It’s the start of a new week, and I’m finally feeling better. And I owe it all to last week – I did a ton of research on how to make myself feel better with my chronic illness, and it’s really helped.
Back to the blog, I’m honestly pretty happy with what I was able to post last week. I would’ve liked to get one more post out, but it’s fine. It was more than the week before, after all.
Tuesday 2/28: Weekly Wrap-Up #IDK
I don’t usually highlight my Weekly Wrap-Up from the prior week, but it was late, which was unusual. And it really felt significant to me while getting over being sick. So yeah, that’s what was up last Tuesday.
Wednesday 3/1: Shelf Control #11
Last Wednesday, I finally did another Shelf Control. It’d been a couple of weeks since I’d participated, so I was determined to make it happen last week.
Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. If you missed my post and are interested in what book from my bookshelf I highlighted last week, you can read it here.
Friday 3/3: First Lines Friday #5
On Friday, I managed to participate in First Line Fridays. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words. It focuses on judging books by their words as opposed to their covers.
Saturday, I finally got around to posting my reading wrap-up and stats for February 2023. I’m really happy with everything I was able to read and accomplish last month, even if I would’ve liked to read and review more books. I’ll definitely do better in March!
This week’s goal is the same one from last week: just to post more than I did the week before. No specific post goals again. I’d really like to do five posts, though, if possible. And I definitely think it’s possible, seeing as I’m feeling way better this week. I’m excited to see what’s in store for me!
As always, thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful day/night!
So, like um… I got sick this past weekend (technically Thursday) and that’s all I’m gonna say about it.
We’re somewhat into a new week already, but it just doesn’t feel right to me, to not start off the week’s posts without a weekly wrap-up. So I’m doing it, even though I’m very disappointed with my posting from last week. (Even though I know it wasn’t my fault.)
Monday 2/20: Majestic Monday #10
Last Monday, I finally got back in the saddle and restarted Majestic Mondays. And what better number to (re) kick it off than with the first of the double digits!
With this post, however, I’ve gone back to doing Majestic Monday the way I did it my very first post – by only highlighting one awesome book cover as opposed to the three that had become the norm. It was just too much on Mondays, with me doing weekly wrap-ups and all.
Anyway, this week I looked at The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. If you missed the big comeback, you can read the post here.
Wednesday 2/22: WWW Wednesday #6
Wednesday, I did my usual. Well, part of my usual, at least. We had to move a meetup around kind of at the last minute, so my Wednesday last week was unexpectedly busy. As such, I only had time enough for one post, and I chose WWW Wednesday. At random.
WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you wanna know about what I’ve been reading lately, you can check out my post here.
Friday 2/24: A Conjuring of Light Review
On Friday, I finally managed to get my book review out for A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. It’s the third book in the Shades of Magic series, and I thought it was a lovely end to it. (For now – apparently Schwab has more on the way.) (Not really interested in reading those though, as of right now.)
All I want to do this week (for the blog) is to post more than last week. I don’t have a set number of posts I want to do, or any specific kinds of posts – save for a book review (or two) (hopefully). Also, Majestic Monday is out this week, for (obvious) reasons. (And I don’t have it in me to do it today/Tuesday this week either.)
Anyway, thank you for reading and I hope you have a really great day/night!
Leslie @ Books Are the New Black created a fun monthly post called Birthstone Book Covers. Each month, she features book covers that are either the same color of that month’s birthstone or include the color in the title.
Sounds fun, right? You can see why I was quick to jump on the bandwagon once I discovered it!
February has one birthstone – Amythest.
Rules: 📚 Mention the creator (Leslie @ Books Are The New Black ) and link back to her so she can check out your post. 📚 Pick 5+ book covers that match the current month’s Birthstone. 📚 HAVE FUN! 📚 Nominate people if you want!
(Also, what the heck was up with all of them except for The Diviners being the third book in a series? Like, wth are you doing book 3?!)
(Also also, I promise it wasn’t intentional. I didn’t notice at all until I started captioning the pics. 😳😣)
It’s been – what? – a week, I guess, since I last posted a retrospective book review, so I’ve decided it was time for another. This time, I’m doing one for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.
Sorry I’ve been MIA for the last couple of days. There’s been some stuff going on, and then I got a little sick cuz of something I ate (but it was so worth it). But now I’m back and rating to go!
I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. Likewise, I never imagined that home might be something I would miss.
A Story Told Through Creepy Photos | Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs [Book Review]
THEN: ★★★★★ • 5 / 5 stars
NOW: ★★★★✯ • 4.5 / 5 stars
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience.
As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
I’m gonna be honest. This book kind of holds a special place in my heart. Like, I really liked this book when I read it the first time, and I liked it again when I went through it again. The only reason my rating dropped half a star at all, is because I know that there are books that I like even more than I did when I originally read Miss Peregrine’s.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a novel written by Ransom Riggs, and published by Quirk in 2011. It’s got a lot of different genres to it, including: fantasy, historical fiction, horror, YA, and fiction in general, but it never feels too bloated, or like it has too many genres to it. Riggs wrote an incredibly interesting story, that was also super engaging. Like, it was very hard to put down. Also, I’ve almost never gone out and bought sequels this quickly before.
I should also probably mention that a movie based on this book was something that someone decided to create, and was released in 2016. I’ve never seen it, so I’m probably not qualified to comment on it, but considering we’ve seen hide nor hair of an adaptation of one of Miss Peregrine’s sequels, I have a feeling it didn’t do so hot.
“I don’t mean to be rude,” I said, “but what are you people?”
“We’re peculiar,” he replied, sounding a bit puzzled.”‘Aren’t you?”
The characters are probably the weakest part of the book, unfortunately. Not to say that they were bad, because they weren’t. At all. This is just a more plot-focused story.
Our protagonist is Jacob, and the book is also from his first person POV. It was something I appreciated when I read it the first time, as most YA novels at the time were first person perspectives focused on Katniss Everdeen clones. So it was a bit of fresh air, to me.
Anyway, Jacob is, admittedly, slightly bland, looking back on it, but he wasn’t by any means terrible. The thing that bothered me the most about him, though, was that his inner monologues and thoughts did not sound like a sixteen-year-old boy’s. The prose was far too flowery for that. It read like an adult’s thoughts, and took me out of the book just the slightest bit.
Stars, too, were time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize we were alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries—but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.
Like, seriously, does that sound like the musings of a teenage boy to you?
So, anyway, the other characters were extremely interesting on the surface, with cool powers, and were pretty diverse, but they weren’t super developed here. (Note: It should definitely be noted that this isn’t an inherent problem with the series, the characters actually do development quite a bit in the latter books.) I did really like them though, and the way they interacted with the setting was brilliant.
When someone won’t let you in, eventually you stop knocking.
Speaking of, the setting for Miss Peregrine’s is as odd as it is unique. At first, it just seems like an urban fantasy. Then, it seems like a hidden-world-urban-fantasy. And then it turns out to be an urban fantasy, with a hidden world inside of a time loop. (I can’t explain it better than that – you’ll just have to read the book, I guess.) So yes, there is a bit of time travel here, and it is done in a pretty interesting way.
I liked how the two primary settings interacted in general – modern day America and the UK during 1940. This is basically done through our MC, as he’s what essentially links the two. The time loop and time travel in the book just intrigued me the most, honestly.
We cling to our fairy tales until the price for believing in them becomes too high.
The photos were, hands down, the absolute coolest part of the book. And the series as a whole, actually. Riggs took real-life, real-weird photos, and basically wove an entire story around them. And it was so cool.
The pictures referenced and describedwere even in the book, which made it even better, and more immersive. It was just such a unique story, especially for a YA novel at the time.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was a unique and interesting way to tell a story, featuring some incredibly weird and creepy photos for its inspiration.
It’s something that I also definitely recommend to anyone who’s interested, or weirded out by old, stranger-looking pictures, as well as uncanny valley stuff. You (probably) won’t regret it.
“Maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.”
Rapunzel and the Satellite | Cress by Marissa Meyer [Book Review]
★★★★☆ • 4 / 5 stars
The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series
In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
NOTE: I’ve reviewed the first two books in The Lunar Chronicles. You can read them both here:
Now that’s a good summary. Does what it’s supposed to. Doesn’t falsely describe the book in any way. It’s a very accurate depiction of what lies in store in the novel. (Unlike some books. Ugh.)
Cress is a 2014 novel written by Marissa Meyer, and is the third book in The Lunar Chronicles. (It’s also published by Feiwel & Friends, and is 552 pages.) This time, it formally introduces sci-fi Rapunzel as a major character, but also continues with the overarching story introduced in Cinder.
The Characters are Once Again the Stars of the Show
“Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?”
He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. “No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder.”
Meyer has a knack for writing likable and interesting characters, and that continues with this book. Funnily enough, all of the major characters in the novel had already been introduced to us in Cinder and Scarlet. Even this novel’s titular protagonist – Cress.
Cress is a character that I was initially not very fond of. She was mildly interesting, but I just didn’t care for her personality at first. She was just too… innocent, I guess. And innocent-type characters tend to hit or miss for me. But she grows and evolves a lot throughout the book, and I really ended up liking the Cress in the last third of the book.
Thorne was introduced in Scarlet, and was also a key character there. We didn’t really know that much about him until this book though, and his character and personality really shine through even more here. He also has a decent amount of character development, which was nice to see.
“Come on, Iko.”
Iko was still hiding, hugging herself self-consciously. “Is he looking?”
Kai raised an eyebrow.
“He’s not looking,” said Cinder.
A hesitation. “Are you sure?”
Cinder gestured exasperatedly at Kai. “You’re not looking.”
He cast his eyes to the ceiling. “Oh, for all the stars.” Crossing his arms, he turned his back on them.
Cinder and Kai were doing their things, which were very similar things, but were doing them thousands of miles apart from one another. (Until they weren’t.) They both had things about themselves and each other that they had to grapple with, but I was pleased with the results.
Iko was a joy to read about as always, but that goes without saying.
Despite being our hot couple from the last book, Wolf and Scarlet really didn’t do much in Cress. Especially Scarlet. She has very few POVs compared to everyone else here, and she doesn’t really do a lot, or appear that often, after the first third of the book.
The Plot was Fun (…Once It Got Going)
“If you honestly believe that,” said Thorne, stowing the gun again, “then you really don’t recognize true value when you see it.”
This book had a much slower start compared to its predecessors. And that made it more difficult to get into. It wasn’t until over a quarter of the way through that things really started happening.
As with the first two, there’s a lot of references to story beats from the original fairytale: Cress escaping from her “tower,” Thorne going blind, Thorne’s name being a reference to how the prince is actually blinded in Rapunzel, wandering through a desert. There’s a lot. And I knew a bunch of it going in, so I was very excited to see it all play out.
I really like how we’re kind of going around the globe in this series. It makes the setting and Meyer’s world building even better to behold. We haven’t seen hardly anything of Luna (Earth’s terraformed moon) yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of it in Winter.
It always came back to love. More than freedom, more than acceptance—love. True love, like they sang about in the second era. The kind that filled up a person’s soul. The kind that lent itself to dramatic gestures and sacrifices. The kind that was irresistible and all-encompassing.
Cress was something I started reading quite a while ago, after reading it’s two prequels, and even though I’ve had a bit of a tumultuous reading experience with it, I’ve always been determined to finish it. And I’m very happy that I did. It was a fantastic read overall, and I highly recommend fans of the series to continue on with book three.
The Lunar Chronicles is such a fun and interesting series as a whole, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends when I read Winter. And I’ll also maybe read Fairest and Stars Above eventually too sometime. I don’t know yet, though.
Anyway, thanks so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!
On Wednesday, I participated in WWW Wednesday for the third time, as well as the third week in a row.
WWW Wednesday is a meme that used to be hosted at A Daily Rhythm, but has been taken over by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. It focuses on the 3 Ws. If you want to find out what those are, you can check out my take on WWW Wednesday here.
Thursday 2/2: What Moves the Dead Review
Thursday, I finally got another book review out and posted. It was on What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher, a retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, but with a more fungal flavor to it. If you’re interested in my full review, you can read it here.
Friday 2/3: First Line Friday #3
This past Friday, I once again participated in First Line Fridays. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words. It’s where you post the first lines of a book and have people try to guess what it is. You can read my post here, if you’re interested.
Saturday 2/4: January 2023 Monthly Wrap-Up
Saturday, February 4, I finally got around to posting my January 2023 Monthly Reading Wrap-Up. Fir those who don’t know, it’s this thing I do every month, where I post my reading stats from The StoryGraph.
On Sunday, I had wanted to post another book review (Cress), but it wasn’t quite ready yet, so I posted a retrospective book review instead.
This time I did one on The Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci, a book I originally rated pretty highly cuz I liked the author’s YouTube videos and wanted to be nice. Now, I went through the book again without bias this time around, and… well, you’ll see if you decide to check out my review. Which you can do here, if you’re interested.
Goals for the Week of 2/6 – 2/12
This week I did a lot of what I wanted. I wasn’t able to do all of my usual weekly posts (*cough* Shelf Control *cough*), but I did do a couple of book reviews. I also continued with bettering my blog. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t able to start that new post series that I was interested in doing, though. (I got my Monthly Reading Wrap-Up done, though!)
So this week, my goals are:
First Lines Friday
a few book reviews
the new thing that I wanted to do the two last weeks that I wasn’t able to
Annnd that’s all for this Weekly Wrap-Up! As I said, I did a lot, and read some books. Had a lot of fun doing it too.
Thanks so much for reading, and have an excellent day/night! Join me next post for more bookish things!
I started participating in First Line Fridays a couple of weeks ago, and I’m really enjoying it. So I’m going to continue with it, and really try to do it every week.
In case you don’t know, First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers that was (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words, but I saw it over at One Book More.
What if instead of judging a book by the cover, author or most everything else, we judged it by it’s content? It’s first lines?
If you want to join in, all you gotta do is:
📚 Take a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open it to the first page
📝 Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
📖 Finally… reveal the book!
Here’re the first lines…
The Magician stood on the edge of his world and took one last look at the city. The spires of churches rose like jagged teeth, and the nightless windows of tumbled buildings flashed in the rising sun. He’d loved it once. In those lawless streets, a boy could become anything – and he had. But in the end, the city had been nothing but a prison. It has borne him and made him and now it would kill him just the same.
…So, what book do you think it is? Any guesses? I’ll give you a moment to think about it. (And to look at beautiful pictures of books while you do.)
Annnd the book is… The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell!!
(Did you get it right??)
Series: The Last Magician (Book #1)
Length: 512 pages
Genres: Fantasy, YA, Fiction
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.
In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.
Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.
But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.
Have you read The Last Magician, or any of the rest of its sequels? What did you think, if you did?
Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful day/night! As always, tune in next time for more bookish stuff.