Beyond the Blurb | Act Your Age and Read YA

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that young adult readers will always be shamed. I’m not surprised that someone has decided to criticize YA readers, authors, and books.

Since I’m primarily a YA blogger, I thought I’d address this issue in the next installment of my discussion series, Beyond the Blurb. And before we get to the post, let’s give Melissa from The Reader and the Chef a round of applause for addressing this topic. A writer from Fordham Ram, Fordham University’s journal of record, suggested readers read their age. I understand the original poster is an aspiring writer, but antagonizing a potential and a powerful audience isn’t necessarily the right direction to go before starting a writing career.

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Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2019

Hey book fam,

Phew! Another month has passed, and I can let out a well-deserved sigh of relief. February was rather slow and hard for me personally. We finally got the results of my Mom’s cancer. And she’s in the early stages, which I can’t believe.

I wanted to take some time away from my blog. But you all were the reason why I stayed. You kept me smiling and laughing. You kept the shadows away. And I cannot thank you enough for all of your support.

Even though blogging is stressful, it has given me purpose and drive to strive forward, even when I feel I can’t get off the ground. So although February was arduous, I found an escape through this community and some great books. Now, let’s get to the wrap-up, yes?

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Beyond the Blurb | Breaking Up with a Book from Your Favourite Series

Morning, book fam!

Are you that surprised I’m going with the hard discussion topic? I’m not. Not in the slightest. Breaking up with a book is hard, painful, and often heartbreaking. It particularly hurts when the title is one of your most anticipated reads of the year. Sometimes though, you may have set your expectations high and now run into the situation where you aren’t sure if you should DNF that book or suffer.

And right now, I’m in that position. On the 13th, I first started reading King of Scars. I’ve been waiting for this book for a good year, even though, at the time, I didn’t read the Grisha Trilogy yet. And I want to scream at the book gods and demand why I’m not loving it as much as I want to. Yes, I expect this series to floor me just as Six of Crows has done. But I feel Leigh, even though she is my queen, and her books are a bit of a hit-or-miss with me. And I hate that. Hate it more than damaged books. So if you’re stuck, like me, what do you do? How do you move from the literary fork in the road? For my next discussion post, Beyond the Blurb, I’ve come up with these simple tips to live by:

 

If You’re Struggling So Much That You Can’t Focus, Put the Book Down and Move On

What’s the point in struggling? What’s the point in wasting more time on a book that doesn’t capture your attention and draw you in? You shouldn’t have to suffer just because you bought the book. You can simply DNF it.

 

If You Feel as if You’ve Invested Enough Time into the Series, Reconsider

Right now, this tip is where I go back and forth on. I’ve invested a lot of time and money in this series. I’ve purchased the merch, the special editions, and all the books. So why shouldn’t I put in the time for the next addition to this ever-growing world?

 

If You Believe You Can’t Get into the Story, Find Another One, Then Come Back

Perhaps the book isn’t the right fit for you at this time. Some books are meant to be read at the right moment. And others need to be read later on. If you hate DNFing a book, you can always come back to it when you’ve cleansed your palate.

 

If You Need a Pick-Me-Up, Read Your Favourite Genre to Get Back into the Swing of Things

Even though I love YA fantasy, which is one of my favourites, I’m digging the paranormal romance genre right now. And I feel like I need some zing in my dull reading life. Some genres are hard to get into, so always go back to the one that makes you feel happy.

 

If You Still Aren’t Sure, Ask a Reader/Blogger Friend

Friends are there for more than just talking about your favourite book boyfriend or the most hated character you want to see die. If you don’t know what you should do, ask your friends what their opinions are. Outside help is appreciated.

 

So what do you do when you contemplate breaking up with a book? What are your tips that can help readers when they’re stuck in this dreaded situation? What do you think I should do?

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Published by: Henry Holt and Co.

Publication Date: June 4, 2013

Genre: Fantasy

Page Count: 448

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Alina Starkov’s power has grown, but not without a price. She is the Sun Summoner-hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Shadow Fold. But she and Mal can’t outrun their enemies for long.

The Darkling is more determined than ever to claim Alina’s magic and use it to take the Ravkan throne. With nowhere else to turn, Alina enlists the help of an infamous privateer and sets out to lead the Grisha army.

But as the truth of Alina’s destiny unfolds, she slips deeper into the Darkling’s deadly game of forbidden magic, and further away from her humanity. To save her country, Alina will have to choose between her power and the love she thought would always be her shelter. No victory can come without sacrifice-and only she can face the oncoming storm.


“I’ve seen what you truly are, and I’ve never turned away. I never will. Can he say the same?”

Because of the fallout from the explosive ending of Leigh’s debut novel, Siege and Storm walks on the borderline of the second book syndrome. At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy the sequel. But I’m rather surprised I do.

Leigh improves on her weaknesses in Shadow and Bone. And while some nuisances weren’t necessary, I feel it gives you a better understanding of this vast universe Leigh has created. The political backdrop refuses to remain hidden and rears its disturbing head. And she explores the intricate bond Alina and the Darkling share, which is as tantalizing as I imagined it.

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Beyond the Blurb | Should We Panic over or Be Ecstatic for Book Adaptations?

Calling all Grisha and stabby babies!

Who’s ready for another discussion post?! The day has come. GrishaVerse is hitting the small screen! And all the Grisha fans let out a collective scream around the world. I clearly heard it. And I couldn’t stop myself from doing the same. Having Nikolai and Kaz sharing the same screen is almost too hard to fathom.

Now, I could rave about this news. And a part of me would like someone, preferably one of my bestie bloggers, to sedate me until we see the cast. I don’t know how I can handle the wait. Can you? I doubt anyone can.

But one little negative thought wiggled in my giddiness: the dreaded “what if the Netflix screws this adaptation up?!” feeling. Yes, I’m stirring the pot. But I’m generally curious to see how people feel about movie adaptations, particularly this one. So should we freak out and be the happy book lovers who’ve been waiting years for this chance? Or are we setting ourselves up for possible disappointment?

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Review | Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Published by: Henry Holt and Co.

Publication Date: June 5, 2012

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Page Count: 358

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold-a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.

Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite-and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.

As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.


“The problem with wanting,” he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, “is that it makes us weak.”

Coming back to the Grisha Trilogy, I never knew what to expect. How can you when Leigh whips you from one fantastical world to the next? I’ve anticipated this series since Six of Crows enchanted me.

Obviously, the first series doesn’t surpass my love for the second. And nothing will. Kaz owns my heart, so there’s no trying. But I knew I should have read it when I was younger. But I can’t resist the pull of Leigh’s writing. Her world building outclasses several authors I love. So I always want to come back to her universe.

Grisha practice the Small Science. And each caster is split into three orders: Corporalki; who are Heartrenders and Healers; Etherealki, who are Summoners; and Materialki, who are Fabrikators. Let me tell you: the magic system and the political intrigue in this series still captivate me to this day. Even though these Grisha are powerful, they must serve in the Second Army, where some consider themselves the superior beings in Ravka. I cannot get over how Leigh has crafted her debut book though.

Alina Starkov is your typical YA heroine who doesn’t know her own strength or beauty. Yup. Leigh went there. But what makes me enjoy Alina’s growth is how the new Sun Summoner is sarcastic. Praise the book gods! Finally, a character knows how to use sarcasm properly. While her voice at the beginning is somewhat annoying, I grew to enjoy her as a character. Now, with Malyen Oretsev—Alina’s friend, secret love, and soldier in the First Army—is harder to get around. I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoyed him, but he grew on me toward the end.

Now let the lower creatures step aside so the Darkling can take centre stage. Yes, I loved his scenes. And he’s one reason why I kept reading during the slower sections. He is such a dynamic and conflicting character, and yet I adore him as the villain.

But I hoped for more action where the slow pacing detracted from the overall storyline. I don’t mind a slow build, but sometimes I was looking for more. And what threw me off is the difference in writing style and voice. Six of Crows vastly eclipses her previous storytelling in the Grisha Trilogy. But it shows how far she has evolved as a writer though.

If you’ve fallen in love with Leigh’s other work, I recommend reading Shadow and Bone before you dive head first into King of Scars. Leigh is a queen at writing the perfect plot twist, and I’m glad finally to strike her debut novel off my TBR list.

Top Ten Tuesday | 2019 Books I’m Anticipating the Most

Okay, I’ll admit: I made this list much smaller than it truly is. I wouldn’t be surprised if it balloons to more than 30 books. I may want to reign in my TBR list, but I doubt I’ll tackle that task in my lifetime.

Top Ten Tuesday, originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is a weekly meme. For the next topic, we show off our anticipated reads of the first half of 2019. So my list may be short, but at least I won’t keep you here for forever. 😉

I hope you enjoy my picks. And I can’t wait to see what you choose for your list!

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Top Ten Tuesday | Authors I’d Love to Meet

Happy Tuesday, readers!

 

Who is excited for October? I can’t see to see what this month has in store for all of us! So many great releases are coming up, and I’m a ball of nerves.

Top Ten Tuesday, originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is a weekly meme. For this week’s topic, we get to fangirl/boy over our favourite authors we’d love to meet. Oh God, this is not good. I have too many options and not a lot of room to fit them in. What have you done when you picked this prompt?!

I’m good. Not really. I’m I’m slightly calmer. Anyways. As a Canadian, I don’t always have the opportunity to meet my favourite authors. But, if the chance arises, I’d probably die if I met these ones:

 

Jay Kristoff

I’m a new fan of Kristoff. And even though I haven’t read a lot of (if not, most) of his work, I’d probably flip if I met him. The man is a literary genius. He reaches out to his dedicated followers, and I love that kind of interaction. And honestly, I want to see the height difference between us, given that I’m 5’2″ (and ¾).

 

V. E. Schwab

I have immense respect for Victoria. She isn’t afraid to discuss her disability and her struggles. And her writing brings such joy to my dark days.

 

Leigh Bardugo

My goth Queen—frankly, she’s a goddess—will be at the top of my list. I adore her. I admire her. And I respect her strength. She gave me Kaz, who has inspired me to fight my demons. And I can’t thank her enough.

 

Sarah J. Maas

I just want to talk about the Inner Circle boys with her and find dirty fanmade illustrations of them, then giggle like 10-year-old girls together. Odd? I don’t care. I can’t make this list without her on it. No dice.

 

Sabaa Tahir

I arrived late to the Sabaa train, but I was an instant fan. I adore her writing and her strong female leads. I don’t know what I’d say, but I’d love for the chance.

 

Kelley Armstrong

Okay, this list cannot be complete without a Canadian author. So here she is. Yes, I’ve met Kelley before. And I still remember the day. She’s the reason why I continue to blog and stick it out in publishing. I’d more than likely fangirl like I did before, but I might be more coherent. I doubt it though.

Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Could Reread Forever

 

So for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, we get to talk about books we’ll reread. For good or bad, these books have sparked something in me, and I can’t part with them.

 

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

This first book ramped up my love for YA books. I cannot love it enough. I’ve read, then read again, this series more time than I can remember. For one thing, the main protagonist is a boy. Do you know how hard rare that is? At first, I hated it. I couldn’t connect with Ethan. But over time, I grew to love him and all the casters. Then the storyline opened up and introduced more exciting character arcs and mythology of the witches. Ethan will be one of my favourite characters though. And I hope the authors continue this series.

 

And I Darken (The Conquerer’s Saga) by Kiersten White

I’ve read it only once. However, Kiersten has written it so beautifully that I know it will be on my reread list for years. I feel that genderbending a story doesn’t usually work in some cases, but it does with this story though. I wasn’t sure how Lada could live up to Vlad the Impaler. But I underestimated this character, and a part of me is ashamed I have. At the beginning though, her brother Radu annoyed me, but now, he’s just a cinnamon roll I love even if the love he has for Mehmed may not be reciprocated.

 

Bitten (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong

This book. No, this entire series convinced me to enter the publishing industry (a lot harder than anyone thinks it’s is). Kelley is one of the best Canadian fantasy authors I’ve had the pleasure of reading. She creates independent, strong-willed women who will fight for themselves and their loved ones. I started reading this book when I was 13. And ever since, when I find a new book of hers, I’ll instantly buy regardless of if I’ve read the blurb.

 

Six of Crows by Leigh Barudgo

I want nothing more than to reread this series because it is gold. It is perfection. And it has Kaz, who holds a special place in my dark heart. But life and new books keep on getting in my way. Alas, my queen’s books are instant reads for me now. Somehow this series doesn’t contain a single flaw…Well, okay, it does with one, but I don’t want to spoil anyone. But this character-driven gem is a beautifully layered story. All of these characters are multi-dimensional and fight for who they are and where they’ve come from. They’re flawed, scarred, but not broken. I don’t know how Leigh pulled it off, but she has.

I can’t wait to see what happens in her next series.

 

 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This book broke me. It took me weeks just to get over the story and that ending. I think the Book Thief is one of the few books that have stuck with me ever since I read it. Not everyone knows, but I adore WWII stories. I’ll find the next one and rave about it. But with the Book Thief, I haven’t had another book top it. Liesel and Death perfectly complement each other. And this book gives a rare glimpse past the enemy line.

 

Book Haul: November Part I 2017

 

Hey, everyone!

I’ve returned to the land of the living. I haven’t been around since a cold kicked me pretty hard earlier this month, and I needed a glass shard removed from my hand, so I’m finally catching up on my blog. I missed talking with fellow bloggers and finding new books. So I’m back! So let’s get to the post.

Christmas is coming, so I kind of splurged last month (I regret nothing). I’ve been hoping to finally buy some of the books off my TBR list, and these ones are at the top. I cannot wait to crack these open.

Later this week, I’ll post part II of my big Christmas haul. Can’t wait!

 

Book Haul Lineup October

 

Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer

For years, my friend Dana has been hounding me to pick up this series, but I always seemed to forget. Anyways, Indigo persuaded to me to buy most of the series (who can say no to a great book deal?), and I hope to get Winter and the other two books to complete the set. I don’t know what’s in store for me, but I’m loving the fairytale retelling genre.

What do you think of this series?

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

Grishaverse Series by Leigh Bardugo

I’ve known of this series for several years now, but I haven’t picked it up yet, even though I’ve read Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, and Language of Thorns. At this point, I’ll buy anything Leigh writes. I also heard that she’s writing a new duology series starring Nikolai Lantsov, who stole the show in Crooked Kingdom. So I’d love to jump into the Grisha world once again.

Do you prefer Six of Crows series over this one?

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

Yes, I should have read this book before reading the Dark Artifices series, but I skipped over it. I hope that I get more Malec, Sizzy, and Clace since I don’t see much of these characters in Dark Artifices. And I’m dying to see how Simon transforms into a Shadowhunter.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository