BookExpo/BookCon Haul 2019

I started editing this and then WordPress doesn’t understand what an undo button is and just erases my entire progress, so a week later, I am FINALLY. Attempting to complete this long-ass post. Even though I was going to sleep three hours ago. And skip reading because sleep. Ugh I hate myself.

But anyway, this year I also attended BEA (BookExpo) and BookCon and it was super fun! My haul ended up being TWENTY books! INSANE! So I’ll show you what I got and hope you will end up feeling interested in some of these titles! I try to sum up the synopsis in a paragraph in my own words, but sometimes that doesn’t happen… so…. yea.

NOTE: With the exception of American Royals,  all ARCS (and finished copies) won’t be reviewed until at least September/October due to my reading schedule already being full for Summer, not to mention the books I have that need to be read at home.

These are pretty much in chronological order of when I get them; I don’t even know why this needs to be a thing but it is!

Continue reading “BookExpo/BookCon Haul 2019”

Advertisements

Series I’m DNF-ing

hi everyone

welcome to the classic topic of DNFing.

Your gal’ here, tbh, hates DNFing; she lowkey feels guilty for starting a series and not finishing it, and feels even more guilty if she PURCHASES a book, hates it halfway and simply does not finish it.

So the I, who is not a big fan of DNFing books anyway has self-introduced the topic of DNFing to make my life easier. And in the past two years I’ve been reading, here are some series that I am, I will and already DNF-ed. And why.

Friendly note, I have written reviews for plenty of these series that I am about to DNF, but I wasn’t an honest review for a good period of time while I was on this blog; I was too nice and often sweet coated my thoughts. But here is where things will be laid nice and plain.

Red Queen Series
– fuck this shit

Yes I’ll be leaving my initial comment here for you to enjoy
Book 1 wasn’t terrible. I managed to get through it with a fair amount of interest, though I do remember getting bored from point to point. But the prequel novella? BORING. I skimmed through it and gave a 1 star on Goodreads. Book 2: Glass Sword? EVEN WORSE. I had absolutely no idea what went on and was absolutely confused. The plot went nowhere and the romance-ship I wanted was left to the MC’s brother. Before you even know it, the book ended.

Raven Cycle
– very dull and boring

I don’t even know why my reviews sounded so overly positive. I actually lowkey wanna know what happens in the third and fourth book, so my opinion might change on this one. Book 1 was fairly interesting. Not too bad, but it’s kinda slow. Book 2 I was just straight up confused. I didn’t understand why Blue, the MC girl, didn’t have the majority of the plot line and why the focus went onto someone else instead. I dreaded myself along the path of finishing this book and I did.

Witchlands Series
– tis was dull and boring

Don’t get me wrong, I love Susan Dennard, and Truthwitch and Windwitch weren’t big disappointments. It was the dragging of the publishing date, however, that is currently pushing me to DNF this series. The gap between book 2 and book 3 is just too wide, with book 0.5 in between confusing me of what is going on. But my opinion might change on this one. Witchlands’ plot wasn’t a big disappointment.

Star Touched Series
– it was a standalone and book 2 is like a spin-off but not intrigued enough to read book 2

I LOVED Star-Touched Queen. You can find a quote-collage artwork I did in my “Book Related Artworks” page. I suppose I’m not too into the idea of one big world and different sets of characters (ok fine Shadowhunters is an exception), perhaps its the date difference and my piling-high TBR. Since book 1 already summed up the plot, I wasn’t intrigued enough to read book 2 that wasn’t on book 1 MCs.

An Ember in the Ashes Series
– it was just boring i havent brought myself to read book 2 i hope it’ll redeem me enough to get book 3
– no offense but different book covers

I’m actually reading book 2 right now and I feel intrigued enough to read book 3. I compiled this list a long long time ago and i’m only typing it like 2 months later; book 2 might redeem itself for me to finish this series. But I am annoyed with the book cover change because I’m a collector and completionist and lowkey OCD. Go Brown Girl representation but not for OCDs sake.

Flame in the Mist Series
– fuck you for mixing japanese and chinese culture this is a disgrace
– what is that book cover for book 2

Book 2 just lost its consistency with the book cover. The phoenix theme just didn’t make it onto book 2. And I didn’t stress enough about this on my Flame in the Mist review, but as a Chinese and an avid lover of Japanese, I absolutely despise the idea of mixing Japanese and Chinese culture. Its an insult to use these two cultures together because (despite me not feeling insulted) the Japanese and Chinese has had a lot of history against each other, and these two, while similar, are two very different cultures with their own uniqueness. Mixing these two cultures to me are the equivalent of saying all Asians are ching chong ding dong.

Glittering Court Series
– the other 2 books r basically same shit but different perspective and probably add on plot points, dont think it’ll contribute much

My short point pretty much sums up the conclusion as to why I don’t want to continue. My piling TBR list and gaping time between books publishing was the cause of me not wanting to dive into the secondary characters’ lives.

Burning Glass Trilogy
– one book was enough

This review was probably an honest one. And I’ve stated my reasons over on this review as to why I don’t want to continue this series. There were let down points, wasn’t satisfying, lowkey boring, and one book pretty much became a standalone imo and doesn’t need a sequel.

The Darkest Minds Trilogy (& Prosper Redding)
– its literally been too long since I’ve read Never Fade, and Never Fade bore me to death.

I know there are many Alex Bracken fans out there and she’s a super sweet human being, but as a not-so-much-of-a dystopian fan, TDM was not bad, but Never Fade was super boring until someone died at the end. It got interesting but I still gave it 3 stars on goodreads. Prosper Redding was just super boring, I didn’t even bring myself to read page by page.

Song of the Current Duology
– 
boring

I was honest with this review, and I didn’t enjoy this book. The lore was interesting enough, but it took 4EVA to build up to anywhere interesting. And then the book ended. I dreaded myself to finish this book, and all the hype I built was flushed down the drain on day one. So no.


That sums up my list of DNFs and possible DNFs. What are some of yours and do we have any in common?

Joanne’s Useless Tip for Aspiring Authors

In fact, I’m in absolutely no place to write this blog post.

I’m not even trying to write a book (ok I’ve made attempts and just realized I suck) nor do I have the vast capability of writing that Ava has (if you haven’t, check out snippets of her aspiring novel, The Blue Jay over on her instagram @authoravatusek)

But as a person who had come across thoughts of writing a book, had random ideas but then decided they were useless and threw them away, as well as participated once in NanoWrimo, I have consolidated not a list of tips but one tip/idea for a certain type of aspiring authors.


For those of you who are in the same boat as me: absolute beginners who want to write something but you can’t just produce a story outline no matter how hard you try to squeeze your brain juice + know that you basically suck at writing and need some way to practice:

Try transcribing your favourite TV series or anime.

YEs.

If you need writing practice, turning a TV series or an anime into a novel is very, good, practice.

Why?

These two are very different formats. In television, things are often squished and simplified because alas, a television show is not a narration parade. Many details and inner thoughts are skipped through, and are simply expressed, hopefully by the actors and actresses.

Turning this game the other way round, therefore, is a great challenge. You need to break down each scene into a million word, describing every small movement that the characters make to describing the environment around them. You also can’t just black out and so be it. You need to learn to time where you insert your chapter breaks, so on and so forth.

This process also forces you to anaylze your characters in the TV shows. You do have a headstart because you don’t have to think about plot planning and character dialogue; that’s all done for you. What isn’t done for you, however, is what emotions and thoughts they are feeling inside. It’s like watching TWiLiGhT. YOu look at the movie and barely learn crap because Kristen Stewart only knows how to subtley moan and make one face. The book however, has much much more description of her thoughts, perhaps expressions, so on and so forth.

I’ve done one myself, in fact. I took the anime Houseki no Kuni, a.k.a. Land of the Lustrous and made it into a novel version for that one NaNoWriMo I participated in. Just for fun! Afterwards when I started editing, I found out how terrible my writing was and knew I need to keep doing these things to start improving my descriptive ability. It helps. It forces you to break down things, watch a scene play in many different angles. Neither the anime or manga had enough inner thoughts, and I’ve added so much more into it that made my *basically fan fic* writing seem more legit.

Something like this:


We’ve been spoiling each other.

I’ve been always protecting you, causing you to go off guard and heavily rely on me. But I’ve been abusing your presence, because I know that you will never leave me in the end, no matter what choice I make.


So that’s pretty much it.

This concept/idea is pretty self-explanatory.

To any absolute-beginner-maybe-aspiring authors, good luck and hope you find this helpful!

If you are ever interested to read my crap of a fan-fic novel, click the link below! Do beware that it might lag you since its 197 pages long :)

CLICK ME <3

 

 

Books I Think Are Totally Underrated

My very first blog post on this site was a negative one, and I like to think that I’m not a very negative person *all the time*, so for my second one I wanted to do something nice. See below for Ava being nice.

We’ll start with #1: Kiersten White

Kiersten White is not a book, she is, in fact, a person: kiersten white

A super sweet human being, if I do say so myself (I am a huge fan of her books, and have met her several times, so I may or may not be ~slightly biased~).

The first Kiersten White book I ever read was And I Darken, which may have one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen in my entire reading career. All three of these books have stunningly gorgeous covers, and I would’ve read them for cover lust alone had the description not been so juicy:

and i darken.jpg

Seriously, how beautiful are those????? Answer: SO beautiful.

The inside of them, however? Even better. This trilogy follows two siblings, Lada and Radu Dracul. The series is historical fiction (no magic here, folks, but you’ll absolutely find a dragon in Lada, especially considering her last name is ‘dragon’). Lada is actually a gender-bent version of Vlad the Impaler, a ruler of Wallachia who was so cruel that he actually inspired the Count Dracula myth…but in And I Darken, this he becomes a she.

It was so refreshing to read a female character be unapologetically blood-thirsty and stay that way! There is clear character development for Lada in this series, but throughout the entirety of it, she stays true to her vicious roots (not without reason), which isn’t something you see often. Typically, we get subjected to a female character who suddenly finds The Dude Of Their Lives and rejects what made her so cruel in the first place. Naw.

Additionally, we are treated to the refined, sweet-heart-with-a-mind-like-a-steel-trap, Radu! Radu was historically known as Radu the Handsome, and I found myself absolutely loving his perspective; his love for his sister wars constantly with his desire to survive, and their relationship was easily one of the best pieces of this series. Additionally: sweet Radu is in love with a man, which just proves the idea that “when writing a historic book you can’t have gay people because they were prosecuted so it doesn’t make sense” is TOTAL NONSENSE. White stays true to the (abysmal) truth of the time, which was that homosexuality was a no-no; but the love between Radu and his husband is the purest, loveliest part of this series.

So three cheers for blood-thirsty women and handsome, smarty pants boyos.

Another book by Kiersten that I read this year and enjoyed immensely was one of her chaos of starsearlier stand-alones, The Chaos of Stars. The book follows the daughter of Egyptian gods Osiris and Isis, Isadora, as she struggles to separate herself from her ~super whacked~ family by going to live with her adult brother in California. There was a super fun blend of mythology within this book (the Egyptians weren’t the only people with polytheistic beliefs, after all), as well as the classic “finding yourself” arc and an absolutely adorable romance. Not to mention, would you look at that cover. I want to taste that cover; if that cover were music, it would be the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard. *Happy sigh* Anyway, this was the book that really made me fall in love with Kiersten’s writing. She’s so adaptive, can create so many different voices, and each time I read one of her books, I feel like I’m reading something from a totally different author. Nothing about her work feels recycled or old, which is why I would recommend any of her works to absolutely any reader (although The Chaos of Stars and And I Darken do remain my favorites). Also, if you’ve ever seen a certain beautiful quote roaming around, know that Kiersten wrote it! See below, and if you recognize it, high five to you!

chaos of stars 2

The second book I believe to be super underrated is Seafire, by Natalie C. Parker.

This book is here to assuage anyone’s desires for girl pirates, an unbreakable sisterhood seafirebond, and a skeezy villain that you can’t help but love-to-hate. Seafire really scratched an itch that I didn’t even know I had. Historically, books have often pitted girls against each other. Sisters are rivals, and girls within the same social circles become bitter enemies, rather than a team that could challenge the stars. I’m getting rather tired of that. Seafire fell into no such trap: the entire crew of the Mors Navis is made up of girls who have walked through hell with and for each other. They argue, but never in a devastating manner, and their willingness to sacrifice everything for each other was beautiful. Amidst a beautiful, engaging world with imagery that practically lets you feel ocean running over your toes, Seafire is definitely a book that should be added to everyone’s TBR.

The final book that I find completely underrated is Claire Legrand’s Furyborn.

The title alone gives me chills.

furybornEverything about this book screams (upper) YA fantasy; there are dark angels, emperors, ancient journal entries, a wicked magic system, two badass girls for narrators (one is a queen, the other a bounty hunter of sorts), swoon worthy male characters, and luscious world-building and prose. Furyborn hit the bestseller list, but despite that, I haven’t seen much hype for this book. And that makes me sadder than you could imagine. This is just the kind of epic fantasy that you need to get your hands on when looking for a cure from any *cough* Throne of Glass hangovers you may be experiencing. Why? Because it’s bound to be your next obsession. I can’t emphasize enough the way this book made me feel; I laughed, I cried, I scratched my head, I screamed, I cried some more. The plot itself is completely badass and told from the perspectives of our amazing leading ladies, Rielle and Eliana. What’s so interesting about them, you might ask? They’re experiencing different timelines. Rielle’s POV comes 1000 years before Eliana’s, and Legrand manages to stitch together the connections between their lives without spoiling the whole thing, which is an incredible feat in itself. Furyborn is everything you’re looking for in an epic YA fantasy, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a thing for battle, queens, and romance!

-Ava

New Co-Blogger!

Hi everyone! Joanne here! I’m very happy to announce that my friend, Ava, will be co-blogging my book blog with me!

me and Ava declaring our Shadowhunter-ness at BookCon 2018

Ava is a charming lady from Colorado, and I met her through our love for Sarah J. Maas (thank you Bridey), as both of us have a fan account dedicated to SJM.I first met Ava irl in BookCon 2018, and she is an absolute delight.

She is an aspiring author that gets me all excited because I get to help her with anything related to Chinese and Japanese mythology/terminologies/knowledge, and I was so honored to be able to name eight of her characters so far.

Ava aims to become High Lady of the Summer Court and constantly flushes her money into the ocean for Sarah J. Maas books. I do not know how she does it but she does it.

Book Expo 2018 Haul!

Hi guys!

If you’ve my last post (HERE) then you’d know I was at BEA AND BOOK CON 2018! It was honestly a blast and it was so exciting! Got to meet amazing people and authors! Obviously means I got tons and tons of books, and here I am to share it with everyone! I am not including my Book Con haul in here because Book Con is a much smaller scope and mostly published/very very well known books, but if you would like to know what else I got, you can find out in my YouTube video HERE!

Each link you see below is linked to its respective Goodreads page! Continue reading “Book Expo 2018 Haul!”

BEA/Book Con Recap – What Happened!

I can simply tell you that BookExpo and BookCon was god damn amazing. I got to meet so many amazing people and meet some of my friends, and I’m super excited to give you guys a run down of basically how it went! TL;DR


Book Expo Day 1

So I got there an hour eariler because I was simply too excited. I saw the EpicReads’ Three Dark Crowns booth being set up which was super exciting, as well as other huge huge banners! (A SJM one too!) Day 1 had around 150+ stores open, and these are targeted for actually the more professional peeps in the book industry as well as individual publishers, so it wasn’t really my thing. Nonetheless, I walked around the limited show floor, as well as listened to the keynote by the CEO of Barnes & Nobles about the physical publication of books and its future. SUPER GOOD! Continue reading “BEA/Book Con Recap – What Happened!”

Halloween Fun The SEQUEL

Hi guys!

I’m terribly busy with school work and am actually dying, so my brain has stopped me from reading at all and I just can’t read. But I can’t leave you guys hanging, so I’m making a sequel to something I did last year.

Check out the one from last year here: HALLOWEEEEEN FUN

Image result for club penguin pumpkin

So last year I did a Throne of Glass Stew.

THIS YEAR, WE’RE MAKING AN ACOTAR STEW. OHH BOY.


ACOTAR Halloween Stew Recipe

You will need:

  • 100 Red Roses from the Spring Court
    • Blessed by Tamlin. Not that you want that. I do though.
    • Antibacterial, antioxidant, moisturizing, toning. Perfect for skin improvement.
  • 30 Litres of Sea Water from the Summer Court
    • Blessed by Tarquin.
    • High amount of sodium chloride. Great for sustaining hydration levels.
  • 500g of Leaves from the Autumn Court
    • Blessed by Beron. Do you want that though?
    • Tons of benefits from whatever leaves you picked up. Think about the possibilities!
  • 1kg of Fresh Snow from the Winter Court
    • Blessed by Kallias. He’s hot right?
    • Basically whatever benefits of water can be found in here. Make sure you deliver the snow early. When it turns into water, it loses the snow effect. It’ll be normal water.
  • 1 jar of special sunlight from the Day Court
    • Blessed by Helion the hoe
    • Please use the sunlight holding jar that can be made from I-have-no-idea to take in the sunlight. Its great in vitamin D.
  • 10 Flowers with Healing Qualities from the Dawn Court
    • Blessed by Thesan.
    • Well it says it all. Healing qualities. An example would be the one Feyre gave to Rhys.
  • 2kg of Mountain Rock from the Night Court
    • Blessed by Rhys.
    • Mountain rock contains rich amount of minerals from a ton of different sources. Beneficial for a lot of stuff. You could just grind it and then make it into a body scrub. Might give you a few scratches though.
  • Whatever bones left from Under the Mountain
    • Amarantha’s darling collection gives a good flavor to your stew.
  • One or two lacey things from that store in Velaris
    • Just for decorations purposes. Makes the stew look better.
  • Some siphons. As many as you could steal.
    • Power effects. Gives the stew a better and stronger flavor. And an Illyrian flavor.
  • Whatever jewels from that stock in the Summer Court Palace.
    • Gives the stew a nice shine.
  • Ashes from the Cottage of the Weaver
    • Cus its precious.
  • Bones from the cell of the Bone Carver
    • Also precious. You might wanna just keep it.

Optional Ingredients:

  • Lock of hair from Tamlin
    • 2% chance of your child being able to shapeshift
  • Lock of hair from Tarquin
    • 1% chance of your child being able to use water
  • Lock of hair from Beron
    • 1% chance of your child being able to use fire
  • Lock of hair from Kallias
    • 1% chance of your child being able to use snow
  • Lock of hair from Helion
    • 1% chance of your child always shining bright like a diamond.
    • Great torch in the dark!
    • Also bears light controlling abilities.
  • Lock of hair from Thesan
    • 1% chacen of your child bearing healing powers.
  • Lock of hair from Rhys.
    • 1% chance of being able to winnow.
  • Illyrian Sweat
    • Get 5 towel’s worth. It’ll help stink up your stew and flavor it.
    • 5% chance of gaining Illyrian wings.
  • Scrapes of dried paint from the table in the Mountain Cabin 
    • Blessed by Feyre.
      • P.S. if you manage to scoop feyrhys, then you get a 10% chance of your child being almighty.
      • P.P.S. you might as well as treasure the scrapes. Its blessed with heavenly bodies.
  • Lock of hair from Nesta.
    • 50% chance of your next child being as angsty as Nesta.
  • Lock of hair from Elain.
    • 10% chance of being psychic.

Steps:

  1. Prepare some logs. Light it on fire.
  2. Boil your sea water in a huge witch pot.
  3. Dump in your towels and let it soak for an hour before removing.
  4. Add all locks of hair if you have any.
  5. When well mixed, wait for the chemical reaction that causes the stew to release brown smoke.
  6. Mix in dry ingredients one by one into the pot. You MUST wait until one dissolves completely before putting the next. Order does not matter.
  7. Due to the natural ingredients gained from the courts, your pot should have a shit color by now. That is when your stew is ready.
  8. Invite friends.
  9. Serve.
  10. Make sure you have enough toilet bowls or drains ready.