Friday, November 30, 2018

November Mini Reviews

November is coming to a close, but I haven't talked about these three books yet!

*****

Title: Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1)
Author: Natasha Ngan
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books
Release Date: November 6th, 2018!

Find it on Goodreads.


My Review!
This is a quiet book. Not only for being quiet on the action, but quiet in its breathtaking quality. It took me a little bit to get hooked into it, but boy, it was so worth the wait. At the center of it is a girl trying to take back control of her life. Lei is forced in service as one of the concubines to a demon king, and no thank you very much. She would rather burn in hell. She is stubborn and willful, and she will not be told to be silenced. She goes through some AWFUL shit, and she’s suffering from PTSD after attempted rape from the said king. (Which I was SO happy wasn’t just brushed aside as it can be in fantasy books especially; Lei’s pain felt very real). But through it all, she’s got someone in her corner: Wren, another concubine, one who is fierce and beautiful and carrying secrets that make Lei a part of a revolution she hadn’t asked for. But she has strong morals, and a homesickness for her village and her papa, and she just wants to go home. So she does whatever it takes to survive. It was that fire of hers that made me root for her SO hard. Girls of Paper and Fire is a story about one girl’s determination to find agency in a life where she’s only good for one thing, with a passionate and slow-burning f/f romance at the heart of it that will make you sigh with aching.
Rating: 4.5 Paw Prints!


Title: Little White Lies
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Freeform
Release Date: November 6th, 2018!

Find it on Goodreads.


My Review!
Jennifer Lynn Barnes has quickly become one of my all-time fave authors. I inhaled The Naturals series back in September, and I lovedloved The Fixer books. So I knew I needed to pick this up at ALA annual (and I got to meet Jennifer too, which was amazing!). And omg this book was SO FREAKING GOOD!! I buddy read it with a friend of mine, and we were freaking out over the drama and how interconnected everything is. As like with all her stuff, the mystery is very intricate, and the way that she unravels it is just brilliant. This is less a thriller and more a wild ride of one girl finding out her true parentage and the devastation it brings. It was really light on romance, and I quite liked that. (I read Sawyer as on the ace spectrum, but I could be wrong). So my favorite part was the *tentative* friendships formed between the girls and the boys, and the very southern setting. It was fantastic, and I'm seriously dying for a sequel. Someone told me there would be one, but I haven't heard anything about it, and I MUST KNOW WHAT COMES NEXT, JENNIFER!! 
Rating: 4 Paw Prints!


Title: Outrun the Wind
Author: Elizabeth Tammi
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: November 27th, 2018!
*eARC kindly provided by North Star Editions via NetGalley*

Find it on Goodreads.


My Review!
Oh man, I really liked this! There were a few points in the middle there that bored me a bit, and there wasn't a whole lot actually happening. But that ending completely took me by surprise, and I was SO glad that it was happy and satisfying. Atalanta and Kahina were two girls who just wanted to take control of their own futures, but what they didn't expect was to fall in love with each other along the way. Their romance was sweet and soft (though neither of them are really sweet and soft, hahaha), and it had time to develop over the course of Atalanta's races to get her suitors out of her life. I also really adored Phelix, Atalanta's brother, and his relationships with the both of them. And Nikoleta and Isidora! I wish there'd been more of the huntresses, honestly, but that last fight with Apollo and his priestesses was super awesome. I knew I had to read this when I heard it was an f/f retelling of the famous Atalanta's story, and I enjoyed it very much! I'm always here for authors who spin the Greek myths on their heads and make them queer. :D

Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

An Anthology Where the Disabled Teens are the Heroes and Heroines

Title: Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens
Authors: edited by Marieke Nijkamp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: September 18th, 2018!

From Goodreads...
This anthology explores disability in fictional tales told from the viewpoint of disabled characters, written by disabled creators. With stories in various genres about first loves, friendship, war, travel, and more, Unbroken will offer today's teen readers a glimpse into the lives of disabled people in the past, present, and future.

The contributing authors are awardwinners, bestsellers, and newcomers including Kody Keplinger, Kristine Wyllys, Francisco X. Stork, William Alexander, Corinne Duyvis, Marieke Nijkamp, Dhonielle Clayton, Heidi Heilig, Katherine Locke, Karuna Riazi, Kayla Whaley, Keah Brown, and Fox Benwell. Each author identifies as disabled along a physical, mental, or neurodiverse axis—and their characters reflect this diversity.


My Review!
The Long Road by Heidi Heilig: I haven't smiled in nearly a year. I forgot how to, for a long while. And by the time I remembered, on the road, there wasn't much left to smile about. Oh my god, I loved this one. I could totally feel for Lihua and her desire to feel better, to be normal. And while she had loved ones who wanted her to feel better too, it was hard for the MC to carry that weight around with her too. But through meeting someone like her, and her parents' hope for their future in a new place, it lightens the journey. And she's left with looking toward that future instead of getting tied down in the past. 
Rating: 5 stars


Britt and the Bike God by Kody Keplinger: was SUPER CUTE. I'm not really a bike person, so the cycling wasn't my thing. But I loved how enthusiastic everyone was about the sport, and how Britt's dad started a club just for her. So she could still be part of what she loves even though she's losing her eyesight. Her and Andre couldn't find a rhythm at first, but when they finally communicated, they both realized just how much they thought the other was great. 
Rating: 3.5 stars


The Leap and the Fall by Kayla Whaley: oh, I just ADORED this one. The creepy, forgotten carnival, the f/f relationship, the tarot reading that turned into something that could have ruined the girls. The only thing I will say is that the beginning was a little confusing, at first. But then I got really into it, and it went in a direction I wasn't expecting. I would've liked to have heard the ghost's story though! I wanted to know where it came from and who it was because I'm so curious. Haha. 
Rating: 4 stars


Per Aspera Ad Astra by Katherine Locke: Once upon a time, a planet lost its power and its shield and found itself at the mercy of luck in a galaxy that had used up all its luck a generation ago. Also: Her whole life she'd fought a war on the inside. And now a war was coming to her from the outside. Love her writing, and omg this one was so enjoyable! It was sci-fi, so there was a lot more action to it. But I loved how that intertwined with an MC with anxiety and agoraphobia, who didn't know if she could do this One Big Thing but who was still determined to try and give it her best. 
Rating: 3.5 stars


Found Objects by William Alexander: I am not here to make you feel better about the fact that I am here. I think I'm still a *little* confused how the MC's magic works, but I really liked this! It was in 1st person, but it was told to the best friend, the one the MC wishes they could share their life with, and accept the help they're so often asked about. (I'm using they because the MC is never gendered or named, so it's easiest). I didn't love it, though. Something about it didn't quite click with me. 
Rating: 3 stars


Plus One by Karuna Riazi: aye, the writing was a bit of problem for me here. I had to reread several paragraphs, try to pull myself back into the story when my mind drifted. And it's not like it's because it's bad, but that while I got what it was saying, the way it was written was super dense. I did love how the main character, Hasfah, was able to shed a little bit of the weight of It and find some peace, though. That ending was really sweet. 
Rating: 2.5 stars


The Day the Dragon Came by Marieke Nijkamp: She had too many dreams to be contained by city walls. Also: He knew what it was like to dream, and he knew what it was like for others to scorn those dreams and deny them. This one was AMAZING omg I'm in love. With the way the dragon fit into the story, with friendship and eventual romance of the sharp and determined Alix and the soft and wonderful Delfin. The two of them both had separate ideas of what home meant, but they came from a place of mutual of pain, of going from not having a place to belong to possibly finding it within this city and each other. I loved everything about it!! 
Rating: 5 stars


Captain, My Captain by Francisco X. Stork: It took me a little bit of time to understand what was happening, but once I did, it made me a little sad. Alberto's so nice and kind and he just wants to help the people he cares about. But there's Captain America in his head, trying to get him to leave, trying to make him do something that will only hurt him, even when he says it's in Alberto's best interests. Even when Captain America makes it seem like he is the only one who understands him. But that ending was FANTASTIC. 
Rating: 4 stars


Dear Nora James, You Know Nothing About Love by Dhonielle Clayton: oh, I LOVED this one!! I loved that Nora had a love column, that she was just a regular teenager who kind of maybe wanted to have a date but her physical and mental health made it near impossible for her to even try. That she didn't buy into it all just because it's the ~normal~ thing to do, and that while she scorned it, she wasn't an asshole to those who hoped for love everlasting. She wanted to help people out in the dating world, but maybe she needed to take her own advice a little bit and be braver. :D 
Rating: 5 stars


A Play in Many Parts by Fox Benwell: Ooh, as much as I love the original Faustus play, I didn't always understand how the script part of this fit in. It was highly confusing at times. But I understood the gist, and I loved that this company had a director who wanted them to push, to go deeper and deeper, that she wouldn't stand for anything less than total commitment and hard work. I do so love theater stories, but yeah. This seemed like a jumbled mess at times, sadly. 
Rating: 3 stars


Ballad of Weary Daughters by Kristine Wyllys: oh, this one was beautiful! Sad sometimes, but beautiful. I could totally feel for River and her anger and pain and worry and exhaustion. She was so tired of picking up after her dad walked out on the family, of having to parent her younger siblings because her mom had to work, of having to deal with her bipolar disorder and the lows that came with it. She was just a teen herself, someone who needed a shoulder to lean on too. But she had that through lovely Lucy, her best friend and soulmate. Their relationship was strong and true and genuine, and I loved it. 
Rating: 4.5 stars


Mother Nature's Youngest Daughter by Keah Brown: I ADORED this one! Millie is, as the title says, the youngest daughter of Mother Nature. She's only a freshman in high school, so she hasn't been training in the elements long, and she doesn't have the control like her siblings do. But she gets so ANGRY and TIRED of being picked on and bullied that she takes her revenge out on the one person who's always at the center of it. Though she doesn't go without being punished by her mom, she doesn't feel guilty. And you know what? I'm with her, and I could understand her feelings and how she just wanted to be seen. That ending was so sweet, and honestly, I'd gladly read a whole book about this family! 
Rating: 5 stars


A Curse, a Kindness by Corinne Duyvis: aw, I'm always a fan of storylines that involve wish-granting, because I love seeing what characters would wish for, and if they'd fall down the hole of selfishness. But Mia was not like that, and it surprised Sienna, the wish-granter who was only a child when she was given this burden. The two of them form a close friendship that turned into something more, but Sienna would always be tied to Mia until the wishes were granted. But loopholes exist FOR A REASON. :D :D I wasn't sure where the story would go, and I was pleasantly surprised and happy with it. 
Rating: 4.5 stars


Overall, this was a mixed bag for me. The stories I enjoyed were great and nice, and the stories I absolutely LOVED were amazing and so different from one another. I'm so happy an anthology like this exists, and I hope there are more to come! Disabled teens should get to see themselves in books, to be reminded that they are more than their disabilities, and that they are worthy of being the main characters. I loved that there was a selection of physical and mental issues presented here, especially because mental illness is so often disregarded as a real disability because of the stigmas attached to it. I didn't love all of these stories, no, but I think overall that it's a wonderful anthology that more people should read!

OVERALL RATING:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

(108) Top Ten Favorite Platonic Relationships in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was started by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's topicPlatonic Relationships In Books (friendships, parent/child, siblings, family, etc.)


1. the Shipley family + all the strays
omg I just love the Shipley family so much. They do Thursday night dinners every week, and there is always so much fun and banter to be had. And they're all up in each other's business way too much, but I LOVE IT.

2. Rhy and Kell
Brothers through circumstance, not blood, these two fight like hell but they also have each other's backs 100%. And they will give up their lives to save one another.

3. My babies Cassie, Sloane, Lia, Dean, and Michael
Is it cheating if I include a friend with at least one couple in it? Oh well, I just love this found family so much, and I want them to be friends forever.

4. Jem and Will
I read these way back at the start of my blogging adventure, and they are my original faves. They really are the best of friends (though I would probably ship them if I reread the series, tbh 😂), and it shows throughout this whole series.

5. Blue and her boys
I couldn't possibly keep the fantastic five off this list. I love how much they love each other, even when they're mad or frustrated or sad. They still want to be there and make sure that their people are okay. *sniffs* And it's so beautiful.

6. Nik and Ella
Nik and Ella are cousins, and I love everything about their relationship. So many moments in this series I was dying over their banter!

7. Gideon and Noah
I mean, they introduce each other by saying, "he's the best person I know." *heart eyes forever*

8. Kaz, Inej, Nina, Wylan, Jesper, and Matthias
Oh, and here's one more found family that I can't NOT put on this list. They're all coupled up, but together, they are one hell of a team. I love the banter as they go through some of the worst shit but come out the other side in one piece. Well. Mostly.

9. Tessa and Paige
My fierce, loyal, and take-no-shit girls who have been friends forever and who know everything about one another, and who will always have each other's backs, even when they don't agree.

10. the Merrick brothers
They only have each other, so their protectiveness can be overbearing at times (esp in Michael's case), but they love one another wholly, and it's just a really beautiful part of this series.


Honorable mentions:
Cinder and Throne (The Lunar Chronicles)
Tom and his fam and Frankie (The Piper's Son)


Which platonic relationships are YOUR favorite? Would any of these make the list? Let's talk! :)

Monday, November 26, 2018

My Favorite Episodes from Season 2 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine


It's time to talk about season two by sharing more of my favorite episodes, YAY!! (I tried to give credit where credit is due, so hopefully no one gets mad at me! eep)


10. Chocolate Milk (episode 2) 
Except for the part where Terry says he's a Ross-head (why you gotta hurt me like that, Terry?). I loved that Jake wanted to be more than a work friend to Terry, and that Terry realized that he could be. Sometimes it's hard to know when that boundary gets crossed, or if you want it to happen. And it was a little sad to hear Terry be like, nah, you're not that kind of friend to Jake. Because while Jake can be an utter goofball and selfish, he cares so much about his friends. And he pays attention to them! He knows all their quirks and hobbies and dreams, and he loves them. He may mess up sometimes, but his heart is always in the right place.


9. AC/DC (episode 20)
Jake gets hurt, and he's forced to realize with the help of Terry that sometimes you just need a break. You need to take care of yourself and put yourself first every so often. And I love the mixing of personal and professional going on with Diaz and Holt. This is something that grows as the seasons go on, for all of them, and Holt becomes more than just a captain, especially to Jake. Also Gina and Amy get wasted together, and I love their hate-to-be-your-friend-but-I-actually-do-care-about-you relationship. :D


8. The Pontiac Bandit Returns (episode 10)
*source credit*

I just love the hate-to-friendship thing happening with Doug Judy and Jake. I think the episodes with him get better and better too, in later seasons. 


7. Winderbreaker City (episode 15)
This episode is when the Nine-Nine turns on the bad guys AND the good guys in a simulation against federal agencies. Who said the NYPD isn't as badass as they are? Jake was like fuck this, but he didn't win in the end because he was so stupid. haha. But I loved it!


6. The Road Trip (episode 9)

*source credit*

Okay, guys, don't hate me. BUT I really loved Jake and Sophia together. There was something about them that just clicked for me (maybe it was that little hate-to-love tension when it came to him being a cop and her being an attorney). Whatever the case, I enjoyed the hell out of their short romance, especially in this episode. The fucking dolls! omg. This also brings out the Jake and Amy angle, effectively ending her and Teddy, and fucking with Jake's new relationship for a hot minute. Nothing happens between the two of them, but *sings* it's going toooooo.


5. Boyle-Linetti Wedding (episode 17)
*source credit*

Quite a few things go wrong, and there were near-misses, but Amy got her bad guy. Holt's speech and his happiness with Kevin is just so genuine. I love that Terry loves love. Rosa gets her man. Jake missed out on Jenny Gildenhorn, but whatever, he'll realize Amy's the perfect match for him in later seasons. And this wedding in general was so cute. I love how much Gina and Boyle love their parents and want them to be happy. It's got so many emotional moments, but it's also funny. The best of both worlds.


4. The Jimmy Jab Games (episode 3)
*source credit*

Another competition episode, because like I said, I fucking love them. The Jimmy Jab games are stupid and hilarious, and the squad got in hella trouble once the bosses returned. Hahaha! But this is when Jake finally admits that he's still into Amy! And I loved how much flirting was going on between the two of them during the match. :D


3. Beach House (episode 11)
I, too, would feel the need to invite Holt, even though he's the boss. He had to miss out on so much because of his shitty coworkers in the past, and he just wanted to be part of the group, to be one of them. But I also feel for the squad, because they just wanted to relax and felt like they couldn't because he was around. I HATED Jake's plan, and how hurtful it was, but I'm so glad that it ended the way it did. "Real Ray or fake Ray?" Perfect game to top off the first day of vacation! Also, Vacation Terry and his fanny-pack is my favorite.


2. Halloween II (episode 4)

*gif credit: LP Entertainment/Pure Fandom*

This Halloween episode was EVEN BETTER than the previous one. You think you're rooting for Jake and wanting him to succeed, and then you find out that he's been played so well from the very beginning, and you're like YESSSSSSS. *fist pump*


1. Johnny and Dora (episode 23)
*gif credit*

Charles helping plan a surprise birthday for Rosa. Jake and Amy being pretend engaged for a job and ending up KISSING!! SUCH GOOD KISSING. I'm TELL ME EVERYTHING Charles in this scenario. And I'm going to start using grackle as an insult from now on, thank you. But the real part that got to me was the ending. "These have been the best years of my career. And I know that every one of you gave me everything you had, and I will never forget it." MY HEART. MY FEELINGS. MEEP MORP. ZEET. Gah, why is Jake and Holt's relationship my favorite? AND THEN THERE'S EVEN MORE JAKE AND AMY KISSING GOING ON. WOO, BEST EPISODE.


What episodes of season 2 are YOUR favorite? Would any of these make your list? Let's talk! :)

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Briggs Book Tag

I haven't done a tag in literal years, but I couldn't pass this one up! A tag solely based on the Myers-Briggs personality test? YES, PLEASE. I've taken this long ago, so I was ready with my type (and I even took the quiz again just to be sure and to read it all through). :D This tag was created by Jaded Reader, who has a document on her Youtube page with all the questions and quizzes if you want to do this too!

So, THIS IS ME:
i still die every time I see that 1% of extraversion and omg @ 72% turbulence in my decision-making 😂 (probably why I have depression and anxiety, tbh!)

So, some things about my type:
*photo from Personality Central*

*William Shakespeare is also a mediator (this is very, very important to me)
*I tend to place people's feelings and experiences above facts and "being right"
*I'm open-minded, passionate, creative, and dedicated.
*Weaknesses: too altruistic and idealistic, take things personally, and difficult to get to know.
*Why isn't author on that list tho?
*"it’s as though Mediators like the idea of human contact, but not the reality of social contact." OMG I FEEL ATTACKED
*"First and foremost is seemingly every Mediators’ dream growing up – to become an author." Y'ALL.
*Many Mediators go to school for sociology and psychology, which is what I did!

*****

INTROVERT: ( I )
You can be outgoing, but need to recharge with some calming solitude. Where is your favorite place to read & unwind? Why is this little oasis where you choose to go?
Sadly, it's just my bedroom. It's my PLACE. 

INTUITION: ( N )
Some books are meant to be understood and others are meant to be explored. What book or character stands for an idea that is deeply meaningful to you?
The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord. The exploration and questioning of faith in particular is a theme that has played out in my life before, and currently honestly. Also A Monster Calls for its incredible look at grief and the way it changes us.

FEELING: ( F )
Not everything needs to be realistic, where is the fun in a world with limits? Which fantasy world do you find so atmospheric you slip inside and never want to leave? (Put simply a book with good vibes)
Well. This is hard. Because some of the worlds I love and have gotten lost in are NOT fun at all (I'm lookin' at you, Lumatere) and Harry Potter's magical reality feels too unoriginal of an answer (and it doesn't take place in a fantasy world). But fuck, no one writes like Laini Taylor, so I'd have to choose the story of Weep and gods and tears in the universe that hide so many secrets and worlds within (Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares).

PERCEIVING: ( P )
TBRs are fun to construct and meant to be destroyed. Do you stick to the list or mix it up every now and then? What’s a book you’ve put down that you want to pick back up, but just haven’t been in the mood for?
Oh, I definitely mix it up! I'm too much of a mood reader. But I LOVE making lists, loooove. I just never quite stick to them. Haha.
The most recent was Summer Bird Blue. I just. I can't do such a heavy grief book at the moment, so I had to set it down. But I loved Starfish and want to finish this one someday! Especially since I have friends who love it.

INFP: The Idealist/The Mediator
Even when conflict runs high you can be the advocate for either side. What is a book that was not well received but you were able to find its good qualities?
Escaping from Houdini and From Twinkle, with Love. The first has been receiving SO MANY negative reviews, and I totally understand it, especially because of a new love interest getting thrown into the story. But I still enjoyed the book and will be reading the 4th. And the latter is getting mixed reactions because of the main character, Twinkle, who is such a *teen* and who is young and immature at times. But the story was SUPER cute, and I adore her.

Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs personality test? If so, what type are you? Are we the same person?! Let's talk. :) 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Survival and Sex Positivity: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Title: Starry Eyes
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 3rd, 2018!
*eARC kindly provided by Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing*

From Goodreads...
Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?


My Review!
I was a little nervous going into this one, because while I’d LOVED The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, I DNFed Alex, Approximately, TWICE. So I wasn’t sure if the first had been a fluke, or if it was just the second story that was bothering me. And I’m so glad to say that it was the second book itself, because to be honest, I loved Starry Eyes even more than TASOAH. It was fluffy, but realistic with the friendship aspects, and the romance at the center of it was so sweet and had just the right amount of angst to kill me but also revive me. And I loved that the backdrop of it was camping and the stars and surviving outdoors.

I could immediately relate to Zorie and how she was a planner. How very careful and detail-oriented she was. But it was a crutch, for her, and she couldn’t always recognize that. Because when life threw her curveballs, she never knew how to deal with them, so she lashed out and tried to hide. She was also afraid of letting people in, especially after getting burned a few times. She had to learn, though, that being careful is okay, but not to be TOO cautious and scared. And thanks to a little nudge from her stepmom, Zorie steps out of her comfort zone and rekindles her relationship with Lennon.

But oh god, like I said, they almost killed me. These two were so angsty and angry and stubborn, and they just could not get to a place of understanding fast, which I did think was realistic (even though it was basically just a lack of communication, like come on, kids). But having to survive the wilderness, together, they finally have the chance to talk and make up and have ALL THE SEX. (No, really, all the sex. I love how sex positive this book was and how the author showed that sometimes, teenagers just want to explore all of that with each other, and that’s okay!!). Plus, her and Lennon were just freaking CUTE.

The only negative thing I will say is that I didn’t always like the mental health conversations. Lennon’s dad had committed suicide, so he and Zorie talked about that, but in the way that said: he always seemed so happy, I just don’t understand why he would do that. I think it can be a normal response for people who could never see that coming, but it’s problematic and it’s not challenged in the eARC I read. And Zorie one day just suddenly decides that she can just ignore those inclinations. And while yes, that’s fine because sometimes it works, I thought Zorie’s OCD and anxiety was a bit stronger than that.

But yeah, aside from that, I fucking ADORED this one! I was kind of sad that Zorie and her ex-best girl friend could not make up (who just ditched her and Lennon in the woods, omg). But friendships are hard, especially at that age, and they don’t always last. But Zorie had Lennon, and a girl from her astrology club, and her stepmom (who was like her BFF, which I loved seeing because you don’t often get that with stepparents), AND Lennon’s moms. She had an army to help her deal with everything going on, and it was wonderful to see. The relationships just felt so genuine and real, and I loved that so much.

RATING:

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

(107) Top Ten Things I Am Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was started by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's topic: Thanksgiving/Thankful Freebie

*****

I originally wasn't going to do this post, but then I thought about it, and I realized that, through all the ups and downs of this year, there have been things that have kept me going. And of which I am SO thankful for that this is going to be personal, and not bookish, so sorry to everyone who's here for the latter instead. :D

1. My mom. We have had our share of shit this year, but when it comes down to it: she's there for me when I need her. I went through a few super-big health issues in March, and then in the summer, and even something that mentally kicked me down until I felt like I couldn't breathe at the end of August. So it's just been A Lot, but she has stayed by my side and made sure that I got what I needed. (And of course I am also thankful for my brothers, even when we disagree and don't talk that often).

2. My job. Sure, it can be hellish and stressful at times, but it's a job I really like. I'm comfortable, and I know what I'm doing most of the time, and I've had some damn fun conversations and after-work dinners with people. And I know I'm not gonna stay here forever, so it's good for right now. It's enough for me.

3. The time that I have to spend on pursuing a career in publishing. Because of the hours I work, and the days I have off, I'm able to spend time actually chasing my dream job. I'm still lazy, and I procrastinate, but I'm finishing up my SECOND book this year! And I know I'm going to get it done before 2018 ends, even if I lose at NaNo. I'm so grateful for having the space to work on my writing.

4. My cats and dog. These animals bring me so much joy and happiness. Whenever I'm having a bad day or I just need to get out of my room, I go try to snuggle with them (only one of them really cares for cuddles, rude). I can't even remember life before them all, especially our babies, Anna and Elsa. *sobs* I love them so much.

5. Finally finding a new car that I love. After over a year of searching, I finally bought a new car. Y'all, I hate car shopping. I don't know what I'm doing, and I hate making such a massive decision that feels like a gamble either way. But I found a used, sporty Ford Focus that I adore.

6. The family and friends I work with. I don't love everyone at my job, and I'm coming to the realization that a few people are just shitty human beings who don't really deserve my time. But for the most part, it's my coworkers who have kept me here after the times when I was *so close* to quitting. Plus my uncle is great, and it's convenient for me carpooling with him. And I actually have a relationship with one of my cousins who I just coexisted with for most of my life. Such good things have come of it!

7. Moments where I laugh so hard I cry. I bottle these up and treasure them. You've got to find things to full-on, can't-breathe, wheezing-and-hysterically laugh about. Otherwise, what's the fucking point, you know?

8. Michigan going blue in the midterms. Politics is so, so hard for me right now, and seeing that just felt like a warm hug. It gave me back some of the hope I'd lost after the election. 

9. The book community. The shining star of my life at the moment. In such a stressful and anxious time, the community is there to lift me up and remind me that I matter. I have some AMAZING friends, both close and occasional and acquaintances I don't talk to but very much like following or chatting with every so often, and I still enjoy blogging and shouting about books. It's MY PLACE. AND MY PEOPLE.

10. Falling in love with new stories. Of course I can't do a list like this and not be thankful for what made me fall in love with the blog. I love discovering new favorites, and I love finding comfort in both the fantastical and the real-life tales of love and family and friendship. And just. Gah. Reading makes me so happy!


Sorry this isn't your regularly scheduled bookish post for the TTT, but I just needed something super positive to write about! Thanks also to YOU, my readers (even those of you who come to my blog on a Tuesday), for continuously making this a bright spot in my life. I can't wait to get back into blogging in the next year! :)

Monday, November 19, 2018

From the Den: October Edition

From the Den is a feature to showcase the books that I don't post reviews for on the blog, whether I liked them or not. I read so many books that never make it onto The Fox's Hideaway, so I wanted a feature where I could still tell y'all about them. :)

*****

I didn't read a lot in October, and I haven't read much at all this month, and it's been a VERY mixed bag. So I'm sharing some of those now!

Escaping from Houdini
I heard such BAD reviews about this one before I really got into the book, so I was nervous. It's mostly to do with the ~love triangle~ but honestly, I didn't hate it like everyone else. I can deal with a little cheating too, if it's done well enough (spoiler alert: it wasn't here). I could understand Audrey Rose being drawn to Mephistopheles, but I LOVE Thomas and their relationship that I was a bit mad too. However, the biggest problem that I had with it was that there was too much focus on this aspect that the mystery got fucked over. Audrey was supposed to be trying to figure out who was murdering people, but there was like NO investigating being done at all. And the whole reveal and the reasons for it was just super underwhelming and boring, to be honest. It really did feel like a filler book to move the overarching story along. And for a title that boasts about Houdini, there sure wasn't a whole lot of Houdini in it. But I still enjoyed it; I'm just utterly sad that I loved the previous book so much and this one was disappointing as fuck.

Rating: 3 Paw Prints!


Crash

For a book that's not that long, it sure did take me a long time to finish. And I think that was due to the writing style, and how I got a little lost in the stubbornness of Taryn for a bit. But I really liked this, and her and Nick's relationship was so solid and warm. I get why it took the both of them so long to reach that end, but man, it could drag on. (And I just saw the next main characters for Singe and Bang, and now I'm incredibly sad I don't get a Doc book).
Rating: 3 Paw Prints!


Tiger's Watch
Oh, it sucks to be rating this one so low, because I was super excited about the premise. But this was SO. BORING. And it was so underdeveloped, everything about it: the world, the characters, the relationships. You mean to tell me that Tashi would just forsake everything and give this boy-commander WHO THEY'VE KNOWN FOR LIKE A FEW DAYS, something that would destroy their country? PLEASE. At least make it convincing besides Xian just being really hot. I could never connect with any of the people in this book because you don't even get time to KNOW them. And hate-to-love is my weakness, but this romance was sadly uninteresting to me. Nothing happened in this book, and I don't even want to read the sequel. I AM DISTRAUGHT.
Rating: 2 Paw Prints!


Rolling in the Deep
I read Into the Drowning Deep before this one, so nothing about it surprised me, but I still found it wholly enjoyable and fascinating. And I wanted to know what had actually happened to the Atargatis before the events of the next book. Like omg this series is SO GOOD, and I need SO MUCH MORE OF IT.
Rating: 4 Paw Prints!


What books did you read in October? Have you read any of these yet? If so, what did you think of them? :)