Choosing between SHINY NEW BOOKS and backlist titles // Pros and Cons + Recs you must read immediately!

I am a huge fan of backlist titles.

But I am also very easily distracted by NEW titles.

You remember that little kid who pokes things and runs off to look at every remotely new and shiny object in the store? YEAH, I’M THAT KID. (Except I’m not considered a kid anymore so it becomes slightly more of an “issue”.)

The problem becomes, although there are a ton of books I’m interested in reading that were released in past years, THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY NEW BOOKS I keep discovering, especially thanks to book blogging.

So now, to decide, once and for all*, I will be comparing the two in order to somehow reach a conclusion between the two options!

Plus recommendations because I like screeching about books and very kindly nudging you to read them all. :)))

Pros

  • You feel like you’re “in the know” and don’t feel as left out with everyone hyping up certain new releases!
  • THEY’RE PRETTY
  • AND SHINY
  • And more hyped and obviously you’re curious*??
  • If you write reviews, writing a review on new releases are likely to be more popular because people know about them more/are more interested in them

*even though curiosity killed the cat. Haven’t you learned, child.

Me @ new books

Cons

  • HYPED BOOKS ARE SCARY
  • Like, REALLY scary
  • New and hyped books can let you down
  • Like, a lot.
  • Also money spent
  • Like, a lot.

Pros

  • Old books deserve the love tooooooo. Don’t be so mean against the books with white hair, excuse you.
  • You can find a surprise favourite! Surprise because sometimes backlist books that aren’t talked about as much but then you realize how amazing it is?!
  • You can be Special and Stand Out and be a Rebel and not follow the status quo
  • You catch up on the 10 000 books that were released last year that everyone just forgot about the minute the new year came around (even though everyone was just as excited for those books)
  • So they were hyped!
  • So if you did want to follow the status quo, well, those books work
All the backlist books you’re supposed to be reading cause they’re on your (or the library’s) shelves…

Cons

  • If it’s from a looooonng time ago then people might not recognize or care about the book as much, which might be a factor when reviewing books
  • Not as many people care about the book, even if it was hyped before
  • Seriously, we have the attention span of a goldfish
  • Who has time for old books anyway?
  • (Yes I’m contradictory, your point is?)
  • You might read a book and LOVE IT but there’s not many new readers who share the same excited feelings?

(Not that I’ve read many of them hahahahaha oops)

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann: very very adorable read! It is super cute, but it’s also a super needed book featuring a bi-romantic (and black) main character. I loved how honest it was about it, how it delved into the struggles Alice faces while also not making it her whole identity! It was just super fun.

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown: I already talked about this one here, but basically I loved it and it’s the fourth book in the Red Rising series that you should definitely read if you like fantasy and murder!!

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed: My review on this is coming!! I think!! Thank you so much for all your support on the issue I was facing for this book, it encouraged me so much. Overall I would definitely recommend this though!

Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi: I related to Scott’s struggles so much! Not knowing what he wants to do in life, feeling his parents are too overprotective (but knowing/finding out they come from a good place), was so real to me! I didn’t particularly care about Fiora though.

American Panda by Gloria Chao: An #ownvoices novel ft. a Taiwanese main character and Japanese L.I! This was equally super super adorable and also kind of heavy/tension-filled when it comes to Mei’s family?! I related to her so much.

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh: I really loved the concept of exploring grief in a fantasy world! I didn’t particularly like how long it lasted or how fast it happened, but Odessa’s emotion was really real and not to mention the necromancy and zombies things was super cool! I also loved the side characters so much.

I’d also recommend Meet Cute if you’re one for romance, but I personally had mixed thoughts? Some of the stories I liked/loved, others didn’t… but it was cute! I also didn’t love Batman by Marie Lu or Everless by Sara Holland, but you might still like them!

Newly backlisted – 2017

Does 2017 count as backlist?? I guess so, but it doesn’t feel that long ago? Oh well.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller: PIRATES AND BANTER. I love it. Alosa, our MC is super fierce and feisty and I loved the banter between her and Riden so much! I’m currently reading the sequel and so far it’s really good as well!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: Percy is the most precious soul okay, Monty is… pretty ignorant? But I felt for him and loved seeing him grow and all the action and I am super pumped for Felicity’s book!!

Warcross by Marie Lu: The MC, Emika was a huge special snowflake, but I actually really loved her!! Not to mention Warcross and the virtual reality thing they have going on in their futuristic world is AMAZING and I WANT TO GO THERE RIGHT NOW SOMEONE PLEASE HELP.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer: I was surprised with this one!! It explores grief, mother-child, father-child relationships and broke my heart but omg it was so good.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone: This was soooo short but omg it packed a punch?! It tackles racism, police brutality, racial profiling, sexism, and GOD IT WAS SO GOOD. And so important!!

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody: Magic carnivals! Illusions that are real? Murder? I wasn’t that interested at first while reading, and the pacing felt kind of off for me, but the world, the characters, and the plot twists were actually so so so good omg.

THEY’RE ALL SO GOOD. *side glances at you to pick them up immediately*

Kind of old backlist – 2016

The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine: Ahhh I haven’t read the sequel yet, but the magic and ruling system in this book was so cool and I loved it

Beyond the Red by Ava Jae: This is a sci-fi, which I don’t usually pick, but I remember actually enjoying this one a lot?? I… don’t remember specific reasons why though which makes this recommendation utterly useless. Oh well.

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye: Okay, so I kind of didn’t like the sequel very much, but the first book I enjoyed!! I loved the Russian influences to the world and the magic was super cool as well.

Ruined by Amy Tintera: More people with superpowers and stuff in a world where people are then afraid of said people! I loved both Em and Cas SO MUCH and there was so much tension and ahhh I really need to read the sequel!!

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury: Aladdin retelling!! Must I even say more???!

Starflight by Melissa Landers: Another hate-to-love romance!! ADORE. It’s also another sci-fi, which is odd considering I don’t usually read the genre. But omg so much banter I love itttt.

Oldish backlist – 2015

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: Guys, I’m not sure if you know, but, I freaking ADORE hate-to-love romances, and this has that, and also magic, intrigue, and a MC who is the BESTTT. I adore her so much!

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin: There’s a motorcycle race during a time where Hitler rules and we have Yael, a shapeshifter who must win and murder him. SO GOOD.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: SIMON. IS. THE. BEST. I love him, and his family, and his story and huadjkasdald you NEED to read this.

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore: I

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine: So much diversity in a fantasy world! It’s the best!! Also libraries and I remember this being super interesting, but I read it a while ago so details are vague hahaha oops. BUT IT’s GOOD. trust me.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: Simon and Bazzzz!!! My two little preciousness. Also there were sour cherry scones and SNOWBAZ okay I love them so much

(And OBVIOUSLY there are gems such as Six of Crows, and A Darker Shade of Magic! Obviously. I just take it that you’ve read them already… right??? 👀 Exactly.)

OLDER

Hahahahah so many of these are my favourite series because I don’t remember many old standalones. 😂

Shatter Me by There Mafi – 2011 // The Raven Boys – 2012 // Shadow and Bone – 2012 // Red Rising – 2014 // The Lunar Chronicles – 2012 // Angelfall by Susan Ee – 2011

These are all the first books in each of their respective series, because those are the oldest! But it seems crazy that these were published so long ago omg.

Also:

The Sky is Everywhere (2010) and I’ll Give You the Sun, both by Jandy Nelson (2014) were such emotional reads!! I loved them both so much! The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (2011) was about a magic circus/carnival and omg it was so good!

I don’t mind backlist books! After all, they’re just like any other book? BUT. At the same time, I feel like I’m also not actively looking for them? Obviously there are the backlist books I own myself that I need to get through, but say if I were at a library, I generally don’t pick up books that were published before 2015? I know, it’s bad!!

I don’t know, there’s just something about book blogging nowadays that makes me feel like I HAVE to read the newer or somewhat recent books… which is ridiculous, I know.

For newer books or books released the same year, well, I usually end up picking them up later in the year? Except for this year, I’ve read a lot more January releases closer to their release date, which is so weird.

But I also have a fear of hype??? And I procrastinate on new books?? Sooooo I don’t know how all that works.

Do you prefer reading backlist books or newer, recent books??? (Isn’t the hype scary.) What are some of your favourite backlist or 2018 titles?? Have you read any of my recommendations?? (YOU SHOULD. JUST SAYIN’.) What are your thoughts?! 

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26 YA Books Releasing in March 2018 You Need on Your TBR (because I said so)!

So it’s well-known, that publishers love to smother us with new books!!

Which is great! But also, it is supremely difficult to keep up with all of them, or the ones we’re most interested in, so basically I’m taking the opportunity to make sure I don’t forget these books because my memory is horrible!! (And oh yes, I’m also sneakily plotting to make sure your TBRs grow taller but you didn’t hear that from me.)

Also featuring me crying joyfully over diversity, beautiful covers and my empty wallet!! Let’s go!

March 6th

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi: THE HYPE. THE HYYYYYYYYPEEEE! A West-African inspired fantasy! Diverse!! Um, hi, it’s mine, thanks!!!

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi: Shatter Me!!!! More Juliette and Warner and Kenji and all the amazing things!!!! (I’M NOT SCREAMING, YOU ARE)

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk: Grief and music and diversity!! *grabby hands*

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer: I ADORED Letters to the Lost, and this book is from the POV of Rex, who I was so intrigued with in LTTL. So sign me up!!

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo: This sounds SO GOOD omg. I believe there are sirens and more specifically, a disgraced siren who needs to kill the prince to be made a siren again??! I SENSE MURDER INTRIGUE!

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton: I loved Rebel of the Sands, but I’ve been uninterested in reading the second book and I’m kiiiind of indifferent to the third’s book release. BUT THE SERIES STARTED OFF GOOD.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw: Three sisters who were drowned for witchery steal the bodies of human girls every year to lure boys and drown them for revenge – HOLY CRAP. Sign me up! (I swear I’m normal)

In Search Of Us by Ava Dellaira: “A parallel story of a mother and daughter, each at age 17” The main character is biracial,

The Case For Jamie by Brittany Cavallero: I haven’t read any of the Charlotte Holmes books, but I’ve had them on my TBR for so long! Oops.

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough: To be honest I’m not a fan of historical fiction? Too much sexism and old-fashioned

The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara: Sooooo I don’t actually see ton of good reviews for this?? BUT PIRATESSSSSSS.

Pacifica by Kristen Simmons: MORE PIRATES. Did I miss something about March??? There are so many sea-themed/pirating books going on?? I MEAN I’M NOT COMPLAINING. But why now???

March 13th

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff: Oops, looks like I have to actually read Illuminae and Gemina now… *hides*

The Radical Element edited by Jessica Spotswood: I’m not actually a super huge fan of short stories, but there are so many amazing authors involved in this!! Anna-Marie McLemore, Marieke Nijkamp, Mackenzi Lee, Dhonielle Clayton…!!!

In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner: This goes back and forth in terms of timelines and explores the story of Klee, who gets committed and the time before and after and during and such (I think??) and I’ve seen a lot of good reviews on this!!

Time Bomb by Joelle Charbonneau: Set during a school bombing and I…. </3 Heartbreak all over.

March 20th

        

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan: Ft. a biracial (half Asian, half white) protagonist tackling grief and her mother’s suicide </3 This book already sounds so beautiful and heartbreaking from its synopsis!!

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles: If this book isn’t on your TBR: WHAT ARE YOU DOING. I already can tell what an amazing this book will be, among the likes of The Hate U Give , and Dear Martin. Publishing, writers; YOU’RE DOING AMAZING, SWEETIE.

The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco: Aaah I’ve been meaning to read The Bone Witch for so long! But I… didn’t. Oops.

Miles Away From You by A.B. Rutledge: The synopsis made this book sound so good!! But I also just looked through some reviews aaaand it doesn’t seem as great as it sounds but some people loved it? So.

Tiger’s Dream by Colleen Houck: I’m actually not interested in this book or series anymore haha, but I had to include this for nostalgia’s sake! I had no idea there was a fifth book being published in this series?! I don’t think I’m reading this, but omg, this brings back memories. 😂

March 27th

       

 Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Choksi: This isn’t YA, but I am so so happy to see a middle grade fantasy book being published with an Indian main character and exploring India’s mythology from an #ownvoices author!! I’M SO HAPPY.

Lost Crow Conspiracy by Rosalyn Eves: Oops another sequel where I haven’t read the first book!! (Am I the only one who hears “crow” and immediately wants to go back to the Dregs, MY LOVES)

And She Was by Jessica Verdi: Dara, the main character, discovers her mother is actually transgender and goes on a road trip with her best guy friend!

In Her Skin by Kim Savage: Oh my gosh, this reminds me so much of Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill! I loved that book so much, and this one follows the same sort of missing-person-impersonation plot and so I’m actually super excited for this one.

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton: Okay, this sounds SO COOL. I’m raising a skeptic brow at the words “starblessed Ella” to describe one of the king’s daughters, because um hi special snowflake, but that’s okay!! It has “a family drenched in blood” and that’s all I need, tbh.

(Yes, this is the same person who loves cute romances. FIGHT ME.)

What books are you anticipating the most this upcoming month??! March 6th is ABSOLUTELY INSANE and I love-hate it because I want them so muchhhhh but um I would need a miracle to afford them all?? (Also am I the only one who hasn’t read Illuminae or Gemina yet?? *nervous laughter* *prepares to run*)

March is ACTUALLY AMAZING okay!! I’m so pumped! (Even though I’m probably not gonna have time to read half these books!!)

SHOUT BOOKS WITH ME.

All about the fam: Types of families in YA // ft. lists and books

My family, is kind of infuriating.

(Sorry sis, you too.)

I love them, but they’re also the ones who get me the most angry/mad/sad/frustrated and sometimes it makes it really difficult to see the love part of the relationship!

But recently, my father got an injury after falling unconscious for a few minutes (thankfully he’s doing a lot better now) and it just made me remember how nuanced and complex familial relationships are?

I could claim my parents as super overprotective and that I don’t like them, but deep down a) only I can call them that and if it’s anyone else does, beware and b) I do love and appreciate my parents a lot and I would never want to lose them.

Which is why I love seeing family dynamics explored in books, because even if I can’t relate to it myself, there is probably someone who does, and there’s just so much you can do with it?

So that’s why, I’m talking all about different types of families + books that feature them especially in honour of Family Day here in Canada!!

If you’re still “meh” about family, well, let me just toss my casual mini-list at you and bribe you with chocolate.

    • You can get jealous be happy over how amazing the family is
    • You add to your character’s development (since family or the lack thereof can shape a lot of our character?)
    • You add tension! Do the siblings seriously hate each other because one betrayed the other? Do the siblings have differing values that one has to sacrifice for? Do you have a rebellious teen with conservative parents? USE THE TENSION.
    • Good families are as great as having 100 chocolate bars –> THIS IS A FACT.
    • Having bad families but ones that are nuanced and not just bad is good too!! (Because (sadly) not everyone has good families!)
    • Um, it’s more realistic?? Most people generally don’t just have… NO family at all? So you know, having some sort of family member might be a good start if you’re aiming for relatability*?
    • Cause I said so
    • Bye

*WHY ISN’T RELATABILITY A WORD. It should totally be a word. Also my font size isn’t changing and I’m disgruntled @ WP.

1. The loving Weasleys

Yes, the Weasley’s have now become a type. And I mostly define it as the supportive (and loud) family! It doesn’t necessarily have to be as large as the Weasleys (it could be) but generally they’re just super loving and caring and the sweetest!

  • Features a Molly Weasley, aka the caring and protective elder who will allow no harm to their children
  • Can be an actual mom or just the person taking care of the whole family (JULIAN 😭)
  • They’re amazing
  • Also features the Weasley children: more than 2 kids I’ll say?
Well, sweet when you’re not on Molly Weasley’s bad side.

Obviously Harry Potter, but apart from that, some other books are:

         

Click on the covers to be taken to Goodreads!

HI I LOVE JULIAN

AND STARR

AND SIMON

AND I FORGET THE LAST BOOK BUT IT HAD A GOOD FAMILY

Also shoutout to May on showing how to centre multiple images!!

2. The single parent dad syndrome

Soooo many YA novels have single parents!! Which, to an extent is totally fine, because we’ve gotten some AMAZING single parents in YA lit that I adoreeeee. (Namely, Lara Jean’s dad) Some characteristics of this family:

  • Dad usually ends up being super awesome dad or a not-so-great-dad
  • Parent may or may not improve over time in the eye of the teen as a mutual understanding develops
  • Features either a MIA or dead mother or possibly divorced parents
  • Can also be a single mother but I was too lazy to find books that apply

         

3. The good vs bad/evil sibling contrast

I just finished a book and am currently reading a book that both features this sort of relationship, so this one really stuck out to me! When done well, this is actually quite interesting. (Though I recommend not reading two books back to back with this trope hahahahaha)

Some of its characteristics:

  • Usually seems to be Good Brother vs Bad Brother but isn’t always (can also be Good Sister vs Bad Sister or Good Brother vs Bad Sister or vice versa; many options!)
  • The main character falls for the Good Brother/Sister or has to choose between both
  • (Not much of a hard decision, but hey, maybe evil people just aren’t my type)
  • “Bad” can be the “I am a roguish troublemaker who wants to seduce you” type or the “I’m plotting to murder you in your sleep” type
  • Or both?

         

Most of those books feature the evil type of brother but there’s also Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare or Tiger’s Curse series by Colleen Houck for the bad-boy/good-boy sibling love triangle aspect!

4. Abusive parents 😦

Where’s my heart, you ask? Oh, just smashed into pieces on the floor there, no biggie.

But seriously, abusive parents or parents with (untreated) mental illness who mistreat their children breaks my heart SO MUCH, especially knowing how it could very well be the reality for many people in real life. I CRY.

Listen, if anyone reading this is an abuse survivor: YOU ROCK and you’re amazing and I love you. And I wish I could send you all the love and support you deserve. ❤❤❤

         

Bad Romance: Tw for abusive romantic relationship (emotional), verbal abuse –> there may be more that I missed so please be careful! This is not an easy read. Stay safe. ❤

A List of Cages: TW for very graphic physical/sexual/child abuse (I legit want to sob)

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue: Not as graphic or present as the other two books, but Monty has an abusive father

The Young Elites: Not as present as the first two books either, but Adelina’s father was horribly cruel to her.

I’ve also heard Starfish deals with an abusive household, but I haven’t read it yet and don’t know too much about it?

5. All about siblings

Ah, siblings. What an annoying intricate relationship they have.

I have a younger sister, okay. She’s tiny and fierce and very very annoying!! But I love her.

Seriously, sibling relationships have my absolute HEART okay. They can be so precious and equally vicious and that is amazing. Who else can hurt/love you as much as a sibling? A book NO ONE.

  • Both biologically related siblings or otherwise (step-siblings, foster siblings, etc)
  • Low-key my favourite out of the different familial relationships here
  • SO MANY OPTIONS
  • Also see the good and evil sibling
  • It pulls at your heart so much seeing siblings either sacrifice for one another or stand up for each other???
  • Also younger siblings wrecking havoc
  • So precious in books
  • (But annoying irl)

         

Fact #1: Lara Jean, Margot and Kitty are the best sisters ever ❤

Fact #2: Kell and Rhy aren’t related by blood but they’re the most amazing brothers ever

Opinion #1: I didn’t particularly like L&L as much as I’d hoped but YES to diversity and sister-brother relationships

Opinion #2: Vanishing Girls was so good???? Hi, sibling rivalry but also SISTERS. I have a younger sister and I love reading books about sisters okay

6. The “means-well-but…” parent(s)

I think I identify the most with this one haha.

These are the parents who you know have their heart in the right place, but there’s always that “but” where their intentions don’t always work great with their actions. Unfortunately.

More mini-lists!

  • Featuring a teen who disagrees with the parents’ values/opinions (gasp! teens forming their own opinions!)
  • Sadly this is a reality for me
  • Also occasionally ft. parents you feel bad for because the teen is so mean to them but you know the parents are only trying to help
  • Also ft. parents you dislike because they’re being super unreasonable (ughhghghgh)
  • They’re not horrible parents but they’re not always completely good ones either?

         

GUYS AMERICAN PANDA AND REIGN OF THE FALLEN ARE SO GOOD FKSJFKLJSFSD *shoves books into your face*

Hahaha I was planning to get to 10 buuuuut I’m hungry and I want to go eat lunch sooooo I’m going to end it there!! :))) That’s a good 24 books for you guys to read, right?? GO READ THEM. *chases you down with a chocolate bar*

What other types of familial relationships have you come across in books? Have you read any of the books I listed? What are your thoughts? What’s your favourite type of family explored in books? Any other book recommendations?

LET US DISCUSS!

(Also happy Family Day to those celebrating!)

Snacking on mini-reviews: Iron Gold & Batman!

Today is a very monumental day.

Why, you ask? Well, you see… I actually have reviews written!! And I’m posting them (near) the month the book was read!! I haven’t written reviews in foreverrrrr and I’ve been super excited for this post so I can screech about books to you guys again! Because I haven’t done that in a while. *hides* I also have a full-length review coming on Love, Hate & Other Filters sometime! omg I know WHO AM I

The first one to start with, is, of course: IRON GOLD because I loved it so much I want to cry okay bye.

I buddy-read the with my dear friend Kat @ Life and Other Disasters, and it was the best! We read at a pretty similar pace, and we exchanged thoughts pretty consistently despite the time difference which was great! ❤

My review will be completely SPOILER-FREE for this book and not very many spoilers for the previous books? (But I recommend skipping to the conclusion part if you haven’t read this series!)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk everything he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever:

A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.

And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

Red Rising was the story of the end of one universe, and Iron Goldis the story of the creation of a new one. Witness the beginning of a stunning new saga of tragedy and triumph from masterly New York Times bestselling author Pierce Brown.

  • The action! Was! Non-stop!
  • Seriously, there was so much happening, even my short attention span had to pay attention okay
  • SEVRO IS MY CHILD and I don’t care if he’s 30-something now. MY CHILD FOREVER.
  • LYRIA IS MY NEWFOUND CHILD. AND LIAM. My family from Lagalos deserve the world ❤
  • Seriously why is everyone treated so badly tho, I just want to shield my babies k?
  • Real life issues tackled like prejudice against groups of people because of what other people from that group has done, discrimination against less privileged classes of people
  • I FELT MANY THINGS. Heartbreak! Sadness! Terror! Disgust! Anger (so much anger) All the good things!!
  • Victra is still my bae (but she low-key needs to chill 😂)
  • Mustang has to make so many hard decisions and :(((
  • Darrow, too! (Though major side-eye to his stupid decisions)
  • Volga is so precious and pure ❤
  • I LOVE Cassius okay 
  • I want me a fox named Sophocles
  • The technology talk probably flew over my head half the time, but it was still SO COOL
  • THAT CLIFFHANGER

Wow this review is utterly unhelpful and just me fawning over the characters.

No one is surprised.

  • I’m not going to say in term of plot or anything, but CHARACTERS because ahhhh LYSANDER.
  • He killed me. One of the most fickle characters ever, a child in a man’s body who, truth be told, should’ve died 10 years ago. His POV was one of the most frustrating out of all of them, and, not gonna lie, it made me less interested in reading his chapters
  • Like, his self-righteousness and superiority complex is honestly so frustrating? His tendency to also do the exact OPPOSITE of what he should do also drove me insane
  • Especially after that ONE THING THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED BUT THAT STILL KILLS ME
  • Also Ephraim, dude. Just ’cause bad things happened, it doesn’t give you the right to do bad things to other people or have other people become the casualty of your stupidity. Fix your mistakes, PUH LEASE.
  • Even with this, though, like can I just 👏 Pierce Brown for creating such nuanced characters??
  • UM THAT CLIFFHANGER KILLED ME OKAY

The first half of this series is AMAZING, and this book definitely lived up to the expectations set from the past books, even though there were certain characters *cough* Lysander *cough* I didn’t like as much! There’s also tons of action, political tension and characters doing stupid things… all the fun stuff!

If you want to read a more in-depth review, I recommend checking out Kat’s review which was super insightful! 🙂

But basically: go read this.

(But also you could wait for the other books to be released because if you’re a gold fish like me it’s going to be painful to remember events. Thankfully the fifth book is being released later this year though!!)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

  • SUCH A SHORT BOOK. Wow. Bless. I finished this in like, a day and didn’t have to sacrifice my soul for once! What magic.
  • MARIE LU.(Her writing couldn’t save this book though. Unfortunately.)
  • Action-y parts were fun to read! because the rest of the book was boring
  • ……
  • Bruce’s friends! I forget their names though.

I’M SORRY, THAT’S ALL I HAVE..

  • So short, BUT SO LONG. Like it’s a short book overall, but the majority of the book was Bruce drooling over intrigued by Madeleine and it just felt SO DARN LONG. And boring. Ughghghghgh.
  • But also it was a bit ~too~ short???? Where is the development? Where is the anything? I don’t know, there wasn’t enough time, man.
  • I’m so contradictory darnit.
  • Speaking of which, BRUCE. My boy. As sweet you are with your naivety and all, WHY are you so dumb. Just why.
  • Like:

Everyone: Madeleine is manipulative and will use you and lie to you. STAY AWAY.
Bruce: But what if she’s telling the truth tho?????
Me: -__-

  • I wasn’t.. that surprised by the ending??? The end part was probably the most interesting part to read and I did like reading it, but the predictability, man. It might just be me, though. I think I’ve read too much of the same kind of twists. Not a bad thing!! Others could totally be shocked, it was still well-written and not a flaw of the book!! (Just my flaw??)
  • Madeleine fell flat. She had the potential to be super awesome, and maybe under different circumstances I would have loved her, but through Bruce’s POV? NOPE. She’s under the guise of being ~super complex and special~ (NEVER HEARD THAT BEFORE) and I was basically indifferent to her and the interactions between her and Bruce. Oops.
  • I want to simultaneously slap Bruce TO WAKE HIM UP and also pat him on the head and give him a hug? Poor kid’s too naive but also too dedicated to being ~good~. He should go chill and eat ice cream. So should Madeleine.
  • Character development?? Where art thou? I CAN’T SEE YOU. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • There was plot! But it got lost as swiftly as Bruce got lost in Madeleine’s swoony and calculating dark eyeballs.
  • What the heck did this review become

I’m so salty omg forgive me.

I liked…. a few things? Mostly that it was short and the author is Marie Lu. But, you know. That counts.

But truthfully I don’t think you’re missing out on very much if you don’t read this? But that’s my very small, inconsequential opinion because you could still enjoy this very much! DON’T LET ME STOP YOU.

But personally I’m super disappointed I didn’t love it more, especially since Wonder Woman was one of my favourite reads. (GO READ IT GO READ IT.) I’d recommend reading Marie Lu’s other books, Warcross or The Young Elites or Legend, instead, those ones were more ones I enjoyed!

HI DID YOU READ THE RED RISING SERIES YET CAUSE YOU SHOULD.Will you shout about Sevro and Darrow and Victra and everything with me???

Have you read Batman? I’M SORRY FOR MY SALTINESS. 😂 Did you enjoy it, or did you find yourself disappointed like me? (Join me in my saltiness, I’m scared to be alone.)

Do you like these kinds of mini-reviews? It’s been so long since I’ve done a review, I low-key don’t know how to write one anymore???

LET’S CHAT BOOKS! What are you currently reading?? Also how was your January/ how is your February going? I had a ton of Valentine’s Day posts planned for this month and I’ve gotten to posting 0% of them oops, but I hope you guys have been doing well since I last spoke to you!

Do we put too much pressure on ourselves to produce “quality” content? // BLOGGING IS HARD, OKAY.

Blogging is many different things.

WOW, HOW OBVIOUS INSIGHTFUL, ANALEE.

It can be fun! It can be a way to share our thoughts! It can be also be stressful! Or a step towards dominating the internet! All or none of those things!

But for it to be all of those things, we need, of course, CONTENT. Yet within content comes my dilemma, because within content there’s the question of TYPE of content and within type of content there’s the question of is it good enough or will others enjoy it?

Because as much as this blog started off as a place for ME and my thoughts, it has expanded to where I think about it as a place for me to TALK TO OTHERS, and others to talk to me. Without the community, truthfully, I probably wouldn’t have continued blogging for so long, you know?

Which is why I started thinking more on content and what people enjoy reading and responding to, and the idea of “quality content” which swirls around in my head quite a lot.

HENCE THIS POST.

SPOILER: This post is going to be kind of all over the place but I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS.

What is considered quality content?

I’m going to be repeating quality content quite a bit throughout this post, even though it’s VAGUE as heck. I don’t even know if we can define quality content, honestly, cause it can be so subjective. For me, I would say it:

  • makes you think
  • makes you think AND/or laugh
  • is well written?
  • makes you go #relatable
  • you enjoyed writing?
  • includes cats rolling over

Personally, when I think of posts from other bloggers that I consider as “quality content” or posts that I am happy with myself, those are the things that come to mind. FOR ME. And the type of posts I personally enjoy reading.

(But spoiler quality content actually cannot be defined by these characteristics at all)

So far, so good, yeah? Okay, good, cause I’m completing changing the focus to stats in like two seconds but it’s RELATED OKAY I SWEAR.

Bear with me, this post is low-key a mess but  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The relation between stats and quality content

BECAUSE IT ALWAYS COMES BACK TO THE STATS. *muffled screaming into a pillow*

See, there’s this idea I have for my blog, that so-called quality content (above) = better stats. Or for better stats you need quality content. Either one.

Aka ALL POSTS must always be super well-written, funny and/or insightful and that NOTHING ELSE works for the stats and hence must be avoided at all costs.

(Slightly hyperbolic but you know what I mean.)

Ughghghghghgh this kind of thinking is so problematic!!

I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel as if they were held or forced to very high standards for themselves when writing posts; so why is it okay for me to do so myself?

Answer: IT’S NOT.

Not all of it is bad, of course. I myself ENJOY writing “quality” posts that are relatable and fun! I think they share a lot of my personality, and allow me to be creative and share my thoughts, which is what I aim for. The fact that I choose to write more of those because stats are higher for them (aka people seem to enjoy them more) doesn’t make that post any less genuine

So sure, wanting to write quality content, or things that people enjoy, based on stats, isn’t necessarily a bad thing!!

But the part that posts that don’t work for stats are neglected more often? Yeah, that’s been a part of writing posts, too, not gonna lie.

And spoiler: it’s not great. Because for me, it’s built up this RIDICULOUS notion that if the stats aren’t as high or don’t reach the “usual” for a post, it’s not “quality”, or popular, content.

WHICH IS GARBAGE.

Why? Because stats can be totally random!! Sometimes there are posts I am SUPER confident in, posts I write that I’m happy with, that I enjoyed writing and that maybe even fit my “usual quality” type of post… but still a flop in terms of stats. And then I post something similar another time and it becomes super popular. WHO KNOWS.

If a post doesn’t reach or surpass the usual number of stats, it’s not really your fault?? Because it’s not like you can control it? Yet I still feel that disappointment, that feeling of failure, associated with that post EVEN IF I loved writing it. And that freaking sucks!!

why can’t I be more chill about blogging oh my god

I completely derailed from where I intended to go with this post, but my answer to the original, titular question: A huge, fat, YES. I can’t speak for everyone, but concerning my own blog, I definitely put too much pressure on myself to post certain types of posts, or writing a certain way in order to have “quality content”, whatever that may be.

But what’s ridiculous, is that I BRING IT ON MYSELF. That feeling, that pressure I feel, to post things that are of “good quality” comes solely from my own insecurities and ambition(maybe?). What if my posts are not as good as the ones as [insert name here]? What if people don’t enjoy this post because it’s too [insert adjective here]? What if, what if, what if…????

Let me ask: Is there anyone out there policing whether or not something is quality content (apart from ourselves)? NOPE. Is there really even any definition to what type of post is quality content? NOPE.

Therefore the pressure is IMAGINARY and we need to breathe and chill* and write whatever the heck we want, OKAY???? Okay.

*I need to take my own advice, geez.

Basically, to sum up this whole mess of a post:

  1. Wanting to please your audience with “quality content” being posts you enjoy writing, isn’t a bad thing!
  2. Not posting something you want to post for fear of it not being “quality content”/getting lower stats IS problematic though because IT’S YOUR BLOG, and you should have the freedom to post what you want, yes? 🙂
  3. Regardless of the pressure we may bring onto ourselves, a post doesn’t HAVE TO be well-written, funny, or anything, just something true to your heart and something you enjoy writing.

What are your thoughts? Do you put pressure on posting certain types of posts due to stats? How do stats affect your posts; do they influence what you produce, or not really? Have you ever held off on posting something for fear of receiving a negative response or less stats? 

Even after all that “don’t put pressure on yourself” and don’t worry about stats talk, I’m super self-conscious about this post because it’s unlike my recent, more fun and happy posts??? Less organized, more cluttered, not at my usual time, but this has been SO REAL for me, on and off and I wanted to share my thoughts. 🙂

I hope you’re happy and having fun eating, sleeping, reading, life-ing, doing whatever!! ❤

How reading books is like playing or watching SPORTS // I compare my most favourite thing ever to my least favourite

Fact: I love reading.

Second fact: I really don’t love sports.

So why not compare the two? Because OBVIOUSLY THEY’RE SUPER ALIKE.

Am I crazy? Yes. No.

(Okay, maybe slightly.)

LET ME EXPLAIN.

In books, in movies, everywhere, we’ve always been shown the two “opposite” groups: the bookworms and the nerds, vs. the jocks, the athletes. And I find it SO annoying how the nerds are always portrayed as being so different, or feeling less than, the more athletic/sporty group of people????

Personally, sure, yes, I’m a bookworm with little interest in sports. But that doesn’t mean I consider myself less than people who play sports, or that I’m not happy being a bookworm? (How can you not be happy being a bookworm tho.) I’m happy being a bookworm! But there are others who like books, and who also like sports! And that’s fine too! It’s not mutually exclusive!!

Wow, I just went on a mini-rant there, but you get the point! Tons and tons of tropes and stereotypes make nerds and sports so incompatible, such a foreign thought and it just frustrates me. IMMENSELY.

So in order to demolish the idea that sports people and books people are so different*, I’ve decided to compose a list of ways reading is like watching/playing/training for sports! (Because watching/playing/training are all the same. Obviously.**)

*Okay, maybe they are a teensy bit different. A teensy bit. BUT SHH LET ME PROVE A POINT.
** ;))Read More »

Why do we procrastinate on reading highly anticipated books? ft. 10 books I meant to read in 2017 but didn’t

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I am a natural procrastinator.

And I don’t particularly need a reason to procrastinate. IT JUST HAPPENS. With studying, blogging, emerging out of my hobbit hole aka my bedroom… (never eating though. Just fyi.) Studying, okay, I think we’ve all procrastinated on that one, because WHO LIKES THAT.

But reading! Our companion! Our one true love! Our ENTIRE BEING.

Why would one procrastinate such a beautiful thing?

Well. Let me tell you.

If we were to delve deeper into the land of psychology (or just common sense) there are definitely some eyebrow-raising* reasons bookworms procrastinate reading books on their TBR which I am going to expertly** discuss!

I’m linking up with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt “Ten Books We Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn’t Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!)”, (the last one) hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

*Not really. They’re pretty basic. But whatever.
**Hahahaha
Read More »

I’M BACK FOR THE NEW YEAR! // Goodbye 2017 ft. the end of year book survey + 2018 resolutions!

IT’S 2018!

HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE.

High key mind blown right now???? (Even though we’ve had several days already to process the news)

It’s been a couple of days* since I’ve last talked to you guys and now it’s 2018???? What is this witchcraft????? I am led to believe I CAN CONTROL TIME, GUYS.

*days = months :O

…But obviously not really because if so I would’ve frozen time to finish my TBR (smart, eh?) and keep up with this blog and the community which I have ABANDONED for the past few months…

I’ve had a rough couple of months, with work and my studies which were becoming too overwhelming to handle alongside with blogging, and although this hiatus certainly helped and I don’t necessarily regret it, I am sorry for leaving so suddenly and overall ending 2017 with… silence?

YOU GUYS DESERVE MORE THAN THAT and I’ve also missed talking to you so much… FORGIVE ME, FRIENDS. ❤

But now it’s 2018 and I’m not usually one of those “new year, new me” people (we all know I’m gonna forget all about my so-called new year’s resolutions as soon as February hits but shhh) I’m taking it as a fresh start!

To wrap up 2017, I’ve decided to participate in the annual End of Year Survey for 2017 hosted by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner! (But I’m cheating and haven’t answered some/many of the questions.)

AKA BOOKS AND MORE BOOKS.

Paradise, yes?Read More »