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ONE YEAR BLOGOVERSARY!!!

Hello my booksicles!

Today is my one year blogoversary! That means I’ve officially been book blogging for a whole, entire YEAR and what a year it’s been! My precious blog baby is one year old and I feel so proud of how far it has come. This time last year, I was full of trepidation. I had no idea what I was doing or what to expect or whether anyone would bother reading my posts. All I knew was that I was going to give it my all and hope for the best. This time last year, I took the plunge and posted my first post titled, ‘Welcome to Sereadipity!‘ and I’m so very glad I did.

So, this post is partly for celebration, partly for setting goals for the blogging year ahead but mostly for saying thank you.

Thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged Sereadipity, to everyone who has followed, liked, commented on or even just read one of my posts. I can’t properly convey the extent of my appreciation in words. Thank you to all the lovely bookish people I have connected with this year- you have made my blogging experience such a joy. The book community has been so wholesome and welcoming and it’s wonderful to see so many people out there who share a passion for reading. I remember a time when I didn’t know a single person who loved books as much as me and now I know hundreds. This blog, these words, would mean nothing without you. My gratitude is as boundless as the stars for every one of you.

Stats:

  • 1 year
  • 616 blog followers
  • 133 posts
  • 75,000 words
  • 58 book reviews
  • 392 Twitter followers
  • 1,225 Goodreads friends

The Best Bits:

  • I know arcs don’t determine a blogger’s worth but it’s still exciting and rewarding to receive, read and review them! When I received my first digital arc I was over the moon but I was thrilled beyond belief when I received my first physical review copy of a book (it was The Demon World by Sally Green). Some of my favourite review copies I’ve received this year are Descendant of the Crane, The Dragon Republic, Below, Darkdawn, The Beautiful and Kingdom of Souls!
  • I’ve gotten onto the mailing lists of two much-loved publishers of mine.
  • I’ve interviewed some lovely authors like Rin Chupeco and Coco Ma.
  • I co-hosted the Retelling-A-Thon readathon with three other amazing book bloggers, which was a lot of fun.
  • Technically not blog related but I MET JAY KRISTOFF *high-pitched shrieking*.
  • I’ve participated in 7 blog tours!
  • I created the Bookish Adventure Book Tag!
  • I hosted The Book Character Awards!
  • I beta read an absolutely amazingly mind-blowing manuscript.
  • I was a part of this NBC news article where I mentioned my thoughts on diversity in The Beautiful.
  • But honestly? My main highlight has been making it through this year. It wasn’t always easy, there have been highs and low, but I’m still here and I’m still blogging and I feel like that’s a remarkable feat in itself.

Goals:

  • Next year, I definitely need to request less arcs! I made the classic newbie blogger mistake of requesting more than I can manage and I want to have time to read other books as well.
  • I want to write more discussion posts, I like writing them and I don’t do it enough.
  • I would like to do more interviews, guest posts and general collaborations with other bloggers. If anyone has any collaborative posting ideas… send me an email!
  • I need to blog more consistently, I started of really well and then it went a bit awry later on in the year.
  • And I need to continue to enjoy blogging and sharing my all-encompassing passion for books with others!

 

Favourite Posts:

This has been a wild, amazing, beautiful, crazy year and I’m excited for the year ahead, so for the last time:

THANK YOU!!!

And also:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEREADIPITY!

 

…and on that note, I’m signing off to snuggle up and watch The Witcher!

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Reviews · Uncategorized

Review: Mrs P’s Book of Secrets

Book: Mrs P’s Book of Secrets

Author: Lorna Gray

Year Published: 2019

  • Plot: 3/5
  • Characters: 3.5/5
  • Writing: 3/5
  • Overall: 3/5

Mrs P’s Book of Secrets was a historical novel set in 1946 about the effects of war, grief, loss and how traces of the past always remain in the present. It wasn’t perfect but it still had some interesting themes and was a gentle read for the frosty winter months.

The story was about a woman called Lucy Peuse or Mrs P. who lost her husband in World War II and was struggling to find her feet. She decided to return home to her aunt and uncle and join the small family publishing business, which was barely coping with the paper rationing, to try to help. She ended up getting drawn into the intrigue surrounding the new editor Robert, a former prisoner of war, and the mystery of the Ashbrook family, who they were publishing a book about.

Lucy constantly pretended to be fine, even when she wasn’t, and she didn’t always realise it. The loss of her husband had almost numbed her to herself but gradually the love of those around her made her come to terms with her feelings and rediscover her who she was. She developed a profound connection to the past and learnt the importance of keeping the memories of those who had passed away alive. She was always seen as more vulnerable and insecure by others simply because she was a widow but despite the way she was treated at times, she proved to be perfectly capable of looking after herself. It was nice seeing her and Robert open up to each other and find some peace.

Lucy was an intriguing and complex character although it was quite hard to understand her motivations at times. She was the type of person to obsess over every word said to her and infer hidden meanings that simply weren’t there, sometimes creating an impression of awkwardness. The writing was long and rambling to reflect her way of thinking but the large sections of narration in between dialogue and her confusing train of thoughts did get quite annoying as it felt like the effect was needlessly overdone. What was well done however, was the portrayal of her grapple with her lingering grief and how she was afraid of recalling her husband’s memory because it would just serve as a reminder of how when she lost him, she felt like she lost herself too.

Throughout the story, plot threads were picked up and dropped seemingly randomly so it was hard to see what its purpose was until the end. It seems the main messages were about how the scars of war can be deep and enduring but can also bring people together and about the importance of learning about and from the past whilst looking to the future. But most of all it was about how things that are meant to happen always do, but sometimes in a very roundabout way.

Overall, Mrs P’s Book of Secrets was a pleasant story that was a welcome change from what I usually read, even though it had its flaws.

Thank you to One More Chapter for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions exchanged are my own. I received this book as a part of the author’s #30daysofbookblogs event.

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Wicked, Wonderful Witchery: Review of Hex Life

Book: Hex Life

Editors: Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering

Year Published: 2019

Overall Rating: 4 stars

Hex Life was an anthology of wicked and wonderful witchcraft. It played around with the stereotypes surrounding witches and each story was unique and magical. I liked some stories more than others but I think that there is something for everyone as it had a broad scope of styles and takes on the theme of witches..

(1) An Invitation to a Burning by Kat Howard, 4 stars: One of the shortest stories in the anthology that took the idea of witch burning and turned it into something powerful, uniting and about moving on from the past.

(2) Widows’ Walk by Angela Slatter, 4 stars: Completely inverts the usual tropes surrounding widows and had themes of domestic abuse. It was about a group of widows who try to help young girls with family problems.

(3) Black Magic Momma: An Otherworld Story by Kelley Armstrong, 4 stars: This one was about a witch who dealt in black market trading of magical objects while trying to keep her daughter safe. I liked the way that women supported each other in this story. It was a part of the Women of the Otherworld series, which I am not familiar with.

(4) The Night Nurse by Sarah Langan, 1 star: Dark, depressing, weird. I didn’t like it at all. It felt all over the place and I think the ending was supposed to be shocking but by then I just wanted it to be over.

(5) The Memories of Trees by Mary SanGiovanni, 3 stars: This was a dystopian with themes of nature retaliating against technology.

(6) Home: A Morganville Vampires Story by Rachel Caine, 4 stars: I found this story quite funny. It had some eccentric characters and vampires not knowing what to do with a baby. There a touch of madness and magic mixed in with the mundane and it was about the long-lasting effects of heartbreak and grief. It was a part of The Morganville Vampires series which I am also not familiar with.

(7) The Deer Wife by Jennifer McMahon, 3.5 stars: This was a sort of witchy romance story and it was quite sweet.

(8) The Dancer by Kristin Dearborn, 3.5 stars: It had people with superpowers, an extremely twisted and creepy family and a very obscure yet haunting ending.

(9) Bless Your Heart by Hillary Monahan, 4.5 stars: This was about a mother whose son was getting bullied because he was gay and who decided to put an end to it. It was very gruesome but I couldn’t help cheering on her revenge. Also the mother’s narration was quite humorous with a lot of ranting.

(10) The Debt by Ania Ahlborn, 5 stars: It had Baba Yaga in it so obviously it was amazing. The ending was unexpected in its cruelty and betrayal and I felt for the protagonist, a young girl called Karolin.

(11) Toil & Trouble: A Dark-hunter Hellchaser Story by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Madaug Kenyon, 2 stars: This one also felt quite random and all over the place, I didn’t feel like it had a strong sense of story. It started off catching my interest and went downhill from there.

(12)  Last Stop On Route Nine by Tananarive Due, 4.5 stars: This one was scary, like a horror movie. It also had themes of racism, a ghost and people getting lost.

(13) Where Relics Go To Dream and Die by Rachel Autumn Deering, 2 stars: I don’t know what this story was trying to achieve but I just found it disturbing and weird. I mean it was well written but that isn’t enough.

(14) This Skin by Amber Benson, 4.5 stars: This one was also disturbing but in more of a good way. It was a very creepy story about a young girl who murders and gets away with it.

(15) Haint Me Too by Chesya Burke, 3.5 stars: It was about a girl called Shea whose family was sharecropping and who resorts to more magical means to help her family. It was a bit confusing but also interesting.

(16) The Nekrolog by Helen Marshall, 3 stars: It was too long and rambling, it definitely should have been way shorter. Parts were intriguing but I was mainly bored.

(17)  Gold Among The Black by Alma Katsu, 3 stars: It was a bit like a fairy tale but it was also quite predictable and average.

(18) How To Become A Witch-Queen by Theodora Goss, 5 stars: My favourite story of the anthology. It was a retelling of Snow White about what happened to her years after the ending of the fairy tale. It had clever use of the second person and a gripping plot with themes of female empowerment. I want to read other works by this author now!

Overall, Hex Life had a range of stories for a range of tastes and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes stories about magic and witches.

Thank you to Titan Books for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Review: Children of Virtue and Vengeance

Book: Children of Virtue and Vengeance

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Year Published: 2019

  • Plot: 3/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Overall: 3.5/5

Children of Virtue and Vengeance was the gripping sequel to Children of Blood and Bone. I enjoyed it overall, although it suffered a bit of ‘second book syndrome’. It took the story to new heights and the consequences of their actions were graver than ever before.

After the shattering conclusion of the previous book, Orïsha was in a great state of upheaval. Although the ritual went wrong,  Zélie achieved her goal of returning magic to the magi but she also accidentally awoke it in the nobility. She ended up creating a new type of magic wielder called tîtans who unlike the magi didn’t need incantations for their magic to flow. This added a new dimension to the story and raised the stakes even higher than they already were. The irony of it was that she gave her enemies more power to use against her people and while  the nobility hated the magi for their magic, most of them felt justified in using it themselves. Both magi and titans pushed the boundaries of their magic beyond belief accomplishing staggering feats and using it creatively. Although I don’t think the ways in which they used their magic was explained very well it was still exciting to read.

In many books that feature ‘the return of magic’ trope it seems to be a force for good however in this one magic’s return made Orïsha more divided than ever before.  Both Zélie and Amari  wanted to fix what they’d done and unite the people but ended up having very different ways of going about it.

Amari wanted to take the throne and bring about peace but her mother was determined to stand in her way (if you thought Amari’s father was bad just wait until you meet her mother). She was a powerful tîtan and she wanted to use her power for good. She ended up joining the magi with Zélie but they were determined to make her an outcast. Her desperate need to prove her worth and end the war along with her father’s words that still haunted her , ‘Strike Amari,’ made her make some very questionable decisions. Her quest for peace made her think that any sacrifice was worth the cost and I think she lost herself a bit in this book.

Zélie was destroyed by all that had happened to her in the previous book. She felt like she had done enough and she wanted to run as far away as she could from everything. Gradually though she found her light in the other magi and it was nice seeing her open up again. My main concern was the degradation of her trust in Amari. Their friendship was one of my favourite parts of Children of Blood and Bone and suddenly in this book they seemed to turn on each other at every hurdle which was extremely out of character in my opinion. Why couldn’t they just have a healthy, strong friendship?

However, I liked Zelie’s camaraderie with her students, especially her second. I also liked her relationship with Roën even though it was a bit rushed because they go well together. For most of it I wasn’t sure if I could trust Roën or not but I was shipping them by the end. I really wanted Tzain to get some more character development because he was less of a prominent character in this book and it was a shame. It would have been nice to learn more about him and see his brother-sister relationship with Zélie develop more.

I think the main themes of this book were the dangers of hate . Both sides were blinded by their hatred for one another that neither could see sense, neither could see that their actions were stoking the flames of war not bringing it to an end. Their hate brought more hate and it fuelled them to use their power to destroy not build.  Zelie’s blind hatred towards Inan and towards herself for still having feelings for him stopped her from seeking peace when he truly offered it. Although to be fair, I wasn’t sure if Inan would have stuck to any peace agreement anyway. He couldn’t stick to his own decisions and beliefs and I just wanted him to make up his mind- he was more annoying than ever.

I think the weakest point of this novel was the plot. It felt as if it was going around in circles at some points and not really progressing. The plot twist at the end  was completely out of the blue. At the time, it was thrilling and elicited a great amount of shock from me. On reflection though, it was a bit too sudden– like if it was thrown in there to create enough plot for another book.

Overall, I did like Children of Virtue and Vengeance. Some parts were stronger than the first book, some parts weren’t and it might not have fully lived up to my expectations but it was still an enjoyable and diverse fantasy adventure with rich world building and I do want to read the final book in the trilogy to see how it all will end.

Thank you to Macmillan Children’s Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Guest Post: The Book Reader Problems Tag

Hello my booksicles!

Today the lovely Jeimy from A Novel Idea is guest posting on my blog and doing the ‘Book Reader Problems Tag’. You can find her on Twitter and on Pinterest and don’t forget to check out her blog!
For those who aren’t aware, ‘guest posting’ is when someone writes and publishes a post on another person’s blog to reach and connect with new readers.

So, here is the post!


Hello fellow bookworms!

My name is Jeimy and I run A Novel Idea!

A little about me:

  • I live in Pennsylvania
  • I am Hispanic
  • I am a full stack web developer/ graphic designer
  • I am a book hoarding enthusiast!
  • I am the worst when it comes to talking/writing about myself so let’s move on!

I started A Novel Idea earlier this year in February under the name ReadWriteLive as a New Year’s resolution! I needed to change up my routine and since I’m always reading, I decided to give book blogging a try! A Novel Idea was created as a space for me to share my love of all things bookish and related to story-telling with all those who want to read about it! If it pertains to books or writing, it has a place in A Novel Idea.

I am super excited to be a guest on Sereadipity! Thank you so much for having me Umairah 🙂

Today’s bookish post is a fun little tag I found while blog hopping. The tag was made by Adventures Of a Bookish Girl.

Click on the link above to see her answers!

BOOK READER PROBLEMS TAG

YOU HAVE 20.000 BOOKS IN YOUR TBR. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT TO READ NEXT?

Honestly, it all depends on too many factors. Mood, energy, cover, author, etc etc etc.

More often than not it’s down to how I’m feeling once I finish the previous book. Am I a complete mess from the last book, needing something mushy to bandaid the hurt? Or am I feeling masochistic and need another emotional rollercoaster?

YOU’RE HALFWAY THROUGH A BOOK AND YOU’RE JUST NOT LOVING IT – DO YOU PUT IT DOWN OR ARE YOU COMMITTED?

It takes A LOT for me to not DNF a book. I try to give each book the benefit of the doubt because I can admit, I’m the problem sometimes. Even if I’m not feeling the book, I will try to finish it and find some good points.
HOWEVER
There are some books out there that I can’t force myself to finish. My brain does not focus on the words and I find myself re-reading the same sentence for hours. The story and characters do not resonate with me and I am forced to put it down.

THE END OF THE YEAR IS COMING AND YOU’RE BEHIND ON YOUR READING CHALLENGE. DO YOU TRY TO CATCH UP? AND IF SO, HOW?

I read for pleasure (and sometimes torture depending on the book). I never try to overwhelm myself with reading because it is the one activity I love. If I’m behind in my reading challenge, then I’m behind. I have to recognize that I still did very well and things happen. Reading slumps because of depression, being busier that normal, lethargy, etc etc etc.

I’m a firm believer in that reading should be something done for personal growth/self care/as a hobby. Once you start making it a race/chore, it no longer is something you can take joy in.

THE COVERS OF A SERIES YOU LOVE DO NOT MATCH. HOW DO YOU COPE?

I don’t care. I care more about the stories matching than the cover. The covers dont’ have to match because they might’ve changed designers or print size.

As long as I have the book, I’m content.

EVERYONE SEEMS TO LOVE A BOOK THAT YOU DO NOT. WHO DO YOU BOND WITH OVER YOUR SHARED FEELINGS?

Other book bloggers!! And the only two people from my friendship group that actually read.

YOU’RE READING A BOOK IN PUBLIC AND YOU’RE ABOUT TO START CRYING. WHAT DO YOU DO?

I cry.
What are they going to do? Nothing that’s what.

THE SEQUEL TO A BOOK YOU LOVED JUST CAME OUT, BUT YOU’VE FORGOTTEN A LOT OF WHAT HAPPENS. ARE YOU GOING TO REREAD IT?

I always re-read the previous book if the sequel took a while to come out. I need the story fresh in my head, to reacquaint myself with the characters and get the picture as clear as possible before I pick up the new one.

YOU DO NOT WANT ANYONE TO BORROW YOUR BOOKS. HOW DO YOU POLITELY SAY NO WHEN SOMEONE ASKS?
I say no.

It is not impolite to say no. I feel like people need to be more comfortable with saying the word no. Especially when it comes to their own things.

Books are very dear to me and I realize that may not be the case for everyone.

If they want to read the book but not buy it, they can go to the library. My books do not leave my hands.

YOU HAVE PICKED UP AND PUT DOWN 5 BOOKS IN THE LAST MONTH. HOW DO YOU GET OVER THIS READING SLUMP?

Reading slumps are the bane of my existence. My longest one was two years. TWO YEARS.

Crazy right?

I usually get over them by re-reading a favorite book. A book I know I won’t put down.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling are just a few that I always re-read to kick back into the swing of reading.

THERE ARE SO MANY BOOKS COMING OUT THAT YOU ARE DYING TO READ, HOW MANY DO YOU END UP BUYING?

I, JEIMY, have no self control and buy all of them. A large part of my savings are just for books. Priorities people! Priorities!

AFTER YOU PURCHASE ALL OF THESE BOOKS YOU’RE DYING TO READ, HOW LONG DO THEY SIT ON YOUR SHELVES BEFORE YOU GET TO THEM?

I feel attacked right now…

Depends. Sometimes they don’t sit for very long. Sometimes it takes me years to get to them.

Sometimes I never read them at all and end up donating them to the local library. If it is a book I was anticipating, then it gets read ASAP.

If it’s a book that I found interesting while at the bookstore but I didn’t really go in for it, then it might take me a while to get to it.


I honestly wish I was as chilled a reader as Jeimy- being behind reading goals and non-matching covers stresses me out!

Whoever wants to do this tag, consider yourself tagged! And thank you to Jeimy for guest posting on Sereadipity- it was a pleasure having you!

How would you answer these questions? Let me know in the comments!

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Reviews · Uncategorized

Witches and Werewolves: Review of Mooncakes

Book: Mooncakes

Author: Suzanne Walker

Artist : Wendy Xu

Year Published: 2019

  • Story: 3/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Art: 5/5
  • Overall: 3.5/5

Mooncakes was an endearing graphic novel with an enchanting (pun intended) cast of characters and themes of hope, family and love. I’d never actually read a graphic novel before this one so I had no idea what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised with a sweet story that filled me up with all those warm, fuzzy feelings. My only grumble is that the plot was quite basic and focused more on the relationships between characters than specific details but I still had a great general experience despite this.

Nova Huang was a teen witch who worked in her grandmothers’ bookshop and helped them loan out spell books and look into any magical mishaps in the surrounding area. One day she stumbled across her childhood crush called Tam Lang– a werewolf who had been lost and wandering for far too long. They banded together to battle occult forces but ultimately they ended up rediscovering their love and discovering the extent of the potential they both held.

The foundation of this novel was the bonds between the various characters. Nova and Tam’s relationship was the pinnacle of cuteness and I loved their quiet, hopeful trust in each other. The endless love and support from Nova’s grandmothers and the rest of her family was heart-warming as well as the humorous scepticism of Nova’s scientific best friend.

I also loved the diversity! Both Nova and Tam were Chinese American. Nova was hard-of-hearing and Tam was nonbinary. It just fills my heart with so much joy to see so much representation. Furthermore, the illustrations were gorgeous and created an adorable, whimsical mood to the story.

In essence, Mooncakes was a tale of self discovery. Of growing up and ‘leaving the nest’ but also of coming home. Yes, the plot was a bit lacking for me but it was still an enchanting read that I’d recommend and that has definitely made me want to read more graphic novels in the future.

Thank you to Oni Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Tags · Uncategorized

The Sleeping Beauty Book Tag

Hello my booksicles!

Today I’ll be doing the Sleeping Beauty Book Tag which I saw on LauReads.

I haven’t done a book tag in ages and that is something I wanted to change because tags are such fun ways to discuss bookish opinions and connect with other bloggers so I’m going to try to do more in the future. Here’s the tag!

 


~SLEEPING BEAUTY~
A main/title character that is overshadowed by others

I would definitely say Alina Starkov (from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo) because although she’s the main character and one of the most powerful Grisha ever,  she’s so boring and didn’t capture my interest in the slightest. Whereas, the other characters like the Darkling, Genya, Nikolai and Zoya were so much more nuanced and intriguing and if it wasn’t for them I would never have read the whole trilogy.


~PRINCE PHILLIP~
Name a character you would slay a dragon for

Can I say two characters? I would slay a dragon without a moment of hesitation for Lazlo and Sarai (from Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor) because they are the sweetest, nicest people ever and I love them with all my heart.

I would slay a dragon for them even though I have a great appreciation for dragons. I would slay a dragon for them even though I don’t think I possess the physical capabilities to slay a dragon (but I could do a dramatic reading of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer until it dies of frustration). However, I do think that if Lazlo and Sarai were being attacked by a dragon they’d probably find a way to make friends with it and my slaying-by-dramatic-reading skills would not be required.


~FLORA, FAUNA & MERRYWEATHER~
Your favourite fictional dysfunctional family

Nova’s family in Mooncakes is very dysfunctional but also the cutest one ever. Her parents may be ghosts and she may have a cousin with a pigeon head but their love and support for each other makes my heart glow.


~BRIAR ROSE~
A book/character whose name confuses you/you always mess up

A character name that never fails to confuse me is Chaol (from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas). I had no idea whether it was pronounced ‘ch-aa-ol’ or ‘chay-ol’ or ‘kale’ until I found a pronunciation guide and realised it was ‘kay-ol’. I have a friend who adamantly calls him ‘chole’ even though she knows how it’s supposed to be said. I can’t help associating his name with the leafy green vegetable.


~ONCE UPON A DREAM~
A book that gave you déjà-vu

I got intense déjà-vu from Frostblood by Elly Blake because it was so similar to books I’d already read and so tropey I could almost predict what would happen next. In particular, it reminded me of Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas because it also had a character with ice magic train another character to use their fire magic and then- shockingly- they fell in love. It also reminded me of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard because it had the Frostbloods vs Firebloods conflict whereas Red Queen similarly had Reds vs Silvers. It didn’t provide anything new or original that I hadn’t seen before.


~BLUE VS PINK~
A character who can’t make up their mind

Veda (from Beware the Night by Jessika Fleck) just couldn’t make up her mind about whether she liked her best friend, Nico, or this other person called Dorian so she just strung them both along for the duration of the book and formed a tidy little annoying love triangle that has yet to be resolved.


~SLEEPING SPINDLE~
Name a book that turned out exactly how you thought it would (good or bad)

I knew that I’d love Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik before I read it for two reasons. Firstly, because I’d read another book by Novik called Uprooted and I completely and utterly adored it and secondly because it was a loose retelling of Rumpelstiltskin and I am a massive fan of fairy tale retellings. So when I read Spinning Silver and fell head over heels for its intricately woven story with whispers of winter, I wasn’t surprised.


So that’s the tag! What did you think of my answers? Do you agree/ disagree? Let me know in the comments!

I tag:

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Reviews · Uncategorized

When Dreams Become Reality: Review of Reverie

Book: Reverie

Author: Ryan La Sala

Year Published: 2019

  • Plot: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 4.5/5
  • Overall: 4/5

Reverie was one of the most imaginative, chaotic and unique novels I’ve ever read. It was a wild, wild roller coaster ride of a book but also one that I feel will resonate with many readers and I enjoyed it very much.

“We are all people between worlds.”

The protagonist was Kane Montgomery, a boy who woke up half-dead in a river nearby a burnt down mill with no memory of how it happened or most of his life before. However, slowly by surely he began to put the puzzle pieces together by finding his friends from before the accident and uncovering the sinister truth of what really happened.

Kane and his friends (who called themselves ‘the Others‘) all had various superpowers and they used these to control and unravel ‘reveries’ wherever they arose. Reveries were manifestations of a person’s deepest hopes, fears and dreams that leaked into reality and ensnared anyone in the vicinity of their source. They normally came with an elaborate plot that the people caught inside would unconsciously act out but the Others all possessed the ability to remain lucid in a reverie and could make sure it stayed safe and didn’t go out of control.

“Sealed off things that steep too long in the human mind are doomed to grow bitter”

The reveries were all well fleshed out and intriguing and the author integrated these magical micro worlds into the real world very skillfully. I thought it was an extremely creative magic system but I would have liked it to be more explained as there are still aspects of reveries that I don’t understand like the triggers, limits and rules of them. Also, I don’t think Kane and his friends’ purpose was well explained because most of the time, they seemed to make the reveries more dangerous than they were supposed to be.

Kane was caring, thoughtful and funny but his accident and the consequent amnesia made him feel like an outsider from himself. Also, his uncertainty in who to trust made him push away those trying to help him and he ended up feeling alone. He was the only openly gay person in his school and he keenly felt the pressure of people’s judgement upon him, always feeling out of place

However, as Kane discovered details about his life the reader did too, making his confusion really relatable. He rediscovered his previous friends and it was lovely to see how, after a bit of miscommunication, he started to rebuild his relationships with them once more. His whole character arc was about self-discovery, about giving himself a second chance and using it to save the world.

“Dreams can be the artifacts we excavate to discover who we really are”

The other characters were all nicely layered as well. I loved Ursula‘s calm yet strong nature and Adeline’s steely no-nonsense attitude. Dean had a mysterious, aloof exterior but was actually really adorable and I’m glad that him and Kane had each other. I wish we got to see their relationship develop more. I also liked how Kane’s relationship with his younger sister was portrayed. It was turbulent at times but during hardships their unconditional love and support shone through. The villain of the story was a drag queen sorceress called Poesy who, as the book states many times, was ‘power personified’.  While her motivations and decisions were very questionable she was a sassy, trinket gathering villain who was hard to always hate.

At its core, beneath the chaos and rainbows, Reverie was a story about how people, especially those ostracized by society, create refuges in their own minds and what happens when these go out of control. With its heartfelt LGBTQ+ representation, beautiful prose and loveable characters, Reverie is most certainly a worthwhile read. I had a few issues with the magic system but it was overall an enjoyable story.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinion expressed are my own.

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Reviews · Uncategorized

Mini-view: The Never Tilting World

Book: The Never Tilting World

Author: Rin Chupeco

Year Published: 2019

  • Plot: 5/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Overall: 4.5/5

∗ It was a climate fiction fantasy novel about a world called Aeon split between permanent day and permanent night with extreme weather and dangerous magical creatures.

∗ I absolutely loved it- it was so imaginative and action-packed!

∗ The world building was really well fleshed out. I liked learning how both the day and night sides coped with their situations.

∗ I loved the backstory. It was inspired by Assyrian mythology and was really intriguing.

∗ The plot was full of surprises and I never had a bored moment! I liked watching the two story lines converge.

Odessa was a goddess who lived on the night side of Aeon ruling a city called Aranth. She became braver and more sure of herself as the story progressed. Her character arc was all about fighting the allure of power and how it nearly corrupted her.

Lan was Odessa’s bodyguard. She was fierce, strong and disciplined and she had PTSD after a traumatic experience. I liked how she started to come to terms with what happened to her and open up her heart.

Haidee (my favourite character) was also a goddess who lived on the day side of Aeon and ruled the Golden City. Her and Odessa were twins but neither of them knew. She was really smart as a mechanic, extremely caring and definitely reminded me of myself at times.

Arjun lived in the desert on the day side of Aeon and he went with Haidee on her journey. He was an amputee and also really smart and resourceful. My favourite thing about him was how he pretended to be all gruff but his softer side gradually emerged as the novel progressed.

∗ Both the romances were adorable and flawlessly done.

∗ Even though the climate change was caused by a magical disaster the message of being responsible for the damage we cause to our world applies to us all.

∗ It’s a brilliant, creative novel- I’d definitely recommend it!

Thank you to HarperTeen for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

To find out more about the book, check out this interview I did with the author, Rin Chupeco.

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Blog Tours · Interviews · Uncategorized

Sereadipity Interviews… Sara B. Larson! (Sisters of Shadow and Light Blog Tour)

Hello my booksicles!

It’s been a while but I’m finally dragging myself out of my blogging slump starting with this Fantastic Flying Book Club tour for Sisters of Shadow and Light. My stop is a video interview with the author, Sara B. Larson. The scheduled date was November 5th but due to technical difficulties surrounding the video, that date wasn’t possible but it’s fixed now so without further ado let’s get going!


About the book:

Book: Sisters of Shadow and Light
Author: Sara B. Larson
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: November 5th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of DEFY, Sara B. Larson, SISTERS OF SHADOW
AND LIGHT is a timeless and fantastical tale of sisterly love and powerful
magic

“The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes…”.

Zuhra and Inara have grown up in the Citadel of the Paladins, an abandoned fortress
where legendary, magical warriors once lived before disappearing from the
world―including their Paladin father the night Inara was born.

On that same night, a massive, magical hedge grew and imprisoned them within the
citadel. Inara inherited their father’s Paladin power; her eyes glow blue and she is
able to make plants grow at unbelievable rates, but she has been trapped in her own
mind because of a “roar” that drowns everything else out―leaving Zuhra virtually
alone with their emotionally broken human mother.

For fifteen years they have lived, trapped in the citadel, with little contact from the
outside world…until the day a stranger passes through the hedge, and everything
changes.

Book links:

Goodreads | Amazon |B&N | Bookdepository (CD) |Kobo


Video interview:

I sent off a few questions about the book and Sara was kind enough to answer them by video! She even got her son involved!

Click here to watch the video interview!

About the author:

Sara B. Larson is the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of the YA fantasy DEFY trilogy (DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE) and the DARK BREAKS THE DAWN duology. Her next YA fantasy, SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT, comes out November 5th from Tor Teen. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their four children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction.

Author links:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter |Facebook |Pinterest |Youtube |Instagram

—Tour schedule—
—Excerpt—
—Giveaway—
Thank you to the FFBC for choosing me for this tour and thank you so much to Sara Larson for taking the time to answer my questions!
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