A trip to Amazon Books and a little update about what I’ve been reading lately!
A trip to Amazon Books and a little update about what I’ve been reading lately!
April was a slower reading month for me, so I was a bit worried coming into May that I was losing steam. I managed to read a solid 9 books in May, though, so I’m happy with that!
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
I completely devoured this book. It was so beautiful, full of magical realism, and a truly important story. It’s a subtle romance between Miel, a strange girl who spilled out of a water tower and has a rose growing from her wrist, and Sam, who paints moons and hangs them in the trees around town. I can’t recommend this book enough!
Illumination Night by Alice Hoffman
It’s been a while since I read Alice Hoffman. (By that, I mean read Practical Magic in junior high.) This was a quick read– interesting at times, ultimately a story about people. There are parents worried about their young child’s lack of physical growth, but with their own issues as well, an old lady and her rebellious granddaughter sent as her caretaker. I felt like it lacked enough resolution for me to really connect with it.
The One by Kiera Cass
The Selection Series really went downhill for me. This was my least favorite of the original trio. I know there’s one more in the core series, but I don’t think I’ll be reading it. People that like these books seem to prefer just the story of America and Maxon. Knowing he was going to ultimately choose her, the book just felt like filler to get to that point.
The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
I have fond memories of reading The Wrath & the Dawn, since I did so while I soaked in the bathtub of my Kyoto hotel room. I preferred this, its sequel, because of how much more magic played into the story. While the first in the duology was more of a straight-forward retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, The Rose and the Dagger found its own story.
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
The Shadow and Bone trilogy really surprised me. Once I got into the first ook, I truly enjoyed every moment of the quest for the magical beasts that would amplify Alina, the Sun Summoner’s, powers. I loved the Darking, twisted and complicated. We get the history of Morozova in this book and finally some resolution to the Alina and Mal story. Ruin and Rising was extremely satisfying!
Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
This was my least favorite of the Miss Peregrine’s series, I think. It felt like a lot of filler, as did the second book, really. It was a satisfying ending if you really enjoy this series, but I think I just didn’t? I was intrigued by the first book, but after that the story really felt dragged out for me.
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
After When the Moon Was Ours, I was DYING to read more by this author. I can’t say that this one captivated me quite as much, in fact, I found it a little hard to get into. The alternating perspective between two main characters is not as distracting as the fact that one of them speaks French and the other Spanish. It’s about rival traveling performance troupes– both of which seem so cool! Once I got into it, I loved it. There is a heavy dose of magical realism at the end instead of throughout, which is a slightly jarring if you’re not expecting it!
An Ember in the Ashes by Saaba Tahir
Wow, this one really surprised me! Again, I found it a bit difficult to get into. Once we get into the world of the Masks, things get really interesting. The story feels familiar, but unique. It’s about Laia, whose brother is captured by the empire. She joins the resistance to get him back, but is sent as a slave spy to a deadly military academy where she meets Elias, who struggles morally with his place in the empire. It’s a great adventure, and I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel!
Follow along on goodreads to see what I’m reading now!
I’m very happy to be part of the blog tour for Sonora and the Eye of the Titans! My review of the book and a giveaway is under the cut!
Sonora and the Eye of the Titans
Publication date: January 14th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
The King is dead, and the capital city of Titanis has fallen. The world of Sonora is at war, and the only hope against the onslaught of the Titan army lies with the last royal descendant of Zeus, who is being covertly sheltered on Earth in the secluded mountain town of Sandy, Oregon.
Allora is a shy, intelligent sixteen-year-old, trying to get through the gauntlet of high school while coming to terms with her otherworldly origins. After getting into a fight at soccer tryouts, Allora’s emotions boil over, and her hands suddenly burst into flames. She has harnessed the power of hadrons at the highest level, but at extreme cost. The magical outburst projects an energy signature that is detected by a group of assassins tasked with killing Sonoran rebels.
To survive, Allora, Katie, Dax, and Tanner must find a powerful ancient artifact known as the Eye of the Titans. With the help of a guardian known as Sasquatch, they will have to fight off creatures, solve complex riddles, and navigate magical caverns, all while enduring advanced calculus, jealous girlfriends, and prom.
It’s officially May, which means summer is right around the corner! Wow, the beginning of the year went so fast. Sadly, my reading streak has stalled. Thanks to my amazing Japan trip and the jet lag that followed, I did not read 15 books in April like I did in January, February, and March. However, I did read 7 books, which keeps me on track to hit my goal of 100 this year!!
Well friends, this is an incomplete What I Read written in the penultimate week of March. I’ve got 14 books to tell you about at this point, and you can bet the 13 hour plane ride I took last week added at least another to the list. Since 14 is a lot to get through, I’ll (try to) be brief!
In attempts to stay brief, I’ll only give full reviews for a few, and share general thoughts/ratings for others!
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
The writing style definitely takes a bit to get used to. Browsing some Goodreads reviews, you’ll see some hilarious yet accurate examples of how people struggled with this. For me, the beginning took quite a while. There were several scenes of pure description repeated and juxtaposed with different connotative language which I liked the first time, but was annoyed at by the third. By the time we learn the main character’s name (and yes, this takes a while) the story starts to get going. We follow Mia on her quest to become an assassin. Mia is a darken who controls shadow. She has a cat made of shadow as a companion. The world is fairly reminiscent of Assassin’s Heart, but the story quite different. I find Mia quite likable and gave this one 4 stars.
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
I had heard a lot about this and knew it wouldn’t be a real serious read for me. I went into it expecting a fluffy book, so to be disappointed even with those expectations is saying something. It’s about a high school student named Harper who suddenly has supernatural powers thrust upon her. This is NOT Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think it’s the southern belle things that really bothered me… perhaps it’s just not something someone who grew up in suburban Boston can understand. Beyond that, everything was too easy without any real world implications. Everything felt frivolous. The death of her sister was casually thrown in there for what reason? 1 star.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Again, I kept hearing so much about this book! It’s a compelling adventure with a healthy dose of mystery and a dark, dangerous feeling. It’s about a girl named Scarlett and her sister, Tella. Their life hasn’t been the best with their abusive father. They’ve always dreamed of going to Caraval– an immersive festival/show/game. Now, there are some things that don’t work for me, mainly the lack of character development, but it’s a fun and quick read. 4 stars.
After 6+ months of planning, we are off to Japan in just two short days! I couldn’t be more excited for my dream trip, but I’m not terribly excited about the 13 hour flight we’re taking to get there. I’ve prepared myself the best I can, and today I want so share some ideas to make long flights as painless as possible!
Kindle | This trip is the reason I bought my Kindle. The fact that I’m absolutely in love with it is a fortunate by-product. I entertain myself by reading and find myself bringing at least 2 books on normal trips. With such a long flight, I knew I needed a lot of reading material! My Kindle is preloaded with a handful of books to make the hours fly by! [I recommend this one.]
Juice Pack | You’ve got to have a fully charged phone when you’re going to be out & about for a while. While I always hope planes will have somewhere for me to recharge my devices, this has yet to be the case. It’s great to have an extra charge on hand! [I’ve used this one before.]
Headphones (or earbuds!) | This one I learned from my fiancé who always has a pair of headphone handy when we travel. I happen to think that noise canceling headphones are completely worth the investment– you’ll take care of them instead of letting them get tangled in the bottom of your bag, plus you won’t have to deal with the plane’s excess noise. Of course, if you’re packing lighter, earbuds will do! [Try these or these.]
Lip Balm | This is another one I picked up from Matt. Plane travel will leave you dehydrated feeling and in need of moisturizer. It’s good to have a lip balm handy (This is my favorite, but I also recommend these guys!) to feel a little more human. On a shorter trip, I recommend grabbing a water bottle to fill once you’re past security! [Currently obsessed with this one— and dachshunds!]
Snacks | A 13-hour flight guarantees we’ll be getting some food on board, but since we’ll be landing in a time zone with a 12-hour difference, there’s no guarantee we’ll be getting food when we want it. We’re big on snacks! [Try a Quest bar for something substantial!]
Hoodie | Literally, this is my number 1 must-have on a plane. It’s always so cold, or suddenly so warm. You need to layer, and a hoodie is my favorite way to do this. Past flights have also had me reaching for Matt’s coat as a blanket, so a blanket scarf is a great idea if you’re flying when into/out of appropriate weather! [Please tell me you have one, but just in case.]
What’s the longest flight you’ve ever been on? How did you keep yourself busy?