Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Quotes

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” -That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s theme:  

Book Quote Freebie – choose the theme with which you want the quote to be around

I am choosing self-love/empowerment quotes!

  1. “Carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man.” – The Love Hypothesis
  2. “There is a time for stillness, but who hasn’t also wanted to scream with delight at being outdoors? To simply announce themselves and say, I’m here, I exist?” -World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks and Other Astonishments
  3. “You do not yield” -Kingdom of Ash
  4. “Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.” -Stalking Jack the Ripper
  5. “Come at me, world. You can’t damage the impermeable.” -Heart Bones
  6. “Feelings were not stagnant. Neither were opinions or beliefs and if we stopped believing people were capable of change, then the world might as well be left to burn.” -A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
  7. “There is always more than one way to see the world. Those who claim otherwise would have you dwell forever in the dark.” -Sorcery of Thorns
  8. “Happiness isn’t some permanent thing we’re all trying to achieve in life, it’s merely a thing that shows up every now and then, sometimes in tiny doses that are just substantial enough to keep us going.” -Reminders of Him
  9. “There was nothing more dangerous than a woman who knew her own worth.” -The Atlas Six
  10. “You aren’t a flower, you’re every blossom in the wood blooming at once. You are a tidal wave. You’re a stampede. You are overwhelming.” -Crooked Kingdom

Dont forget to link your posts down below!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Curtsies & Conspiracies: A Review

The Book:

Title: Curtsies & Conspiracies

Author: Gail Carriger

Series: Finishing School #2

Genre: Steampunk, YA, Fantasy

Pages: 310

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia’s first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy–won’t Mumsy be surprised? Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers’ quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship’s boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot–one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In this sequel to New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail’s distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.” –Goodreads

My Review:

This review is going to be pretty short because a lot of the things I said in the review about the first book still hold true for this book.

I loved it. I do think it gets a little repetitive, but each little adventure they have is different. This time they go to London.

This time we get a little bit more of the romance between Sophronia and Soap. It makes me so happy whenever I heard them interacting. He literally was so charming.

Felix, the other love interest, was also really charming. I think it could go either way and I would be happy with the outcome. But, I definitely would prefer Soap since he is such a kind person.

I love how Sophronia is not concerned with the romance that was budding up between the two men. She is not bothered but is developing feelings. She is more concerned with learning how to be good at espionage and about her friends thethan she is about the men in her life.

The names get even more ridiculous and its just so fun. This book series is just so fun!

It says YA but I honestly think this is for anyone. I think everyone should check these out.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Hunting Prince Dracula: A Review

The Book:

Title: Hunting Prince Dracula

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #2

Published September 19th 2017 by Little, Brown & Company

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, YA, Romance

“Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine… and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?” –Goodreads

My Review:

Just like the first book, I loved this!

This one was almost more complex than the last one. The ending we never saw coming. The vampire lore that the story brought in was so cool.

I love how Maniscalco does so much research to make her books feel so real. I love everything about her writing so far. She spins real facts into this hauntingly beautiful story.

The library app I am listening to these books from is not giving them to me fast enough. I wait for a week for this book and I finished it within the day…again.

The story becomes even more intense. The stakes are so much higher. It is so enchanting how Maniscalco weaves death into a story about a girl making her way in the world of science.

A lot of people seem to dislike Aubrey in the first book and love her in this book. I would have to agree to an extent. I loved her last book, but she was kind of annoying with the whole “I am different” vibe. As I said in the last review, I hate that. I hate women putting down other women. In this one though, we get to see a more progressive side of her mind. She doesn’t shame the other women around her for liking the things they like.

That difference in the female portrayal also has a lot to do with how many more powerful and strong women are presented in this book. The last book, there weren’t a lot of females, and the ones there were not fully developed characters and their lives revolved around societal standards. In this book, Maniscalco provides a few women all with different personalities. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. It is important for fantasy novels to provide well-rounded portrayals of multiple people.

The book becomes so much more intense in this round. The protagonist is a lot closer to the murders. She also suffers from PTSD after the affairs of the last book. It adds more to that mythical “dead rising” that goes along with the story of Dracula.

I love this book series and cannot wait to start on the next one.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4.5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Heartstopper Volume 2 and Show Review

The Book:

Title: Heartstopper: Volume Two

Author: Alice Oseman

Series: Heartstopper #2

Published July 11th 2019 by Hodder Children’s Books

Genre: Graphic Novels, Romance, LGBTQ+

Pages: 320

“Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie’s gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn’t.

But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family … and himself.” –Goodreads

My Review:

This was so cute!

The book and the show are so good! I have all positive things to say about both, so the review is going to be a mix of both.

Agh!!! I was reading Volume 2 in the library and I kept squealing. Thankfully I was not in the quiet study section.

Literally, Nick and Charlie are my favorite couple ever! They are so cute and unproblematic.

The illustrations are amazing in the book. I love their interactions and all the little leaves floating around. It is just so cute. That was one of my favorite things about the show, that they had the leaves floating around whenever something good happened.

I feel like the show brought so much more to the characters. I was so impressed by the casting. They found a perfect Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson. The background characters, Tao (what was up with his hair?), Elle, Dary, and Tara were all perfect. They literally look exactly like their characters in the drawings.

We also got more background and got to see the characters interact without Charlie and Nick which was so fun. I really love the Tara and Darcy storyline. It was really interesting to see more of their character and more of their coming out as a couple.

All the tension and cuteness of the comic were in the show. It was so refreshing to have such a well-done book-to-movie adaptation. There were a few things missing and there were a few things added, but it was so amazing.

I binged the whole show in a day and I read Volume 2 within a day. I am obsessed with their story and I want a season 2. I cannot wait to read Volume 3.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Most Beautiful Book: World of Wonders

The Book:

Title: World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments

Author: Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Published August 3rd 2020 by Milkweed Editions

Genre: Non-fiction, Enviornment, Essays

Pages: 165

“From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction–a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us.

As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted–no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape–she was able to turn to our world’s fierce and funny creatures for guidance.

“What the peacock can do,” she tells us, “is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life.” The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts.

Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.” –Goodreads

My Review:

I read this book for a class this quarter. I also read Nezhukumatathil’s other book Oceanic. They were both amazing.

But this one was superb.

I loved it.

It is 165 pages of pure bliss. The book takes you on a journey through Nezhukumatathil’s life and how she relates it to nature.

Environmental creative non-fiction is a field dominated by white men, so seeing an Asian-American woman’s writing in this genre is refreshing. She writes about racism and how she healed from it in nature.

Nezhukumatathil has such a unique relationship with nature. She has traveled to places to see flowers bloom. She has swam with whale sharks. She talks to cardinals in her backyard. This is all illustrated throughout her writing.

The writing brought me into the story. I was able to experience what she felt like in each chapter of her life. I experienced everything because she wrote so beautifully.

Nezhukumatathil typically writes poetry, but her essay format gave her even more of a storytelling ability. It is so alluring to read and I could not put this down.

I also loved the illustrations done in this book. Most of the species talked about are illustrated at the beginning of the chapter which helps pulls you into the story even more. You are able to visualize every creature or plant she talks about.

I love this books so much. If you are into poetry, please go check out Nezhukumatathil. She is amazing and has something in her collections for everyone.

As always, thanks for reading,

Star Rating: 5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Want to Read

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” -That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s theme:  

Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To (Submitted by Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse)

  1. Diana Gabaldon- the “Outlander” series
  2. Sabaa Tahir- “Ember in the Ashes”
  3. Deborah Harkness- “A Discovery of Witches”
  4. Holly Black- “The Cruel Prince”
  5. Sasha Alsberg- “Breaking Time”
  6. Holly Jackson- “A Good Girls Guide to Murder”
  7. Tracy Deonn- “Legendborn”
  8. Kiera Cass- the “Selection” series
  9. Nicholas Sparks- romance books
  10. Katie Quinn- “The Diamond Eye”

Link your own post below or tell me who you want to read!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Gallant: The Newest from V.E. Schwab

The Book:

Title: Gallant

Author: V.E. Schwab

Published March 1st 2022 by Greenwillow Books

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Horror

Pages: 352

Everything casts a shadow. Even the world we live in. And as with every shadow, there is a place where it must touch. A seam, where the shadow meets its source.

Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home—to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home, it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.

Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.

Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?”-Goodreads

My Review:

Yes!

I finally did it. I finished a book within a week of it being published and am getting a review up.

It wasn’t hard with a book this good.

Schwab is not one of my top authors but with every book, I read she is slowly climbing up there. I loved this book.

It follows the story of Olivia who cannot speak while she tries to navigate a new familial relationship and the horrors that exist in her family’s house.

The plot is unique. I won’t give too much away because every little detail is so beautiful it needs to be discovered on its own. I craved more and could not put down the book every time I picked it up.

It was unique to read a book where the main character could not speak. The lack of dialogue made the book so much more. A lot could have been explained sooner if the main character would have been able to speak, but her troubles in navigating this make the book that much more suspenseful.

I am genuinely in awe over the illustrations in the book as well. Each time I saw them I noticed a new thing, a new message, trying to be conveyed to the main character and the reader.

This book honestly has no faults. Sometimes there were a few dull moments, but those were good to put the book down after you have been reading it for an hour or two. The only reason I am not giving it five stars is that I won’t be considering this one of my favorites. It will probably be on my top ten list of books this year though!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4.9

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Review: An Enchantment of Ravens

The Book:

Title: An Enchantment of Ravens

Author: Margaret Rogerson

Published September 26th 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance

Pages: 300

Every enchantment has a price.

With a flick of her paintbrush, Isobel creates stunning portraits for a dangerous set of clients: the fair folk. These immortal creatures cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and they trade valuable enchantments for Isobel’s paintings. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—Isobel makes a deadly mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes, a weakness that could cost him his throne, and even his life.

Furious, Rook spirits Isobel away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously amiss in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending upon each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, perhaps even love . . . a forbidden emotion that would violate the fair folks’ ruthless laws, rendering both their lives forfeit. What force could Isobel’s paintings conjure that is powerful enough to defy the ancient malice of the fairy courts?

Isobel and Rook journey along a knife-edge in a lush world where beauty masks corruption and the cost of survival might be more frightening than death itself.” – Goodreads

My Review:

After reading Sorcery of Thorns, I decided to go on a little shopping spree and buy every single one of this author’s books.

This is one of those books.

I devoured this book within two days of buying it. It is short and adventurous, but not as great as the first book I read.

These two books are unrelated, but they are similar in many ways. They both take place in a new world. They both deal with magical beings that the main character thinks are evil. They both deal with a kidnapping.

An Enchantment of Ravens’ word-building was a little underdeveloped. I felt like sometimes I was questioning what was happening. A lot of things were said as dialogue or thoughts to give background, but did not explain why things why they were. Each new land the main character visited was a bit confusing. I did not understand where Whimsy, her homeland, existed near all the fairylands.

It was a bit confusing.

This book lacked some of the Sorcery of Thorns’ wittiness. It seemed like a cheap imitation of the writing. The characters fell in love too quickly and they didn’t have the same quips as the other couple.

Everything else was great though. We had an interesting couple of twists and turns. I think we met some interesting characters.

The main character was charming. The love interest was a nice guy, but not necessarily anyone who peaked my interest.

This book was good but did have some downfalls. I am not sure if I would have felt the same about reading this book before reading Rogerson’s other book. I wonder if my expectations were too high. I mean if you did read my other review, I clearly said that Sorcery of Thorns is my new favorite book ever.

Anyways, I suggest you check out Rogerson’s works. I think they are beautiful. I am glad they are standalones. I do not have many fantasy books that don’t have sequels.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 3.8

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Book Haul

Alas, my post-Christmas book buying ban has ended. I wanted it to last another month, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy these books.

I had gift cards and I wanted to buy a Barnes and Nobles membership, so I bought four books and a membership last week.

The first book I bought, I finished reading last week and I was amazed. I just posted a review of that book so go check it out. I also bought the author’s other two books. I am also very excited to be getting the last book since I am trying to have a more diverse bookshelf.

The books I bought are:

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

“All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.” –Goodreads

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

“The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.” -Goodreads

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Every enchantment has a price.

With a flick of her paintbrush, Isobel creates stunning portraits for a dangerous set of clients: the fair folk. These immortal creatures cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and they trade valuable enchantments for Isobel’s paintings. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—Isobel makes a deadly mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes, a weakness that could cost him his throne, and even his life.

Furious, Rook spirits Isobel away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously amiss in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending upon each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, perhaps even love . . . a forbidden emotion that would violate the fair folks’ ruthless laws, rendering both their lives forfeit. What force could Isobel’s paintings conjure that is powerful enough to defy the ancient malice of the fairy courts?

Isobel and Rook journey along a knife-edge in a lush world where beauty masks corruption and the cost of survival might be more frightening than death itself.” –Goodreads

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

“After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.” –Goodreads

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

My Reaction to the Newest Shadow and Bone Cast Members-repost

Hey all,

I wanted to share my article for Her Campus that I posted a week ago.

I wrote out my reactions to the new Shadow and Bone cast members.

Click here for the article.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“NIKOLAI LANISTOV:

My biggest fictional crushes cast was perfect. They cast Patrick Gibson from The OA. Nikolai is my blond and beautiful privateer. Patrick is beautiful and he looks exactly like my imagination. I cannot wait to see him in his privateering getup. 

I am a Nikolai fan. I am die-hard and am still holding out hope that he and Alina fall in love on the show.

I was nervous that the cast member was going to be someone I have seen in another show before, like some of the rumors about Brandon Flynn. I have never seen the OA, so I have no prior exposure to Patrick. This means I can see him fully in the role of Nikolai. 

WYLAN VAN ECK:

Holy moly!

The casting for Nikolai was so good; I didn’t know it could get better. Jack Wolfe from The Witcher is AMAZING. Jack literally is Wylan. He looks like the producers pulled him out of Leigh Bardugo’s brain. He fits the little moppy-haired demolitions expert vibe perfectly!

Also, Wylan and Jesper’s storyline was my favorite romance in both these series. I think it was an injustice that he was not in the first season. But, the anticipation was worth it. 

TAMAR KIR-BATAAR:

Anna Leong Brophy from Back is perfect also. I did not have a set vision for Tamar, but Anna fits my loose definition perfectly. Looking at pictures, I can tell Anna is perfect for the role. 

TOLYA YUL-BATAAR:

Now this casting was interesting for me. Lewis Tan from Mortal Kombat is set to be Tolya. I imagined Tolya to be a huge hulk sized Heartrender. Lewis is not hulk sized, but he is still huge. He is also very attractive. I never thought Tolya was attractive while reading, but I can tell watching this series is going to be different.”

As always, thank you for reading,

A Bookie