Mid Year reads

I’ve been on sci-fi kick ever since I started the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. My gateway to science fiction books was Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card—-though since learning about the author’s ideology, I don’t care to endorse him. I didn’t think sci-fi could be accessible. I thought I had to know a bunch of space jargon and understand technical things. Thankfully, watching sci-fi helped me more at ease with reading it. In the last few years alone, I’ve accumulated quite the sci-fi collection!

Here Are 8 Young Adult Sci-Fi Titles I Want to Read

scythe-9781442472433_hr

1. Scythe trilogy (2016-?) by Neal Shusterman – I almost didn’t buy this book because it had a grim reaper on the cover, so I thought it was evil. HAHA. Here is part of the blurb: “Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.”  What?!?!

51dbGx-Rz0L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

2. Want duo by Cindy Pon (2017/2019) – I saw quite a few mixed reviews on this one so I almost didn’t buy it. Then I saw it on Book Outlet at a discount price. Apparently, Want was no longer available in Barnes and Noble until Cassandra Clare endorsed it! I’m really glad I decided to read reviews by Asians/POC. I’m trying to be better at reading the reviews by the people books represent.

51o3apPLbgL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_

3.The Diabolic trilogy (2016-2018) by S.J. Kincaid – I actually have no idea what this about. I don’t even know why I bought it. I think cover lust influenced my decision. However, I’ve learned that sometimes the best experience with a book is when you know next to nothing about it.

la-et-renegades-cover-20170515

4. Renegades trilogy (2017-?) by Marissa Meyer – The only book I’ve read by this author is Cinder and I really enjoyed it. All I know about Renegades is that it involves “secret identities” and “extraordinary abilities”. I also heard that is explores heavily on themes related to heroes and villains.

51JxsTc-YkL._SX338_BO1,204,203,200_

5. This Mortal Coil duo (2017-2018) by Emily Suvada – All I needed to know is that it was about a girl hacker and instantly bought it! I literally know nothing else.

51O9Vgkbf4L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

6. Defy the Stars trilogy (2017-?) by Claudia Gray –  I believe this is supposed to be a space opera adventure with a little bit of fantasy mixed in. The characters are amidst an intergalactic war and… again… COVER LUST. I’ve heard some mixed reviews and I’m considering unhauling it. Someone let me know if it’s actually good!

31394234

7. Zenith trilogy (2017-?) by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings – Man, this one caused quite the stir earlier this year. Since I saw so many mixed reviews, I didn’t want to buy the hardcover copy at full prince. Low and behold, it went on sale on Kindle for $2.99.  I’m setting my expectations low. Sometimes a book doesn’t have to be perfectly written for me to enjoy it. The synopsis sounds SO fun. I can’t wait to read this space adventure.

flat,550x550,075,f.u2

8. Illuminae trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff –  This is a series I’ve seen everywhere. Now I own the whole trilogy, but have yet to read it. I love the format, but they’re SO long. I’m excited to dive into this series soon.

Let’s Chat!

Are you a sci-fi fan? Have you read any of these books? Which do you recommend I start ASAP? Let me know in the comments!

Advertisements

Life Happenings vol. 3

I decided to officially break my hiatus. It’s only been a month. A month of refilling my well of creativity. I’ve been prioritizing my mental health. I have anxiety and taking a break from blogging and living in the present means not that my anxiety goes away, but learning to manage it. Sometimes self-care feels selfish but I’ve been trying to focus on cultivating inner peace and not feel guilty about it.  When I tried to take time for my mental health in the past, people have said to me that I was a bad friend and guilted me for needing space. As a result, I would stop taking mental health breaks only to spiral all over again. I’m starting to feel a bit more normal, but it’s been a challenge to drown out intrusive thoughts.  My hiatus wasn’t primarily about my mental health—it just so happened to help me focus on myself more. My reason was simple: I just didn’t have much to talk about. Heck, my last review was…. five weeks ago?

PSX_20180812_173439.jpg

Current Updates 

  • Currently Reading: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • Currently Watching: Orange is the New Black. This season wasn’t as dramatic and intense as previous seasons. I also finished the last season The Originals and I cried.
  • Currently Excited About: To All The Boy I’ve Loved Before comes out on Netflix  this Friday (August 17th).  Mark your calendars!
  • Currently Listening To: The new Florence + The Machine album.
  • Currently Feeling: Relieved. I attended our FINAL family event of the year (until Thanksgiving) last week. Our weekends have been so stressful this summer because my in-laws plan things at last minute, or they last a long time, or they decide after one family event on Saturday to have a second thing on Sunday. This is the first weekend in a long time that has been errands-free.

In Other News 

  • My reading goal is to read 40-45 books this year. I just finished my thirtieth book! Thanks to the Booktubeathon I caught up on my Goodreads challenge 🙂
  • I found a mouse in my apartment. I named him Louis (pronounced: lew-ie) but my husband made me let him go!!! 😤😤😤
  • I’ve been working on my resume and some cover letters for some job prospects, but I’m also hoping to improve my photography. I know this photographer who is doing free photography meet-ups once a month. I hope to attend because I definitely need to improve my edits.

Happy Reading!

XO

The Booktubeathon Challenge + a brief return from my hiatus

Copy of The stars say_-2

Hello fellow reader friends!!!

I’m still on hiatus, but at the very last second I decided to attempt the BookTubeAThon. The BookTubeAThon, created by Ariel Bissett, runs the course of one week (Monday, July 30th – Sunday, August 5th) and includes seven reading challenges. Apparently, the challenge is on it’s fifth year! It’s technically a Booktube thing but you can join through any social media platform.

This is my first time ever doing it. I’ve been in the biggest reading slump of the year and I really think this will help. I already started the challenge on Monday, but I wanted to post my choices here.

The reading challenges are as follows:

2018 Reading Challenges

ONE: Let a coin toss decide your first read.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (Heads) OR Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (Tails)

Winner: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

TWO: Read a book about something you want to do.

I’ve always wanted to go to graduate school or further my education. In the past, I dreamed of going to a prestigious university (that did’t work out). For this challenge, I went with Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor. This Afro-futuristic sci-fi series revolves around a girl named Binti, who is the first of her race to ever be accepted to Oomza University.

THREE: Read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

(I may change this one, but we’ll see)

FOUR: Read a book with green on the cover.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Pictured: Green petal prints on a coat that hangs over a chair.

FIVE: Read a book while wearing the same hat the whole time.

I will be wearing my ‘Rattle of Stars’ beanie hat from Fairyloot while reading Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas, which is perfect!

SIX: Read a book with a beautiful spine.

Siege of Storm by Leigh Bardugo has the most beautiful design and font. I want to finish the books set in the Grishaverse before her new 2019 release King of Scars set in the same world.

SEVEN: Read seven books.

Maybe? If I get a hold of a graphic novel, another short book, or an audiobook. I can get one month free with Scribd, an audiobook subscription. It’s less expensive than Audible.

Booktubeathon TBR Progress:

  1. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli ✓
  2. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
  3. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
  4. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han ✓
  5. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas – In Progress 
  6. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  7. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (audiobook) – 

Are you doing the Booktube-A-Thon this year? How many books have you read so far?

Review: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Vicious

Goodreads Synopsis: “Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong…”

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Best Paired With: Apothic Dark Wine or English Breakfast Tea

Vicious by V.E. Schwab was originally published in 2013 and rereleased this year with newly designed covers! The first photo is the original, the second photo is the US edition, and the last photo is the UK collector’s edition.  The sequel, Vengeful, is coming out this Fall so I began hearing a lot of buzz about the first book in the Villains duology.  I read A Darker Shade of Magic and really enjoyed it. After concluding Vicious, V.E. Schwab has officially become an auto-buy author for me.

I first heard about V.E. Schwab on social media, specifically from Twitter. I had never read any of her books but decided to follow her. She seemed witty enough as a writer. While at last year’s Book Con I decided on a whim to wait in her signing line after purchasing my very first copy of A Darker Shade of Magic. I didn’t know anything about the author, except what I knew from Twitter (she really really really hates Earl Grey). Shortly after meeting the author, I read the book in which this infamous quote is derived: “I’d rather die on adventure than live standing still”. I saw that quote everywhere and I’m all about adventure stories. Suffice to say, I was pleased by this adult Harry Potter-esque story. Ever since the Harry Potter series ended, my soul has been longing for portal fantasy with a unique magic system. That’s how I have grown to be a fan of V.E. Schwab.

____

“There are no good men in this game.”

Vicious has been described as a super villain origin story. It’s essentially Xmen: First Class meets Jessica Jones. This book is not for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of murder and madness. We have two ex-best friends Victor and Eli, who gave themselves superpowers through a series of experiments. I won’t say more on that because this book was so much better not knowing anything. I had zero expectations and was completely surprised from beginning to end!

“Even though we come back, something stays dead. Lost. We forget something of who we are. It’s scary and wonderful and monstrous.”

Both the character development and plot are impressive. V. E. Schwab does an amazing job at giving her villains-to-be goals and motivations so they didn’t feel like cookie cutter characters. The execution of the plot is nearly flawless. The ending had me SHOOK. The author does not miss a beat. If you need any more of an idea of what this book is like, let’s just say that the characters are all very Slytherin.

“It was then she realized that she wasn’t a ghost, or a god. She was a monster.”

Again, I really enjoyed this book knowing next to nothing about it. But I will say that the story has underlying themes of: What is morality? Who is good? What is the nature of evil? These questions aren’t answered for the reader, but rather explored through each character. Nearly every character is self-serving and most of them have a “god-complex”, which I liked. I was fascinated by the motives and reasoning behind each character’s justification for their choices.

I felt that the author did an excellent job at getting down to the psychology of the characters, which made the villains feel even more real. Victor and Eli almost felt too believable making it unnerving to read about them. Since you’re reading through the character’s perspectives, you almost start to sympathize with their goals even though everything about what they do is wrong. 

“Those who ally themselves with monsters are little better than monsters themselves.”

Something I thought was worth noting is that if you read A Darker Shade of Magic, you may notice some aspects in Vicious that seemed to carry into the former. For instance, there was a mention of a character that has one blue eye and one black eye. In ADSOM, it’s a natural physical trait. In Vicious, the different colored eyes are fake. I’m not sure if that was the author’s intention.

Vicious is about our inner monsters. The characters are dangerous, no one can be trusted, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. If you are looking for a light, hopeful read about heroes, this book is not for you. It’s a pretty cold-blooded book, but in an oddly intriguing way.

The sequel, Vengeful, is released on September 25, 2018. GO READ VICIOUS NOW!

Memorable Quotes: 

  • It was a kink in his understanding of Eli, the latter’s reliance on religion.
  • “We could be dead,” said Eli. “That’s a risk everyone takes by living.”
  • He’d sat and watched, made sure Eliot Cradle was nothing but a corpicle.
  • Victor Vale was not a fucking sidekick.
  • Victor was the guilty one. The Victor that he knew was dead, replaced by something cold and vicious. A twisted, violent version of himself.
  • The absence of pain led to an absence of fear, and the absence of fear led to a disregard for consequence.
  • I want to believe that there’s more. That we could be more. Hell, we could be heroes.