All Time Low Book Tag

Disclaimer: None of the fanart drawings in this post are mine! Please go check out the artist’s links. They are amazing.

Hey, book warriors!

First off, a huge thank you to Tasha (catsandpaperbacks) for creating this tag and tagging me! So go check out her blog post 🙂

So a little background information: All Time Low has been one of my favorite bands since 2009. The first concert I ever attended was actually the Bamboozle Roadshow in 2010 where ATL was a headliner! I wish I had pictures of them, but the only pictures I have from it are of The Ready Set…because I was obsessed. So I’ll go ahead and insert some pictures from a more recent concert when they toured with Issues, State Champs, and Tonight Alive on the Future Hearts tour in 2015!

The pictures are terrible…but ya do what you can in a crowd like that!

Okay, I’m done rambling. On to the tag!

1. That Girl: A female character a lot of people don’t like but you love

“Stories moved Kelsea most, stories of things that never were, stories that transported her beyond the changeless world of the cottage.” –Erika Johansen, The Queen of the Tearling

THE QUEEN OF TEARLING

Kelsea Glynn from THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING series! I absolutely love everything about Kelsea. She is in my top 10 favorite female characters of all time list and I will go down defending her. I really just don’t get it when people tell me they don’t like her! Erika Johansen created an incredibly realistic, strong, female main character. She is responsible and a leader, but still acts like a teenager/new adult. She is mature but has plenty of immature moments. She keeps her head on straight and she doesn’t constantly get sidetracked by things that matter less than her goals. Seriously…just love her. Though every time I think about THE FATE OF THE TEARLING I just get angry all over again.

2. Bad Enough for You: A character that wasn’t written to be liked but you can’t help but love

“I’m a pirate queen. I don’t make promises.” –The Abyss Surrounds Us, Emily Skrutskie

TASU

Santa Elena, the pirate-queen, from THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US and THE EDGE OF THE ABYSS by Emily Skrutskie. I’m not sure she wasn’t written to be liked, but it would be very easy to hate her…but I just love her. I have no apologies about loving her. She is strong and ruthless. She made it to where she is by herself with hard work and her own determination and will.

Also…if anyone’s read this duology and is artistically inclined…FANART!?

“Of course she’d be carving her own name into Fung’s fancy boat. That’s what she does—she takes things and slices them up until they’re hers.” –The Edge of the Abyss, Emily Skrutskie

3. Coffeeshop Soundtrack: A book you loved when you were younger but realized it wasn’t as good as you thought

pitchforks

I’m probably going to get yelled at for saying this…but here goes nothing.

Cityofbones.Also the entire first 3 books of the Mortal Instruments series. There…it’s out there. Don’t forget your pitchforks and torches.

4. Good Times: Your favorite squad

the dregsIt couldn’t be any other squad for me than my Dregs! I love them so much. I’ve read and reread the duology more times than I can count because I need them in my life. Kaz, Inej, Nina, Wylan, Matthias, and Jesper are everything!

This perfect fanart is by clearlynotclaire

5. Somewhere in Neverland: A book you loved in your childhood

Pretty much any Judy Bloom book, or the Magic Treehouse!

6. The Edge of Tonight: A couple that balances each other out really well

“She’d seen what his soul was made of. And she liked it.” –When Dimple Met Rishi, Sandhya Menon

dimplerishiDimple and Rishi from WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI is definitely the couple I have to pick for this.

They are so incredibly different! They show two different experiences as Indian-American’s and the way they both had things to learn from each other. I love how their differences don’t create an imbalance in their relationship, but rather they are the things that tie them together and balance them out.

7. Remembering Sunday: A book with an unexpected ending

THE FATE OF THE TEARLING definitely had the most unexpected ending. I didn’t expect it to end the way it did at all and I definitely didn’t expect to be so disappointed by it! I loved the first 2 books and 3/4 of FATE but then that 1/4 just hits you like a train and ruins everything. Everytime I look at that book I just get mad all over again.

8. Walls: Your favorite character arc

Wylan Van Eck

This fanart by Trisha says it better than I or any words ever could…

(this last question wasn’t in Tasha’s original tag, but she was kind enough to let me add one and I love this song)

9. Love Like War: A couple that had to face a lot of challenges to be together

cas and swift 2

Cas and Swift from THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US and THE EDGE OF THE ABYSS by EmilySkrutskie. They went through so many ups and downs, way more downs than ups, but their relationship was a slow burn. It took a long time to develop, and they knew where they needed to be if they were to ever have a relationship. There were monsters and a pirate queen constantly trying to destroy them. They are one of my favorite OTP’s of all time.

Wonderful fanart by plantedface on tumblr

“Swift and I are supposed to be all clash and burn, but maybe we can be something more than that, and it’s that thought that stills me as I kiss her back, soft and sweet and tender.” –The Edge of the Abyss, Emily Skrutskie

Thank y’all for reading! I’m going to tag a few people who might enjoy doing this tag but feel free to do it!

Romie

Austin

Julianne

Annie

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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!

August Wrap-up & September TBR

The fall is coming! The fall is coming!

Can you believe it is already September? Where has this year gone?

I’m about to experience my first fall in Ohio…meaning I’m about to experience fall in all it’s glory for the first time in my 21 years of life. Florida doesn’t do seasons. I’m ready for the cool weather and all the beautiful colors!

As August is now over, I felt this is the perfect time for my first (ever) book wrap-up and TBR. Being relatively new to book blogging, I’m excited to give it a shot!

August Wrap-Up

Disclaimer: This post will contain my opinions and they are not meant to offend in any way.

That’s a Wrap!

I had a fantastic reading month (for me), thanks in large part to the #ReadThemAllThon hosted by Aentee at Read At Midnight. I finished 9 books and started a 10th!

The Selection by Kiera Cass: I gave it 3/5 Stars. I found it to be entertaining enough to keep me reading and finished it in a day. It was a quick read and especially good if you’re looking for something relatively light.

The Elite by Kiera Cass: I gave it 2/5 Stars. I had to force myself through this second installment. It started becoming incredibly repetitive to me and a lot less entertaining.

The One by Kiera Cass: This one got back up to a 3/5 Stars. It was still repetitive, maybe even more-so than the second book. But, I also thought this one gave me what I needed to be a conclusion (which is why I don’t plan on reading the other books in the series). I liked how it all wrapped up. I still feel as though these three books could have been put together into one book. There wasn’t a need for three.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: I gave this book 5/5 Stars. It was fantastic, one of the best fantasy novel’s I’ve read. I loved the world, and learning about the world. I loved the characters and the plot. It’s one of those books that just has everything. I would read anything set in this world.

Check out my full review!

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: It was the perfect sequel and I rated it 5/5 Stars (higher if possible). I couldn’t put this book down. It gave me everything I wanted. It had so much world building, history, character development, and conflict that I’m amazed it could all fit into one book. Erika Johansen is by far one of my favorite authors at this point and I can’t wait until November when The Fate of the Tearling comes out!

Check out my full review!

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silver: I couldn’t give this book anything other than 5/5 Stars! Silvera had my feelings and emotions running wild from page one all the way to the last page. A book that makes you feel as much as More Happy Than Not does should not be taken lightly. It is an amazing book with incredible darkness.

Check out my full review!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne: I generously gave this script a 3.5/5 Stars. I don’t consider it cannon (at all), but I think it had entertainment value. For me, many of the characters left much to be desired. In a way some of it even unraveled the original 7 books, and I didn’t like that at all. The plot was flimsy, and couldn’t be fortified well. It’s redeeming quality for me was Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpius. I fell in love with him, and he’s most of the reason I finished the play. All that being said, I would still see the play live if I ever could.

Check out my full review!

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: It received a 4/5 Star rating. It took me about 12 days to read this book, which is a lot longer than I expected it to take. The book was amazing, but it required concentration for me because of the dialect. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to read and understand 1740’s Scottish dialect! It did add something amazing to the book though. I felt enveloped by the setting. I loved the characters. Claire was so strong, but never forced herself or pretended to be something she was not. And the story was so unique and Gabaldon told it beautifully.

There may be a full review for this book coming.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: I deliberated so much on the rating to give this book and ended up going with 4/5 Stars. I loved it. I loved every character. Blue and the raven boys are the kind of people I would have wanted to be friends with in high school. It was such a fun, exciting, and unique read. I can’t wait to read the next one!

I have a review up on Goodreads but will probably post a full review here!

September begins!

Here is my ambitious TBR for September! Only time will tell how many of these I actually read. This month I’d really like to start writing more too!

I’ve only ever heard good things about Six of Crows and now it’s on my TBR! I’m so excited to read it and finally see what all the hype is about. Hopefully before Crooked Kingdom comes out on the 27th!

These are 3 out of 4 of the books I have yet to finish for the #ReadThemAllThon…I blame Outlander and work for being behind! I’m about halfway through The Wrath and the Dawn and am absolutely loving it! I can’t wait to read This Savage Song and A Court of Thorns and Roses…can you believe I haven’t read anything by S.J. Maas? Me neither.

Next three in by TBR pile! I am incredibly excited about them. I’ve heard so many good things about these books. I absolutely love fantasy, retellings, and magic! The Name of the Wind, And I Darken, and A Darker Shade of Magic will definitely give me all of the above.

Finally, these are the last three on the list (although it’s in no particular order that I’ll be reading). I want to read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children before the movie comes out, so it’ll probably be one of the first I read. I have heard nothing bad about the Cinder, or the Lunar Chronicles, and I finally get to start it! Plus I’ve been wanting to read more retellings. Supposedly, Captive Prince is controversial in some ways…but personally I think the premise sounds interesting and I’d like to see how it goes!

There it is! Goodbye summer, hello fall!

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! 

Book Review: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

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“You were right, Lazarus. I see my own death, and exalt in it. But before I go, I’m going to cut a wide swath here, wide as God’s ocean…”

-Kelsea, The Queen of the Tearling

Before reviewing the book, I’d like to take a moment to admire its beauty. This book is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. The hardcover version (and the paperback, which I don’t own…yet) is so simple but elegant, regal, and dark; it fits the book perfectly.

Official Synopsis:

Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom’s haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.

Long ago, Kelsea’s forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea’s nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen’s Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.

Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen’s vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen’s Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as “the Fetch.”

Kelsea’s quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea’s journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.

Review:

5/5 Stars

 

The Queen of the Tearling is the first book I’ve read by Erika Johansen and I never expected to fall in love with it as fast or as deeply as I did. This book sat on my ‘to be read’ shelf for around 5 months before I picked it up. I hadn’t read any reviews on it, that’s not why it sat so long. I was simply intimidated by it. Not only is it a relatively thick book, but reading fantasy books always takes time and patience to learn the interworking’s of this new world you’re being thrust into. You have to focus on the detail. How is the world laid out? Who are the people? What are their beliefs and morals? What is their government like? These are only some of the questions you need to ask while reading fantasy novels. I didn’t know if I wanted to invest that kind of thought and time in a book I knew very little about, by an author I didn’t know at all. I finally picked this book up, and I am more than happy that I did.

The minute I delved into this novel I was fascinated. I was enamored with Johansen’s writing style and the way she literally dragged me into her book from the first line. A day after I finished it, I still haven’t been able to drag myself out of this world. I’m not entirely sure that I want to. Johansen has a way of writing that keeps me turning the pages even when they were filled with descriptions of characters, places, or the world as it is in the novel. Since finishing this book I have read goodreads reviews and watched a few different booktube (youtube) review videos, many seem to think it moved too slowly or that is was superficial. I thought it was incredibly well written. It moved at the perfect speed for this book, I never felt that it was moving unbelievably fast or slow. I know how easy it is to have fantasy novels move too slowly and be overloaded with descriptions. Johansen described enough to give me the world, but not enough to remove my own imagination from it.  

Johansen displays incredible talent and brilliant way with words and characters from beginning to end. There were many characters in this book, it could be difficult to remember them all. That being said, there was only one incident throughout the entire 434 page book that I had to take a moment to actively remember who a person was. Her characterization of not only her main character, Kelsea Raleigh, but also the more involved minor characters was fantastic. Each character has his or her own developed personality. She writes her characters to be believable. Many authors write perfection into their main female characters, sometimes without meaning to, I enjoyed how Johansen made sure to interweave Kelsea’s real flaws. Kelsea has real flaws that caused her real problems which helped to make her that much more believable.

About 90 percent of the book is written from Kelsea’s point of view, while the other 10 percent comes from other people involved. I like the point of view changes because they give me insight into this world I wouldn’t have been able to gain from only being stuck in Kelsea’s head. I like that Johansen didn’t make meaningless point of view changes, they actually matter in developing the plot. Seeing some of the story from the eyes of the Red Queen gives me different knowledge and perspective than Kelsea could have, and it was always important information.

By far, my favorite aspect of this book is that it doesn’t contain a romantic plot or subplot. Kelsea has a really good head and she knows what is truly important. She doesn’t spend time dwelling on a crush, or finding someone attractive and then suddenly falling in love with him.  She shows her sexuality through her thoughts, but it never stems past that. She has no room in her life for romance at this point, and she knows it. She’s realistic. I don’t feel this novel lacked love or warmth by not having a romantic subplot. It just came from different sources. The warmth came from her relationship with her foster parents, and eventually other people. The love stemmed from her intense passion for the Tearling and its people. Not having a romantic plot made this novel stronger, and it gave her passion for the Tearling infinitely more meaning.

The mark of a good book, for myself at least, is that after finishing it I seem to be stuck inside of it. I have so many unanswered questions, and as much as I love that, I also hate it. I went into this book with a lot of questions and, by the end, some of them were answered while many were not and new ones arose. I have fallen into an serious book hangover because of this book, and the only antidote is to read the sequel.

Thanks for reading!