October 23, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Memorable Villains

Often heroes and heroines stick with us, but there are some villains that are absolutely unforgettable.

1.The Darkling (Shadow & Bone trilogy)

2.The White Witch (Narnia)

3.the serial killers (The Naturals)

4.the Valorian emperor (The Winner's Trilogy)

5-6.the Capitol and President Snow (The Hunger Games)

7.Queen Levana (Lunar Chronicles)

8-10.Sheriff of Nottingham, Lord Gisbourne, and Prince John (Scarlet trilogy)

What villains did you list today?

October 21, 2018

Rewind & Review #120

~I recovered from my cold.
~My friend came to visit for the weekend! I got to show her around Brooklyn, the Upper West Side, the Upper East Side, and parts of the lower half of the island. We went to the History of Magic exhibit and saw Anastasia
~I came home for most of the week. We went to the Virginia Children's Book Festival on Thursday and Friday, got lots of pie from my favorite shop, saw The Hate U Give, and visited the zoo.

Books I Received for Review
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley)
The Lying Woods by Ashley Elston (from Miss Print's ARC Adoption program)

Books I Bought
Persuasion by Jane Austen (can't find the edition on GR, otherwise I'd link it)
Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Odd One Out by Nic Stone
Overturned by Lamar Giles

Books I Read
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (reread)
Inventing Victoria by Tonya Bolden (3.5 stars)
The Afterwards by A.F. Harrold (2 stars)
Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens (4.5 stars)
A Bite-Sized History of France (4 stars)
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert (3 stars)
Love รก la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (4 stars)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (reread)

Blog Posts You Might've Missed in the Last Few Weeks
   (from 10/8-10/13)
   (from 10/14-10/20)

October 20, 2018

The RED Book Tag

In pursuit of a new book tag to do, I realized there were none themed around Taylor Swift's best album: Red. And since we're only two days away from Red's sixth anniversary, it was only fitting that I create one myself.

(Feel free to use this header; just give me credit!)

State of Grace - "And I never saw you coming/And I'll never be the same."

A book you unexpectedly loved.

My pick is The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood. I've liked some of Jessica's stuff before, but I loved her latest to my utter delight.

Red - "Faster than the wind, passionate as sin/Ending so suddenly."

A book that was a whirlwind experience to read.

Oh, Crooked Kingdom absolutely. The layers move so smoothly, and it was also a roller-coaster of emotions.

Treacherous - "And I'd be smart to walk away/But you're quicksand."

A book relationship that you think was a bad idea.

I'm gonna have to say Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. Why. Just why.

I Knew You Were Trouble - "I knew you were trouble when you walked in/So shame on me now."

A favorite villain.

I think the Valorian emperor from The Winner's Curse is so well-done. Of course I don't think he's a good person, but for the most part, he doesn't pull his punches, which means he's a solid antagonist.

All Too Well - "But maybe this thing was a masterpiece til you tore it all up."

A book or series you think is a masterpiece.

I could list a few, but I'll stick with Emma Mills's Foolish Hearts.

22 - "We're happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way."

A happy, carefree book.

For this category, I looked for books that maybe still had serious moments but were generally light, fluffy, and lovable. And I landed on The Upside of Unrequited.

I Almost Do - "I hope you know that, every time I don't, I almost do."

A book you wish you loved.

Ugh, it's always so hard when there's a book that sounds like a recipe for goodness or it's by an author you love (or whose social media you enjoy).
Everyone loves American Street it seems, but I didn't. :/

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - "And I'm like, 'I just- I mean, this is exhausting, you know?
Like, we are never getting back together, like, ever.'"

A book you never, ever, EVER want to reread.

I mean, there's a few, but I'd probably only reread The Name of the Wind if someone paid me a million dollars.

Stay Stay Stay - "So I think it's best if we both stay."

A book with a happily ever after (or a happily ever for now).

I love a good happily ever for now. I want characters to be happy at the end of the book, even if it's not an epilogue and we don't know they'll be together forever. The Start of Me and You has one of my favorite endings.

The Last Time - "Put my name at the top of your list."

A book written by two authors.

This category is a departure from the rest, to be honest, but "The Last Time" was hard to match a theme too, oops. But anyways! My choice for a co-written book is...
Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Holy Ground - "But I don't wanna dance if I'm not dancing with you."

A relationship that doesn't continue past the last page of the book.

This category is basically asking for spoilers, lol.
Like No Other by Una LaMarche

Sad Beautiful Tragic - "What a sad beautiful tragic love affair."

Your favorite sad book.

My go-to answer for categories like this is Second Chance Summer.

The Lucky One - "Another name goes up in lights, like diamonds in the sky."

A popular character (within their book or within the book lovers' community).

I'm usually terrible at remembering character details, whoops. So I'm going to list a character that pretty much the entire bookish community loves: Nina Zenik.

Everything Has Changed - "All I know since yesterday is everything has changed."

A friends-turned-lovers story. (Inspired by that adorable music video.)

One of my favorite friends-turned-something-more stories is On the Fence by Kasie West!

Starlight - "I met Bobby on the boardwalk, summer of '45."

Your favorite historical fiction story.

I love historical fiction, and one of my favorites is Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson.

Begin Again - "But on a Wednesday in a cafe, I watched it begin again."

A book you wanted to reread as soon as you'd finished it.

Oh, there's been a few. ;) To avoid repeating authors, I'll go with...
The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson

Well, there's my selections, and now I'm mainly tagging anyone else who wants to do this tag, but particularly Jessica @ Just Another Teen Reading Books!

October 19, 2018

Random Friday: Favorite Meal

Want to participate in Random Fridays? Just do the following:
  • Include the above image in your post and link back to my blog.
  • Blog about this week's topic (or a variant of it).
  • Add the link to your Random Friday post at the bottom of this one.

I left today's topic a bit open-ended so that anyone could interpret it to their liking. Of course, that made it a lot harder for me to decide what to talk about, haha.

I like food in general, although I tend to not enjoy eating things that don't taste good to me. As a result, I have several favorite meals.

Does dessert count as a meal? Lol.

If we're only talking dinner-type meals, I love a good risotto (Le Grainne Cafe in Chelsea has the best I've tried). I love empanadas from Empanada Mama, and burgers from Shake Shack and Bareburger.

Home-cooked dinners...I love my family's taco recipe with Mexican rice. Tuna pasta salad. A turkey casserole that my mom usually only makes around Thanksgiving and Christmas. :P Barbecued spare ribs in the CrockPot. New York street cart-style chicken and rice. Beef and potato soup. Homemade mac and cheese....

Are you hungry yet? I definitely am, and I just finished lunch.

So what is your favorite meal ever? Or of the day? I didn't talk about it, but I am rather partial to breakfast foods, too.

October 16, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Places I Want to Visit

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Ugh, this week's topic was so fun. My list has a lot of libraries, but there's also some bookstores I really want to check out plus...

Image result for cavendish prince edward island
1. Prince Edward Island
Not only is it gorgeous in its own right but it's the setting of Anne of Green Gables (even if Avonlea isn't real).

2. Maison de la Litterature, Quebec City, Quebec
I was literally in QC last summer and WE FORGOT TO GO. (I blame my parents who wanted an afternoon nap.)

3. Shakespeare & Company, Paris, France
One of the top priorities if/when I make it to Paris.

4. Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal
I know it's become a bit tourist-crowded, but clearly for good reason.

5. Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland
Another spot that tourists are ruining, but it's so beautiful and I'm so bookish.

6. Libreria El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The famous bookstore in a former theatre. 

7. Admont Abbey Library, Austria
Melk Monastery Library, Austria
I'm grouping these three together, since they're all in abbeys/monasteries, which I think is doubly cool.

8. Linderman Library, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Who knew a mid-sized private research university could have such a lovely library?

9. The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, California
Primarily for that book arch, let's be real.

10. Books & Books, Coral Gables, Florida
I found this bookstore on a list of the most beautiful bookstores, so obviously I need to see it and buy all the books. I can't find a really good picture anymore, so y'all will have to trust me.

What bookstores/libraries/bookish places do you want to visit?

October 15, 2018

My Name Is Emma, and I'm Addicted to Bookish Candles

My problem started a little more than a year ago. The bookish community started going wild for Canterbury Road Co.'s candles, and I got sucked in when I saw she'd done one for The Names They Gave Us and The Winner's Curse, and one that smelled like peaches, blackberries, and sweet tea. And I haven't looked back since.

My addiction grew worse once I found out I could have a wax melter at my university (since candles are a big no-no). Shannon at CRC does almost monthly wax melt sales, and I am weak when it comes to those.

Exhibit A: my double stacks of them in my nightstand drawer.

As of writing this post a month ago, I was using a square of Regency Romance to freshen my room. It's lemony and sweet and perfect.

I think there is a firm line to my obsession, though. I don't buy every single candle. I only go for the ones with scents I'd like and/or associated with my favorite books/fandoms. I have a bunch of CRC's The Queen's Thief candles, but not Eddis because it doesn't sound like a scent I'd enjoy as much.

So how do you feel about scented candles in general, or book-themed candles specifically?

October 13, 2018

Why I Love Princess Academy

Princess Academy has been on my favorites list for eight years now. It was a birthday present from one of my best friends, and I didn't really get it the first time I read it, but upon a reread, I realized how wonderful it truly is. And I'm here to tell you why.

1. The quietness
I love soft books that still hit you right in the feels. There's so much beauty in Princess Academy. It's not full of action scenes like a lot of fantasy, but there is character development and some intrigue.

2. The focus on women
Considering it's set at a school for girls, there is so much focus on the women - Miri, her friends and peers, her sister, her deceased mother... It's lovely and leaves room for so many different personalities.

3. Miri finding her strength
Miri is one of my favorite characters. She finds her place and how she can be strong even when she feels like everyone else sees her as weak. She's not a "strong female character" who loves to fight and is closed off to emotion. She's so much more - a true strong female character.

4. The folklore and world-building
There's a lot of Norwegian/Scandinavian influence, and it's lovely. Also, Mount Eskel is one of the most vivid settings I've ever seen in a book. It's built through the songs the people sing and through the history of the kingdom readers learn along with Miri and the other students.


October 11, 2018

Review: The Light Between Worlds

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth
Grade: A
Release date: October 23, 2018
An e-galley was provided by HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge. 

When Ev and Phil finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves. 

Now, Evelyn spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes. 

Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was. 

But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.

The Good, the, Bad, and the Ugly: How can a book live up to the likes of the Chronicles of Narnia?
The Light Between Worlds’s first flashback scene is during an air raid, which immediately brings to mind the opening of the first Narnia movie. It’s hard to live up to something as epic and timeless as Narnia, but TLBW manages to hold its own. It has its own tale to tell while following a similar map. It is the best kind of historical fiction, and the plot, while quiet, moves at a steady pace. 
TLBW is a story about what comes after and how you can't go back to who you once were after such drastic events. It works super well. Things are imperfect and readers will ache for Evelyn to feel whole.
The Woodlands are such a fascinating world. Cervus is great, although I wished for just a little more insight into the other major players since clearly the Hapwell children grow to have such strong familial and platonic feelings for several of the Woodlanders. Dorien and Hector still feel like a bit of a blank to me.
Philippa's section was absolutely my favorite. Her voice is lovely and relatable, and it's easy to understand the choices she makes and to hurt for her, as well as Evelyn. The voice in her part of the book could use a little work, just to strengthen the gap between Evelyn pre/during-Woodlands and post-Woodlands Evelyn.

Content warnings (per the author's website): depression, self-harm, PTSD, loss of a loved one, possible suicide, and war violence.

The Verdict: If you always wanted more to Susan Pevensie's story, you might find some resolution here.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Oh, heck yeah.

October 9, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Longest Books I've Read

Long books are one of my favorite things. This was a little hard to figure out, but here are what I think are the longest books I've ever read! (Also, I didn't want to duplicate authors, so a couple of the Harry Potters didn't make the list.)

1. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (1,263 pages)

2. The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830 by Paul Johnson (1,115 pages)

3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1,037 pages)

4. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (1,008 pages)

5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (894 pages)

6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (870 pages)

7. Winter by Marissa Meyer (827 pages)

8. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (818 pages)

9. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (725 pages)

10. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (722 pages)

Feel free to share the link to your TTT in the comments below! I'd love to see what have been the longest books you've read.