Blog Archives

The A-Z Book Tag

I saw this tag over on Mud and Stars Book Blog and thought it looked fun. It is going to be a minute before I finish my next book for a review so I thought this would be fun to do in-between.

Author You’ve Read the Most Books From:

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I have a few authors I follow but I would have to say that J.K. Rowling is the one I have read the most books from. I have literally read all that she has written including all the original things put out on Pottermore. There is a slight obsession there.

Best Sequel Ever:

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I would have to say Conjuring of Light, which is the last book in the Darker Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab. I loved how well it wrapped up the story. It left me wanting a bit more and I am super excited for her new story in that universe!

Currently Reading:

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As of this typing I am actually between books but I plan on starting The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It is the last book in “The Cemetery of Forgotten Books” series. Though I plan on starting that and then putting it aside to move to the illustrated version of the the third Harry Potter book this weekend.

Drink of Choice while Reading:

I don’t have anything that I specifically drink. I am usually reading at home and I almost always drink milk while at home. So milk would probably be the most common thing I drink while reading.

E-reader or Physical Book?

I am a physical book person all the way. I have nothing against e-readers, if it allows someone to read better I am all for it. I just can’t focus on a screen for a long period of time. I also need the feeling of a book in my hands and the ability to pull it off my shelf.

Fictional character you probably would have Dated while in High School?

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This one is tough because I don’t usually think about myself dating anyone in the books that I read. I usually pair them up with other characters and not myself. In high school I probably would have dated someone like Simon from Mortal Instruments, sweet yet dorky.

Glad You Gave this Book a Chance:

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The one that comes to mind is one I recently finished, The Angle’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I was intrigued by the initial concept and ended up becoming engrossed in it. It has a mysterious air that was interesting. Thought I read the first book in the series and I am not sure what I think about it compared to The Angel’s Game.

Hidden Gem Book:

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We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. I picked up this book because of the alien plot but it turned out to be so much more. It is one my favorite books of all time. It is deep and emotional and sweet and a fantastic story. It does not get the attention it deserves

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

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This is easy, the moment I picked up the first Harry Potter book. I always enjoyed reading but I don’t know if my love would have become as deep without those books. I also don’t know if I would have become as passionate about writing without those books.

Just Finished:

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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It an intriguing mystery but I wasn’t as thrilled about it as I wanted to be. I was expecting more from it and it confused the timeline for the series.

Kind of Books you Won’t Read:

I won’t say there is anything that I absolutely will not read but there a few genres I am not thrilled with. I don’t generally read nonfiction biographies unless I am super interested in the person. I also tend to have an issue with romance novels unless it has a supernatural twist to it. I like the more fantastic genres because they tend to give me something I can’t find in the real world.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

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I think that would probably be Gone with the Wind when I was in junior high. I remember it being about 1000 pages. It was super long and I was not thrilled with it but was determined to finish it. I also remember that the liberian got on my case because it took me so long to read. It wasn’t like it was on a waiting list so I don’t know what her issue was.

Major Book Hangover Because of:

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Most recently my book hangover came from They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. I knew where the book was going and how it would play out but I was so hoping it would be different. I was just emotionally drained at the end.

Number of Bookcases you Own:

In my apartment I currently have 4 that are completely full. I need another one but I am running out of room for more shelves.

One Book You have Read Multiple Times

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Harry Potter is my obvious choice but the other would be the Everworld Series by Katherine Applegate. I read these all the time as a teenager. I loved the characters and the story was original and fun. I am a bit worried about reading them now though, hoping they don’t lose their magic as I age.

Preferred Place to Read:

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There is nothing better than reading in bed with my cat curled up on my lap fast asleep.

Quotes that Inspires You/Gives You all the Feels from a Book You’ve Read:

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I have a number from Harry Potter but my favorite has to be from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. “It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Reading Regret:

I am not sure I have that many reading regrets. I would have to say I regret ever feeling ashamed of loving to read. In school I did get teased about it often and sometimes it got to me but in the end it never dampened my love for books. In reality it probably made me love reading more.

Series You Started and Need to Finish:

I rarely don’t finish a series. I am very intent on making sure that I read a series right through. I am technically in the middle of the Cemetery of Forgotten books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I paused it in order to read the illustrated version of the third Harry Potter book, but will go back to it soon.

Three of Your All Time Favorite Books:

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. I could read all of those books multiple times.

Unapologetic Fangirl for:

Harry Potter is obvious but I also adore Malec from the Shadowhunter series. Magnus and Alec are just adorable to me. I have also become a serious fangirl for anything V.E. Schwab and Adam Silvera write.

Very Excited for This Release More than All Others:

Hmmm, I am trying to think of what is coming out soon. I think either Shaun David Hutchinson’s new book The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza or the Malec series that Cassandra Clare is supposed to be writing.

Worst Bookish Habit:

I tend to lose bookmarks and thus always dog-ear a book. I know that some readers detest people who dog-ear but it doesn’t actually bug me. I just wish I didn’t lose a bookmark between books. I always use it for one book then lose it before starting the next one.

X Marks the Spot: Start at the Top Left of Your Shelf and Pick the 27th Book:

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I am too lazy to get up and go through any of my four bookshelves so I put my Goodreads shelf on random and counted the 27th on that list, Depths of Time by Roger MacBride Allen. I haven’t read it in a while but I do remember it being a good time-travel book.

Your Latest Book Purchase:

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Just recently I went book shopping with my mom for an earlier birthday. I bought a number of books but the one I was most excited for, beside the illustrated version of the third Harry Potter book, was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I have heard great things about this one so I am eager to start it soon.

ZZZ-Snater Book (The Last Book that Kept You Up WAY Late):

I think that was finishing The Angle’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I had to figure out how it ended, though I wasn’t sure how to understand the ending. I am still not sure how it works in the whole series yet either.

I am not going to tag anyone, just if you are bored this was fun to do. What are your opinions on some of the books I mentioned?

 

 

Aaru – David Meredith – Review

(I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. All comments and thoughts are my own).

35649191.jpgAaru is one of those books that you think you understand but by the last page you realize you were wrong. There are two stories here but one is much deeper than the other.

Rose is a 16 year old who is dying of cancer. All the treatments have failed and she is being made comfortable for her last days. As a last ditch effort  to save her, her parents sign Rose up for an experimental new system called Aaru.

Aaru is a computer system that copies and uploads a person’s brain and personality into a computer system. The person is able to live on digitally even though their body has died.

As Rose adjust to her new “life” her sister Koren is finding a way to live a new life of her own. She is made the spokesperson for the new technology but quickly learns what happens when you are forced into the spotlight at a young age. She is thrust into this role that begins to destroy who she is and puts her life and well-being in danger.

What I loved/enjoyed:

Aaru was a beautifully created world. I had no problem imaging this new place. It was vivid and alive. I felt like I was inside this computer program as they built it into a new home. I liked the system even though I didn’t quite understand why some aspects were chosen. Why there were Lords and  Ladies or rankings didn’t quite get adequately explained but that didn’t keep me from sinking into this new world.

I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of what could be done and how things were made and changed. There was one scene in particular where Rose and her friends play a game of soccer that was exciting. I was enraptured by the game and how they used their new home and powers to make it more than just a simple and easy game of soccer.

I also liked the way life, personhood and afterlife were spoken about in this story. Is Rose still Rose without a functioning brain and body? Without the brain to create new pathways and links, can she evolve beyond who she was when she died? Who is she in this new setting?

Also if you become part of this place are you excluded from a traditional afterlife? Can you die again and move on to either Heaven or another place you believe in? What if your family is unable to join you? Is it worth staying in this place then? I liked asking these questions as we read because it put this new technology into a stark and real perspective.

Koren’s story was handled well. I can’t say I “liked” it, because of the way it went but I respected it and its part in the story. Her side of the tale explained how thrusting a child into a spotlight can do irreparable harm to them. Putting them on TV, or in magazines all dressed up can cause people to view them beyond their age. We saw how dangerous this concept can get. It was a good look at the dangers of child celebrity, even if it did disturb me into almost stopping reading at times.

 

What I was was okay with (didn’t love/hate):

I had some trouble with the way accents were written. They felt out of sorts, almost forced. There was only one character who was written with an accent while a number of them were supposed to be foreign. I found his speech difficult to follow at times and it threw me out of the story at times. I don’t know if his speech was needed to be written the way it was.

 

What I was wished was different:

My biggest issues in Aaru was with a handful of decisions that were made. Koren accepts the role as spokesperson without a minute of thought. Her parents never step in and demand a contract. There is no waiting period to think it over, she shakes hands and that is it.

Koren and her parents just trust a company they know next to nothing about. It was hard for me to believe they wouldn’t want details. Even beyond protecting their daughter’s well-being they don’t verify the money or the details of the deal. Her parents don’t even speak up during the exchange and decision process. There was also no later indication that they ever talked the contract over with a lawyer or verified everything that was as they were told it would be.

I also had an issue with the fact that there were cameras throughout the house. I can’t see anyone being okay with that idea right off the bat. Maybe it would have made more sense if there had been a discussion about it. Koren’s parents were intent on gaining the power and money that comes with being celebrities. I think I would have bought the idea more if there had been a scene where they were convinced to allow the cameras to be set up everywhere from the living room the the bedrooms.

Koren doesn’t even seem to know about the cameras. She states multiple times she doesn’t know how they got the footage. Shouldn’t she have at least known they were there? I don’t think it is even slightly legal to set up cameras without the owner’s knowledge and permission. I wanted more discussion about that fact.

I also would have liked more background on Rose and Koren’s parents. The story is about the girls but the parents felt flat. They were almost cliche’s. All her mother talks about it things “happening as they should” or “that is how things are in show business.” Her father falls into drinking, quickly. We have no foundation for them so watching them fall is hard to follow. I wanted to understand them better and why they allowed certain things to happen as they did.

 

This wasn’t something I hated but what I found hard to read. The way the Magic Man’s actions and desires were written were difficult to read. I understood why his storyline was there but I did almost stop reading because of his chapters. The first time he appeared I didn’t know where the story was going and I wasn’t sure I could continue. I did end up finishing and I understood his part but I would say that anyone reading the story should be made aware of the thoughts and actions that may be triggering to some people.

I gave Aaru 4 stars on Goodreads. It wasn’t the story I was expecting but it was well written and did tell a story with an important warning about the dangers of celebrity.

Scavenger Hunt Book Tag

I came across this tag over on Zezee with Books blog. It looked fun and different. Took me a minute to find time to do it but I had fun with it. It is always fun to look through my books and see what I have and don’t have.


180px-World_War_Z_book_coverFind a book with the letter “Z” in the title or the author’s name: 
This one was quite easy. As soon as I read it I knew the exact book to chose, World War Z by Max Brooks. This was a unique book that spun the idea of zombies on its head. I appreciated the fresh take on an overdone topic.

Find a classic: I am not a huge classic’s fan but I did notice that I do A10S8AKStVLhave a few classics on my shelves. I chose Grimm’s Complete Set of Fairytales though for this one. I adore fairytales and to have a full collection of all these original ones is great. (Though some are quite strange and disturbing).

Find the oldest book on your shelves: I wasn’t sure if this one meant the one oldest publishing date or if it meant takes place in a long TheStandCover6ago time period or one I have had for a long time. I decided to go with one of the oldest that I own and that is The Stand by Stephen King. It was actually one of my dad’s old books so it is at least 30+ years old.

Find a book with a key on its cover: This one was by the far hardest one harry-potter-and-the-sorcerers-stoneto find. I realized that almost none of my books have keys on them. I did find that the first Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, has one on the back cover.

Find something on your bookshelf that isn’t a book: I have quite a few things on my shelves that are not books but by far one of my favorites are IMG_3740the book ends that I got while I was in Africa last year. (Though my cat did knock one off and I had to fix it).

Find a book with an animal on the cover: I have quite a few for this, most dogs. I ended up choosing To Say Nothing of the Dog By Connie Willis.  I read this a while ago but I remember it being a interesting take51Mz2zlXiQL._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_ on the idea of time travel and the way messing with time consequences work. I started a reread a while ago but got distracted by a new release. I am definitely going to have to go back to this one soon.

Find a book with a girl on the cover: Not many of my books have girls on the cover I discovered. I had a few but I ended up choosing Lady Midnight LM_coverby Cassandra Clare. This is the first book in the Dark Artifices series and I enjoyed the set up and introduction of new characters. Second book wasn’t my favorite but I have hope this series will end well.

Find a non Ya book – This one was super easy. It wasn’t until recently that I began reading Ya so I have a lot that fall outside that category. I 81D5KFHoLeLchose The Lucifer Effect. It is a nonfiction book that explore the idea of what makes people do evil or bad things. I specifically focuses on the Stanford Prison experiment. Interesting read!

Find a book with stars on its cover: I discovered that a lot of my books ofas-covertake place in space so this wasn’t that hard. I ended up choosing Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst. This was a cute love story that I got in a submission box. It could have had more depth to it but it was a cute and fun read.

Find a book with golden letters: Again  I realized just how many of these51ysrNDhV3L types of books that I have. I ended up choosing Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. It has been a while since I read the series but I remember it being a fun ride.

13638125Find a book with a male protagonist: This one was ridiculously easy. I chose Vicious by Victoria Schwab. This was an interesting look into the head of an antihero. She is currently working on the sequel which should be interesting.

Find a book with only words on it: This one was more difficult. Many 9781616956776of my books have characters or story images on them. I ended up choosing More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. It has lots of colors but there are no images on the cover. This was a heartbreaking but beautiful read.

 

Find a book with illustrations in it: I didn’t even have to think about 0545790352this one. I chose the illustrated versions of the first and second Harry Potter books. They are beautiful renditions of the books. The illustrations add new life to the stories and I can’t wait for the third one this fall.

 

Find a diary (true or fictional): This one was almost impossible. I didn’t have anything 13262783that was specifically a diary. I chose Everyday by David Levithan. It is kind of like a diary. It is about the main character’s day to day life as they change bodies and lives over and over again. It was a great story about different lives with different people.

Find a book written by someone with a common name (like Smith): 23434061Many of the authors of my books have different and interesting names. I chose The Bone Labyrinth by James Rollins. Rollins is a decently common name. I love his Sigma Force series and this was one of the more recent additions to the series.

Find a book that has a closeup of something on it: This was probably my favorite thing to look for. I chose Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. It sixofcrowshas a close up of a crow’s wing. I loved this series because it was deep and the characters were new and fresh. I loved the look at characters were usually aren’t supposed to cheer for.

Find a book on your shelf that takes place in the earlier time period: I went far back with this one. I have a Precious Moment’s Stories from the Bible on my shelf that I have had as long as I can remember. Definitely takes place a long time ago!

Find a hardcover without a jacket: This one was more tough because most of my 9781435106345hardcovers have jackets. I do have the Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. It was one of Barnes and Noble’s special editions.

find  a teal/turquoise colors book: This was a fun one to end on. I found511DgWxbamL Blind Faith by Ben Eton. It was one I got when I did a study abroad in London, England. I haven’t read it in a while but I do remember it being a bit creepy with its dystopian themes. I’m a bit afraid to reread it now to see how close it could be to our current political situation.

 

 

I’m not going to tag anyone. If you think it looks fun and want to explore your shelves a bit more, feel free to do it!

Rapid Fire Book Tag

I wasn’t tagged for this but I saw it on Fandomly Bookish and thought it seemed fun and something quick to do. I wanted to get a quick post up because my review for the last book in the Magicians series is going to take a minute to write. So enjoy this quick look into my reading life!

Question 1: E-Book or Physical Book? 

Physical Book. I can’t get seem to get lost in an e-book. There is just something about being able to hold the book and being able to put it on my shelf that I love.

Question 2 : Paperback or Hardback?

Paperback. It is cheaper, which means I can buy more books and easier to carry around. 

Question 3 : Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

In-Store Book Shopping. Being able to browse the shelves and have a cover catch my eye and fall in love with a new book is the best. I do online shop though when I want to buy a single book and can’t empty my bank account on other books that catch my eye.  

Question 4 : Trilogies or Series?

Series. Though I guess it depends on the story. If a story is enthralling and has more story to tell then it works. If a story is drawn out just to make a series that can be annoying sometimes.

Question 5 : Heroes or Villains?

Villains. More often villains are the characters that go through a longer, more complex journey. They are able to live in a grey area, which I always find interesting. I love a good villain where you learn their background and realize that hating them isn’t as easy as it seemed at first.

Question 6 : A book you want everyone to read?

So many! I would have to say either We are the Ants or The Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson. They are great books with strong messages disguised in sci-fi stories. They are fun, with intriguing and deep characters and make you think without being preachy.

Question 7 : Recommend an underrated book?

Everworld series by K.A. Applegate. I loved this series as a teen. It was fun, the characters were strong and relatable. I loved this series and think it would be a fun read.

Question 8 : The last book you finished?

The Magicians Land by Lev Grossman.

Question 9 :The Last Book(s) You Bought?

Just went on a book shopping spree. I bought Dark Duet by V.E. Schwab, The Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter, The Angle’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Question 10 : Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

Post-it note. I rarely use a bookmark. I usually bend the corner of the page (I know some people find that monstrous ). I can never keep a bookmark. I always lose them between books for some reason.

Question 11 : Used Books: Yes or No?

Sure. Usually I buy new but nothing wrong with a good used book!

Question 12 : Top Three Favourite Genres?

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller/Adventure

Question 13 : Borrow or Buy?

I always buy. I don’t borrow because I don’t like to read on a timeline. I like to not have to worry about turning a book back in. Plus I love adding to my bookshelf!

Question 14 : Characters or Plot?

Characters. I love to feel like I could be best-friends with a character. I want to feel connected to them. Good characters make the book. The plot can be convulted and all over the place but if the characters are strong and have depth I will be interested in the story.

Question 15 : Long or Short Books?

The more pages the better!

Question 16 : Long or Short Chapters?

Depends on the book. Sometimes shorter chapters are needed and sometimes the chapters need to be lengthy to tell the story.

Question 17 : Name The First Three Books You Think Of…

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.k. Rowling

Is There More By Brittney Rz. (Casual mention of my book there 😉

Where the Sidewalk Ends  by Shelf Silverstein

Question 18 : Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?

Laugh. I don’t cry easily and don’t like to cry. If a book can make me laugh it gains bonus points for me.

Question 19 : Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Fictional Worlds without a doubt. Real World is too complicated. Fictional Worlds are just much more interesting and fun.

Question 20 : Audiobooks: Yes or No?

Maybe? Haven’t ever listened to one other than parts of the Harry Potter books. But I would be willing to try.

Question 21 : Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

Yeah, the cover has to catch my attention before I will pick it up.

Question 22 : Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

Book to Movie. Most of the time with Book to Tv there are too many changes that make it hard to recognize the book used as the source material.

Question 23 : A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

Mocking Jay. The book was disappointing and hard to follow. The movie I understood much better.

Question 24 : Series or Standalone?

I oscillate between the two. Sometimes I need a standalone after a long series.

 

I am not going to tag anyone but if you are looking for a quick and fun tag to do, consider yourself tagged! What is everyone reading this weekend?

At the Edge of the Universe – Shaun David Hutchinson – Review

edge of universeShaun David Hutchinson’s books are going to be stories that have one thing going on the surface and another thing in the deeper story. At the Edge of the Universe is about moving on in life, not letting one soul or one event become the center of your universe. You have to see the world is larger than just you. Take one step beyond your personal circle and the world opens up.

Ozzie and Tommy have been best friends since they were young. They have been dating since 8th grade. One day Ozzie wakes up and Tommy has disappeared. No one remembers he existed at all, no one but Ozzie.

Ozzie is set on finding  his lost boyfriend, desperate for him to not be truly forgotten. Though complications arise when he falls for his physics project partner, Calvin. Can he let Tommy go? What should he do about the universe that is literally shrinking around him? No one else notices Tommy’ disappearance or the shrinking universe. Does it matter in the end? Was Tommy even real at all?

The plot of the universe shrinking and Tommy not being remembered are secondary to the fact that Ozzie has had an issue seeing the world beyond himself. At first he seems selfish. HIs parents are divorcing and he keeps speaking about in terms of how it will effect him. His brother is leaving for the army and he again centers the issue on how it connects to him. Things at first surround him, the universe is about him.

As the universe begins to shrink, Ozzie begins to understand that he isn’t the only one in the world. Everyone has their own problems, some much serious than his own.

I really liked the way these two ideas were juxtaposed with each other. The universe is literally shrinking just as Ozzie is learning that the world is much bigger than he initially thought. Just as he is looking around, wanting to experience more he is losing it all. He learns quickly not to let life center on one thing and one thing only. Just as he is learning all of this he becomes the literal center of the universe and it is the last thing he wants.

Just as with we are the ants the side characters in this story are well developed. No one came off as flat. I would say that we are the ants does a bit better job of it but I did appreciate that we learn about everyone in this book and not just Ozzie, Tommy and Calvin. Also this book has a very diverse set of characters.

Lua, one of Ozzie’s best friends, is a genre fluid character. This is the first time I have ever read a book with this type of character and I loved the inclusion. I also like the explanation, it is simple and succinct. Lua tells her friends that the pronoun to use with them can be based off their clothing. If he is dressed in a more masculine type outfit than everyone can use “he,” pronouns. If she is dressed more traditionally feminine then everyone can use “she” pronouns. It was easy to follow, and understand.

I also loved how everyone reacted to them. I never felt like anyone was preaching about it to the reader. This was who Lua was. No one fought with them. There was a bit confusion from some of the more antagonist type characters but once we find out why, it all makes sense. I like the inclusion that felt natural. Lua wasn’t forced into the story to have representation, they were included because that is who this character was. I like this type of inclusion, when it just feels like the character is anyone else, nothing different or special but just a person.

Lua wasn’t the only character of diversity. One of Ozzie’s friends is described as asexual and Tommy is black. The story doesn’t focus on just one of these characters, but they are included to show the reader that the world around is much more diverse than you may think. I appreciate books like this because, especially now, we have to see how diverse and beautiful our world is.

By the end of the book I wasn’t sure if Tommy was real or if that really mattered. What mattered was if Ozzie could see that the universe is this larger thing and we have to find a way to balance ourselves in it. If you don’t find that balance you may end up losing yourself.

I enjoy Shaun David Hutchinson’s stories because they are not only diverse but deep. He uses surface level fantasy to delve into deeper issues and ways to see the world. He is able to explore difficult topics with making you feel bogged down or preached at. The reader is comfortable as they read, eager to see how things turn out. You feel connected to the characters no matter how different than you they may be.

Diversity Bingo 2017 – My Reading Resolution

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).fullsizeoutput_125f

MC with an Invisible DisabilityHistory 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 CharacterAt 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.

Another one for Non-Binary is Mask of Shadows by Lindsey Miller. The main character Sal is non- binary. They use pronouns based on how they are dressed. I thought it was well-represented by my knowledge. I have also read a number of reviews by non-binary reviewers who also agree that it was represented. My review of the book is here.

Birthday Book Haul

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.

13638125ViciousV.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 MagiciansLev Grossman – I know this series just became a tv series themagiciansbut 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.

34ad44f0-5318-0133-4ca9-0e3f8b958f63The Rest of Us Just Live HerePatrick 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 BoneRachel Caine – I have no idea where I first heard of this one61tzgd8vbl-_sy344_bo1204203200_ 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 AntsShaun 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 51yr8-30fdl-_sy344_bo1204203200_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 152949bookstore. 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.

51kdkbvkdyl-_sx329_bo1204203200_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?

Book Tag: The Burn, Rewrite and Reread Tag

I wasn’t actually tagged for this but it looked like fun and I decided I felt like doing it!

THE RULES:

-Randomly choose 3 books.(You can use the ‘Random’ option on your Goodreads read shelf.)
-For each group, decide which book to burn, which one to rewrite, and which to reread.
-Repeat until you completed three rounds.

Reread- I would reread The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. This is one of my all time favorite books. I could never burn it and I can’t for a minute think of an aspect that could be rewritten.

Rewrite- I would rewrite The Darkest Touch by Gena Showalter. I loved this book but there was a few pieces I would have probably redone. I anticipated a big reunion scene with a certain character that never came, which was disappointing. I might also rewrite it to go beyond her usual formula for these novels. Just to change things up a bit.

Burn- That leaves me having to burn The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma. Now I actually enjoyed this book but I do remember it being a bit long at times. It has been a long time since I read it and it didn’t really stay with me over the years, so if I had to choose a book to burn this would be it.

This was a difficult one because I love all these books.

Reread- I would reread Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I adore the Harry Potter novels and can’t imagine rewriting any part of it. And it would be a nightmare if I had to burn them!

Rewrite- If I had to rewrite one I think I would rewrite A Clash of Kings by GRRM, mostly because it is so long and I think it could be cut down a bit. The whole series could probably be rewritten to take out some unnecessary elements.

Burn- I love The Road by Cormac McCarthy but it is the one that is left. I don’t want to burn it but it just got the short end with these three.

This one was probably the easiest to decide on.

Reread- I would reread The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This is another of my all time favorite books. It is so different than anything I have ever read before.

Rewrite- The Littlest Uninvited One by Charles Tazewell is a heart warming story about a dog taken in by an angel. The ending is perfect for anyone who has lost a pet. I would only rewrite the end to have a bunch of reunion stories just for the warm hearted feeling.

Burn – This one was easy. Marley and Me by John Grogan is one of the saddest stories I have ever watched and read. I am a huge animal lover and I balled in the theaters watching the movie and cried again reading the book. I would burn it just because I can’t ever go through that sorrow again!

This was a fun tag. So I tag anyone who wants to have fun!

New Additions to My Bookshelf!

Photo on 6-5-16 at 4.48 PM #2

I have been adding a number of books to my “want to read,” shelf on my Goodreads account over the last few months. Between recommendations from blogs and BookTubers I watch, the list has been growing quick. I decided it was time to go on a bit of a book splurge and buy a few of them. I really shouldn’t have because I do have a big trip coming up that I should have been saving my money for but I have zero self-control when it comes to books!!

9780765376473_custom-beb32b59122501248f3146f1e29b7cf8608e94b4-s400-c85 First up is A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. I just finished the first book in this series  (A Darker Shade of Magic)and loved it. ( I will be putting up a review sometime soon.) When I like a series I need to continue reading it. I won’t read a book in-between if I can help it. So this is the one I am currently on and am excited to see what happens next with our characters.

9780373211579_p0_v3_s1200x630 One of my favorite paranormal authors is Gena Showalter. Firstlife is the first in a new young adult series she is writing. It is about a world where your first life is just practice, your real life begins after you die. You have to choose where you will go once you die and a young woman has to decide between two factions and worlds that want her. The concept of being able to choose your afterlife, and that being what is important was an interesting concept to me. I am interested to see what this story is like.

25801632 Another Gena Showalter that I bought. This is the next book in The Lords of the Underworld series. I have reviewed the previous book on my blog, (here). I love this series and am so excited to read Bane’s story. I am eager to see where the story goes. Though I was confused when I got this one just because all the other books have been in paperback; but this one is hardback. It won’t detract from the story, it will just look very odd with the other ones from the series on my shelf.

9781616956776 More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera is one I actually saw  a review for by a BookTuber I watch and it sounded really interesting. It is about a sixteen-year-old who is struggling in his life. His girlfriend is helping him but he is falling for his male best friend. He is struggling with what it means and is given a way to help himself. A memory-alternating procedure can help him but leaves him wondering who he truly is. I love the concept of the memory-altering idea and what it means for person and who they are. The reviewer said this one was emotional and gave a lot of “feels.” I am hoping for an emotional journey.

13262783 Everyday by David Levithan is one of those books I have been wanting to get for a long time. I really love the other books I have read by Levithan and this one sounded really interesting. It is about someone who wakes up in a new body and a new life each morning. This concept is fascinating to me. I really liked the show Quantum Leap and this sounded similar. I am interested in what this story will end up being about.

Virtual Book Fair Haul (Part 1)

IMG_1996Back at the end of February and beginning of March I particpated in a virtual book fair on Facebook. While I did not get any new sales, the exposure was great. I also found some great books as well and am very excited to read them.

(These are just four of the books that I wanted from the fair. I like physical copies of books and that can get expensive. I created an Amazon wishlist of the number of other books that I want and will be buying them little at a time. I will do a post  each time I get the new ones).


27237694Ariel Rising
– AJ & CS Sparber

This one was on my wishlist but I actually ended up winning it in one of the giveaways that took place during the fair. (Interestinly enough, though the fair was open to authors from anywhere, these authors actually live about half an hour from me. Talk about small world!)

Synposis from Amazon:

“My dreams were simple. College, a career, and let’s see what happens from there. But things don’t always go according to plan.

My name is Ari Worthington and I’ve had a very eventful week. A life-changing week. The kind of week that would make the average person whimper.

It started when my ex-boyfriend Luke accosted me in the woods.

How badly was I injured? Not a scratch. And Luke? Not so lucky. Nope, I whupped him good. It surprised the heck out of me. And it probably surprised him, too—once he woke up.

And then I met Davin. Handsome, witty, amazing Davin. Perfect in every way, unless you think being an alien, from a planet called Olympus, might be a liability.

“Seriously? Your planet is named after a Greek mountain?” I ask him.

“Actually, it’s the other way around,” he tells me. “The mountain was named after us. We’ve been visiting Earth for a very, very long time. As a matter of fact, we are responsible for human evolution.”

So, ancient aliens are real? Yeah. But there’s more. Davin’s an angel, which I could have handled, would have handled, if only he hadn’t told me I was one, too.

“But we don’t have wings,” I say.

“Real angels don’t need wings,” he counters.

“Ah, that explains everything,” I reply.

So, you think this is just another angel story? Well, it’s not. It’s got humor, romance, adventure, science, tragedy, and… did I say romance? It’ll make you think, and laugh, and cry.

Davin and I, you see, are part of a larger plan. A noble plan. A plan to save the sons and daughters of man, or what’s left of them, after the war. A big war.

Okay, enough of my rambling. Davin and I need to get back to training. And you’ve got some reading to do, yeah?”

The voice of this summary is what drew me to this book. I like the way the speaker is speaking to us as a reader. This intriqued me and makes me want to read to see where this story is going to go.

Purchase link: Buy Here

41g9iQyYFxL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_The Veiled Soul – Abbie Chandler.

This book was actuall written by the organzier of the fair. Who also has a blog here, The Little Book Nook.

Summary from Amazon:

As punishment for her past sins, Lia has served for hundreds of years as a reaper. Stripped of her soul and her memories, she exists in the reaper realm, unable to touch anything real. When the reap for a young girl’s soul goes terribly wrong, and a human killer can inexplicably see and harm her, Lia is ripped out of the reaper realm and given a second chance at life. As she forges new relationships and learns what it means to live, she regains the memories of her past, and nothing can prepare her for the damage she’s done. Old habits die hard, and Lia fights to resist the overwhelming urge to take another life. But there is an evil that lurks in the shadows. And he’ll do anything to make sure she embraces her past. The body count is rising, and Lia must make the final decision between who lives and who dies.”

I love the idea of a story about a reaper and this interesting idea of reincarnation. I think this will be an interesting story about the tug between good and evil.

Purchase link:Buy Here

51xWxGq8dsL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_B is for Broken – Edited by Rhonda Parrish

Summary from Amazon:

“Broken people, broken promises, broken dreams and broken objects are just some of the ways these 26 fantastic stories interpret the theme of ‘Broken’. From science fiction to fantasy, horror to superheroes the stories within these pages cover a vast swath of the genres under the speculative fiction umbrella. Contributing writers are: ~ Brittany Warman ~ Milo James Fowler ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Sara Cleto ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ Megan Arkenberg ~ Gary B. Phillips ~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Jonathan C. Parrish ~ Simon Kewin ~ Beth Cato ~ Cory Cone ~ Cindy James ~ Alexis A. Hunter ~ Michael M. Jones ~ Steve Bornstein ~ BD Wilson ~ Michael Kellar ~ Damien Angelica Walters ~ Marge Simon ~ Michael Fosburg ~ Suzanne van Rooyen ~ L.S. Johnson ~ Pete Aldin ~ Gabrielle Harbowy ~ Lilah Wild ~ KV Taylor ~”

I love short story collections. I liked the theme of this collection. I am curious how many different ways broken can be interpereted.

Purchase link:Buy Here

41fsTkmTOaL._AC_UL320_SR208,320_Apocalypse Wow – Ben Mariner

Summary from Amazon:

“Jack Winters is in a bit of a pickle. Things started out just fine. He had a decent job and a few friends. Then he met the woman of his dreams. They go out on a date and things go really well. That’s when things go south. The morning after turns out to be a week later and the world went ahead and ended itself while Jack was far away in dreamland. Now he’s awake in a post-apocalyptic world with no family, no job, and worst of all, no girlfriend. Along with his friends and some other random tag-alongs, Jack will journey cross country to find the woman of his dreams against zombies, heavy metal horsemen, pirates, and a power so immense and evil it will put his very soul to the test.”

I love apocalyptic novels. This one seems like a humerous take on the idea which will be a welcome respite from the dreary ones I have been seeing and reading.

Purchase link:Buy Here

These are all by indie authors and any support is always nice and appreciated. I will be posting reviews of each of these after I have read them.

IsThereMore_AmazonAlso if you are looking for something else to read my books also available on Amazon. Print $8.99 and ebook is $3.99.  Get Is There More? Here

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