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TOP 10 TUESDAY: Cover Redesigns I Love

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently run by That Artsy Reader Girl. Hop on over to their page and show them some love!

Hey everyone! I know that all I’ve been posting are T10T lately, but I’ve learned that I need a lot more time to review longer adult fantasy. I have about 4 paragraphs of my Jade War review to go, but it should be up on Thursday if you’re interested!

But until then, here are my top 10 favorite cover redesigns.

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Vicious by V.E. Schwab


A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin


Radio Silence by Alice Oseman


We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal


The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh


Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb


 Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly

dividerThat’s all for now! I know some of these are just different editions or US vs. UK, but I still like one over the other lol. What’s a cover redesign or edition you love?

Cya! ^^

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July Book Haul

Hey everyone!

Today I present to you my July book haul. 12 physical books doesn’t seem that much to me, but I found out working at a library auto approves you for some eARC’s and I went a little download happy… Hope you enjoy!

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Traditional_Bookstores 

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Heartstopper: Volume 2 by Alice Oseman
Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
Jade War by Fonda Lee ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Use Bookstores
Used_bookstore

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Red Knight by Miles Cameron
The Fell Sword by Miles Cameron
The Dreadwyrm by Miles Cameron

Twitter Purchases
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The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

ARC Trades
Arcs_traded

Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger
Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart
War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

NetGalley

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker
Crochet Cute Critters by Sarah Zimmerman
Fortuna Sworn y K.J. Sutton
Unverified by Kristin Giese

Edelweiss

Handle with Care by Helena Hunting
Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and More Prehistoric Amigurumi edited by Joke Vermeiren
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Shadow Frost by Coco Ma
A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price
The King’s Questioner by Nikki Katz
Rogue Princess by B.R. Myers
Diamond City by Francesca Flores
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
If You Only Knew by Prerna Pickett
Glitch Kingdom by Sheena Boekweg
The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

dividerHave you read any of these? Did you love or hate it? Is there anything you think I should read ASAP? I’d love to hear from you!

Cya! ^^

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July Wrap-Up

It’s that time of the month! Let’s get straight to it!

dividerTotal Books Read: 7
Total Books From Planned TBR: 7/11

I’m actually really proud of that considering I’m a huge mood reader. For some reason I want to be able to stick to TBR’s more consistently. I just think it makes for more organized content for myself later on lol. Other than that, I’ve been trying to read 10 books a month, but Jade War took up a lot of time so I’m still going to call this a win! ^^

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Books Read

 In Waves by AJ Dungo ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
»my review« Bittersweet and informative but ultimately too simple for me. Fun fact, though! I couldn’t figure out why the author’s name sounded so familiar, and then I realized I used to play Lineage 2 with one of him and a few of his friends about 15 years ago. I checked his Facebook page to confirm, and sure enough it was him and he talked about publishing this graphic novel! Small freaking world. o.o

 Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry (arc) ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Full review to come closer to publishing date, and I’m also still trying to process this. Orpheus Girl tells the story of two sapphic young women in conservative Texas who are caught together in a compromising position and are sent to conversion therapy camp. Major trigger warnings for homophobia, torture, depression, and suicide. Let’s just say, I am cishet, and this book physically hurt me. I gave this a 3 stars for the same reason I gave Fat Girl on a Plane 3 stars: it illustrates a cruel truth about the world yet still tells an important story.

 Stardust by Neil Gaiman ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Whenever I think of the word “whimsical” I will forever think of Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I listened to this as an audiobook because it’s narrated by Neil Gaiman and I was easily and eagerly sucked into the little town of Wall and the world beyond. The lyrical prose and Gaiman’s soft and comforting voice set the tone for a perfect fairy tale. I plan to do a mini review of this one as soon as I get to Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane.

 Jade War by Fonda Lee (arc) ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Review to come because I once again deleted it with no way to get it back. -.- This was awesome!! It expanded on the world and characters of Jade City, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book as carefully as I did this one (which is why it took forever). I have so many thoughts on this, and even though I gave it 5 stars, I don’t know if I can say it’s perfect. For now I’m settling with “clever but I’m salty” ehe…

 The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan by Sherry Thomas (arc) ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Review to come closer to publishing date! The Magnolia Sword is an #ownvoice Mulan retelling that is more historically accurate than Disney’s Mulan. I changed my rating from 5 stars to 4 stars because its length didn’t allow for chemistry to build between characters and information about the world was dumpy everywhere. However, for some reason I flew threw this in 2 days because I still thought it was an enjoyable read.

 Heartstopper by Alice Oseman ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This was really cute, but I need to read the next installment to have a real feel for the story. Essentially, this is about two boys who become friends over rugby. One is out as gay and the other is questioning his sexuality. I have a feeling I’m going to love the series as a whole, but for now I’m going to stick with a safe 3 stars. Mini review to come along with Heartstoppers Vol. 2!

 Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
RTC! o.o Um…holy shit?? I heard this was steamy but woaaaaa was this steamy! Imagine reading this several feet away from your mother (obvs. like me). I had to leave the living room because I was scared to make embarrassing faces in front of my family. Needless to say, there were much more sexy times than I’m used to, but there was also a lot of plot, too! I had so much fun reading this and would also love recommendations for books like it… but I think I might also need Jesus >.>

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Book Reviews

 The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
 Wicked Fox by Kat Cho
 In Waves by AJ Dungo
 One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

dividerBlog Hop
Posts I loved by you! 

This pirate captain’s review of Gods of Jade and Shadow.
This adorable Pancake Book Tag and Mukbang from Elaine from Elaine Howlin
This interview with Rebecca Kuang that made me wonder how someone so young could be so talented from Petrick Leo of Novel Notions. 
This review of The Rage of Dragons that got my hype for this book from Hiu Gregg of The Fantasy Inn
This post on broken, awkward, incompetent, and mismatched heroes that made me nod in agreement over and over again from Kathy at Pages Below the Vaulted Sky
This review of Jade City that made me remember why I love the Green Bone Saga so much by Mr. Renzol

dividerWhew! Done! I’m hoping my allergies and migraines go away soon so I can get back into the swing of things, but overall, I had an enjoyable month! How was yours? Any new favorites or interesting discussion posts I should check out? Let me know!

Cya! ^^

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Top 10 Tuesday: Book I need to read by my favorite authors

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently run by That Artsy Reader Girl. Hop on over to their page and show them some love!

Hey everyone! I seem to have found some Wifi to write up a post, so today I’m coming at ya with a list of books I need to read from my favorite authors. I don’t know about you all, but once I find an author I love I almost always buy most of their other works. Maybe that’s not everyone??? I have problems…and a migraine -.-

Anyways, today I’ll be choosing books I haven’t read from authors from my Top 10 Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors post. Hope you enjoy!

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The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin

I’ve started and stopped this 2 times now. In fact, it’s been on my currently reading shelf for probably half a year >.>. I’m enjoying it, but for some reason I haven’t read it all the way through yet. Hopefully I’ll get to it sometime this year..!


The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

I will read all the N.K. Jemisin books one day! Actually, mortals going up to the god realm is one of my favorite tropes so maybe I should have chosen to read this one before The Killing Moon. It hasn’t gotten the best reviews, but I’m hoping I’ll like it anyway.


Exo by Fonda Lee

I had no idea Fonda Lee had other books out besides the Green Bone Saga! This is a YA sci-fi that sounds way different than her other works, but humans integrating with alien societies from Fonda Lee sounds like it could be a good time.


Renegades by Marissa Meyer

I find the idea of super hero stories exciting, but for some reason I’m always hesitant to read one. That, and the books in this trilogy are huge! The last book is coming out this year, and I’m guessing I will binge the series during the beginning of the year.


The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

So this sounds spooky, and I’m not sure if I will ever get the courage to try this one out. I love scary anything, but because I went to Catholic school until college, exorcisms tend to freak me out. But it’s Rin Chupeco, and I’m curious. So maybe!


Legion by Brandon Sanderson

For some reason I’m not drawn in by the story of a man with tons of people living inside his head. However, I know that I’ve enjoyed most of Brandon Sanderson’s other works and am pretty confident I’ll enjoy this one, too.


Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

I’m saving this one for when I’m craving an angsty romance because that’s what this seems like. I’m used to Christina Lauren’s rom-coms but haven’t enjoyed the one serious romance I’ve read by them. I still have high hopes for this one, though!


Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

I had a lot of fun reading Furyborn and really liked how fun Claire Legrand’s writing was so I decided I need to read everything she ever writes! Sawkill Girls seems to have a different vibe from Furyborn, but I’m hoping I enjoy it, too!


Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

I’ve had this on my physical TBR since it first came out. At first I didn’t read it because I didn’t like waiting for sequels. Then I didn’t read it because I heard there was a tragic romance and I didn’t know if I could take that. But I loved Strange the Dreamer, and I still believe I’ll read this…one day!


Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

I might be cheating a little with this one because Into the Crooked Place isn’t out yet, but this is only Alexandra Christo’s second novel. I gave To Kill a Kingdom 5 stars last year, so I’m expecting good things from this one!

dividerWhat are some books you haven’t read by some of your favorite authors? I’d love to hear from you!

Cya! ^^

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Top 10 Tuesday: Set-Ups I’d Like to See More Of (Or At All)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently run by That Artsy Reader Girl. Hop on over to their page and show them some love!

Hey everyone! This week’s Top 10 Tuesday post was supposed to be settings, but I changed it to set-ups. I don’t think of settings I want to see more of that often, but I’m always daydreaming about some scenario in certain story set-ups.

I’m pretty sure if I just looked a little bit more I could actually find stories with these premises, and there are definitely titles that already come to mind. But the more the merrier, right..?

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A story featuring dragons and dragon riders from around the world

– Self-published cover of The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

A story where both players and non-players are trapped in an MMO

– Lineage 2 Lindvior raid

A retelling of Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong

-Zhang Fei, Guan Yu, and Liu Bei

Pirates battling on the high seas

– Last Battle by Reha Sakar

A romantic comedy featuring a YouTube celebrity

– YouTube beauty guru, Michelle Phan

A world where humans and dinosaurs coexist

– Dinos and Kids by James Gurney

Stories based on Filipino mythology

– Three children of Bathala and a mortal

A world at the bottom of the ocean


Civilizations in outer space

– Found in Fairest by Marissa Meyer

A retelling of the trembling of Yggdrasil

– Yggdrasil by Olga Demidova

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What are some story set-ups you’d like to see more of? Can you recommend me any books based on what I’d like to see more of? Let me know!

Cya! ^^

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One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid



Title:
One True Loves
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – Washington Square Press
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

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divider“True love doesn’t always last,” I say. “It doesn’t always have to be for a lifetime”

I feel really bad because I loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, also by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but I had to stop myself from DNF’ing this multiple times. I should have expected I would find this super tropey because the premise definitely is tropey. A happy couple are married and in love when suddenly one of them gets caught in a helicopter crash and is never to be seen again. And of course several years later he comes back but his believed-to-be-widowed wife is engaged. I should have figured this wouldn’t do it for me but I read it all anyways ><!

I think the main problem is the story moved too fast. We go through Emma and Jesse’s first meeting in high school, their marriage, Jesse’s crash, Emma’s grievance, and then we immediately experience Emma moving on and meeting Sam, them dating, and then them getting engaged. There wasn’t enough time to flesh out any of Emma’s lovers, so I didn’t care when her husband died, and I didn’t feel for Emma’s husband or fiancé when her husband came back.

Also, from the very beginning I knew who Emma would choose in the end because one man was obviously written to be unlikable while the other one was written to be lovable. I believe the author’s intention in writing Emma’s lovers was to show how people change from one period of life to the next, but I don’t think one period of life is necessarily better than the other so I don’t think one man should have felt likable and the other unlikable.

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing is also very personal. While her character’s introspection resonated with me in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, it did nothing for me in One True Loves. A lot of it had to to with love, and I’m not sure I agree with Emma’s thoughts.

It was a quick and easy read but not one of my favorites.

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The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang [REVIEW]

poppy_warTitle: The Poppy War

Author: R. F. Kuang

Published by: Harper Voyager

Genre: Asian, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Content Warning: Rape, death of children, substance abuse, death, graphic war scenes

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“We aren’t here to be sophisticated. We’re here to fuck people up.”

Note: This review was written a year before posted but all opinions are still the same.

This was exactly what I needed after not completely enjoying what I’d been picking up for the previous two months. If I rated this purely on enjoyment, I would have given it 5 stars. The writing was accessible and fast-paced, the dialogue was witty and often times hilarious, and the action was flashy and exciting. Unfortunately, there were a couple of problems I couldn’t get over.

The Poppy War is an Asian inspired military fantasy that is basically 2 books in 1. First, it’s about Rin who works hard to make it into Sinegard, the most prestigious military academy in Nikan. Because she is a dark-skinned war orphan, she is not welcomed at the academy which is full of rich heirs and high ranking military officers. Rin’s experience at the academy is my favorite part of the book. When I think of the military academy, I think of Hogwarts but darker and military focused rather than magic focused. Each class is run by an expert in a subject of war. There is strategy, lore, martial arts, and more. The purpose of each first-year student is to learn and study hard for the end of the year exam and martial arts tournament. Marks on the exam are the basis in which each teacher will send invitations to join as their scribe. First years who don’t get a bid are kicked out of the academy. During this time, Rin is hardworking, tough, and sometimes unlikable. This is understandable since the cards are against her and her lowly beginnings. Her biggest rival is Nezha a fierce martial artist and the heir to the Dragon clan. She does, however, becomes friends with Kitay an aspiring military strategist.

In the second half of the book, Rin is stationed to a special military unit called the Cike. This half feels completely different from the first half in that it is more magical and darker. Members of the Cike are able to harness the power of the gods by consuming their choice of drugs, and because it is now set during wartime, we witness the many brutal horrors of war. We are also introduced to new characters and new sides of characters we already know.

Again, I am definitely a fan. It was exactly was I was craving, but like I said, there were issues that I couldn’t get over. First, the book needed to be longer. One of the major themes of The Poppy War is propriety versus reality. For example, in the first half of the book, students are made to learn and question strategic military decisions and outcomes made in past wars. The public was made to think one way, but the students learned the harsh realities.

I think the differences between the first and second half are meant to show this theme and to make readers question and challenge their world views. I think the first half shows the propriety and the second half shows the gritty reality; however, the end of the second half felt rushed so I didn’t buy the reasoning behind certain characters’ actions. Some characters’ storylines needed to be developed more, and that could have taken at least another 100 pages.

My other complaint again takes place in the second half. Whereas Rin’s trials and adventures were at the forefront in the first half of the book, the consequences of her time at Sinegard lead to the second half focusing less on her. She was still the main point of view but it felt a lot like a Great Gatsby situation where the narrator was a spectator for another character. Unfortunately, this didn’t work here because Rin was supposed to be a part of her group’s trials. Because of her failures, it felt like Rin didn’t need to be in the Cike’s group at all.

All in all, I liked this book, I am eagerly awaiting the sequel, but there is definitely room for improvement.

3.5stars

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