Featured Follows | More Blogs You Should Read

I started this series of posts to highlight the blogs I follow/follow me that I really enjoy reading or interacting with. Check out the last featured follows here!  

 

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Is book porn a thing? I’m not talking erotic novels, I mean book porn like food porn. I’m talking photos of books and bookish things that are so pretty and visually stunning that it makes you want to buy new books and read all day. That’s what you get from Ramsha @ The Booknookae. Her gorgeous bookstagram photos plus her one or two liner reviews and recommendations make this an easy blog to prowl through.

 

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Author and blogger, Lyndsey @ Lyndsey’s Book Blog, has got it all on her blog. Writing tips, book tags, reviews, book crate unboxings…it’s a combination of all things bookish and to top it off, she seems like a genuine and approachable person.

 

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I’ve been following Savannah @ The Book Prophet for a long while, pretty much since I got back into blogging. Her reviews are thorough without being long-winded and I love that you can always skim just the bolded parts and hilarious gifs for a TLDR version. Lots of books on my TBR list have come from her suggestions. My favorite posts are probably her discussion topics though! Sometimes it gets a little repetitive to see the same book tags across all the blogs you follow and Savannah always has interesting, original discussion posts that get me thinking!

 

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Have any great blogs you think I should check out? No shame in volunteering your own, hahah.

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Happy Friday, ya’ll!

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Featured Follows | Peep these Blogs!

Half of the fun in blogging is in the community. Surrounding yourself with great blogs with related content motivates you to keep reading, keep blogging and keep having fun. That’s a hard rule for me – that blogging should be fun. I have enough stress in my life. So I’m never too hard on myself for taking those one or two months off when I need it or pressure myself to create content that I feel will be popular or really rake in the stats. For me, this blog is about raking more rays of sunshine into my life.

That being said, here are some of the rays of sunshine that I follow or follow me. Interacting with these lovelies is a definite perk to my day. Maybe they’ll be a good add to your follow list, too.

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Kristin | Kristin Kraves Books

Full of quick, concise but helpful reviews and thoughtful discussion topics, Kristin’s writing is animated and enthusiastic about all things bookish.  She’s also just a sweet person who’s super active in commenting and replying to other posts.

 

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Holly | Nut Free Nerd

Some bloggers are very serious about their content and they are strictly hyper book review focused. What I love about Nut Free Nerd is that her blog is also infused her life and personality. I love getting to know bloggers as people and seeing bits of their lives outside of the pages. She also has a consistent high volume of quality posts, so there’s always more to read.

 

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Breanna | Paws and Paperbacks

P&P is a recent follow for me, but she’s easily becoming one of those book bloggers whose opinion you trust. She’s fair, but super honest in her reviews. There’s no sugar-coating or hype-training for her. She tells it like it is, which I find super helpful when I’m looking for that next book to pick up.

 

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That’s it for this week, folks! But writing this post was surprisingly super fun. It may be sticking around as a weekly thing. We’ll see! Which blogs do you love and recommend? I’d love to check them out.

As always, Happy Reading!

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

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Happy Middle of June! Except not quite because I missed it by a few days. Meh, when am I ever on time with blog posts though? Anyways, I first peeped this tag over at Steff @ Little Booky Nook ! I love a blogger with a sense of humor and good taste in books. Don’t you? Check out all her reviews, collection of tags and – my personal favorite – all her book rants.

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Best book you have read so far in 2017

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Shades of Magic Series. This is tough ’cause I’ve read some good ones this year, but nothing stole my heart quite like V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic Series. So much so that I’m giving away a copy of the first book in the series. 

Best Sequel of 2017 so far

A Gathering of Shadows. I’ve actually read more sequels than usual this year. Namely Prodigy, The Rose Society and now working through A Court of Mist and Fury. A Gathering of Shadows still tops the list for me though.

New release you haven’t read yet, but you want to

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Want by Cindy Pon

If a gorgeous cover and a diverse character/setting isn’t enough to intrigue you, perhaps this review by Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks will convince you. It sure as heck convinced me.

Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017

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Not sure if there’s anything I’m absolutely dying to get my hands on right away. Maybe it’s because my TBR list is far too long already, but I haven’t kept an eye on what’s coming up lately.

Biggest disappointment

Paper Princess by Erin Watt

So much hype. So little plot.

This is our story by Ashley Elston

Actually came onto my radar as an under-hyped book. Turns out I agreed with the lack of hype. Wasn’t much here for me.

Biggest surprise

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Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. 

This did not go the way I thought it was going to go. Why did it go that way. *cries quietly*

Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)

Obvi V.E. Schwab. Even when I don’t love the plot or pacing of her novels, I really do enjoy her style and characterization. Also Laura Ruby though! Bone Gap was one of my favorites last year and I haven’t gotten too far with York yet, but I’m definitely already a fan of her writing.

Favourite new character

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Is it terrible to admit that I’m just too lazy to pick?

Book that made you cry

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More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. 

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I mean really, need I say more?

Book that made you happy

All the books I’ve read this year have broken my heart, which has made me happy in the sense that they’re great books. …But not too many happy ending reads so far. It’s all dark, stormy clouds over here.

Favourite book to movie adaption you’ve seen this year

Haven’t seen too many adaptations this year to be honest. I did really love Logan though, which was very loosely inspired by Old Man Logan, a comic arc which I also loved.

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Favourite review you’ve written this year

My reviews are more a collection of rapid-fire thoughts than actual reviews…so to be honest, I don’t think much of them ha! Here are two of my more popular sets of reviews this year though : March Book Reviews | April Book Reviews

Most beautiful book you’ve bought/received this year

Now this isn’t beautiful in the traditional sense, but I just started listening to the Daughter of Smoke and Bones audiobook. Oh my goooooooosh. 

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Christine Hvam does the most incredible voices. Her narration enriches the story so much for me that despite wanting to whip open the actual book to see what happens, I find myself just waiting for long car rides so I can listen to her read it instead. One of the rare instances in which I think I prefer the audiobook. Seriously, if you haven’t listened to her version of it (which is available on Overdrive), check. it. out.

I recently got my older sister back into reading (score!) by getting her a kindle and introducing her to audiobooks on apps like Overdrive. We both just happened to start this audiobook at the same time and it’s a glowing endorsement from her as well.

Books you need to read by the end of the year

I really want to get through ACOMAF and ACOWAR just to catch up with the rest of the book world, but they seem to take me forever to get through so we’ll see how that goes. There are also a bunch of new contemporary releases that have been pretty well received (i.e. When Dimple Met Rishi, The Hate U Give, etc.) but I have been on a pretty long fantasy binge lately. I’m not quite seeing a light at the end of that tunnel yet, so who knows if I’ll squeeze in any of those this year.

 

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Anywho. Like I said, I’m pretty late with this tag and don’t want to go about tagging folks that have already done this one, so if you haven’t…I tag you! Feel free to link your posts below if you have done this tag! I’d love to check them out.

Happy Reading!

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April Book Reviews

A wee bit late, but here’s my April wrap-up! Every month I say time has gone by too quickly, but April in particular just disappeared. Seriously, where’d it go? This has been an interesting month for me. Injuries and lots of life changes have kept me rather preoccupied so I haven’t been posting or reading very much lately. I only got through two books this month, but they’ve been waiting on the TBR shelf for a while. So feeling rather satisfied to check them off the list.

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A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Read it? Dear Lord, yes.

I loved A Darker Shade of Magic to pieces. Really, really loved it. I was worried AGOS would let me down. The plot pacing was much slower in this one. So much time was spent on the Essen Tasch and various romantic side stories in this one, while the real dangers brewed and festered slowly in the background. Not to say there weren’t some epic moments along the way, but we don’t get much real excitement related to the central plotline until right at the very end when we’re left with an excruciating cliff-hanger. Nonetheless, I was still drowning in feels and I very much enjoyed this sequel. Schwab has a way of writing such brilliant, real, lovable characters that it really makes up for any of the other issues for me. I’ve already started reading A Conjuring of Light and am already sad because this series is coming to an end all too quickly. Please stoooooop.

 

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The Night Circus by Erin Mergenstern

Read it? Sure, why not.

Whimsical, but unsubstantial. The Night Circus is full of vivid imagery, unique ideas and rather curious circumstances. But underneath all the flowery writing and mysterious characters, we just don’t get a lot. I expected a “duel” similar to the Prestige, if you’ve seen that movie. Intense, and obsessive, but it’s all very mild. There’s really hardly a sense of competition at all and the conflict seems kind of forced, the ultimatums full of loopholes.  That combined with all the time skips,  perspective shifts, and various sub-stories, The Night Circus can be difficult to follow and fully grasp sometimes. I’m somewhat tempted to re-read it and see if it changes anything. Overall, I thought it was an entertaining read. Discovering the world of the circus is definitely enchanting, but there’s nothing to invest in here really. You don’t get to intimately meet your protagonists or feel the tension of their struggle. Fun ideas, but it read one-dimensionally to me.

March Read List

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Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

You don’t find a ton of magical realism in young adult novels. Or maybe just not in the ones I’ve been reading. Either way Bone Gap was a refreshing visit back to that genre. I found Finn and Petey to be incredibly endearing and Roza to be an empowering heroine to root for. This book says a lot in a little and really portrays every kind of person through the small town of Bone Gap. I’d recommend this one pretty strongly to just about anyone.

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Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This took me a little bit to get into. I almost stopped reading the book altogether when I was twenty pages in because of all the pop culture references and just how heavily teen it felt sometimes if that makes any sense. Like in a way, it was trying too hard to be young and relevant like the cool mom. But then you keep going and you realize that’s kind of the charm of it. It very much so is about the essence of those awkward teenage years and the struggle behind all the tropes. Didn’t love it, but it was a nostalgic read that reminded me quite a bit of this book I read in highschool years ago.

If you liked this, read: M or F by Lisa Papademetriou

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Legend by Marie Lu

I enjoyed the Young Elites when I read it earlier this year in January and all the buzz was  about Lu’s other series, Legend. Overall, I thought it was entertaining, but underwhelming. I didn’t fall in love with either of the lead characters. Nonetheless, I’ll probably finish the series out just to see where she takes it. I do appreciate the ethnic diversity of her characters and I hope that’s something the producers stay true to in the movie adaptation. You don’t always get to see Asian-Americans in major pictures, let only as leads. So crossing my fingers for that!

That’s about it for March! I’m on-track so far for my 2016 Reading Challenge goal of 35 books. If any of you want to follow me along my challenge, you can do so on Goodreads! Feel free to drop your link below too!

Comics Lately

When I was in highschool, I worked at a tutoring center during the summers. Right across the street was a small Mom n’ Pop comicbook shop and Wednesdays meant 1) paycheck and 2) new releases. It used to be the highlight of my week. College made it a little more difficult to keep up with new releases so I fell behind on my series and eventually fell out of reading comic books altogether. But the dark ages are over! Here’s what I’ve been reading lately.

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1. All-New Hawkeye

Jeff Lemire is a stellar writer. Stellar. This take on Hawkeye follows Clint and Kate as they fumble their way through a S.H.I.E.L.D mission. Along the way, we get gorgeous flashbacks of Clint’s childhood and backstory, which keeps the story equal parts dark and endearing. Lemire’s dialogue and storytelling is so natural and fluid especially when combined with art from Ramon Perez and Ian Herring.

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2. FABLES

Fables is a pretty popular series at this point and is far into its run with around 150 issues currently. It’s Once Upon a Time but with a much more imaginative interpretation of characters and overlap of stories. Not to mention, darker and more violent. It’s always satisfying to see old fairy tales brought to new life. But even without that, Buckingham creates a killer story. All the amazing covers by James Jean are an added bonus.

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3. Saga

I fell in love with Fiona Staples’ characters and art before I ever realized it was a comic book. Brian K. Vaughan’s writing is no disappointment either. Saga is so loved at this point, it doesn’t need much advertising on my part. Two soldiers accidentally fall in love and have a baby in a world that is equal parts fantasy and western. Star Wars-esque environments but with scenes and characters that are far from PG.

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4. Rat Queens

This one I didn’t love so much. I picked up the first volume and while quirky and funny, it didn’t really suck me in. The characters and their relationships weren’t that interesting. Maybe I just can’t handle the sass. It wasn’t a bad book by any means though. I’m just still on the fence as to whether I’ll be going back for more.

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5. Descender

Like I said Jeff Lemire = A+. Descender is a sci-fi pinocchio in a universe that is reminiscent of the Guardians of the Galaxy world, but distinct in its own ways. TIM-21 is the last robot of his kind and may hold the key to solving the mystery of the Harvesters (giant robots that attacked the universe then disappeared). The storyline, characters and writing are already worth picking up the book. But add that to Dustin Nguyen’s beautiful watercolor pages and you’ve got a winning recipe.

Overall, I feel like image has really been turning out great works recently.  Not being tied to the superhero genre or a single comprehensive universe allows them to experiment with different kinds of stories. I’m a fan. Though I have heard great things about Ms.Marvel, Thor and the new Hawkeye series. They’re somewhere on my hitlist. So many comics, so little time…and money. (Insert quiet sobbing here).