THEME THURSDAY | Virtual Reality

Greetings readers!

I am back with this post! I missed last month due to my vacation. But I am back now!

Theme Thursday is a new monthly feature created by Sophie @ Blame Chocolate where bloggers can share recs and newly found books featuring that week’s theme.

  • There will be a different theme (genre, trope, etc) to use on any Thursday of the month. You can check the theme calendar and official rules here.

This is a very peculiar topic because I do not think I’ve read many VR books…

🍫 Books I’ve Read/I’m Reading:

Warcross (Warcross, #1)
via Goodreads

🍫 Other Books That Fit The Theme:

Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1)
via Goodreads

And that’s really all I got. Wow. I do not know of any VR books. THIS MEANS I NEED RECS AND I NEED RECS NOW.

Let me know what you think! Send me all your thoughts on VR books! Are they a yay or a nay? Are they as hard to find as I think they are??

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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My Tribute Tale | How The Hunger Games Devoured Me

Greetings readers!

So I am sure we have all heard the news. The Suzanne Collins is coming out with a prequel novel to her iconic series, The Hunger Games. I was in the middle of the Raptors Victory Parade here in Toronto when the announcement went out, so I just got more excited in the moment.

I figured with the news I would share with you the story of how THG completely changed the way I read books.

the hunger games GIF
via giphy.com

My Cousin Pushed Me To Read Them

Well she didn’t so much as push me as constantly recommend them to me every time I asked her what she was reading. I remember her telling me that the books were getting super popular because they were going to be adapted into films. This was happening when I was still in my half-liking reading phase so I didn’t pay that much attention to her. But then as I took trips to Indigo I noticed the massive piles and displays of the books and then a girl in my class started reading them so naturally I had to see if I liked them too!

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And I swallowed them.

I asked my cousin to borrow her set (since she ended up buying them because the library hold line was too long.) I started book one very late in the night, but I remember being totally sucked into the first chapter.

After that I completely devoured them and read the series in just over the week. I had the time of my life. I don’t remember all the details perfectly but I know I loved each and every book.

For the record I was always #TeamPeeta.

GIF by The Hunger Games
via giphy.com

I literally dressed like Katniss

Yeah. If you went down my search history circa 2011/2012 you would see braid tutorial after braid tutorial videos. Lots of “How to get the Katniss Look” searches. And my absolute favourite “How to make a bow and arrow from household items”. And yes I actually made one from a plastic coat hanger and skewers. The quiver was made from a paper-machéd rolled up piece of newspaper. Yup.

I bought combat boots, a leather jacket, lots of black Tees and greenish coloured jeans. Now that I think back on it, it was so, so weird. My braids never turned out that great and I wore them to school almost every day. Oh my god, RENDZ!

And you know what I told myself?! “Rendz, don’t dress up as Katniss on Halloween because that’s totes cliché” (just happily do it every other day of the year) *face meet palm*

DIY Halloween Costume: Katniss Everdeen
via Pinterest

The Movies were my LIFE

Part of the reason why I dressed like her was because of the movie. Before it even came out I watched the trailers obsessively. Meaning I would watch the commercial between shows JUST to see the movie trailer.

I watched every single cast interview I could. I googled the actors daily for any updates on the films. I grew a crush on Josh Hutcherson, which I berate myself for now endlessly.

I wore my leather jacket to the watch the first movie and yes, my hair was in the Katniss braid. I think I wore my hair braided to every movie viewing. I can’t tell you how many times I watched the first one, I just watched it a lot.

the hunger games GIF
via giphy.com

My Memorabilia Collection and Obsession

I collected everything I could. I didn’t have money as a tween obviously so I couldn’t buy the pendant, I didn’t get the posters or any stuff like that. But newspapers and magazines were at my access. I cut out every piece I could and saved it in a folder. Remember that ill-advised crush I had on JH, yeah well most of it is about him. I don’t know what Past-Rendz was thinking but she crushed hardddd.

My sisters were very embarrassed for me and teased me endlessly about my obsession.

To quote Maz “She wore a braid everyday. Everyday. For like a year. It was more embarrassing for you than me!”

To quote Kez: “She made arrows!”

thg

How I feel about the Prequel!

I’m excited for it! Yeah it might be a cash crab, but I am still super into it! I would love to see the early years of the games and what kind of rebellion was happening back in the day. I even heard a rumor that it could possibly be about Mags so YES I am 100% on board for this. It’s the perfect excuse to reread the series which will probably happen closer to the date of release 😉

Untitled Panem Novel (The Hunger Games, #0)


Let me know what you think! How embarrassed should I be about this past? When did you first read THG? Have you watched all the movies? Are you looking forward to the prequel?

Even more importantly…I WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR #TRIBUTETALE? I would love to read a whole post on your thoughts! Feel free to use the hashtag (which I’m not sure is an entirely original) and tag me as well! 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Beholder | Review // It was good but also (maybe) comes with a side of cringe???

Greetings readers!

I hope you have all been having a wonderful month so far! I’m coming at you with a post that is long long overdue! Today I’m reviewing the first book I completed in June and I’m very excited to share my thoughts about it since I am sure EVERYONE is salivating over this cover!

I mean…BEHOLD THE BEHOLDER!

The Beholder by Anna Bright

The Beholder
via Goodreads

Pub Date: June 4th, 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen
Price: $21.99 CAD
Goodreads

Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.


BUY IT!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon


*I read an ARC of this book handed over to me by a friend!*

The Likes

The Characters

The Author’s letter did not lie when she mentioned that there were going to be a lot of male characters because oh boy there were many. But let’s start with the star of this whole thing.

Miss Selah. Wow. She is me and I am her. I’m not even joking. Except for the fact that she has a very troubling family situation and a very green thumb, neither of which pertain to me. Still, personality wise, I was in a way reading about myself. The shy and reserved kind of a pushover, yet 10/10 ready to fight when enough courage is mustered. I really enjoyed reading from Selah’s perspective and going through the works of juggling political machinations and her own feelings. Those are some tricky waters to deal with. That is to say, I didn’t agree with all her decisions and I think she is a little more put together than me…because I most certainly would have thrown a bigger tantrum in this book than she did at a certain point and that’s all I’ll say.

Okay so the boyzzz. I don’t know how to go about this because it could get spoilery….

So maybe I’ll just be vague and say that they were more interesting as you spend some more time with them. At first glance they all seem a little similar but give them some time and you can see the different colours. I for one think she’ll end up with a *someone* but um I don’t wanna say who or think to much about it in case I’m wrong.

The Plot and Pace

Like I said before this really is a book about treading in the waters of international courts. This is Selah’s story of finding a way to be political and be true to herself but also about her really finding out that politics is never a fair game and people will use you to their advantage. It was a lot less Pirate-y than I was hoping. We spend some time on the sea, but not enough to say this is a Pirate title. But the cover still 100% matches the book.

As for the pace, it was fairly even. It was not fast-paced, but not incredibly slow either. There are definitely some intriguing twisty things that happen and you have to give it time to do so.

I Loved That She Brought in the Classics

Bright’s book is advertised as a Cinderella x Odyssey kind of read.  10/10 you will get that. But what they don’t tell you is that if you have a degree in English studies or you fancy yourself knowledgeable of Old English lit then you will definitely find much more to enjoy in this book! Beowulf was here. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was most definitely here. And a few more European fairy tales and legends you might not have been expecting! I thought it was GREAT. Like it’s not that obvious, but I could totally pick out the connections.

The Romance

Talking about this counts as spoilers. I’m keeping my lips locked, but the romance aspect of the book is very important to how things roll.

The Questionable

Just two things. But two major things that kinda had me at a crossroads of whether I really liked it.

The World

What? When? Where? Why? How?  So it takes place on our Earth. I know this because England, Mexico, the US and other real countries were mentioned. I was kind of uneasy with the way she explained the origins of the Asian characters because she just kept using “Asia” …unless they were from another made-up country.

Other than that, the point of the story is that we have this made up country who is basically unknown to the world. Okay fine. But then Bright brings in this made up empire that is out colonizing and terrorizing other countries. And there is a really complex story there to understand it all, but I feel like I didn’t quite get it.

Then can we talk about the time period because I don’t get it. Given the info I got from the book, this story could either be taking place right after the big movements  in colonization or a few decades after. I was very unclear about it all. Like it didn’t seem modern, but the characters dress wasn’t a good indicator either since she talked about cardigans and leggings and dresses….

I am confusion.

The Language

She calls her dad “Daddy” and I just can’t.

And I say this as a hypocrite because I, Rendz, call my father “Daddy” too.

BUT I AM 21ST CENTURY WOMAN and Selah is an honestly Idek what century woman!

She also calls her step-mother “smother” many, many times. And ummmm nope.

I know authors can choose whatever language and style they want for the voice of their characters and not every fantasy book I read has to have that distant, rich, guttural voice. But I couldn’t help but cringe at times, sorry.


Overall, this was a fun read no doubt despite my qualms with it. It is not a high fantastical, fast-paced adventure, but it is the story of a girl, forced to do lots of things against her will and tread the murky waters of political courts. It’s a romantic and mystical tale I’m sure many story and fairy tale lovers will appreciate!

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Yes! It is a story to behold! (Bad joke I know)

Let me know what you think! Have you read this yet? Did you enjoy it? How stunning do you think that cover is? What fairy tales or legends would you love to read about?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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I’m Back, I’m Behind and Better than Ever | Sharing a little about my trip!

Greetings readers!

It has been a very hot minute since I last posted and if you’ve read through my last post you’ll know it is because I was on vacation!

I spent the last two weeks in El Salvador, which is where my family hails from before my parents immigrated to Canada. I haven’t been back to ES in about 6 years. The last time I went I stayed there for about 6 weeks so the 2 weeks that I spent there this year felt supremely short! Still I had a fabulous time there!


What can I say about going back?

It’s been a while. I forgot how mountainous the country is so getting from one place to another means going up and down a lot of hills and there are lots of curves in the roads. It is actually a very difficult place to drive in I would not want to get a license there. Car sickness there would not be fun.

But going back to my family’s town and seeing how its look hasn’t changed one bit was so nostalgic. I mean the house my family lives in has changed, but the streets are the same, the colours are the same if a little faded, the smells are the same and the people, the people. The people may be different, but the same too.

Now we have to talk about the sounds because Oh My Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone there is a morning person.

The roosters start cocking at 3:00 AM. The bread vendors are yelling on the streets at 4:00 AM. The vegetable vendors follow the bread vendors. Then come the ringing of the bells of the school calling all the students to class. The students themselves are noisy af. There are cars and car alarms going off every couple of minutes, motorcycles zipping by. It’s crazy.

NOT TO MENTION! When we first arrived the town was in the middle of a week long celebration of its Patron Saint (because the Catholics over there like to party) so at around 4:30 AM on the first two nights there were parades. Yes, parades. And fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks. In the early, early morning.

But I cherished every sound however annoying it was. Even the kisses that the geckos on the walls of the house sent my way.

Now we must talk about the relentless heat. Geez, you guys it was HOT. Every single day. A suffocating heat alongside a killer sun that beat down. My Abuelita’s house doesn’t have AC so the fan was my best friend. There were days I could stand it, when I ate lots of cold treats (my Abuelita has a famous Popsicle recipe) and remembered to drink water. But there were other days when I got desperate and might have thrown a tantrum about the heat. Maybe. But after six months of cold weather the heat was a welcome change.

I won’t say much about the mosquitoes other than that they ate me alive. I applied as much repellent as I could but they still found spots of get at me.

We celebrated my Abuelita’s birthday and had a huge family reunion since most of the family was visiting! It was so much fun and all my cousins are crazy so you know we had a party! Then later in the week we celebrated my birthday which was fun, they even had a piñata at my party!

I did lots of touristy things while I was there. We visited the local water attractions. We went to this cool maze that was actually pretty tricky to navigate. We even had the privilege to go to a resort there. But mostly I spent time with my family. Uncles, aunts and cousins who have grown so much! I adore them, they know I do. I’m lucky my parents basically grew up across the street from each other so seeing both sides of the family was easy!


The Question You Might Have…

Now I know some of you may be thinking about the whole situation of El Salvador. Lots of you have probably heard of the refugees fleeing to the US, being detained and put in cages. And you’ve heard about the violence and poverty that has overrun the country. And it’s all true. I’m lucky that I can still visit. I’m lucky that the town where my family lives is still far enough from the gang violence. But it’s still risky, it always is. The gangs might not be as visible, but they are there. There is an unspoken curfew in the town, but by 9 PM the streets are empty, not a soul in sight. There are streets you can’t walk alone, if you have a purse you have to watch it and hold on tight. There is immense poverty. My family gets by but that doesn’t mean its easy for them all especially with my grandma’s health. They only get running water every other day, sometimes they have to wait longer. The water isn’t even drinkable. It’s not pure and really can only be used for showering and washing. Most people have to buy clean water. It’s a hard life and I only lived two weeks of it. Can you possibly imagine how hard it could be for someone poorer, being extorted that has their whole life there?


What Reading I got Done?

None. Literally read 6 chapters of Sky in the Deep. I just didn’t have the time to sit down reading while I was there. My time was short and I had to spend as much as I could living in the real world.

Before I left I meant to do a lot of blogging but that didn’t happen either so I have a lot of catching up to do believe me.


Let me know what you think! What have you been up to so far? What books have you read? Where have you travelled?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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