WWW Wednesdays #2

Hello everyone! Happy Hump Day! I have been bad and neglecting my reviews due to flash floods in my area. Better than a flash blizzard in my opinion, but still very messy. But regardless, I wanted to hop on the blog and state that I am still alive and starting to pick back up again. Here’s another edition of WWW Wednesdays from my end, and I’d love to hear your answers as well!

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What did you finish recently? The very last book I finished was the audiobook version of Colleen Hoover’s Ugly Love. I remember that I used to think that I didn’t care for CH; that she was just a cliche contemporary writer. The more I read her, though, the more I am drawn into her as an author. She really knows how to write out her characters and their stories and has a gift for making her books just long enough, without being boring or overly drawn out.

What are you currently reading? I am actually writing this from beneath my currently reading pile because I got a little carried away. I started reading Entwined With You in an attempt to pick the Crossfire series back up, but I am just not into it. I guess I’m not in the same mindset to enjoy it the way I did when I started with the first two books a couple years ago. Lesson learned. So I moved on to People Like Us, which is a YA thriller/mystery. I was hooked into it from the start and at over halfway through, I am still enjoying it. I’m also reading Ever the Hunted, which I am also enjoying, but I honestly did not mean to pick up another series. I want to finish The Grishaverse first. And finally, I just started the audiobook of Catching Fire (book 2 of the Hunger Games). Its a re-read obviously, but I have just been craving that rebellion of the series lately.

What do you think you will read next? I’m waiting for HP and the Goblet of Fire to become available from my library to do a buddy re-read of that next. I also have a couple of blog tours coming up so I will be reading Amid Stars & Darkness (book 1) and Between Frost & Fury (book 2) of the Xenith Trilogy by Chani Lynn Feener, as well as The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager. I am extremely excited for these books! I also want to pick up Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne. That book is just calling to me!

So that’s all for now, folks! I promise to post more soon. We still have more rain and storms in the forecast so hopefully things won’t get too ugly but we can only wait and see. Take care, friends!

Currently listening: “Mr. Jones” by Counting Crows

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Tag Tuesday: The Musical Theater Tag!

Hello everyone! So, in light of the Tony’s airing last week, I just stumbled upon this Musical Theater tag and decided WHY NOT?!?! Now, I found this on Em’s blog, but she is not the original maker of the tag from my understanding. This tag is NOT a bookish one, but I am going to change a few tags and make them so. Apologies to the original maker of the tag, whoever you are. But anyway, here we go!

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  1. What was the first musical you ever saw? That is really difficult to say because my grandparents watched these things the way we watch Netflix. If you ask what was the first musical I remember seeing LIVE? That’s probably Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The Narrator in that show is still one of my dream roles.
  2. What was your favorite musical growing up? Growing up as a small child probably The Sound of Music because my grandmother played it for me and had me sing it constantly. Growing up into high school, though, I fell in love with Wicked and I really bonded with my best friend over it. We would sing it over and over together.
  3. Were you ever in a musical? Oh yes. My first ‘role’ was completely embarrassing and I never admit to it. I only got it because I was the only elementary student who could actually sing. Then in high school I was in the chorus in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (I’m still going to be that Narrator someday, dammit!). Then I played in the pit orchestra for the rest of high school. Then I actually studied voice and finally landed a badass role of the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music. Maria has NOTHIN’ on the Mother Abbess, I’ll tell you what. 😛
  4. What was the first musical you saw on Broadway? Wicked.
  5. If you could be any female character in any musical, who would you be and why? Kathy from The Last Five Years because have you seen that musical?!
  6. How about male character? Archibald Craven from The Secret Garden (bet you weren’t expecting that one, were you??). If you aren’t familiar with this musical, you absolutely should be. It is so beautiful. The male roles in this are spectacular. Plus, Lily Craven is another in my list of dream roles. Ohh, its just so beautiful, I just wilt at the thoughts of this musical!
  7. Favorite musical song to sing in the shower? Ummm, all of them?? ‘Come To My Garden,’ from The Secret Garden, ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain,’ from The Sound of Music, ‘Defying Gravity’ and ‘Popular’ from Wicked, ‘Let Me Be Your Star’ from Smash
  8. Who is your favorite musical theater actress? Audra McDonald, Julie Andrews, Kristin Chenowith
  9. Actor? Jeremy Jordan, Jonathan Groff, Aaron Tveitt, Christian Borle
  10. Favorite film adaptation of a musical book? The Hunger Games! I still love the books, but I like the movies too.
  11. What do you think is the most underrated musical book? Wither and the Chemical Garden trilogy is, I believe, a very underrated trilogy. The writing was great and the concept was so unique that it has stuck with me for the three years since I read the books.
  12. Overrated musical book? I know its an unpopular opinion but: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I wasn’t a fan.
  13. What musical made you cry? The Last Five Years. Gets me every time I listen to it. The movie version not necessarily…I didn’t think it was all that great (though I love looking at Jeremy Jordan, and he’s a great singer)…but man, I cry my eyes out.
  14. Are there any musicals books you saw read and hated? Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Eighty Days Yellow, and the first Vampire Diaries book.
  15. What musical book made you laugh? Geekerella and November 9 made me laugh.
  16. What musical book do you want to see made into a film? The GrishaVerse books, Children of Blood and Bone, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, and anything by Colleen Hoover.
  17. Which musicals are you dying to see? Hamilton – duh. Anything with Audra McDonald. HP and the Cursed Child.
  18. Any movie or book you think should be turned into a musical? That’s one I would actually need to think about…..I could almost see The Night Circus as a cool musical…

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Tag Tuesday: Inside Out

Hi everyone! So I just started a new job last week and as with any new job, I have been feeling SO many emotions! Its such a roller coaster!! That being said, I feel it appropriate to do the Inside Out Book Tag this week so here goes!

Joy: Which book brings you the most joy?
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Joy, for me, is probably The Hunger Games. Any versions, any merch, any anything and I’m just in love! The series means a lot to me and I just love the contents and the characters. Both the books and the movies are excellent, in my opinion. I love THG!

Disgust: Which book grossed you out the most?
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This one is pretty easy for me. Whiskey Sour or any of the Jack Daniels mysteries by J.A. Konrath. I have read the first three in the series and they are good but man, this guy is not shy about putting in details about his killers’ murder methods! Let’s just say, for example, that book 1 is responsible for me never eating bite size candy bars without me cutting them in half ever again. Nope, nope, nope!!

Fear: The book that scared you more than anything?
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I don’t scare easily when it comes to books, but due to the circumstances under which I read it, I am going to choose Amityville Horror for this one. I had to read this for a course in college and I read a few chapters over a weekend when I was staying by myself in a really old building at a camp/forest preserve out in the middle of nowhere! So hearing the creaks and moans of the old building and the wind and all that while reading about a possessed house was NOT a good idea!!!

Sadness: Which book made you cry the hardest?
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Oh Lordy, do I have to re-live this one? While I don’t scare easily over books, I do tend to cry relatively easily over books. So. My top cry books: Allegient (Divergent trilogy), Extraordinary Means (if you haven’t heard of this book, go look it up. If you liked The Fault in our Stars, or even if you didn’t [because I didn’t… #unpopularopinion ] this book was even better!), and The Light We Lost.

Anger: Which book pissed you off? 
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I won’t say it “pissed me off” but it definitely was not up to my expectations. Or maybe it wasn’t what I expected. So for this one I’ll choose Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. My favorite character gets killed off, my ideal ship doesn’t happen, and the trilogy ends!! Pout, pout, pout!

decorative-line-clipart-clipart-panda-free-clipart-images-gbhglo-clipart2bpinkSo that’s that, my friends! I hope that everyone in the U.S. had a nice, long weekend! If you’re not in the U.S. hopefully you’re having a great week so far. Well wishes to you all!

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Tag Tuesday: Norse Mythology Book Tag

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Its finally starting to feel AND look like spring in my neck of the woods and it is marvelous! Our pattern of snow…melt…snow…melt…snow…etc. is finally over (knock on wood, right?). But anyway, on to the reason why we’re all here: BOOKS!

So this week for *Tag Tuesday,* my friend Sarah posted the Norse Mythology Book Tag and it was awesome!

THE RULES of the TAG

  • Link back to my original post and to Kyera’s post
  • Thank the person(s) who tagged you…show the community some love!
  • Obviously, come up with your wondeful answers!
  • Don’t forget to tag others to keep the tag going.

ODIN – FAVOURITE STAND ALONE

Odin is the All-Father, the leader of the Norse gods. He is the god of wisdom, poetry, battle, death, wine and war among other things.

 

 

Going through my list of books there were a couple that jumped out at me to choose as a good stand alone, but then once I found T.H.U.G., all bets were off. If you still have not read this book, get to it! I also highly recommend the audiobook because the narrator is amazing! But really, this book about a teenager witnessing the shooting of her (unarmed) friend at the hands of a police officer will give you a lot to think about. The Hate U Give  is so well-written and its being made into a movie as well so if you’re one of those people who likes to read the book before something hits the screen, then put this on your TBR!

THOR – A BOOK THAT HITS YOU IN THE FEELS

Thor is the god of thunder, weather, warriors, strength, and storms so his might packs a punch. He is married to the beautiful lady Sif.

I didn’t even have to think about which book to choose for this one. Hands down, The Light We Lost was a great book that took me in and went straight to my heart. HARD. For me, this book was a clear 5 star read and I still recommend it to everyone who asks for books to read.

LOKI – BIGGEST BOOK PLOT TWIST OR CHARACTER BETRAYAL

Loki is the god of mischief, thieves and thrives on chaos.

Ok, maybe I should have seen this one coming, but the plot twist in Red Queen  pretty much tore the carpet from beneath my feet! I think I was too concerned with the love triangle/square (which I believe was what the author intended…well played, Ms. Aveyard) to be concerned with any other deeper plots at play and I completely missed the big twist so by the end, I was SHOOK. The book leaves off pretty much ready to go on to book two but unfortunately I haven’t been able to read on yet. I really need to though, because I really enjoyed book 1!!

FRIGG – OTP

Frigg is Odin’s wife, the goddess of love, marriage, fertility and fate.

My next three answers are from the same trilogy–spoiler alert–so sorry not sorry if you aren’t a fan. For this pick, if there is anyone out there who has been living under a rock and doesn’t know how this story ends and who the main character ends up with, I won’t spoil it and give the books/movies away.
So my OTP pick is Katiniss’ man in the Hunger Games trilogy. For the longest time, I was rooting for the other guy but once I reached the end, I could never imagine her with anyone else. Also, it was funny because in the books, I thought she should be with–and I will come right out and say this–Gale, and the movies, I thought she was best off with Peeta. But after re-reading and re-watching and really thinking and being open-minded and trying to be in Katniss’ mind, I agree with the way it all is and its beautiful. *sigh*

HEIMDALL – FAVOURITE SECOND BOOK IN A SERIES

Heimdall is the god of loyalty, faithfulness and it is he who protects the bi-frost, the bridge that connects all nine worlds. 

Not only is The Hunger Games my favorite series/trilogy, Catching Fire is one of my favorite books. I love the new characters that are introduced (oh, hello Finnick!), the development of the ignorance and manipulation of the Capitol, the cleverness of the Games, just….everything!! I absolutely LOVED this book!

BALDUR – FAVOURITE MAIN CHARACTER

Baldur is the beloved son of Odin and Frigg, twin brother of Hodor.

Katniss. This girl perseveres through everything and comes out stronger for it. True, sometimes (ok, a lot of times) she’s flying by the seat of her pants and/or letting other people make her look good but let’s be honest, in order to survive and keep those you love alive, you have to do what you have to do. She is strong, empathetic, compassionate, sarcastic, loyal, smart, etc. I could go on. After all this HG talk, I really feel the need to re-read this trilogy. I’ve got the itch!!!

SIF – MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK COVER

Lady Sif is known for her beautiful golden tresses, although she is also the goddess of the harvest and is married to Thor.

The Forgetting. I love this cover. It has two of my favorite things: a beautiful tree with falling leaves/flowers(?), and gorgeous purple ombre. Silly me has been slacking for years now on reading the book (I have an arc from 2016!!!) but its still on my TBR, partially because of this gorgeous cover!!

FREY – BOOK OR SERIES THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY

Frey is the Lord of weather, God of light, summer, master of agriculture, fertility, and brother of Freya.

While I did enjoy The Lunar Chronicles as a series, the Wires and Nerve graphic novels are seriously amazing in and of themselves. I mean, you should read the Lunar Chronicles in order to know what is going on and the back story because truly they go together, but the humor in Wires and Nerve and just getting to see the characters all together is so much fun. I really enjoy those books so immensely!

FREYA – FAVOURITE BOOK SETTING

Freya is the goddess of love and beauty, fertility, war, wealth and growth, and sister of Frey.

 Ivory and Bone is a very interesting and unique book, and I really mean that in the best of ways. It is written in second person, from a male point of view, in a prehistoric type of setting. Yeah, told you it was unique!! But really, it was such a neat setting that all was forgiven for me because it was so beautiful, so natural, and it all just worked together. I really enjoyed it. And like I said, it was just unique and refreshing to me. None of it was forced or out of place so I just really enjoyed it.

TYR – FAVOURITE BOOK WITH A BIG UPHEAVAL/EPIC FIGHT SCENE

Tyr is the god of war.

Travel…death threat…travel…capture…battle…travel…battle…death threat…travel…battle…epic battle…travel…battle…you get the idea. But we all love it. =]

ULLER – CHARACTER DEATH THAT AFFECTED YOU THE MOST

Uller is the god of death, winter, archery and hunting.

Spoiler warning – but after all these years, if you don’t know who dies in Harry Potter, that’s your own fault 😛 Anyway, I’m still not over the deaths of this series. I’m still in major denial. I legitimately do not think that Sirius and Dumbledore are dead. I mean, technically Rowling wrote it but…what’s behind that curtain?? Big D was the master of death! Come on!!!! I’m really not over it….

NJORD – FAVOURITE BOOK AN EPIC JOURNEY ON WATER/OCEAN SETTING

njord2b71yno1_1280Njord is the god of the wind and the sea.

My ‘read’ list is sadly lacking on water/ocean books so I have to pass on this one. I have several on my TBR list though so I’ll get back to you !

VALKYRIE – FAVOURITE STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

The Valkyries, much like the Amazons, are strong female warriors.

Well this book just had to be on the list. Eelyn is pretty much the fiercest female character. Well, strictly human character, that is. We could go superhero and talk strong, or emotionally strong, or…basically there are different kinds of strong so choose your strong. To me at this moment, I know I wouldn’t be able to rush into battle wielding an axe in one hand and a sword in another. I wouldn’t be able to watch my brother, father, best friend, and the man I love all risk their lives alongside me. I would be miserable living the cold winters in a tent. To me, that’s a whole lot of strong and fierce!

AESIR/VANIR – FAVOURITE BOOK “CREW”

The Aesir and the Vanir are the two groups of Norse gods, believed to be the old and new gods.

For a moment I considered the crew-fam that is The Lunar Chronicles. They are a fun bunch of misfits come together to save a planet and a moon and I love each of them dearly. I also considered the Grisha trilogy Alina-Mal-Nikolai-etc. crew, but really I just love Nikolai and secretly love the Darkling in all of his broodiness. I know of other crews that I know I will love when I read them. But above all of these, I know my all-time favorite and really first crew love was the Harry Potter crew. So–duh–that’s my final answer!illus_smoke_divider_by_entropies-d4triyr

And that concludes our fun for the day! I now hereby tag Ashleigh, Nicola, and Maggie…plus anyone else who wants to get their Norse on! 😉

Currently listening to: Everytime We Touch by Cascada

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Geekerella by Ashley Poston

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Geekarella
 has been on my TBR for a long time now and I just haven’t gotten to it. Its the story of Elle, daughter of the man behind the ExcelsiCon CosPlay Convention and Costume Ball. Now living with her awful stepmother and two stepsisters, Elle lives and breathes Starfield. So when a soap opera star is cast as the male lead, she is completely skeptical. She blogs her opinion and it goes viral. When a costume contest is announced at ExcelsiCon, Elle is inspired to enter, wearing an old costume from her attic. With the help of a new friend, the old costume is made beautiful and Elle makes quite the impression at the contest.

geekerella2bquote2b2For soap star Darien Freeman, playing Carmindor in his favorite show-made-movie is a dream come true. The super-fans, however, have lowered their expectations and voiced their opposition to the teen heartthrob playing the classic role. Only Darien knows how dedicated he is to doing justice to the role, yet still, he wants to avoid the awkward meet-and-greets with fans. ExcelsiCon is the last place he wants to show his face but his father/manager gives him no choice.

Without giving away too much of the story, I will say that I do like the through-the-airwaves trope in YA fiction when its done well, and in my opinion, Geekarella was done very well. Elle, at times, did grind my nerves just a little bit. She was so insecure and stubborn that it was just too much. And then she would say “My father raised me to be brave” and bla bla bla….well, you have been failing at that, my friend. Darien, I thought was actually a great character. I thought he was a great representation of a teenage guy and he was fun to read. The secondary characters were great as well, especially Sage. And I just loved picturing the Magic Pumpkin. How creative is that idea? Hats off, Ashley Poston!!

Soundtrack: “Star Trek: Deep Space 9 – Main Title” composed by Dennis McCarthy

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Review + Happy Book Birthday: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young!

Sky in the Deep has been so highly anticipated for months upon months. I remember first hearing about it back in oh, December maybe? Someone said Norse or Vikings and I was ALL. OVER. IT!!! I requested it from NetGalley and I was SO excited that they granted me a copy!!! I finished it a couple weeks ago and I’ve been holding back the review from my blog so that I could drop it here on this very special release day. Congrats, Adrienne! I wish you all the best!! Now on to the review….

36597702I very much enjoyed this book for many reasons. First of all, its action-packed. If you are squeamish, be warned. There is blood and gut-spilling and wound infection treatment and burns and…yeah, this book has it all. Its not horror-movie gory or anything, but there is plenty of mention so just a heads up. But back to the action, this book has it. Eelyn (what a pretty name!) is a warrior. Its how she was raised; its in her soul.

So this leads into my second point: Sky in the Deep is a love story. Love for family, clansmen, and soulmates. When I read all the talk of family in the synopsis, I was a little concerned that this was going to be a mushy family saga. I am so glad I was proved wrong! The familial relationships were so realistic. There is love, yes, but there is also betrayal, hope, hatred, and kinship. As for the love interest, I don’t think I’ve ever read one so refreshing. I expected a major hate-to-love trope story. While in general that’s what this is, again, the story is so solid. Its not mushy, gushing, and crushing; it wasn’t insta-love. In fact, we hardly hear any talk about Fiske being handsome or sweet…its all there in his actions and just such an organic way. Once love is declared and things heat up, the two are just so sweet and perfect and their shared moments are so beautiful and genuine. Fabulously handled.

And my third point: You can’t talk or think about this book without mentioning the world-building. Perfect. I could play out every single moment of this Viking-esque world in my mind: what each of the villages looked like, their different settings, their armor, their leaders,everything. Another thing I was nervous about was hearing long descriptions of weapons because it just seems that most books that have extensive weaponry tend to go on about how special this sword is, or how this axe was someone’s fathers, etc. Nope, not here. The author has excellent on what is important (not ornate weaponry).

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Last but certainly not least, the characters are truly what makes this book excellent. Every single character is well-played and unique, contributing their own piece to Eelyn’s heart. From Eelyn’s father (who is a fierce man, but who is the perfect mix of gentle yet strong for his daughter) to the Tala (the ‘enemy’ clan’s spiritual leader), the characters are colored the story so vibrantly. Havard was, by far, my favorite. Aren’t we all suckers for cute, curious little kiddo’s?

I could probably sit here and continue to think up wonderful things about this book, but this review has gone on long enough. Do you see, now, why I waited until the book was actually released to publish this review? You wouldn’t be able to go to the bookstore and pick the book off the shelf and dive right in. So without further ado, just go read this. You’re welcome.

Book soundtrack: Sky in the Deep Playlist (Spotify)

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WWW Wednesdays #1

G’day everyone, and welcome to my very first WWW Wednesday! Lately I have seen at least 2-3 Book Blogger Directories being compiled and as I went to begin browsing for new friends in the blog world, I came across WWW Wednesdays and its definition so I think I’ll try it out! In case you (like me) are new to this meme, it seeks to answer 3 W’s (wow, sensible!): What did you finish recently? What are you currently reading? and What do you think you’ll read next? So without further ado….

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What did you finish recently?
I just participated in a Read-a-thon and I got so much reading done! I read ten children’s books, two humor books, and two YA books. I will be reviewing the two YA books soon here on my blog (Wires and Nerve: Vol. 2 by Marissa Meyer and Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young). So let me mention a couple other books I read:

Here are the highlights of my children’s book reading experience. These are books by important figures: Malala Yousafzai (the youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner), Chelsea Clinton (political activist and correspondent), and Hoda Kotb (TV personality and journalist). I don’t have any children right now, but someday, these are books that I want to read to my child. While I’ve Loved You Since Forever is just fluff (but seriously adorable fluff….the pictures are beautiful and of everyone’s favorite sweet animals. Yep, otters and elephants and owls and foxes!!), Malala’s Magic Pencil and She Persisted are both powerful reads for children. Whether its learning about bringing education and peace, or the STEM sciences, or just finding your own voice, children will hopefully be inspired to take their place in the world and make a difference.

What are you currently reading?
18460392Currently I am about 85% through All the Bright Places. I have had this one on my iPad for a long time now but just never prioritized it, but now I decided to pick it up and go for it. In 2015, it won the Goodreads “Best Books of the Year” in the category of YA Fiction. To give you a little perspective, this book won out over Simon vs. the Homosapiens and Everything, Everything. I have read 4-5 other books from that category and yes, I’m a bit surprised too. Personally, I don’t think I’m liking this one more than others on the list (2 were 5* reads for me), but it definitely is a powerful read. Trigger warnings for suicide and depression.

What do you think you will read next?
31343879I need to read something light and fluffy next because I’ve been binge reading and reading long books and now heavy, emotional books. My default “fluffy” genre is cozy and/or paranormal cozy mysteries. I just found a new series I will try, and then its back to the grind of ARCs to be read, library books to finish, and shelves to clear off.
I know not everyone is into cozies. Maybe some of you don’t even know what they really are. Basically a cozy mystery is a book/story that is usually set in a small town or close-knit community, and violence and sex are downplayed and replaced with mild humor. In a nutshell: not scary, not emotional, but filled with quirky characters and situations. Another thing I enjoy about cozies is that the main characters have a unique quirk (i.e. being a witch, for example) and/or occupation. There are cozies about house flippers, crafters, baristas, bakery owners, stay at home moms, etc. Lots of things you don’t necessarily see in your everyday mainstream genre, but yet you can relate to or find interesting. So that is my take on that topic.

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There you have it folks, my first WWW Wednesday. I look forward to doing more of these in the future. Stick around to see reviews for Wires and Nerve: Vol 2  and Sky in the Deep (which releases next Tuesday, 4/24/18). Until next time….ciao!

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Tag Tuesday: Easter Book Tag

170412-better-chocolate-bunny-easter-se-335p_56963533f30696ec7e11f1525df3013c-focal-1000x500Happy (belated) Easter, everyone! I hope that your baskets were full of goodies and you had a nice weekend with family. If you aren’t an Easter holiday observer, then hopefully you had a good weekend in general. My fiance and I had a Star Wars marathon in addition to Easter festivities. His birthday was last Thursday and he was so excited about the release of The Last Jedi so you better believe we watched all nine movies. Oh boy!

Anyway, today I bring to you the Easter Book Tag. This tag was originally vlogged by Rosie the Reader. This is a pretty short and sweet tag but I’m working on a monstrously large one for next week – stay tuned!

Rabbits – A book you wish you could multiply

1505944943061594800_220I’ll kick this off with Outlander. I have only read as far as Voyager (book 3) in the series so far, but I simply love these books! And the show now too, of course. Yes, the two have their differences of course, so I have to keep them different in my mind and sometimes I feel like I need to keep my books handy by my side while watching. Or maybe I just need a “quick guide”! But back to the books. One cannot mention Outlander without expressing love for Jamie Fraser. He is a man of beautiful words and deep love and will make any reader swoon! Another amazing thing about these books is the historical detail. Its no wonder these books are so long. They are thoroughly researched and beautifully written. If only all books are so thorough and beautiful.

Egg – A book that surprised you

32766747My pick for this is one of my favorite reads from 2017: Library of Fates. I didn’t have high hopes for this book because Aditi Khorana’s first book didn’t have the highest rating on Goodreads, but this book blew me away! I was so surprised by the beauty of this book and how wonderfully the magic and folklore were woven into the story. I honestly did not predict most of the events of the book, which I had very much expected to. This book was one that I received for free as an ARC but loved so much, I bought a hard copy for myself when it was published. If you still haven’t read it, pick it up! Its a really great read! I would love to read more books like this–it was perfection!

Hunt – A book that was hard for you to get your hands on

cb19f00d-3a9e-4884-8e70-0516e274ad32Generally I read books as I find them, rather than hunting books that I want to read so this one was tough for me. I’ll choose Dumplin’ though, because last year at a signing I got to meet Julie Murphy at a release party for Ramona Blue. I had her sign my copy of RB but what I really wanted her to sign for me was Dumplin’ because as a singer with body issues, I identified with that book. I looked around the shop and could not find a hard cover copy to have her sign for me! I was so bummed! I complained probably a little too loudly and a store employee overheard me. She went to check the store again and no, sure enough, no more copies. Julie was sad for me, the employee was sad for me, I was sad for me. Bummer all around. Well, then a manager overheard. She thought maybe there were one or two stashed in the back. Sure enough, there was one more copy in the back and it was all mine! And that’s how I got my signed copy of Dumplin’.

Lambs – A children’s book that you still enjoy

Hands down: The Giving Tree. There are several more, of course. I am a sucker for kids books and books from my childhood or books that we read to young campers at my summer camp, but man, The Giving Tree just gets me in the feels! I hope that everyone has read this book. If not, add it to your personal library. Share it with your children and with your friends’ children, and your family members’ children. Its just that worthwhile.

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Spring – A book with a cover that makes you think of Spring

35020380Wild Beauty! This book came in a Fall/Winter Owl Crate box and I haven’t been able to motivate myself to read it just yet because it hasn’t felt like the right season! But now that its spring, it feels like the perfect time! Either this month or next month I’m going to try to dive into this book. Its all about a family of women living on a lush garden estate which enchants guests from around the world. In their legacy, they may not fall in love too deeply or their lovers will vanish. Then one day a mystery boy appears in the garden and changes everything. From what I read in reviews, Wild Beauty is all about beauty and love–all the things we need more of in the world.

Rising From the Dead – A book from a deceased author

18373Get your Kleenex ready. My pick from this one is Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. I can barely say or spell the title without getting sad. I think I’m just scarred from reading this in my childhood. I remember reading it in, maybe sixth grade and becoming so engaged in the book and being extremely crushed by the ending! I have no idea how I would feel reading it now. If it would still bring out such an emotional reaction from me or not, but I know it made an impact from me and I thought it was a powerful book.

Baskets – A book that is in your Amazon cart or wishlist right now

37546906There are so many!! Right now I am debating on whether or not to pre-order Ace of Shades. I’ve been waiting on this one for months now (haven’t we all?!)! ARC reviews being posted are really great and are only making me more excited. Is it April 10 yet?!

Candy – A book that is sweet

23395098My pick for a sweet book needs to be Fangirl. I put off reading this one forever because I read Carry On first and didn’t like it too much (don’t hate me!). However, I’m glad that I gave Fangirl a chance because it was SO.GOOD.!!! I loved Levi and his sweetness. He went straight into my list of top 5 book boyfriends. Another sweet thing about this book was Cath’s relationship with her father. Her relationship with her sister was strained throughout the book but of course they had to work things out. So ultimately, a very sweet book that I very much loved.

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So that’s the tag, my friends! If you’re reading this and are still in an Easter-y mood, feel free to take this on. I picked out a few books I haven’t thought of in a while, so maybe this tag would give you the same opportunity as well! Until next time…happy reading!

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The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

35121240From the first time I saw the cover for The Hazel Wood, I was desperate to read it. I remember seeing it plastered everywhere at ALA in Chicago last summer and I was SO bummed that I wasn’t able to get an ARC. This book just screamed my name with all of those little cover details in silver and gold and its promise of dark fairy tales and mystery! I never got my ARC and I had to wait all the way until release day to read it. AHH!! Once I did read it though….well….its one crazy ride, let me say that!

In The Hazel Wood, we read about seventeen year-old Alice and her mother Ella, who have lived their lives on the run trying to escape the bad luck that seems to follow them. Alice’s grandmother, Althea, is a famous author who wrote a collection of dark fairy tales called Tales from the Hinterland. When Alice and her mother receive word that Althea has died, they believe they can stop running from life. Ella marries a rich New Yorker and Alice settles into school. One day their lives are turned upside-down again when Ella is kidnapped by two people claiming to be from the Hinterland. Alice’s only thought is, of course, to save her mother and to do so, she enlists the help of a rich friend (guy–duh) from school, named Ellory Finch. The adventures in the Hinterland and the Hazel Wood thus ensue.

The first half of the book has a relatively straightforward, young adult, urban, contemporary feel to it. We meet the characters, we see Ella and Alice’s relationship and background, we feel the curiosity about Althea’s book, we definitely get a feel for Alice’s hot temper and icy attitude (in my opinion–not good character qualities and she wears on my nerves). I was never bored because there is always curiosity being fed and then eventually it just smacks you in the face.

So about a third through the book everything breaks loose when Ella is kidnapped. Worlds collide and now we really meet Ellory Finch. Now, its a good thing the guy who has a crush on Alice happens to have parents who don’t care about him AND a credit card without a limit. They run around the city of New York and search and run away and search, etc.

61cfb50fac2c90725043dd5378250617Maybe halfway/two-thirds through, we make it to the Hinterlands. I’m not going to lie. I feel like I just need to read this whole part over again because so much happened and I didn’t fully latch onto the logic of the where and the what and the big picture. Honestly it was just rather a blur of confusion. There were some good concepts and some neat ideas and I absolutely loved the darkness and creepiness of it!! HOWEVER, it made my head spin and I felt like I was the one lost in the Hazel Wood. Maybe that was the point?!

To sum this up, I liked the writing and the concept…I think I just need to read it again and smooth out some of the details in my mind. My mind was lost in the dark forest but I was really enjoying the scenery!

Book soundtrack: Freak on a Leash by Korn

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Tag Tuesday: The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

It seems to me that “Unpopular Opinions” are (ironically) very popular these days. Maybe that’s just me?? But anyway, I found this tag created by The Book Archer and I’m going for it this week! Here we go!

ap550x55012x161transparentt-u81. A Popular Book or series that you didn’t like. The Fault in Our Stars. I am not a John Green Fan and I was definitely not  a ‘Fault in Our Stars’ fan. It was SO cliche and lame to me. Somehow, though, I absolutely LOVED the movie. I cried my frickin’ EYES OUT FOR HOURS after watching it!!
2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love. Fifty Shades of Grey. Sorry, everyone, but I love Christian Grey in all of his craziness. I absolutely devoured those books. Were they well-written? Hell no. Were they fun to read? Absolutely. So while many, many people say they “hate” the books, I think they’re really just denying their inner goddesses. Just sayin’. *wink*
3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with OR an OTP that you don’t like. Clockwork Princess. Okay, the ending of this one and how the relationships work out is just a hot mess. Cassandra Clare cheated, IMHO. I have my opinion on which guy Tessa should be with and that whole boloney at the end is just dumb and not fair. Everything was ruined. Hated it. Yes, I’m bitter.
leia2124. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for. Pure sci-fi, high fantasy, YA contemporary, or historical romance. I really do read a lot of genres….or I try to, at least.
5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like. Luke & Leia. I know that this is a super unpopular opinion…especially after the recent loss of Carrie Fischer. But in the original trilogy (books or movies, however you look at it), I just felt they were so overrated. Now is a totally different story and my view is changing but I’m still on the “meh” fence.
6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into. John Green. Hands down. I keep buying his books and trying to read them and I just can’t get into them.
7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.) BEAUTY BLIND. I hate MC’s who think they’re ugly…or at least ‘average’ or ‘normal’ and then all of a sudden they have the 2-5 hottest, most rugged and rich men in the city/kingdom/galaxy competing for her love/hand in marriage because she is so beautiful and flawless and sexy. “No I’m not” “Yes you are, you’re the most beautiful creature I’ve seen” bla bla bla. OH MY START SHUT-UP!! You get the point, we’ve all read it thousands of times before. Just be average, for real. Don’t want a MC only for her ‘beauty’ but for her brains or her wit or something!
open book on wooden table on bright background8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading. 
– The Inheritance Cycle
– The Iron Fey
– Bloodlines
– Bluebloods
9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book? The Maze Runner. I actually really liked the movies but I tried to read the book and couldn’t read more than 75 pages or so.

ANNNNNNNND that’s it!! Woo! That was actually pretty difficult because I am typically a go-with-the-flow, very agreeable kind of girl so having un-popular opinions is difficult for me! But there it is! Did you agree with any of my opinions? Disagree? Me, myself, and I want to know about it! Leave a comment or TAG, YOU’RE IT! Try the tag for yourself on your own blog or vlog.

Listening to: Piera Ford Booktube vlog

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