Saturday, July 18, 2015

Book Fangirling Blog Award

I was nominated/ tagged by Just Another Bookish Blog for the Book Fangirling Blog Award, so, first things first, thanks! (Tags are fun, so this is great for me.)

1. Do you remember what the first book you bought on your own was? If so, what was it? 
Maybe Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone? I don't really remember if it was the first, but I definitely remember that I bought our house's first copy of the book. (We've since had to replace it after the book was read until the cover quite literally fell off, along with a significant part of the first chapter).

2. What encouraged you to start blogging?
This is kind of a weird story, actually. You see, I didn't start out as a book blogger, and I didn't start out on this blog. The blog I started on has since been lost into that internet ether where deleted blogs go, hopefully never to resurface. I was twelve, and it was probably terrible. But, even so, I was hooked. It started out as more of a general blog (which was even then very environmentalist- I was and remain like that...) That was seven years ago.

My decision to start blogging was actually inspired by a book in which a character had a blog, but I didn't post about books until significantly later. Books are a huge part of my life, though, and so it was inevitable that they would spill over. Gradually, books started taking over the blog I had at the time and I eventually created the blog where I am now.

3. Favorite bookish youtuber?
I do not have a favourite. I have MANY. I spend a truly worrying about of time wandering booktube, and a not inconsiderable amount of time wondering if I should do videos as a supplement to this blog (it is looking increasing plausible for me).

4. When was the last time that you had to 're-read a paragraph, or put your book down, because of a major plot twist that you didn't see coming? 
I can't remember, actually. Recently all of the plot progressions I've read have seemed sort of... organic, and even when I'm surprised, I'm not floored...

5. Which bookish fan group / role play / can fix are you most active in? (Like on wattpad, goodreads, etc...) 
I'm on Goodreads, but I'm not all that active there. I'm on Tumblr quite often, but I'm not super-involved in any one fanbase generally speaking (which is for the best, Tumblr fans can be very... intense.)

Sondra & Polina from Sorcery in the Bookshelves
Ariana from YA Book Nook
Jessica from Read My Breath Away
Sarah from Trees of Reverie

1. Which four books are you most excited to read next?
2. What is your first bookish memory?
3. What are your feelings on read-a-thons?
4. Favourite book cover of 2015?
5. Which book do you recommend the most often?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Last Ten (Fiction) Books That Came Into My Possession

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly feature created at The Broke and The Bookish.

1. Blood Jack: being an account of the curious adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, ship's boy by L. A. Meyer: I've wanted to start this series for a really long time now, but I wanted it to finish up before I did. And then the author died, and someone else had to finish the last book. In any event, the series is at a close now, so now is the time.

2. The Diviners by Libba Bray: I'm trying to read this again, despite my deep hatred of the 1920s. (I don't know why, I dislike pretty much everything about the 20's.)

3. Angelfall by Susan Ee: I actually got this after finishing End of Days because I felt like rereading.

4. World After by Susan Ee: Rereading, etc.

5. End of Days by Susan Ee: I finally got around to finishing this series! It had to go back to the library, though...

6. Wildthorn by Jane Eagland: I can't remember why I ended up not reading this one the last time, so I grabbed it on the off chance that I might like it.

7. The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace: I wasn't really planning on reading this until I saw it at the library, and figured, well, why not?

8. The Illusionarium by Heather Dixon: Again, saw it at the library, and grabbed it. My reading habit would be completely unsustainable without libraries.

9. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Adhieh: This FINALLY came it at the library. I really enjoyed it, though I haven't reviewed it (yet).

10. Rook by Susan Cameron: I'm surprised that this is the most recent, actually. It feels like its been on my shelf for a while... I probably ought to return it soon...

Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: The Storyspinner

Title: The Storyspinner
Author: Becky Wallace
Series: The Keeper Chronicles
Volume: 1
Genre: Fantasy

A Quick Introduction: Johanna is a Performer, born and bred- or so she thinks. Following her father's death and her family's subsequent exile from the Performer's camp, Johanna finds herself taking work at a ducal estate. Meanwhile, a group of magicians set off on a desperate quest to save a princess nobody has seen in years. Between the power struggles of the nobility, the reappearance of magic in the world, and girls matching her description turning up murdered, Johanna has her work cut out for her if she wants to make it out alive.

Out of Ten: 7/10

Review at a Glance: Despite a scattered and slow start, this book proved to be an enjoyable opening to a fantasy duology.

Review: This book took a while to get going, but, once it did, it was a fairly quick read.

Johanna is a determined character- she wants to protect her family and to keep performing. After seeing her father's death on the high wire, she does everything she can to keep her family, especially her younger brothers fed, even if it means agreeing to perform on an estate. The lord who enlists her, Rafael came into his lordship unexpectedly, and is now struggling with responsibilities he doesn't want, but knows he is obligated to take. Overall, while I didn't really dislike either of them, I didn't connect to them either. The Keepers were never really felt like main characters, despite how frequently they were present.

Two romances both seemed to proceed in fits and starts- I could have done with more buildup for both of them. They both added a lot of extra to a story that already ricocheted from place to place. The romances combined with frequent action, told in a style that jumped from place to place caused the many plot threads to occasionally trip each other up.

Despite these faltering points, the book got more engaging as time went on, and I found myself invested in the story. Once it got moving, it didn't let up, with the action action carrying on to the very last page.

The story juggles multiple points of view, and in a way that initially slowed the story down- the constantly shifting viewpoints served to reduce investment in any given storyline and viewpoint as they were introduced. Eventually they got into more of a flow, though I did find myself more invested in some points of view than others.

All in all, I quite enjoyed reading this novel, and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel when it comes out.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly feature created at The Broke and The Bookish.

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth: I'm just not intrigued by it somehow. I seems like it ought to be up my alley, but it simply isn't.

2. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green: Never ever. I don't know, I'm just not remotely interested.

3. The Maze Runner by James Dashner: I just never got around to it.

4. Ready Player One by Earnest Cline: This one sounds quite enjoyable, and it is on my extended TBR, but it just somehow hasn't been near the top just yet.

5. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken: I keep almost picking it up, but I still haven't. I just haven't been in the mood for it, I suppose.

6. Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinus: It sounds interesting, but a little grim, and I need to be in the mood for a good post-apocalyptic novel.

7. The Diviners by Libba Bray: I tried starting this once, but I just don't think I was in the mood for it, I'm planning to give it another try.

8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: I've just never gotten into it, though I tried starting it, it came due to the library before I got very far.

9. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente: This sounds charming, and whimsical.

10. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks: I've heard good things, so maybe one day...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June Wrap-Up


  • Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley 
  • The Martian by Andy Wier
  • From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion
  • Compulsion by Martina Boone
  • Rook by Sharon Cameron
  • Cutlass by Ashley Nixon
  • Every Word by Elizabeth Marney
  • End of Days by Susan Ee
  • The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
  • The Bitter Kindgom by Rae Carson
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh


From Chronicle Books, Armchair BEA prize pack (thank you!):
  • A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz: I'm picky about my fairies, but I'm hoping to like this one.
  • House Arrest by K. A. Holt: Contemporary middle grade, written in verse from the looks of it, which is off the beaten path for me.
  • The Chess Queen Enigma by Kathleen Gleason: I still have to read The Spiritglass Charade, but I'm planning on reading them back-to-back soon.

  • Fullmetal Alchemist Omnibus Volumes 22-23-24 by Himoru Arakawa: I was unsure about my decision to purchase the 3-in-1 at first, but it was much more affordable than buying the individual volumes.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Omnibus Volumes 25-26-27 by Himoru Arakawa: And now I finally have the whole manga. I can do a reread!
  • Arthur Spiderwick's Guide to the Fantastical World Around You by Holly Black and Tony diTerlizzi: I got super excited when I found this on Book Outlet! Its a gorgeous book (you're probably sick of me saying this by now, but I love Tony diTerlizzi's artwork).
  • Jackaby by William Ritter: I have a soft spot for paranormal historical fantasy. Especially if there are detectives.
  • Compulsion by Martina Boone: Another Book Outlet purchase. I quite enjoyed the atmosphere of this one.
  • In the After by Demitria Lunetta: I liked the sound of this (Book Outlet again), I've been considering reading it for about a year, and I'm looking forward to starting it the next time I'm in a post-apocalyptic mood.