Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Witches in My Read Pile

Hello! As we are in the spirit of Halloween, the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads group‘s topic for this week is WITCHES. I’m not as excited as you think. On the contrary, I am way more thrilled by this topic.

5. The Crucible by Arthur Miller

So, when I read this play, I was maybe fourteen and in high school. While most people had some chill, I didn’t. I remember being so ANGRY at these girls in the play. But, the funny thing is: we read it and analyzed it for class in high school, and I still remember that rage. What’s fascinating to me is that there is no exact “witch” here, but it’s like, “Are you sure? For real, for real?” Because, for me? I’m not sure who really is a witch and who isn’t in this play.

I love that blurred distinction.

4. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

The way those three witches showed up in the beginning of the play is one of the most memorable entrances ever. To me, they drove a nice haunting tone home to audiences–no mater the medium. Pun somewhat intended. Macbeth is like one of my most dear reading experiences ever. Witches play a role in that fact.

3. Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia

They’re called “Castors” here, but my goodness, they are so freaking cool. And, also, there is a witch (like for real witch) and she is capable and central to the story.

2. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Uh. It’s obviously a spoiler for me to reveal who becomes a witch and/or who is already a witch in this series. But, just so you know, this person is AWESOME. I’ll never fully recover from the surprise of seeing said character transforming throughout the series into a powerful witch.

 

 1.  When the Moon Was Ours by Anna Marie McLemore

Kind of a major throw-back to Shakespearean witches, coupled with the uncertainty of their nature from The Crucible, I adore how mysterious these sisters were. I’m in love with how complicated they were up close.

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Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Fancasts I Love

Hello there! This week’s Top 5 Wednesday speaks to me on an emotional level. Naturally, I had to join this week. Top 5 Fancasts that I love and enjoy! Let’s do this.

5. Nina Zenik from Six of Crows

I know this is an overused one (at least on the Internet, it is rather common), but: Barbie Ferrera is the perfect Nina. She has such a sassy personality, and she genuinely exudes vibes of confidence and a touch of humor.

4. (young) Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series

Even though my status now is a Hufflepuff, I still find Slytherin really interesting and underdeveloped. I wish there was more of Bellatrix pre-Azkaban. I like this fan-video of her with Voldemort. She’s played by the awesome Kiera Knightley, whose name I can never spell correctly.

3. Cassel from White Cat

There’s not much buzz about this trilogy, but I remember watching this video early on and finding Cassel to be on par with who I imagined him to be.

2. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games

I am basically pro-anyone who is a person of color playing Katniss, because that’s her description in the novels anyway. A lot of people were relieved to see Jennifer Lawrence play her. Not me. And, I don’t mean this in a hipster way at all, seriously, because I understand that she’s a good actress. Anyway, this lady here (at least in the graphic) looks like a better fit for Katniss. Hopefully, they wouldn’t bleach Peeta’s hair in that reboot of my dreams.

 1. Joseph Kavinsky from The Dream Thieves

LISTEN. I am not sure why this dude was so fascinating to me, but he was. So, I went to search for fanvids of him. This one is my favorite, and I show it to all my friends who would appreciate it. Tell me this is not a Kavinsky fanvid.

Your Turn:

If you are into fanvids by any chance, link your favorite ones for me to check out! I love seeing characters move and interact.

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Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Books I Want To Read Sans Synopsis

Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday. This is a meme based on topics posted on a wonderful Goodreads group. Every week, we get fun prompts to help us come up with a list of book-related items. Today, I am talking about my top 5 books that I plan to read with no synopsis. Let’s begin.

5. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I know so little about this series of books (is it a trilogy? I know book 3 was postponed). Something about space and artificial intelligence are somehow related to the story, but the characters change from the first two books. Other than that, I do not know much, and I certainly like it better that way. It is pretty hyped, but I am going in blind.

4. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Friendships that rule! And, something about witches that can tell that truth all the time or perhaps they can discern when someone is being honest? Another really hyped story right here, and I am very excited to join fandoms and flail with everyone, but, in order to do that, I am not learning more than this about the synopsis.

3. Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Emma Watson wanted to play the main character from this series in an adaptation of it. A queen is involved. Also: I got the first two books in the ugly paperback editions with the final one as a beautiful hardcover. I would love to keep up the ignorance I have in regards to the synopsis.

2. Gail Carriger’s Soulless (and following series, spin offs)

Yes, I know that I have been mentioning Carriger quite a bit lately, but the truth is I am so curious about her work (and have gathered a lot of it). So, all I know about this series is that it is steampunk and involves vampires, werewolves and some other species I am not really sure about. To me, the covers are intriguing and the author seems fascinating to me (and inspiring).

 1. Brandon Sanderson’s stuff (except for Alcatraz books and Rithmatist)

Basically, I have been gathering Sanderson’s stuff for a while (I have stopped for now, so I don’t have Rithmatist or Alcatraz books). Lots of ground to cover, and I don’t really know much about the stories. What’s interesting was that nothing can prepare me for how this man writes. He creates these complex and real worlds, with complicated character relationships. And, I say this after reading just one book: I don’t need a synopsis for his work.

Your Turn:

If you have any books or writers you’d recommend for me to read (without checking out the synopsis), please share them in the comment section. I’d love to discover new authors (new to me, or debut authors, too). Have a  bad-ass Wednesday!

 

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Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Classes to Take with YA Characters

Hello! It is time for another Top 5 Wednesday. This is a group in Goodreads, where we get weekly topics for us to list books in relation to the prompt. This week, we are talking about the Top 5 Classes To Take with YA Characters. I’m so excited about this one. Let’s begin.

5. Tactical Maneuvers with (Queen) Elisa (Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson)

The more I think of the first book in this trilogy, the more impressed of Elisa I become. This young girl knows her people’s history, faith, and politics so well. Being in her head can be frustrating because I tend to feel overwhelmed by her her process. However, the more I put myself in her shoes, the more I understand why she takes her time in deciding what needs to be done next on her journey to the throne.

4. Tricks and Thievery with the Dregs (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

An intensive course with multiple instructors, this experience will change your life. I’m not sure if you’ll function the same ever again once you witness Inej explain acrobats and shadowing in relation to thievery. She can teach a whole history seminar on her origins and culture. Likewise, Nina can do an exploration of the Ravkan culture and history.

Meanwhile, Matthias can offer an alternate point of view on Ravkan culture in relation to his own background. I mean, he can also talk about physical strength, but I feel like he can do an extremely impressive class on the wrongness of his training and the injustices toward Ravkan culture.
Kaz Brekker will try to teach a few tips on how to scheme. Jasper discusses basic pistol fighting tips. Wylan demonstrates demolition tips with high notes of musical genius.

3. Rune Drawing with Clary Fairchild (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare)

Clary’s still as a rune-creator can translate beautifully to a mundane (or downworlder) audience. Even better, she can introduce her techniques for using steeles to create such perfect runes.

Also: I want a whole class where Clary and Simon introduce basics of band-naming.

2. Piracy and (Dirty) Fighting/Dueling with Alucard Emery and Delilah Bard (A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab)

Um, it’d be hard to follow along, I admit, but it is still worth attending! Alucard and Lila have a lot of banter while fighting/practicing magic. They can discuss tips for magic use in duels. In addition, a nice long list of tips for new pirates (and thieves) would be really lovely.

 1. Story-telling and Stalling with Shahrazad (Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh)

Well…she’d be really good at it. If you’ve read my post from yesterday, you’d have gathered that I am frustrated with this duology (Have yet to read the second part of the series). Shahrazad is a good story-teller. Long-winded, but sometimes, that’s necessary.

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Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Bromances

After a week of disappearing, I am hoping to be back into the swing of things. Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday. This week, we are discussing our top 5 bromances. A bromance is a friendly relationship between two people who identify as male! Let’s begin.

5.A darker shade of magic by v.e.schwab

Listen, Rhy and Kel are brothers and I love them so much. They are willing to risk their lives to help each other. And, they give each other’s partners a hard time, which is perfect. Poor Alucard.

But, really, he kind of asked for it.

4. Demon’s lexicon by sarah rees brennan

Ah, my favorite demon dude Nick and his brother Alan are fantastic. There’s a lot of lying, I admit, but it is mostly to protect the other person. So much sacrifice going on, too. I love these two boys. They have a lot of issues to process throughout the series. That is why I like them so much.

3. the mortal instruments and the infernal devices by cassandra clare

Alec and Jace are fantastic parabati. I think it’s nice to see them figure out what it really means to be this close without any romance in the equation. How about the legendary Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs? Perfection. I just love how friendship is portrayed in Clare’s work.

2. the raven boys by maggie stiefvater

Come on, how can I not talk about the Raven Boys? This group of awesome, bad-ass dorks who basically geek out over dead Welsh king is endearing. Think of Gansey, and his protectiveness of Ronan. The clashing between Gansey and Adam. Noah and his sacrifice.

 1. Harry potter series by jk rowling

The Marauders are the ultimate bromance. I mean, even though I ship Sirius with Remus, I think the rest of the group was just friends. They’ve been through a lot.

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Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Characters Who Are Foodies

This week for Top 5 Wednesday, we have a fantastic topic: character fitness routines. Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group where we get weekly topics to discuss on our blogs. Because yesterday’s post was about bad-asses, I wanted to talk about my top 5 characters who are foodies.

5. Alice in Wonderland by lewis carrol

In my head, this answer includes two characters. While I have not read Heartless by Marissa Meyer, I am CERTAIN that home girl likes to eat. And, in Alice in Wonderland, that scene where Alice samples different foods (mushrooms!) always sticks out to me.

4. Simon vs. the homo sapiens agenda by becky albertali

Simon and his Oreo loving ways is definitely up there with me on the foodie-loving spectrum.

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of azkaban JK Rowling

These kids LOVE food, okay? The food is described so beautifully and it just makes me want to cry (from hunger, not sadness). I am a fan of the food at the feasts and Honeydukes! Also, just to be honest, Butterbeer sounds really appealing as well.

2. the hobbit by jrr tolkien

Bilbo and all the hobbits love their food, too. Second breakfasts, and enjoying each other’s company is what it is all about for these characters. However, don’t be quick to assume that Bilbo and Frodo are the same in this regard. I don’t think they are. Bilbo was used to comfort. Frodo adjusted to camping and being on the run. In my head, it takes Bilbo way longer to get used to this change in, uh, pace.

 1. Lord of shadows by cassandra clare

Listen, Kit Herondale and his frustrations with eating AND being a Shadowhunter just resonated with me so much. I love that kid already. To me, he’ll always be a foodie.

Let me explain:

I think you can be a foodie and still be a hero, get things done, and be fantastic. This assumption that foodies are lazy or unworthy always upsets me, as someone who is in recovery from disordered eating habits. Furthermore, I have a lot of frustration toward the shaming of bigger bodies. When I was thin and unhealthy, no one gave me grief. But, now that I am fat and have healthier eating habits, I am faced with a lot of critique, shaming, and hyper-sexualizing. And, that is not cool, yo.

Your Turn:

What is one thing you imagine about characters you love most? How do they spend their days? What are their routines like?

 

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Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Best Middle Books

 

 

 

 

Hello! Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday. This a Goodreads group where we have discussion posts each week. For today, we are going to be listing the top 5 best second books/sequels in a series! Let’s begin.

5. the vanishing throne by elizabeth may

I was genuinely surprised by how drastically different this sequel was. While I have not read the final book, I do think this second one gave more dimension to the story, particularly Kiaran and Aeliana. The history of Falconers and their function in the world was just perfect. I love this book.

4. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie stiefvater

Listen, this book is amazing. It is a wonderful exploration of Blue’s backstory, and the most epic build up to the end of the story. In fact, I love this book way more than the ending of the series. We start to see the characters mold into a super group of awesomeness. Plus, Maura’s story-line is executed beautifully.

3. Catching Fire by suzanne collins

The exploration of the Hunger Games world, and the complicated role Katniss and Peeta play in it, are driving forces of this story. In further developing this world, Collins explores the role of these games, and their effects on those who survive. Introducing District 13 and the symbolic Mockingjay gave the story even more depth.

2. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

While I do feel that Rhy did not get as much detail in the first book as he should’ve, I loved this second book because we got to see a more well-rounded view of these Londons. Also important: Alucard and Lila bonding and their discussions of magic were fantastic. I didn’t ever think I’d like a pirate. Then this book happened.

 

  1.Harry Potter and the order of the phoenix by jk rowling

This book and the one before, the one after it, they were so crucial to me. PTSD, loss, grief, hope, rebellion, all were crafted with such care in the middle books of this series. The epilogue of the final book made me cringe, but I do love this series, particularly the books in the middle, because they involve the uncertainty of war, the rising pressure of an impending burst in this conflict that was so embedded in the wizarding community. These middle books are A+.

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Top Five Wednesday: Top Five Series That Got Better

 

Ah, another Top Five Wednesday. This week, the topic is the Top Five Series That Got Better within the first few books and so on. Before I begin, let me link the Goodreads group for Top Five Wednesday, so you can join in on the fun next week!

5. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

It takes some getting used to, the writing in this series. Juliette has a scared and uncertain voice. While I don’t quite remember everything that happened (I read these books ages ago), I do recall Juliette becoming quite the fierce woman. I love her. These books get better because the narrator (Juliette) gets more certain about herself and the power she has.

 

4. A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab

You shouldn’t be surprised to see this series on here. At first, I really hesitated to read the books for some reason. Like, Kel and Lila didn’t know each other, and Rhy wasn’t in the story that much. We had no Alucard either. So, it improved so much once the characters got to interact, and Kel hated Alucard. Lila challenged Kel.

I could weep from the beauty of the second and third books of this series. Just perfection. To me, I didn’t know that pirates were that awesome. Or, the battling between Kel and Lila? Epic.

Also: this is your weekly reminder that I love Holland.

3. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Look, I know many of my friends are not fans of this series. To me, though, the deeper you go into Cassandra Clare’s writing, the more you see inclusion of diverse marginalized groups. That in itself is a triumph and a victory. I love her stories in this Shadowhunter world thus far. Have you even considered the genius that is Lord of Shadows? 

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I am specifically thinking of Catching Fire and how shocking it was. You could say that I was not a fan of the first book upon my initial read-through. But, when I read it again, and picked up the second one, I was so surprised by how the story intensified. It was not a love story anymore. It was more than that. It’ll always stay with me as a powerful tale. For sure it got better with each book. Not all good stories are pleasant.

 1. Harry Potter by J K Rowling

Words cannot begin to describe just how powerful the latter books in this series were to me. I am due for a reread, but I recall being moved and increasingly more invested as the story developed some more in the later books. I am in awe of how intricate the inner workings of the tale were, especially now that I am trying to write stories. This much detail is a feat. Now, granted, I wish there was more diversity in these books, but I still value the development of the characters and the plot.

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Top Five Wednesday: Top Five Children’s Stories

It’s another Wednesday, which means it is time for Top Five Wednesday. As always, I will be linking the Goodreads Group here for information and topics. For this post, I will be focusing on the top five children’s stories that resonated with me.

I did not read children’s books when I was a child; however, I did read more of them as an adult in college.

5. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

What a strange and charming story this is! I remember it being a rival to Alice in Wonderland in terms of its bizarre plotline. Still, it is such a sweet story. Hands down, it has the coolest puns and companionships ever.

4. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This book is always so fascinating to me. I think the story has a wonderful timelessness and yet it has a sense of urgency in regards to acting kindly and lovingly. My French is practically non-existent, so I have to admit that I read this as a child in English. Still good though.

3.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

When I came to the US, I remember reading this book for the first time. It sticks with me, even now, the story of Huck Finn and his adventures. The beautiful friendship in this book is touching, particularly as I grow up. This book brings back memories of learning about American history and culture for the first time.

 

2. To Kill a MockingBird by Harper Lee

Scout is one of my favorite female leads in a story. She was so cool and whip-lash clever. My young brain was trying, with difficulty, trying to place this girl in a box. No matter how hard I tried, she slipped away from my grasp. No, I didn’t read the sequel. I refuse!

 

1. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

My sister was starting to read when I found this book. She was an itty bitty kid, and we bonded over this story of a brave mouse. Now, I think of Reepicheep and Despereaux a lot, especially when faced with difficult decisions. Their bravery is inspiring.

 

 

Your Turn:

In comments, please share some of your favorite children’s stories. Have you read any of the ones I discussed in this post? What do you think of them?

 

 

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Top Five Wednesday: Top Five Stories Sans Romance

Today’s Top Five Wednesday is focused on the top five novels I have read that have no romance. Top Five Wednesday is a Goodreads Group, which I’ll link here for topics and more.

5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding 

This book was required reading in high school, and perhaps that is why I have mixed feelings about it. It does cover some serious topics in regards to civilizations and human nature. While it is not a favorite, this book definitely left a lasting impression. I think of it often.

4. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

This story about brave mouse’s adventures is one of the dearest things I have ever read. My sister was little when I first heard the story, and I even stole the book from her when she didn’t want it anymore. If you want sweetness, try this story. I think it’s a touching story regardless of the readers’ ages.

 

3. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien 

No romance here for sure. I love the movies and everything, but that subplot involving a dwarf and an elf did not exist in the story. They’re cute, but their love is not presented in canon. Bilbo is more concerned with this adventure he’s on, and he cares about his dwarf friends in a platonic way. It’s such a wonderful story. And, it’s a nice way to transition into the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

 

2. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol

Alice’s story used to make very uncomfortable, because (well) I too have moments with an unclear reality vs. illusion relationship. After diagnosis, though, this story became a lifeline.

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 

This book is more focused on Lisel’s journey with death during the Holocaust. It is not so much centered on romance, and instead explores platonic love.

 

Others Relevant Books: 

Holes by Louis Sachar
Chronicles of Narnia 
by C.S. Lewis (all of them!)
The Giver by Lois Lowry

 

 Your Turn:

What are some of your favorite novels that have little to no romance? Share in the comments!

    Welcome to Top 5 Wednesday. In this week's edition, I will cheat (as
  This week's top 5 Wednesday is all about resolutions. In other words, folks all
This week marks the final days of December, 2017. As such, Top 5 Wednesday is