T5W: Top Five Former Book Fandoms

Today is Wednesday, which means it’s time for another top five Wednesday (T5W). I will leave a link to the Goodreads group here, for information and topics. This week’s topic is our top 5 former (book) fandoms.

Let’s carry on.

5. Twilight

I read those books so fast, and with so much love, that I don’t really remember all the details. It was in grad school, I think, and everyone was reading those books. I was in a bad place, and the first book was exciting. But, by the last book, I kind of felt queasy about the relationships presented in the overarching story. Plus, Jacob deserved better. I shipped him with Leah, I think?

4. Hush, Hush

After Twilight, I had interest in reading things beyond just classics and articles, so I started reading these books by Becca Fitzpatrick. I don’t remember much, but it involved angels. Patch was strange and charming, and Nora was down to earth. But overtime, my attention to reread the books dwindled. So, I gave them away and stopped being part of the fandom. I mostly participated by watching fanvids.

3. Percy Jackson

I read all the books in this series and even the series that followed it. The story was interesting, but I kind of became weary of the basic concept of the series. Some deity messes up, has kids, then leaves them. Kid has awful quest bestowed upon them, and then random things happen because of deities’ agendas. It was not for me.

2. Divergent

Oh no. This series started out okay. I was even accepting of the first movie, but then the last book came out and I was livid. I passed on the books to my sister, and we gave away the last book. That is how mad I was about this story.

 1. Harry Potter

This is the only fandom I truly felt part of. Maybe it’s because I was in it for the longest time? I am not sure. But, as the years went by, the books marinated in my head long enough that I started to see the problems. Having spent two years working on my thesis, I saw holes in this perfect story. I didn’t think critically when it came to Harry Potter until I was in grad school, and it was only then that I saw all the problems with the narrative. Even more damaging is the slew of comments that Rowling makes from time to time. I am still very much in love with some of the characters.

I just wish she’d leave them alone.

 

It's Top 5 Wednesday time! This week, the topic is to discuss paranormal creatures and
Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday! Here is a link to the Goodreads group for
Hello! As we are in the spirit of Halloween, the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads group's

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Upcoming Releases

Here is another Tuesday, and so it is time for the Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday feature. If you want to learn more or join the fun, here’s a link. This week’s topic is our top ten upcoming releases.

10. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Holly Black is a wonderful writer. She created my favorite fae story thus far in The Darkest Part of the Forest. So, I am naturally very excited to read this one.

9. Wild Beauty by Anna Marie McLemore

McLemore’s When the Moon was Ours was one of the brightest highlights in my reading life. I am forever interested in her work, just by the small slivers of her thoughts shared on Twitter and in interviews. Her work just has this lush quality, and queer people of color are at the center of it all. What more could I ever ask for?

8.  All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Steifvater

After reading the Raven Cycle, I am fascinated by Steifvater’s work. She is a master of weaving characters and their narratives. Her creative approach and sensitive caution in sharing someone’s perspective, both of which are inspiring for me as a writer, thinker, reader.

7. Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi

Of course, my fellow Muslim American writer is one I am keen to read more from. Mafi just writes the neatest stories, from Shatter Me to Furthermore, she has not failed me ever. Her stories are vastly different, but they often inspire me tremendously. And, world building in Furthermore was so beautiful and complex that I want to read its companion story, Whichwood. 

6. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

Some writers you just have a feeling that you’ll like their work. Bracken’s stories are piling in my room, ready for me to read. I am very curious about this upcoming novel, because it is: a) middle grade, b) has demons. Literal or metaphorical, I am excited for this one just because the subject matter is intense-pants, and yet the tone is, I suppose, mellow as a middle grade story. We shall see.

5.  In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

Sarah Rees Brennan is hilarious. She has such a wonderful talent and skill when it comes to writing a balanced story that teeters between peril and humor, romance, and drama. This particular book features LGBT+ characters, and I know she’ll do them justice. I have read her Demon’s Lexicon trilogy and loved her characters so much.

 

4. Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes

Oops, I have not read this series, but man oh man, am I excited to read its finale! At some point, I intend to read my way through this series, and learn more about the characters. I have heard rumors about a Cleo and a Lucia. I want to love them already. Plus, the cover is epic.

3. The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury

This is another trilogy that I have not started yet. I’ll be honest and say that the covers are intriguing. But, I have the first two books here with me and I am sure I’ll want to read the final one this October.

2. The Savage Dawn by Melissa Gray

Uh, this is another series I have not read yet. But, I have the first two, and I get vibes of Daughter of Smoke and Bone from the reviews I hear about this book. And, from what I remember based on the short reading time I had with DOSB, I will want to read this one, too.

 

1. A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess

Hate to sound too repetitive, but the first book sounds so intriguing and I want to read all of this series, really. I will try to catch up eventually on all the books I want to read. What can I say, though, chosen one narratives being questioned in the first book? Sign me up.

 

 

 

    Hello! Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday, which is a meme run by
Hello! Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly meme run by the
Hello! I'm surprising myself here by participating in this week's Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten

End of May TBR and Goals

This week, May ends. Time is passing rather quickly, and I have been in a lot of senseless turmoil and grief. Life with depression is frustrating when it comes to goals and deadlines. For the end of May, I am going to get back in the habit of having goals and a set TBR. Perhaps I’ll never read all the things I want to in one go. It’s okay.

End of May TBR

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I LOVE this book so far. Kaz is a fantastic leader to this epic crew. I look forward to finish this story!

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Look, I tried to resist reading this until now. I need to read it this week, in order to see if my literary kids are okay (they probably won’t be, but I have to see how much injury takes place).

If I have more time, I can probably manage to sneak in some Mistborn 2 (Well of Ascension). 

Elend and Vin are my buddies and I want to see what happens to them.

Goals
  • I want to write more various posts on my blog (and in general, just write more often).
  • Another goal I have is to connect and communicate with my blogging buddies more often.
  • Read, study, meditate, worship. Balance my time better.

Hoping you have a wonderful end of May week, and a brilliant time this spring/summer days of this period of time. I look forward to be more active around the internet and get to talk to you all in comments or tweets.

Oh, also: if you have any ideas or suggestions for my blog, please let me know! I would love to figure out how to do this blogging thing better. I love getting feedback from friends.

Also: JUNE IS ALMOST HERE.

 

 

    Welcome to week 3 of October, 2017. I managed to read a little
  We made it to week 2 of October 2017. Needless to say, I have
  Heck yes! It is the first week of October, 2017. I am so happy,

T5W: Top 5 Minor Characters

It’s another top 5 Wednesday

(T5W)! Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group that you can find right here. This week’s topic is our top 5minor characters. My Slytherin nature is shown clearly here, because I love so many characters per series, and chose 2 at a time.

Enjoy!

5. The Raven Cycle: Henry Cheng and Kavinsky

I have very mixed feelings about Henry Cheng. Perhaps it is because I didn’t get enough time with him to fully realize what the heck he is all about. On the one hand, I understand his humor and can identify with him. But, on the other hand, I feel like he made me very uncomfortable.

The same thing can be said about Kavinsky. I wish we had more time with him; if we got a story with him and his dream thieving, perhaps he’d make more sense as a person. I like how he pushed Ronan to grow up but how did he get to this point?

4. Beautiful Creatures: Wesley Jefferson Lincoln (and Ridley Duchanne)

Link is one of my favorite characters ever, actually, because he brought this grounded nature to these books with heavy emphasis on the supernatural/paranormal. He was steeped in the culture of the place, too.

In contrast, his relationship with Ridley was so neat. I didn’t read the series focused on the two of them, but I loved just the hint of possibility between this very “real” human and then this dark castor. Perfection.

3. The Grisha Trilogy: Baghra and Genya

There is a very brief exploration of these two characters in the series. Part of me really wanted to see more of these minor characters. Baghra, in particular, and her relationship with the Darkling, was fascinating. I wanted to see more of her as a child and her relationship with family.

Genya is another really close character to my heart, because she is a sexual abuse survivor. She certainly handles it with grace and strength. Definitely something inspiring and encouraging.

2. Mistborn: Elend Venture 

I didn’t expect to love this dude as much as I do. But, here we are. I am on the second book in the series, and he has taken on a larger role, which makes me SO glad to see more of him.  Mainly, I am curious to see how he will develop as a person, as a noble, as someone in a powerful position, and as someone who has Vin in his life.

 

 1. Paper Towns: Ben and Radar

Minor characters shine bright in John Green’s work. But, among my favorites, are Ben and Radar. I just love them. They make me laugh a lot, and they are intriguing characters. Specifically, I would have liked more adventures with these two guys. Why can’t we hear more about Ben and his relationship woes? What about Radar? How does his family come to collect black Santa figurines? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

It's Top 5 Wednesday time! This week, the topic is to discuss paranormal creatures and
Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday! Here is a link to the Goodreads group for
Hello! As we are in the spirit of Halloween, the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads group's

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Summer Reads

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday. As always, I will link the Top Ten Tuesday feature on The Broke and the Bookish website here.  This week’s topic is the top ten summer reads.

10. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson 

A bucket list. A friendship. Love. All mixed into a summer time setting, what more can a person ask for? This book is a fast paced, sweet story about finding one’s own place in the world, and about finding friendships, romance, along the way. I have a few Matson books to read this summer. Hooray!

9. Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens’ Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Another lovely summer read about love and identity. It is about family, friendship, and cuteness. It’s just very fluffy and sweet. Perfect for the summer. I read it last year and adored Simon and Blue. Can’t wait to read the next book by this author. I will hopefully pick it up this summer!

 

8. The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkowski

Finally wrapped up this series, and it was dramatic and emotional. The relationship central to the story is one I was rooting for all along. It is really hard not to like these two together. Kestrel is a scheming, clever, and brilliant girl. She’ll give you the girl power vibes. And not in the way you expect.

 

7.  Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here  by Anna Breslaw

Fanfiction makes its first appearance on the list, who is surprised? I loved this book. It’s another one I read last year. Definitely a thought-provoking read about internet culture in relation to “real life.” If anything, read it for the feminism presented in the story.

6. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Uh, I have not read this book yet. But, I have it lined up for this summer. Huntley Fitzpatrick is frequently recommended in book-land and so I have gathered copies of her books. I hear this one is about neighbors from very different family environments reacting to each other. The covers of her books are so cute. It just sounds like a sweet, summer read.

5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Surprise, another fanfiction related work here on the list! This book is a favorite of mine, as it deals with anxiety and adapting to a new environment. Cath is a wonderful writer. She and Levi are hilarious, and they will make your heart melt this summer.

4. This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

Another one I have not read yet. I haven’t read anything by Emma Mills, but I used to love her videos on YouTube. She just sounds real and honest, funny and sincere. Very excited to read this one. It has to do with art!

3. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

I have read other work by Nina LaCour, and this one is the most famous out of her work. So, naturally, I am very stoked to read it this summer. It’s another one about art and Hollywood sets, and it features an LGBT+ pairing.

2. Anna and the French Kiss trilogy by Stephanie Perkins

These books are some of my favorite contemporaries. They are just cute love stories featuring very sweet main characters. I may revisit them again this summer because I miss the stories and the settings of these books.

  1. Anything Neil Gaiman (Stardust? I’m tempted to start with Stardust)

As I have said before, I have been trying to read more Gaiman. I haven’t read any of his work, and I’m thinking of starting small. The movie Stardust makes me feel happy and cozy. So, I’m thinking of starting my Gaiman book-reading series by reading Stardust.  Cannot wait to read it.

 

    Hello! Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday, which is a meme run by
Hello! Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly meme run by the
Hello! I'm surprising myself here by participating in this week's Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten

BR: The Mixed Bag of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Today, I will be discussing Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. This book makes me feel things, good and bad. Mostly bad, I’ll be honest, but I’ll try not to let this affect my review too much.

Challenging Traditional Stoic Masculinity

At the heart of this story is the relationship between Aristotle and his father. Aristotle’s father is very stoic. He doesn’t talk about his feelings or his past. And, Aristotle mimics this sometimes (or maybe he is just like this, too, as it is a very traditional approach to masculinity).

That connection between father and son challenges the traditional assumptions people tend to make about masculinity. Mainly, it is about a lack of communication, suppressing emotions, and so on.

Mexican American/ LatinX Identity

Another interesting exploration in the novel is the navigation of the Mexican American identity. Throughout the story, Aristotle and Dante struggle to find their place in the world as Mexicans and Americans.

The author questions stereotypes in the novel as well. So, Aristotle gets a truck, and Dante doesn’t. Aristotle’s mother is a teacher, and Dante’s father is a professor. It’s nice. I genuinely mean this.

Positive Portrayals of Parents

While the parents are very different in the story, they are all positive individuals in their kids’ lives. It is a rare feature in young adult literature to see something so lovely. Parents who are active and invested in their offspring’s lives.

Homosexuality and Homophobia

And ultimately, yes, I know the story is also about Aristotle and Dante coming to terms with their sexuality and their feelings toward each other. But, I think the book has lots of other things going on and wanted to address those first.

But…

So, I hope I explained why the book may be a good fit for other people. For me, though, Aristotle was very annoying. He was upsetting for me, because he was rather impulsive, aggressive (thoughtless on what he says and how he acts), and frustrating. He does not grow up or develop over the course of years. It’s baffling.

Ultimately, this is my key point of annoyance with the story: Aristotle and how he treats Dante poorly. Following Aristotle’s perspective made the book even more unpleasant.

Furthermore, the plot (or lack thereof) made it hard for me to stay invested in the characters. Maybe if there was some sort of driving force for the characters to grow, some tension, some conflict that they’re up against, then maybe the book would have been more interesting.

Overall:

I understand why there’s hype for the book, but I also don’t have any interest in keeping this book on my shelves. It’s not for me. But, maybe you’ll like it.

 

 

    Hello! If you follow me on Goodreads, you may have noticed that I
Guess who finally finished The Final Kingdom by Elizabeth May? This book is the conclusion
I'm sure  you have been seeing Mackenzie Lee's The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue around the

BR: The Raven King

Make way for the Raven King, the Raven King! 

I finished reading the final book in the Raven Cycle, The Raven King and I wanted to share some nonspoiler/slightly spoilery thoughts here. But, to keep things brief at first,  my review of the book is that it was awesome!

Plot

Overall, the plot of the story was fast paced but in a reasonable way. It was not all about the quest. There were hiccups along the way. There were many losses, and heartbreaking moments. I particularly loved Orphan Girl and Aurora Lynch, Cabeswater, and Ronan. This is kind of a shock for me, because I was very intimidated by this boy. But, I have warmed up to him a lot, and I felt intense pain for him.

There were some instances in the story where the pressures of growing up seemed very daunting. College, friendship, quests were on everyone’s minds and there was the question of how to juggle all of these things along with their responsibilities as key players in the ley line’s existence.

Relationships

My favorite relationship in these books has been Ronan and Blue’s friendship. Hands down, they were amusing as they tried to deal with the tension between them. And, the best moment ever is “Sargent, you asshole.” My heart just melted at the image of Ronan bumping fists with Blue, this beautiful strong girl.

The introduction of Henry Cheng left me with mixed feelings. As someone who is an introvert and something who learned English as a second language, there was something so…comforting in seeing a clever boy like Henry deal with the insecurities that come with speaking another language, how lost one feels in between two cultures (and for him, it was even more dramatic, because I have to factor in magic into this). I am not sure why he made me uncomfortable, though. The way he behaved before the group got to know him, it was kind of in bad taste. Was he just trying to fit in? I am not sure.

Ultimately, the story centers on a key relationship between Noah and Gansey. Noah will always be one of my favorite characters ever, even if he confused me at first. His limbo status, the pain and fear, and the desire to be alive all made him endearing and yet so heartbreaking. He went through so much, and I miss him already.

Blue’s father was frustrating, and yet I came to understand his hesitation to participate in the quest. Kind of. Still, I am not a fan of his, to be honest.

I won’t get into romantic relationships, because spoilers are unpleasant. But, I liked who ended up with each other and such.

Idealism and Wishes

Ultimately, what ended up happening when the group “meets” the Welsh king was so fantastic, and it reflected so much on their age, their expectations, the naive dreams one has.

But, it was mostly a step towards growing up, this releasing of an expectation. I love that.

Overall

I am so glad I read this series, and that I have copies of the books to reread again. If you have not read it, I strongly encourage you to do so.

Excelsior

 

 

    Hello! If you follow me on Goodreads, you may have noticed that I
Guess who finally finished The Final Kingdom by Elizabeth May? This book is the conclusion
I'm sure  you have been seeing Mackenzie Lee's The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue around the

T5W: Top 5 Summer Reads

For this week’s Top Five Wednesday (T5W), the discussion will be on the top 5 summer reads. Before we begin, let me link to the awesome Goodreads group for T5W.

Let’s begin.

5. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

I have not finished this book, mainly because I realized that I was reading it at the wrong time. It just feels very summer-y or spring related at the very least. Nature plays a huge role in the story, and there is magic, romance, and beautiful friendship. It’s definitely a book I want to get to this summer.

4. Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman 

This is a retelling/historical fiction story about Alexander (the Great). I am intrigued by it so much that I picked up the first two books and I am very much hoping to read them to catch up on the series. From what I know, the author is a historian? And that makes the books daunting (I admit) and exciting.

 

3. Ballad/Lament by Maggie Steifvater

Look, I have read these books a year ago during the summer and it was a fantastic experience. Fae and music! So good.

 

2. The Siren by Kiera Cass

I have tried reading mermaid books before, and I was interested in the subject matter. This is not quite about mermaids; it’s a little darker (which is great). And, I heard really good things about the book. The sea and death. Plus, Kiera Cass seems brilliant in interviews, and I am curious to see her take on sirens.

 

 1. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore  

This book is something I have been saving till the summer, because it is about performers. For whatever reason, I associate this book with summer and I am keen to read it this summer/spring. McLemore has really atmospheric writing and her characters are beautifully fleshed out. It’ll be a treat to read this book, for sure.

 

 

It's Top 5 Wednesday time! This week, the topic is to discuss paranormal creatures and
Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday! Here is a link to the Goodreads group for
Hello! As we are in the spirit of Halloween, the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads group's

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Mothers Who Deserve Their Own Books

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is: a) late, and b) a freebie, so I had to ponder the topic a bit.  Today, I’ll be talking about the top ten mothers who deserve a book of their own.

Let’s begin!

10. Lena’s Mother in Beautiful Creatures series

I am curious to learn more about her, and how she went down the path she was on. How did becoming a dark castor feel for her, and how was her relationship with her family like?

9. Mrs. Lynch from The Raven Cycle

Losing a husband and losing touch with family just sound so painful, and I wish there was room for her own narrative to come in and express her feelings.

 

8. Vin’s mother from Mistborn

Having unwanted children, and feeling frustrated by the responsibility thrust (no pun intended) upon her must have been overwhelming. Did she know that her son, Reen, was a jerk? And, did she know that Vin doesn’t trust anyone? Did she know that her kid is Mistborn?

7. Katniss’ mother from the Hunger Games

When I was diagnosed with my illnesses, I realized that I was less like Katniss and more like her mother. So, due to very selfish reasons, I want her mother to get a shot at explaining her mental illness, her shock after losing her husband, and later after seeing her daughter in so much agony.

6. Kestrel’s mother from The Winner’s Curse

Rutkowski doesn’t really include much about this lady, other than that she liked to play music. But, how did she meet the General? And what drew her to him? What did she think of her daughter? What were her hopes for her child? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

5. Rose Hathaway’s mother from the Vampire Academy

I may be in the minority here, but I love her mom a lot. Very curious about how she met Rose’s dad and how their relationship worked (if it did). What was her life like as a Moroi and a Guardian?

4. Rhy’s mother in A Darker Shade of Magic

Rhy and Kell’s mother is a BADASS and I adore her. From the glimpses in the final book of the trilogy, I just knew she was complicated, clever, and cool. Just cool lady, and I want more of her in a book (or a series!). How did she find Kell?

3. Baz’s mother in Carry On

I am just very curious about her backstory. How did she meet Baz’s father? What did she think of him and of his family? Were they in love? What did they think of their vampire kid?

2. Hagrid’s mother in the Harry Potter series

How did she meet Hagrid’s father? And what did she think of him? What did she think of her kids? What happened to her, anyway?

 1. Clary Fray’s mother in The Mortal Instruments

SO MANY QUESTIONS! How did she meet Valentine? And what did she think of other people in the Circle? Her relationship with Sebastian is fascinating and I want to hear more about it.

    Hello! Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday, which is a meme run by
Hello! Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly meme run by the
Hello! I'm surprising myself here by participating in this week's Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten

Top 5 Books As Special Events

Hello there, it is Wednesday, which means it is time for Top 5 Wednesday. The topic for this week is top 5 books as special events. I have to warn you that I am not very good at events. But, this list is what I imagine a fun special event could potentially be.

5.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 

I have never finished this trilogy, but from what I remember there was a very interesting atmospheric tone to the first book (I only read the first couple of pages, before deciding to get the trilogy. That’s how good it was). Anyway, the main character designs and draws creatures.

 

4. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Steifvater

Another very eerie read and it would be a fantastic event. Just setting up a place like Cabeswater or even Blue’s family home would provide ample excitement and interest, I think.

 

3. Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan 

The magicians and the demon hunters, the market setting can act as great elements to an event. The dancing to summon demons in particular could be so much fun. I imagine the dancers dressing up for it. It’s not every day you summon a demon.

 

2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I haven’t read this one yet, but from what I understand, there’s a circus that appears. Now, provided that there are no animals in this circus, I am okay with it being held as an event. It sounds like a fun and charming way to socialize.

 

 1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 

The whole atmosphere of a loop day sounds so intriguing. So, on September 3, we live like we’re in 1940. Doesn’t that sound fun? I think also having the dark and lush tone of the story would create a nice scene (well, I have seen the movie. Got the books earlier this year).

It's Top 5 Wednesday time! This week, the topic is to discuss paranormal creatures and
Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday! Here is a link to the Goodreads group for
Hello! As we are in the spirit of Halloween, the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads group's