Weekly Check-In January 14th

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(So normally I’m going to be doing a weekly check-in every Sunday, however this week, due to being very sick last weekend, I’m going to be doing the check-in for January 1st to 7th as well as this current week, January 8th to 14th.)

I’m simply going to quickly touch base on all the books I’ve purchased and all the books I’ve read.

 

Books Purchased

I bought three books in the first two weeks of this year:

The Cruel Prince – Holly Black

Carve the Mark – Veronica Roth.

A Million Worlds With You – Claudia Gray

However, I did get a box of twenty-five books that I had ordered from BookOutlet. (The sale was so good, don’t judge me.) I won’t list all of those for you because it would be ridiculous, but it was amazing. I also recieved another book I had ordered online, everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too by Jomny Sun.

I also downloaded (for free via the BookBub emails I get every day) a book by Pippa DaCosta called Hidden Blade.

Books Read

I actually off to a really good start for the new year, I’ve read (6) books so far. Those are:

Turtles All the Way Down – John Green

The Complete Blooding Serial – Aimee Easterling

The Cruel Prince – Holly Black

Carve the Mark – Veronica Roth

Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm – Leigh Bardugo

everyone’s an aliebn when ur a aliebn too – jomny sun

 

 

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Book Beginnings & The Friday 56 (#2)

Book Beginnings &the Friday 56

It’s Friday, so it’s time for Book Beginnings & The Friday 56. Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and you just share the first sentence (or so) of the book you’re currently reading and some initial thoughts or impressions. The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice and you grab a book and either turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find a sentence or a few to share!

 

Izumrud - Ruin and Rising

Book Beginnings is from Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo.

Ruin and Rising is the third book in the Grisha Verse trilogy. I really enjoyed the first book, but was disappointed by the second one and am now a little worried about how this third book is gonna go, I have a strange feeling like I’m not going to enjoy it as much as I hoped.

Mountainside - Wolf Landing.png

The Friday 56 is brought to you from 56% of the way into Wolf Landing – Aimee EasterlingI am loving the shifter world that Easterling brings to life in her books!

Rain Wild Chronicles

The Rain Wild Chronicles by Robin Hobb is a series of four books, The Dragon Keeper, Dragon Haven, City of Dragons and Blood of Dragons. I decided to write the reviews for these books in one post, so that hopefully my thoughts from one book wouldn’t bleed over into another while in four tiny little posts.

dragon keeper

Rain Wild Chronciles (#1-4) – Robin Hobb 

 Goodreads

Date(s) Published: 2009 – 2013

4 ★’s

“Too much time has passed since the powerful dragon Tintaglia helped the people of the Trader cities stave off an invasion of their enemies. The Traders have forgotten their promises, weary of the labor and expense of tending earthbound dragons who were hatched weak and deformed by a river turned toxic. If neglected, the creatures will rampage–or die–so it is decreed that they must move farther upriver toward Kelsingra, the mythical homeland whose location is locked deep within the dragons’ uncertain ancestral memories.

Thymara, an unschooled forest girl, and Alise, wife of an unloving and wealthy Trader, are among the disparate group entrusted with escorting the dragons to their new home. And on an extraordinary odyssey with no promise of return, many lessons will be learned–as dragons and tenders alike experience hardships, betrayals . . . and joys beyond their wildest imaginings.” (Dragon Keeper)

dragon havenI love dragons. They along with wolves (or shifters of all kinds) are my top favorite things to read about. And Robin Hobb, she does Dragons like I’ve never read before. These dragons start their journey out in serpent form, they travel up river to find a spot where they can cocoon and hatch into full-fledged dragons. However, these dragons come out weak, some with legs to short, some with wings too small, all earthbound.

As you travel through this series, these dragons become very different creatures than how they started out. Each have their own personalities, and as you read they not only involve in body but evolve in mind as well. It was interesting to read a book when sometimes your view is that of a dragons. I would have thought that to be very strange and yet I felt it was perfect.

“Look at her. The sun soaks right into her and shines back out of her. She’s magnificent.”

-The Dragon Keeper

city of dragonsThe dragons, along with their keepers, are trying to find the long lost dragon city of Kelsingra. The dragons retain memories from their ancestors, but because these dragons were not born as they should have been, their memories are weak. The dragons and their keepers now must go blindly out into the world to try to find themselves a home.

The keepers in this series are young people from the Rain Wilds (a city built among the trees atop the dangerous river) and these people have been “touched by the Rain Wilds”. Being touched by the Rain Wilds means that these keepers have lizard like features and they are looked down on by their society for being different. So as much as the dragons are looking for their home, the keepers are looking for one too.

blood of dragonsThymara is a young girl from the tree-tops of the Rain Wilds. She was born “touched” and should never have lived, but she did. She was raised to believe that she’s a disgrace, so can you blame her for wanting to leave when the opportunity arose? I can’t. I really enjoyed Thymara’s character, in the beginning of this series she was really the only character I found myself connecting with.

Lets go to some other characters here, Alise and Sedric. I honestly and truly hoped they both might fall off the boat into the dangerous Rain Wild River in the beginning. Spoiler, they did not. As always, while you watch characters evolve, your feelings evolve too, and I came to like the pair. I will say I always liked Sedric a touch more.

“He’d known of love and accepted that it existed for him. But never before had he actually felt love as a physical sensation that emanated from another creature and warmed and comforted him. It was incredible.”

-Dragon Haven

I love the changes you see for these characters (dragons and keepers) throughout this series. Just because you’re different doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you. Away from the small community they were raised in, the keepers finally get shown that being different is okay, and truly their is nothing wrong with any of them.

“She could change. She wasn’t chained to her past. She could become someone who wasn’t merely a product of what others had done to her. It wasn’t too late.”

-Blood of Dragons

The first book The Dragon Keeper is slow, I will say that. But I would urge you to stick with it, because I was fascinated by the rest of the series and the world that Hobb built. I was fully in love with Dragon Haven and City of Dragons (books 2 and 3), I felt as though the first book was slow and the last book, Blood of Dragons was slightly rushed.

As I read, I could see myself climbing among the trees of the Rain Wilds or tending to my temperamental dragon. Hobb paints a stunning picture, one which I know, if you don’t mind the wait, will sweep you off into the incredible world of dragons and the incredible journey to finding yourself.

Book Beginnings & The Friday 56

Book Beginnings &the Friday 56

It’s Friday, so it’s time for Book Beginnings & The Friday 56. Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and you just share the first sentence (or so) of the book you’re currently reading and some initial thoughts or impressions. The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice and you grab a book and either turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find a sentence or a few to share!

 

James& Katie

Book Beginnings from Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

I have only read about 20 pages of this book and their was so much controversy around it when it first came out, I wasn’t sure if I was gonna read it. But, the paperback came out and I really did enjoy Roth’s book, Divergent so I figured Id give it a shot anyways.

Ship - Carve the Mark

The Friday 56 from page 56 of Carve the Mark – Veronica Roth.

 

All the Crooked Saints

I have just recently finished All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater. And, if you stick around for a little while you will probably come to discover that she is my favorite author and I tend to swallow her books up whole. Every time I finish one of her books, I get this feeling that is too much to put into words. It’s like magic. Every time I flip the final page of one of her books, I feel like I’ve lost a piece of myself, but also like I have the right tools to find a new piece.

saintsAll the Crooked Saints – Maggie Stiefvater

Goodreads

Date Published: October 10, 2017

5 ★’s

“Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.”

I will not start this off by lying, this is a hard book to explain. Which is why I know some die hard Stiefvater fans were not thrilled by it. I, however loved it. I felt as though this was a book I needed to analyze as soon as I finished it (which is why as I type it is 2:30 AM).

Welcome to Bicho Raro, Colorado 1962. Meet the Soria family, all of them.

Normally when a book has this many characters going on, and this many characters that have feelings and opinions and back stories, I’m out. (“But, this is my favorite author, so I can do this.” – I think to myself.) I loved this family. From angry Antonia to Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, to the girl without feelings, Beatriz. This was a family of people all so different that you can’t help but love them all. A family in need of some miracles.

The members of the Soria family, can perform unusual miracles. And when I say, unusual, I mean it. These miracles draw the darkness out of a person, that darkness than manifests as something physical. The Saint draws out this initial darkness for you, however it is then your job to defeat the darkness. Going into this book having read and loved Stiefvaters other novels actually helped me. I was much quicker to accept the unusual miracles that were taking place.

Every character in this book is piecing their lives together from the Soria’s, young and old, to the Pilgrims, which is the name given to those who come to Bicho Raro in search of a miracle.

“It’s an enormous sky out there with a lot of stars above it and a lot of folks underneath it, and all of us, stars and human, are missing someone in the dark.”

This story is about love, owls, roses, renegade radio stations and so much more. All in all, this book is about acknowledging your darkness and then finding a way to accept it. It’s about not being afraid of something that is ‘taboo’ or if something is imperfect. This, for me, was a story of finding yourself. Your true self.

I could gush on and on about how frightening it is to realize the darkness in yourself and then how beautiful it is to accept it. But I’m afraid if I do, I will instead find myself writing down the entire plot of this story and analyzing it for you, and nobody wants that. I do however have to point out one paragraph in this book that stood out to me.

“Ordinarily Michael would have also thrown himself directly back into work, but for the first time in a very long time, Michael stood there for a full five minutes before beginning his next job, just watching Pete start on his next project. Humans have always been fascinated by mirrors, after all. Michael had never seen from the outside how it looked to work constantly to avoid feeling, and he could not look away.”

The way Steifvater writes is incredible to me, I feel as though I am standing right beside Michael looking out on Pete as he sets about his task. But, I also feel the way the Michael is feeling, I can feel what he feels as he stands there and begins to look inside himself.

This book is weird, don’t get me wrong, but I loved it for being weird. Magic Realism is not something I have read a lot of and I can see why some people wouldn’t like it, but I thought it was beautiful.

“Even a small voice is still a voice.”

 

Most Anticipated New Releases for 2018

Well, it’s a new year which means we get a ton of new books. 2018 is going to have some incredible books come out of it, and these are only the few I’ve prepared myself for. Their release dates are in my calendar and my wallet is already preparing to be a little thinner.

batmanJanuary 2, 2017

Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2) – Marie Lu

“Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list. 

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.”

The first book in this seriesWonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo came out in August of 2017. This series will have four novels all centering around the teenage versions of Wonder Woman, Batman, Catwoman, and Superman. The Catwoman novel is also supposed to be coming out this year in August with Superman coming out in 2019.

iron goldJanuary 16, 2017 

Iron Gold (Red Rising #4) – Pierce Brown

They call him father, liberator, warlord, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the pale blue planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-second of his life.” 

Now, I only read the Red Rising books in November and December of this year, however I fell in love. I’m so excited for this next installment which takes place 10 years after the last book finished. Pierce Brown is an incredible writer, I fell in love with this series and am so glad that he’s writing more books!

 

March 27, 2017aru shah

Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava Quartet #1) – Roshani Chokshi

“Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from their latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?

One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.

But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them.

The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?”

Aru Shah and the End of Time is the first of a four book middle-grade fantasy series. Not only is this book full of mythology but it’s also being published under the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. Rick Riordan is one of my favorite authors as he re-awoke my love for reading with Percy Jackson as a teenager. I’m super excited for this book and can’t wait to dive into some new mythology!

a courtMay 2018

A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.5) – Sarah J. Maas

“Narrated by Feyre and Rhysand, this story bridges the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin and the upcoming spinoff novels.”

SO EXCITED. So excited for this book to come out. I fell in love with Sarah J. Maas this year and seriously can’t wait to get back into this series. This series was by far my #1 series for 2017 which is saying a lot for me because I usually can’t make up my mind on which books were in my top 10, let alone my #1. If you haven’t read this series yet, do it.

 

namsaraFall 2018

The Caged Queen (Iskari #2) – Kristen Ciccareli 

This first book in this series, The Last Namsara just came out in October of 2017, so it’s still pretty new, the second book does not have a cover that I’ve seen yet but I’m ready to read it. So while I don’t yet know much about this second book, I will talk to you a little about the first one. I won’t lie, I didn’t LOVE the first book but I did love the idea of it. It has dragons, and it has healing and love and I think it’s paving way for a great series.

“In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her” (The Last Namsara)

queen ofDecember 4, 2018

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) – Cassandra Clare

“Dark secrets and forbidden love threaten the very survival of the Shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness, the final novel in the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling The Dark Artifices trilogy.”

If you have not yet inserted yourself into Cassandra Clare’s world of Shadowhunters I urge you to go pick up a copy of City of Bones today and enjoy the world she has built. I have loved the Shadowhunters series for many years now from The Mortal Instruments to The Infernal Devices and everything in between. It’s hard to summarize this book for those of you who have not yet lived as a Shadowhunter, or Vampire, or Warlock, but for those of you who have, I know you feel my excitement too.

While I know there will be several more new releases I will need to get my hands on in 2018, these are a few of my most anticipated.

Hello! And Welcome!

IMG_4932Hello all! Welcome to what will hopefully be a wonderful place to talk about books and make some new bookish friends.

A little about me…

My name is Jennifer, I’m 22 and I live in Canada. I am very proud to live in Canada and I love to show off the beauty of the country I get to call home. Obviously, I love to read. I also love to talk about books, however I have found that I actually do not have that many friends who also love to talk about books, so I’ve decided to find another outlet. My thoughts will probably be a little chaotic, I will not lie to you on that front. But if you don’t mind the mess, I hope you’ll stay and chat with me!

I mostly read YA (young-adult), Fantasy and Science Fiction. However, some days I find myself needing a dose of Nicholas Sparks, so I’ll read that too.

Things about me that do not involve books…

21480547_476578686041669_9091413611976327168_nI also love to hike, and explore the mountains surrounding my home. Like I said, I love where I live and I’m sure from time to time you will be forced to look at beautiful pictures of mountains (I’ll do my best to put some books in there too). In my head I can never seem to figure out how I will have enough time to read hundreds of books and climb hundreds of mountains, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

I have loved animals since I can remember. I currently have a Rex Rabbit and her name is Roxy – she has to stay away from the books however because to her they look like food. When I was young I used to give stray cats homes in our backyard shed and I dream of one day living on a farm where I can have every animal my heart desires.

I am also an avid snail-mailer. I have several pen pals from all over the world and I can’t even explain to you what it feels like to get a letter from Sweden or Lithuania and know that you have a friend out there who you can connect with on a whole other level. I joined Postcrossing in 2017 and have been loving it so far and urge you to check it out if you would like to receive exciting and beautiful things in your mail box.

I enjoy taking pictures, so you will probably be subjected to a handful along the way. At one point in my life I dreamed of being a photographer but that moved on for other things. Now, I just take pictures of all the beautiful things in my life, and that often includes my books.

IMG_3910To be honest, I’ve tried this blogging this before and I always seem to get discouraged. Well, this year I’ve set my heart to it, I have known for many years that writing is a good outlet for me, so I’m determined to keep writing whether I have 10 followers or 1000.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you’ll stick around!