I didn’t understand how you could live in a mean world and not have any of that meanness rub off on you.”
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz was an amazing read. I started reading this book one afternoon and was surprised to find myself finishing it up at 1:30 AM that same night. I was unable to put it down, and when I absolutely had to in order to do things like cook, eat, and take care of my two children, I switched to the audio book and had it plugged into one ear all day. I became so invested in these kids’ lives, which is my main problem when I read Contemporary Fiction. I keep having to remind myself that these are fictional characters, something I never have to do when I read Fantasy or Sci-Fi. But mainly this was just exceptional writing which kept me engaged and almost hypnotized.
One of the secrets of the universe was that our instincts were sometimes stronger than our minds.”
The first thing I realized while reading this book, was that Ari was just like me. I really wanted to know what would happen to this dark and heavily guarded boy. On the other hand, Dante was a lot like my husband, right down to his aversion to wearing shoes. Needless to say these characters were well developed and relatable. I could also relate to Ari’s family in many ways, one of the few differences being mine are Cuban and his were Mexican.
But I had learned to hide what I felt. No, that’s not true. There was no learning involved. I had been born knowing how to hide what I felt.”
The story follows these two boys through their last two years of High School, and two unforgettable Summers. The depiction of High School was so real, it really took me back to the days with no smart phones and limited phone access. Summer is also my favorite season, and I enjoyed their mundane way of spending it. Just two boys going swimming at the local community center, reading, and playing made up games. Those were the simple days, but also the complicated ones because it is the age when we attempt to figure out who we are. I recommend this book to anyone wishing to figure out the secrets of the universe along with these two amazing characters.
I really enjoyed Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, and I wanted to like this sequel, unfortunately that was not the case. This story takes place ten years after the events of Sky in the Deep. I thought Halvard was a great side character before, but he fell short as a main character in this book. Both him and Tova just had really bland personalities. Frankly, I found Tova to be a pushover with a lot of power in her hands.
The plot was slow going and I did not see any real action until I was halfway through the book. The back and forth between two years ago, ten years ago, and the present became really bothersome. I felt like just some explanation about what happened those years ago would have been sufficient, we did not need to be going back and forth in time every single time something about the past needed to be explained. Overall, I believe my expectations going into this book were set really high and maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but I would not recommend this one.
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
I have said before that I will read whatever Bardugo writes forever and ever, and I will say it again. Her characters are always so unique, she can write scary scenes like no other, and the dialogue is amazing. Only bad thing, and this was totally my fault for not researching it first, but I didn’t know this book would ruin the rest of the Shadow and Bones series for me. Just a warning there are a lot of spoilers in this book for Shadow and Bones and for Crooked Saints. I bought this audio book on sale on the Audible app, and did not realize my mistake.
I loved Nikolai’s humor and how full of himself he is. He’s like the male version of Aelin from Throne of Glass. I also fell in love with Zoya, and I found it hilarious how terrified everyone is of her. I really missed Nina, from the Six of Crows series, and we also get a lot of her here. The plot is fast paced and there is constant action. The dialogue is full of humor, and I liked the playful banter between the members of Nokolai’s court. This book was really enjoyable and I cannot wait for the next one. I would totally recommend it if you have read all the other grishaverse books.
This is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where you answer three questions: What are you reading now? What did you just read? What will you be reading next?
What I’m reading now
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, finally! I think the sequel this one is coming out in a few months so I better get a move on. I’m also still reading the e-arc of The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young, it’s not as action packed as Sky in the Deep and it has taken me some time to really get into it. Last but not least, I’ve been listening to the King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo audio book on my work commute.
What I just read
Other than finishing Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff this week I haven’t done much reading. But this book was so worth it, it was amazing! You can read my full review here.
What I will be reading next
I am in the mood for some Contemporary fiction next, so I am in between Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia or Birthday by Meredith Russo. I’ve had quite enough of Fantasy and Sci-Fi lately, and if I don’t switch it up it’s a sure way to put myself into a reading slump.
What are you guys currently reading? Any opinions or recommendations?
These past few months I’ve been trying out a few book subscription boxes. I didn’t want to clog up this post with a bunch of pictures, so if you want to see pictures of everything go check out my Instagram page.
I paid for all of these myself and I’m not paid in any way by these subscription boxes for sharing my opinion
I ordered the May 2019 box, and it arrived May 18th. This subscription auto-renews and I have to cancel it every month that either I don’t like the theme or I cannot afford it. I liked how fast the box arrived, and I really liked that it included useful and practical items as well as collectibles. This box included:
-We Hunt the Flame book (exclusive silver cover edition) by Hafsah Faizal along with a pin designed by the author herself.
-A Court of Mist and Fury sleeping mask.
-Howl’s Moving Castle inspired vinyl sticker.
-A passport wallet featuring a quote from the Hobbit.
-An exclusive edition water bottle featuring a quote from Stardust.
-A pillow case featuring a quote from A Darker Shade of Magic.
-Some character design cards.
I ordered the June 2019 box, and it arrived July 11th, I didn’t like that it arrived the month after, but I did appreciate the very unique items that were inside; like a puzzle and car coasters. This box included:
-The Red Labyrinth book by Meredith Tate special faecrate edition, with a signed plate and a note from the author.
-Two Gilded Wolves car coasters.
-A Six of Crows bracelet that says “Trickery is my native tongue.”
-A Ready Player One puzzle.
-A drawstring cloth bag that says “TBR level 1000.”
-A globe with a map of Prythian -A Court of Thorns and Roses world.
-A collectible metal coin from the Raven Cycle.
-A Warcross collectible polaroid of Emiko.
Illumicrate 41.99 euros
I ordered the June 2019 box, which arrived June 25th. This one also had two books, which I appreciated. I loved the color for this box, it has been my favorite one so far, but it was also the most expensive. It included:
-This time will be different book by Misa Sugiura, with signed plate and yellow sprayed edges.
-Birthday book by Meredith Russo, with signed plate, rainbow edges, and bookmark.
-TBR Jar (one of my favorites).
-Goddess of reading tapestry, illustration by Carol G.
-Page flags (another favorite).
-Tea and books booksleeve.
-Reality bookend part 1. (Part 2 comes in the July box).
-Collectible coin, featuring Hermione Granger.
I ordered the May 2019 box, and it arrived May 24th. I liked that this subscription does not auto-renew and I don’t have to worry about cancelling it every month. I loved that this box brought two books instead of one. It included:
-We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal book, signed special edition with reversible dust jacket.
-Romanov by Nadine Brandes, signed special edition with navy blue and gold cover.
-The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare first chapter sample.
-ADSOM -Kell and Lila chess pieces.
-Ready Player One bookmark.
-Strange the Dreamer moth pin.
-Harry Potter portkey water bottle.
-Chronicles of Narnia plastic pouch (note: this is the only item I’ve had an issue with since it broke after a few uses).
Have you tried any other boxes you would recommend or advise against?
Mondays are when I take a look at my TBR on Goodreads and decide what I want to keep and what I want to delete. I ordered the list in reverse chronological order, I skipped the books I’ve already decided to keep in other weeks, and then I picked the next ten books to take a look at and decide whether I want to keep or delete 🙂
Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
I have a friend who I think would enjoy this book, which I believe was the main reason I added it. I think it’s not for me. The cover is so pretty though.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
I really hope this is not one of those over hyped books in the blogging community. The synopsis looks interesting and it has great ratings. I have been hearing about it everywhere. I haven’t read a good suspense/thriller in a while. Looking forward to it.
Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
I didn’t realize this is supposed to be a spinoff of the Remnant Chronicles series by the same author which I haven’t read. I read a sample of that first book a while ago and I did not like it. Also, some of the reviews from my Goodreads friends are not good.
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
I read in another blog, and sorry I don’t remember which one that was, that this book is about forgiveness. I am not a very forgiving person and have struggled with it all my life. I thought this would be an interesting book to learn from.
The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz
A book about Disney villains trying to escape from their imprisonment on an island? Say no more, sign me up.
Educated by Tara Westover
Having come to this country at an early age from Communist Cuba, where learning is so limited and narrow minded, I struggled with the same issues the main character in this book seems to struggle with. Trying to reconcile my new eye opening education with my family’s narrow view of the world, and my struggle and failure to enlighten them in some way without becoming an outcast in their eyes. I think I will enjoy this book.
The Bookish Life of Neena Hill by Abbi Waxman
I always wanted to read about a bookish character who is forced to come out of her shell. Also, look at this adorable cover.
A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell, #1) by Deanna Raybourn
This one has really great reviews and ratings on Goodreads, and it has been recommended by someone on my bookstagram (don’t remember who that was sorry).
The Black Veins (Dead Magic, #1) by Ashia Monet
I didn’t realize this book releases this week. If I was familiar with the author it would be an auto-read for me, but for now I will add it when I see more reviews on it.
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
Everyone has loved A Sorcery of Thorns by this author. I will give this one a try after I see if I also like it.
I have been very bad adding books to my TBR this past week. Last week I was so proud I actually reached the bottom of the list. This week not so much.
I would rather be numb than stand here in the light of a sun that can never chase the chill away.”
I have so many thoughts on this book that I’m struggling to put them all into coherent sentences. First, let’s start with the formatting. I struggled with it at first, but once I got used to it it read like any other book. I actually thought this book was an amazing work of art. It is comprised of emails, messages, descriptions of camera footage, audio recordings, pictures, and many other types of files.
You’re a speck of animated carbon and water with about seven centimeters of ballistics-grade ceramic between you and absolutely nothing. Ninety three billion light years of *ing nothing. No up. No down. No sky. No ground. Just endless dark shot through with tiny spears of sunlight older than you and your entire species stacked end to end. You want to feel small? Spend sixty seconds in a Cyclone’s cockpit…look out at nothing and feel it looking back. Then you know exactly how much you add up to.”
The story is mostly set in space, which was described really well in my opinion (see quote above). Other than describing the inside and outside of the ships in perfect poetic detail, there was not much more world building to be done. We also get some maps of the ships as a reference. The main characters were adequately described, but I could have done with a bit more detail. The dialogue was where this book excelled, which is a very good thing since it was mostly dialogue. Conversations were full of humor and sarcasm in the midst of chaos, and they read like an action packed movie. I could almost hear the characters catching their breath as they talked, whispering, and shouting or screaming. It was very well done.
Miracles are statistical improbabilities. And fate is an illusion humanity uses to comfort itself in the dark. There are no absolutes in life, save death.”
The romance aspect of the book was great, and it did not take over the whole plot. I loved Kady and Ezra and I was rooting for them the whole time. They fought like a real couple, they compromised over their differences, and overall their relationship was very realistic. Emotions were described in such great detail that everything they could feel I also could. Their fear gave me chills, and their grief was so real it almost made me cry at times, but I don’t cry easily.
Part of being alive is having life change us. The people around us, the events we live through, all of them shape us.”
I went into this book not really knowing what to expect and having no idea about what the plot really entailed, and I think that was the way to go. Many of the events caught me by surprise, and it was very refreshing to read something so different from the other stories I usually read. This book has definitely made me want more SCI-FI in my life, and I will be reading the second and third installments as soon as I can. I would recommend this series to everyone. Read it! I really don’t know why I waited so long.
The universe owes you nothing…it has already given you everything. After all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is if you do something worthy of remembrance.”
This is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where you answer three questions: What are you reading now? What did you just read? What will you be reading next? I love these posts, they help me organize myself for the rest of the week.
What I’m reading now:
I’m currently still reading a hardback of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. It’s an awesome read for now, and I can’t believe I had never read it. I’m also reading the e-ARC of The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young. i I was super excited for this one, because I really loved Sky in the Deep, also by her. Lastly, I recently started the King of Scars audio book written by Leigh Bardugo and narrated by Lauren Fortgang. I haven’t gotten too far into that one, but I love the Grishaverse and I hope this won’t disappoint.
What I just read:
I just read Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller. It was a nice fast paced romantic adventure. You can read my mini review here.
What I plan to read next:
Once I’m done with the Illuminae hardback, I’m planning to pick up Children of Blood and Bone next…yes finally!!
I found this book tag in A Book Nation blog. It looked fun and I thought I would give it a try : )
How many books are too many in a series?
As long as I love the author and the writing I will read as many books as they want to write in a series. Anyone heard of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward? I THINK its by 20 books now, though don’t quote me on that. I got all the way up to #18, and I do plan to read the rest eventually.
How do you feel about cliffhangers?
If it works for the story I don’t really mind cliffhangers. My issue is waiting 1-2 years for the sequel to come out. I was so mad when Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5) ended and then she wrote that useless book about Chaol and I had to wait another year for Kingdom of Ash. Okay, rant over :)…p.s. I still love you Sarah J. Maas.
Hardcover or paperbacks?
Hardcovers are prettier, sturdier and better to photograph, but paperbacks are more portable and malleable, and can sometimes be just as pretty. I guess my answer is I don’t care either way.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I could read that book over and over. It’s one of those I would take if stranded on an island. Hopefully an island where Margaritas are also involved though.
Least Favorite book?
This may or may not be an unpopular opinion, but Allegiant (Divergent, #3) by Veronica Roth. The first two books were amazing, and then that last one…I don’t even have words.
Love triangles, yes or no?
Sometimes I enjoy them when it works for the story and when the main character is genuinely split between the two other characters. I don’t like it when the main character uses one guy to make the other guy jealous, or vise versa. My favorite love triangle was in the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare.
A book you are currently reading?
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This is not a book it’s work of art, I can tell and I’m only on page 154.
Last book you recommended to someone?
Same as above. Isn’t the cover beautiful? Since I carry it everywhere people have been asking me about it and I have recommended it to a lot of my work friends.
Oldest book you’ve read? (publication date)
I’m pretty sure I read way older books back in High School, but that was eleven years ago. I do vividly remember reading The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, for some reason. It was published 1996.
Newest book you’ve read? (publication date)
I’m currently reading an e-ARC of The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young, it will be published on September 3, 2019.
This is a really hard question. I’m going to go with my top three: J.K. Rowling, Cassandra Clare, and Sarah J. Maas.
Buying books or borrowing?
Unfortunately for me and for my bank account I love buying books. I’m always afraid I will damage a book if I borrow it, or my two kids will tear it apart or something. Whenever I do borrow a book I always make sure to warn the owner.
A book you dislike that everyone seems to love?
I liked Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, but I hated the sequel and I have not read anything after that. I found Mare really whiny and annoying, and I like my female characters to be strong and fierce.
Bookmarks or dog ears?
What kind of monster dog ears their books?!
A book you can always re-read
The whole Harry Potter series, the Throne of Glass series, and the Shatter Me series…sorry I know it says “book” but I do what I want on my blog 🙂
Can you read while listening to music?
No, reading is a really immersive experience for me and I feel like music ruins the mood.
One POV or multiple POV’s?
Whatever works for the story. I recently read Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff which had seven POV’s and I loved it. It really worked for the story and the characters were all unique. I also like the “his and hers” point of views of some stories, especially where romance is involved I like to know what they’re both thinking.
Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?
Lately I haven’t had much time to read books in one sitting. The last book I remember doing that with was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when it first came out, but I was seventeen and had all the time in the world.
Who do you tag?
Anyone who wants to have some fun and try this book tag go ahead!
I received a copy of this book inside my Illumini crate this month. It sounds like a very intriguing read, and it has great reviews on Goodreads. I have been getting more and more into Contemporary/ YA. I hope this won’t disappoint.
This time will be different by Misa Sugiura
This is the second book I found inside my Illumini crate this month. There are mixed reviews on this one, but since I now own the book I will definitely be giving it a try.
The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie
I got a sample of this inside my Illumini crate and I loved it, so I will definitely be reading the actual book.
False Step by Victoria Helen Stone
This was one of the Kindle first reads picks for June. I thought the synopsis seemed interesting. It published on July 1st. If you read it let me know how it goes, I could not find a lot of reviews on it.
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Once again I got fooled by a pretty cover and did not think much before I added it to my TBR. I’m not the least bit interested in Norse Mythology, but I will definitely recommend it to my husband. He’s the one that dragged me to all the Thor movies 🙂
A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman
I don’t know why I added this. I know everyone has been talking about it and it has great reviews, but I just don’t feel like reading about a grumpy old man.
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
I really want to learn more about the Philippines and their culture, and I ‘ve heard this is a good book for that. The cover is not the best, but it has great reviews on Goodreads and as I mentioned on this post, I’m trying not to judge books by their covers.
Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol
Amazon recently gave me a three dollar credit to pick a book from a list of their choosing. I was dumb and I didn’t check the reviews before picking this one, I picked it because the synopsis sounded good. Now that I own it I definitely have to give it a try. But if I don’t like it I can always put it back down, I wont be forcing myself to read books I don’t enjoy.
Can you guys believe I just got to the end of my TBR list?! *audible gasp* I have been so good not adding random books, I will go ahead and pat myself on the back now 🙂
I read Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King, #2) by Tricia Levenseller with such high expectations mainly because I had heard that it was much better than the first book, but I found it to be just the same rating.
I’m going to start with the things I did not like. The story got a bit repetitive and tiresome at times, with the characters just doing the same thing over and eliciting almost the same results each time. The characters were also a bit inconsistent and changed their minds quite a lot; things that were an issue one day, did not matter the next. Even Alosa, our main female character had issues with Riden changing his mind over and over, one second he was hot and the next he was cold.
I did enjoy the sense of adventure this story conveyed, and the world building was great. The humor and dialogue were entertaining enough to keep me reading. Even though the story became a bit predictable, it was able to keep me engaged enough to want to know what would happen in the end. I liked that Alosa was a strong female character, and so were the other females on her crew. Little Rosalind was one of my favorite side characters, a child among pirates with a bit of spunk. I would recommend this book to any YA/Fantasy fans looking for a light entertaining read.