Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Minor Characters

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey on YouTube and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes.

Here is a link to the Goodreads group if you’d like to join! It’s pretty fun.

Long time, no blog post! For a few weeks, I tried my hand at the booktube thing, but I ended up not really making videos because of school and work and life. I decided I’d like to come back to writing blogs. It’ll get me into the habit of writing for myself every day again…I hope.

I’m sure y’all don’t really want to hear about all that! Onward with what you’re really here for!

This week the T5W topic is Favorite Minor Characters. Sam defined these as the characters that are less than side or sidekick characters (less, as in less involvement in the story not less meaningful to us).

I guess I’ll go backward from my number 5 to my number 1!

5: Rahim

“Well if anyone can talk their way out of a beheading, it’s you.” -Rahim

From The Wrath & the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh! He’s one of my favorite characters of both of the books. As much as I love the main characters, Shazi and Khalid, I love Rahim just as much! And like him way more than I like Tariq. He’s always there for his friends no matter what. He’s supportive, trusting, understanding, and always see’s the best in people.

4: Abby Suso

What to say about Abby beyond that she’s terrific? She’s a minor character in Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Upside of Unrequited. She’s an amazing friend to Simon and Molly! She’s always there and always supportive. You can’t help but love her. She has such a kind heart!

3: Tolya

“Yuyeh sesh.” -Tolya

Really I’m not sure whether Tolya or Tamar should be higher on this list because I just love them both so much. Tolya is Tamar’s twin brother from the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. He is fierce, strong, and hilarious when he feels like talking.

2: Tamar

“Ni weh sesh.” -Tamar

Tamar is Tolya’s twin sister. She is incredible! She is strong and unapologetically herself. I wish I had a book series just about these two. There is a short list of characters I truly like from this series, and these two are at the top of it. Along with Nikolai (of course!) and my number on this list.

1: Genya

Na razrusha’ya. I am not ruined. E’ya razrushost. I am ruination.” -Genya

MY BABY, GENYA! I love her so much. She’s also from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy. She is a fierce warrior, and one of the strongest woman characters. She’s there for the long haul. She’s incredibly dynamic, makes mistakes and owns up to them. She does what needs to be done.

*Realizing that I need to reread the Grisha trilogy because I miss these characters*

That’s about it for this Top 5 Wednesday post!

Let me know in the comments some of y’all’s favorite minor characters!

Thanks for reading!

30 Days of Writing Prompts: Day Five

A little information before I get into my actual story.

This idea was created by Ali from HardbackHoarder on YouTube. She’s posting a prompt every day to get her, and anyone who participates, creative juices flowing. I found it to be such a fantastic idea. I think it will help get us all in shape for the crazy month that is the National Novel Writing Month. You may even find inspiration for dialogue, characters, or plots within these prompts! Anything can happen.

You can find more information at these links:

30 Days of Writing Prompts Announcement

30 Days of Writing Prompts Blog Post 

Day Five: Include these three things: A campfire, lightning bugs, and a note.

This prompt was found at OTP Prompts

The summer breeze blew through the trees that surrounded the small campsite. It’s not really a campsite, at least not one people knew about or that could be found on a map. Jada had found it years before Sam came into her life.

Sam wished, for the thousandth time, that she’s met her long before she had. They would’ve had more time.

The fire she built was minuscule and flickered threateningly in the wind. A small part of her hoped it’d go out.

She stood and put her hands in her pockets, feeling the crinkle of the smooth paper under her fingers. Her fists clenched to keep from trembling. With her back to the fire and she could see the flashes of light flying in and out of the trees.

Jada loved this place and Sam could never understand why though they’d been here plenty of times. How could the beauty of nature possibly compare to the beauty of Jada?

Before the incident the answer was simple: it couldn’t. But now she could see how alike Jada and the nature surrounding her were. Like the lightning bugs, she was a light in the darkness calling to Sam, flickering with warmth like the fire. Jada was the tree’s that surrounded and protected her, and the hesitant but strong breeze of the night.

This is where she could feel Jada. She couldn’t feel her in the small cemetery behind the run-down church. How could she?

Here’s where her memories of Jada lived, where she would hold them forever. Locked away.

Sam pulled the crumpled paper from her pocket almost harshly. Cursing herself for being so weak. She wished she were as strong as Jada was.

Sammy Sam,

It’s your birthday! Yay! You’re not my underage nugget anymore! You’re my of age nugget. I’m not sure why I’m writing this note because I’ll probably never give it to you. I’ve never been good at writing…you know that. I’d much rather tell you everything in person, but you mentioned the other day how cute and romantic you think hand written notes are.

Only for you.

You know how much I love you, I know you do. You tell me all the time that my feelings for you are loud and clear. Which makes sense…I think in general I’m a loud and clear person. But I never want to stop reminding you.

You deserve the world, Sam. I intend to be the one to give it to you. Every single day for the rest of our lives. Until there’s nothing else I could possibly give you, of myself or the world. You’ll have it all.

My heart is your heart. Your happiness is my purpose.

Yours forever until infinite,

Jay

The tears weren’t coming. Sam wanted them to come, she wanted the satisfaction of feeling her sorrow leave her drop by drop. Streaking down her face. The sorrow wasn’t leaving.

It never will.

Jada was more than the love of her life. She was her best friend, confidant, protector, supporter, happiness, soulmate, and so much more that could never be replaced.

Anger rose in her, quick and relentless. It was stolen from her, all of it. Her life, love, happiness. Jada was taken from her as quickly as an eagle dives for a field mouse and just as unforgiving.

She lifted the note, ready to rip it down the middle. She wanted to throw it in the fire, yell and scream. Punch the trees and stomp the ground.

A single lightning bug stops her. A single tiny, flickering lightning bug settled on the note.

Her anger vanished just as quickly as it appeared and all she could do was smile at the soul she felt was within that tiny life.

She smiled at the memories this place held for her. She smiled at her love, at her life. She smiled at Jada’s strength until the very end. At that moment she made a silent promise.

Only for you, Jada. I will continue living.

Bookish Book Lover Tag

Finally! I’m doing my first book tag ever!

This has been a long time coming and I have a whole list of book tags that I, eventually, want to get to. Book tags seem like so much fun. I want to be part of it!

I wasn’t tagged by anyone to do this, but I’m not going to let that stop me. You shouldn’t either.

This tag was created by Shantelle @shantellemaryh and the rules are: use the original banner, answer the questions, use book covers, and tag your friends!

crooked kingdomWhat book are you currently reading?

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

Can you say Inej Ghafa? I’m in love with these characters, and this world! I’m trying to take my time because I never want it to end.

 

a-child-called-itWhat’s the last book you finished?

A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer

This book hit me hard. It was difficult to read, especially since I work in child care.

Favorite book you read this year?

Could this be a more difficult question? Probably not!

Can that be my answer? No…

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, and The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh…

You really couldn’t expect me to pick just one of those…

What genre have you read most this year?

I’d say fantasy. Young adult fantasy.

What genre do you want to read more of?

Historical fiction, contemporary…and is graphic novels a genre?

How many books have you read this year, and what’s your goal?

I’ve read 24 of 40 books this year! My goal might change though. I’ve read a lot more the last few months than I did in the first half of the year.

isleWhat’s the last book you bought?

The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz.

I have a slight (enormous) Disney obsession, and an obsession with decedents of original characters.

What book are you saving up to buy next?

What book am I NOT saving up to buy next would be an easier question…

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Walk the Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, and many more.

How many books did you check out on your last library visit?

I have 8 books checked out from the library right now…as if I don’t have 40 books sitting on my TBR shelf already.

What’s a book you can’t wait to read?

A Monster calls by Patrick Ness (which is on my TBR for October) and The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (I can’t wait until November!).

What series would you recommend to everyone?

Should I go with the obvious answer of Harry Potter? Or something new?

How about both.

Obviously Harry Potter.

Less obviously (but still pretty obvious) the Six of Crows duology and The Queen of the Tearling trilogy.

Who’s an author you’re hoping writes more?

I hope Erika Johansen will write more in the world of The Queen of the Tearling even after the third book comes out in November. I also want more from Annie Barrows, she wrote The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I adored that book. She has one other book I haven’t read yet, but really want to. I need more.

What series’ coming conclusion makes you sad?

Six of Crows! This gang can’t leave me…I haven’t spent enough time with them yet!

The Queen of the Tearling. I love the world, characters, and plot…I’m not ready for it to end in November.

What books are on your wish-list?

So, so many.

Right now the one’s I want, but don’t want to buy for myself include:

The Muse by Jessie Burton and Splintered by A.G. Howard

I’m sure there are more that I haven’t thought about…

First book tag done and I’m not sure if I used enough book covers. If you want to do it, consider yourself tagged!

September Wrap-up

Another month down…

How is it already October?! Yesterday it was January!

Another decent reading month with 8 books finished, 1 book read halfway before I had to put it down, and 1 book started! I also participated in 1 read-a-thon this month, completely unplanned. Completely worth it.

After looking back through my original September TBR I was surprised with how many books I read that were actually on that list. I read 6 of the 11 books on my original list.

I read some really fantastic books this month and I’m excited to share them!

To the books!

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: I was compelled to give this work 5/5 stars. I was completely taken by it, and it still hasn’t loosened its hold on me even though it’s been a month since I read it! The characters, writing, and plot were fantastic. 

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab: It honestly pains me to give This Savage Song 3/5 stars. If I were unbiased, it would undoubtedly deserve a 4/5 stars based on imagination, character complexity and development, and plot. But I have conflicting emotions toward this story and these characters. I’m hoping to get a full review up for it soon. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: This was the first book by Sarah J. Maas I’ve ever read, and I was not disappointed! I can see why so many people are obsessed with her work. I gave this 4/5 stars. I enjoyed almost everything about the story from the writing and the way Maas weaved Beauty and the Beast into the story to the plot. I did have some issues with it, but overall the book was fantastic.

Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat: This book received 3.5/5 stars. I thought it was enjoyable in regards to characters, diversity, and plot. The writing is good, it fit well enough with the time I see the story set it, but sometimes it seemed over the top. I’m looking forward to reading the next books because I want to see how it could turn into romance.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz: I rated this book 4/5 stars. It was a part of my reading for #DiverseAThon and I enjoyed almost everything about it. I adored the characters, the writing was where it fell off for me but it didn’t take out the enjoyment I had reading it.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: I accomplished reading it before the movie came out! Yay. I gave it a 4/5 stars. I loved the plot and the writing, the peculiar children are so interested to me I could read about their lives forever. Jacob became the issue for me, I loved his character, but it was off. His age didn’t mesh with his thoughts. And I wasn’t a fan of the trope I found this book to have. Other than that it was fantastic and I’m excited to read the second one and see the movie.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: There are no words to describe my extreme obsession with Six of Crows, the world, plot, and characters. I want to give it an infinite amount of stars, but since that would be crazy I’ll make peace with giving it 5/5 stars. The plot was incredibly unique, and that characters were so complex and interesting. I love every single one of them and will definitely be reviewing Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom!

A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer: I didn’t rate this book because for me how can I rate something someone had to live through. If I took every element out of it besides writing I’d give it a 2/5 stars. But I can’t take away from the impact the story had on me. It was definitely a difficult read, but also incredibly enlightening and insperational.

an-ember-in-the-ashes

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: I was so sad when I started this book for #DiverseAThon and ended up putting it down halfway through. I could feel myself falling into a reading slump, and it wasn’t helping. I had such high expectations for it that I think it may have ruined it for me. I didn’t enjoy the writing, and I didn’t connect with the characters. I may go back when hype around it has died down and try to read it again.

There you have it! My September Wrap-up!

Did you read any of these books this month? Did you enjoy them?

Book Review: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

“Fortune favors the bold, history tells us. Therefore, it behooves us to be as bold as possible.” – Erika Johansen, The Invasion of the Tearling

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Goodreads Synopsis:

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.

Review:

5/5 Stars

I have such an obsession with this world, as you can tell from the overkill of sticky note annotations…

This trilogy fought its way into my heart and quickly became one of my favorites (without the third book even being out yet!). Not only is it one of my favorite series, but also one of my favorite worlds to immerse myself in. If Erika Johansen hadn’t proven her ability to create an intricate and realistic world in The Queen of the Tearling, then she definitely proved it in The Invasion of the Tearling. Johansen has a way of making me want to know everything about the Tearling and its history. If I wasn’t attached to the characters, if I disliked every one of them, I’d still read these books purely to learn about this world. I want a textbook that covers ‘pre-crossing’ and the history of the Tearling and William Tear.

The second installment of the trilogy is full to the brim with character development, specifically Kelsea’s. It can be easy to forget that Kelsea is a 19-year-old who has taken her place as queen and made some very emotionally and morally driven decisions. Her heart is in the right place, but there are consequences to every decision. Kelsea is finding out exactly what the consequences are for the decisions she’s made throughout the second book. Often, Kelsea the 19-year-old girl and Kelsea the queen clash, which makes her an incredibly realistic character with intense internal conflict. It can’t be easy to protect and fight for an entire kingdom of people while balancing magic, sexuality, and depression. Through the novel, I could see Kelsea changing. I saw her at her lowest, and I saw her begin to pick herself back up. Add the significant development of other minor characters and Lily Mayhew and we have a book jam packed with incredible characters that are growing and changing through the entire book. The way Johansen develops her characters is realistic and meaningful.

The Invasion of the Tearling covers many more themes than its prequel. Themes in this book ranged from coming of age and finding yourself to human morality to how the past can affect the present and future. In this novel, we see Kelsea growing and fighting not only her inner demons, but also physical demons. Johansen shows how past strife can ultimately make or break a person for the rest of their life. And, arguably the strongest theme is human morality or immorality.

Johansen is an incredibly talented writer. I love that she has put so much into this world and has given it its own history. It’s intricately crafted and always leaves me wanting more. I would read spin-off after spin-off of these characters if Johansen wanted to give them to us! The Invasion of the Tearling pulled me even more into the world. It gave me answers to so many questions while still forcing me to ask new ones.

November needs to get here quicker!