WWW Wednesday 8/8/2018

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

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I am FINALLY reading this book, and I am enjoying it. This has been on my TBR for a long time and I finally decided to read this. I really enjoy the writing and the world building.

What did you recently finish reading?

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Strange the Dreamer. Now I am hyped for Muse of Nightmares. It was so good. I loved the writing, this was the first book of Laini Taylor and I want to read more.

Furyborn, I really enjoyed. I liked the style in which its a book told through two time periods and each being such a lustful worlds in them.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I read Leviathan last year and really loved it. I loved the steampunk WWI story.

City of Brass also been on a TBR for a while, I heard great things about it and I am so excited to read it.

That is my WWW Wednesday. What books are you currently reading? What have you recently finished and what will you be reading next? Let me know in the comments below!

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Top 5 Wednesday: Favorites You’d like to Revist

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is:

August 1: Favorites You’d Like to Revisit
— What favorite books would you like to re-read? These don’t just need to be books, they can also be TV, movies, video games, etc.

I love this topic because, there is always stuff I would love to revisit and not just books either.

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

The Uglies Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld 

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I remember reading this series back when I was in high school and into college and really enjoying it. Then when I was at BookCon , I found out we has revisiting that world with Impostors. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of that book, but since I barely remember the Uglies trilogy, I should start by re-reading it.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel

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Buffy, is one of my favorite shows of all time, and withe news of a reboot, it got me thinking that I should rewatch the series. While I do have reservations about the reboot, but I did hear that it maybe a continuation rather than a full fledged reboot. I also credit this series for getting me more into the supernatural genre. I also can’t watch Buffy and also forgot about Angel, which I believe is a spin off that is almost better than the original show.

Red Dead Redemption

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With the sequel coming out in October, what better way to get me excited for the sequel, is to replay the original. I honestly believe that this game nailed the definitive western experience and it makes you feel like a bad ass.

The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff/Amie Kaufman

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My girlfriend bought the first book back in March. She still hasn’t read it, but no pressure for her. I really loved Obsidio, and it really gave me the epic finale I was looking for. This is one of my favorite series and I would love to do a buddy read with her.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Another one of my favorite series. With King of Scars coming out this year, with also a Nina POV (so excited). I want to re-read this series again. While I wasn’t a huge fan of Shadow and Bone, this series, got me into the Grishaverse in the best way possible, with fantastic characters. I also heard rumors of a Six of Crows 3. Cross my fingers to hope that it is true.

Those are some of the favorites I would like to revisit. What are some of your favorites you would like to revisit? Let me know in the comments below.

One of Us is Lying by: Karen M. McManus

Summary:
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. 
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. 
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? 
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.”

The Review:

This is a book sort outside of what I usually read because I don’t read a lot of YA contemporary, but I do like a good mystery book, and this book had it.

It started with five students in detention, all of whom look straight out of The Breakfast Club coming from all different walks of life, and while at first they seem like the cardboard cutouts of those characters as the book went on they started to become more fleshed out.

The “death” happens rather quickly with Simon, having an allergic reaction and dying, while it does start as an accident there is people who believe that he was poisoned. Since all of them were in the room, they all became suspects. As the book goes on, you begin to believe that all of them has a reason to kill Simon, mainly because he posts on a sort of Gossip-Girl type website spilling all of the students dirty laundry, and it revealed a lot of their deepest darkest secrets.

I liked that the book was told through all of their POVs, it really fleshed out a lot of their characters, and you begin to realize that they are more than just a Brain, a Jock, a Princess or a criminal.

I also liked how it talked a lot about the age of social media, and how the story became a national news scandal. It actually had some commentary about news media in general and how it affects those who are involved in the story.

Also with the mystery itself, it actually keeps you guessing with a whodunit, but it also evolves into a whydonit mystery, and a how. Because even with the reveal of the killer you still want to know, how and why.

In the end, I really enjoyed One of Us is Lying. It was a good YA mystery, that kept you guessing throughout the book. The characters were very fleshed out and you wanted to root for. It was takes a lot of good twist and turns.

Grade: 4/5

Summer Blogger Promo Tour: Interview with Lili

Happy Sunday,

This is another post for the Summer Blogger Promo Tour.

1. What is the Summer Blogger Promo Tour?
The Summer Blogger Promo Tour is a summer tour that we’ve put together at The Book Bratz that helps a bunch of bloggers both new and old link up with each other and collab on fun posts throughout the summer!

This week I am interviewing my partner Lili@UtopiaStateofMind

 

       1.How long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging over two years, although it doesn’t even feel like that sometimes. Then again it feels much longer some days.

 

  1. What is a book or series that you like but everyone seems to hate?

This is such a difficult question! I don’t know if there’s a series like this. Maybe this means I just have very general tastes? I will say that the opposite occurs often. For example, while I enjoyed Harry Potter, I just never loved it as much as a lot of my friends.

 

  1. What is your go-to genre to read?

Science fiction and fantasy! If I had to pick one though? Fantasy. But I’d never just pick one, I’d more easily combine them into the genre of speculative fiction.

 

  1. Who are your auto-buy authors?

Traci Chee is one of my favorite authors, Heidi Heilig, Katherine Locke. I think these may be my top three where I also know I have just jumped blindly to their next books knowing I’d love it.

 

  1. Have you meet any authors? If so who were your favorites?

I’ve actually met quite a few in the last year. Since being back in NYC I’ve been able to go to tons of book events, not to mention I was lucky to go to a few conventions recently. Katherine Locke is one of my favorite! I first met her on Twitter when I read, and loved, Girl with the Red Balloon, and I feel like we’ve bumped into each other so much!

 

  1. If you could be a character in a book series, what series would it be?

This is extremely difficult. Recently in books I’ve been doing a, “I’d ___ with” series. So I’d fight a dragon with this character, or I’d pine after this one, and one of the ones I do is, “Character of My Heart”. So I’ve recently started thinking more and more about who I’d be. If I had to pick one, I’d pick Lirael from Lirael, or Daine from Wild Magic.

 

  1. What are some of your favorite posts?

I really like writing discussion posts, even though those are the hardest for me to write! Recently I’ve just been a combination of burnt out, but also extremely overworked over the last year particularly. So I just haven’t been able to be as creative, but I already have some really great ideas lined up for later this year.

 

  1. What’s your favorite part about blogging?

I think reading is my favorite. It’s hard for me to write reviews, mostly because I never just want to get together and sit down. I have to take notes while I read, so that’s definitely helpful, but I just don’t like the actual process I guess? But reading is definitely my favorite, I love getting sucked into new worlds.

 

  1. What book made you want to blog?

Gosh, I think the first book I reviewed was Eat, Pray, Love. But that isn’t the book that made me want to blog. I think it was a combination of factors that kind of just pushed me into it. I don’t even remember why I started with that book. I was mainly trying to just motivate myself to do non-thesis reading – and it worked! So the TLDR is there is no one book I guess?

 

  1. What’s your favorite social media platform?

I love instagram. It’s hard because I feel like my content isn’t necessarily what people love. I adore outdoor single book photos with unique angles, but that is kind of rare in the Bookstagram world. That being said, if that sounds like your jam -> https://www.instagram.com/utopia.state.of.mind/

 

  1. What made you want to start a blog?

So I already talked a bit how I wanted to make sure I was reading non-thesis books, but I think I also missed talking about books with friends. I was doing a very serious Masters, and I missed chatting about current reads – like I can do now. I missed that interaction and sharing my love of a book with the world, but also friends.

 

  1. What tips do you have for new bloggers?

Figure out why you want to blog and try not to lose sight of it. We can get overwhelmed or caught up in arcs or reviews, but find out why you want to blog and hold onto that. Because that motivation is going to be what keeps you blogging.

Summer Blogger Promo Tour

Hey everyone,

I know I was suppose to do this last week, but there was some communication problems. But now I decided to combine both weeks.

1. What is the Summer Blogger Promo Tour?
The Summer Blogger Promo Tour is a summer tour that we’ve put together at The Book Bratz that helps a bunch of bloggers both new and old link up with each other and collab on fun posts throughout the summer!

My partner is Lili @ Utopia State of Mind

My name is Lili and I am a scholar at heart, obsessed with SFF and always carrying a book wherever I go (including to the top of a dormant volcano and mountain for Instagram photos). I did my Masters and BA in Women’s Studies and English Literature. I lived in Germany for three years and am now working in the publishing industry. I am obsessed with diversity and use Utopia State Of Mind to champion books I feel deserve more praise and attention (including smaller presses and indie authors).

Some facts about Lili:

1. I don’t even remember the first series I read. When I was in elementary school I read The Encyclopedia Brown Series and then after that I binge read every Tamora Pierce book I could get my hands on.
2. Right now I actually work in publishing at the moment, so I get to work with books on both sides of the curtain!
3. When I was in college I studied English Literature and Women’s Studies. Then I did a Master’s in English Studies.
4. I read a lot of everything really from science fiction to historical fiction, literary fiction to YA, and more! If we were talking about other things I’m recently obsessed with, it’d have to be comic books!
5. What is my life that isn’t just books? I love to dance and sing, for fun of course, but it’s something I wish I was able to do more of.
6. I grew up in a very musical family. I can’t play the piano really, because my mom was my teacher and you know how those situations end…
7. I’ve only recently gotten into fandom, but I am a HUGE Doctor Who fan. I enjoyed Harry Potter, I just never really got into it. Oh, I am a big fan of superhero things, I’ve seen like every Marvel movie at least twice. I saw Thor Ragnarok twice in theaters.
8. The only real video games I like to play are those co-op ones. And those types of situations end a lot in me yelling. I make a great team player.

9. Right now I’m back in New York, but I grew up in in New York, went to school in Pennsylvania, and moved to Germany for three years since High School.

10. My favorite book series would have to be….The Reader, The Speaker, and The Storyteller from Traci Chee – if you’re talking about recent favorites. Old school nostalgia favorites include The Immortals Quartet from Tamora Pierce and The Fallen Kingdom Trilogy from Garth Nix.

11. The most influential book seems like a cruel question – and I know I’m the one who made it up! Gosh, I guess it would be Sabriel by Garth Nix.

12. I don’t know what the first books I bought for myself were. I spent my childhood and, almost whole life in a library, until I moved to Germany. I took out almost 100 books every two weeks it felt like, especially when they were picture books!

13. I have re-read not too many books actually. Maybe Frankenstein? Or Heart of Darkness? I was assigned those two texts multiple times.

14. I own the entire Fallen Kingdom Trilogy twice in two different editions with different covers. Yes. I’m that person.

15. My favorite character is another of those cruel questions I devised myself. Well, I really like Phedre from Kushiel’s Dart, Sabriel (duh), Daine, I can only really think of my nostalgic favorites by name.

16. I am a true Ravenclaw with Slytherin ambitions, which really means that I’m entirely intellectual and justice oriented, but very ambitious.
We decided to do a Top 10 Tuesday on a Sunday and the topic is Favorite Covers that haven’t been released yet.

Image result for song of the dead sarah glenn marshImage result for lady's guide to petticoats and piracy

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Those are just a few of my favorite to be released covers. Check out Lili’s Post for other fabulous covers

JULY TBR

Happy July everyone,

I haven’t done this in a while but I do want to share with you all my TBR for the month of July. It’s usually subject to change.

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Ever since I read the synopsis I wanted to read this book. A fantasy book that crosses time periods. That’s already sounds awesome, and I heard great things about it.

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I had the pleasure of meeting both of these authors at BookCon. Also since I was a fan of both Dear Martin and The Hate U Give dealing with issues of police violence and racism.

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I got this arc at a talk with Sabaa Tahir and I was so excited. Warcross one of my favorite books of last year and I am so excited to see how this ends.

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Yes, its a graphic novel, I have been on a kick these days, and this one sounds amazing dealing with crime families and assassins, what more can you ask for.

Those are the books on my July TBR. What books do you plan on reading for the month of July? Let me know in comments below.

To Kill a Kingdom by: Alexandra Christo

Summary:

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

The Review:

This was very much a Little Mermaid retelling, with Sirens instead of mermaids, which I liked a lot. It does follow a bit of the same beats as the Disney movie.

It is told through two POVs, Lira and Elian. Lira is a Siren who is tasked in stealing princes’ hearts, literally from their chests. It was a lot brutal than I imagined it would be. She is also the daughter of the Sea Queen, who is ruthless and very cruel towards Lira. She is the one who tasks Lira into stealing Prince’s hearts. The Sea Queen would punish her daughter by turning her into a human, but she still has to steal a princes’ heart.

Lira deals with a lot in terms of her mother. The Sea Queen would constantly abuse her growing up and would manipulate her to do her bidding. With her constantly saying that she wasn’t good enough.

Elian is a prince from a nearby kingdom, who would rather be a pirate than a prince. He spends most of his time hunting down Sirens and killing them to rid them of their evil. I liked a lot of his story arc wanting to branch away from his prince duties in order to hang with his crew of the Saad. 

With the two POVS I got a sense of seeing sort of both sides of the conflict. With Elian, a Siren killed one of his friends and he has been basically on the hunt for them. With Lira it is what she was taught by her evil mother, The Sea Queen. I also liked that Elian spent most of the book not knowing Lira’s true identity.

The book was also paced well. It didn’t slow done one bit and even some of the more quiet moments, which lead to a lot of great character development.

The romance between Elian and Lira was also good. While it did have some cliche moments, and had some parallels with the Little Mermaid, I did spend most of my time rooting them on as a couple.

I also really liked the supporting characters, mainly the crew of the Saad. They each had their own distinct personalities and was pretty fleshed out as I wanted them to be, and they did leave me with the feeling of wanting them more.

This book is also surprisingly enough a stand alone, which is really rare in YA, and I kinda want to see where the characters would go after.

In the end, I really enjoyed To Kill a Kingdom. It had some great characters and a nice twist on the Little Mermaid with some issues about abuse and manipulation.

Grade: 4.5/5