Tag Archives: Harry Potter

BookTube-a-Thon 2016: TBR

I’m back for BookTube-a-Thon with my tentative TBR. It’s mostly tentative because I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to stick to it. I tend to read with my moods, so I’ve never been great at following a set list. With that in mind I’m giving myself flexibility and a LOT of leeway.

Without further ado, here are my plans for each of the reading challenges.

Read a book with yellow on the cover:

   Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle, #2)

I have two in mind for this one, depending on how ambitious I’m feeling. Miss Mayhem is the second book in Rachel Hawkins’ Rebel Belle series, and I’ve been listening to the audio version. Finishing this will be totally dependent on how much time I can dedicate to  working around the house. Summer Days and Summer Nights is an anthology of short stories, and I might give myself a pass and count this one complete if I finish at least one of them. (I know, it’s cheating…)

Read a book only after sunset:

Saga, Volume 1

The sun sets late in Seattle this time of year (around 9pm), and I’m usually in bed by 10, so I’ll be going quick-and-easy with this challenge. I’ve been meaning to read Saga for a while, and Volume 1 is one of my book club picks for the month, so now is the time!

Read a book you discovered through BookTube:

Ivory and Bone

I was completely sold on picking up Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh after watching a few of Trina’s videos on her BookTube channel, Between Chapters. I had never heard of it before, and her reviews easily convinced me that it was worth a read. To sum it up VERY briefly (and not having read it yet), it has a unique 2nd person narrative and is a prehistoric fantasy retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

Read a book by one of your favorite authors:

Reliquary (Reliquary, #1)  Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)  

This one should be easy, but it’s actually really hard for me to pin down. I tend to store up a bunch of books from favorite authors so that I can pull one out when I need help out of a reading slump, or when I just can’t figure out what I’m in the mood for. These are just a few of many that I might choose from: Reliquary by Sarah Fine, Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, and Status Update by Annabeth Albert.

Read a book that is older than you:

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)

I’ve been meaning to read Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones for a couple years now, and this is the perfect excuse! I love the movie adaptation, and I already have a copy of the book.

Read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation:

    Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)

I have a few ideas for this one, each of which is cheating just a little bit. The first is to finish my re-read of the Illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (began several months ago). The second is to watch the movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (read for book club in February). Lastly, if I need to, I’m happy to watch and count Howl’s Moving Castle for this one, too.

Read seven books: This is the challenge I think I am least likely to complete. I have read this much before, but not often, and never on command. If I do manage to finish, it won’t be following a set TBR. We’ll see how it goes!

***

Are any of you guys participating in BookTube-a-Thon this year? Let me know so I can follow your progress!

 

Advertisements

Minute Review: One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron

One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2)One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron (Heartstrikers, Book 2)
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

“This isn’t a game, you know.”

“Of course it’s a game,” the seer said, walking back over to the couch where Marci was standing over Amelia. “Everything’s a game, Julius. It has to be. Life is whimsical, random, and cruel, but a game is something you can win.”

This is a great second in series! It was longer, but read very quickly, and everything was explored in more depth: the characters and relationships, world building, and the magic system. The end result was a great story that had me falling in love with the series even more, and I am dying for Book 3, which isn’t due to come out until the middle of this year.

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you should give this series a try starting with Book 1 (Nice Dragons Finish Last). It’s dragons instead of magicians, but the vivid story and amazing character dynamics remind me so much of when I read HP for the first time.

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am going to die kissing Simon Snow. Aleister Crowley, I’m living a charmed life. – Baz

Of all the things I was most excited about after finishing Fangirl a few weeks ago, the release of Carry On was at the top of the list. Now I have the supreme joy of reviewing it (then maybe starting it again from chapter one).

At first I wasn’t sure what to expect since Carry On takes place over the course of Simon Snow’s 8th year in magic school, with at least 7 years of back story that need to be incorporated without boring or confusing the reader. It only took me a couple of chapters to realize that this wasn’t going to be a problem – Rowell did an amazing job of quickly building the world, magic system, and relationships.

I don’t want to go too far into the plot, because discovering that is part of the story’s charm, but I do want to say a few words about the romance. I loved the dynamic between Simon and Baz. It was everything I hoped for, especially concerning Baz. I know some readers wished that there had been more romance time, but considering they begin the book as mortal enemies, it seemed completely reasonable that their relationship would need time to evolve. Besides, the romantic bits that were included were fabulous.

I’ll finish this off with one final note: you don’t need to have read or enjoyed Fangirl to read and enjoy this book. It is completely self contained – just know that it’s a bit of a parody of both Harry Potter and fanfiction.

Recommendation: If you love Harry Potter, wizard schools in general, pop culture references, British slang, Rainbow Rowell, and/or adorably quirky romances, YOU NEED TO READ THIS!

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is a standalone young adult novel that follows Cath through her freshman year of college. For the first time in her life, she’s away from home and not living with her identical twin sister, forcing her to break from her usual pattern and find a place of her own – as a college student, an artist, a friend, and a sister.

Before I jump into the review, I feel like I should say that this wasn’t a perfect book, but the story really resonated with me. It’s a young adult novel in pretty much every sense, and the story is about the journey. There is a lot of dialogue, personal struggle, and growth. Because of that, if you don’t connect with the journey you won’t connect with the book. I don’t think this story is for everyone, but it is for me, and it might be for you, too.

“Look at you. All sweatered up. What are those, leg sweaters?”
“They’re leg warmers.”
“You’re wearing at least four different kinds of sweater.”
“This is a scarf.”
“You look tarred and sweatered.”

The first thing I really enjoyed about this book was the writing. The narrative kept me going from start to finish, and it is full of witty, adorable dialogue. This kind of writing is one of my favorite things about a lot of YA novels.

The element of Cath’s story that spoke to me the most was her struggle with creating her own literary worlds. She’s an artist, but she doesn’t think she can be one outside of the scope of Simon Snow, her fandom of choice. She feels that real writers create new worlds starting from nothing, and she doesn’t know how to do that. I wish this book had been around when I was a teenager. I could have learned along with Cath that being an artist isn’t about creating something entirely original from nothing. Our experiences influence everything we do.

Lastly, I loved the presence of fanfiction in the story – not the excerpts, but the fact that it was such a big part of Cath’s life. I remember my own days of furiously reading Harry Potter fanfiction and midnight release events, and Cath’s story is full of nostalgia for me. I loved that Rowell included fanfiction as a complex and wonderful phenomenon, rather than a silly or childish hobby.

Speaking of the Simon Snow fanfiction, Rowell has written her own version of Simon and Baz’s story! It is called Carry On, and it’s not quite canon and not quite fanfiction, but it is 384 pages of Simon and Baz fighting evil and falling in love. The release date is October 6th, 2015!

See my review on Goodreads for Some Particulars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Just Didn’t Click With

TTT 1.0

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Characters that you Just Didn’t Click With

I feel the need to preface this list by saying that there are a lot of books and authors on here that I really love! There was just something about each of these characters that kept me from getting too attached.

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)  Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell, #1)  Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)

(From my Favorites List)

Alexia from Soulless by Gail Carriger – (Steampunk) I love almost everything about this book, but while Alexia is fun to read about, I just don’t feel a deeper connection to her character.

Lon from the Arcadia Bell series by Jenn Bennett – (Paranormal/Fantasy) This may or may not be due to the mustache. And the age difference between Lon and Arcadia. Here’s a link to my review of book one.

Angela from the Unearthly trilogy by Cynthia Hand – (YA Paranormal/Fantasy) I know Angela is supposed to be a lovable side character, but I just can’t get past some of the decisions she makes. Or how self-centered she can be…

New Moon (Twilight, #2)  Splintered (Splintered, #1)  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)  The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

(From books that I enjoyed)

Jacob from the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer – (YA Paranormal/Fantasy) Please don’t hate me for this! I like Jacob just fine and wish him the best, I just would never want to be in a relationship with the guy.

Jeb from Splintered by A.G. Howard – (YA Fantasy) Jeb kept riding this weird line between controlling and indifferent that drove me crazy. I haven’t read the rest of the trilogy, so maybe this goes away as the series progresses.

Harry from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – (YA Fantasy) I feel like I’m including this at the risk of losing all my followers. Let me just say, that I really enjoyed this series. Harry was, unfortunately, my least favorite of all the protagonists. By a lot…

Gale from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins – (YA Dystopia) Gale mostly made me angry throughout the whole series. His attitude reminds me of Dean from the later seasons of Gilmore Girls – so bitter and self-pitying. Not my favorite qualities to read about.

1984  The Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1)  Heart of the Wolf (Heart of the Wolf, #1)

(Can’t say I enjoyed these ones…)

Winston from 1984 by George Orwell – (Dystopia) I’m really glad to have read this book as part of my literary education, though I definitely didn’t enjoy it. While I connected with the circumstances of the story very strongly, I didn’t with the main character, at all.

Rhys from The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook – (Steampunk) Meljean Brook is one of my favorite authors, and I talk about her steampunk series on this blog all the time, but I could not stand Rhys, the Iron Duke. Controlling, pushy, domineering – he has all the asshole-ish traits of a negatively stereotypical “Alpha” hero.

EVERYONE from Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spear – (Shapeshifter Romance) I couldn’t handle anyone in this book. Whining, control issues, practically forced mating. Nope, not for me!

***

Which characters couldn’t you connect with? Let me know about your own top ten in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

TTT 1.0

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in!

Today’s Theme: Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

At first I was worried about being able to come up with a list of ten, but upon looking back through my books I realized that there are a ton of great bookish characters! Here are some of my favorites. Note: all book cover images link to that book’s Goodreads page.

Heart of Steel (Iron Seas, #2)  The Kraken King  (Iron Seas, #4)  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)  How to Handle a Heartbreaker (The McCauley Brothers, #2)

Archimedes and Zenobia Fox (Iron Seas series) – (Adult, Steampunk) Archimedes and Zenobia are brother and sister and they each have their own book in Meljean Brooks’ Iron Seas series. Zenobia is a pretty obvious book nerd, being the prolific author of a wildly popular serial, The Adventures of Archimedes Fox. Archimedes is more of a research book nerd, delving into any source he can find for hints of potential adventures and archaeological discoveries. Here is my review for Zenobia’s story, The Kraken King.

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series) – (Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy) You can’t get much more book nerdy than Hermione… 🙂

Abby Dunn (The McCauley Brothers series) – (Adult, Contemporary) Abby Dunn is the heroine of the second book in Marie Harte’s McCauley Brothers series, though she crops up frequently throughout all the books. She is a romance author herself. I’m such a sucker for main characters that are also authors… Here is my review for Abby’s story.

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)  Grim Shadows (Roaring Twenties, #2)  Darkness Dawns (Immortal Guardians, #1)  Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, #1)

Kate Mercier (Revenants series) – (Young Adult, Paranormal) Kate is the main protagonist in Amy Plum’s Revenants series and she is a self-professed introverted book nerd. She spends most of her free time reading or visiting Parisian art galleries. Not to mention the fact that she totally kicks butt as a heroine! Here’s a link to my review for the first book in the trilogy, Die for Me.

Hadley Bacall & Lowe Magnusson (The Roaring Twenties series) – (Adult, Period, Paranormal) Hadley and Lowe are the protagonists in the second book of Jenn Bennett’s Roaring Twenties series. Lowe is an archaeologist, Hadley is a museum curator, and they are both obsessed with research and ancient artifacts. Books even play an integral role in the plot of Grim Shadows. Here is a link to my review.

Sarah Bingham (Immortal Guardians series) – (Adult, Paranormal) Sarah is the heroine of the first book in Duvall’s Immortal Guardians series, Darkness Dawns. She’s a professor and has a collection of paranormal romance novels on her living room bookshelf. This fact is one that Roland, the hero, notes in hopes that she won’t run away screaming when she finds out he’s more than human.

Honoria Todd (London Steampunk series) – (Adult, Steampunk) Honoria is the heroine of the first book of Bec McMaster’s London Steampunk series. She is a brilliant researcher, focused on finding a cure for the blood-craving virus that eventually leads to vampirism. In pursuit of this, Honoria is constantly reading and studying. This is the book that drew me into the world of Steampunk, and I can’t recommend it enough to romance lovers!

Pride and Prejudice  Northanger Abbey  After the End (After the End, #1)  The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)

Elizabeth Bennett & Catherine Morland (Jane Austen, of course!) – (Classics, Regency) First we have Elizabeth Bennett, known to be a book nerd to anyone familiar with the story of Pride and Prejudice. Second we have Catherine Morland, the heroine of Northanger Abbey, a much less read Austen novel. Catherine is a young woman obsessed with Gothic novels who stays with friends that happen to live in an old Gothic monastery. Adventures born of an overactive imagination inevitably ensue 🙂

Juneau (After the End duology) – (Young Adult, Paranormal) Juneau is one of the protagonists in Amy Plum’s After the End duology, one of my favorite series read this year! Juneau grew up in a very secluded community that had a limited library, including a bunch of classic books and a complete set of a 1980s edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Obsessed with learning about the outside world, Juneau has pretty much memorized every single book and volume. Here is a link to my review for After the End.

Frodo Baggins (Lord of the Rings trilogy) – (Fantasy) It’s been many years since I’ve read this one, but I remember Frodo being pretty enthralled by all of Bilbo’s books and the adventures they chronicled. It’s pretty appropriate given his own grand adventure.

***

Let me know about your own top ten in the comments!