Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic this week is: Top Ten Favourite Graphic Novels/Comics. So, rather than list a bunch of graphic novels that I’ve absolutely loved (unfortunately the list is too short), I’ve divided my post this week into my five favourites and five that I can’t wait to read this year. Let’s do this…

Top 5 Favourites:

Top 5 On My TBR:

Which graphic novels are you looking forward to reading this year?

January Wrap Up!

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SOME THOUGHTS

Rattle the Stars is officially one! I can’t believe that Gina, Lindsay and I have been blogging for a year. When I started this blog I thought I would post once in a while and maybe get a comment or two. The love you all have given this blog has been more than I ever expected. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am for all of your likes, comments and follows. ❤

To celebrate our one year anniversary, we are giving away a $25 gift card to The Melting Library on Twitter. The contest is open to everyone, you just need to follow and retweet my original post by February 10th. Good luck!


BOOKS HAULED


BOOKS READ

Cold Summer by Gwen Cole | ♥♥♥♥♥
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed | ♥♥♥♥
The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh | ♥♥♥♥♥
The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho | ♥♥♥♥♥
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai | ♥♥♥♥
A Stolen Crown by Kelsey Keating | ♥♥♥
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor | ♥♥♥♥
Cut by Patricia McCormick | ♥♥
El Deafo by Cece Bell | ♥♥♥♥♥
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi | ♥♥♥♥
Assassin’s Creed: Heresy by Christie Golden | ♥♥♥♥
Weregirl by C.D. Bell | ♥♥♥♥
Traitor to the Throne by  Alwyn Hamilton | ♥♥♥


POSTS

Reviews:

The Princess Saves Herself in this One · I Am Malala · The Terracotta Bride · The Bone Witch · Queen of Chaos · Weregirl · A Monster Calls ·  Cut · El Deafo · Definitions of Indefinable Things · Wintersong

Memes:

Top Ten Tuesday · Waiting On Wednesday

Tags/Other Posts:

Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2017 · The Black Cat Blue Sea Award · Bookish Bingo: Winter Edition · Book Blitz: Blue Tide by Jenna-Lynne Duncan · December Wrap Up! · True North Cover Reveal!

Reading Challenge Updates

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I’m participating in a few challenges this year and rather than post about them individually, once a month I hope to do an update post to try and stay organized. I tried challenges last year and kind of gave up on most midway through the year. Honestly, I forgot about a lot of them 😦 Not this year! I’m totally rocking ALL of these!


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NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge: Thanks to Teacher of YA for bringing this one to my attention! This challenge is hosted by Bookish Things and More and is designed to motivate bloggers to read and review the tons of books they have on their NetGalley and Edelweiss queues.

Books Read So Far:
• Cold Summer by Gwen Cole (from Edelweiss, miracles do happen!)
• A Stolen Crown by Kelsey Keating (from Netgalley)


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Beat the Backlist: This challenge is hosted by Novel Knight and is all about reading the books that have been on your TBR for ages. There are also Harry Potter themed challenges!

Books Read So Far:
• Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
• The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
• Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
• I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai (review)
• El Deafo by by Cece Bell (review)
• Cut by Patricia McCormick (review)
• The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
• The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho (review)
• Assassin’s Creed: Heresy by Christie Golden


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Flights of Fantasy: This reading challenge is all about fantasy, my favourite genre! It’s hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Hello, Chelly. I’m really excited about this one because I know I won’t have any trouble meeting or exceeding me goal of 40+ books.

Books Read So Far:
• The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
• The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
• The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho (review)


diverse-challenge-2017Diverse Reads Challenge: I’m trying to read more diversely this year and this challenge hosted by Read. Sleep. Repeat. and Chasing Faerytales is perfect! Any and all diverse book recommendations are welcome 🙂

Books Read So Far:
• Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
• The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
• Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
• I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai (review)
• The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho (review)
• El Deafo by by Cece Bell (review)
• The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

ARC Review | Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

26221374Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor
Release date: April 4th, 2017
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

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Goodreads | Amazon

Reggie Mason is all too familiar with “the Three Stages of Depression.” She believes she’s unlocked the secret to keeping herself safe: Nobody can hurt you if you never let them in.

Reggie encounters an unexpected challenge to her misanthropy: a Twizzler-chomping, indie film-making narcissist named Snake. Snake’s presence, while reassuring, is not exactly stable—especially since his ex-girlfriend is seven months pregnant. As Reggie falls for Snake, she must decide whether it’s time to rewrite the rules that have defined her.

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“How does anyone know they are depressed? You feel equally alive and dead and have no idea how that’s even possible. And everything around you doesn’t seem so full anymore. And you can’t tell if the world is empty or you are…”

Sometimes you just really connect with a book and from page one of Definitions of Indefinable Things everything just clicked. I really needed a book that I could fall in love with. I started reading it after putting aside two other books, which I just really hate doing. Definitions of Indefinable Things was just what I needed. It was full of humour, sarcasm and snarky dialogue. I laughed. I teared up. It really hit home in so many ways. I saw so much of my teenage self in the characters that I really wish I would have had novels like this when I was younger. It would have helped me through so much.

The story focuses on Reggie Mason, who suffers from depression following a significant loss. It discusses the struggles of living with depression openly and honestly. There’s no glossing over the symptoms, the medicines, doctor visits or the constant ups and downs. Here depression is confronted head on. There are some good days and some that are beyond your control. I think that’s one of the most important things that many people don’t understand about depression. YOU CAN’T CONTROL IT! It’s not like you can snap your fingers and it’s gone. There’s a scene between Reggie and her mom where her mother accuses her of being depressed on purpose. Reading it, along with so many other passages, knocked the wind right out of me. I could really relate to a lot of what happened in the story and I cannot explain how important that was. Reggie wasn’t a positive character and hated the world, but because she was written as flawed, brutally honest and real I couldn’t help but love her.

Another character I adored was Carla Banks, the former popular girl who spends the majority of the book coming to terms with her pregnancy. I enjoyed reading about her budding friendship with Reggie. They were complete opposites but that’s what made it great. They both had their problems but handled it with such maturity and resolve. Also, I appreciated Carla because while she was losing friends and her social position she never made excuses for her situation. The other main character was Snake who I’m just not so sure about. His personality was really hit or miss depending on the scenes or part of the book I was in. He came off as too smug. He was trying too hard and I didn’t always believe it. To be honest, I would have liked just a book about Reggie and Carla. It would have been much more interesting, watching the girls help each other through their difficult situations. You don’t need to insert a romance to help a girl discover come to terms with herself. Just saying…

Overall, this was a fantastic debut and a novel that I hope resonates with a lot of readers. Mental health needs to be spoken about openly and without judgement. These types of books are essential and I’m eagerly looking forward to the author’s next release!


about

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetWhitney Taylor is a YA writer that only speaks one language—fangirl. When she’s not devouring books, she spends her time taking selfies, obsessing over any TV show with a love triangle, and eating way too much McDonald’s. She’s an English and Psychology major from Virginia that likes to pretend she’s a supermodel from New York City. Her friends call her The Queen and she has a monogrammed robe to prove it. Bow down.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Waiting on Wednesday

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

32075671This week I’m looking forward to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I’ve seen this book all over Twitter and the reviews so far have been very positive. It deals with important issues — racism, equality, police violence — that the black community has to deal with everyday. This book is so important, especially because of the current world that we live in where hate speech and racism has become the norm on TV and in political speeches. It is set to be released on February 28th by Balzer + Bray.

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Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.

Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s a free topic this week so I decided to list some of the diverse reads that I’m looking forward to reading this year. One of my goals for 2017 is to read more diversely. Out of the 118 books I read last year, only 26 featured diversity, which just isn’t enough. I need to do a lot better! I am going to do better!

Which diverse books are you looking forward to? 

ARC Review | Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

24763621Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Release date: February 7th, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

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Goodreads | Amazon

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

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*sigh* Disappointment. Wintersong had been one of my most high anticipated books. Everything about it screamed Jacquie this is THE book for you! The gorgeous cover is what initially caught my attention. Then I read the synopsis and was hooked! A fantasy story based in Germany featuring a Goblin King? YES please! However, it wasn’t what I expected.

The book had tons and tons of promise but was poorly executed. The first 10% held my attention. I read through it quickly and loathed to put it down. I wanted to know more Liesl’s childhood (as hinted in the introduction) and the mythical Goblins that the children were warned about. Unfortunately, after the 10% mark the plot became quite slow. It fell flat and my attention waned. I stuck with it because there were pieces of promise but much of it was a huge drag. At over 400 pages I really believe parts could have been edited to quicken the pace.

A major reason for the slow pacing was the fact that nothing really happened in the book. Following the setup of the world and the characters that inhabit it, it just turns into the same thing happening again and again. Liesl and the Goblin King argue. Liesl thinks poorly of herself because she’s just so plain. Liesl composes music and refuses to play it. At first this was alright but when it repeats far too many times it’s just too much. I became a bit frustrated with the plot and seriously considered giving up.

I was also hoping for a lot more in the romance department. The synopsis makes it sound, at least to me, that the surprise relationship that develops between Liesl and the Goblin King is both intense and swoon worthy. I felt the complete opposite about it. I neither swooned or enjoyed it every much. The Goblin King was supposed to be able to seduce young maidens. Handsome. Desirable. But nope to for me at all. In fact, besides some steamy sex scenes, their relationship wasn’t believable at all. Liesl was more miserable than anything. As I always write in my reviews, I need to get behind the characters and cheer them on. I wasn’t behind either of these character or their romance. I just didn’t care.

In conclusion, I think I went into this book with my expectations far too high. Even the good parts didn’t excite me and it really is a shame. There was so much potential for the plot, characters and romance. In the end the poor pacing and lack of emotion made it feel cold and flat.


about

about-jjS. Jae-Jones, called JJ, is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the author of Wintersong, forthcoming from Thomas Dunne in February 2017.

Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, she lived in New York City for ten years before relocating down to Dixie, where she is comfortably growing fat on grits and barbecue. When not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skydiving, taking photographs, drawing pictures, and dragging her dog on ridiculously long hikes.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads