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Monday, December 31, 2018

Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2019

2019 Releases I'm Looking Forward To

3756155026032887It's officially a new year and I am so excited to see what this year brings in terms of books and movies and TV (but mostly the books)! Here are just some of the books that I am really looking forward to reading in the upcoming year. There are going to be a lot, so these are just some of the ones that jump out to me.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (1/29)
3630763437569347The Wicked King by Holly Black (1/8)
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare (11/19)
The World of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (9/3)
Again, But Better by Christine Riccio (5/7)
Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi (4/2)
4114727917699853Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers (2/5)
The Shaw Confessions #3 by Michelle Hodkin (11/7)
The Au Pair by Emma Rous (1/8)
Crescent City #1 by Sarah J. Maas (2019)
3934019340492788The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer (2/5)
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See (3/5)

Also, slightly random, but Goodreads has its counter up for their 2019 reading challenge / counter and I LOVE THE COLOR. It's like a really dark violet and it is absolutely perfect to me.

Thanks for reading!

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2019

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2019
Image result for books and tea
I don't know how long ago, but POPSUGAR has announced its reading challenge of 2019!! They have a whole slew of book categories that they put together every year and present to whomever wants to participate. Last year I said I wanted to do all of it. Oh, how naive I was back then. If you want to see my posts from last years challenge, just follow this link because I made a tag for them all.

This year, I'm hoping to do half of it, which is roughly what I ended up doing for the 2018 challenge. There are a lot of categories that I have never heard of before, some that I know will be challenging, and others that are going to be a piece of cake. This is why I love this challenge though: it is a perfect mix of difficult and doable. Challenges that are way too far out there become too daunting but challenges that are so basic and easy become boring after awhile. This is a nice blend of the two.

Image result for books and teaSome of the categories that I'm worried about this year are "a book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in the title," "a book set in Scandinavia," and "a LitRPG book." I had no idea what that last one even was for a while-- I had to look it up. (It means Literary Role Playing Game and includes books like Ready Player One by Earnest Cline.) But this is why I love this reading challenge every year: they come up with the most creative categories! And I'm definitely going to be picking up some random books because of it.

There are also some categories that I already know I'm going to finish right out of the gates, like "a book told from multiple character POVs" or "a reread of a favorite book," but this is what also makes this challenge really nice. I know that I will definitely be able to at least partially participate. I can challenge and make this harder for myself however much I want. It's up to me, but all the options are there.

I highly recommend this challenge. I've tried a couple of other ones and this has always been my favorite. I'll link the tag that I'm making for it to this post in case you want to follow along as see my updates on the challenge and if I review any books that qualify as being completed for this challenge. There's also a Goodreads group for this and I also highly recommend that because they'll help you find books to fit in categories that you don't necessarily know what to do with.

I'm really excited. I hope you're all excited for a new year of reading too. And Happy 2019!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

New Year's Resolutions 2019


new year 2019 new year's eve banner new year's greetings bokeh decorative background light mood confetti light glitter gold light traces design timeline new years yule snow lights g text font computer wallpaper macro photography stock photography graphics
Happy New Year! 2018 is finally over and thank the Lord 2019 is here. I hope everyone has a lovely time and stays safe (because there are some crazyyyyy people out there... we all know it).

As we move into 2019, I think I'm going to do resolutions. I... have not done these for years. Generally speaking, I think they are stupid, anxiety-inducing, and ultimately lead to disappointment. But I'm going to try them this year, and I think I'm going to try relatively small and obscure. Little things, like take time to relax and enjoy yourself once or twice a week. Simple things that are normally brushed aside in everyday life, at least for Americans in my experiences and observations. I'm also going to try to not give myself too many resolutions. I don't want to have a million things or even more than a couple big things to worry about and hold myself to. Straight up- I'm not there yet. And I think that's fine.

Image result for journalingI feel like I'm rambling without really explaining. Let me rewind a bit.

When it comes to anything academically or professionally related, I'm on top of it. 110% and I'm not just saying that or trying to inflate an ego. I've had so many people come up to tell me in some variation how impressed they by my work ethic and organization and energy. Which all looks great, but I'm also not saying this as a good thing. It's not inherently bad either, but there's a flip side to it that I'm realizing more and more is not something that I want in my life. When someone works as much and as hard as I do, there is no time for personal reflection, fun, creativity, whatever you want to call it. My life is my work. And for some people that is fine. I don't think it's for me though.

Image result for stack of books outside
Breaks like the one I'm on now help me realize that I want more than the life that I have led so far- and that's okay. And looking toward next semester, I'm going to have a lot more free time than I have ever been used to. For awhile, I was seriously considering trying to find a part-time job or internship to fill in the hours and bulk up my resume even more. And what I've come to as a conclusion though is that I need that time. I'm not completely sure what I want to do with my life yet or where I am supposed to go with it (yes, I am religious) but a terrifying place to start is to slow down and take the time that I will have offered to me next semester.

Why is it terrifying? Because I'll have time to myself! What if I get bored? What if I decided to change career paths? What if I become super annoying? What if something extraordinary happens? And that last one is a weird one, I know, but nonetheless there's a certain comfort in repetition and I think there's a good chance I'm going to be breaking up that repetition. "Extraordinary" may be a strong word choice, but there ya have it.

Image result for zentanglingSo my resolutions are going to be small, but they are going to be mine. And I'm going to shamelessly retake that time back for myself. Here are the few and abstract things that I want to resolve to do in 2019:

1) Be more creative!
>>> For me, this can really run the gambit of blogging to writing (which I sort of have talked briefly about here) to drawing to playing music to so many other options. I've always loved creative outlets though and I've always felt good after being creative as well, so added bonus.

2) Journal more
>>> In grand total in my life I am on my third journal. And while they are not necessarily small journals, I can't help but feel I should be on like a fourth or fifth because I started journaling years ago . I just really haven't set aside that time for myself very much over the past two years or so and I want to get back into it.

3) Pay attention to me
grass outdoor book novel read girl farm lawn prairie run view reading summer female wild wolf outside fiction literature women story myth author cover poetry rural area title wolves bind literary empowering paperback grass family
>>> Very vague. Very open to interpretation. Very intentionally so done. There's a lot of different ways I can do this and I'm not going to list them here because you can probably list your own for yourself. This is almost more of a motto for the year I think though because I've reached the point where not only can't I move forward in my life without knowing and taking care of myself, but I deserve to know and take care of myself.

If you stuck around through all this semi-emo, sappy whatnot, then great! Thank you! If you skipped to the end just now, LOL go back and reread so that you have more context. If you didn't read this whole thing, I really don't care. This post was mostly for me. :)

Thank you so much for reading and I hope your 2019 goes off with a great start!

Mary Poppins Returns Movie Review

Image result for mary poppins returnsMary Poppins Returns
Movie Review
4.12 out of 5 Stars

In the surge of Disney recreating (or revamping) their classics, I distinctly remember what it was like when the trailer for Mary Poppins Returns first came out: people were beyond thrilled. Now, huge disclaimer... I'm not a huge Mary Poppins fan. I love Julie Andrews, and I liked the original movie, but I was never and still am not in love with the story or the character like I know a lot of people are. So for me, when the trailer came out it was more just a, "Oh, that's interesting," and as a blip on my radar that this was Disney's Christmas movie for the year.

(Completely random side note-- but I feel like I need to write a post about all of Disney's live action films and just sort of rant. I'm excited for some of them, like Aladdin and Mulan, but for real there's too many coming out overall.)

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Back to Mary Poppins. I really enjoyed this film! I was a bit worried that it would just be completely the same as the first one, but it was actually really interesting to see how the crisis was different this time around and how it still tied together with the old one. It did seem a bit too serious at times-- they're dealing with grief and foreclosure for crying out loud-- but I think it showed a really accurate and tragic picture of what happens to kids when they grow up too fast. And this is where the heart of who Marry Poppins is and what she can do was really brought back to life: she taught the children how to be children again and thereby also teaching the audience how to be children again.

Image result for mary poppins returnsThere was definitely a sort of light magic that was carried throughout the film. I have my worries about Disney as a whole at the moment in this regard, but watching this movie helped ease some of them. It was just good to see whimsy. Not comedy, not strong emotion, just whimsy. And original creativity. Yes, it is a continuation from a previous idea, but it was still different enough to be its own sort of story.

Another thing that I really enjoyed was the music. This may be an unpopular opinion... but I think I like this soundtrack more than the original soundtrack. But I mean, c'mon, "A Cover Is Not the Book" may be one of the best Disney songs ever written. Of course I'm partial because clearly I love books and all things literary related. You're reading this on a book blog for goodness sake. In all seriousness though I was blown away by the soundtrack. It was as vibrant and varied as the colors and emotions of the whole movie. The songs are catchy and Lin Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt have wonderful voices.

Image result for lin manuel mirandaSeeing Dick Van Dyke in this movie was fan-tas-tic. I may have not been a huge fan of the original Mary Poppins movie, but I loved Dick Van Dyke as Bert. He was easily my favorite character of that whole film, so it was amazing to not just see Bert's apprentice (Lin/Jack) but to actually see Dick Van Dyke IN. THE. FILM. Of course he was playing a different character, but man oh man did he own his role and choreography. It was such a great tribute I think I may have cried when he came on screen.

While so many things about this movie were great, there were just one too many moments where it got too dark for my taste in this genre and the acting seemed a bit awkward at times. Emily Blunt was amazing; never once did I not believe that she was Mary Poppins. But some of the other adults threw me off a little.

I also feel like I need to mention the costuming and overall design of the movie. The animation was perfectly nostalgic and rightly so because as I understand it they actually brought back the original animators from the first movie to do it again in this movie. But looking at Emily Blunt's wardrobe only, the pieces and small details are so stunning. The colors bring such life alone that combined with Emily's performance the entire screen was lit up with exuberance.

Image result for emily blunt mary poppinsMary Poppins Returns is of course a children's film, but let's be real: everyone could learn a lesson from watching Mary Poppins. It also makes me want to say that anyone who has kids or works with kids should see this film, because they are the Mary Poppins of the real world and children need to learn to embrace the imagination and enjoy their lives. We live in a immensely crazy world and you can see the strain of our world in children's eyes sometimes. It is truly tragic and the adults are the ones that can do something about it.

Thanks for reading!

The Best and Worst of 2018

coffee vintage cup meal food drink black breakfast espresso coffee cup cake piece flavorMy Favorite (and Least Favorite) Books of 2018

I don't think I would typically include a "least favorite" list from the year (because it could be mean-- maybe? possibly? idk...), but I read many a book for school this year that was published many ages ago, so I may be able to pull it off. Here we go! **rubs hands together** I also don't particularly feel like explaining each choice, so here are the lists and that will just about do it for this post. I'd be happy to answer any questions though about my selections should they arise.

Image result for kingdom of ashBest Books of 2018
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Evelina by Fanny Burney
Red by John Logan

Worst Books of 2018
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Strangers to Ourselves by Julia Kristeva
The Popol Vuh
Image result for red by john logan coverToo Bad! by Isaac Asimov
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I briefly want to point out while I'm here that just because a book is on my "Worst Books" list does not mean that it's bad. It could just be that I didn't enjoy it as much as the other books from the year or I personally did not like it as much as others will.

Looking forward to 2019 I am so excited to see what I will be reading! With the way my schedule is currently set up, I'm thinking I'm going to be reading a lot of plays, so there may be more of those on this blog in the future. There are also supposed to be a bunch of great books coming out and I feel like a lot of new authors breaking through, which will be super exciting to see.

Thanks for reading!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Closing My 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Image result for night readingFinal Results of My 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

As the year closes out, one of the things that I reviewed was how well I did with my 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. And I did... okay? I sort of stopped keeping track of these books for the longest time and have just recently gone back through my books of 2018 to see if any of them match the challenge categories. Overall, here are the categories that I accomplished and the books they correspond with:


book made into a movie you've already seenHarry Potter and the Philospher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
next book in a series you startedRestore Me by Tahereh Mafi
book involving a heistThe Purloined Letter by Edgar A. Poe
novel based on a real person#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
book set in a country that fascinates youThe Rain Watcher by Tatiana De Rosnay
book about death or griefThe Pillowman by Martin McDonagh
book with an LGBTQ+ protagonistLover at Last by J.R. Ward
book that is also a stage play or musicalArcadia by Tom Stoppard
book by an author of a different ethnicity than youThe Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano
book you borrowed or that was given to you as a giftThe Cruel Prince by Holly Black
book by two authorsZenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
book about or involving a sportAn Unexpected Christmas by Shannon Richard
book by a local authorThe Ligher Issue 65 Vol. 1+2
book with your favorite color in the titleThe Color Purple by Alice Walker
book with alliteration in the titleSense and Sensibility by Jane Austin
book with a weather element in the titleSky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
book with an animal in the titleOryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
book about or set on HalloweenThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
book with characters who are twinsLover Avenged by J.R. Ward
childhood classic you've never readTuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
book that's published in 2018The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
past Goodread's Choice Awards winnerQueen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get toThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
cyberpunk bookDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
book by an author with the same first or last name as youA Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

So in total I completely 25 books from the 2018 Challenge. I don't think that's too horrible... but considering that I wanted to complete all of the challenges it's a bit of a failure. Then again, the fact that I even made a tag for this challenge and sort of kept up to date with it like this shows significant improvement over previous year's participation.

Also, I know some of those titles may be a bit of a stretch to fit the categories, but I figured it's okay because there were a couple of books that I left off the list because I was not completely positive that it would qualify or I couldn't remember the details of it. So it balances out. Sort of. :)

I hope everyone else's reading challenges went the ways they wanted them to go and I look forward to challenging myself again in 2019!

Thanks for reading!

BDB Series by J.R. Ward-- Review of Books 7-9

5098079Reviews of Books 7-9 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward

In continuing this miniature tradition of reviewing this series in groups of three, here are my thoughts on books 7 through 9 of the series! Probably almost completely irrelevant because these books came out eons ago, but here are my thoughts nonetheless.

Lover Avenged (Rehvenge and Ehlena)
I did not really feel attached to Rehv and Ehlena until close to the middle of the book, which is sad for so many reasons in so many ways. It was a good book-- I have yet to read a bad book in this series-- but it just didn't grab my attention the way the other ones have so far. The ending though was really engaging and I couldn't put it down for about the last quarter of the book.

7046495Lover Mine (John Matthew and Xhex)
I know people who are huge John Matthew fans, and this was like their favorite of all the books, but I don't really care for John Matthew that much. It's not like I don't like him, so much as I don't think he's as interesting as some of the other characters. The most interesting thing about him is the connection with Darius and I have yet to see that connection actually get made by any of the characters and I want it to happen SO BADLY. Xhex was also slightly frustrating in this book because I had always pictured her as more, for lack of better words, masculine. She was literally the definition of defying gender stereotypes and it was great! But there were moments in this book where it was sort of taken away from her, either in physical or emotional description. **sigh**

Lover Unleashed (Payne and Manny)
8492319Like previously mentioned, I love Vishous. He is easily one of my favorite characters if not my all time favorite. And I know this book is technically about Payne and Manny, but isn't is also about V and Jane again? Because it sort of is and I loved reading those moments between the two of them where they really settle into their relationship and V becomes more open to expressing his emotions to Jane. It was amazing to watch. And Payne and Manny were great to see together as well, although I wish Manny had followed up on the testing thing that he could have done-- that would have been cool to get another vampire in the house. Other than that, I love Payne. I love that she straight up does not give a crap that she is a woman/female and she will do anything and everything that the guys do as well, without taking any flack from them at the same time.

And there they are! My comments for books 10-12 probably won't be up for a while because I still have to read The King and as it is the end of the year, I foresee a lot of more "fun" posts in the near future. So while you won't be getting my thoughts on the next three books for a bit, you will be getting other things!!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Aquaman Movie Review

Image result for aquamanAquaman
Movie Review
3.98 out of 5 Stars

I had so much fun watching this movie. As always and as I think many people probably sympathize with, I was fully expecting a dark and moody DC movie. I'm not even really sorry that those are my expectations for this brand because there is such a strong history of DC movies turning out way too angsty and broody. BUT, I think I will officially try to combat those expectations now because this is the second DC movie that I have seen and really enjoyed (the first being Wonder Woman).

Firstly, the colors in Aquaman were amazing. And I know I need to explain that more because it is an odd thing to say, so bear with me. Most of this movie takes place underwater, and as such, could have lent itself to naturally be very dark. However, not only were the cities bright and vibrant but the color scheme was so pleasing to the eye. It was full of violets and light blues and whites without being too dominating on those themes. It was beautiful. Plus, there were several gorgeous shots of the horizon with sunsets and sunrises and several scenes on land where it is blindingly (in a good way) sunny and richly colored.

Image result for aquaman
Secondly, I thought there was a really nice balance between personalities and humor/seriousness in this film. The character of Aquaman, or Arthur, is naturally very irreverent and sarcastic which was refreshing to see in a superhero outside of the Marvel world where they all crack punch lines. Arthur was unique in this and I think is unique in this in the DC world. What this meant for the movie is that the humorous moments were much more organic and were very easily balanced with the other characters of the story.

Another thing that I really loved was Mera because I was not expecting there to be a strong female hero in this movie. Honestly, I had no idea who she was going into it because I don't read the comics and there's only brief glances at her in the trailer. I do wish there had been more of her however and more interaction between say her and Arthur's mom, even if it was at the end. This film would not pass the Bechdel Test, which is disappointing because I think it could have if it was written in a slightly different angle, but let's be real, I don't think any superhero movie passes the Bechdel Test. That needs to change.

Image result for aquamanAs much as I loved this movie, there were a couple things that I straight up did not believe or that I thought were really awkward and drew me out of the film. Especially in the beginning of the movie, there was a fight sequence in a submarine that I thought was coming out of a 2000's cheap action movie. The music didn't help here either because it was almost epic music, but was sort of mixed with like an indie alternative vibe, and it just didn't work. It sounded and looked like something that would be in a movie spoofing Aquaman. Some of the other things were the Black Manta falling from a cliff, hitting a crap ton of rocks on the way down, with a failing and malfunctioning suit, and somehow surviving at the end? I'm sorry, but nobody would be able to survive that, so how the hell did he?

Image result for aquamanAwkward moments and scenes aside, the plot was fantastic and just serious enough without being too painstakingly dire. I really enjoyed watching the characters develop the way that they did, even if the relationship between Arthur and Mera moved too fast, and seeing how things finally unfolded in the end. It was great to see Jason Momoa on the big screen as well as Nicole Kidman, who is just genius in every role she plays, along with a bunch of other actors that I had either never heard of or hadn't seen in a while all really pull off great performances. All in all, it was a great dramatic movie to watch post-Holidays!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

BDB Series by J.R. Ward-- Review of Books 4-6

Reviews of Books 1-3 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward

I am in a mad scramble to meet my reading goal of the year (101 books). Of course, I am still reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood series because they are addictive; but of course, they are each like 500 pages as well. Currently, I am on book 11, Lover at Last, and I do not have too much time to stop and review. Could I read smaller books? Yes. Will I? Eh..... maybe. It all depends on how fast I'm going and how desperately I want to keep reading these books. Also how distracting they are, because I tried to read something else the other day and I couldn't because I kept thinking about Jane and Vishous and how they were doing.

Long story short, I'm going to do more quick reviews of the books. The post for books 7-9 will be coming up either tomorrow or the day after, but for now, here are my quick thoughts on these three!

Lover Revealed (Butch and Marissa)
I saw this coming, and I don't mean the ship, but the fact that Butch would become a bloodsucker. Many people probably did, and probably will full intentions from the author because there were certainly enough clues and lead up. It didn't hinder the book, but I did feel a little convenient for me. Other than that, I loved seeing Butch interact with Vishous (lol sorry Marissa, IDGAF) and watching their friendship from the inside of it. They're like soul-BFFs. Marissa was cool at the end I guess, but for the most part I was really annoyed with her and I only cared about the guys. All in all though, I really liked it by the end of the book- more than I thought I was going to.

Lover Unbound (Vishous and Jane)
VISHOUS MAY BE MY FAVORITE CHARACTER! It's up in the air between him and Zsadist. I really fell in love with V though in this book. He's debatable the biggest a**hole at times in the series, but we find out why in this book and we get to see him adjust to his world and it made him completely lovable. I also really appreciated having someone get brought into the story that did not necessarily have an easy fix or fit to the mating question. Like, yeah Mary was cool with the Scribe Virgin in the second book, but other than that, there was no real way that I could see the relationship between V and Jane working out in the long run. But then the things happened and I am so happy that they get their lives together. 

Lover Enshrined (Phury and Cormia)
I think this may be my least favorite of the books so far. Like many other situations, that isn't to say that it's a bad book or that I didn't enjoy the story-- because I really did. It's just that it didn't really compare to the other books. And part of that may have just been because I'm not really attached to Phury and I didn't really get attached to Cormia. The plot was cool though and I really appreciate the overall theme the series is developing of this question of modernization and how that needs to balance with tradition and religion. Because I'm seriously concerned about the Scribe Virgin. I won't go into it too much here because it isn't as relevant in this book, but I think she is definitely changing as a character and the events in this book are part of the reason why.

1240662There's also a novella that comes after the sixth book called Father Mine and it's about Zsadist as a father and I HIGHLY recommend it. I don't think it is important to any plot line at any point whatsoever, but it was so enjoyable to read. (And it's also more story revolving around Z so why wouldn't you want to read it....?)

I can't wait to keep reading this series and I 100% recommend these books. They're crack books in the purest definition of what it means to be a crack book. The only time I would maybe hold back on them if I were you is if you are not able to read or a fan of graphic scenes.

Thanks for reading!
View all my reviews

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Book Tea Tag: December 2018

Image result for books and teaThe Tea Tag
(Something I just completely made up- sort of)

I don't think there's something like this yet in the bookish community, but if I'm probably almost 100% wrong, so someone please let me know! I would love to take a look at it or watch it. :) For these descriptors, I'm going to try to match both a specific tea to it as well as a book.

Green Tea: cleansing, natural, calming
Tea: Sleepytime tea
Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Image result for pride and prejudice book coverTo me, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book, maybe ever. There are a few that are on that list and up for debate, but I always love rereading this one because it just calms me. I know what's going to happen, I love how the characters end up together, and I feel like my brain has been scrubbed clean after reading Jane Austen's writing.

Black Tea: energetic, first thing in the morning, bitter
Tea: Irish Breakfast tea
Book: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
This is something that gets you up and going in the morning or just otherwise moving. Irish black tea is my poison of choice for caffeinated tea here, and Queen of Shadows had me pacing and throwing s*** around. My emotions were so high strung in that book that I feared for myself when I was driving and still reading this book for the first time. Talk about a book that gets you riled up.

Image result for tea photography
Herbal Tea: soothing, varied, for the flavor
Tea: Apple Cinnamon tea
Book: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
For both teas and books, I feel like I made this category way too broad. The tea that I chose personally really clears my throat. I don't if it does that for other people, but it definitely does for me. For the book, ACOMAF just soothes my soul. I love Feyre and Rhys and their journey in this book is so satisfying to read.

White Tea: super fruity (peach, melon, etc.), rare in coffee shops (at least in my experience)
Tea: Apricot tea
Book: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Christmas books are so hard to find and be good at the same time. I definitely think this book qualifies and is a real treat to read. It isn't normally kept in everyday stores though I think because it's a holiday book, which can be frustrating if you need to pick up a copy fast. Same thing with apricot tea-- I really love it, but it seems like it is hard to find a good quality.

Image result for winter tea
Sun-brewed Tea: takes ages to brew, full and robust, added vitamin D (jk, I don't know if that's an actual thing)
Tea: I've never actually had this, so does this have specific teas?
Book: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
I will admit, the beginning of The Great Alone was slightly slow-paced. There were definitely things happening that kept me intrigued and invested in the story, but looking back on it, it took a huge amount of page time for the story to get to its point. It really adds to the depth of the characters though, making it a super robust developed read.

Image result for a darker shade of magicTea for a Fancy Mug: feel super sophisticated while drinking it, beautiful designs
Tea: African Autumn tea
Book: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
For this category, I was thinking aesthetics, and so for the tea it is firstly beautifully named with alliteration and then secondly has fancy orange and spice flavors. For the book, I really love the cover of A Darker Shade of Magic. The story is fancy too, but those covers are all ones that I would definitely put on display on my bookshelf if I had the hardback copies.

Image result for twilight book coverFruity Tea: slightly cloying, probably shouldn't be a tea, tea for non-tea drinkers
Tea: Blueberry tea
Book: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
A.K.A.... a gateway tea/book. That's where my mind was headed with this one and I really think I nailed it with blueberry tea and Twilight. For the tea, I hate blueberries, and yet this blueberry tea will really get my attention. And for Twilight, it is complete and pure fluff that will get people into reading more books. It has its frustrating moments, but overall can be fairly addictive.

Chai Tea Latte: really expensive, but so worth it
Tea: Dirty Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks
Book: Any new Cassandra Clare book
Dirty Chai Tea Latter = Regular chai tea latte + a shot(s) of espresso. You can imagine the price, but you can also imagine the flavor. Looking at the book, really any hardcover book will be pricey at this point, but it has always been more than worth it to me for a Cassandra Clare book. Or maybe I'm just justifying buying Queen of Air and Darkness right now on a shoestring budget.

Image result for tea and book photographyIced Tea: Leaves you felling cold inside, wakes up your tongue, sharp contrast
Tea: Classic Sweet Tea
Book: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
In this category, I picked things that are crisp in some form or another and leaves me with chills. For two different reasons, but still... Iced sweet tea may be one of the best inventions on the planet and guaranteed will cool me down on a hot day. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer on the other hand will give me chills because it is so creepy and twisted.

Image result for tea and book photographyTea that Smells Good, but Isn't: you think it will be amazing, but then are let down
Tea: Chamomile tea
Book: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
I know a lot of people love chamomile tea, and I love the smell of it and think it will be great every time, but every time I end up hating it. There's no fix, no cure. Likewise, I hate the classic Ethan Frome. It is stupid, ridiculous, horribly written, and if I had to pick any book to use as kindling, it would be this one. Sorry, not sorry.

SO, I did some googling and it looks like there are some people who have done similar tags! If you liked this, I highly recommend googling "book tea tag" and reading though the first few sites, because that's what I did and I loved it. Also, for those who are much more informed when it comes to teas than I am, please ignore any glaringly stupid choices. I did my best with what I know. :)

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Preparing for Queen of Air and Darkness

Image result for emma carstairsMy Queen of Air and Darkness Prep Kit

This is literally a week after the publication of the book, but I'm going to be starting Cassandra Clare's third book in The Dark Artifices series, Queen of Air and Darkness. I'm finishing up some assignments for the semester for the rest of today and then tonight onward it is all book time all the time-- starting with this book that will probably destroy me.

THIS IS A PREP KIT NOT A SURVIVAL GUIDE <-- lol I probably will die while reading this book

Now, while I have not had too much time to actually reread the books (because let's be honest here, they are huge with a lot of details and I am neither going to remember all of those details nor reread those books right now), I have been spending the past week preparing for this book by watching BookTube videos and reading my own posts and reviews about this series. There are a couple of major things that I am looking forward to seeing and/or hoping get resolved. Please skip over this next part if you have not read Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows because I will be spoiling things. You can resume reading after the photo of Cassandra Clare.

Image result for julian blackthorn

1. Livvy-- Oh God we're going to have to watch all of the Blackthorns cope and deal with this tragedy. I know it's going to break my heart because my eyes are watering just thinking about that moment at the end of LoS. I'm especially worried about Julian though because we have seen him take on so much of a parental role in his family. So not only will he be mourning as a brother and a family member, but I feel like he's also going to be bringing a lot of guilt with him that will spiral him deeper into his own darkness.

2. The Sebastian love-child-- HOLY S__T THIS HAD BETTER BE CORRECT! I have this theory that the faerie teen blonde whatever that Dru meets is the love-child of Sebastian and the queen. I got to this point right at the very end of my Lord of Shadows review and I am holding to it. I will be looking for this confirmation around every corner of this next book. And if I'm wrong I may chuck the book across the room. Then again, if I'm right I'll probably chuck this book off the roof of my house in celebration while dancing like I'm in faerie.

3. Magnus being sick-- My poor baby and all the other poor warlock/witch babies. Somewhere in the chaos of everything else in every corner of the Shadowhunter world someone needs to figure out what the hell is happening to these people and FIX IT. If Magnus dies I will not recover from that- let alone what it would mean for all the other characters and the balance of the world and the powers within this world.

Image result for idris shadowhunters4. The parabatai bond-- We all know this is the real plot of the story (see number 5 for more of what I mean). But seriously, we don't have a loophole yet that would let Julian and Emma be together! DUWCGSKBSA This element of the story is 100% going to be resolved in Queen of Air and Darkness. If it's not, I don't know why I would have read it. However, this could be done in almost any way. At this point after reading so many Cassie Clare books, the sky could be ripped open with rainbow glitter and have a sea dragon poop his blessing over the two of them and I would only be a little surprised. But one of the two of them could also die. So there's that.

5. Annabel is still a thing I guess? Honestly the main plot of this series around Annabel has kind of escaped my attention. I know it's a thing, and there's the Black Book or whatever, but with everything else going on if feels like worrying about a leaking faucet in the middle of a hurricane. I don't even know if I'm spelling her name correctly right now. It is on my radar though and I know it will probably come up in this book in a big way.

There's more than these things I know, but there's just so much to cover that I didn't want to overwhelm this post with it all. This is just a starter kit for people to prepare themselves. I didn't even touch on the potential threesome that could happen in this book. Clearly, there are things I didn't mention.

Image result for cassandra clare
A part of me forgot how all-consuming this series is. This past week has been such a struggle to not let myself get side-tracked by this book and falling headfirst back into this world. If you still are waiting for your finals/semester/quarter/year to end, KEEP GOING. I BELIEVE IN YOU. This book will be here when we're finished and I think this may have been the best route because after I'm done with everything, I will be able to fully devote my attention to this novel.

Here's the list of what I've gone over in case you need something too: 
***Please note that it will take you hours to read/watch everything here.***
******I'm going to link to one of my favourite BookTubers. It is just personal preference because I think her videos are amazing but I'm sure there are others out there as well.******

My Posts:
Image result for the dark artificesLady Midnight Review
Lord of Shadows Review
Lord of Shadows Ships

Video Links to polandbananasbooks:
Lady Midnight:
Lord of Shadows:

I would also recommend just scrolling through Bloglovin' and Tumblr because there is some great stuff out there on this series. 

Thanks for reading and I'm so looking forward to this book!