September 2016 OwlCrate Unboxing

Hello lovelies, and welcome to Wednesday! Today I’ve got for you a recap of my September OwlCrate unboxing. I posted photos and videos on my Instagram Story while I opened it for the first time, but if you missed it, want to know where some of the stuff was from, or just want to see it again, then this is the post for you!

For those of you who don’t know, OwlCrate is a monthly bookish subscription box that sends themed boxes containing at least 1 book and other on-theme goodies right to your door! I’m not sponsored by them (though they are having another rep search that I’m hoping to be chosen for *fingers crossed*), I just thought I’d share with you all the awesome stuff I got in this month’s box!

The theme for the September box was Darkness, and the OwlCrate team had hinted that there would be something from Out of Print, as well as items inspired by Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Throne of Glass, and Six of Crows. Of course, when I heard this news I was SUUUUUPER excited! I ordered one almost immediately, tbh.

The wait was long and gruelling, and as usual I got mine a lot later than everyone else did. Nonetheless, I was a very happy girl when I saw my box shoved into my mailbox on Monday evening. After getting the obligatory “IT’S HERE!” photo, I set up shop in poor-lighting and with a bag of cheetos, and opened away.

Here’s what I found:

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(sidenote: the following pictures were taken with my bigger “better” camera, but for some reason it wasn’t focussing properly, so they may be a little blurry. Sorry! This is why I like using my phone camera…)

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After the usual information card and matching button, the first thing I pulled out was this neat bath bomb by Da Bomb Fizzers! It has a “yes” or “no” hidden inside of it; when you put it in your bath you’re supposed to ask a yes-or-no question so it can answer it like the fortune-telling bath bomb it is. It’s also berry scented to match the cool colours (pun intended) used to make it stand out. Unfortunately I haven’t taken a bath since I was a wee little one, so I’m either going to give this away or ask my friends if I can borrow their bathtub for a day…

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Next up was what is probably my favourite item in this box (besides the book): a mini candle from The Melting Library that smells like cake! This is the Throne of Glass-inspired item, made in honour of Celaena’s love of cake and all things sweet. It’s a sugary scent, with a slightly deeper richness to make it more cake-like than icing-like. (Do I sound crazy? That sentence made sense in my head.) Anyway, I’ve always wanted to get something from The Melting Library, but we already have an overabundance of Bath & Body Works candles at my house, so I can’t really buy anymore until we use those all up.

Next was the Miss Peregrine’s pouch from Out of Print, which – according to the information card – is official merchandise for the MPHfPC movie! I haven’t yet read Miss Peregrine’s, but this pouch is really cool and I’m sure I’ll find a good use for it.

Next up was this sweet bookmark by Eviebookish, inspired by Six of Crows. On one side it says “When everyone knows you’re a monster you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.” and on the other “No mourners, no funerals”.

There was also this little purple “passport” inside, which contains an excerpt and colouring pages for P.C. Cast’s upcoming book Moon Chosen.

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Fact: there were two books in this box! In all honestly, I’m not 100% sure what this is, as there is no explanation for it on the information card. I know it’s part of a serial called ReMade, but I’m not sure if this is excerpts from every story, or if it’s all the currently-released serials thrown into one volume, or what… I’ll have to read it to find out!

And now, the book: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. When OwlCrate first announced this box, they included a vague description of the book that would be inside, and I knew almost instantly which book it would be. I’ve wanted to read this ever since I heard about it, so I was excited to get it in this box! Here’s the descriptions from Goodreads:

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

Along with the book there was a letter from the author, a signed bookplate, and a paper fortune teller/cootie catcher (I always called it the latter but some of you may know it as the former). I am so happy to have this book in my collection, you guys have no idea!

Overall thoughts: Of the three boxes I’ve received from OwlCrate, this one is definitely my favourite. It was jam-packed full awesome and useful goodies! Congrats to the OwlCrate team for another wonderful box!

Did you get this month’s box? What did you think?

Talk to you all on Friday!

~Becca

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Book Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

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Publisher: HarperCollins

Date of Publication: October 2nd, 2012

Dates Read: June 6th – 18th, 2015

Description:

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco web-design drone, and serendipity, sheer curiosity and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey have landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead “checking out” impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he has embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behaviour and roped his friends into helping him figure out just what’s going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the secrets extend far beyond the walls of the bookstore.

Buy It From: Chapters | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Yes yes yes this book is yes. 4.5 stars out of 5.

I really really enjoyed this book.

It’s funny, because when I first picked it up I thought it was about a magical bookstore. But when I actually read it, there was no magic, but it’s still mysterious and fun, nonetheless.

The characters were really loveable and realistic, in my opinion. They all had different talents and abilities, and I liked that people from two different generations could find something in common. A mix of the old and the new working together. I wish more adults today thought like Mr. Penumbra.

The plot was interesting, too, for the most part. Sometimes the scenes would be a little slow, which is why I docked half a star, but most other times it was a fun read. It definitely did not go where I expected it to go, and I liked that.

It was very mysterious at the beginning, which made it a little slow. But as soon as the real situation was revealed, the adventure truly began, and it’s great. I kept wondering what would happen next, which made me want to continue reading it even more.

Overall: A book about a books that is actually really good!


This review was originally posted on my booklr on June 18th, 2015.

10 Favourite Book Covers

Hello everyone. I just got back from my G2 test, and I passed – huzzah!

Today I wanted to show you guys my favourite book covers. You’re totally not supposed to judge books by their covers, but who honestly follows that rule? I know I don’t. Covers are the first things we see when we look at a book, and should hook readers in, make them curious enough to read the description. Then the words take over from there.

Now, I know for a fact that a lot of you will disagree with some of my choices, which is totally cool! But these are the covers that I, personally, find really nice and aesthetically pleasing. We can discuss others in the comments, if you’d like! I’m sure I’m forgetting some really nice ones.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find some of the names of the cover artists. I thought they’d be listed on Goodreads, but they aren’t there! If any of you know where I can find out the names of the cover artists (besides the actual books), please let me know so I can properly credit them all!

Anyway, enough talking, onto the list!

10. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (September 15 2015; Balzer + Bray)

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Art: Daniel Stolle | Design: Aurora Parlagreco

I really love the simplicity of this cover, with the POP of red from the dress. It says a lot about this book in very few words/images.

9. The Humans by Matt Haig (July 2 2013; HarperCollins Canada)

The Humans
Design: A. Smith

Isn’t it just so gorgeous? The colours are so nice, and the starry sky adds some elegance and simple beauty. Plus, there’s a puppy!!!

8. Risuko: a Kunoichi Tale by David Kudler (June 15 2016; Stillpoint Digital Press)

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I’m a sucker for watercolours. I love the movement in this cover, the flow of the font and the strokes that make the different parts.

7. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (May 3 2016; Simon & Schuster Books)

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Design: Lucy Ruth Cummins | Photography: Meredith Jenks

Honestly, if given the choice this cover would be my aesthetic. It’s so bright and colourful and happy. It totally gives off a summery feeling. Yay more puppies!!!!

6. We Awaken by Calista Lynne (July 14 2016; Harmony Ink Press)

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Mixing gorgeous flowers with shining stars makes for a cover that looks like it’s exploding from the side, full of life and wonder and magic.

5. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (March 7 2017; Sourcefire Books)

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I dig the symmetry and elegance of the golden lines. Coupled with the drama of the rocky hill and the cranium, it makes for a cover that I cannot stop staring at.

4. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (September 1 2015; Delacorte Books)

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Illustrations: “Good Wives and Warriors” | Design: Natalie C. Sousa

I feel like we all know why I love this cover. It’s bright, colourful, and fun, making the most of both the positive and negative space as few covers do.

3. The Star-Touched Queen/A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (April 26 2016/March 28 2017; St. Martin’s Griffin)

(TSTQ Design: Danielle Christopher | TSTQ Photographs: woman by John Herbert Harrison, Castle by Mark Own, Stars by Shutterstock)

Clearly I love bold colours and starry skies, so it’s not wonder that I’m obsessed with these book covers. The brightness of the dress adds some nice contrast, and the golden border is elegant. Love love love!

2. A Thousand Pieces of You/Ten Thousand Skies Above You/A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray (November 4 2014/November 3 2015/November 1 2016 by Harper Teen)

(ATPoY & TTSAY Art: Craig Shields | ATPoY Design: Elizabeth Clark | TTSAY Design: Sarah Creech)

There’s something I find so powerful about the imagery here. It’s like these worlds are colliding, but living in a kind of harmony at the same time. Bright colours, gorgeous skylines, and watercolour? Of course I love it.

So, what are my absolute favourite covers?

Drumroll please…

1. These Broken Stars/This Shattered World/Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (December 10 2013/December 23 2014/December 1 2015; Disney-Hyperion)

Stars + pretty dresses + bright colours + unconventional symmetry = my favourite covers. I honestly cannot think of anything I dislike about them. I even love the font used, because it doesn’t take away from the images yet is big enough to tell you that that’s the title. Too bad I don’t own these books – they’d definitely be on display all the time!

Honourable Mentions:

State of Grace by Hilary Badger (August 1 2015; Switch Press)

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Passenger/Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken (January 5 2016/January 3 2017; Disney-Hyperion)

And I Darken by Kiersten White (June 28, 2016; Delacorte Press)

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Now what about you? What are your favourite book covers? Let’s discuss them below, or on Twitter!

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

~Becca

Book Review: From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion

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Publisher: Skyscape

Date of Publication: May 19th, 2015

Dates Read: May 15th to June 26th, 2015

Description:

When Lucas Walker inexplicably recovers from a terminal illness, everyone is astonished –except for his girlfriend Emma, who never gave up hope. However, as friends and family celebrate the miracle, Emma becomes alarmed: Lucas has changed. He speaks haltingly, can’t recall past events, and even his own dog doesn’t recognize him. Emma begins to suspect something is terribly wrong. What happened to the Lucas she loved? Does his strange behavior have something to do with the shooting light that fell into Lucas’s backyard the night he recovered?

As the two set off on a road trip in search of the truth, the journey takes an unexpected turn. First they’re shot at by unknown enemies and then helped by unlikely allies. Before long, Emma and Lucas are plunged into a desperate life or death race against time.

Buy It From: Chapters | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Note: I received an ebook copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: ★★★☆☆

I’m on the fence about whether to give this just 3 stars or 3.5. At one point I had debated giving it 4, but when I think about it it’s not quite there yet.

This book is a solid okay. Not horrible, but also not amazing. There were some parts of it that I really liked, and others that I wasn’t all that impressed with. Pinpointing them exactly is a little tough, so this might be a slightly shorter/more confusing review, and I apologize.

I also think a big part of this is because I wasn’t really expecting a certain aspect of the plot. It caught me off guard, so it was really weird at first, but I grew into it after a bit.

What I liked:
– The second half of the book was pretty well paced and interesting. I enjoyed the second half much more than the first half.
– I’m glad the resolution wasn’t straightforward. It was a good twist and turn of events.
– Scout was so cute and innocent aw
– Hell yeah Eric
– I enjoyed the little bits of analyzing human culture that was included. It really makes you think. (I’m an anthropology major so that just tickles my fancy)

What I didn’t like:
– The first half had a hard time holding my attention. If you noticed, I’d been on this book for over a month. I eventually had to force myself to keep reading.
– Emma was really super whiney and that bothered me
– Unless I complete missed it, I didn’t get a good sense of Emma’s home life. We heard a million things about Lucas’ family, but not a lot about hers
– Lucas’ mom really frustrated me but I guess that’s just her character’s personality so not really as big a deal
– Why doesn’t Lucas stand up for Eric or Emma???

Overall: I wasn’t a big fan of it at first, but it grew on me after a while.


This review was originally posted on my booklr on July 2nd, 2015

Attempting a New Reading Schedule

Before I start today’s post, I would like to sincerely apologize for not posting on Friday. I had 2 work shifts, went to the gym, and hung out with my boyfriend, in the process completely forgetting to post.

Well, there goes my posting streak. It lasted, what, 3 months? Hah.

Anyway, onto the post!


So I had set a goal for myself to finish reading my ARC of The Swan Riders by Erin Bow, the sequel to The Scorpion Rules, by today, since it will be officially released tomorrow. Unfortunately, I’m only about halfway through, so that dream has pretty much been crushed.

Listen, I knew keeping up with my hobby-reading would be hard during the school year, especially since university learning involves a lot of textbook and article reading. With some major tests coming up, I may have to put the novels down in exchange for lab manuals. That being said, I’m attempting to start a new regime for myself, in an attempt to continue reading while simultaneously studying, working, and being a social human being. What is that schedule, you ask?

My new schedule is a pretty basic concept: leave the novel at home. I know, that seems pretty weird for those of you who read on the bus or between classes, but so far that has not worked out well for me. I do commute to school, but it’s not far enough for me to read very much, and, honestly, I don’t particularly enjoy reading while in a moving vehicle or while waiting for the bus/train.

I spend a lot of my time at school, since I also work there, and I often have large gaps between classes and shifts. Usually I use this time to scroll through social media or read novels, but a lot of my classes have started picking up the pace and throwing information and tests at me. Because of this, I know that I need to start prioritizing school, which means actually studying during those breaks between class.

Now, I’m not completely giving up on reading. By leaving my books at home, I’m hoping it will force me to finish all of my work at school, so that I can start reading before bed. Last year I used to do my work until 11PM, and then go to bed stressed – not very good. With this method, if I can finish my work at school I won’t have to stay up doing it, and I can also do a more relaxing activity to help get me prepared to sleep. And, let’s be honest, what’s more relaxing than curling up in bed with a good book? Not much.

Is this schedule going to work for me? I’m not really sure. I hope it does. I’ll let you know how it goes.

So, tell me, how do you balance reading with the rest of your life? Got any tips? Leave ’em in the comments so everyone else can see!

Thanks for reading!

~Becca

 

Rapid Fire Book Tag

Good morning, lovely readers, and happy Wednesday!

I’m currently sitting outside the library at school, charging my phone and enjoying a Tim Hortons breakfast. I don’t have class for another hour, so I’m using this time to put together today’s post!

Today I’m going to be doing a written version of the Rapid Fire Book Tag, which I saw Jesse the Reader do, but was created by GirlReading. I’ve gotten a bunch of new followers recently (Hello! Thank you for coming by!), so I decided that this book tag would make for a good introduction of myself, without actually calling it an introduction.

I’m pretty sure the point of this tag is to answer each question as quickly as possible, but in this case I’ll just be writing down the first answers that come to mind. You’ll have to take my word for it 😛

So, without further adieu, let’s get into the tag!

1. Ebook or physical book?

Physical books! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the convenience of ebooks, especially when I’m standing in a long line, but I enjoying holding and reading from a physical book even more. I find that I concentrate better with physical books, as well. That’s weird, isn’t it?

2. Paperback or hardback?

I’m a hardback girl, believe it or not. I know paperbacks are “easier” to carry around, but I find hardbacks more durable for travel, and I’m not really bothered by their size and weight when I’m reading. Plus you get a dust jacket and an inner cover and end pages with hardbacks, which is just like more space to have pretty designs.

3. Online or in-store book shopping?

I do most of my book shopping online, especially when I get them from Chapters (which is my main source of books) because they tend to be less expensive when I buy them online than when I buy them in-person. Plus, Chapters ships for free when you spend $25 or more, which is basically just 2 books. Even with the taxes, it’s still cheaper to get them online. I know some people like to pick out their books in person, but Chapters is pretty good at making sure their books are pristine during shipping.

4. Trilogies or series?

This is tough because I’m super impatient, so I like that trilogies tell the story in a shorter amount of time, though I’m also finding myself a bit annoyed by just how many trilogies there are out there – they’re almost becoming predictable. On the other hand, series with more than 5 books exhaust me. It’s hard, but I guess I’ll go with trilogies!

5. Heroes or villains?

I mean everyone’s the hero of their own story LOL but I have always tended towards the heroes side of things. I’m a romantic like that.

6. A book you want everyone to read!

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate! It’s like a high school drama with a diverse cast of characters, and it touches upon a lot of important, lesser-discussed topics like sl*t shaming and pansexuality, among other things. You can read the description HERE on Goodreads, and check out my review for it HERE.

7. Recommend an underrated book.

I don’t know if it’s necessarily that underrated but another book I want everyone, particularly teenagers, to read is Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. Diverse characters, important discussions about school and life, a careful look into fandom culture – this book was so interesting and intense and I loved every second of it. Once again, you can read the description on Goodreads HERE, and my review can be found HERE.

8. The last book you finished?

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow! You can find my review HERE, but if you’re too lazy to read it I gave it 4/5 stars – it can be a little info-dumpy and complex, but I found it intense and fun to read.

9. Last book you bought?

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas! This is the 5th/6th (depending on if you count The Assassin’s Blade) book in the Throne of Glass series. I still haven’t read Queen of Shadows, though, so I probably won’t get to this big book for a while. I honestly just bought it to have it in my collection.

10. Weirdest thing you’ve used as a bookmark?

Either my phone or a tissue. Actually, I once used a library information card as a bookmark. Nothing too weird – I usually have some kind of paper on hand.

11. Used books: yes or no?

Heck yes! Some of my books have come from either Book Outlet, the book section of second-hand stores, or used bookstores! The only problem I have is that they price their books so low that I tend to buy books that just look pretty, even though they’re not even on my TBR.

12. Top 3 favourite genres?

Fantasy, contemporary, and sci-fi

13. Borrow or buy?

I used to be a “BUY ALL THE BOOKS” person, but due to my lack of shelf space I have had to start borrowing books from the library! Most of the time, though, if I can buy them then I will.

14. Characters or plot?

Man if I don’t like the characters, there’s no hope. The plot can be pretty meh but if the characters are written super well and their lives are detailed, then I will probably still give it 4 stars. So yeah, characters are super important to me.

15. Long or short books?

Like I said, I get super impatient, so I love short books.

16. Long or short chapters?

Ideally, alternating between long and short ones, but if I have to choose one side then probably short. That way I can take breaks if I need to and still keep track of where I left off.

17. Name the first three books you think of.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

The Gypsy King by Maureen Fergus

Solitaire by Alice Oseman

18. Books that make you laugh or books that make you cry?

LAUGH. I love laughing and any characters that make me laugh I will instantly love. Plus, I have never cried while reading, and I want to see how long I can go for LOL.

19. Our world or fictional worlds?

I mean the idea of a fictional world is always appealing, since a lot of the time we write places that are somewhat better than ours. I’m in a pretty good place right now, though, so I’m going to say our world (although maybe in the world of Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston, because while it’s basically our world, people actually take rape cases seriously in that universe)

20. Audiobooks: yes or no?

I personally don’t use them, but I can imagine they’d be handy for when I (eventually start to) work out or when I’m doing chores and can’t read. Plus they make books more accessible!

21. Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

a l l  t h e  t i m e . It’s really bad. I’m a sucker for pretty covers.

22. Book to movie or book to TV adaptation?

Book to TV! Movies can cut a lot out, and TV shows can go into more detail and world exploration over a longer period of time. I know I said I’m impatient, but I like that a lot of TV shows release episodes weekly, and you get some time to discuss the episode and prepare yourself for the next one. It builds more suspense, too! Although I haven’t watched too many TV adaptations…

23. A movie or TV adaptation that you preferred over the book?

I honestly can’t think of one LOL

24. Series or standalones?

S T A N D A L O N E S.


That’s it for the tag! As usual, if you would like to do this tag then I tag you!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

~Becca

Book Review: The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

scorpion-rules

Publisher: McElderry Books

Date of Publication: September 22, 2015

Dates Read: August 26th – September 11, 2016

Description:

The world is at peace, said the Utterances. And really, if the odd princess has a hard day, is that too much to ask?

Greta is a duchess and crown princess—and a hostage to peace. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Go to war and your hostage dies.

Greta will be free if she can survive until her eighteenth birthday. Until then she lives in the Precepture school with the daughters and sons of the world’s leaders. Like them, she is taught to obey the machines that control their lives. Like them, she is prepared to die with dignity, if she must. But everything changes when a new hostage arrives. Elián is a boy who refuses to play by the rules, a boy who defies everything Greta has ever been taught. And he opens Greta’s eyes to the brutality of the system they live under—and to her own power.

As Greta and Elián watch their nations tip closer to war, Greta becomes a target in a new kind of game. A game that will end up killing them both—unless she can find a way to break all the rules.

Buy It From: Chapters | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Despite being spoiled for the end of this book, it still managed to surprise me.

The characters were wonderfully different; each had specific characteristics that set them apart, both in their looks and in their personalities. In this PanPolar (Canadian) Precepture, there were Children from all over the world: Greta, Elián, Li Da-Xia, Thandi, Atta, Han, and Gregori, all of whom grew and developed as the story progresses. I came to love all of these Children, which of course caused a bit of heartbreak along the way.

I liked the concept of this book, and enjoyed Erin Bow’s writing style, though sometimes it could be a little information heavy and dragged out due to its complexity. It definitely had a slower pace than most dystopians, so I can understand why some people may find it boring. This pace to me, however, translated into a suspenseful novel, where you didn’t know who would get in trouble and what the consequences would be.

The Scorpion Rules also really changes up how you see the person you would assume to be the enemy. Since Talis is the one who’s pretty much in charge, in the usual dystopian that would be the person you’d expect the teenagers to take down. But Talis is given a personality, a real humanness and backstory despite being a ruthless AI, that makes you kind of like him. We may not agree with all of his actions, but he is the AI who has managed to bring the world peace.

And if you’re wondering about romance, it doesn’t play a major role in this book. There is a little bit of it, including LGBTQAI+ romance. This book also manages to touch on different kinds of love outside of romantic love, particularly love between supportive friends.

Overall: A suspenseful and complex read that has me excited to read the next book, The Swan Riders.

Currently Reading: 09/09/2016

Hello readers!

So, as most of you already know, I’ve gone back to school. Combined with work and homework, I’ve got a lot to do, so my reading has suffered for it. Fortunately, one of my classes does involve a lot of reading, so I will be counting the books from that class towards my Goodreads goal!

Anyway, it’s Friday and I’m tired. I’ll be taking photos of books today, as well as trying to read both of my current reads tonight. Hopefully I can get through ’em!

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

Description:

The world is at peace, said the Utterances. And really, if the odd princess has a hard day, is that too much to ask?

Greta is a duchess and crown princess—and a hostage to peace. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Go to war and your hostage dies.

Greta will be free if she can survive until her eighteenth birthday. Until then she lives in the Precepture school with the daughters and sons of the world’s leaders. Like them, she is taught to obey the machines that control their lives. Like them, she is prepared to die with dignity, if she must. But everything changes when a new hostage arrives. Elián is a boy who refuses to play by the rules, a boy who defies everything Greta has ever been taught. And he opens Greta’s eyes to the brutality of the system they live under—and to her own power.

As Greta and Elián watch their nations tip closer to war, Greta becomes a target in a new kind of game. A game that will end up killing them both—unless she can find a way to break all the rules.

How far am I?

45% – almost halfway!

Why did I start reading it?

I received an ARC for the sequel The Swan Riders at an Indigo Teen event, so before I read that I need to read the first book!

What are my thoughts so far?

I’m actually really liking it so far! It’s quite unique, and something exciting just happened so it’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman

Description:

Lia Lee was born in 1981 to a family of recent Hmong immigrants, and soon developed symptoms of epilepsy. By 1988 she was living at home but was brain dead after a tragic cycle of misunderstanding, over-medication, and culture clash: “What the doctors viewed as clinical efficiency the Hmong viewed as frosty arrogance.” The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is a tragedy of Shakespearean dimensions, written with the deepest of human feeling. Sherwin Nuland said of the account, “There are no villains in Fadiman’s tale, just as there are no heroes. People are presented as she saw them, in their humility and their frailty–and their nobility.”

How far am I?

12%

Why did I start reading it?

This is one of the required readings for my sociocultural anthropology class.

What are my thoughts so far?

I am also really enjoying this one! I love sociocultural anthropology, and just reading about the Hmong culture and the differences in how people see the world is fascinating.

We Awaken by Calista Lynne

Description:

Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.

But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.

How far am I?

17%

Why did I start reading it?

I’d been hearing about this book around the book community, so when I received an ebook copy from the author to review on this blog, I was super stoked!

What are my thoughts so far?

I’m still kind of getting used to it, but it’s not bad so far! I definitely want to see where this story is headed.


What about you? What are you all reading on this fine Friday?

Have a lovely weekend! ❤

~Becca

August Haul + September TBR

Haul

Guess what, friends… I only bought one book this month! Okay, that’s kind of a lie, but I was really good about my book-buying habits this month.

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston

Before I went to the YA panel I wanted to try to read some books by the attending authors. I only got to two of them – The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, which I already owned, and Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston, which I borrowed from the library. I loved both of these books so much, so when I went to the signing I had to buy the second one to have E. K. Johnston sign it.

Exit tells the story of a girl named Hermione Winters, who is one of the leaders of a small-town cheerleading team, and her fight regain control of her life after she is drugged and raped at a camp party. It’s full of strong, beautiful friendships and family relationships, and has a bit of LGBTQAI+ representation, as well.

TBR

Like I said in my August Wrap Up, I’ve got a lot of ARCs to read. I want to finish The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow so I get can to my ARC of The Swan Riders. I also have to read The Iron Cast by Destiny Soria, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco, and We Awaken by Calista Lynne. I also start school this month, though, so my reading’s going to be pretty slow-going. Sigh.

Thanks for reading!

~Becca

August 2016 Wrap Up

Book Reviews

Lists

News and Events

MY READING

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – ★★★★★

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi – ★★★★★

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston – ★★★★★

August was actually a really good reading month. Not because of the number – I didn’t read as much as I’d wanted to – but because of the quality of the books! Look at this month of 5 star ratings!

I’m currently reading The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow, with the hope that I can read my Swan Riders ARC before it comes out. I have a bunch of ARCs that I need to read so… ARC September? LOL

Here’s hoping I can keep reading during school! I hope you all have a wonderful September. Thanks for reading and following!

~Becca