Mid-Year Freakout: Book Tag

Whoops, initially I forgot to put an intro here… I guess what I would have said is that I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by. I moved to Florida at the end of September last year, and I keep thinking we’ve only lived here a few months when actually we’ve almost lived here a full year. Crazy. So much has happened and yet it still feels like 2017 has just begun.

Without any further ado, here’s my Mid-Year Freakout tag! (I tried to only use a book once by the way, even though a lot were contenders for multiple categories!) Enjoy, and link me to yours if you want!

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Books vs. Audiobooks

This week, two of my three regular posts will focus on audiobooks, as they are something I have wanted to talk about for quite a while now, and I have so many thoughts I’d love to share and discuss.

Until maybe two years ago, I was that person who claimed people who liked audiobooks weren’t “real” readers. I also didn’t understand people who had no real way of organizing their books on their bookshelves or people who preferred ebooks over the real thing.

I fully regret feeling that way now, but that’s just what I thought back then. Books were my territory and anyone who dared to venture into it had better share my beliefs. Basically, I was an angsty teen, haha.  

Now, I’ve done a complete 180 and color code my bookshelves, listen to audiobooks whenever it’s the more convenient option, and prefer ebooks for easy reading at night.
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Unpopular Opinion: An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir

So, shortly after I wrote my review for A Torch against the Night, I uploaded it to Amazon. After a few days of it being up, someone marked it as “unhelpful,” which is totally fine, as everyone is allowed to have their own opinions! (Who knows–maybe I wasn’t thorough enough for them. *shrugs*) It especially didn’t bother me, because they probably only down-voted it since I didn’t enjoy their favorite book.

This did, however remind me of the many unpopular opinions I have, and I decided I should more fully explain my feelings on this series (through lists of pros and cons like last time):

**potential small spoilers from here on out**

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Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones: Book Review

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Title: Wintersong

Author: S. Jae-Jones

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (Macmillan)

My Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Format/Source: US hardcover from my local library

Coming from a family as musically-inclined as hers, it’s only natural that eighteen-year-old Elisabeth, more affectionately called Liesl, dreams of becoming a composer. A female musician, however, is definitely not natural. Society would most certainly look down on her.

In addition to that hindrance, Liesl already suffers from a severe lack of confidence in her music. She was never encouraged and educated with the same care as her brother, Josef, so instead she hides her dreams away in a locked box that lives under her bed.

“The wishes we make in the dark have consequences, and the Lord of Mischief will call their reckoning.”

All her life, Liesl has always put herself last. As the oldest child in her family, it’s always been her job to look out for her younger siblings–her beautiful, golden-haired sister and foil, Käthe; and Josef, her brother with whom she shares an intense, almost unearthly, bond.

This bond is actually where Liesl’s troubles begin. By favoring one sibling, she has neglected the other and put her in danger. 

“Once there was a little girl who played her music for a little boy in the wood. She was small and dark, he was tall and fair, and the two of them made a fancy pair as they danced together, dancing to the music the little girl heard in her head.”

When Käthe goes missing, Liesl immediately knows just who is responsible for her sister’s disappearance. The boy that she used to play with in the Goblin Grove near her house. The boy who was not actually a boy at all, but Der Erlkönig. The Goblin King of legend. The cruel Lord of Mischief.

“I could not tell what color his eyes were from where I stood, but they were likewise pale, and icy. The Goblin King tilted his head in a duelist’s nod and gave me a small smile, the tips of his teeth sharp and pointed. I clenched my fists. I knew that smile. I recognized it, and understood it as a challenge.

Come rescue her, my dear, the smile said. Come and rescue her…if you can.”

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We Are Okay by Nina LaCour: Book Review

We Are Okay

Title: We Are Okay

Author: Nina LaCour

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (Penguin)

My Rating: 4.25/5 stars

“I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.”

As the only student who opts to stay on campus during dreary winter break, college freshman, Marin, finds herself stranded in her empty dorm. She is alone both physically and mentally, but not for long–Mabel is coming.

Marin’s life has been full of hardship. Nothing has been easy for her. Her father was never in the picture, and her mom passed away when she was young. To make matters worse, it seems like everyone in Marin’s town knew and loved her mom. They’re drawn to her, always randomly walking up to Marin and talking about her as if she remembers her. Ever since her death, she has lived with her strange yet loving–in his own way–grandfather.

A few months before we join her story, tragedy struck and eighteen-year-old Marin could not have gotten out of California any quicker. Thankfully, she had college waiting for her in New York as an excuse, and upon her abrupt departure, she cut all ties with everyone she knew, saying goodbye to no one.

But you can’t outrun tragedy forever. After months of silence and the countless calls and texts–laced with the gentle concern of a best friend–going unanswered, Mabel takes a different approach. She decides to visit Marin in person, where she knows she will be incapable of ignoring her. Now, Marin must begin to face all that she has tried, and failed, to put behind her.

Told in alternating chapters between the past and present, we slowly piece together an idea of what Marin’s life was like before she left, and what happened to make her leave the way she did.

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Unpopular Opinion: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Welcome to my first entry in my “Unpopular Opinion” series, wherein I discuss, well… my unpopular opinions.

Since the ACOTAR trilogy is coming to an end in early May–well, at least it’s only the end of this arc, thank goodness–I think it’s only fitting that I start with this series.

So, my Unpopular Opinion: I did not like A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Hear me out before you go grabbing those pitchforks though! I loved, loved, loved its sequel A Court of Mist and Fury.

I knew this was something I’d eventually want to discuss, so while reading both I wrote these fun, silly lists that basically summed up my thoughts at the time of what I liked and what I disliked about each book:

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Who Wrote It Better: Rosamund Hodge vs. Sarah J. Maas

Similar to the popular magazine “Who Wore It Better?” columns, “Who Wrote It Better?” is where I compare two books or series that share a similar plot, setting, background, or subject matter.

First up in the “Who Wrote It Better” saga (*click the titles for their Goodreads links*):

Rosamund Hodge‘s Cruel Beauty vs. Sarah J. MaasA Court of Thorns and Roses

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My Rating: 4/5 stars
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My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

VS

 

 

 

 

By my ratings, I think you can tell which I enjoyed more, but here in this post I will explain why. You can also consider this a recommendation; if you enjoyed one, you may enjoy the other. 😉

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Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman: Book Review

Norse Mythology

Title: Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman 

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

My Rating: 5/5 stars

As much as I love mythology, I actually know nothing about Norse mythology. I haven’t even seen Marvel’s recent Thor movies–not that they count; I’m just trying to explain how truly little I know–so when I heard one of my favorite authors was putting together a collection of Norse mythology, I knew just where I was going to start. Thank you, Almighty Neil Gaiman.

“The Norse myths are the myths of a chilly place, with long, long winter nights and endless summer days, myths of a people who did not entirely trust or even like their gods, although they respected and feared them.”

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