This is my first ever Top Ten Tuesday post. I don’t usually participate, but it just so happened that the idea I had for my next blog post corresponded with their theme, so I decided to participate. Top Ten Tuesday … Continue reading
CROISSANT: Name a popular book or series that everyone (including you) loves.
The Lunar Chronicles
I don’t love this one as much as I used too, and I wouldn’t say that everyone loves it. However a lot of people do.
Macarons: Name a book that was hard to get through but worth it in the end.
I had a little trouble getting into this book as the beginning was so slow, but I ended up reading it very quickly as it picks up after that.
VOL-AU-VENT: Name a book that you thought would be amazing but fell flat.
The Maze Runner
I had really high expectations for this book, but I just felt too distant from the characters to connect to the story properly.
PAIN-AU-CHOCOLAT: Name a book that you though would be one thing but turned out to be something else.
The Name of the Wind
I wasn’t expecting this book’s plot to go the way it did. Probably going to get some hate for this, but the whole book I felt like I was waiting for a climax that never really came. So in that way the story was not what I expected.
PROFITEROLE: Name a book or series that doesn’t get enough attention.
I have to agree with the one who tagged me on this one. The Unwind series does not get enough love.
CROQUEMBOUCHE: Name a book or series that’s completely complex.
The Stormlight Archive
The fictional world where this series is set is one of the most — if not the most– complex I have ever read about.
NAPOLEON: Name a movie or TV show based off a book that you liked better than the book itself.
The Maze Runner
Didn’t really like the second movie, but I enjoyed the first one more than I did the book which, as I’ve mentioned, did not live up to my expectations.
EMPANADA: Name a book that was bittersweet.
The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3)
That ending . . . This is all I can say without spoilers. Anyone who has read this book will know what I mean.
KOLOMPEH: Name a book or series that takes place somewhere other than your own country.
The House of the Scorpion
This book takes place in a combination of a fictional country located on what is now the border between the US and Mexico and a somewhat futuristic version of Mexico though it is called something else in the book.
PATE-A-CHOUX: Name a food from a book or series that you would like to try.
The Stormlight Archive
I would like to try some of the foods Lift from the Stormlight Archives steals from the tables of the wealthy.
Spread The Love (of Food)
I’m anticipating far more books than will make it on this list, but these are the ten I am most looking forward to. This list is in order of my very most anticipated of the ten to least anticipated of the ten. Though if the book has made this list at all it still means that I really want to read it.
Before I begin I would like to give an honorable mention to book three in the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. If this book is somehow released this year than it is absolutely my most anticipated.
1. Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown
Release Date: Febuary 9, 2016
2. The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn #6/Alloy Era #3) by Brandon Sanderson
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Few who follow this blog are likely to be surprised in my choice of a Brandon Sanderson novel. Even if Stormlight #3 does not release this year I’ll still be satisfied by a combination of this book and Calamity.
3. Flamecaster (Shattered Realms #1)
Release Date: April 5, 2016
This is the spin-off series of Seven Realms taking place a number of years later. I really enjoyed the world of Seven Realms, and the way the series ended left a few left ends in terms of this fictional world as a whole so I am curious to see what has changed in the time between the two series.
4. The Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: September 22, 2016
I really enjoyed the first book in Six of Crows, and I’m curious about the direction the second book will take.
5. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Release Date: February 23, 2016
The first book was addictive and fun. I’m curious to see which direction the second book takes.
6. Gemina (Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Release Date: Fall 2016
I really enjoyed the first book, and hope that it means more YA novels set in space will gain popularity in the future as I would like to read more of them. I’m also very curious to see the direction the second book takes.
7. Beyond The Red by Ava Jae
Release Date: March 1, 2016
I follow this author’s blog, and find the writing advice she gives to be very useful. The setting of an alien planet in a YA novel also interests me greatly.
8. Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 27, 2016
I really enjoy this author’s writing style, and suspect that this will have continued to grow in her newest series. This book sounds like it has the potential to be very good.
9. The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Release Date: February 16, 2016
The summary of this book sounds very interesting to me. Time travel interests me, and I figured this list needed more novels from debut authors.
10. The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Rick Riordan’s books always have a tendency to put me in a very good mood. It was hard to choose the final book in this list, but in the end I chose this one for that reason.
I was planning to make a top ten list, but was having too much trouble narrowing it down in a way that didn’t make just about every book fall into a particular category written by a particular author. Instead I will be listing my favorite in each category.
Note that this is a list of favorite books I read in 2015. Not all were published in 2015.
Young Adult Fantasy
In the end I chose Six of Crows because it has so many different elements that were well executed as discussed in my review.
Words of Radiance is the second book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series which is part of the Cosmere, which is the larger fictional universe in which Sanderson’s adult fantasy novels take place.
I read just about all of Sanderson’s currently published Cosmere works this year, and I am now a huge fan. It was hard to chose only one, but this is my favorite Cosmere book so far.
I would not, however, recommend readers start with Words of Radiance, not just because its the second book in a series, but also because it’s hard to get through books in the Stormlight Archive for readers not used to long books. Starting with Mistborn: The Final Empire or Warbreaker might make Sanderson’s work easier to get into.
I have not yet reviewed Words of Radiance, but I have reviewed the first book, The Way of Kings.
Middle Grade Fantasy
I have always loved books about dragons, and look for novels with nonhuman narrators. For these reasons, this book written from the perspective of a young dragon was almost exactly what I was looking for.
If I had read this book while I was part of the intended age group it would probably have become one of my favorite books ever. As it was, I still enjoyed it enough to make it my favorite for this category, and I plan to continue with this series.
Young Adult Sci-Fi
Choosing a favorite for this category was hard. In the end I chose Illuminae in spite of the fact that I had a little trouble getting used to the formatting at the beginning because the second half makes up for the first. I have not yet written a review, but hope to soon.
Middle Grade Sci-Fi
This book is in the hazy area between YA and MG, but for the purpose of this list I will consider it middle grade. This book was very thought provoking, and I think it would be a great novel for discussion in a book club or classroom. It’s also the only book I’ve read set in Mexico, even if it is called something else in this novel.
This book is unlike anything else I’ve read. So different that I haven’t been able to compose my thoughts into a review. It’s hard to adjust to the disjointed way the story is told at first, but once I adjusted this book was heartbreaking and thought provoking.
I’ll admit that I don’t enjoy classics as much as some people seem to, but I really enjoyed reading and learning about the symbolism involved in this one. The fact that a large canvas painting/picture of myself I’d forgotten about arrived soon after I’d finished was a coincidence that finalized making this one of my favorite classics.
This book was shocking for me because I had no idea any of what it discussed was taking place in the medical community. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks explores the ethical questions of who owns body parts after they have been removed for medical reasons though the true story of Henrietta Lacks and her decedents.
So today I decided I would have a little fun in (well, fun for me, not for them), type some of my favorite characters names into a Hunger Games simulator, and see what happens in honor of the recent release of the Mockingjay Part 2 movie. This post is the result.
The simulator I used was: http://ripred.net/gamessim.php, but if you search for “Hunger Games simulators” on the web you’ll find there are many more out there.
*Disclaimer: This post simulates the deaths of some beloved fictional characters. It’s just for fun and not to be taken seriously. I did not create the random generator nor am I affiliated with it, and The Hunger Games is a book series by Susanne Collins which I am also unaffiliated with.
While listing contestants the cover of the books the characters are from will appear before the characters from that book are named. My comments on the random generator’s outcomes will appear in blue. The generator’s original text will appear in black.
District 1 Male: Darrow
District 1 Female: Virginia “Mustang”
District 2 Male: Vasher
District 2 Female: Vivienna
District 3 Male: Elend Venture
District 3 Female: Vin
District 4 Male: Kell
District 4 Female: Lila
District 5 Male: Khalid
District 5 Female: Shahrzad
District 6 Male: Kaladin
District 6 Female: Shallan Davar
District 7 Male: Tamlin
District 7 Female: Fayre
District 8 Male: Raffe
District 8 Female: Penryn
District 9 Male: Akiva
District 9 Female: Karou
District 10 Male: Kai
District 10 Female: Cinder
District 11 Male: Connor Lasiter
District 11 Female: Risa Ward
District 12 Male: Chaol
District 12 Female: Celaena Sardothien
Chaol killed by Vivienna
If this happens before the events of Warbreaker then I am shocked, but if it happened afterwords this makes perfect sense due to spoilers.
Connor Lasiter killed by Lila
It was only a matter of time before Connor died. Connor is a survivor, but he’s also one of the only people here lacking both magical powers and combat training.
Lila killed by Khalid
Well Lila only kind of has magical powers in a complicated spoilery way and only very informal combat training whereas Khalid has no doubt been trained to fight with the best of the best for most of his life even if he lacks magical abilities.
Vin killed by Celaena Sardothien
Guess Vin must have been throne into the arena without her metals because if she was using allomancy not even a trained assassin like Celaena would have been able to take her out.
Kaladin killed by Shahrzad
Now this is really shocking considering that Shahrzad can’t seem bring herself to kill anyone and Kaladin is not only a surgebinder, but a trained solider. Must have been an accident.
Penryn killed by Celaena Sardothien
Well this makes sense, I guess. Penryn is awesome and can survive a lot, but she doesn’t have magical powers and is no match for an assassin like Celaena.
Kai killed by Akiva
Prince Kai lacks both magical abilities and combat training so it makes sense a warrior angel like Akiva would end up killing him. Sorry Kai, but it’s true.
Risa Ward killed by Karou
Risa is yet another person without magic or combat training so this makes sense.
Akiva killed by Celaena Sardothien
It was a close match I am sure, though I suppose Celaena could have sneaked up on him on him. That would make it a lot easier for her.
Shallan Davar killed by Tamlin
Well, Shallan never was never trained to be a fighter though she certainly has the potential to become a very dangerous fighter. She probably spent most of this camouflaged like Peeta. Ironically Tamlin probably spent most of his time camouflaged too as some sort of animal. Must have run into one another while trying to hide out.
Elend Venture killed by Virginia “Mustang”
If this is before the end of The Well of Ascension this makes sense. If not then it’s a lot harder to believe for spoilery reasons.
Karou killed by Cinder
I guess Cinder must have used the fact that she is a cyborg to her advantage. Karou wouldn’t have expected that.
Darrow killed by Celaena Sardothien
Darrow might be Gold now (Golds’ bodies can withstand more than most and they’re generally extremely strong) and have an uncanny ability to survive impossible things, but he’s still no match for Celaena.
Kell killed by muttation attack
I think the capital must be hiding the fact that Kell left the game and transported himself to a parallel world with this attack. Otherwise Kell’s magic would keep the mutts from getting to him.
Virginia “Mustang” killed by Khalid
Oh, I see. Khalid has killed two girls now. In The Wrath and the Dawn Khalid marries one girl a day to have her killed at the next dawn. Is he trying to keep up the practice? Still surprised he managed to kill Mustang though, she’s good at outsmarting people.
Celaena Sardothien killed by Fayre
This is surprising unless Fayre got a hold of some arrows and got Celaena while she wasn’t looking.
Raffe killed by Khalid
This is surprising. Guess Raffe must not have his wings or sword, because that’s the only way Khalid could defeat an angel warrior. Also Raffe isn’t a girl so killing him doesn’t upkeep his wife killing ways.
Vivienna killed by Vasher
But the two of them were starting to get along so well! I can’t see Vasher doing it unless he is under Nightblood’s influence. Nightblood seems to like Vivienna so I’m not sure even that would do it.
Tamlin killed by muttation attack
Wild animal attacked by wild animals. I guess the mutts just need to be bigger.
Shahrzad killed by Vasher
It’s shocking she survived so long. Vasher’s Awakening is more than capable of taking her and most of the others out.
Cinder killed by muttation attack
Possible, must have caused her cyborg body to short circuit or something.
Fayre killed by amoebic dysentery
Possible, Fayre has gotten close to starving to death before and the faeries are always reminding her what a fragile human she is compared to them even though for a human she is really quite strong and able.
Vasher killed by Khalid
This is very unlikely unless Vasher is out of Breath. He wouldn’t even need to be the one to kill Khalid. His Lifeless army or even an Awakened rope would be more than capable.
The victor is: Khalid
Khalid is one of the most unlikely victors out of the characters listed here. Also probably the one I wanted to win the least due to his wife killing despite the fact that I actually like him as a character and like him much more than the other person involved in The Wrath and the Dawn’s love triangle.
For Halloween I carved pumpkins based on the Mockingjay symbol from The Hunger Games by Suzane Collins, the wolf from Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan, and the symbol for pewter from Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. … Continue reading
Since the official end of summer is fast approaching here in the northern hemisphere on the 23, I figured I’d better do this tag fast or wait another eight months for it to be relevant again. Even if where I live it’s going to remain almost unbearably hot for another month or two.
Lemonade: pick a book that started off bitter but got better.
The beginning of Keeper of the Lost City is very fast paced and I can see why it would appeal very well to the middle grade audience it was meant for, but the way everything was introduced felt cliched to me so I almost gave up on it to read something else. The second half of the book, which involves a mystery, was much more interesting to me than the first.
Golden Sun: pick a book that made you smile beyond compare.
For some reason Rick Riordan’s books’ have a way of making me really happy. A few years back whenever I wanted to be in a good mood I used to reread one of his books.
Tropical Flowers: pick a book set in a different country.
The characters in Daughter of Smoke and Bone travel to many different places, but they spend a significant amount of the book in Prague.
Tree Shade: pick a book in which a mysterious or shady character was first introduced.
Crow from The Seven Realms series is first introduced in book two, The Exiled Queen. There isn’t much I can say about Crow without spoilers, but sufficient to say he has a lot of secrets.
Beach Sand: pick a book that was grainy, and the plot barely developed.
This is one of my least favorite books of all time. I will say that I did enjoy the first couple books in this series, but in this one there were huge plot holes and for that reason I feel like the plot never really developed. If I had read this more recently I probably wouldn’t have made it nearly this far in the series, but back when I read this book I used to make an effort to finish every books/series I’d started.
Green Grass: pick a character that was full of life, making you smile.
I pick Iko from The Lunar Chronicles which is kind of ironic because she is technically a robot and therefore not alive, but she just has such a fun personality and always makes me smile. I’m using “full of life” in terms of the phrases meaning and not literally here.
Watermelon: pick a book that had some juicy secrets.
Mistborn: The Final Empire is the first of Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere books I read. Like his other books there are a lot of plot twists, but I chose this one because one of the characters likes to say the phrase, “There’s always another secret.”
Sun Hat: pick a book that had a vast, big universe/setting.
Roshar, where The Stormlight Archives takes place, is an incredibly vast world. Brandon Sanderson has gone so far as to create his own plants and animals who have been forced to adapt to Roshar’s unique weather patterns.
BBQ: pick a book in which a character was portrayed as a hunk.
I just finished Queen of Shadows, and in it Rowan is described as matching this description very well to say the least.
Summer Fun: pass the tag on.
Since summer is coming to a close I’m not going to tag anyone lest they have to wait until next summer to avoid doing the tag in fall, but anyone who wants to do this tag and hasn’t yet should feel free.
At the end of June I told myself that I would only read two to three books in July and spend the time I would normally spend reading writing . . . Yeah, that didn’t happen.
What I wrote last month: I still spent a significant amount of time writing and accomplished my goal for July of finishing the third draft of my young adult sci-fi work in progress, but the third draft turned out shorter than I wanted. I was hoping for the draft to end up at 70,000 words which is between around 200-350 pages depending on formatting for those people who don’t understand word count. It ended up being around 63,000 words long (only around 33,000 words of that was written this month) which is still an increase from my 54,000 word long second draft and 35,000 word first draft.
I’d like to thank my Camp NaNoWriMo cabin mates for keeping me motivated!
What I plan to write next month: My writing goal for the next couple months will be extensive revisions on my high fantasy work in progress. The first draft was only 40,000 words long. My current revisions have actually made it shorter than that at the moment, but the first draft was so fast paced that I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who would be able to understand it. Believe me when I say there is plenty of room for expansion.
In July I read five books. One was a graphic novel memoir, one was adult fantasy/steam-punk, two were science fiction novels that my library classifies as adult but I feel are better suited for mature YA/New Adult readers, and one was a YA sci-fi romance novel (yes, these exist).
Short Synopsis: Spin-off/book four of the Mistborn series. Picks up a few hundred years after Hero of Ages left off. It blends elements of the original Mistborn Trilogy with those of steam-punk, western, and mystery novels.
Thoughts: My Brandon Sanderson marathon continues. This book is much shorter than the previous ones in the series and Brandon’s other adult books. I enjoyed the original trilogy more, but this was still worth reading. Excited to see where the next few Mistborn novels lead.
Short Synopsis: The true story of a girl growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution.
Graphic novels and memoirs are not something I normally read so I started this expecting it to not hold my attention meaning I have more time to write, but ended up being unable to put it down for long periods of time. I liked the first half more than the second. If it were only the first half this would get five stars.
Short Synopsis: 16-year-old Darrow has spent his life on Mars mining for the minerals needed to terraform the planet. One day Darrow’s wife dies fighting the repressive “Gold” upper class. He vows to do whatever he can to keep this situation from repeating.
Thoughts: I was determined not to read any more dystopian novels, but then I found out this book was set on Mars and saw it had generally good reviews. Mars is my favorite setting so I was thrilled to read this. Would have liked to see the fact that this was Mars incorporated a little more into the wold building (but I think that’s just me), and there were some overused dystopian tropes, but still really enjoyed this. For my full thoughts see my review.
Short Synopsis: Sequel to Red Rising. Darrow, now 20, continues to infiltrate upper class society in the hopes of freeing his people.
Thoughts: Liked this even more than it’s predecessor. This book felt more space opera than dystopian and I loved this shift as there aren’t nearly enough well written space opera novels. My only regret is not waiting until book three is released to start this trilogy.
Short Synopsis: 17-year-old Jax’s brother is abducted by aliens. With the help of Lir, a young alien the group who kidnapped her brother left behind, Jax must find a way to infiltrate their civilization and free her brother.
Thoughts: As always with multi-species romance stories I had to suspend my disbelief. A human and a jellyfish are more similar than a human and any life-form we’re likely to find that originates on another planet, okay? Humans and aliens are never going to date.
That said, this was a well paced, quick read. It satisfied my desire to read about aliens, and I do plan to read the sequel when it is released.
I read a total of eight books in June with two of them being over 1000 pages in length. Before this past month I had not read even one book over 1000 pages long so I consider this an accomplishment even if the books didn’t feel 1000 pages long because of how much I enjoyed them. Five of the books I read were YA fiction, and three were adult fiction. All fell into the fantasy genre. Five were high fantasy, and three were dystopian with a paranormal twist.
June was one of my most reading intensive months this year, if not the most so far. Sure, eight books is not the highest number I’ve read, but it’s close and some of the books I read in June were also incredibly long.
In terms of writing I didn’t post very much last month due to the fact that all I wanted to do was read. This is specifically true of my blog since I did manage to write around 5,000 words of my current work in progress, but didn’t manage to keep up my goal of posting at least once per week. Throughout July I’ll be participating in Camp National Novel Writing Month so all the reviews for the amazing books I read but didn’t write about last month may have to wait as I try to focus on finishing my current manuscript, but I do plan on reviewing at least a few more of the ones I’ve read eventually.
Short Synopsis: Conclusion to Brandon Sanderson’s original Mistborn trilogy.
Thoughts: This was a really great end to a trilogy. I had a few minor problems with it, but those were mostly subjective. Mistborn may well become one of my favorite series depending on my thoughts of the new continuation books.
Short Synopsis: A man marries a new woman everyday to kill her at dawn. Shahrahzad agrees to marry him so she can kill the man and end the cycle.
Thoughts: I had a few, mostly nit-picky, issues but overall this was very enjoyable. For my full thoughts see my review.
Short Synopsis: The most promising aspirant in his class tries to find a way out of doing the terrible things his empire asks of him. Meanwhile, a slave girl infiltrates the compound where he goes to school in order to save her brother.
Thoughts: I have some conflicted feelings about this book, but am giving it a relatively high rating because it was extremely addictive and left me wanting more.
Short Synopsis: Kaladin was a prominent young squad leader in an army until one day he was sold into slavery. Now forced into the position of bridgeman, considered the worst position in the army because it has the highest death rate, Kaladin struggles to protect the lives of those around him.
Meanwhile, a girl named Shallan tries to steal one of a princess’s most valuable possessions to save her family from financial ruin and Highprince Dalinar tries to make sense of his strange visions.
Thoughts: This book was very good, but due to it’s length this is the book that took me the longest to read this month. It follows the stories of several different characters, many of whom never meet in this novel, and at times it could be a little hard to remember which perspective I was reading from, but the formatting really helped with that. The world building was some of the most unique and well developed I’ve read. Overall this book was long, but amazing and worth it.
Short Synopsis: The second book in the Stormlight Archive and the sequel to The Way of Kings.
Thoughts: This book might have been over 1000 pages long, but I read it in about four days because I was just so invested in the story and loving the way it came together. I can’t wait for book three to be released next July.
Short Synopsis: In a dystopian future where vampires rule and humans are herded like cattle our main character must chose between true death and becoming the thing she hates most: a vampire. The entire Blood of Eden Trilogy.
Thoughts: I wasn’t expecting to like this one and actually started reading the first book because I was hoping to read something that wouldn’t distract from my writing, but ended up really enjoying it and reading the entire trilogy in three days.
This month I read six books. Many of the books I read this month were some of my favorite books of the year so far. I also read the longest book I had read so far in 2015 (The Well of Ascension).
Short Synopsis: A girl writes love letters to all the boys she has ever loved and hides them in her room until one day they are sent in the mail.
Thoughts: This book was fun to read. It was lighthearted and had an intriguing plot with well developed characters. However, it was my least favorite book of the month not because there is anything wrong with it, but because some of the other books I’ve read this month will probably become some of my favorite books of all time.
Short Synopsis: Caden descends into the depths of the Marianas Trench and his own mind.
Thoughts: This is a hard book to get into as it has a unique writing style of very short chapter alternating between two purposefully confusing story lines. After adjusting this book is unique and thought provoking.
Short Synopsis: When the wolf Fayre killed in the woods turns out to have been a faerie in disguise she must chose between paying with her life and a lifetime trapped in a faerie’s house.
Thoughts: Though there were some elements at the end that confused me, I really liked this book. For my full thoughts see my review.
Short Synopsis: Third book in the Angelfall Trilogy in which angels invade the Earth.
Thoughts: Although I enjoyed this book, particularly the first three fourths, I felt the ending was rushed and left the story feeling incomplete. For my full thoughts see my series review.
Short Synopsis: A group of thieves with magical abilities gained through consuming metals plot to overthrow an immortal dictator.
Thoughts: This was a great read. The “overthrowing dictator” plot has been done a lot in fantasy, but Sanderson makes it feel original and fresh. For my full thoughts see my review.
Short Synopsis: Sequel to Mistborn: The Final Empire. This shows the aftermath of the heist in book one.
Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book, and liked that I could hardly ever predict what would happen next. However, the story just didn’t feel as complete to me as book one which I preferred over the sequel.
Note: I’m probably going to stop reading Invaded and The Assassin’s Blade for a while. It’s not that either is a bad book (neither is). It’s just that I had to return one to the library, and as for the other, I’m just distracted by everything else I want to read and not in the mood for a human-alien romance story.