Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2019 TBR

Spring TBR

Wow, this Top Ten Tuesday marks ONE YEAR of my participation in TTT! Now, I haven’t participated in every TTT post for the past year, but I’ve always made sure to post at least one TTT per month (though usually I ended up doing about 2-3). Wow, crazy how time flies…

So yeah, this week’s TTT topic is “Books On My Spring 2019 TBR”. Honestly, these seasonal TBRs are one of my favorite posts to write. Even though I usually only half complete my TBRs, I find it so much fun to plan them out!

Also, real quick, I wanted to note that a fair number of these books are ARCs that come out soon (or that have already released, oops) that I still need to read. I don’t know why I do this to myself; it stresses me to have multiple ARCs to read, but I can’t help but go on Netgalley and request bunches of them? I guess I thought I’d have more time than I actually do? (why is this such a frequent problem of mine??)


For those of you who don’t know:

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.”

(This quote comes directly from the blog That Artsy Reader Girl)


1. The Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

36118682

I keep forgetting that my wish for this book got approved on Netgalley?? So yeah, this book releases on April 2nd and I am determined to read it before then. But this book is one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 so I’m also kind of nervous to pick it up.

2. Myths and Mortals by Charlie N. Holmberg

41583772

This is the second book in the Numina trilogy and it releases on April 16th. I read an ARC of the first book last month and it was such a fun read that I immediately sought out the sequel on Netgalley (and the book gods must have blessed me because it was available as “read now”). I can’t wait to see the characters continue to grow and the world continue to expand.

3. Green Rider by Kristen Britain

147843

I first learned about this book as I was browsing Barnes and Noble years ago and the premise of the book as stuck with me ever since. I finally bought the book for myself last December and I STILL haven’t read it. This needs to change this spring…

4. Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir & Steenz

36140710

I’ve put this book on so many TBR lists, but (hopefully) this will be the season I finally read it! My current roommate has gotten me into a graphic novel mood so I’m hoping it will inspire me to pick up this book soon.

5. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

33590260

I KNOW I KNOW; I’M A DISGRACE AND I REALLY NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. The size just really intimidates me and I just don’t want this series to end tho…
But once this semester ends and I’m out for the summer, I think it will finally be time for me to pick this book up and ball my eyes out.

6. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

29749085

My aunt loaned me this book…erm, it’s been so long I don’t even remember. But yeah, it’s probably been a year and I really need to read it and then return it to her. This is another book that I keep putting on TBRs for awhile now, whoops…

7. The Living God by Kaytalin Platt

40006251

This is one of the handful of ARCs I need to read. Honestly, I requested this ARC because one of my buzzwords that gets me to pick up books is “gods” and I thought the cover looked really cool. Fingers crossed the book is just as interesting.

8. Enchantress Undercover by A.C. Spahn

42849999

Another ARC I would like to get read this spring. I was hoping to have it read before its release day which is, oh, TODAY, but obviously that didn’t happen. This book sounds like a light-hearted urban fantasy, so fingers crossed it lives up to that and I enjoy it.

9. Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn

7908762

It’s been years since I last read this book and lately I’ve been itching to reread it! Also, I made a Book Series TBR for 2019 back in February and the Elemental Blessings series (this is the first book) is on that list. I read the first two books ages ago, but I still have to read the last two.

10. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

36307634

Can you tell I’m on a Leigh Bardugo kick here? But yeah, I’m determined to read everything LB has ever written. I reread the Grisha trilogy last year, finally read the Six of Crows duology this past winter, read The Language of Thorns last month, and now this book and Wonder Woman are the only ones I have left.


What books are you hoping to read this spring? Have you read any of these books? How long have you been participating in TTT?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your post in the comments below, I would love to read it!

WWW Wednesday: March 13th, 2019

WWW Wednesday

Okay, I know Wednesday is almost over, but technically it isn’t, which means I still have time to quickly write this post and publish it! I had a project due tonight (which I probably didn’t work on enough but oh well, too late now), hence the late posting!

For those of you who don’t know: WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where you answer 3 ‘what’ questions about your reading.


What are you currently reading?

40019506

I totally meant to finish reading my copy of this ARC before Tuesday when it released here in the U.S., but as you can see that obviously didn’t happen.

Grace After Henry is about a young woman whose partner, Henry, dies in a horrific traffic accident. Devastated and mourning, Grace is shocked to discover Henry’s long lost twin brother on her doorstep only weeks later. As the two begin to spend time together, they find themselves quickly bonding.

I’m almost halfway through this book and I’m really enjoying it. I can’t wait to see where the second half will go! It’s also been a great palette cleanser since all the other books I’ve read so far this year have been fantasy (whoops).


What have you recently finished reading?

35707080

The last book I read was Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith and I finished it earlier this month. This book was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I found it really disappointing (which made me SO SAD). The plot wasn’t very fleshed out, the protagonist was annoying, and the insta-love was ABSURD. You can check out my full review here.


What do you think you’ll read next?

31185918

Within the next couple of days I’m hoping to start The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams. I’ve never read anything by this author, so I’m really curious to pick up his most recent book, especially since he has such a big reputation in the fantasy world! (I feel like such a fake fantasy booknerd; there are so many classic fantasy books I still haven’t read.)

Dang, this book is giant though! I checked it out from the library a couple days ago and I’m slightly (read: very) intimidated by the size…


What are you currently reading? What popular books have you still not read? Do big books also scare you?

If you made a WWW Wednesday post this week, feel free to link it up in the comments below, I would love to read them!

ARC Review: Bloodleaf

Are you my book_(2)

42966889

BLOODLEAF

by Crystal Smith

Release Date: March 12th, 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

 

 

 

As a “The Goose Girl” retelling, this book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019. I was extremely fortunate to have another blogger send me her extra ARC copy of Bloodleaf, which is why I was so disappointed to find that this book read like a stereotypical YA fantasy. This book had so much potential, and a lot of great things going for it in terms of worldbuilding, but ultimately the underdevelopment hindered this book from becoming a new favorite of mine.

Bloodleaf follows Aurelia, the princess of Renalt. In an agreement dating back centuries between the two kingdoms of Renalt and Achleva, the first daughter of the Renaltan royal family is to be married to Achleva’s crown prince in order to seal their alliance. Aurelia is that princess. But instead of being loved by her people, Aurelia is ostracized by the kingdom, as she’s suspected of being a witch. Truth is, Aurelia is a blood mage, and when she accidentally reveals herself in front of the court, a rebellion breaks out, and she and her younger brother are forced to seek safety in Achleva. But there are dark plots at play, resulting in Aurelia’s cousin pretending to be her and Aurelia fleeing for her life (once again). But when she enters Achleva and befriends some of its citizens, she realizes that it’s not only the kingdom of Renalt that’s in danger.

While it wasn’t that great of a Goose Girl retelling (there were no geese!), I did love the familiarity of it. (Okay I haven’t actually read the original tale, but still). I was also fascinated by the concepts of the bloodleaf plants and blood magic and the spells associated with it. The worldbuilding was fueled by such cool concepts and I loved it.

“It’s funny how, often, when someone says they want to protect you, they actually mean that they want to control you.”

And while I thought the quality of this book was mediocre (which I’ll dive more into in a little bit), I enjoyed how binge-able this book was. Something exciting was always happening, and I literally sat on my bed reading this book for four hours straight one night.

Also, before I go into my personal critiques of the book, let’s just appreciate this really great moment from the book:

Zan asked quietly, “Anything you want to tell me now?”

“Yes,” I answered, surprising us both.

Then, in sudden panic, I gave him a swift kick to the shin and a hard shove from the hedge and tore out the other way, too fast for him to follow.

I died laughing at this moment. Okay, back to the review now, I just really wanted to share that…

This novel had so much potential to be dark and gritty, which was really evident by the opening scene, but beyond that, all the scenes were so focused on pounding through all the exciting moments that it left the rest of the book feeling underdeveloped. The book was so jumpy that I honestly felt like I was reading a middle draft of the book, not the near final version that ARCs are supposed to be.

Besides the underdevelopment, the other thing that ruined this book for me was the characters, and for so many reasons. First off, Aurelia has been a princess her entire life, yet she acts like she was assigned the role a week ago?!? But yet she’s able to leave and master blood magic in a matter of mere days? Essentially, she really annoyed me. Second, the story is so focused on the plot that no one seems to properly experience emotions, like I don’t know, grieving. Third, THE FREAKING INSTALOVE. Some instaloves, I don’t mind, but it was that horrible “I-just-met-you-but-I-love-you-and-I-would-sacrifice-anything-for-you” crap that’s so unrealistic. As my roommate and I decided, these characters definitely fall in the category of YA characters that only feel love and angst.

Even though this book was very ‘meh’ for me, I can also see a lot of people enjoying this book. I think it’s unlikely though that I’ll continue on with this series in the future, unless somehow the sequel sounds amazing. Ahhhh, I was soooo hoping this would become a new favorite for me. I really want to go reread Shannon Hale’s The Goose Girl now…

Trigger Warnings: hanging, lots of cutting (for the purpose of blood magic, not self-harm), attempted rape, forced sacrificial deaths aka murder (both animal and human), suicide, and a lot more death

Rating: 2.5 stars

“…so, are you my book?”

“Despite your hopes, I was nowhere near.”

February Wrap-Up: Lots of Graphic Novels and Writing Groups

monthly wrap up

Welp, February was rough in terms of blogging and reading. I just kind of lost the motivation to create content and post frequently. Hopefully, March will not be a continuation of this trend!

I did manage to write almost everyday in February, but it wasn’t a lot overall and it was all random scenes aka not a clear continuation of the plot which was not super helpful. I did read 5 books, so reading-wise February wasn’t actually that bad, but most of the books were short, so it really wasn’t a lot of pages. I did attend a couple of cool events, so it wasn’t a bad month overall, though I’m still hoping March will be a lot better…


BOOKS READ:

1. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 4.5 stars

I’VE FINALLY READ THE SIX OF CROWS DUOLOGY! I feel like a true Leigh Bardugo fan now and wow, I just love all her characters. Omg, all the feels in this book, and even though I knew what was coming at the end, I still had tears streaming down my face. I need to pick up King of Scars soon…

2. Smoke & Summons by Charlie N. Holmberg

Rating: 3.5 stars

This book was a SUPER addicting read! Immediately upon finishing it, I searched for the sequel on Netgalley and amazingly found it with the “read now” option! I loved the concept of vessels being used to summon demons and will obviously be continuing on with the series soon. You can read my full review here.

3. Batgirl, Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr

Rating: 4 stars

Guys, this was my first superhero graphic novel/comic?!?! And I had a really fun time reading it! The plot twist at the end was SUPER twisty, ahhhhh. I’ve already gotten the second volume from the library and I plan on picking it up soon!

4. The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 5 STARS!!

THIS BOOK WAS FREAKING GORGEOUS AND TRULY MAGICAL! I WANT MORE!! Leigh Bardugo’s writing is goals and omggg, I just loved everything about this book. I was so captivated about this book that I literally dreamed about the Witch of Duva while reading this collection.

5. Motor Crush, Vol. 2 by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr

Rating: 3 stars

I was saddened and surprised to find this second volume so meh. I read the first volume and really enjoyed it, but this volume was kind of confusing and jumpy. If my library purchases the third volume when it releases in the summer, I’ll probably continue with the series, but I don’t think these are books that I want to spend money on.


MARCH TBR:

These are 3 ARCs that I have and that I want to read and review this month! (and potentially another contemporary ARC if I’m really feeling it.) Fingers crossed these are all really good because Bloodleaf and Wicked Saints are two of my top anticipated releases for the year!


RANDOM LIFE UPDATES:

  • I attended my first writing group with complete strangers! Not gonna lie, I purposely walked past the shop, and then went in and bought my drink before actually working up the nerve to approach the group and sit down.
  • I technically went to my first comic con?!? It was a small one hosted at a high school and technically geared towards aspiring artists, but still! I went with my new roommate, who is an aspiring graphic novelist, so she was super excited.
  • A couple weeks later I joined a second writing group, one specifically for YA writers! I’m so excited to be part of a real life community with people who love and appreciate YA like I do! I’m just sad that I’ll only be able to be a part of it for the semester.
  • I had to decide on my independent project for the semester and my advisor said I was allowed to continue revising my novel that I started last year! I’m both excited and hating myself for this decision, because this means I need to serious dive back into this story. Please wish me luck because I think I’m really going to need it…
  • I’ve been reading a lot more graphic novels?! Well, maybe not a lot a lot, but a lot for me! Out of the 10 books I’ve read so far this year, 3 of them were graphic novels! My increased interest in graphic novels is due to my new roommate, who I’ve gone to comic book stores with many many times now. (tho I’ve managed not to buy anything yet, I know I will before the end of the semester!)
  • The other day my grandma sent me a package solely filled with cookies (34 to be precise!). I’m gonna gain so much weight… (I’m eating one as I type this)
  • I’ve returned to watching the show Lucifer and I’m addicted once again. Oops.

How was your February? Read any new favorites? Have you read any of these books that I mentioned?
Are you a writer? Have you ever participated in a writing group before? What was your experience like?

If you did a wrap-up post, feel free to link it in the comments; I would love to read it!