Monthly Wrap-Up: November 2019

Morning, bloggers!

I haven’t been around the blogosphere lately since I’ve been dealing with a lot of personal problems. But I’ve found a better medical regimen that should help. Overall, the month of November was pretty quiet on the blogging front, but I was able to squeeze some Christmas shopping in with Mom.

How did November treat you? Was it a great reading month?

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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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Review | Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: November 6, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction, Superheroes, Fantasy

Page Count: 471

Rating: 4.5/5

Source: Purchase

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


As Insomnia, she is a full-fledged member of the Renegades, a syndicate of powerful and beloved superheroes. She works with Adrian’s patrol unit to protect the weak and maintain order in Gatlon City.

As Nightmare, she is an Anarchist—a group of villains who are determined to destroy the Renegades. Nova wants vengeance against the so-called heroes who once failed her when she needed them most. But as Nova, her feelings for Adrian are deepening, despite the fact that he is the son of her sworn enemies and, unbeknownst to Nova, he has some dangerous secrets of his own.

In this second installment of the Renegades trilogy, Nova, Adrian, and the rest of their crew—Ruby, Oscar, and Danna—are faced with escalating crime in Gatlon City, while covert weapons and conflicting missions have Nova and Adrian questioning not only their beliefs about justice, but also the feelings they have for each other.

The line between good and evil has been blurred, but what’s clear to them both is that too much power could mean the end of their city—and the world—as they know it.


“Once we have total power, what’s to keep us from becoming villains ourselves?”

Have you ever anticipated reading a book but were afraid of doing just that? I didn’t know how to prepare for when I read the sequel to Renegades. How could I since I didn’t want it to disappoint me? So even though I went in with no expectations, Archenemies is the story I was hoping for and more.

Moral dilemmas, internal battles, and questionable beliefs play pivotal parts in the sequel. And characters are often challenged and tested by them. Although the storyline is slow in some places, I feel that character development and growth will keep readers demanding more from the Gatlon City foes and heroes.

I eagerly dived into this superb universe. I never thought I’d like reading about superheroes, but Marissa makes you love them all the more though. Archenemies quickly takes off from the explosive ending in Renegades. Gatlon City is seeing an increased crime wave while Nova battles with her duty and responsibility as a Renegade and as an Anarchist. Drugs and weapons flood the streets, but the Renegades, the idolized heroes of the city, uncover a new weapon that may stop crime for good, Weapon N.

I love finding storylines that make readers question what they’d might do. And Archenemies excels at that inner conflict. While the first novel gives you some development, the growth with the two protagonists will intrigue Marissa’s following. And I’m happy to say that I enjoyed seeing how Adrian (Sketch and the Sentinel) and Nova (Nightmare and Insomnia) play into their roles. Each character sees how their worlds clash against each other, but now they aren’t naïve by just trusting in their own views.

While this growth takes the spotlight, some of the action and other characters are pushed into the background, which I hope wouldn’t happen. Marissa’s main characters are compelling, but I wanted more substance with the secondary ones. I love how Nova transitions from one life to the next. She is my favourite out the roster. And the inner conflict she faces gives you an inside view of how difficult her need to avenge her family and her duty as a friend will quarrel with each other.

This sequel is more character driven than anything else. And I can’t help but commend Marissa for pulling off this feat. The characters will always stand above the action scenes, I say. I want to see how this world unfolds, how Adrian and Nova’s budding relationship will turn out, and if Gatlon City will survive when the Renegades and the Anarchists finally confront each other again. I wasn’t expecting to love Archenemies, but now I can’t wait for the final novel!

Monthly Wrap-Up: November 2018

Hi, book fam!

Okay, I’ll be straight with you all. November may be my worst month of 2018, and I may be so glad it’s over. But my thrill of December starting just makes me warm up. As some of you know, I struggled with some personal problems like family stress and someone stealing my identity. But I can’t let these negative sway my love of Christmas.

So for my monthly goal, I’m catching up on my blog and up my blogger friends, reach out like before, and be more involved in our great community. And frankly, I’m a little stoked for Blogmas (or some form of it, because blogging every day sounds daunting).

Who’s ready for another monthly wrap-up post? Let’s get to it then.

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Top Ten Tuesday | Books on My Fall 2018 TBR

Hey, everyone!

So guess who got an extension on her internship? Clearly me. And I forgot to tell everyone. Typical, I don’t say anything until weeks later. I’m thrilled, and I can’t believe I’ve been working at a small press for the last six months. I can’t. Someone slap me, please.

As you all know, 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 show off our potential TBR list for Fall 2018. And I don’t know if I should be dreading this post or if I should be happy. My physical pile is getting out of control, but let’s throw in some new titles and just ignore the problem, shall we?

So I hope you enjoy! Here are my top picks:

 

Sadie

I’ve heard a lot of buzz with this new YA mystery. And I knew I had to read it when I found about the podcasts you can listen to while reading the book. I love unique ways of telling a story, and I think this book deserves a place on my TBR list.

 

Two Dark Reigns

I probably haven’t given the series proper credit. Kendare has created an eerie yet spellbinding world, and I love it. Unfortunately, some tropes kept me from reading the sequels sooner. But I need to stop letting my moods get in the way of some great storytelling. And frankly, I need to know which queen kills Mirabella.

 

Broken Things

I wasn’t sure if I should put this title on my list. However, I like to explore different genres. And I’ve seen some promising reviews for this YA suspense. I don’t always read this kind of book, which is why I’m so drawn to it. And I think it’s a perfect read for the Fall and Halloween.

 

Archenemies

Please be good. Please be good. You don’t know how much I want this book to be good. 😂 I adore Marissa’s writing. I truly do. But the cliffhanger at the end of Renegades has kept me on my toes ever since I read it. I love dark little heart Nova, and I can’t wait to see the internal battle she’ll more than likely have in this sequel. Bring it, Marissa!

 

Shadow of the Fox

I first fell in love with the cover. You can’t go wrong with cover love. But at the time, I was a little hesitant about putting it on my list. I’ve never heard about the author before. But I adore Japanese culture, and I keep seeing rave reviews. So I’m taking a chance on this book.

 

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Yes, this book has been on another one of my TTT posts. But I’m not passing up on this series. Nope. Not going to happen. I love historical fiction, and the author incorporates some of the most prolific characters and real-life people into her writing.

Monthly Wrap-Up | June 2018

Seriously?! June is over? I cannot believe it is. I’m kind of freaking out at how fast this year is going. So I needed to take some time away from blogging. My life has been too hectic. And just for the sake of doing so, I didn’t want to publish something half ass. But you’ll be seeing me around much more though!

Let me know how your June has gone! I’d love to check up with all of you.

 

Yeah, last month, reading took a back seat. I couldn’t decide which book to read, which one to hold off on, and which one to finish. I went back and forth from one book to the next. Don’t you hate you that? I know I do. I can’t stand it when indecisiveness rules my every choice.

But with the books I did read, I enjoyed. And I was finally able to read two of my most anticipated reads of this year!

 

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

⭐⭐⭐⭐½

I need to find my fellow Dantella groupies because I need to squee about this book. Caraval is one book that snuck on me when I didn’t expect it. And I’ve been eagerly waiting to read Legendary. But like other readers, I was hesitant to read a book solely on Tella’s POV. Tella is a tricky character for me. She bothered me in Stephanie’s debut novel, but I loved her in this one. Stephanie blends magic, intrigue, and politics and creates an enchanting experience.

I cannot wait to read Finale.

 

Smoke in the Sun by Renée Ahdieh

⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book is GORGEOUS. It rivals Flame in the Mist, and I thought that book was too beautiful for words. Smoke brings on a rollercoaster of emotions for me. Going in, I knew my favourite characters, Mariko and Okami, would suffer, but I was not anticipating the need to punch a wall and scream, “don’t hurt my babies!” at 2 in the morning.

Renée beautifully crafts a historical fantasy you’ve been hoping to read. And while the book is a slow burn, it will satisfy her dedicated readers. I’m hooked.

 

Winter by Marissa Meyer

This book is BEAST. I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m enjoying it. Even though I’m late to the game, I don’t want this series to end. Finally, the entire crew joins forces to take down the evil bitch queen we call Levana (bless my swearing skills). I feel the story starts off slow and then builds off of that. I enjoy seeing how each character interacts, and I hope to finish this monster off shortly.

I cannot wait to find more sci-fi books. I don’t want to miss any great series. So shoot me some of your favourite picks! I’d love to discover more!


Give it to me to buy more books than I read for the month. Okay, I can’t put the blame on that. I had several pre-orders, so don’t judge. What am I saying?! I’m talking to fellow book nerds.

I wanted to keep my book haul short for June since I wasn’t sure if I’d read this all (I’m glad I decided ahead of time, or I’d be kicking my butt right now). But I was able to pick up books I’ve been dying to read. And hopefully, I’ll get to them soon.

Who am I kidding? I’ll just keep adding to my pile. 😂

 

So what was your most anticipated book for June? Did you get into a reading slump like me? Let me know in the comments!!

Review | Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: February 4, 2014

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 592

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

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


Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker; unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.


“The people of Luna don’t need a princess. They need a revolutionary.” Cinder furrowed her brow. “A revolutionary,” she repeated. She liked that a lot better than princess.”

Do you know how much I want to start my review with the word squee?! I don’t know how I can do this book justice with that. But I am in love with this adorable addition to the Lunar Chronicles. Somehow Marissa adds just enough cuteness, bromance, friendship, sci-fi, and action-package scenes and creates a stellar sequel.

Years ago, I heard about this little intergalactic gem, but then I never knew I’d love it as much as Thorne (Kai may take second place there). But here I am, gushing over it. Each sequel makes this series better and, in some way, makes me love it even more. The space gang is up to no good, and I am a giddy little reader rooting for them all the way.

Marissa surprises her readers by making this Rapunzel remake into a charming, innocent, and delightful read. I’ve always related to this character. Why? I have long hair. And I always look for the good in life even if I am a cynic. But Marissa cranks up the cuteness to an eleven. Crescent Moon, or Cress for short, is refreshing. This Lunar hacker and programmer, who is a Shell, devises a plan for the gang to rescue her from her satellite prison, which Sybil, the head thaumaturge, put her in.But chaos ensues, and they’re separated.

Cress may be naïve with love, but her insta-love reaction toward Thorne melts my heart. I don’t care about this kind of trope right now because it works. Marissa makes me like insta-love trope. Is this for real? I guess so. When I read their scenes, I wanted to smoosh their faces together and demand they kiss. I’ve been rooting for this couple since before I read Cinder. So at least I can say I’m invested in their happiness.

Marissa perfectly weaves together three stories that create a magical series. Each character adds a well-thought-out layer to an already complex universe. But I love the characters and their progression. Cinder is determined to prevent Kai from marrying Queen Levana; Scarlet is dead set to survive; Cress will prove herself, no matter the cost. And yet these three-dimensional characters amplify the storyline. This series does not let female readers down. It lifts them up, And I’m in awe of the woman empowerment Marissa offers in her writing.

But she doesn’t let her male characters wait in the shadows of the main ones. They play a vital role. And while each romance is unique, these characters stand on their own and stand with Cress, Cinder, and Scarlet. And I love that.

I don’t always give YA books the respect they deserve. And Marissa deserves every bit of it. While she injects romance into her writing and worldbuilding, she offers a platform for female readers to look up to strong and independent characters. She isn’t afraid to test the boundaries of strength. And that kind of writing is what I dream to find in books. I cannot wait for the next book.

Review | Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: February 5, 2013

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 464

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

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


Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison-even though she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.


“She did not know that the wolf was a wicked sort of animal, and she was not afraid of him.”

Did I have big expectations with this sequel? Yes. Has Marissa surpassed them? Hell yes. She gives her readers secrets, politics, alpha females, genetically modified beasties, and squeal-worthy love stories. And I can’t help myself with falling in love with this sequel.

I’ve been dreading reading Scarlet’s story. Some readers didn’t like her, while others loved her. Clearly, I’m the latter. So fight me if you think otherwise. Marissa ties together both Cinder’s storyline with Scarlet’s. I wasn’t too sure if I’d like duo arcs, but she effortlessly blends the two together, and I enjoyed how Cinder and Scarlet are connected.

Cinder escapes from jail and is on the run, yet she leaves her heart with Kai. With the help from Wolf, a mysterious street fighter, Scarlet discovers her grandmother is missing and must find her, but the woman she loves may have kept a hidden life. I was hoping for Cinder and Thorne to meet up with Scarlet and Wolf much earlier in the story. Their eventual connection seems to drag on, but the individual storylines make up for that.

Marissa creates multi-dimensional characters. Her characters are flawed yet believable. You can easily relate to their fear, pain, and determination. I did not anticipate liking Scarlet as much as Cinder. That cyborg has a small little piece of my heart, yet Scarlet slid right in there as well. These two female characters are what keep me loving YA series.

While the plot is phenomenal, I feel this sequel is more character driven. What Marissa exceeds in are her characters. You don’t get flat, uninspiring ones; you find ones who make you want to read more. Scarlet is an alpha female who, even when she’s scared, doesn’t stop fighting, and I admire that drive in her and Cinder. But they don’t let their potential love interest overshadow who they are.

One love interest I adore the most is the silence yet deadly type. And Wolf is the epitome of that. He’s dangerous, complex, yet somehow, in his own way, perfect for Scarlet. Yes, I wanted to punch him in a few scenes, but he deserves love as much as any other person. And now, I can officially swoon over Captain Carswell Thorne. I’ll always love the cocky, sarcastic male characters. I’m predictable, but I know what I love. I’ve been waiting for this book since I first heard about him, and he doesn’t disappoint. I also find Cinder and Thorne’s friendship refreshing. It’s what sealed this book for me. It had me laughing well into the night.

I don’t know how some readers rated this book lower. Scarlet offers just enough spunk, sarcasm, science fiction, and love to keep readers screaming for more. Then Marissa adds adrenaline, then heartbreaking yet thrilling scenes. I’m a Lunar fan through and through. This is one fandom I’m here to stay.

“But you’re the only one, Scarlet. You’ll always be the only one.”

Top Ten Tuesday | Book Covers with My New Favourite Colour

 

Colour me purple. I could have gone the safe way by choosing blue or burgundy, which are my favourite colours. Nah. That just seems too boring. So for my choices for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, I pick a colour I’m starting to like. You can already guess which one. I wasn’t a huge fan of it, but I’ve grown to love it though.

Winter by Marissa Meyer

I recently bought this book since I’ve finally got into this series. Yes, I’m horrible with my TBR list. The first book I read by Marissa is Renegades. It’s a good read, but I must prefer Lunar Chronicles. She’s becoming one of my new favourite authors.

 

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Can I fangirl more over this cover? Probably not. But I can certainly try. It sold me. This year, I hope to get more diverse books onto my reading list, and this tops the lists. I eagerly await its release!

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Ugh, this book. It broke me in two, and I still don’t know if I’ve healed from it. Honestly, I haven’t read all the books even though I have them all waiting on my shelf.

 

Honor among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

I’ve seen this book floating around the blogosphere lately. And this book was singing to me when I decided to go on a sci-fi haul. Give me a conflicted anti-hero female lead, sentient alien spaceships, and a great cover, and you’ve got me hooked. I can’t wait to read this.

 

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne

Wait, you’re telling me I missed a Jane Eyre retelling set in space?! Yes, I regret everything right now. Well then, I’ve just found a new sci-fi read. 😉

 

Smoke in the Sun by Renée Ahdieh

Why must this be the last book? WHY?! I adore the characters, lush storyline, and culture. But I’m worried I have too high expectations for this sequel. I don’t want my babies to get hurt, but I just see heartache on the horizon. Are you looking forward to Smoke in the Sun?