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

I actually don’t know much about Once Upon a Broken Heart. It looks like the Prince of Hearts is in here, and he showed up in the Caraval series, but I don’t remember particularly liking him much. I read the Caraval series long enough ago that I don’t exactly remember what happened, so we’ll see what I think when I finally start this one!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab

Now, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is one that I’ve been after for a while. I actually first asked for this one last Christmas, but I’ve finally got it! Not only will I be reading this extremely hyped book for the first time, but this will be my first time reading any book by VE Schwab (now that I think of it, I’ve read one of her middle grade books, though she goes by Victoria Schwab when she writes those)

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

I put The Space Between Worlds on my list because it seemed like people enjoyed it, and it sounded interesting to me. I’m not a super big fan of sci fi anymore, so we’ll see what I end up thinking of it, but it still does sound very interesting. Hoping it’s good!!!

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong

I reread These Violent Delights a few weeks before Christmas just so I could read the sequel with a fresh memory of book one and so I’m very happy I got Our Violent Ends for Christmas (especially because I forgot to put it on my list–oops). Anyone who’s read TVD, or who knows the story of Romeo and Juliet knows that this book is terrifying and will probably hurt.

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

I loved Margaret Owen’s other series, the Merciful Crow series (severely underhyped. Go read it now.), so I’m super excited for Little Thieves! It’s a retelling of The Goose Girl, which I know nothing about, and I don’t usually pick up retellings of stories I don’t know much about, but I’m so excited for this one that I’m pushing aside that rule for now!

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Speaking of retellings I don’t know much about. I can tell you the basic plot of the story that Six Crimson Cranes is based off of, but really nothing concrete. Still, I’ve heard a lot about this one and I’m eager to get into it!

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger

I read Darcie Little Badger’s first book, Elatsoe, a little while ago and thought it to be a really interesting book, so I’m excited to read A Snake Falls to Earth! I’ve read reviews that say that ASFTE is a very different type of book than Elatsoe (different structure/type of story) so I’m curious to see what goes on here!

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

I feel like there was a lot of hype for Black Sun a while ago, and maybe it’s died down or I’m just not looking in the right places, but this one still seems super interesting! I’ve heard there’s a lot of diversity and people seem to love it in general. Though–help, I read that it ends on a cliffhanger and book 2 doesn’t come out until April.

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

Okay a lot of the books I got have cool covers but I really think that Black Water Sister tops them all here. That being said, I’m very interested in this book, it has a very unique idea (at least that’s what I think from the summary), and I’m excited to learn more, especially because it’s set in Malaysia and deals with spirits and gods!

Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

I actually know…nothing about Into the Crooked Place. Like, I’m pretty sure the first time I read the summary was Christmas morning when I got it. I did read and enjoy another of the author’s books, so I’m hopeful for this one! Also, the summary is kinda giving me Six of Crows vibes?
(and am I the only one who just finds it a little hard to read that title?)

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Girl Made of Stars sounds amazing and devastating and most of all very important. I’ve read one other book by this author, but it was a middle grade book, so I’m kind of on new ground, here! And reading through a few of my goodreads friends’ reviews, they seem to like it a lot!

The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

The Weight of Our Sky is another book that I really do not know much about. I’ve seen it once or twice, but I never stopped to look at it or anything. Still, it sounds really interesting and it’s also about a period of history that I know nothing about – I’ve literally never heard of the 1969 race riots in Malaysia – so I’m excited!

Have you read any of these books? Do you celebrate Christmas? If so, what books did you get?

Welcome 2022: Reading Plans for the Year

It’s now been 2022 for a few days now, and I wanted to do a post on a few books I wanted to read, goals I have, and more for 2022! This post is basically just miscellaneous beginning-of-year things, but I figured I may as well write it. Let’s get into it!

The Goodreads Reading Challenge

I started doing the Goodreads reading challenge in 2020 for the first time, when I actually started using Goodreads more. Personally, I don’t actually pay much attention to this throughout the year; it’s just something for me to keep in the corner of my brain. I have, for the past two years, set my goal to 100 books, and though I surpassed that goal easily both times, I’m going to keep it at 100 this year, too. First of all 100 is just a nice round number and I like it, but second of all because we were in a pandemic and in quarantine for the last two years, and though the quarantine was not fun, it did allow me a lot more time for reading. Since in person school has started this year, I’ve had much less time for reading, so I actually think that 100 books is a very reasonable goal for me right now.

Books I want to read in 2022

Last year, I published a post where I named 21 books that I wanted to read in 2021. It was a pretty interesting post, with a lot of great books on there, but I’ve decided not to do that again for two reasons. First of all, I only actually ended up reading 10 of the books on that list. I am absolutely terrible at sticking to TBRs, and the fact that I had an entire 365 days to read 21 books (especially given that in all, I read 157 books in 2021) really proves that. The other reason that I didn’t want to do this list again is because I think that it mostly ended up being a lot of books that are popular and/or very hyped, and so it was more books that I felt like I SHOULD read, but not books that I necessarily wanted to read. Obviously, there are a lot of books that I do want to read, out there, but I’m just awful at thinking of them off the top of my head, and more often than not, the books that I want to read are ones that I see somewhere and then immediately go off to request from the library.
So, instead of writing an entire post about the books I want to read, I just thought I’d share a few books that I’m really excited to pick up. Not any fixed number, just however many books there ends up being.

  • What We Devour by Linsey Miller. This one, I honestly just want to read because of the ace rep, which I’m super excited for! Unfortunately, I’ve seen some less than glowing reviews about this book, so we’ll see what I think.
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab. This is a book that it seems like everyone knows about by now, because it was all the hype last year. I finally got this one for Christmas this year, so I’m excited to read it!
  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo. Another one that people seem to love! And I’m really interested in this; I don’t read much historical fiction, but I find that I really enjoy it, so I hope this one’s great, too!
  • Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. Honestly, that goodreads summary covers so much, I don’t really know where to start. But I’m excited for the indigenous rep, and it sounds like a great mystery as well!
  • Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. I’ve seen this one EVERYWHERE, and I’m super excited for it, I can’t wait to pick it up!

Anticipated Releases

I do not pay as close attention to upcoming releases as a lot of other people do, so this is going to be another pretty short list, but there are several upcoming releases that I’m very excited for, so I thought I’d share them here, as well!
(By the way, I’d highly suggest you go check out the post that May @Forever and Everly did on upcoming releases, it’s a much more comprehensive list than mine!)

  • Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor. Rosiee Thor is an author that I’ve followed for a while now, and I’ve talked to her a bit as well, and I am SO excited for her second book! I mean, people say it has a 1920’s vibe, plus there’s magic (that you drink, if I remember correctly?) and overtaking the rich, so…what more could you need? (oh plus it’s queer, very very queer)
  • Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie. I’ve heard about this book so much that I’m honestly surprised it’s not already published? It’s a debut book about a girl who starts to question her sexuality and I’ve read many reviews already that say it’s wonderful, so I really cannot wait for this one.
  • Loveless by Alice Oseman. Technically Loveless is already published in some places, but it comes out in the US on March 1 (though the release date has been pushed back several times so who knows if this is true). And I am SO EXCITED to finally hold this wonderful book in my hands!!! (by the way – thoughts on the US cover? I’m really not sure what to think).
  • Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves, by Meg Long. I actually don’t know very much about this book, but it sounds really interesting and unique. Plus, dogsledding! We don’t see that in books very often!
  • Icebreaker by AL Graziadei. Queer sports will ALWAYS be something for me to be excited for, and I’m especially excited for this one because it’s about professional sports, and there are very few out people in professional sports (in men’s professional sports)
  • Aces Wild by Amanda DeWitt (no cover yet). This book has an entire cast of asexual characters. Plus, it’s a heist book, and the main character is described as ‘modern asexual Kaz Brekker.’ What more could I need?
  • Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix by Anna-Marie McLemore (no cover yet). I am SO excited about this book, because I read Gatsby earlier this (school) year and have been trying to get my hands on Gatsby retellings now (of which there are very few). And this one has transgender Nick AND transgender Gatsby.

What’s your goodreads reading challenge goal? Have you read any of the books I want to read this year? What are some releases that you’re looking forwards to?