The Survive or Die Bookish Tag!

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Lol, so May @ My 1st Chapter tagged me for this way back in February, and it’s taken me 6 MONTHS to finally sit down and do this tag, whoops. BUT I’VE FINALLY DONE IT! Wow, this was so much fun and I can’t believe I didn’t get around to it sooner. (also, having the imaginary power to kill of characters was quite thrilling)

Rules:

1) Link back to the creator (Sapphire’s @ Simply Sapphire Song).
2) Write down seven (or more!!) characters and seven fictional worlds/ settings. (Most use books, but you can do movies/tv shows!)
3) Choose one random character and one random world.
4) Determine whether that character would survive that world/book.
5) Repeat!

Somewhat similiar to May, I picked out the characters by randomizing my All-Time-Favorites shelf and the worlds by randomizing my Read Shelf and using the first options that appeared. I did skip over the books that I didn’t think most would recognize and thoose that I didn’t remember anything of.


***spoilers ahead–read at your own risk!!***

1. Chaol Westfall (Tower of Dawn/Throne of Glass series) in New Beijing (The Lunar Chronicles)

Chaol in New Beijing…I mean Chaol uses a wheelchair or cane and if I remember correctly, New Beijing wasn’t the safest place to live?? And the boy won’t have Yrene’s healing magic around (awww, that’s so sad to think of them separated). But oooh, what if he became a cyborg like Cinder? Chaol could totally fend for himself then, perhaps join Prince Kai’s guard or something. But then, I’m not sure Chaol would ever consent to having technology embedded in his body. Plus, let’s not forget that plague going around…

Final Decision: Dieeeeeee (sorry, boy)

2. Katsa (Graceling) in France during WWII (All the Light We Cannot See)

This is kinda a silly one, since Katsa a total badass and her grace is literally SURVIVAL, so we’ve got a no-brainer here.

Final Decision: SURVIVE! (forever? Does her grace means she gets to live forever? Has this ever been addressed?)

3. Cath (Fangirl) in the Grisha World (Grishaverse trilogy/Six of Crows/Language of Thorns)

Oooh, my little introverted, anxious writer, I don’t think you could make it in an fantasy world, to be frank. Especially the chaos that’s going on in the Grishaverse.

Final Decision: DIE (sorry, hon)

4. Feyre Archeron (A Court of Thorns and Roses) in A Modern Day World with Death-Cast (They Both Die at the End)

I mean, how long are we talking about surviving for? Because no one escapes Death and their Death-date. (NO ONE, no matter how much we wish it 😭). And does Feyre get to bring all her magic? Because honestly, she could probably handle this world no problem, tho she might get frustrated with it like the rest of us.

Final Decision: Survive!

5. Anidora-Kiladra Talianna Isilee aka Ani (The Goose Girl) in Panem (The Hunger Games)

I mean, our girl here can speak with birds, the wind, and even fire later on. I feel like if she were to participate in the Hunger Games, all the other contestants would underestimate her, she would sneak away & hide, and then she would defeat everyone else at the end with the help of wind and fire. Not to mention, Ani already has experience running from people who want to kill her (seriously, for like the entirety of the first book, so many try to murder her). I have total faith in our girl.

Final Decision: Survive!

6. Princess Lia (The Remnant Chronicles) in a Paranormal-infested Washington state (Twilight)

Oooh, this is tricky. On one hand, Lia has magic and is in tune with the world and is essentially notified if anything bad is about to happen. But would her magic work in our world? Not to mention, Lia, you’ve already gotten your love triangle, so I don’t think you’re gonna get two other men to pledge to protect you from the vampires and werewolves. But I could kinda also see her teaming up with Alice and being super wise and mysterious forces… (lol I’m not sure if that makes any sense)

Final Decision: Survive (if she meets the right people and doesn’t get caught in any vampire war cross hairs)

7. Kestrel (The Winner’s Trilogy) in Ancient Greece/Greek Mythology (Circe)

Kestrel is a pro at maneuvering political drama and court, and since the Ancient Greeks, especially the gods & goddesses, are all about power politics too, so I have no doubt that Kestrel could not only survive, but work her way up to a position of power or even tricking another immortal into making her a goddess.

Final Decision: Survive!

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Wow, I had 5 protagonists survive and only 2 die, but I guess that makes sense, since most of these characters wouldn’t be protagonists if they weren’t good at surviving (especially the fantasy ones), right?


I TAG…

Of course, no pressure to do the tag, but I had so much fun doing this tag, and I would love to see your answers!


What did you guys think of my decisions? Did you agree with them? Disagree? Let’s discuss in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books Released in the Last 10 Years

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This week’s TTT topic is “Favorite Books Released In the Last Ten Years”. This is such a weirdly specific and challenging topic; it seems like so many first books in beloved series came out during the same year! What the heck? This is also hard, because as a SJM fan, I want to pick one of her books for almost every year from 2012-2018. I’m going to try to confine myself to only 1 or 2 SJM books on this list, but we’ll see.

Now please note that I didn’t necessarily read these books in the year they released.

ALSO, I can’t stress enough how stressful it was to choose between all my favorites. Here are the books I currently feel most strongly about, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be fully satisfied with my answers. It’s so hard to combat my nostalgic feelings and view them from semi-current feelings.

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.


2009: Darkwood by M.E. Breen

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I’ve loved this MG book for years now and I’m honestly probably due for a reread. I’m not sure when I first read this book, but I imagine I purchased it at some sort of Scholastic Book Fair a year or 2 within the release date.

2010: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

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Who loves faeries?!? THIS GIRL! But wow, 2010, this book truly is a throwback. I loved this trilogy and Julie Kagawa so much! (we don’t talk about the last 3 books with the brother.)

2011: Angelfall by Susan Ee

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I didn’t expect it, but this year’s release was so hard to decide on it! 2011 was also the year The Girl of Fire and Thorns and The Daughter of Smoke and Bone released (and apparently there was a trend in similarly formatted titles then, lol). It was so hard to pick, but Angelfall is the only one of the three I’ve read multiple times (that ending guts me every time!).

2012: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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I mean come one, how can I not include this book? I got this book for Christmas in 2012 and instantly devoured it. I continued to carry around the book in my saxophone case every day for practically the rest of the year. I’ll admit now that the writing is a bit amateur, but I have so many fond memories of discovering this series, I had to let this be the one exception where I ignored my current feelings.

2013: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Look, a contemporary! I’m totally a multi-dimensional reader! Ha.
I read this book during my sophomore year of college and couldn’t believe how similar Cath was to freshman year me. This book was so cute and the relatability was amazing–how can it not be a fav release for me?

2014: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

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I’ve read this trilogy twice now and omg it has such a bittersweet ending and honestly I still think about the characters to this day. I really need to pick up King of Scars soon and ahhh, can the Netflix show come fast enough PLEASE??

2015: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

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This is the second book in The Remnant Chronicles and surprisingly my favorite. I’ve read this book 3 times now and loved it every time. The series is very trope-y, but some how works SUPER WELL, and honestly, if it wasn’t for that pathetic ending of the final book (I like to pretend it doesn’t exist), this series would be one of my all time favorites.

2016: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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I have no doubt that this book is gonna be on a lot of people’s lists. No one can deny this sequel was incredible: Feyre’s PTSD rep, the Inner Circle, the hate-to-love romance, and so many FEELS! I even got my mom to read this series. Now I just need her to read the third book…

2017: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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I actually read this short story collection in February and honestly, it’s probably been one of my fav reads for the year, if not the top. LB writes FRICKING AMAZING dark fairytales and honestly, I was sad there weren’t more in this collection.

2018: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

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Dammit, I tried really hard not to have a 3rd SJM book on this list, but seriously, how could I not include the final Throne of Glass book on this list? I actually just read this book for the first time this month and omg, I loved practically every moment of it (at least when I wasn’t crying). I honestly don’t know what I would have done without SJM’s epic fantasy books growing up as a teen.


2019 Prediction: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black or The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

My other anticipated releases have disappointed me thus far, so I’m really hoping The Storm Crow doesn’t follow that trend. But with a plot that involves a princess with depression, a forced marriage, and MAGICAL, ELEMENTAL CROWS, how can this book be anything but great? But then there’s also the final book in The Folk of the Air trilogy (which PRAISE THE LORD had the release date moved up from Jan. 2020 to Nov. 2019). I have little doubt that Holly Black will wrench our hearts out in this one, so I think it’s also a likely contender. 😂


What are some of your favorite releases? Do you agree with any of my choices? Do you have a prediction for 2019?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to drop your link in the comments below, I would love to check it out!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Reads of 2018

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Welcome 2019! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Best Books I Read In 2018”. I’m going to tweak this prompt slightly and make it my “favorite reads of 2018” because I read a lot of 5 star reads, but there were a few 4.25/4.5 star reads that I found myself enjoying more.

Wow, I realized after writing this list that these books are all rereads and popular/hyped books?! So yeah, I might be a bit cliché in some of my choices/rankings, but honestly, this was such a hard list to make, so can ya blame me? I did my best to rank them, but honestly, I enjoyed all these books relatively the same.


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)


First, before we dive into this list, let’s glance at my “The Best Books I Read in the First Half of 2018” list:

  1. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
  2. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  3. When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka
  4. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  5. Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
  6. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
  7. The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen
  8. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
  9. Monstress by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
  10. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

Now for my final favorites list of 2018:

10. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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I love The Little Mermaid, so, of course, this dark Little Mermaid retelling with sirens was a big hit for me! And with secret identities, witty banter, and an awesome world, this book was an immense joy to read! Why aren’t there more good mermaid/siren books out there?

9. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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How could I not add this to the list? I honestly think my favorite part about this book, and what I admire most about Thomas’s writing, is her characters. All her characters are so fleshed out and I adored Starr’s family dynamic.

8. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Another popular I finally read! My favorite things about this book was the narration and of course the love story! Ahhh, Simon and Blue are such great characters! I will forever be wanting more of them. (Leah on the Offbeat was not enough; I want to see them in college!)

7. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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I finally hopped on this bandwagon! I loved all of the protagonists and it was so great to discuss this book with my roommate and book club. I can’t wait to pick up Crooked Kingdom this year!

6. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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Honestly, I enjoyed both these Leigh Bardugo books pretty equally, but how I could I not include one the Grisha trilogy books? I adored rereading this series and ahhhh, it was great. Alina is such a great morally grey character and I loved her character journey. I’m not sure if I would absolute say that the second book is my favorite of the trilogy, but I technically reread Shadow and Bone in 2017 so I couldn’t include it for this list.

5. Circe by Madeline Miller

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OMG MILLER’S WRITING IS GORGEOUS! Ultimate writing goals right here. I thoroughly enjoyed getting Circe’s side of the story, because honestly, until I read this book, I kept getting Circe confused with Calypso. It was so cool to see all this Greek mythology woven into this Circe retelling.

4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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And I LOVE Jane Austen’s writing too! I’ve only read 4 of Austen’s novels, but this one is without a doubt my favorite. It was so great to reread this book this year and discuss it with my Jane Austen class! That’s the only part I’m sad about in regards to my fall semester finishing; I won’t be in my Jane Austen class again! Luckily, I got Austen’s other 2 books for Christmas, so you might see those books popping up on my 2019 list!

3. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

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Wow, another reread (and 2nd book in a trilogy) making this list! Who would have thought? This was my 3rd time reading this book, and the story did not disappoint! I love The Remanent Chronicles so much (except for the trilogy’s ending but we don’t talk about that shhhh). I will say that this series has a lot of cliches with the “chosen one” trope and all, but despite this, it honestly works and I 100% recommend the trilogy to all YA fantasy readers.

2. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Like nearly everyone else in the YA book world, I fell in love with this novel! I adored Jude’s morally grey character and all the crazy plot twists. And now we’re only a week away from the release of The Wicked King! Crap, I still need to pre-order that book…

1. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

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A classic choice, but how could I not declare a SJM book my favorite read of the year? I love her writing, characters, and supreme foreshadowing skills. Funny enough, this was the first book I read in 2018! I still haven’t read Kingdom of Ash yet, but hopefully it will be on my favorite reads list of 2019!


What were some of your favorite reads from 2018? Do we have any in commmon?

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

December Wrap-Up: FINALLY Completing My Fall Semester + Finishing My Current Reads

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How are we already on December 31st? How have I already been on winter break for 2 weeks?

December was a crazy month. The first two weeks were extremely busy and stressful with all of my final project work and then the last two weeks have been…extremely lazy, whoops. Even though I enjoyed a couple of my classes, I’m really grateful that they’re over and that I survived my semester (because honestly there were a couple of points where I thought I might suffocate under all the work I had to do)! I still can’t believe that next semester I’ll be studying off-campus in New York instead of back at my small college. Hopefully I have lots of (fun) adventures ahead of me!

Tomorrow I’ll be back with a Top Ten Tuesday post of my favorite reads of 2018 and a couple days after that (so January 3rd or 4th) I’ll be posting my wrap-up of 2018 and my goals for the new year!


BOOKS I READ:

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1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 4.5 stars

I finally read Six of Crows! I adored the book and it was such a fun book to discuss with my book club (this book probably produced the best book discussions all semester). My only real complaint with the book is that the protagonists should have been in their late twenties, not 17-ish, but oh well, that’s YA for ya. 😅
I can’t wait to continue onto Crooked Kingdom!

2. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney

Rating: 5 stars

This is a graphic memoir about about a cartoonist who finds out she has bipolar I. Her memoir follows her through manic and depressive episodes and as she struggles with how to value her creativity with her overall health. This was such an insightful book in so many ways and I would recommend this book to essentially everyone!

3. Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

Rating: 3.25 stars

A really fun read that parodied the expectations and perfections of superheroes, but I wasn’t sure what else I was suppose to get out of it besides that? And at times, it was just TOO ridiculous. I really love the cover though, so I’m tempted to go out and by the other 2 books in the series…

4. Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Rating: 2.25 stars

Essentially this was a shallow and cliché fantasy that wasn’t very remarkable. It took me months to get through my ARC of this book. You can read my full thoughts here.

5. Celtic Tales: Fairy Tales and Stories of Enchantment from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Wales by Kate Forrester

Rating: 3.5 stars

This was an interesting collection of tales that I had never heard before. But maybe because I didn’t have any familiarity with them was the reason I found them a bit lackluster? The illustrations are all gorgeous tho and I loved how the collection was divided up into 4 sections: Tricksters, The Sea, Quests, and Romance. The last section was of course my fav. 😉

6. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 4.5 stars

It only took me a year, but I finally finished my reread of the Grisha trilogy! It had been ~4 years since I last read all these books and it was so much fun to dive back into this series. I love Alina’s morally grey character and I can’t wait to read more Leigh Bardugo in the future!

7. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Rating: 5 stars

I read this collection of short stories for my fiction writing class and I enjoyed it! Elizabeth Strout’s writing is so unique, amazing, and powerful. I can only dream of writing like her. I’m quite curious to see the mini-series inspired by this book now…

8. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
**hopefully**

Rating: 4 stars??

I haven’t actually finished this book yet (I’m about 2/3 of the way through) but I wanted to include it since I’m planning to finish it before 2019. I also wanted to post this wrap-up before the end of the day since I’m hoping to participate in Top Ten Tuesday tomorrow and I don’t like to post back to back.

Mandel writes in a nonlinear timeline and uses a somewhat blunt writing style which is quite captivating. I’ve been partly spoiled for the end but I’m still eager to see the book through.


January TBR:

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But then again, who knows at this point? There are so many books I want to read, but I can only take so many with me to New York. Not to mention I have so many to choose from (check out my December book haul here)! And I just realized that I haven’t read any of the books on my Winter Break TBR, yikes. 😬


Random Life Updates:

  • I FINISHED MY FALL SEMESTER OF CLASSES!! Praise the lord it’s overall– all that work was so stressful.
    • But I am really sad that I won’t be able to see my roommate for at least half a year now, given that we’re both studying off-campus next semester.
  • I got to see a bunch of relatives for Christmas!
    • My family hard core procrastinating on decorating this year. We didn’t get our tree up until the evening December 23rd. 😁
  • My sister is trying to pressure me into cleaning my room. We’ve had little success so far (my room really needs it tho; you can barely see the floor)
  • I really should be writing, but I haven’t since I submitted my final portfolio for my fiction writing class. (This was probably not the best thing to confess here since my writing buddy reads my posts, whoops)
  • There’s probably more I’m forgetting to include on this list, but I’m totally blanking. Goal for 2019: Stop making this the last section I fill out on these wrap-ups before posting. I always rush this section and thus it always ends up being half halfheartedly filled out.

Wow, this is my last post of 2018! Thank you to everyone who has read my posts this last year! ❤

How was your December? Did you do anything fun for the holidays? If you posted a December wrap-up, feel free to link it up in the comments; I would love to read it!