Books I would’ve read in March if I hadn’t been in a slump // Lists + books = fun!

Thought of the day: The universe doesn’t like to give me sleep. 

Hey everyone! I hope your first few days of April has been going well! I’m currently writing this super late, hence the above little thought because SLEEP. One of the things I love almost as much as books that, unlike books, I don’t get enough of…

But moving on, the title of this post is kind of unconventional, but, I didn’t want to exactly do a wrap-up seeing how there were so little things that happened (including the amount of books read… I believe I read 2? Possibly 3? You’d think I’d be able to remember the amount since it’s so small, but. Goldfish here.) The biggest thing, however, was my birthday and blogiversary, which I already posted about so you see? And I also talked briefly about how much I adored the movie of Beauty and the Beast (SO SO GOOD GUYS)… I am a boring little potato sometimes.

SO March wasn’t very interesting, small exciting moments aside. I’m glad I was able to still post a bit for you guys though! I’m currently trying to come up with an easier schedule for me so I can post a little more regularly, but anyway. Today’s post is kind of like a TBR?? Except not really, because I’m a huge mood reader and planning out what to read is lots of fun (because LISTS and BOOKS) but actually following that plan? Um. Yeah, no. So instead, it’s just the list and the books without any sort of attachments to it? I’m not making any sense, am I. Oh well. Letès just get into the books I would’ve read in March if I could’ve. 

Caraval by Stephanie Garbar:  I have lost count of how many people adored this book?? It sounds like something I would totally devour and I totally would’ve loved to read it last month. I will definitely be getting around to it someday, fingers crossed this month?! 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: I KNOW, I KNOW. This book is at the top of my TBR right now, I know this isn’t a TBR post, but aghhhh if only my slump hadn’t attacked during March! I had been looking forward to this book for so long. Everyone has been praising this book nonstop, it’s a diverse read, own-voices, SO MANY REASONS TO READ THIS. 

Hunted by Megan Spooner:  Beauty and the Beast retelling? Yes please! I haven’t read many reviews on this one, but the ones I have read are really good (haven’t gone looking for the bad ones, granted) and I really would’ve loved to read this last month, seeing how the movie of B&B was released then! SIGH. Slumps.

RoseBlood by A.G. HowardI haven’t read any of A.G. Howard’s books yet, and I plan to read her previous series Splintered as well, but I really wanted to try this one out! It’s a standalone for one thing, as well as a retelling of Phantom of the Opera. I’ve heard mixed things, but I definitely want to give it a try someday!

The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine:  Remember how I said this isn’t a TBR? Yeah, I’m going to be honest and say I don’t think I’ll be reading this anytime soon… I loved the first book, The Imposter Queen, but it’s been such a long time that this has lowered in priority at the moment. I do want to read it though, and had I been in a more reading mood for March, I could definitely see myself picking this up.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab: In case you weren’t aware; V.E. Schwab is one of my favourite authors ever?? The Shades of Magic series has forever changed me and I am IN LOVE with her writing. I don’t even know why I haven’t read this yet???! Someone push me to read it. 

– Starfall by Melissa Landers: I hope to read this sometime as well, but again, it’s been a while so the details from the first book are a bit blurry! The POV changed too, which I’ll admit has me more hesitant because I loved the main characters in the first book so much. The struggle of companion novels. Authors, stop getting me so attached to the characters if you’re just going to snatch them away from me later?? (That goes for character deaths too actually.) 

– The Bone Witch by Run Chupeco: I don’t know if I really would’ve read this, but I definitely wouldève loved to, and will pick it up sometime in the future, hopefully! I’ve heard that it’s a diverse book, and it sounds really good, so fingers crossed for someday!

By Your Side by Kasie West Kasie West is so great at writing fluffy contemporaries! Her contemporaries are always so cute and fun and although this one has gotten mixed reviews (some expressing disappointment at the lack of the library plot being used properly, nooooooo) I definitely think it would be fun to try all the same.

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed I love finding new diverse reads, and I stumbled across this one a while ago and I’ve really wanted to read it! I even tried starting it a few times I think, but didn’t get too far in and obviously, didn’t finish it. We’re not doing a monthly TBR here, but if we were, I definitely want to give this a shot!


That was what, 10 books? I can’t say really if I would really be able to finish all of these, or if perhaps I would’ve chosen other books than these ones had I not been in a slump, but nonetheless these are some books I had a good chance of picking up! Some of these I hope I can read this month, others I may not, who knows! Sidenote: there’s a fair amount of fantasy here?? Whoops. Sorry not sorry. I would love to have any other recs though, contemporary or otherwise! I also want to read more diverse books; feel free to hit me up with suggestions for those as well. But mostly: have you read any of these books? Which should I prioritize? How was your month of March? (Pray for a no-slump month for me plz. :P)

I hope you have a lovely day! ❤

Basically a whole bunch of contemporary! // 2017 April Book Releases

It’s no longer April Fool’s, but funny-not-funny story for yesterday: I woke up to my sister screaming and acting like there was a spider on my bed. AGH. #sisterproblems

Hello everyone and happy second day of April! I hope your first couple of days of April have been off to a good start! I haven’t posted for the past few days though, sorry about that! I’ve been so busy and just haven’t gotten a chance to blog hop, read, or write a post at all. WHY DOES TIME HATE ME. A struggle that goes on forever. I know I don’t really have to apologize, but nonetheless.

It so does not feel like April though?? I will never understand this whole time and month thing, honestly. It feels so short. But, it is (apparently) April, which means it’s time for new books being released!! I had not had much time at all to read last month, like at all (I finished 3 books?? Which is not terrible but not at all my usual number… I hardly read any books.) BUT. I am of course an addict for new books and I am loving the titles being released this month!

April 1st

All the Forever Things by Jolene Perry: I don’t know about this one, actually?? It sounds and looks super cute but I’ve briefly skimmed some reviews and it doesn’t seem to be something I think I’d enjoy. But, nonetheless, willing to keep an open mind!

The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil: The main character in this one is a genius! And has social anxiety! (? correct me if I’m wrong, someone!) And that’s all I know about it! But it sounds amazing and I’ve seen people rave about it, so count me in.

April 4th

Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor: Seemingly a cute contemporary! It sounds like a really fun read.

The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren: Another contemporary! April is really bringing on the cute contemporary reads–not that I mind! Contemporary is one of my favourite genres, next to fantasy. Bring on the cute reads!

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett: Ummmmm. No idea what it’s about. Oh well. It’s a contemporary? Sorry, I am no help with this description thing…

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr: Another contemporary! I have no idea what it’s about (I AM A GOLDFISH, OKAY.) but it looks cute!

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer: I believe this is a contemporary?? THE COVER IS SO PRETTY. I’m in love.

But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure: Coma patients! Friendship (??) and another contemporary! This one sounds pretty interesting, actually.

Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean: Uhhh… Do I know what this book is about??? Nope. But the cover is pretty??

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray: A sci-fi novel! I liked the author’s previous works well enough, so I’m interested in seeing how this one turns out.

Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima (Shattered Realms #2): I haven’t read any of this series or any of the author’s books, but I really want to!! I’ve heard her fantasy books are really amazing, and I can’t wait.

Perfect by Cecelia Ahern (Flawed #2): This is the sequel to the first book, that released last year (Flawed) and I haven’t read that one either, but for those who have, I hope you enjoy this one!

April 6th

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas: I believe this book deals with a character with autism?? I can’t comment on the rep or the content at all, obviously, but I heard it was good and I’m hoping that’s true?

April 11th

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: IT’S ALMOST HERE!!! Becky Albertallu aka creator of my best friend Simon is releasing a NEW BOOK. *flails* *dies*

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer: Retelling galore!! You guys probably know how much I love retellings *cough* Beauty and the Beast phase *cough* so I’m super excited for this one.

Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman: PIRATES AND PIRATING! YAY. I really enjoyed the first book, Blackhearts, and I need this one asap?? Plz and thanks.

Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz: I’ve recently gotten into Hamilton??? SO PERFECT TIMING because I’m obsessed with it and I will devour this book because: Hamilton and Eliza’s story. Yayyy! (Don’t disappoint me pleaseeeeee.)

Side note: The lack of coordination color-wise of these covers side to side makes me frustrated. WHY CAN’T THEY FOLLOW A THEME. I suppose they all have some black?? Except Spindle Fire is like gray?? I CAN’T.

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis (Given Duet #1): Mindy McGinnis has wowed me before with previous works SO I WANT THIS NOW thanks.

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno: I believe I may have read one other book from this author?? But like I can’t remember if it was by this author or not? But I honestly don’t know about this one… it just rubs me the wrong way for some reason. *shrug*

Literally by Lucy Keating: No idea what this one is about! I swear, I go on Goodreads. I just have a tiny little issue of forgetting the synopsis 2 seconds after I read it and being too lazy to reopen and read it again. Oops.

Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey: Awww what a cute pastel-blue cover with fancy-ish writing! I like it. Do I know what the story is about? Ummmm deception? And duels, duh.

April 18th

Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski: I love this cover design!! I WANT THIS NOW. It also seems super cute, so. Even death-and-more-death people need their contemporaries!

The Adjustment by Suzanne Young: I haven’t read this series, but, it’s ending so I might just end up reading the whole series one day! Until then, I hope the people who are reading this series enjoy this. 🙂

April 25th

North of Happy by Adi Alsaid: I actually wasn’t the biggest fan of the other book I read from this author, I believe it was Never Always Sometimes? Something like that. BUT. I am willing to give this author another chance!

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares: I actually read the synopsis again for this one! Because I needed to find the cover. And it sounds like a great book about relationships, family, and self-discovery, so yay!


In a nutshell: April is full of contemporary releases! If you’re a fan of contemporary, like me, I’m sure that news makes you happy. If not, well, there are still plenty of other past releases this year to keep you company! (Seriously, there are SO MANY BOOKS being released my goal of reading them all is rapidly growing more and more impossible… *cries*)

Which of these are you looking forward to?? Do you enjoy contemporaries? Are you being overwhelmed with the copious amounts of books being released?? Let me know in the comments!

The ups and downs of blogging // 2 years blogiversary + birthday!!

Failed moment of the day: I literally spelled my blog title “Book Snakes” in an email and did not realize it for the longest time ever. Oops. (But it kind of sounds good? Is that just me…)

Hello everyone!! Ignore the above. 🙂 I meant to post this yesterday, but I got kind of caught up with things and didn’t get the chance, unfortunately. By things, I mean I turned 19 yesterday??? And it’s my 2 year-blogiversary?? It honestly doesn’t feel any different but somehow I’m older? But like I’m still not down with this whole adulting thing… #helpwhereismychildhood

This isn’t going to be a me-focused post, but a mini timeline:

I started my blog on March 20-something (let’s go with 24th because it’s around the time I started posting more often + saves me from mixing up dates), 2015. I have since then:

  • Survived high school (?!)
  • Started university (SO MUCH WORK but I suppose it’s an accomplishment haha)
  • Continued part-time work (aka I have even less time)
  • Bought too many books
  • Went to Disney World + Universal Studios (HARRY POTTER omg I CAN’TTTTT) and literally had the best time ever
  • Seriously though you can’t imagine how amazing it was.
  • I’m actually in love with Butterbeer and I even got a stuffed Hedwig I love herrrrr
  • I know I never even mentioned this until now?? lol. But I went during the week of Christmas (SO BUSY my god) and it was basically my dream come true in HP World. I adore roller coasters so much and it was heaven.
  • Written 435 posts (including this one)
  • Procrastinated on too many things

Can you believe it’s also been 2 YEARS since I started this blog??? My. mind. can’t. process. this. HOW has it been so long??? (Well, long for me, anyway, seeing how I never thought this would last this much time.) Granted, I didn’t blog for 7 months during this time, which is probably why it doesn’t really feel like 2 years, but nonetheless, it’s been 2 years since I started the blog! I wanted to take a moment to thank you guys, first of all, for sticking through my rambling inconsistent nonsense (who would have thought???), and secondly, for making this whole blogging thing SO WORTHWHILE. ❤ ❤

BUT. Blogging is HARD. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about particularly the things that are difficult, so here we go!

What I struggled with

Finding the time to blog

This is actually something I still struggle with, honestly. What is time and how do we have enough of it to do the 19876 things in our lives??? Someone please offer the answer, because I have no clue. When I first started, I tried to post everyday, and for a few months at a time, it worked. But my quality of posts were not as good, and I ended up giving up on the daily posts thing because life just gets SO BUSY. I occasionally prepare my posts in advance now, but other times, even that proves to be challenging. The posts alone can take so much of my time, it takes at least an hour for most posts, depending on the type… but then you add in making graphics, commenting, and all other blogging things… LIKE I SAID. No time. *cry face*

Writing blog posts

Finding the inspiration and idea to write a blog post–a creative, and interesting one–was actually much harder than I’d expected?? Am I the only one who thinks this?? I love writing discussions, for one, but coming up with a topic?? Can be so hard. Sometimes I’m totally struck by inspiration and it can be easy, but other times I try (and fail) to writing something semi-coherent and enjoyable to read haha. I’ve had to resign myself to this fact: there are very few ‘original’ topics. Most things (such as this pros and cons of blogging, if you will) have already been written about. But, as I learned, it’s your own take on it that makes it an interesting post! But that is hard when the topic just isn’t coming to you… *glares at past blogging slumps* Very familiar with that, unfortunately. 

Blog hopping & commenting

I adore blog hopping and commenting on other blogs!! It’s so much fun and I always love hearing from other bloggers–that interaction is what makes blogging so special, right? What I struggle with is again, time. Time, to not only reply to comments on my own blog, but also leave a comment on the commenter’s blog, and then go blog-hop on and comments on other blogs. I try my best, but sometimes I get behind on my commenting game, and reply to comments a bit late–and then also spend double the amount of time binge-blog hopping and catching up on posts I’ve missed. It’s just so time-consuming though, and I feel so bad that I can’t make it to every blog ahah. If I haven’t stopped by your blog in a while, I promise, I’m trying! 🙂

Getting caught up in the stats

I didn’t expect much when I first started blogging in terms of stats (i.e. followers, likes, comments, etc.) but I think after two years there are things I’ve come to expect from my blog, and I won’t lie, stats kind of really impacted my blogging experience in a negative way sometimes. As a human being, as a perfectionist-in-certain-areas person in particular, being ‘successful’ (in quotations because everyone has different definitions) is kind of a goal. And blogging takes so much work, and effort, that getting, say, lots of views, or lots of comments on your posts feels good, and when you don’t, it can lead, inevitably, to disappointment, which can lead later to a lack of motivation to blog. The easiest thing, I’ve learned, is to not care about the stats as much, but that’s easier said than done. It’s perfectly fine to care about the stats, just need to find that balance so that it doesn’t start to bring you down.

Comparing myself to other bloggers

Is it just me who has looked at other bloggers before “Their blog is so [successful/popular/creative/eye-catching/insert attribute here]” and subconsciously compared it to my own? There are SO MANY absolutely amazing blogs out there that 100% deserve all the praises, and I would be the first one to gush over the many fabulous qualities. I think it’s great to show that support, those bloggers deserve it so much! But then, comes in the creeping thought of “Is mine not good enough?” or “Why isn’t mine as successful?” and that’s when it gets difficult. I’ve been through it. Let me say this: YOUR BLOG IS GREAT, PEOPLE. I truly mean it. Stats, everything, doesn’t matter if you’re happy with your blog. It’s perfectly fine to love other blogs (you totally should!!) but take a moment to just appreciate your blog as well instead of comparing it because that will make you so much happier. ❤ #lessonlearned xD

What makes it all so worth it:

The blogging community

#1 reason, hands down!! My praises for the blogging community are literally endless. The limitless amount of kind, caring and such amazing people that I’ve met during my blogging years make me ask why aren’t people around the world more like them?? Legit, if the world was as lovely as the blogging community, we’d have world peace and so much more love!! ❤ ❤ Even better is the fact that through the blogging community, I’ve gotten the chance to meet and learn, about so many people, so many things, and of course, new books. It feels so great to know that whenever I have a book I adore (or a book I despise), there will ALWAYS be someone there to either fangirl or rant with me. That sense of belonging, got lost to me a few times over my blogging journey (7 months disappearing kind of does that…) but blogging again re-introduced me to the magic that I fell in love with; There is no better feeling than fangirling with another fellow human, a friend who understands you. And I know I’m verging on cheesiness-overload (if I’m not already swimming in it), but I really mean that! The amount of friends I’ve made through blogging has made all of it SO WORTH IT. All of the struggles I mentioned above? Mean nothing, at the end of the day when I think about how great all of you are. THANK YOU for being such lovely human beings. ❤ ❤

Gosh, now I’m all emotional. This is terrible for my rep, guys. Ugh. ❤

There are so many other good sides to blogging, trust me, but I’m really short on time right now and I hope this is enough aha. ❤ ❤ The blogging community is absolutely the best part though?!?


I still can’t believe it’s been 2 years. 

Okay, okay, I’ll get used to it! But thank you once again, and tell me: have you gone through any of these struggles?? How long have you been blogging, and what do you love about it? (Me, obviously, but that’s a given. :P) I love talking to each and every one of you, thank you SO MUCH for just being so supportive. ❤ ❤ A million hugs to all of you!!

What I love about Beauty and the Beast + Retellings | THE MOVIE IS OUT!!

Beauty and the Beast is finally OUT!! *cue screaming* Or for others, will be out very soon?!! I actually watched it yesterday and I loved it so much!! To be expected of course, but oh my gosh, the anticipation for this movie, the expectations were so high and ajrlkwjgwjgwinencksanwhenjfhsjns I’m just so glad this movie was made the way it was and MET MY EXPECTATIONS. *squeals*

And that’s perhaps a post for another time, but today, continuing my little B&B theme going on, I wanted to do a post about what I love about Beauty and the Beast! I’ve talked before about loving retellings, but I never discussed what I love about the fairytale this was all inspired by?!?? So here we go!!

1. Belle is kind of fabulous

I relate to Belle so much?? Okay, fine, I relate to her love for her books. I can’t exactly relate to anything else, but BOOKS. I love books + Belle loves books = I love Belle for loving books! I also love her dedication and love for her father, it’s really sweet! We don’t see many positive parent-child relationships in the earlier Disney princess movies–and side note: the live-action movie represented it better than the animated one in my opinion!! She’s also brave and kind, and this is highlighted even more in the live-action movie. (Whoops, this is becoming less of my thoughts on the original fairytale and more on the live-action movie!!)

2. The Beast

Okay, so he’s a total… um BEAST?? And he is quite horrible 70% of the time, but the relationship between Belle and the Beast is a pretty big factor as to why so many love the story–albeit the fact that there are definitely problematic issues with it. But he goes through a sweet journey and has nice growth #thingsreadersappreciate. No joke, everyone is fawning over the relationship between him and Belle and I’m just here like I’m glad he’s not as much of a jerk at the end #truth. But I did love the beast, don’t get me wrong haha.

3. LOVE (for the library, obviously.)

DO YOU SEE THAT LIBRARY??!?? THAT IS MY LOVE RIGHT THERE. ❤ ❤ Imagine having a library like that??! Filled with alllllllll the pretty books I adore… #goals. Booklover’s dream right here. Forget the prince, I want his library?? Give it to meeeeeee.

4. Belle and Beast’s Relationship

I’m not here to discuss the Stockholm Syndrome debacle and all, because a) I don’t feel qualified haha and b) that’s a whole other issue that is not the point of what I’m trying to say haha. What I love about their relationship is the growth and the development, and the beauty in finding the beauty within. Don’t judge a book by its cover and all, right? Seeing the Beast change and become more caring, and less beastly haha, and Belle falling for his kind side (and not the abusive side, mind you) was actually very sweet!! ❤ (And it was so lovely in the live-action movie!!!!)

5. Lumiere, Cogsworth, etc give me life.

I’m kind of in love with all of them?? Haha they’re just so much fun and adorable and growing up, they’re definitely one of the reasons I loved the movie. Call me childlike if you want, but they’re just as precious and just as much part of the story as anyone else!!

6. Tale as old as time.

Such nostalgia! Such memories! Beauty and the Beast (and just Disney in general) was such a big part of my life growing up haha and there’s just that emotional attachment! They all have this aspect of magic to them and I just think, that, paired with all the other elements, makes it so memorable–and so beloved. The theme, the characters, the story, all of it, is just so special.

Retellings for your Beauty and the Beast cravings!

Okayyyyy so confession!! As much as I’m obsessed with Beauty and the Beast, and obsessed with retellings, I haven’t actually read many retellings of it? I know! #sad BUT. I shall read more of them!! And I have collected a bunch of them, as many as I could find, for future reference and for you all to either a) add them to your own monstrous TBR, b) screech at me to read one of them that you adored or c) join me in my despair as we realize the lack of B&B in my life *the horror!!*

Read

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: An obvious pick, much? Haha. One of the most popular B&B retellings out there, I think. It’s New-Adult, I believe, and has some steamy scenes, but that’s the extent of it! I really loved this one.
  • Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge: I liked this one! I think?? It’s been a while since I read it and I’m not exactly sure anymore haha. It definitely had its issues, though (like any book) but it was still pretty good! The main character, Nyx, was kind of annoying, but I liked the world and the concept.
  • Beastly by Alex Flinn: Aha… um okay. Well. Didn’t like this one very much. Or at all. Which is so sad!! Because it’s Beauty and the Beast and everything but like…. I couldn’t connect to the characters much at all? The narrator, the Beast, was actually SO ANNOYING and didn’t get any better, and I just didn’t care about him at all. So disappointing!

Unread

  • Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay: I haven’t read this one, but it sounds really good?? It  was released 4 years ago, and I’ve heard really great things.
  • Hunted by Megan Spooner: This was released a few days ago, I believe, and I can’t wait to read this one!! Out of all the retellings, I think this is the most recently-released and most anticipated one for me.
  • As Old As Time by Liz Braswell: This one actually seems really good as well! I definitely want to pick it up sometime.

That’s it for this post! I LOVE Beauty and the Beast so much, and I just wanted to share a few reasons why, though I suppose a lot of it goes unsaid! 🙂 By the way, the movie was AMAZING and I now am going to squeal at all of you to go watch it!! If you couldn’t tell by my blog posts recently, I’m obsessed with this and the movie was so great as well so basically I’m screeching in happiness.
But I digress!! What do you love about Beauty and the Beast? What are you *gasp* not a fan of? (It’s okay, I can take it. Mostly.) What retellings of it have you read/recommend for me to read? Have you watched the movie/plan to watch the movie (the correct answer to the latter is a solid yes btw)? Let me know in the comments!!
Lots of love!

Beauty and the Beast Book Tag // Only a few more days!! Shh, I’m not obsessed.

Another Beauty and the Beast-themed post? Why, yes, yes it is. Hush, no, I’m not obsessed with Beauty and the Beast…! But seriously, I haven’t done a book tag in SUCH a long time and this one is perfectly-themed. ❤ I was tagged by Emily @ Embuhleeliest–thank you so much! (My current obsession with Beauty and the Beast is being satisfied with this tag, pretty much so I AM GRATEFUL.)

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator; Kirsty at Kirsty and the Cat Read.
  • Match a book to each of the songs/characters below.
  • Tag as many people as you like.


“Tale As Old As Time” – A popular theme, trope or setting you will never get bored of reading

Does the sassy/sarcastic/witty character count as a trope?? I say it does. It’s very common, I think? I will never get bored of reading it though?! Looking back on my reads, so many of my favourite books have at least one, if not more, witty character and I LOVE THEM. They just bring so much light and just always bring a smile to my face. I just get all the banter via them and it’s so amazing, especially if you love the characters. Some of my favourite books with this trope:

Oh my preciouussssss children; Will, Kaz, Nina, Wylan, Jesper & Co, Blue & the Raven Boys (!!!!!!!!!!!)

I can’t seem to think of any contemporary novels right off the bat, which is a problem… #moresassycharactersplz

Belle – A book you brought for its beautiful cover that’s just as beautiful inside too.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

JUST LOOK AT IT. It’s so beautiful it makes me want to cryyyyy. ❤ ❤ It seems to be a hit-or-miss among readers, but for me it was definitely a hit! I didn’t fall in love with it as much as others, granted, however I did love the beautiful writing and other aspects of it, which is great because THAT COVER. If I didn’t love the story it would be such a shame haha. (Am I the only one who kind of adored Kamala more than the main character though…)

Beast – A book you didn’t expect much from but pleasantly surprised you

Starflight by Melissa Landers

Prior to picking up this book, I had read the author’s previous book, Alienated, which I was not the biggest fan of, so I’ll admit, I didn’t have high hopes for this one? I really shouldn’t judge on past experiences? But, I was wary anyway. Fortunately it seems like I had nothing to be wary of, because I ended up loving this book! I fell in love with the characters the plot was exciting, and it was just a really great experience. I need to read Starfall now though, asap!

Gaston – A book everyone loves that you don’t

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

I wouldn’t say everyone loves this?? Because I do know a fair amount of people who were disappointed/didn’t enjoy this book. However, I think this series in general has a relatively large fanbase and many people did love this one (which is awesome!! GO ENJOY BOOKS, children) but, unfortunately, I just couldn’t help but be disappointed. Mare was so annoying, and there were just many things that didn’t click for me (that I can’t remember specifically because #terriblememory here whoops). I’m holding out hope for King’s Cage though? PRAY FOR ME.

Lefou – A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counterpart

Sevro from Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

This one was SO hard because generally, I love the sidekick less or equally as much as the main character? But guys, SEVRO. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Darrow, but SEVRO IS AMAZING. I loved him so so so much, and as much as I was concerned with everyone’s fate, his was one that I especially looked out for because guys, he is so great. So loyal, so brave, so fierce, witty and aghhhh. He deserves all the love!! ❤

Mrs Potts, Chip, Lumière & Cogsworth – A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught you something valuable

A List of Cages by Robin Roe

This book didn’t exactly help me through a difficult time, but it did teach me something so valuable, and SO IMPORTANT. Julian’s story was so heartbreaking, but showed the value of kindness, of friendship, of love, and the profound impact a person can have on others–see?? SO VALUABLE ahhhhh I loved it so much. ❤ ❤

“Something There” – A book or a series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

I haven’t yet read the fifth book, but I really enjoyed Frozen Tides. I got onto a rough start with the first book, mostly due to the characters, and the very cliché plot. Although the clichés didn’t necessarily diminish as the books went on, I did get more drawn to the characters and the action kept me invested, so that’s a plus! I’m looking forward to reading Crystal Storm, though at the moment it’s not exactly a priority… #strugglesoftoomanybooks

“Be Our Guest” – A fictional character you’d love to have over for dinner

Kell and Rhy from Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Did you really think I’d get through this post without mentioning them?? Haha. Nope. But seriously, having these two over for dinner would be so amazing?? Rhy’s sense of humor and charisma is SO GREAT (*cry as I am reminded he is not real*) and KELLLL. ❤ ❤ Why aren’t they reallllllll. *cries some more*


That’s it for this post!! Join me in my B&B-obsessed party (or perhaps not because it is very difficult to escape once you have–I’m warning you!) and let me know your thoughts! What book is your Belle/Beast/Gaston/Lefou/etc? Who would you invite to dinner? (Or you could join me and Kell & Rhy, of course. :P) Happy Tuesday!

EDIT: I didn’t tag anyone for this, but if you want to do this tag, GO FOR IT. I take back any of my warnings, come join me in my B&B party and link back to this post if you do the tag. And if you have done it already, be sure to send me the link down below so I can come check it out. 🙂

Reasons I love retellings + recommendations! | Aka I’m super excited for Beauty and the Beast (!!)

Beauty and the Beast is releasing in less than a week!! I am SO excited, you guys. I love Emma Watson, I love the fairytale, I love Belle, all in all means I’ll love the movie, right?! I’m only slightly over the moon about this. Psh. It’s not like I already planned out two Beauty and the Beast-themed posts for the coming week. Nope.

All that aside, I suppose I’d be lying if I said that this post wasn’t inspired by fairytales… I mean, I’d always loved fairytales as a kid, and now, I have retellings of them that keep the fairytale love alive. And with the Beauty & the Beast movie-retelling approaching, I thought I might talk about why I love YA book retellings–I definitely don’t talk about them much. ❤ Let’s get into it!

1. An old concept gets developed into something new.

Fairytales like Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, all of them, are something pretty much everyone is familiar with?? If you’ve never heard of these, I’m sorry, but the only thing I can ask is HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING UNDER A ROCK??! Of course, for the lesser known fairytales, it’s a different story, but most people know of the fairytales I mentioned (thanks, Disney). But nonetheless, whether you live under a rock or not, the point remains with retellings: an old concept gets developed into something new! One of the most basic reasons I love reading retellings is because I get to see elements of the original fairytale/story, mixed in with new ideas, ultimately turning it into its own tale. 

2. Uses much creativity!

I LIKE CREATIVITY. And imagination. Because I have none of my own. Because I love seeing the power of a person’s mind and I love it when someone else is able to make me see things their way, or show me a whole new world. (Comment if you got that!!) You’d think retellings require less creativity than books written based off nothing. Thing is: no book is ‘based off nothing’. And to write a good retelling, a GREAT one, you need a heck a lot of creativity and talent. Because a great retelling, isn’t just re-telling a fairytale. It’s creating something alike in concept, but something different and yes, CREATIVE (I used that too many times, but oh well), because no one wants to read a rehash of something already written, am I right? Hence creativity comes into play. 

3. Upgraded version of fairytales

Kicka** protagonists, anyone?? (*Cough* Cinder *Cough* Feyre) The original fairy tales deserve credit for sure (especially for lasting so long in people’s minds haha) but retellings have the opportunity to include things that the OGs missed. It’s up to authors of the 21st century, to write the story how they will, which means we get to say goodbye to aspects like the damsel in distress (not that there is anything wrong with that trope, just I’d say we’ve had enough of that for a lifetime, eh?), and perhaps offer the villains a chance to either redeem themselves or gather our sympathy. AND THAT IS SO AWESOME. Personally, I love both stronger and less damselly protagonists AND villain POV stories, and it’s so cool that recent retellings have both, and more, to admire and read about. Retellings = upgraded fairytales, and sometimes they sound like they’re better than the originals, or they turn out to be better than the original.

I’d usually list a lot more, but these are actually the main reasons I can think of at the moment, so I’ll leave it at thar haha and allow you guys to chime in if you have any other reasons. 🙂

YA Retelling Recommendations

I don’t think it would be right to have this post without a few recommendations for some of my favourite retellings, now isn’t that right? Becuase obviously now you think retellings are fabulous, and require many retellings to satisfy your need for them right now. I AM YOUR HERO.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh 

I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH. It’s a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, which I’d never heard of actually until this book and it was so great, I’m telling you. GO READ IT if you haven’t already.

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston*

Another retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, I’m actually currently reading it, and although there’s a chance I won’t end up liking it, so far it’s really good so at the moment, it’s a tentative rec!

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

An Aladdin retelling that is pretty much BETTER than the original!! This book features an amazing protagonist, wonderful setting and characterization, and plot, all in all such a great read. It had elements of Aladdin, but was such a unique story on its own!

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Featuring: retellings of Cinderella (Cinder), Little Red Riding Hood (Scarlet), Rapunzel (Cress) and Snow White (Winter, and Fairest from POV of Evil Queen). This series melds 4 different fairytales into a seamless series full of action, intrigue, and romance. I loved how all their stories interconnected, it was so great!

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

An Alice in Wonderland retelling–and origin story of the Queen of Hearts, if you will–this book, although entertaining, I’ll admit didn’t really reach my expectations, especially considering how much I loved the author’s previous series! But, I’m putting it on here because A) There aren’t many Queen of Hearts origin stories and B) I am but a black sheep, and perhaps you shall enjoy it more. I hope, anyway!

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

This series is actually a Robin Hood retelling! And I liked the first book, although it does have a love triangle, so be warned! The ‘Robin Hood’ of the story was a girl, actually, and the author put a nice spin on the story. However, I have not since picked up the rest of the series, so no idea how it continued!

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

A retelling of Blackbeard, the pirate, there was very little actual pirating in the first book, but it was a very nice read nonetheless! I really liked the characters, and am eagerly anticipating reading the second book, which I’ve heard holds more pirating. 🙂

Retellings Not-yet-read

BASICALLY ALL OF THEM. I will make a small list… and I shall hide at the end of it…

Sleeping Beauty

Cinderella

Snow White

The Wizard of Oz

 

Peter Pan

Alice in Wonderland

Other Retellings

Not yet released:

SEE? SO MANY I HAVEN’T READ. *hides* (And yes, I do realize I put no Beauty and the Beast retellings here…) But you’re welcome if I helped grow your TBR. *evil laugh*


But I am very qualified to list the reasons why retellings are so awesome, as I have done in this post. *nods* So tell me! Do you love retellings? Why or why not? Which ones have you read? Any recommendations for me? Did you get my clever-not-clever hidden-not-hidden little pun in reason #2? Do you prefer the originals or the retelling? Let’s talk! ❤

How to capture readers’ hearts A Darker Shades of Magic style

A Conjuring of Light is OUT!! Ahhhhh so many people have already started reading it, and I am DYING to read it, guys. UGH. I’m currently in the middle of my re-read of the the second book, A Gathering of Shadows, which is the only reason I haven’t picked up ACOL yet. #bookwormstruggles And I absolutely LOVE IT but I am so ready for the third book. I can’t wait to read it so I can do a joint review (… more like fangirling post, probably…) of books 2 and 3!

THAT ASIDE. I wanted to do something V.E. Schwab/Shades of Magic series related, which is why we’re here, as you can tell from the title of the post. I recently finished re-reading the first book of the series (and I loved it so much akskjfjkgnjchskkkansr) which is what this post is based on, essentially. Reading A Darker Shade of Magic was absolutely amazing, I loved it even more than I already did if that’s even possible. Pretty much none of my feelings changed except I loved Lila a lot more than I did the first time haha.

But I digress! I’m terrible at staying on track, oh my god. I suppose you can call this a review of sorts–although I already wrote one the first time I read this–but simply put: A Darker Shades of Magic is a lovely, torturous device of a book designed to crush and capture your hearts. I’m warning you. But also pushing you to read it immediately if you haven’t already because what bookworm doesn’t want their heart crushed? Psh, brb as I try to repair my fragile heart…

So alas, finally, let’s get into how to capture readers’ hearts A Darker Shade of Magic style! And don’t worry, this is fully SPOILER-FREE. You’re welcome, to the belated readers who have not read this yet. 😉

how-to-capture-readers-hearts-adsom-style

1. Create multiple worlds with vivid descriptions and magic.

It is an absolute given, if a book has multiple worlds and magic that you have captured at least one poor bookworm heart. (Mine, obviously.) Not to mention having vivid descriptions that make me feel as if I’m IN the book without having any threat of dying and other mild inconveniences?? SOLD. Who wouldn’t love that, honestly.

ADSOM reference: MULTIPLE LONDONS. Is that genius or what? Okay, so Grey London (‘Dull London’), White London (‘Creepy London’) and Black London (‘Dead London’) are not exactly tourist destinations* but Red London is to die for (!!) and nonetheless, they’re all the sign of amazing world-building.

adsom-londons-map

Even at night, the river shone red. As Kell stepped from the bank of one London onto the bank of another, the black slick of the Thames was replaced by the warm, steady glow of the Isle. It glittered like a jewel, lit from within, a ribbon of constant light unraveling through Red London. A source. A vein of power.

LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL DESCRIPTION.

*I mean, if I could just stop by them all as some kind of invisible side character for a while and be able to escape at a moment’s notice, I would totally do it just because they sound so EPIC, albeit very very dangerous.

2. A subtle, but swoon-worthy ship, YES.

Slow-burn romances are one of my absolute FAVOURITES. The feeling you get, reading a book and that warm feeling you get when you know two characters like eachother but they’re dancing around their feelings and also the banter and the sweet moments that slowly develop the relationship… so many emotions ahhhh.

ADSOM reference: Not even a spoiler because everyone can see this from a mile away: Kell and Lila are such an OTP. Their banter is adorable and the fact that they both have each other’s backs and are constantly saving each other is just so awesome and they just work so well together and agh no words. Such a perfect ship. What’s even better is that it doesn’t overshadow the main story at all, and instead is the perfect addition to the rest of the story.

“He would see her again. He knew he would. Magic bent the world. Pulled it into shape. There were fixed points. Most of the time they were places. But sometimes, rarely, they were people. For someone who never stood still, Lila felt like a pin in Kell’s world. One he was sure to snag on.”

SHIP. My heart is SO attached to this.

3. Have the characters stab all the things?!

Disclaimer: I am not crazy or sadistic when I say this! LOL. It will: a) Create awesome action scenes, b) show off your character’s fighting skills, c) be lots of fun to read (aka very very stressful because your character will most likely get hurt) and d) create much tension and suspense.

ADSOM reference: Now I can’t give away too much because #spoilers but let me just say, there was A LOT OF STABBING. And magicking with the aim to kill. So. I mentioned this in my first review, but A Darker Shade of Magic is not for the squeamish people! But if you enjoy fantasy and don’t mind stabbing and fight scenes, you know how EPIC a story can be with the right battle scenes. Omg. This book had so much stabbing and fighting and aghhhhh it totally made my heart race but it was SO GOOD.

Pretty accurate depiction of my own heart tbh when I'm reading...

Pretty accurate depiction of my own heart tbh when I’m reading…

4. Much sass and banter!

This may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but trust me when I say that sass and banter can be one of the BEST things ever. Besides, it can also: a) develop character (sassy pirates and princes, yes please) b) create a deep fondness in the reader for the characters because banter = fun amidst pain and c) make Analee very very happy.

ADSOM reference: There are so many little quips from the characters that I loved and made the reading experience so much fun! I lived for the quips and lines from Rhy, Kell and Lila omg. So perfect.

“Delilah Bard,” she said. “We’ve met before. And you looked worse.”
Rhy laughed silently. “I apologize for anything I might have done. I was not myself.”
“I apologize for shooting you in the leg,” said Lila. “I was myself entirely.”
Rhy broke into his perfect smile. “I like this one,” he said to Kell. “Can I borrow her?”
“You can try,” said Lila, raising a brow. “But you’ll be a prince without his fingers.”

GO LILA!

5. Have an epic bromance.

Bromances are very very important. *nods* They can make you either a) fall in love with the characters in said bromance or b) make you love said characters even more. In both situations, a beautifully written bromance = powerful emotions rivaled only by chocolate (of course) and perhaps a romantic ship. 😉

ADSOM reference: Kell and Rhy are one of the most amazing bromances everrrrrrr!! There is just something so beautiful and so adorable and so heartwarming about brotherly ties, and theirs was no exception.

Rhy sighed (…) [before he finally said] “There is nothing I would not give you.”
Kell’s chest ached. “I know.”
“You are my brother. My closest friend.”
“I know.”
“Then put an end to this foolishness, before I do.”
Kell managed a small, tired smile. “Careful, Rhy,” he said. “You’re beginning to sound like a king.”
Rhy’s mouth quirked. “One day I will be. And I need you there beside me.”
Kell smiled back. “Believe me. There’s no place I’d rather be.” It was the truth.

MY HEART. Captured and crushed by these two. ❤


So! That’s all I have for this post aha. Let me finish this off by saying: y’all should go read the Shades of Magic series IMMEDIATELY if you haven’t already. (#nopressure psh) And let me brb, need to go piece back my heart in preparation for ACOL to break it again. Ahem.
No, but really, I hope you enjoyed this post! ❤ A Darker Shade of Magic is an amazing book, and the series only gets better from there. If you’ve read this book; what do you think on my tips on how to capture a reader’s heart ADSOM style? Have you read the rest of the series? (No spoilers for ACOL please!) If you haven’t read the series, do you plan on it? (The right answer is yes, btw.) (Jk.) Let me know your thoughts!
Happy Friday!

Until the Next Meal, Analee