Book Blog, Book Talk

Spinoffs & Continuations || Discussion


I’m curious how you feel about them. Do you prefer continuing on with the same characters or exploring new characters and seeing more of the world?

When done well it’s amazing. For me, I love character driven stories they’re my favorite for a reason. So any chance to continue on with them is great unless they have a conclusion. Restarting a series picking up where we’ve left them makes me angry lol It never gets better with this option. I would just prefer following new characters and exploring more of the world.

There are occasions when the ending is left very open with room to come back to. This doesn’t irk me but I’m less likely to pick it up if it’s been too long & my interest has dwindled.

I’m going to talk about some I enjoyed, some I’m on the fence about, and ones that I wished didn’t exist.

Rebel by Marie Lu

Rebel (Legend, #4)

I was not okay after that ending in Champion. Raise your hand if you were also victimized by that book. I think Champion came out in 2013 & had this new book come out a year or two later I would’ve been all over it. As it stands I have no desire to pick it up. I’ve actually not heard anything about this LOL Sooo I don’t know if that means something bad. Regardless, the longer away I’ve been from this world and these characters the less I remember and the less I care to grab this book. What are your thoughts if you read this book?

Call down the hawk by Maggie Stiefvater  

Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy, #1)

Unpopular opinion but Adam is my least favorite of the group of people from this series. Sorry, but that’s just how I feel. I haven’t read this book and again I’m not sure I want to. I was curious about it when it was announced but my excitement has waned. I love her writing style it can be a little difficult at the beginning but eventually all the strings of connection are pulled together. I also enjoyed the Raven Cycle but I liked how it ended. Idk I could go either way but for now I’m not going out of my way to read it.  

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1)

Oh boy, this was a big ole let down. We’re following a character I don’t care for.  In the original series they were around about a handful of times & as a small wee child. I went in with low expectations and still ended up disappointed. There also happens to be another continuation from another character’s perspective coming out today Haha I’m cautiously curious, is that a thing because that’s what I’m feeling. The Iron Raven follows a character I wished The Lost Prince did so,, I’m more keen to at least attempt this one.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars (King of Scars, #1)

This too was a letdown and I was really hyped for it. I do not understand Nina’s POV it feels so separate from the rest of the story. I hope the sequel does a better job of correcting this disconnect. I’ve only read King of Scars once and may re-read before venturing onto the sequel but there was a lot of predictability that annoyed me. After reading Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom I kept expecting surprised reveals Haha but jokes on me cause it never happened. & then that ending, like come on *eye roll*

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)

I read this series long after the movies had come out. I don’t like or care for dystopian. I did enjoy the first book but I couldn’t stand the 2nd or 3rd   and having read them back to back I can’t distinguish them from each other. With all that being said I will not be picking up this book that focuses on Snow of all people. Really??  

Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)

The reading journey I had with these books was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I read these stories after some personal devastation and they were the perfect healing balm. Even though I was not the reading demographic I still laughed and cried and truly cherished these characters. There was some growing pains when going to into Heroes of Olympus series because we’re no longer just following Percy. It took a while to warm up to Jason, idkw because everyone else Leo, Hazel, Frank and Piper were fairly quick to love and root for but not Jason. I feel bad saying that after having finished the Apollo series 😦 This long paragraph just to say young or old these stories were dam fantastic.  

Would it be a spinoff/ continuation post without mentioning the most obvious one the Shadowhunter world

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)
Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)
The Bane Chronicles
Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1)
The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1)

I have read every book aside from some of the short stories with Sarah and Maureen. I understand the love I understand the dislike but I like how expansive the world is. I don’t like having to keep a chart of who everyone is  & who’s related to who lmao I do think the newer books are better and I can’t wait for Chain of Iron!


Let me know some of your favorites & least favorites in the comments


Book Blog, Book Talk

Year in Review 2020

It wouldn’t be a 2020 year in review if we didn’t acknowledge the virus in the room. I send all of you my warmest wishes of better days ahead. This year did not go as planned but shockingly & luckily I still managed to read some fabulous books.

So let’s talk about it.

I don’t usually set a Number quota goal. I’m reading regardless and not setting a number gives me less stress. Less stress = more reading. As per usual I set my Goodreads goal to 1 so I can feel accomplished on January 1 when I read my first book & complete my goal.

Start the year off right, you know 😉

Anyway, this year I read  140 books. Waaaay more than I thought I would. I found some treasures. I didn’t step out of my comfort zone like I have in the past but this year was challenging enough without picking up a bunch of books I might not like.  Definitely needed all of the comfort.


My favorite book of 2020 was:

I’m dedicating a whole post to this because I have too many to pick just one. Click this post link to find them all: My Favorite Books of the Year


My least favorite book of 2020 was:

The King of Crows (The Diviners, #4) by Libba Bray

This is my most disappointing book and it’s The King of Crows by Libba Bray. I read this earlier this year when it came out. I don’t remember much of what happens because frankly not a lot does in 500 pages. I was ready for heartbreak and pain because I know how wrenching of an ending she can make but this fell flat.


The book that challenged me was:

Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson · OverDrive: ebooks, audiobooks,  and videos for libraries and schools

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson, This was tough to read but very important for everyone to read. When it comes to missing persons white people are always prioritized first and they’re more likely to get nationwide coverage. This huge injustice is never recognized for what it is, racism. I’m glad this story exists to give a voice but more needs to be done to bring awareness to this issue.  


A book that surprised me was:

Amazon.com: Stain (9781419731419): Howard, A. G.: Books

Stain by A.G. Howard. This was a spur of the moment decision to pick up. I had no idea what to expect as this was the first time reading from this author. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this story. It gave me Ever After vibes and that was everything.


Authors I’m excited to read more from:

Isobel Ibeñez, Samira Ahmed, Dhonielle Clayton, Tochi Onyebuchi, Zoraida Códova, Nic Stone, Tara Sim, Nhgi Vo, A.G. Howard, Dean Atta, Leah Johnson, Erin A. Craig, Sangu Mandanna, Rachel Hawkins, Rosanne A. Brown , Tasha Suri, just to name a few 😉


My most read genre was *drum roll*

Fantasy. Wow, I did not see that coming at all. My favorite genre continues to dominate my life. We love to see it!

As for future plans and goals a post is coming up soon! Stay Tuned!


Now for the statistics side of things

Fantasy was my most read at 56% Romance and Mystery tied for second with 12%. The romance is so high thanks to my Webtoon obsession. (To find out which ones check out my Favorite Post)

My least read genre is nonfiction which isn’t a surprise I did manage one or two this year which is typical. They’re usually writing books because I’m always curious about the process.

New to me authors was a goal I set for myself this year. I think I did pretty well with that since I did read more new authors. 70% more to be exact! This is exciting because I discovered so many new authors that I can’t wait to read more from.

As to what I read most i.e. physical, library or ebook. It was a tie between ebooks & Library with 33%. I only went in person to the library in January I used my app for the rest of the year. These two are just cheaper & easier for me to get my hands on. Also this was a bonkers year and venturing out to bookstores wasn’t something I could do.

Which Category do I read the most from? Again not surprising is Young Adult with 46% However, Adult is sitting at 43%. I have found that I don’t quite love YA as I use too. I know my time with YA is coming to an end which is sad but I won’t completely shut that door so, it’s all good. This means that 11% of my read books were Middle Grade. Nothing lifts my spirit more than a middle grade novel. They’re always a blast and they just make me so freakin’ happy! Any time I’m suffering with a slump I go straight to the Middle Grade section.

66% of the books I read this year were published before 2020. I think I’m the most satisfied with this number. I did read a number of new releases but I always want to prioritize my tbr and get that down to a manageable size. HAHAhahaha like that’s ever going to happen. But maybe it finally will with the help of my Colorful Biblio Bingo. Board and details can be found at this post BREAKING NEWS:


Was your reading year more the same or not? I want to know!

Well, I’ve rambled long enough thanks for reading! 🙂

Socials:

Book Blog, Book Talk, Review

November Wrap Up


Well November went by as wonky as every other month this year. Will there ever be a time I don’t feel like I’ve been stuck inside a dishwasher than jammed into a light socket, over and over again? I mean at some point this pull and warp of time is going to go back to background noise, yes??

Through the mess I did manage to find time to read not as much as the last two months but reading any amount these days is a win.


Stain by A.G. Howards

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Stain

I started the month off right! This was fantastic in every way. I haven’t read anything by this author and I didn’t really know what to expect from this story. I was pleasantly surprised! If you love fairytales but want that originality this is for you. It’s been such a long time since I’ve read a great fairytale like story and I just need more. All the characters were distinct and interesting. I honestly can’t recommend this enough!


Over the Moon: novelization by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Over the Moon: The Novelization

I must confess I haven’t seen the movie. I just haven’t been in a place to want to watch anything so instead I picked up the novelization. Now, I bet the movie is 100x better and is better format for this story because it really doesn’t work here. It’s just the movie in a novel format as appose to a book being written and flushing out bits of the story which would have honestly made this better. That being said this story is wonderful, bittersweet but wonderful. All the hall markings of a classic.


The Empress of Salt & Fortune by Nghi Vo   

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Empress of Salt and Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle, #1)

This was interesting and refreshing but too short lol. That’s always my problem with short stories is that they’re never long enough. I can’t wait for the sequel I already have it on hold on the library app. Short stories are hard to talk about because I don’t want to accidentally spoil something. Our main character is being told a story that’s been kept secret for years until now. That’s vague as hell but I promise it’s more interesting than that lol. This sets up things for the book to come and it’s going to be soooo good I just know it!


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by Victoria Schwab 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

All right this is going to get me banned from the community but I didn’t love this story. There were some great lines but overall, Addie was forgettable. My prediction didn’t come true which is heartbreaking. This story is interesting I loved Henry and his story. I connected more to his struggles and his story as its very similar to mine. However Addie never came off the page. Victoria Schwab is really good at creating characters and getting you to root for them and understand them however I didn’t get that with Addie. I understand her motivation but her personality was missing.


A Universe of Wishes edited by Dhonielle Clayton  

Rating: 5 out of 5.
A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology
Isn’t this cover GORGEOUS!

Out December 8. This anthology was FANTASTIC! I’ll break down the individual stories below. All together this is my new favorite anthology. There were so many interesting stories and characters that were executed perfectly in such a short amount of time. I enjoyed most of these stories which is pretty unheard of for me. They all share that ache and urge for more and the risks they are willing to take to make it come true. These were achingly beautiful stories that I think everyone should read.

  • A Universe of Wishes by Tara Sim    5 stars

This story sets the tone for this whole book and it set it off with a bang. The lengths one would go to ask for a wish. The magic of it all isn’t even magic.

  • The Silk Blade by Natalie C. Parker   3 stars

If the bachelor and bachelorette had to fight one another with knives in order to gain the rose, basically. This would be their story. I would actually watch those shows if this was the case.

  • The Scarlet Woman a Gemma Doyle Story by Libba Bray  3 stars

Ah,,, It’s been well over a decade since I read this series and it hurts to be back with these characters. Also this felt very Diviners with the occult in NY. This story can still be read even if you haven’t read the Gemma Doyle series because this is a set up for a continuation. However, there will be things that will go over your head and spoil the ending of The Sweet Far Thing , be aware of that.

  • Cristal y Ceniza by Anna- Marie McLemore  5 stars

My favorite Cinderella retelling by far. This was exceptionally written and I need it to be a full length novel. This turns so many tropes on its head. I need more diverse retellings asap!

  • Liberia by Kwame Mbalia  4 stars

This is the first science fiction story. We are introduced to our character who is trying to preserve a garden while transporting it to their planet. This story builds on itself and the preservation of several generation’s hard work.

  • A Royal Affair by V.E. Schwab 

I’m going to be real honest, I skipped over this. I don’t like this series anymore. In fact I forgot I read it. I just don’t care for these characters or the world.

  • The Take back Tango by Rebecca Roanhorse  5 stars

National Treasure meets Ocean’s 11 but make it watchable. LOL But seriously if you’ve ever wanted to see all those artifacts put back in their country with sarcastic characters and spies. This is the story for you. This is another I need a Full length novel, asap. Thnx.

  • Dream & Dare by Nic Stone  5 stars

This was a beautiful story about finding yourself, love, and daring to do that despite others & society. It’s also a very poignant story considering how short the stories are to convey how important it is that only you can define who you are.

  • Wish by Jenni Balch 2 stars

Umm, this was my least favorite of the bunch. I remember nothing but a teen science girl finding a way to open up a jinn bottle.

  • The Weight by Dhonielle Clayton  5 stars

LOVED this story! This is such an interesting story concept. I loved how we get dual POV’s which is critical to this story. I don’t want to spoil but dang did this speak to my insecurities lol

  • Unmoor by Mark Oshiro  3 stars

We’ve all been here. You want to erase all existence of your cheating ex from your memories. But remember that old adage “be careful what you wish for”. This is one of the sadder stories.

  • The Coldest Spot in the Universe by Samira Ahmed 5 stars

This one is my favorite. Many come close but this one punched me in the face. I loved the use of juxtaposition with our two characters. It’s bittersweet but hopeful given our current Climate Change efforts or lack thereof. Another sad story but with a gleam in the darkness.

  • The Beginning of Monsters by Tessa Gratton  2 stars

This one just confused me which was frustrating. I liked the concept just not the execution. This has major Tim Burton aesthetic.

  • Longer than Threads of Time by Zoraida Córdova  5 stars

Fantastic! I need to read more of her books! I love her take on Rapunzel and I believe this is set in the same world as her Bruja series.

  • Habibi by Tochi Onyebuchi  5 stars

We end this book on a painful resounding sound that will forever reverberate in my soul. This was so damn hard to read yet I couldn’t look away. Hope is always the last to leave.

Many Thanks to Random House and Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.


Blood Heir by Amélia Wen Zhao 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Blood Heir (Blood Heir Trilogy, #1)

This was a reread and upon a second look I didn’t love it as much. I think it has to do with when I read it for the first time and how much it reminded me of some of my other favorites like Shadow & Bone and the love interest reminded me of Hook from Once A Upon A Time television show. I do still plan on reading the sequel because I’m curious to see where this story goes.


Coming up this December

I plan to catch up with all my ARC’s. Most come out in January with the exception of 2. I’m usually good at reading them quickly after getting them but my stress levels are at an all time high and I can’t focus for anything.

I also want to read some Christmas themed books. I don’t think I ever have so I’m really excited about that. The first is The Nutcracker and the Mouse- King by E.T.A Hoffman. I used to watch the animated movie when I was a kid. Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan, nothing like a cozy murder mystery to get into the Christmas season lol

And if I have time or energy I would like to read all the books I’ve not gotten to. Such as, The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang, A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee, The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard, Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells.

Or maybe I’ll finally read the rest of the books I have left of Jane Austen.

Either way I hope we all have wonderful holiday season even if its unlike any we’ve had before.

Additional news: I have a fun reader project planned for next year that will be revealed in a couple of weeks!! I’m having blast creating it and I hope its well received! 🙂

What books are you reading for December?

Connect & Support:

Book Blog, Book Tag, Book Talk

Liebester Award

Huge Thank You to Rebecca @ Bex the Bibliophile for nominating me!!

Go check her out & give her a follow if you haven’t already.

Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions
  • Notify your 11 nominees

Rebecca’s Questions:

1. What is the one thing you like about my blog? What is the one thing you don’t?

Your blog is so pretty. I love the aesthetic. I also enjoy your reviews!  There isn’t anything I don’t like.

2. What was your dream job growing up?

I had many LOL. But the one I frequently ‘practiced’ was photographer. I do it as a hobby now. So in a way I’m still practicing lol

3. If you could go and visit any book for a day, which one would you pick?

The Night Circus. The Food, the Entertainment!! I just want to experience it all!

4. What is your favorite thing to do outside reading?

Arts & Crafts. I love designing and making things. It’s such a relaxing fun thing to do.

5. What book do you most remember from childhood?

There are several but I was really obsessed with the Mary-Kate and Ashley Mystery Adventure series.  

6. What was your inspiration behind your blog?

My Instagram account. I used to have one and then I got locked out so I took it as a sign to start a blog. I needed to talk about my books. I love this community so much!!

7. If you could only ever read one genre, which would you pick and why?

Fantasy. It’s my most read genre because it’s my favorite. There’s just such a variety and I love the escapism of it.

8. What is your go to reading drink and snack?

I don’t have one. I only drink water, boring, I know. And I’m not much of a snacker while reading. However, I do enjoy eating Peanut M&M’s  in general

9. If you could swap places with any character, who would you pick?

Meghan from The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. She’s fae, she has summer powers along with something else but that’s spoilers 😉

10. What book do you plan to pick up after your current read?

I’m such a mood reader so who knows but I would really like to pick up Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. I should have already read this a month ago but didn’t. Story of my life -.-

11. Which song best describes your current read?

I’m currently not reading anything but a jam I’ve been listening to a lot lately is Mad Woman by Taylor Swift.

I Nominate:

Sam @ Literary Delirium

Lilly @ Lilly’s Little Library

Blue @ Writers Book Shelf

Soph @ Soph’s Book World

Catherine @ Catherine Ellen

Nehal Jain @ Books and Words

Becca @ Toastie Books

April Lee @ Booked Till Midnight

My Questions::

  1. Which book character would make a good blogger, and why?
  2. You have 24 hours with your favorite character in our world, what is on the itinerary?
  3. What book title would you use to describe your mood or personality?
  4. What are two books you would mash together, and why?
  5. What characters would you form a band with?
  6. What mythological creature would you want as a familiar?
  7. Which will you choose : Wondering off to live in a cottage in the woods where you learn to grow your magic or live in an abandon seaside mansion where there’s a room for everything you need but your roommate is a feral ghost.
  8. A witch, a siren, & a fairy godmother are all in need of an apprentice who are you choosing to go with?
  9. You’ve been cursed by an evil enchantress to sing one song for the rest of your life, what song is it? (You can still listen to new songs but you can only sing this one)
  10. If you had the choice to live in the sky, space, or under the ocean, which would you choose?
  11. A habitable planet has been located & you’ve been tasked to inspect it, what do you find?

Please feel no pressure if you don’t or can’t participate.


My question for you is who are you apprenticing with a Witch, a Siren, or a Fairy Godmother? And Why?

Connect & Support:

Book Blog, Book Recommendations, Book Talk

Try This if you liked That

This can go in any direction depending on what you’ve read and/ or prefer. I feel like a lot of people either already know or read City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. If this is you than I suggest these other two books.

I have a Young Adult trilogy and an Adult standalone to recommend.

The common thread amongst these stories is capable women dry heat/ desert settings and just incredible characters


The Daevabad series, City of Brass– S.A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1)

Synopsis for The City of Brass:

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for.

My thoughts:

I love this world! The world building is complex and interesting. I love all the layers you know exist and it isn’t until the books continue that you get to experience the vastness and even then it still feels like you’ve only experienced a taste. The characters are the best part of this whole world and series. They will pull at your heart strings and then make you want to pull out your hair. I love how much this story unfurls and the depths that are explored.


The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

Synopsis:

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

My thoughts:

I really love and admire Elisa and the growth of her character over the span of the three books. She’s resourceful and resilient. There is romance in this series but it isn’t the sole focus. This does focus on politics and religion/magic but it is YA so it doesn’t go over your head.

The relationships are some of my favorite, and I don’t mean romance even though it has one of my all time favorites. (I’ve mentioned it in an earlier post) But women/ girl friends are a rarity in fantasy which is a crime.  


Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha, #1)

Synopsis:

A nobleman’s daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Empire of Sand is Tasha Suri’s captivating, Mughal India-inspired debut fantasy.

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.

When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda.

Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance.

My thoughts:

Not enough people talk about this book.

Mehr reminds me a great deal of Elisa and Nahir with her determination and resilient strength. She is dealt a hand of cards she wasn’t expecting and she navigates to the best of her ability.  

The romance is slow and wonderful. It builds into something very powerful but it never detracts from the story.

The story itself is something that has to be experienced because it holds so much depth to it.


If you like characters you can’t help but root for great friendships and romance world building that is top notch. These books are definitely worth your time.