I have to take some time off to really get down and dirty with my studies. *sigh*
I have already been pretty spotty in my posting lately and reading….has been super slow and non-existent. I don’t think I will be getting much done in the coming weeks either which is so sad, but I have big plans for when I am finally on holiday.
I’m talking binge reads.
I will perhaps have some posts up here and there. But what sucks is that I will not be keeping up with my blog hopping or reading your posts, so if you tag me in something and I don’t respond, I’m sorry!!
That is to say, I will be gone until the 18th of December. (Which totally sucks!!!!!) I will pop in again around early December, but do not expect much from me. I really need to focus on other things and blog has been a great distraction as of late.
It’s a simple question many people ask: “What book changed your life?”
The complexity comes in answering. For me at least, and I am sure many of you would agree. No one book changed my life. No one book had everything I was looking for. No one book had a full representation of who I was, rather it was multiple books. Series of books. Multiple series of books that I learned from, harboured intense feelings toward and ultimately changed me.
So we are going to start from the beginning and move forward. I am counting the series that have impacted me in one way, shape or form. There isn’t really an end to this list. As life goes on, I keep reading more series change me and this list grows!
Those of you who know me might spot some familiars and go “Well…duh!” and some might surprise you. I doubt it though, I am about as open as a…well…book!
Junie B. Jones seriesby Barbara Park
So some of you know that I hated reading growing up. Going to the library at school consisted of me picking up picture books, but in Grade Two we had to start taking out novels. Books without pictures. The horror. I couldn’t fathom reading a page of just words. Words that I didn’t know their meanings or how to pronounce them. No.
I saw all my classmates taking out books and reading them just fine. I (who was very prideful) took out books just like them and never actually read them! I hardly ever read my assigned books for language too. Eventually my teacher caught me. She noticed how I was struggling to pronounce words and when she interviewed me about my book, I knew nothing about it! She told me that I had to try and I was also afraid of being reprimanded for not reading again, so I listened to her.
The next time I went to the library I found a bucket full of thin-ish looking chapter books. An entire series, I realized about this coocky girl named Junie B. and her adventures in school. I made a pledge to myself in the moment, standing in front of the boxes that I would read this entire series no matter what. And I did. I read one every week or so and continued to do so until I found other series that drew me into my reading mode. I loved Junie B. It was the perfect series for me. A little comedy, a lot of drama and just good fun!
I’ll always be thankful for Junie B. Jones and Barbara Park as they mark the beginning of my reading journey.
Now we are going to skip forward a few years and meet twelve year-old Rendz! In other words, The Golden Age of Rendz.
Over the years I read lots of great books, I went to the library three or four times over the summer to take out books, but none of them really impacted me or made me addicted to reading. That comes later!
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
It was a January, some years ago. I was at my cousins’ house after school as usual. My older cousin arrived and I saw that she was clutching a black book with a weird/cool-bird-thing on the cover. Tween-Rendz was intrigued, so I asked my cousin what she was reading. To quote her: “How do you not know?” Apparently these books were rather popular and her hold from the library finally came after weeks of waiting. Long story short, she ended up buying them to avoid the long library wait and I borrowed them from her in February.
I read the entire trilogy in nine days.
I always said that reading books slowly made them more enjoyable, but for the first time I had experienced the joy of being completely engrossed in a story that you finish it before you even realize. Everything about THG just hit me in all the right places. The action, the romance (even though it was a triangle), and the heroine just completely transformed me. Literally. (I braided my hair like Katniss for the next three years…#TrueStory) Then the movies came out and were great and I was just completely submerged by this genre of dystopia and fantasy.
The big thing about THG is that the series made me less hesitant to head into the teen section or to explore the YA section at Indigo. I visited the library more often, took out lots of more books and read them faster than ever. My YA journey really started with this book series and I have never looked back!
Last one of this post! It’s really no surprise!
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Controversial Bit: It didn’t begin with the books, it began with the movie.
C’est vrai! It was December 2005 and baby-Rendz demanded that she and her family watch the movie she has been seeing advertised on TV lately. Her mother said “Your going to get scared by all the monsters,” but Baby-Rendz insisted. So we bought the tickets and I watched The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for the first time!
My mom was right, I was supremely scared of the monsters.
My cousin would eventually buy me a DVD of the movie and that, ladies and gents, is the beginning of a phase I am never going to grow out of!
BUT..the books? Where do they come into play? In the 6th grade my teacher decided to read LWW to us and I was literally over the moon because that meant we would also be watching the movie at the end of the unit! Of course while studying the book we had to find all the symbolism and metaphors and all those other fancy-dancy literary terms (plus I went to a Catholic school, and this is C.S. Lewis so you know Jesus was brought up a couple times too), but all of that really took a side note. For me, I was realizing that my favourite fantasy world could be explored in more ways, that I could venture further into the world with the other books, I just had to find the motivation to do it.
That motivation didn’t come until the following year when I bought a beautiful bind up of all seven books and read the entire, humongous tome in a month and a half. It was fantastic, I found new love for LWW and also found other faves in The Horse and His Boy and The Silver Chair!
Narnia was such an important feature in my life. It took up (and still does) most of my thoughts, I would coerce my friends into playing “Narnia” at recess, I would reenact my favourite scenes at home and find my favourite quotes to write out. The obsession is never ending. I know they may not be the most politically correct books and C.S. Lewis is pretty problematic himself, but I cannot deny what a huge impact these works had and still have on me.
Narnia was my first fantasy world that I visited and even though I’m sure there are other amazing worlds to explore, I will always choose Narnia as my go to.
Alright that’s enough for now! These are just the beginning books, the ones that really impacted me as a kid and tween.There are still a few more series that changed me in some way that I will dive into in other posts.
Let me know what you think! As a kid what are some books that really changed you? Or perhaps they made you fall in love with reading? I would love to know!
Yes, I’m doing the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag two months before the end of the year.
Thank you to Mandy @ BookPrincessReviews for tagging me! Mandy is amazing and wonderful and has so many amazing posts and reviews that go up constantly! You should give her a visit and a follow and don’t forget to interact with her royal highness
Since this does have to do with the middle of the year, I’ll only count books I read from January to August of 2017!
1. BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2017?
(Not counting my TLC reread….because it would be my #1 answer, always)
Oh gosh…hmm….The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi was beautiful.
But I also read The Midnight Star by Marie Lu and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo which actually broke me.
There is no single answer for this!
2. BEST SEQUEL OF 2017 SO FAR?
The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro. A little confusing at the end, but I really did enjoyed spending time with these characters again!
3. NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT WANT TO?
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh, The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor are just some on my top list!
4. MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE OF THE SECOND HALF OF 2017?
*Second half of 2017 being in progress*
It was Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas because CHAOL WESTFALL DESERVED HIS OWN BOOK!!!
BUT I HAVE BEEN WAITING AGES FOR NEW MARISSA MEYER….SO RENEGADES, TOPS ALL!
5. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT?
Done Dirt Cheapby Sarah Nicole Lemon
I was just expecting so much more…..epicness, motorcycles, and drama. Instead I got some really anti-climatic, weird stuff that I was just not into! Full Review Here
6. BIGGEST SURPRISE?
Maud by Melanie Fishbane
I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did! It just gave me all the feels!!
7. FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR (DEBUT OR NEW TO YOU) ?
Debut: Stephanie Garber, Caraval (and I think most would agree) was amazing and I am dying for the sequel!
New to Me: Roshani Chokshi, She debuted in 2016, her novel The Star-Touched Queen and novella Death and Night blew me away earlier this year! I cannot wait to dive into her other works!
8. NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH?
Amar (The Star Touched Queen) – Total hottie with a way with words. Swoon.
Lorcan (Empire of Storms)- Smol, angry bean but I love him.
9. NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER?
Katharine and Arsinoe from Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
I love them both and I am so worried for them too! I haven’t read the sequel One Dark Throne but I am eagerly anticipating it!
10. BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY?
None yet! (But I did get a little emotional while rereading The Lunar Chronicles, the feels hit me hard)
11. BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY?
My Lunar Chronicles reread of course! It was so much fun reliving the stories and spending time with my faves!
I plan on doing it again next summer!
12. FAVOURITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION YOU’VE SEEN THIS YEAR?
I have not seen any! I know there were a couple, but I haven’t seen them!
13. FAVOURITE REVIEW YOU’VE WRITTEN THIS YEAR?
Oh gosh, I don’t know. Hmmm…
I had a pretty fun time writing my Empire of Storms review, it is full of funny gifs and unpopular opinions *evil laughter*
On a more positive note: My sisters (Maz and Kez) and I buddy read Three Dark Crowns and we each have our own quirky reviews on here! Reading their reactions was pretty fun! (I’m still trying to convince them to do it again for book 2!)
14. MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU BOUGHT OR RECEIVED SO FAR THIS YEAR?
I bought Wires & Nerveby Marissa Meyer in January which I find just lovely, I may not have been a fan of the art at first, but now I love it! It really encompasses the quirkiness and total awesomeness that is this series!
15. WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?
*That’s not a good goal Rendz* Okay, fine.
Renegades by Marissa Meyer, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (Maz will kill me if I don’t), Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh, Wonder Woman: Warbringerby Leigh Bardugo, THE SHADES OF MAGIC SERIESBY V.E. SCHWAB (Literally everyone will kill me if I don’t read these) and the list goes on….
I would tag people, but it is long past mid-year and I’m pretty sure everyone else actually did this tag on time!
Still, let me know what you think! What is your favourite read of the year so far? Any new favourite authors? What book are you still eagerly waiting for?
There are certain things I wish for in my bookish dreams. Some of them are more easily fulfilled and others have yet to be fulfilled or I have to scavenge really hard to find them. They exist, but not in a large amount. Books, specifically YA, never take place in or have characters from El Salvador (id est. Rendz’s family’s place of origin). I may be wrong, though I doubt it. So that’s a dream still not fulfilled, but perhaps someday.
Now YA set in Canada is another dream. It’s a lot easier to find books set in Canada/with Canadian characters! There are lists on Goodreads that I can scroll down and so on!
So pretty much all books set in Canada get put into my TBR, no questions asked. This was one of those books, so when I saw it on NetGalley you I snatched it up fast!
Scion of the Foxby S.M. Beiko
As the winter ice begins to thaw, the fury of a demon builds — all because one girl couldn’t stay dead . . .
Roan Harken considers herself a typical high school student — dead parents, an infected eyeball, and living in the house of her estranged, currently comatose grandmother (well, maybe not so typical) — but she’s uncovering the depth of the secrets her family left behind. Saved from the grasp of Death itself by a powerful fox spirit named Sil, Roan must harness mysterious ancient power . . . and quickly. A snake-monster called Zabor lies in wait in the bed of the frozen Assiniboine River, hungry for the sacrifice of spirit-blood in exchange for keeping the flood waters at bay. Thrust onto an ancient battlefield, Roan soon realizes that to maintain the balance of the world, she will have to sacrifice more than her life in order to take her place as Scion of the Fox.
American Gods meets Princess Mononoke in this powerful first installment of a trilogy sure to capture readers’ imaginations everywhere.
*My deepest gratitude to the publisher for providing me with a copy! This does not affect my opinions!*
Well this was definitely an interesting read no doubt. It was a little bit of a roller coaster ride in terms of how I felt about it at times while reading, but overall it was a pretty fun read! With an added bonus that it’s set in Canada!
What I Liked
Roan:Our lovely chosen one. (As she so warmly names herself) Um…I actually have some mixed feelings about her. She was a very entertaining character to follow. She definitely wasn’t the perfect hero! She felt like giving up multiple times (she almost did), but like the good heroine she is, she pulled through. She made not so intelligent decisions, some of them more mind-boggling than others (more on that later). I wouldn’t label her as my fave character, but she was alright.
Sil:Sil was an interesting character to follow! She was the not fairy god mother but still the wise figure in Roans adventure. Wise and very sassy. I really enjoyed her banter with Roan as it made the book a whole lot more entertaining.
Eli: Very interesting. Very troublesome. Not exactly a villain but definitely possesses some evilish qualities. Not exactly the most romantic hero for Roan either (like they have issues)….but unless I read into it wrong he’s feeling something! (There wasn’t any romance in the book, I’m just pointing out from observation!)
Other characters…Roan had a great cast of friends by her side. Phae, Barton, Natti and more who helped her survive her journey. There were secondary characters that were less likeable, but that I liked to hate so I had fun following them too.
Setting: Le duh! Set in Canada, specifically Winnipeg (a city I be never actually visited…I haven’t visited a lot of Canada FYI) The story takes places during the winter so the atmosphere really contrasts with Roan and makes her stand out! Where she burns bright with fire her surroundings are very cold, ominous and chilling. And then as the story melts into spring, her fire gets more intense and the big show down happens.
Magic System: While I liked it, it was also kind of hard to wrap my head around. I liked the use of the elements and the Ancient system that passed down their powers from generation to generation. It was classic so I enjoyed it. What stumped me were the animal familiars. I didn’t have a problem with the Owls, Fox, Seal or Deer….what stumped me was the Rabbit, representative of the earth element. It was just funny to imagine because I see earth as a strong and fortifying element but envisioning cute little bunnies kind of threw me off (and it didn’t help that the people descending from this line looked jittery and scared). I don’t know, it just didn’t work for me. Otherwise, I really like the Magic and its ties to humanity and the villain.
What I Disliked
Predictive: I saw a few things from a mile away, that were really no surprises or shocking revelations. I felt that the intensity of the novel was low, there weren’t any really OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG moments, but it wasn’t completely flat either. I think this was a little juvenile for me despite some of the more mature themes.
Trope Talking: This book had some tropes in which I was like, whatever *shrug* But then the author goes and makes fun of the tropes within the book…in which I was like okay….? The obvious one is the Chosen One trope, ie Roan. She actually poked fun and makes jokes about being the Chosen one….and continues to do so throughout the story. It was funny at first, but then it gets annoying so I really could have done without it. The author does this with a few other tropes too: the white saviour w/ a diverse side cast and the old wise person, dead parents are some examples. It’s kind of like saying “these tropes kind of suck, but I’m going to use them anyways!”
Roan’s Idiot Mistake, for being an Idiot Chosen One: I read about 400 pages of Roan trying to stop Eli from being evil. She helps him get through some intense struggle and y’all, they pull through. And then in the final chapter, she made the same damn choices as evil-Eli so now she is at risk of becoming evil! Was she not present for the earlier chapters of the book??? Did she not realize the consequences of her decision??? Apparently this book is a cycle, and we are going to get right back where we started.
Overall, I did enjoy most of the book. It was fun and magical. A little flat in some areas, but it was a solid read.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Recommend: I think this would work well with younger YA readers
Let me know what you think! Have you read this? What are some of your favourite tropes? What are some of your least?
Ahhhh spoilers. A cause of great drama, pain and probably a lot of unhappiness. But hey they come with fair warnings right? Wrong, not always. Sometimes spoilers just assault you out of the blue and you can’t unsee what you’ve seen so your scarred for life, baby!
So let us discuss!
• Spoilers = The Devil’s Spawn OR Spoilers = A Bit of Necessary Info •
~ Confession: I have a secret love for spoilers. ~
Maybe not big ones, but little ones. Spoilers that make me wonder, why?, how?, and increase my intrigue to read a certain book or series! Maybe I “accidentally” scroll through a spoilery review and see a spoiler about the MC having magical abilities, intrigue hits and I press Want-To-Read. Maybe I see another minor spoiler about the plot. Something that doesn’t give the whole thing away but you know little, little things.
Maybe, I’m one of those people who scavenges for spoilers about books with love triangles to see who I have to root for and not be on the losing side!?! (I totally do this.) Why? BECAUSE I HATE LOVE TRIANGLES BUT I WOULD RATHER BE ON THE WINNING SIDE THAN THE LOSING ONE!!!!!
I don’t always look for spoilers. But with books that I’m kind of iffy about (or books with triangles) I just want a little bit of necessary info. Let it make me wonder and question and draw to the book to me. Sometimes I end up liking the book, sometimes I still end up on the wrong side of the triangle and sometimes the spoilers bring up things I don’t want to read about and I avoid the book completely.
Little spoilers are okay, but big spoilers.
• Let’s talk about BIG spoilers which actually are the Devil’s Spawn. •
~ The Epic Plot Twist Spoil ~
I have had a couple epic twists spoiled for me, by accident. Both of the big twists in A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir were ruined for me. I was scrolling through Tumblr and she was answering questions about the book and I spotted two huge things that left me going “WHAT?!??” but at the same time “NO?!?!” It kind of ruined the momentum of the book, it was still AMAZING but those two revelations weren’t as epic as they should have been because I was spoiled! >.<
~ The Character Death Spoil ~
This is actually the worst! I’ve had it happen to me a couple of times. I was spoiled for Crooked Kingdom (by my own fault), The Crown’s Game (by Kez’s fault) and pretty much all the deaths in Throne of Glass (by fault of Pinterest/Tumblr).
It just really sucks to get death-spoiled because then you are already mourning that character and by the time they die, it just doesn’t hit you as hard. I like to be hit hard and cry a little, but death-spoilers ruin this!
~ The Final Ending Spoil ~
I hardly doubt anyone likes to know the ending of the book while they are reading it. Especially the conclusion of a series. I mean, it kind of defeats the purpose of reading the preceding books if you know how it’s all going to end. At least, that’s how I sometimes feel. Usually I push through and continue reading, but like I don’t have the same enthusiasm!
I know Maz and Kez would just not read the books at all if they spoiled the ending-ending for themselves (Which they do often to avoid long series. I don’t see their logic.)
• The Problem with Me and Spoilers •
I have the worst poker face. THE WORST. My fake smile, shake of the head, or just plain, “neutral” expression gives it all away!
Here’s the thing. I am a great liar when I want to be. (Which may be too often) But when it comes to books/movies/all things fandom, I just cannot keep my composure and I give it all away!
My friends and cousins, especially my cousin will come out and friggin interrogate me about her theories and ideas. Over text, I can keep the secrets but in person, I look guilty…especially when their theories are spot on.
I start sweating:
My hands get clammy:
My face gets red:
And I put on the fakest smile of life!
At that, my friend/cousin start yelling at me that I’m spoiling it for them, to which I answer: “THEN DON’T ASK ME!”
Moral of the story: I am an automatic spoiler, don’t tell me your theories unless over text because if you see my face, the cat is out of the bag!
Let me know what you think! Let’s discuss! SPOILERS! Do you voluntarily search for them? Do you religiously avoid them? What books have been spoiled for you? (Please do not give actual spoilers, lol) Do you have a good Spoiler-Poker Face?
Seriously, what happened to the 24 hours of each day?? They seem to be going by so quickly and amazing books keep getting published and I am still working on debuts from 2015??????
What is this mess, Rendz?
Answer: My life.
Anyways……this is going to be a really sad and pathetic wrap-up. October was not my reading month, it was a month of assignments and midterms. Thankfully, I have a few days off from those, but I’m probably going to go on a longish hiatus at the end of November to the beginning of December…le sigh! What can I do, c’est la vie!
I read one book. BUT it was an AMAZING BOOK!
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
This book is still in my mind. Honestly, the characters, the story, the betrayal all of it is still clogging my memory! It was lovely and heart-mushing without being too cheesy! Just do yourself a favour and read it! Full Review Here
Plus…I just finished Scion of the Fox by S.M. Beiko (so really its an Oct-Nov read). I should have read this ages ago, but I am that inefficient!