Alphabet Reading Challenge “C”


C

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

I was unsure of when I would pick this up because it wasn’t high on my list. However, a bunch of homophobic trolls convinced me to pick this up sooner rather than later.

I am so glad I did even though I am dying for the next books in the series. (The next book is going to have a huge cliffhanger, I’m calling it now.)

I really needed a family tree desperately because I couldn’t keep track of who’s kids were who and who was related to who. SO Many Characters!

I loved this ensemble cast of dorky teenagers. My favorites are Cordelia, Matthew, Thomas and Anna. I love large groups of characters all trying to do their best while still being deeply flawed.

Her writing and stories are getting better and better than the last. I’m so nervous and excited to see where this story goes from here.

Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

For my thoughts on The Gilded Wolves here’s the link to my review


We are back in the beautiful and lush world but things are very different and somber now. Silvered Serpents picks up where we left the characters still recovering from their sudden loss.

There is a new search underway to find something that is of equal importance to many. This quest leads them out of Paris and into Russia.

There is a lot of intrigue, scheming and a dangerous leviathan that our cast of characters have to thwart to unravel the mystery of the item they hunt for. For this is literally now life and death.

I love and cherish Roshani’s writing. This was a heartbreaking story and frustrating at times because you just want to shake some of them but that’s not how grief works.

The characters are what I love the most about these books. Even though they are hurting they’re still a joy to read. There’s just such wonderful representation and the frustration that feel is very palpable and heavily relatable today.

The only problem I have now is how long I have to wait for the last installment. The ending snuck up on me and stole my breath away.

buy links:

Indie Bound | Amazon US | Book Depository

The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for a free arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Same Characters, New Adventures

I’ve been reading the Disney Princess, Pocket Princess Comic strips by Amy Mebberson

If You Love Disney Princesses, These Mini Comics Will Make You Smile |  Bored Panda

It makes me think about the live actions & how they’re marketed as nostalgia as the reason we need all of them.

The nostalgia of it is in the comfort of the cartoon versions that were played on VHS tapes until they wore out and broke.

These new films replay the same story line with new faces as the only difference. There’s no nostalgia in that. It isn’t familiar or comforting.

You know what is comforting?

Seeing the characters you grew up on having more adventures.

Disney Princess  #1 (Disney Princess, #1)

These beloved characters get a second breath of life while playing on comedy.

Also it should be noted that these comic bound ups are not like the Pocket Princess strips. I LOVE Amy Mebberson’s comics!

They bring together all the elements that I want for fun and nostalgia. It’s one of the reasons I loved when they made cartoon series out of the popular Disney movies in the 90’s. It carried on with familiar lovable characters & gave us more adventures.

These live action’s don’t bring that same energy to the field.

The crossover of Aladdin and Hercules that no one remembers when both had TV shows. Watching Hades and Jafar work together to take down the heroes was fun!

Hercules and the Arabian Night" Hercules: The Animated Series/Aladdin -  featuring characters from Aladdin, specifically i… | Tv animation,  Animation, Best tv shows

My point to all of this is I want more animated crossovers.

House of Mouse is the closest we ever got with all characters interacting with one another but that heavily focused on Mickey and the gang.

Op-Ed: Disney should bring back the hit television series "House of Mouse"  | Inside the Magic

These princess comics remind me of the most recent crossover event being Ralph Breaks the Internet.

Wreck-It Ralph 2 stars hail Disney as "brave" for challenging "problematic"  princess stereotypes

I don’t exclusively want the princesses to be the only ones experiencing adventures or learning more about them. The Villains are also something I would like explored more.

The Maleficent movie is about the only live action I enjoyed. It explored outside the original as oppose to retelling the same story all over again.


I know time is a factor with some of these mash-ups but if we take them out of their regular setting and put them in a new one time should be irrelevant because m a g i c

Think House of Mouse but with a Saturday Night Live twist. Disney characters poke fun of themselves, their movies and/ or pop culture.

Bake Off Disney Edition with Tiana from Princess and the Frog, and Remy from Ratatouille. Cooking and baking are two different things, I know but it would still be awesome.

Next Top Villain and it’s just them sabotaging and killing each other off. No need for hosts.

Quasimodo and Rapunzel out exploring the world in their own Discovery show.

Big Hero Six with Lilo and Stitch, I don’t even care just make a mess in outer space.

Project Runway with Rapunzel, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather

A Pet show and just give us all the sidekick animal pals taking on the corrupt system of judges.

Pinocchio and Peter Pan playing Who’s Smarter than a 5th Grader

A detective show with Nick and Judy from Zootopia (this is similar to the original but I just want more content from these two)


Anyway those are just some of the ones I day dream about.

I would like to hear your thoughts on who’d you liked to see doing fun things with.

Art by @amymebberson Come on, y'all. Source. | Imagens disney, Bela e a  fera, Princesas disney

The NetGalley Tag

Original Creator Kourtni @Kourtni Reads

No one tagged me I just thought this would be fun.

Is it me or do you go invisible on NetGalley the minute you hit over 95%?

Whenever I was low 60’s 70’s I felt I got approved quicker and just accepted more frequent. However the minute I made over the threshold of 80 it slowed down. I have become way  more choosy with my requests but I get left on read a ton now.

I was just curious if anyone has also experienced this? And I noticed this pre covid so it isn’t because of that.  

Anyway on to the tag


1. Auto approved: Who is one author whose books you automatically want to read, regardless of what they’re about?

A: Susan Dennard and Roshani Chokshi. I’m cheating but I don’t care. I love both of these authors so very much. They have a plethora of books with varying genres and ages between them and amongst themselves and I have read up to date to all their works and they never fail to entertain and delight me.


2. Request: What makes you want to request a book on NetGalley?

A: I only request if it’s a book I’m already going to read. My tbr is out of control, but whose isn’t? And I can’t justify reading something on a whim. Spontaneity rarely ever works out for me. If I am intrigued by a book cover or synopsis of a book I was previously unaware of I will wait to read it.

3. Feedback ratio: Do you review every book you read? If not how do you decide what books to review?

A: I do with arc’s there have only been a handful that I’ve had to dnf and I hate that feeling. This is also why I am so stringent on which books I request because I don’t want to read something that I wasn’t 100% invested in to begin with. 


4. Badges: If you could create your own badge to display on your blog what would it be for?

A: Mine would be for how bookish you are and it would be represented by some fun creatures, like the iconic bookworm, book lion, and the book dragon.


5. Wish for it: What is one book you’re dying to read?

A: Witchshadow by Susan Dennard. I LOVE Susan Dennard, have I mentioned that lately?? I’m also madly in love with the Witchlands series and Iseult is one of my all time favorite characters and this is her book!! This is the fourth book in the series and I HIGHLY implore everyone to read them.


6. 2020 NetGalley Challenge: What was the last book you received as an arc that you reviewed?   

A: Teen Titans Beast Boy by Kami Garcia, Illustrated by Gabriel Picolo. My review can be found here.  They just announced the next in the series is Beast Boy loves Raven and I died. My ghost is posthumously writing this. I CANNOT handle it! Anyone else a huge Teen Titans fan?

Thanks for reading!

New Season, New Merch

The Fall/autumnal season is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere and I for one am excited. Two reasons, 1. It’s my favorite time of year, and 2. I have new bundle set of cards to celebrate this season with.

You can find them over at my etsy store

For additional information on other greeting cards check the listing at the above link or head over to my Crafts tab here

Alphabet Reading Challenge “B”

B


Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller

Synopsis:

Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work.

Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.

Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.

But when their nation instigates a terrible war, Emilie and Annette come together to help the rebellion unearth the truth before it’s too late.

My thoughts:

This was an interesting and surprising read. I love the Biromantic Ace rep which is rare to find in a fantasy. There is also a Trans side character and a wlw romance.

The story focuses on our two main girls, Emilie and Annette who both want more from the life they have. An opportunity presents itself and they take a chance to switch identities to pursue their dreams.

This has French Revolution vibes with the separation of magic into to two sides, one being Daytime Arts and the other being Nighttime Arts. These have subsequently have been even more segregated by genders.

One wants to practice the Daytime Arts while the other just wants to desperately change their life around and practice magic.


This is a standalone fantasy which was breath of fresh air. My only problem though is with the pacing. Being that it is a standalone things move incredibly fast and trying to learn about the magic of this world alongside the history of the rebels and kingdom could and would become a bit confusing.

Other than that the characters were very dynamic and interesting especially side characters.

I recommend it.

Belle Révolte

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Buy links:

Indie Bound | Amazon US | Book Depository

My August Wrap-up

I can finally make a wrap up because I’ve finally started reading again. This year … when I get stressed I get NO reading done. So I haven’t had a reason to talk about the books I have read when I haven’t. No need to put salt in my wound.

I managed 6 books 4 of which were Arc’s. I think I’m the most happy about that. Since I’ve been sitting on these arc’s for a while and it was causing more stress and we know what happens when I feel that.

As of an overall reading month it was pretty average nothing remarkable in terms of a favorite standout was read. I’m thinking that has more to do with coming out of a reading like slump. The books I did read weren’t terrible but definitely not for me at this time.


The first book I read this month was an arc of Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. My review can be found here. I liked the concept and our main character a lot.


Next up is the arc of Tea Dragon Tapestry by Katie O’Neill  My review of this will be up closer to its release in October. In the meantime this is the conclusion of the trilogy. In this story we explore grief and the different ways it effects each us. That’s all I’m willing to say since it’s the last but I hope it isn’t the last time we see this beautiful world and these beautiful creatures.

This comes out October 27, 2020


The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli WHEW BOI, I was not expecting that. I have heard very little of this series and what I have heard were good things but I still had NO clue it would be that good?!??! I cannot believe I’ve been sleeping on this dragon book. The fact that I haven’t dived into the sequel which I now have is a testament to my stress not my willpower because honestly if I could I would have immediately picked it up because I. need. more. now.  Angry tough girls meets soft sweet boy can I make it any more obvious? It’s obviously more than a romance in fact that takes a very backseat which is another big + for me. There were so many wonderful twists and turns and I could not have asked for more. Please do yourself a favor and pick this up.


I read an arc for Fable by Adrienne Young and I just posted about it here


I also read an arc for Crowning Soul by Sahira Javaid. I have complex feelings on this one and I go into that on my GoodReads review which can be found here. I was very excited to pick this up because it was cover lust at first sight but then I read the synopsis and feel in love. Unfortunately this was a case of this didn’t work for me. There weren’t any stakes and everything happened at lightning speed without problems. The premise and the promise of the story is there and with more time and edits this book will be glorious! I look forward to more stories from this author and watch how they grow.

This book releases September 8, 2020


And lastly I read You Say it First by Katie Catugno This was my first Katie Catugno book. YA Contemporary is not in my wheelhouse. I only picked it up to finish off my Alphabet Reading Challenge. Y was the last letter I needed and I saw this and took a chance. YA is usually quicker to get into and get through. And that is true for this story. Plus the added layer of hate to love is hard to resist. Unfortunately, this didn’t work for me the love interests were not good for each other. Where’s the chemistry??? I found it very difficult to root for them and really thought they should just learn from each other and go on their separate ways.  


Overall, I read five new authors to me and I discovered some treasures that I can’t wait to discover more from. I also completed my Alphabet Reading Challenge, so all in all I won this month. I’m looking forward to next month and the books I hope to get to health willing.

How is your reading journey going?

Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo

Why did this feel so short?? I don’t if it’s because I sped through this or if it is actually shorter than Raven’s. There’s never enough time! I just need full length novels.  

I enjoyed seeing Gar with his friends. His struggles with his appearance and wanting acceptance with the popular crowd was portrayed nicely. Nicely as in these are real struggles teens face and to see it being depicted outside of the girl narrative is what’s nice about it.  

The illustrations are just as wonderful and I expect nothing less from Gabriel. I love how much his art really compliments these characters.

Speaking of characters, I’m happy to see more inclusive cast. We have a character, Tank that discovers he has dyslexia. I loved seeing a Black gamer girl, Stella who is Gar’s best friend.

They try to talk sense into Gar when he goes on about his looks and wanting to impress the “cool” kids.

He finally gets everything he wants, but his newfound popularity comes at a price. Gar has to work harder to impress his new friends. The dares keep getting bigger and the stakes keep getting higher.

I can’t wait to get a final copy to go with Raven. I LOVE the Teen Titans and I’m thrilled that we’re getting more of them.

Indie Bound | Amazon US | Book Depository

Teen Titans: Beast Boy

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to Netgalley and DC Ink for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review

Store Launch

If you’ll forgive this interruption of Book Talk to talk about my New Store!

(Next post will be bookish)

I’m so excited it’s finally here.

You can find me here @ my Etsy shop Pastel Greetings or Click this Link

Right now it’s just Greeting Cards but that will not be all that is sold. I cannot wait for everyone to see all the things I have planned.

I know that this year has been collectively the worst and personally it has too.

This wasn’t the path I thought I would be own at this moment in time. Nothing has turned out in the way that I had hoped. I’m sure all the plans I have built and constructed for this project will also not look how I imagined. But that’s something I’ve had to come to terms with this year is I can’t control the outcome but I can control how I choose to proceed.

With the pandemic stopping all things fun and severely limiting our time together in shared spaces I wanted ways to remind people in my life that I still care about them and bring them some happiness in these troubling times. For years I have made my friends and family birthday and special occasion cards.

I realize that it may be simpler to just send a quick text of Happy Birthday and Venmo someone some money but with the lack of being able to physically be with our loved ones takes away even more from their special day. We are meant to celebrate and grieve together. Coming together to show our support is what we do best.

That’s what I try to accomplish with my designs. I want to inspire happiness, love and light.

I’m selling Greetings Cards for numerous occasions. Most are pastel with a few exceptions. Watercolor mixed with digital art. They’re printed on White 110# card stock. They come in bundles of 3. Included is the envelopes. All cards are blank inside for personalized messages.

Photos below as well as under the Craft section on my homepage or you can check out my Instagram page HERE also @ Pastel Greetings

If you’ve read this far Thank You! If you check out the store Thank You! and If you share this Thank You!


Here are a few items being sold as of right now

Gamer Card for Birthdays, Graduation or any Celebratory occasion
For the Book Lover in your life
This is the Magical Bundle Greeting Card set
A non Pastel one but still as awesome

Find me Here:

Fable by Adrienne Young

Out September 1, 2020


This was a quick paced story that I found interesting. The writing was great and I didn’t feel that it dragged the story.

There was a disconnect for me and I can’t put my finger on why. I felt for Fable’s plight and what she wanted and I wanted her to succeed but when the moment comes it falls super short of hitting that climatic part.

Maybe that was the goal when you think and consume over one thing and then you get it and it isn’t how you expected it to feel.

I really liked the crew of Marigold, they faintly reminded me of the Six of Crows cast, so of course I took an immediate liking to them. However, this s shadow of the former where this cast doesn’t stand stark against each other too much. Which is a shame since found family is a big part of the themes in this story and it isn’t taken full advantage of.

Then there’s the romance element, I liked that it didn’t take up and entire portion of the book however it comes out of nowhere which is worse. They have like three conversations and speak very little to each other interacting with each other very little. I don’t mind slow burn but this ignites from 0 to 60 with no progression.

This story was predictable but still held intrigue thanks to the action scenes.

Purchase links:

Indie Bound | Amazon US | Book Depository

I’m still interested in the sequel and final book Namesake out March 2021

Fable (Fable, #1)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Thanks to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for a free copy

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