Category Archives: Writer’s Perspective
The Wizarding World Book Club has moved onto Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. The questions for the rest of book one were alright but none of them sparked any discussion post ideas for me.
From the week of August 4th there were two questions that interested me. Both of them centered around the concept of home and how it is defined. Home is one of those words that has numerous definitions. For most it is a house but it does not always have to be. A lot of the times people talk about the difference between a house and a home. The house is the building you go to at the end of the day whereas a home is where you feel safe and loved. Both of the questions from this week center around how Harry and Ron define home.
The first question was pretty simple to answer; “Why is The Burrow so appealing to Harry?” The Burrow is appealing to Harry because it contains what the Dursley’s house does not, love. The crooked structure contains a family that adores and loves one another.
Harry grew up with nothing but anger and disdain thrown his way. No one wanted him around, no one gave him a second thought, no one cared about him. He had no purpose and no power in the Dursley household. He just made it day to day. Privet Drive was just house to Harry, somewhere for him to sleep and eat.
Harry meets the Weasley and realized that life could be better. He is welcomed into their home and their family with a smile and a hug. Mrs. Weasley treats him as one of her own. He is treated as someone who matters, someone who has a life that matters.
The Burrow itself is falling apart, it is crooked and nowhere near perfect, but it is what is on the inside that matters. Ron is ashamed of his house, not realizing what it means for Harry.
The way Ron talks about The Burrow reminds me of the way my parents talk about my childhood home. It is too cramped, dirty and broken. To me and Harry all those marks and scars are what make the building a home. It represents a family, a safe place and love. When I go home I am content and happy no matter what dishes are in the sink or what holes are in a door. It is somewhere where I am wanted and loved and I think it is the same for Harry. For Harry The Burrow is the definition of what a home means, it contains love and comfort and makes Harry feel safe and wanted.
The second question was a little tricker and required a bit more thought. “Where do you think Ron feels most at home?” I don’t think there is a particular place where Ron feels at home. I think it is more about the people that around Ron and what they make him feel. For him most of the time he is at home when he is with Harry and Hermione.
Ron grew up overshadowed by his siblings. He never got a real chance to stand out. We see in the first book that when he looks into The Mirror of Erised he sees himself the best of all his brothers and sister. On top of that he has a piece of himself that feels ashamed for his family’s status.
Unlike Harry The Burrow isn’t Ron’s favorite place. It isn’t a bad place to him, he loves his family and he knows that he is safe at The Burrow. When he is at The Burrow he is reminded of the people that overshadowed him. It is a safe place but it isn’t a place where he can find who he truly is.
When Ron is with Hermione and Harry he is able to stand out. Ron has a place and a purpose inside their group. He is not just a name in the middle of a giant family. He is an essential part of the group. I think for him that is where he feels most a home, a place and time where he feels like he matters, is wanted and needed and can make a difference.
In the end Harry and Ron were able to provide homes to each other. Both of them felt loss and powerless at the time when they met and in the end they gave each other places where to they could feel safe, wanted, cared for and needed.
My obsession with Harry Potter is not a secret. When Pottermore announced that they were going to start a Harry Potter book club a few months ago I was excited. One of my friends saw the announcement and passed it on to me. It sounded like a perfect place for me to geek out about Harry Potter with fellows Potterheads.
The bookclub officially started in mid-June, unfortunately for me it is limited to a Twitter chat (as of right now). The chat takes place on Friday at 11am which is when I am at work (damn bills needing to be paid!). So I can’t take part in the official chat. I glanced through the feed though and saw that some of the questions they asked were interesting.
After looking through the chat I decided that, once in a while, I am going to do blog posts on the questions that I really like or have a strong opinion about. It won’t be something I do every week, just when I like the questions asked. I figured this would be a fun way for me to still take part in the idea of the bookclub in some way.
The way it appears to be working is that they are going to break the books down into small sections. Last Friday was the first few chapter of the first book. They had three questions that they asked and the question that I found the most interesting was “Why do you think the Dursleys are so afraid of magic?”
From the first chapter I knew that the Dursleys were going to be people who feared and detested anything that was different or unexplainable to them. I knew that they were going to be people who liked life one way and one way only. Vernon came off as the worst of the three of them.
They are the kind of people who believe the world should run in a way that they can define and understand. If something different happens or comes up that is beyond their comprehension they want it gone. The last thing they want to do is learn a new way of life. For Vernon, especially if he can’t define it, it is dangerous.
The Dursleys are the type of people who don’t want to learn anything new. They don’t want to find out that their way of thinking may be wrong. To them the “other” is wrong and thus dangerous. Unfortunately today this attitude is all too prevalent.
I feel like Vernon was always this type of person from when he was a child. I feel like he grew up thinking he was superior and looking down on anyone different than him. Whereas Petunia was more open-minded at one time but jealously and resentment clouded that aspect of her personality. She was so hurt to not be a witch and to be rejected by Hogwarts that she internalized that anger and turned it into fear.
She met Vernon who thought in that narrow minded way and it fit in with her anger. He allowed her to build this wall and then hide behind it. She didn’t have to deal with why she was upset and angry, instead she made it so that the wizarding world and magic were to blame. She fell into this blackhole of fear and anger. It became so deep that it took having to hide and leave Harry behind to even begin to crack that exterior.
Dudley is his parents son and we know he inherited their narrow-mind set and fear of the “other.” Though his parting words with Harry showed that redemption is possible; if he wanted it.
Why do you think that the Dursleys fear magic?
I was always the quiet kid. I did not like to be put in the center of attention and I had trouble getting to know new people. I dreaded having to go to parties where I knew only a handful of people. I was called shy because I talked little. People learned quickly that I preferred to be alone or in small groups. And for a long time I thought that was “wrong,” in some manner. I thought that there was something off about the way I dealt with life because I was not comfortable in situations so many others seemed comfortable in.
My parents did their best not to force me into any situations that I did not want to be part of, but I know it was sometimes hard to have a kid who didn’t seem to want to talk to people. They were perfectly fine with me being quiet and spending time on my own, they never made me feel like I was doing anything wrong. It was more watching the world around me and wondering why I couldn’t be like everyone else. Was there something wrong with being the quiet girl? The one who preferred to hang out with two or three people versus a huge group? Who got tired after spending extended time with people?
It wasn’t until about 3 years ago that I came to understand what an introvert truly was and that there was nothing wrong with being one. I saw Susan Cain’s TED Talk (watch here) about being an introvert and it intrigued me. She was talking about me and she was talking about how there was nothing wrong with being quiet. I then found out she wrote a book and I knew I had to read it. The title Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, interested me right away.
I had heard the terms introvert, extrovert and ambivert before, I just didn’t have a good grasp on what they meant. I thought introvert’s were shy and extroverts were outgoing and loud and ambiverts were in the middle. After reading Quiet I learned that there was so much more to those terms than I knew about before.
One of the first things this book does is explain what an introvert is. The true difference between introverts and extroverts are how and where they gain their energy. Extroverts gather energy from being around people and being in social situations. While introverts gain their energy from being either alone or in small groups of people. Introverts get tired when they have to constantly be social.
I read these definitions and it instantly clicked with me. I don’t hate being around people (which is a distinction that is made many times throughout the book. Introverts do like being around people, just in smaller doses). I enjoy going out and spending time with family and friends. I love fun camping weekends and going on vacations but they also can be tiring for me. I find myself wanting to be alone for at least an hour or so. I find myself just needing time to decompress and for a while I thought there was something wrong with me. After reading Quiet I realized that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be alone sometime. There is nothing wrong with being someone who enjoys spending an entire day reading or watching TV without anyone else around.
One of the other things this book does is make a note that our world is an extrovert world, our society today (at least Western society) wants you to be social, all the time. You are expected to be able to go to networking events and talk continuously with people, you are expected to be okay with striking up conversations with everyone around you and want to spend all your time with people. You are expected to enjoy this and, for it to be something that energizes you.
Our society has trouble understanding why someone would want to stay home alone. Why someone doesn’t want to take part in small talk. Why would someone want to be quiet and listen more than talk? Our society instantly pushes these people to the side and calls us antisocial and shy. We are told that we need to change, we need to be more outgoing; or else we may not get the job or career we want or we may never find right person to be with.
This book explains the world we live in and then gives tips on how to exist in this world. Right now this is the society we have. Changing people’s perceptions and making them understand that introverts don’t hate everyone and don’t hate people will take time. It will take time for people to realize that sometimes we need time to recharge or we prefer to have deep conversations instead of pointless small talk.
I enjoyed this book because it told me that being introvert isn’t wrong. There is nothing wrong with how I interact and view the world. It helped me see ways that I can exist in our current world without overwhelming myself or completely changing who I am.
I no longer try to force myself into social situations that make me exhausted or uncomfortable because I think I have to do them. I take time to be alone, especially after extensive time socializing. I know how to take care of myself now. This book helped me start to understand this side of myself. I have also had other help with this but this book was a open door for me. I was hoping to better understand what the term introvert meant and I was pleasantly surprised to learn more about myself as I read.
If you are someone who is an introvert and wants to understand the term and what it means for you; or if you are someone who is interested in this part of personality, you will find this book helpful. It is a great book that explains who introverts are and what power they hold in our world today.
Once Upon a Time is back again! The first half of the season saw Emma trying to come to terms with the fate she was shown. She knows that in a battle she is going to be stabbed and possibly die, she now has to determine if she is going to accept that fate. This half of the season seems as if it is going to focus on the characters fighting back against what destiny supposedly has set out for them. There is no one fate for anyone. You get to make your own story.
This episode opened with a glimpse into the past. We got to see how Emma decided on her last name. She was living on the street when August finds her. He steps in and stops her from burning a book of fairytales. He specifically pulls out The Ugly Duckling and tells her that the best stories are about transformation. He leaves her with the thought that she can choose her own path in life and that there is no one set path for her to walk down.
Back in the Wish Realm, Regina and Emma are robbed by Robin. He takes off with their jewelry leaving Regina confused and stunned. Emma convinces her that they need to find a way home before they get caught. She leads them to Pinocchio who agrees to help them build another magical wardrobe to get them home. While they are talking Regina runs off intent on hunting down Robin.
Regina cannot shake the idea that Robin has a life without her. She needs to find him and find out if his life is better; she needs to know if she meant something to him. She finds him and he tells her that his lives a carefree lifestyle and that he is happy (thought he is lying). Regina is crushed. She had been hoping to find out that without her his life is a mess.
Regina has a pretty clear idea of what her destiny is supposed to be, loneliness. She doesn’t get lasting happiness. She sees her life as nothing but pain. And she has a point, everytime she gets something she wants, she loses it. She convinces herself that Robin being happy without her just proves that she is destined to be alone and unhappy. She sees this as a sign that they were just passing connections.
But then Robin talks with her, and is honest. He is not happy and doesn’t enjoy his life. He has no wife, no children and is stealing for himself. Robin is missing a point in his life. Regina is faced with a choice. She can walk away from Robin and leave him in the Wish Realm. Put that portion of her life behind her and be done with the pain but also risk losing a second chance at love.
Emma convinced Regina to take the chance. Everyone in the realm has aged as they naturally would have without the curse except for Robin. He is the same age that he was when he died. There could be a part of the original Robin’s soul in this new version. Regina is being handed a chance, a chance to stop wallowing in her despair and try a new path.
Emma is also given a choice in this episode. Emma has the sword that is foreseen to kill her in the Wish Realm with her. She has the option to walkaway and leave it behind but she decided to take it back with her. She knows she has a legitimate choice in front of her but she decides to confront the vision. Emma decides that destiny is in her control and she is not going to let anyone take that away from her.
In this episode we also learn a little more about Gideon (Rumple and Belle’s son). Gideon was raised by the Black Fairy thought he does not view himself as evil. He does not possess a fully dark heart. He states that he does not want to hurt anyone but Emma. He tells his parents that he needs to kill Emma in order to become The Savior. He need to be a Savior to save another land and stop the Black Fairy. I am sure there is much more to this story that we will find out throughout this half of the season.
The other interesting aspect of this is how Rumple and Belle have to work together to save and stop their son. They are Gideon parents and they believe they may be the only two who can get through to him. They can’t do it alone and they are going to have to find a way to work together.
Rumple makes a point to say that throughout his whole life he was constantly looking for a slice of light in his darkness. He doesn’t want his son to have to live that way. He doesn’t want him to be bogged down and unable to fully live his life. Together his believes that he and Belle can save Gideon from a life of sorrow and pain.
“If we believe in something strong enough we will have the power to change our fate.” – Austin – Emma knows now that she has to believe she can win the fight for her life. Without belief it is too easy to give up or give in at the first sign of trouble. Belief is what pushes us forward and gives us the ability to write our own stories.
“It might not work” -Regina, “Then again it might.” – Robin – This is an interesting exchange. Robin allows that moment of hope into the situation. Things could go wrong but you won’t know until you take that risk. You can’t live in that in-between you take the chance and see what comes of it.
Can Gideon become a Savior?
Who does he need to save? Can Rumple and Belle work together? Will Emma actually have to die?
Is the first Robin living somehow in Wish Realm Robin?
How can Emma defeat fate?
Where does this all tie into Agrabah?
Where are the characters from The Land of Lost Stories? Are we done with them?
I had not heard of Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst before it came in a subscription box. The theme of the box was Epic Journeys and I was curious how this story fit that theme. It turned out to be a fun romance. The characters were alive and exciting and it was a fun ride. The main plot did seem to get lost in the romance but in the end it was an enjoyable read.
Princess Dennaleia has been betrothed to the prince of Mynaria since she was a child. Her homeland needs the alliance and it is her duty to see that it happens. The princess is not a normal citizen though. She has a power or Affinity. Unfortunately for her, her power is something to be feared. She has to hide it from her new family and home.
Then a surprising assassination happens and her whole world is thrown into chaos. She not only has to continue to hide who she is but she has to find out what is happening to her new kingdom. She teams up with the prince’s sister Mare to find the killer. In their hunt for the truth they find themselves falling for one another, only complicating things further.
Primarily this was a romance story. I noticed right away that this society didn’t appear to frown upon same-sex relationships. It was a part of their world and they accepted that. They had issues with accepting magic and allowing women to have a major part in the government but the same-sex relationship was accepted.
I liked that Mare and Dennaleia’s romance didn’t center around them trying to make their relationship be “right.” They fell for each other and that was it. There was no discussion about it being morally wrong or anything like that. The wrench in their relationship came from the alliance and the implications associated with breaking that. It wasn’t about changing the minds of the people. I got the impression that Dennaleia could marry Mare without an issue.
I liked that idea. A lot of the times you get the story focusing around coming out and the tribulations with that. Which there is nothing wrong with that type of story but it was nice to just see two people fall for each other and find a way to make their different lives work. I liked that their story felt like any other romance I have read.
The main story started off pretty interesting. There were a lot of different pieces involved. I liked that the magic was part of it. I liked that there were multiple suspects and plans to find out who did it. But that part petered out as the romance got stronger. It felt like we couldn’t concentrate on both, and the main plot suffered.
I wanted the main story to have a lot of working pieces that come together into a strong resolution. I was expecting an epic ending with either a huge fight or big reveal. I didn’t get any of that. I actually knew who was behind it all at the very start. I hoped I was wrong but I wasn’t.
There was less tension throughout the story because I knew where it was going. I knew who did it and why. I felt like I didn’t need the answers and that was a bit disappointing. I was hoping for a bit more. I wish that the romance could have been integrated better into the larger story.
Ultimately this was a fun romance with a mystery/adventure tied into it. If you are looking for an easy going and fun story then you will enjoy this one.
This book does not play fair. This was my mantra for most of the time I was reading History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. It was one of those books that messes with your emotions in a way that makes your head spin. One minute I was laughing, then a sentence later it was like someone had let the air out of my balloon and I sank to the ground, head in my hands. I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked this book up.
Griffen is a young man dealing with something many hope to never have to deal with; the death of someone he cared about. His first love, Theo, passes way suddenly and Griffen is left to pick up the pieces of his life and heart.
Unfortunately for Griffen the only person who really knows what he is feeling is Jackson, the boy that Theo was dating before he died. Together they aid each other in dealing with their grief. But Griffen learns he has to find away to put Theo in his past, to live with their history but to not let that history rule him.
I read Adam Silvera’s other novel More Happy Than Not and that book nearly destroyed me. (Full review here). So I knew that Silvera knew how to ignite intense emotions in a reader. I knew he was a writer that could make you severely ache for the characters. I thought I was prepared for the rollercoaster that this book was going to be. I was wrong.
More Happy Than Not was a book that had a constant dark cloud hovering over it. It was rarely one where you smiled. Things started off dim and sad and you only continued to dig into that hole over the course of the story.
This book started off sad but didn’t stay that way. The way it is told is it switches between Theo and Griffen’s past, from the beginning of their relationship until their break up and Theo’s death and the present where Griffen is dealing with Theo’s death and his grief.
One minute you are reading about a cute date they had, laughing at their jokes about the “zombie-pirate apocalypse” and then something is mentioned about the future and it is like a wave has hit you. As a reader you know that, that future does not exist. You know those plans will never be fulfilled, all those promise are broken. You go from laughing to feeling hurt and sad. You keep going up and down almost afraid to turn the next page.
In Silvera’s last book it was the ending that spun the whole story into a different direction. That book smacked you over the head with a brick. This one didn’t hit that hard but it still changed the feel of the story. I am not sure if this is going to be a thing of Silvera’s but I like that there is a pull at the end that deepens the story.
Griffen has to learn to move on with his life. He learns that Theo will always be a part of his past. Their history will always mean something but it can’t consume him. History has to be just that history. You can reference it, learn from it and revel in it when you need that nostalgiaia but you can’t live in it. If you do you risk losing yourself.
Griffen finds a way to add this to who he is as a person and move into his future. It is a future without Theo but is one that he learns to live in. History is all they have now but Griffen learns that, that is okay.
One of the reasons I love to read is because it gives me a window into another world and another life. I get to be whoever I am reading about. I get to see life through their eyes and get to experience the world in a way I may not have known before.
One of the reasons I write is to give people a way to look into another life. I think reading is one of the most important ways for us, as a society, to learn about each other. We may not be able to live or visit every culture or meet someone and learn about their religion. But when you pick up a book about a different culture, religion, gender, sexuality or any combination, for that time you are experiencing a different way of life.
I believe now, more than ever, we need to read a number of different books portraying all walks of life. I am not someone who actively choose diverse books, though I would like to change that. I pick up a book usually based off the summary. I am willing and happy to read about anyone and just about anything.
In light of some things that have been happening recently I have decided to take part in Diversity Bingo 2017 hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks. I want to diversify my reading. I want to branch out from what I normally read. I want to extend my understanding of groups of people and ways of life that are not like my own. Right now it sort of feels like the world is trying to dampen the significance and importance of diversity. Though I am proud to see so many fighting to keep this from happening.
I called my blog Stories Have Power for a reason. I whole-heartedly believe that stories can do so much for so many. If my reading more diversely, reviewing them and posting about them brings attention to this issue than I will have accomplished my goal. I may not have political power and I may have trouble raising my voice at times but I can extend my own way of thinking. I can take what I learn and what I read and I can share it so more people can broaden their own minds.
With this you are supposed to post a TBR alongside this card. I don’t have a set TBR right now. I plan on using this card to help me when I go on book buying binges (which happens quite often). I will update this as I read from categories. I don’t know how many of these I may get to throughout the year, but I will try my hardest to get to them all.
If you have recommendations of books I should read and add to my TBR from any of these categories, please share! I would love to hear about what you have read and loved. Stay tuned, I will update this with a list of the books with reviews as I read and cross squares off!
(I will be placing a yellow star in the corner of the ones I have read. I didn’t want to put an X and make it difficult to read what the square said).
MC with an Invisible Disability – History is All You Left Me By Adam Silvera – I choose this one because the MC has OCD. Sometimes OCD is not invisible but for this story is was unless you knew Griffen. He has to do things in even numbers and he couldn’t have anyone on his left side. It was interesting to read how different characters responded to this side of him. Some accepted it and tried to do things in certain ways to make him comfortable while others tried to help him move beyond his compulsions. I thought it was an interesting take on the disability and how it can be handled by different people in a person’s life. You can read my review of the book here.
Bisexual MC (Own Voices) – Of Stars and Fire by Audrey Coulthurst – There are two main characters in this story,Dennaleia and Mare. Dennaleia is supposed to be wed to Mare’s brother but quickly find herself falling for his stubborn sister. Mare is bisexual (though it is not something that is focused on), she mentions her past relationships being both male and female. One of the best things about this story was that there wasn’t a huge focus on choosing a sexuality, they just fell who they fell for and that was it. I go into more detail about it in my review of the book, here.
Non-Binary Character – At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson – I altered this one a bit just because this book doesn’t involve a non-binary main character but it does have a non-binary side character and this is the first time I have ever read this type of character. Lua is the main character’s best friend and they are non-binary. I liked the way they were written, they explain their self in a way that makes perfect sense. I thought the identity was represented well and I wanted to include it in here because of that. My review for the book is, here.
When I say Snow White what comes to mind? Do you envision a calm, easy-going, meek princess hiding in the woods with seven dwarves as company? How about when I ask you to think about The Big Bad Wolf? Do you envision either a human-like wolf or a man with wolf features hunting and devoting a little girl dressed in red? Or maybe you think of a wolf blowing down the homes for three pigs? These images are probably the most common for these characters. They come from he more popular versions of these stories.
I have nothing against these Disney-esque versions of the stories. I grew up with those stories. I was a Disney child, so that is how I was introduce to the fairytales. I love them. But these sterilized adaptations for the modern world. The originals are dark and gritty. They rarely end with a happy ending. Death and torture are normal in the original versions of theses classic fables and fairytales.
The Fable’s comics harken back to these original stories. The comic centers around a group of fables/fairytale characters who are living in our world as refugees. They have had to run from their home that was overtaken by someone called The Adversary. They had no choice but to leave in order to survive.
In our world they are only trying to survive. Our world is very different from their own. They lived their stories out and now they are trying to start new. This is a fresh start for many of them but leaving their pasts behind is not easy. They can’t entirely escape their stories.
I picked up the comic because I played The Wolf Among Us, a Telltale game. It is a decision based game and I enjoy those types of games. I liked that this one had a sort of retelling of the classic stories I have always known. I enjoyed the game and decided to see what the comics offered and see where the characters stores continued to go.
This first collections follows two story lines. The first is a detective, murder mystery. Rose Red, Snow White’s sister, has gone missing and the hunt is on to find her. The second follows the story of an attempted revolution on The Farm, the place where fables who can’t pass as human have to live.
The plot lines were pretty straightforward. They weren’t exactly revolutionary or overly exciting. It was the take on the characters that drew me. I loved the darker, grittier versions of these characters. Their voices were unique and felt very alive and real.
Snow White was our main protagonist and I feel like she may be for most of the series. She is not the meek, nature loving, hiding away, maiden that we know her as. She is tough. She does what she thinks is best no matter what anyone thinks. She speaks her mind. She fights when she has too.
Snow White is probably my least favorite princess; mostly because she seemed very flat and lifeless to me in the movie. I have grown to like her more over the years from the various versions of her I have read. She is made to be tougher and more independent and I like to see that twist. I am hoping her character stays strong and interesting.
The other main character we go to know pretty well was Bibgy, The Big Bad Wolf. He is the sheriff in Fabletown (the name of the town where the fables live in New York). He is one of my favorite character types. He is the tough exterior, sweet interior person. He has a rough past, we all know that. But this world gives him a chance to start fresh and he is doing the best he can.
He can’t completely fight his nature, because is part of him. But he is not willing to go backwards.I like to see him try to stay on the right side, even when it is tough for him. I am hoping to see his character grow throughout the series.
There was also a very interesting point made in the latter half of this collection. I am hoping it is something that is used and explored more throughout the series. Rose Red makes a point to Snow that some of them are not as lucky as she is.
There are the fables we all know, such as Snow White. There are hundreds of versions of her story throughout the world. Whereas some like, Rose Red, are not as lucky. They aren’t complete forgotten but they are lesser known. In this world it seems that being known affords certain power. The more well known characters are more durable. They can survive things that the lesser known ones may not be able to survive. It seems that survival almost depends on the world knowing who you are and knowing your story.
This is an interesting take on the power of the story. These people’s lives sort of depend on someone knowing who they are. If we forget their story or twist them out of other’s stories we could be killing them. I am hoping the this idea is used more. I like the idea of the story having the power.
This was a fun collection and I am hoping to get to the second one sometime soon. The only issue is that the collections are kind of expensive so this isn’t one I can’t just read right through. I am going to have to continue when I get some extra cash.
If you like fairytale retellings and new takes on old stories you will enjoy this. It is a comic which makes it a faster read. It is a fun and nice set up. I am hoping it continues to be as good as the series develops .
According to my Goodreads reading challenge I read 36 books this year! I know that there was at least one book that I did not finish though and I did reread the first and second Harry Potter books because I got the illustrated versions. Most of the books I read this year I really loved. I wrote review for many of them which I will include links to when possible.
I love when I spend the year reading books that I adore. I found some new authors that I will be following and reading their new material. I started some new series which I am excited to finish!
Take a look back with me on some of my favorite books of the year!
We will start with V.E. Schwab, who has become my new favorite author. I read the first two books in her Shades of Magic series. I wrote a review for A Darker Shade of Magic. The third and final book should be coming out in February and I am excited to see how the series ends!
I then read This Savage Song ,which i received in a book subscription box. I was thrilled to see it in the box because I had been wanting it for so long. It was a great story about the difference between good and evil and what makes someone a “monster.” My review on it has more of my thoughts. The second one comes out in June and I can’t wait!
I recently finished Vicious. It was probably my least favorite of the four but I still really enjoyed it. I love the way she looks at what it means to be good and bad and if there is a true distinction between the two concepts.
I read the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer really quick. It was a great ride. I loved the fresh ways of viewing the fairytale characters. I hope to be able to read Heartless sometime this new year. I wrote a review for Cinder which you can find here.
I also fell in love with the Six of Crows series. This was another one that I got lost in. I loved the characters, they were all unique and felt alive. The story was fast-paced and full of adventure. I wrote a review for the series as a whole which you can find here.
To round out the series I read is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. This was another fun one. I liked the take on time loops, the characters were all fun and interesting and the story kept me turning pages for three books without an issue. I did a review for each of the books which you can find here, here and here.
Now for some individual books. I read More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera after seeing a review for it. It was one of those books that left me in shock and emotional at the end. It so well written and heart breaking. Few things get me choked up but this one was of them.
We are the ants by Shaun David Huchtinson was just a book I found in passing. It so much more than I thought it was going to be. I fell in love with it quickly. It a good look at why you would want to keep the world around even when it is breaking your heart. I will be adding a review for this one soon.
I technically think I started this one before 2016 but I finished it in 2016 so it counts. This one falls outside my usual genre. If you can’t tell fantasy is the genre I usually read in. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill was a horror book and I was enthralled by it. It was scary yet interesting at the same time. I don’t usually enjoy horror but I did really enjoy this one. You can find my review here.
I know this one probably isn’t landing on many favorites’ lists this year. There are issues with it, and I go into my depth about them in my review here. But I loved this despite the issues. I loved being transported back to the Harry Potter universe and I loved the addition of Scorpious. This was a fun ride and one I did love reading.
So those are just some of my favorites from this year. What did you read in 2016? Did you enjoy the majority? What are some of your favorites?
My birthday was in November and I got a few gift cards to Barnes and Noble, which means I got a nice amount of new books! Now, I have zero self-control when it comes to book shopping. I wanted to try to only spend the gift cards but that didn’t happen. I just get absorbed into the shelves and find myself with a pile of books in my arms before too long. Here are the books I will be adding to my shelves.
Vicious – V.E. Schwab – This is the one I am currently reading. I have read V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series and loved it. I also loved This Savage Song. I’ve heard great things about her first book and I was eager to get my hands on it. I am about 3/4 of the way through it and I am loving it! I will have a review up once I finish it.
The Magicians – Lev Grossman – I know this series just became a tv series but I had heard about it in passing before that. This is just one that I see on recommendation lists periodically and I have always been slightly intrigued. I may start reading this after Christmas because it is part of a series and I need to stall my spending until after my bank account recovered from Christmas and if I like the first book in a series I have to continue with the series. I can’t just read the first book and then other books in between. I have to read what I can of a series all at once.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness– This concept of this one intrigued me. It is about all the other characters in the adventure stories that aren’t the “Chosen One.” It seems interesting and a fun read.
Ink and Bone – Rachel Caine – I have no idea where I first heard of this one but the story concept grabbed me right away. It is about a time when The Great Library of Alexandria is still around. It controls all knowledge and the owning of books is illegal (one of my nightmares). It is about a boy trying to take this organization down. I love the idea but it is another one that is part of a series so that may end up on the back of my reading list until after Christmas.
We Are the Ants – Shaun David Hutchinson – This is another one that I can’t quite remember where I heard about it. It is about a boy who is given the chance to either destroy the planet or save it. It is up to him to determine if the world and his life are worth saving. I thought it sounded like one that will make me think as I read it. I love books that make me question and put me in moral dilemmas so this should be an interesting read.
The View from the Cheap Seats – Selected Nonfiction – Neil Gaiman – This one my mom actually found while we were wandering around the bookstore. Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and this book has a number of his essays on a range of topics. This is the only nonfiction book I bought but I am hoping it gives me some inspiration or at least lets me learn more about one of my favorite authors.
Genius: The Game – Leopoldo Gout – This one I saw on the shelf and was instantly attracted to it. The cover pulled me in. It has a pretty simple summary, a number of geniuses are brought together to play a game that will have world wide effects. I like the idea of a mind game. Not sure what to expect from this one but I am excited to read it.
So these are some of my new books. Have you read any of these? If so what do you think of them? Have you bought any new books recently?