May Wrap Up & June TBR | Just trying to keep it together

Greetings readers!

Well hello everyone. I hope that you are taking the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and keep in good health. Times are really tough right now and I hope that you are reaching out to your friends and loved ones.

In terms of reading and being bookish, y’all I’m actually keeping up with my blog schedule, what???? Well that’s a first for me and honestly I’m very proud of myself!

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What Rendz Read

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda 📘 (ARC) (4.5/5) Review
Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor by Ally Carter 📘 (ARC) (4/5) Review
Winter by Marissa Meyer 🎧 (5/5)
Wires and Nerve Vol. 1 by Marissa Meyer 📘 (5/5)
Wires and Nerve Vol 2.: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer 📘 (4/5)
The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall 🎧
The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith 📘 (45) Review
Well Met by Jen DeLuca 🎧 (2.5/5)  Review
Always Never Yours by Austin Sigmund-Brokka and Emily Wibberley 🎧 Review
Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster 📘 (ARC) Review
The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant 📘 (e-ARC) RTC
Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas e-📘 Review
Parental Guidance by Avery Flynn e-📘 Review

13 books! I beat my total from last month! I honestly could have done more but there was one point in the month where I got lazy. Also most of these were books I got from my digital library since all my holds came in at practically the same time!

Highlight Book(s): Fireborne was really good, but it can’t top the emotions I went through while rereading TLC and The Penderwicks!

Lowliest Book(s): The Court of Miracles and Salty, Bitter, Sweet really lacked for me.

night witch


The Haul

NOTHING. NOTHING. NOTHINGGGGGG.

Nothing except for digital library books.


Other Going Ons

I only have one summer course and it is really out to get me

I had so many things planned to do while I was home and since I was only taking one course I thought that I could keep up with my art projects and reading schedules but no. Of course not. Here I am struggling to learn and have fun at the same time. While I can’t say the course is very stressful, it is heavy and I resent having to take it. But it is what it is and I hope I at least learn something!

Penguin Teen Virtual Events

Penguin Teen Canada has hosted some pretty cool virtual  events this month and I was so grateful to be a part of them! My partner and I even won the Trivia Night they had one day and I was so excited! So many great authors joined in, including Marie Lu!!!! It was just a great way to spend Friday nights talking about books!


Posts of the Month

Tune & Title Tuesdays

May 5, 2020
May 12, 2020
May 19, 2020
May 26, 2020

Tune & Title Tuesdays

My Favourite Book Children | I Am A Mother of Many

My Favourite Book Children

Rereading The Lunar Chronicles | Audiobook Edition // I. am. still. so. obsessed.

Rereading the Lunar Chronicles

Animal Crossing New Horizons Book Tag

BOOK TAG!

My Signed Books Collection | Second Edition

MY SIGNED BOOK COLLECTION


TBR

I have a plan people! If I get to every single book is another story entirely, but I have a plan and I am so very excited!

  1. Legend Series Reread leading up to Rebel by Marie Lu
  2. Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega
  3. Con Sabor Reading Challenge: The Moon Within by Aida Salazar, Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
  4. Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena
  5. Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim
  6. Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno (also for CSRC)

Plus whatever digital books I get from my library! You just never know exactly what you’re gonna read!


Let me know what you think! What have you read this month? What books did you get? What books are you looking forward to reading!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Curse of the Night Witch | Review // A truly magical and mythological read!

Greetings readers!

I am so happy to be bringing to you a review for one of my most anticipated reads of June! You all know–or will now know–that I am part of the Con Sabor reading challenge in which I will be reading as many Latinx books as I can. One of the categories calls for fantasy and today’s book falls into that category!

Many thanks to Raincoast Books for providing me with an ARC!

Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster

Curse of the Night Witch (Emblem Island, #1)

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pub Date: June 9th, 2020
Goodreads

On Emblem Island all are born knowing their fate. Their lifelines show the course of their life and an emblem dictates how they will spend it.

Twelve-year-old Tor Luna was born with a leadership emblem, just like his mother. But he hates his mark and is determined to choose a different path for himself. So, on the annual New Year’s Eve celebration, where Emblemites throw their wishes into a bonfire in the hopes of having them granted, Tor wishes for a different power.

The next morning Tor wakes up to discover a new marking on his skin…the symbol of a curse that has shortened his lifeline, giving him only a week before an untimely death. There is only one way to break the curse, and it requires a trip to the notorious Night Witch.

With only his village’s terrifying, ancient stories as a guide, and his two friends Engle and Melda by his side, Tor must travel across unpredictable Emblem Island, filled with wicked creatures he only knows through myths, in a race against his dwindling lifeline.


The Likes

This world was truly magical. It was recognisable in some ways, with the school and such,  but it had a totally different societal structure and history that I loved to read about. I loved that we got to read about the legends that are so ingrained in the stories of the people and how the magic of the emblems developed among them. Aster did an amazing job of using whimsical imagery and Latinx legends to create such a wonderful and intriguing world.

The magic system was so interesting. I know lifelines already exist, but not like they do in this book. Here they are 10x more vivid and trusted sources of information about your future. Then there is the magical marker/tattoo, the Emblem, that tells you exactly what kind of special power you will inherit. It is a magic that is quite interested in who the person will become and to reject it becomes a test against fate and destiny which is always fun to read about.

These characters were delightful. Tor, Melda and Engle had such personality and banter that I loved watching them squabble and bicker as they get themselves into more and more danger. I loved that Tor was like any other regular 12 year old who unhappy with his predicted future and did something about it that may have not been the greatest decision. I really related to Tor’s desire for adventure and excitement in his life that was just quiet and comfortable. I don’t know if I could have gone to the extremes he did when I was 12, but I admire his effort.

The plot itself was really interesting. It’s a race against time that keeps the book moving. I Love Quest Narratives!!! The characters are fighting for their lives as they trace back legends and magical monsters which lead them into lots of danger and trouble. I can definitely see how Aster took inspiration from Latinx myths and tales which she also cites in her acknowledgements. I think tracing back the magical tales was my favourite aspect of the book because we get to see the original written tale and then interact with the tale in real time with the characters. I’m not sure that last sentence made sense, but basically what you have to know is that this story is closely tied to myth so pay attention!

I had an epiphany at the very end about Tor and wow. I really did not catch it until the last turn of the page and it made me so excited for the next book. There is always something more than meets eyes about characters and it is so thrilling when you find those tid-bits the author leaves behind.

The ending itself is quite nice. Not too cliff-hangery but definitely cliff-hangery. It sets up great intrigue for the next book and I am excited to read it.

The Questionable

Despite being a race against time, the book does take a while to get moving. It’s not very fast-paced since the characters meet so many people/myths along the way and they each have to get their moment. I think it might also be a little repetitive in the middle. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the myth-hunting very much but I could sense the pattern in the middle and eventually the story felt like it was dragging a little too slow. Nonetheless, each myth was very interesting!


Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It wins most definitely for its magical prose and charmingly realistic characters! It was exciting, whimsical and totally immersive. I think young readers and older ones alike will find something to love about this story!

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Absolutely! This is a great read for fantasy lovers!

Let me know what you think! Are you looking forward to reading this book! Do you like to learn about myths from different book worlds? What is your favourite magical quest read?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Tune & Title Tuesdays | To Remix or to Not Remix? That is the question

Greetings readers!

This is one of those songs that has completely taken over my playlists this past weekend. It came out what 4? 5? days ago and I am still listening to it!! It’s a bop and I’m working on learning all the words so I can add a new number to my shower concerts, you know?

Tune: In Your Eyes (Remix) – The Weeknd ft. Doja Cat

Okay so here is the deal, I had been listening to the original song for a couple weeks but it never really caught on, you know what I mean? It was there and if it played I listened to it, but then comes the remix…and honestly I love it now. Remixes can be a hit or miss with me tbh but this one is definitely a hit!!!

Title: This Train is Being Held by Ismée Williams

ttibh

Is this book about two characters staring intensely into each other’s eyes? No. Is it about them stealing glances and moments with each other on a train? Yes. So does the song go with the book? Imma say yes again! Seriously though, I just think that I picked this book because the grooviness of the tune makes me want to dance and this book deals a lot with dance, so it works!

Of course I missed a big opportunity here by not putting my favourite ballet or bachata song because that’s the kind of music that really encompasses the themes of the book….maybe for another Tuesday!


Let me know what you think! Do you like song remixes? Have you listened to this tune? Have you read this book? Would you want to experience a subway meet cute?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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My Signed Books Collection | Second Edition

Greetings readers!

Over a year ago, I did a post where I showcased all my signed books and talked about how I got them signed. Well my signed collection has grown since then, and I wanted to share an updated version with you all!

I am very lucky to live in a city where authors do come. It’s still rare that author visits happen, but far more often than other places so I am very grateful.

Pre-Signed

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

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I won this in a giveaway hosted by author Sarah Nicole Lemon of Done Dirt Cheap and Valley Girls. Being the nimkompoop that I am, I still haven’t read it, but I am hoping to do an Ahdieh binge soon!

The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli

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I got this in a Book Outlet order and I was very surprised when I saw that it came signed! I have never had that happen to me before and I was super ecstatic to find it!

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

penderwicks

So every time I would go to this used bookstore I would see that they carried one hardcover copy of The Penderwicks. Every time I would talk myself out of buying it because I already owned a copy. However, this last time I went I decided I was going to buy it regardless. So I picked it up and just started to flip through it, when I looked at the cover page and saw that it was SIGNED FIRST EDITION. I lost it. Never did I run to the cash register faster.

Supernova by Marissa Meyer

supernova

I recently won a giveaway by my favourite author and I ABSOLUTELY SCREAMED! I NOW OWN A BOOK ACTUALLY SIGNED BY MY FAVE AND IT IS POSSIBLY THE GREATEST THING EVER!!!


Personalized

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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Despite not having read a single one of her books, I went to Matson’s signing in Toronto with my friend. Luckily I was able to come up with something to say while I got my book signed. You can read that author event recap here.

The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena

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I loved this book and I am so glad I got the chance to meet her at the last Penguin Teen Social. She even read my review, told me she loved it and gave me a hug! She is such a sweet person in real life and she is definitely one of my top Canadian authors!

The Triumphant by Lesley Livingston

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Same story, I met her at the Penguin Teen Social. Although this is the last book in her trilogy and I haven’t read the first two *oops*, I’m very excited to though! It’s all about female gladiators, so naturally our conversation flowed to talking about The Gladiator, Hans Zimmer and more.

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

noc

I was very excited about meeting Maya and I may have been overly um emotional that day. So while I am very glad to have this book signed and personalized to me in Spanish!, I uh am kind of traumatized from the event XD Read more about it here!

Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk

bas

This one is a bit bitter sweet. Wyk put out the announcement that her publisher decided to cancel the publication of her sequel, which is crushing because the book is actually amazing! She was lovely enough to do a reader appreciation and send out signed bookplates and swag! I jumped at the chance and love the aesthetic of it all!

Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I was head over heels excited when I found out I won a signed copy of one of my favourite author’s books! She even dated it, so I shall never forget the year I got it!

Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster

I won this in a twitter giveaway with a haiku I made from using the three words in the title:
The last day in time
When that star shines too brightly
The burning world dies

Maud by Melanie Fishbane

I won this for telling the story of how I was first introduced to Anne of Green Gables.


Book Plates

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

tlbw

I got this bookplate as part of the pre-order incentive! It comes with the most important quote on the book and I’m very happy to have it.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

I got a signed bookplate for being part of the Street Team! I still have yet to read the book, so I am possibly the worst street team member out there, but it will happen very soon!

Cinder, Scarlet, Cress by Marissa Meyer

In the same giveaway I won Supernova I also won three book plates which I promptly stuck into my copies of the Lunar Chronicles!



Let me know what you think! Do you own signed books? Do you have a particular favourite signed book? Have you ever met an author you really love?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Animal Crossing New Horizons Book Tag

Greetings readers!

When I was young, we didn’t have internet in our home. Trust me, I’m not that old, it’s just that my parents didn’t think the internet was essential until my sisters got older and needed it for school and such. That being said, I didn’t play video games growing up. No Nintendo or Wii for me. The most I got was a hand-me down Tamagotchi from my eldest sister.

All this to say that I still am not that into video games and I haven’t played the famous Animal Crossing that has taken over the world.

Am I still doing the tag? Absolutely! Because we are here for books.

Many thanks to the lovely blogger Michaela @ Journey into Books for tagging me!

Past Villager – Who is a character you found when you were younger that still has a place in your heart?

I wasn’t much of a reader as a kid-kid and to say one of the Pevensie siblings would be cheating because I was more into the movies. I guess the first book character that really stuck with me would be Amy Flowers from the Accidentally series by Lisa Papademetriou.

I think it was the fact that she blushed so easily was super relatable to me hahaha

Accidentally Fabulous (Accidentally, #1; Candy Apple #12)
via Goodreads

Blather’s Blatherings – Recommend a historical fiction book that you think everybody should read.

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The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

This is an amazing story set in the early 20th century (possibly late 19th century) that follows the adventures of two sisters. It is infused with Jewish folklore and tradition in the historic context. The writing is gorgeous and the plot is absolutely riveting! I cannot recommend this book enough! READ IT!

Celeste’s Wish – What is a future book release you wish you could read now?

A ​Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4)
via Goodreads

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir

I have waited long and patiently for this book, but given the chance I would read this book right now and tune out the rest of the world just to be destroyed by this book!

Timmy and Tommy – What is your favourite sibling relationship in a book?

penderwicks

The Penderwicks.

I adore my sisters, but is there ever a time I wish we could be more like these siblings? The answer is yes. They are just so loving and messy and funnt. My sisters are as well, but there is just something so quintessentially honourable and endearing about these siblings that I would love to be a part of their family.

The Easter Bunny – A popular book character that you’re not a big fan of.

My oh my what could be my answer….Aelin Galanthinyus or however the hell you spell her name. I hate her.

And her Rowan Whitehorn. Bleh. Trash trash trash.

Nook’s Loans – An author you’d give all your money to.

I would? I already do give my money to the following authors:

Marissa Meyer
Marie Lu
Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I own very large collections for all of these authors and I hope to keep growing them!

The Sisters Able – What is your favourite fictional family (found or otherwise)?

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The Rampion Crew!

I love this group of children so much! I think they are the first found family I encountered in my reading journeys and I am still so in love with them! Having recently reread the books, I enjoyed going back and re-falling in love with these personalities.

It’s a C+ – What is a book trope that you don’t like that keeps popping up?

There were golden specks in [their] eyes

I used to be a sucker for this trope, but now it is just plain annoying to me. Especially since this is how authors make brown eyes “sexier.” If there is not that glitter than they’re just plain brown and that is so unfair to the majority brown-eyes population that deserve their eye-colour to be romanticized too without the over-used gold glimmers.

Super obvious secret identities

If the characters are looking for lost royalty obviously the main character is said lost royal!!!!!!!!!! I’m being a little hypocritical here because hello the Lunar Chronicles is exactly that plot for the first book, but still this trope is so obvious can we just not in new books! Or at least make it harder to decipher!!!!!!

The Wedding Camel – What is your favourite book set in a land far away from yours?

oren yaro

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso is the most recent book I read that is set in a world far different from my own! It is so cutthroat and intriguing at the same time! I loved the world so much and I bought the companion series for the sole joy of re-immersing myself into that world!

What Would Dodos Do? – A fictional land you wish you could fly away to at any moment?

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Narnia. No doubt about it. I always tell my family that given the opportunity to go to Narnia, I wouldn’t even hesitate to take the chance. It makes my mom a little sad…but it’s the truth XD

I Tag…

Anyone who is interested in playing! Especially the Animal Crossings fans out there!


Let me know what you think! Have you played Animal Crossing? Do you play a lot of video games? What book would you love to become a video game?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Tune & Title Tuesday | A Song that goes with any book really

Greetings readers!

I must confess that the reason I chose this song is because of a meme my sister and I saw on Instagram. Neither of us even really listen to Paramore save for the rare song or two, but this one meme took over our playlists and now we both practically know all the words. Well I do.

All this to say, that I didn’t have a single clue what song I was going to do this week, but a meme came to my rescue.

Tune: Hard Times – Paramore

This is one catchy tune, I have to admit! I catch myself singing it often haha. But yes, I do like this song and I feel like it perfectly sums up that foolish melancholic feeling I get when life is just going down hill and you can’t help but hope it will get better one day. It’s a happy song about how rough life can get which is so paradoxical but I appreciate it!

Title: The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel

pipi

Like I said, this song can literally apply to any book but this book in particular is very much an exposition of this song. Pipi has something horribly embarrassing happen to her everything single year and well to say she has lived at rock bottom her entire school-life is an understatement. This book, like the song, is delightful despite the fact that it is about a girl facing some of the toughest times of her social life. It’s funny and cute but oh so cringey because my girl Pipi has suffered!


Let me know what you think! Have you listened to this song? Have you read this book? Do you have embarrassing school stories?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Mini Reviews | The Winterborne House for Vengeance and Valor [MG] + The Vine Witch [Adult]

Greetings readers!

Today I am reviewing books on total opposite sides of the age spectrum that are both absolute delightful reads! I am slowly making my way through my ARC stack and I am happy to say that I am quite enjoying the reads past-Rendz picked out for me!

The Winterborne House for Vengeance and Valor
by Ally Carter

Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor
via Goodreads

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2020
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Goodreads

April didn’t mean to start the fire. She wasn’t even the one who broke the vase. 

She had absolutely no intention of becoming the only person who knows that Gabriel Winterborne, the missing-and-presumed-dead billionaire, is neither missing nor dead and is actually living in the basement of Winterborne House, sharpening his swords and looking for vengeance. 

Now that April knows Gabriel Winterborne is alive, it’s up to her to keep him that way. But there’s only so much a twelve-year-old girl can do, so April must turn to the other orphans for help. Together, they’ll have to unravel the riddle of a missing heir and a creepy legend, and find a secret key, before the only home they’ve ever known is lost to them forever. 

  • April was such a delightful character to journey with! She was spunky and mischievous and outright daring. Was she a little too adventurous sometimes? No such thing! She was over-adventurous but often threw caution out the window! which may have (always) led to trouble.
  • The other Winterborne kids were also so cute though I wish we would have gotten to know them a little more! Sadie, Colin, Violet and Tim all had such diverse and quirky personalities and the book could have been more rich if it had spent more time spent with these kids. The adults were also quite interesting characters, but let’s be honest we’re here for the kids.
  • The plot itself is a perfect kid mystery. A missing and suddenly found billionaire that is being protected by a bunch of orphans! It was funny and perfectly paced. I would have liked a bit more action, but the antics these kids get into are quite fun.
  • I loved the theme around family. April holds on to a tenuous hope that her mother will come for her and it is so heart-wrenching at times to read her despair, but I love how she slowly grows to embrace the found family around her.
  • The villain, I could smell from a mile away, was a pretty stalk character, but there are other surprises to be had when it comes to twists and turns!

Overall, this was a great kid’s read. I can’t say it is the most spectacular mystery adventure book and it is certainly slow in some areas, but it is a solid read.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Perfect for someone looking for a kid

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

The Vine Witch (Vine Witch, #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Oct 1st, 2019
Publisher: 47North
Goodreads

A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

  • When I picked this up I was in the mood for something earthy and dark and witch-tastic and this book absolutely delivered!!
  • I loved that it had a magic system dedicated to the cultivation of wine, hence the vine witch *get it!* It was so earthy and magical and just gave off the best witch vibes! I mean I don’t know *anything* about ageing wine, but this book made me feel like I should be sipping a glass by the fire.
  • Of course there were other kinds of witches and I’m so glad we’ll be getting other books to explore those!
  • The characters were fun, but I felt like we were lacking a little depth. Elena and Jean Paul had totally different views of the world that made them clash, but I felt like we only just hit the surface with them
  • The side characters also had quite the personality! Brother Anslem was probably my favourite. I mean a monk who knows all about witches and magic?? We love to see it XD
  • The romance was a little hasty, I felt. The few interactions we got from them were not enough to build that angst which could have made this an epic rivals to lovers story.
  • The plot itself was quite intriguing. There was deception and betrayal and mystery all wrapped up in one. It was not the fastest-paced plot in the world, but it does garner a lot of interest along the way.

Overall, it was quite a fantastical read. I don’t think it is absolutely perfect in terms of characterisation. But in what it lacks it makes up for in a superb magic system. It’s a cosy, earthy and French witch story that I think many people will enjoy!

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Oh yes!


Let me know what you think! Have you read any of these? What are your favourite kid adventure books? What are some of your favourite witch books?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Rereading The Lunar Chronicles | Audiobook Edition // I. am. still. so. obsessed.

Greetings readers!

Frankly I have been doing some serious rereads during the quarantine-life. Never have I ever had so much time on my hands and still manage to get nothing done. Yup you read that right. I have not one, but two piles of *expired* ARCs to get through and what am I doing????? Rereading the Lunar Chronicles.

I feel your judgement and kindly ask you to get over it because I have a plan.

dont judge me GIF
via giphy.com

BUT BEFORE I GET TO THAT I MUST GUSH ABOUT REREADING THE LUNAR CHRONICLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I, however, must address the bitter irony that: yes, I am reading a series in which a deadly plague is plundering the Earth while we are in the midst of a pandemic…I know. Reading these books was oddly too familiar at times.

The last time I reread this series was in 2017, so it is high time that I jump back in to one of my favourite worlds, with some of my favourite characters. Last time I did detailed fangirling posts, but this time I shall just be doing mini fangliring posts because let’s face it nothing I write today will be much different from what I wrote in 2017.

2017 posts can be found below:

A Moment of Fangirling: Cinder
A Moment of Fangirling: Scarlet
A Moment of Fangirling: Cress
A Moment of Fangirling: Winter

Let’s get to it!

Cinder

First of all: What a rush of emotions. It’s been so long since I’ve touched book one and OMG it is so pure *sobs* I literally smiled like a fool the whole time we were with Cinder and Iko as they worried about their escape plan and I just kept thinkging of the other things headed their way! ALSO MY GOODNESS THE FORESHADOWING. Wow. Marissa Meyer really told us the whole plot in book one and none of us were the wiser. I mean *technically* Jacin and Cress are both in this book! Like who knew? I sure didn’t!

Cinder is still my fierce queen. God I love her. Kai is still my naive fool. God I love him. Iko is still a fabulous rockstar. God I love her. Pearl and Adri? Can go to Hell. I will never not be mad at them.

Funny enough. I realized I’ve been pronouncing “Letumosis” wrong. hehehe. Um yeah. BUT the narrator says eye-ko not ee-ko, so I am very happy I at least got that right.

Safe to say, that this is still amazing as ever. My heart swelled with love even though it was torn apart when we get to the harder bits. I loved every single moment of it!

Scarlet

scarlet

There are so many great things about Scarlet and much to my sister’s dismay I forget about them all the time, so rereading this book was such a joy! Scarlet is seriously fierce. She is a force to be reckoned with and I love her. And then there is WOLF!! I forget how ferocious and soft my street-fighter is. Now that I’ve reread this, I think the story would have benefited from a little from more Wolf insight. AND the Wolflet scenes are just too cute they squish my heart. Yes, squish!

Cinder is still my queen. There is never a moment where I do not absolutely love the words coming out of her mouth even when she is seriously doubting everything. Kai, oh my dear Kai. He always gets stuck with dealing with Levana and for that we have to show sympathy for my poor prince.

Now. Carswell Thorne. The chapter opened with his name and I kid you not that I went from being completely deadpanned to smiling and giggling like an absolute fool. I still love him so much and y’all he is so dumb sometimes and unhelpful, I love the fool and the suave charismatic cheat. I love him.

In the end the book was still a great read. The plot is action packed and with Levana on the rise and her new soldiers on the loose things just get more and more intense. I forget how tragic the ending is for so many and it hurt even though I’ve read it before.

The narrator’s French accent was alright. I shouldn’t judge too harshly because you would cringe at hearing my French accent, but I digress.

Cress

If you think I had cheesy grins before you should have seen me listening to this book. First of all, my daughter Cress is still the most pure and adorable cinnamon roll and I love her as much as I relate to her social awkwardness. Thorne, my husband, is still the iconic fool he is and I am still very much in love with him. All the other characters are my children. I would give my life for them.

I forgot so much of what goes on in this book. Usually the main points stick but as I was reading I couldn’t help but be excited about what was going to happen next because I actually didn’t remember! Sometimes it would come back before it actually happened, but the anticipation still got to me!

The narrator was phenomenal in this book! I admire how many voices she can do and her Levana voice is soooo goood! It sounds to haughty and evil! But what I loved the most was the emotion she put behind the big scenes. You know the scene where a certain person ummm dies…yeah I actually teared up at hearing the emotion in their voice.

Cress is a favourite for a lot of reasons. Its funny and tender yet so action packed and adventurous too. Plus it stars the me-character as I like to call Cress hehe and reading about a character you relate to is always great!

Winter

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A 23 hour audiobook. 23 hours. Wow. Okay, I was seriously overwhelmed when I saw how long it was but also so incredibly happy that this book is long. The whole time I was rereading the other books I was like “I can’t wait until the whole squad is together” and this is the book and I just felt so emotional!

I’ll be honest, I forget how much I enjoy the love story between Winter and Jacin. I mean Jacin is a lot to take in, but he is so soft for Winter and she is so soft by nature and they are just so terribly cute together! I also have to admire how amazing Winter is as a character, with endless compassion and empathy despite being told she is “destroying her own mind” for the benefit of others. She is just so amazing. I love her.

I don’t know what kind of knowledge I was using before when I read this book, but it took me until my third read to truly pick out all the connections between this book and Snow White! Like the fact that Winter finds refuge in a mining town in a little crammed with seven other people!! How could I have missed that before!

As for the rest of the book *takes in deep breath* MY EMOTIONS WERE ON OVERDRIVE!!! I JUST LOVE THIS RAT-TAG CREW SO MUCH! THEY ARE SO MESSY AND SWEET AND BRAVE AND CUTE!

The final battle scene with Levana is my favourite. There is just so much manipulation and struggle and *more deep breaths* I just love my babies. All the ship moments. There are too many to count and we all know how I feel about chapter 71, the best chapter out there.

I was sad to have reached the end of the main series, even though I know there is more after that…but just knowing that I got to go through this whole adventure again and found new things to appreciate about it makes me feel so joyful.

Stars Above: Something Old, Something New

I’ll be honest, I just came for the wedding epilogue and Y’ALL IT WAS STILL SO AMAZING. I must prelude by saying I will never live it down that I said this wedding epilogue could not be about Scarlet and Wolf because I was dead set on it being Cinder and Kai. My sister will never let me forget it and I will have to live with that shame forever. REGARDLESS, this wedding epilogue pulled on every heart-string just the right way. The gangs chaotic shenanigans were on full display and we cannot help but appreciate them! Every character had a chance to shine and show how they have changed over the years. I mean I can’t say I love that we got minimal Cresswell scenes, but just having the whole crew together was so wonderful! I’m gonna miss these kids until my next reread!

BONUS: Graphic Novel reread

I just had to reread these or I would feel incomplete. AND IKO SHINED LIKE THE STAR SHE IS! We love one android and one only. I didn’t remember much at all about this storyline so going through them again was such a joy! Her narration is AMAZING! Plus, the Cresswell scenes from volume 1 are amazing and the Kaider scenes from volume 2 are adorable! Not to mention the Wolflet proposal! I feel bad that Jacinter never gets as much page-time because I adore Winter!!!!! And of course Kiko is a thing (?). I also love how we get a glimpse of what happens after Winter and the clean up that has to get done. The illustrations are charming even if they are not in full colour or umm of a more detailed style, still we appreciate the hard work and extra TLC content!!!

What I didn’t reread:

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via Goodreads

Fairest:

I just wasn’t in the mood for more Levana. I never quite sympathize with her when I read about her tragic past, but I just didn’t feel like going through the motions especially after finishing so nicely with Winter. If I do read this, I have to read it before Winter definitely, to get the sad soaked out of me when I finish the series.

The other short stories in Stars Above:

Pretty much for the same reason as Fairest, most of the short stories have tragical feelings at the end and I just want to be happy 🙂 I mean a lot of them end hopefully and they all take place before the end of Winter and yet…I didn’t want to be hampered with the sad feelings…I do love the stories and I think they do add interest to the backstories! But for this reread, I just wanted the happy feels! Next time I do this I will plan a better more grand reread hehe.


IN CONCLUSION,

I am still very much in love with TLC. I can see why people may think its juvenile or kind of out there, but I can’t help but see this as a series about strong friendships, incredible character growth, a scary yet familiar world, the fall of tyranny and the triumph of resilience! Did I get too poetic? Maybe, but I don’t care. I’m so in love with these books!

Let me know what you think! Have you read TLC? Do you have a favourite book? Have you listened to the audiobooks? Did you enjoy them? What is your favourite TLC moment?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Tune & Title Tuesdays | A Tween-Rendz Anthem

Greetings readers!

I had to dig deep into my memories to find this song. I listened to it so long ago. Remember when there used to be TV channels dedicated to showing music videos, you know before YouTube really kicked off? It is on one of those channels that I discovered and listened to this song before I left for school in the morning.

Tune: White Doves – Young Empires

Truth be told, I will randomly start belting out this song and my family will look at me like I’m odd because they have never heard of it. I’m sure many of you haven’t even heard of it. I don’t even know what attracted me to this song in the first place, other than the video, which reminded me of a dystopian world. But I have to admit it is also quite catchy and I like the melody. I liked it so much that I used to think I couldn’t have a good day at school unless I listened to this song!

Title: A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

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I chose this book for a very literal sense. The song starts off with “It takes a thousand miles to reach the stars tonight” and that just perfectly wraps up this book. The song is about dreaming and finding your way back home which is exactly what this book is all about. Sibling rivalry, finding family, space and star travel, it’s all in there! The book is incredible and definitely doesn’t get enough love! I highly recommend it for people who want a gorgeously written space adventure book!


Let me know what you think! Did you used to watch music videos on TV? Do you have a favourite space book? What book does this song remind you of?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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My Favourite Book Children | I Am A Mother of Many

Greetings readers!

Years ago, I did a post about my hierarchy of love interests in which I had such a splendid time telling you about all the characters I’m in love with. But today I’m focusing on characters that I don’t necessarily want to like…date or hook up with if they became real life people.

Today I’m talking about my book children.

It has recently come to my attention that my zodiac sign Cancer is the mother-figure sign and honestly it explains so much about me. I am constantly calling characters “my children” or hollering at “my son” or “my daughter” and claiming characters as little beings that I must care for and protect.  In other words I proclaim myself their mother.

And while the saying goes, parents don’t have favourite children, this mother does and we are talking about them today.

My Child Cliques 

*Groups of characters that are a (found) family themselves and I wish to mother them all!*

The Rampion Crew with the exception of Thorne

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I’m running off the high of my reread and ugh I just love my children. They are such a wonderful and beautiful bunch and I can’t help but want to protect each and every one of them. Of course I can’t say the same for Thorne because he is a book-husband…but the rest of them? My sweet children that need my protection at all costs!

The Penderwick Siblings

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Also my children as much as I would love to be their sibling. There is just so much personality in these characters and their different relationships with each other and I love them wholeheartedly.

The Crows

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There is no real need to go into why I love these murder babies so much. They are so funny and wicked and stylish and loyal and *sobs* I just love each and every one of them so much! Even though they are always putting themselves in danger, I love rooting for them!

My Kid Couples

*Ships that I ship so hard, I’m the mother that roots for them since day one and eventually keeps nagging for grandchildren*

Josh and Hazel

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

I think this is the first romcom couple that I called my children. Throughout the whole book I just kept saying “oh my sweet, odd child” and “Oh my sweet. naive child” and I love them. Hazel is a wild child that I would love to be in the presence of because she is just so vibrant and Josh is someone I relate to personally as he tries to get over his hurt and take care of his family. They are both so sickeningly sweet. I can’t help but love them both as individuals and as a couple!!!

Mehr and Amun

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How many times can I repeat the phrase “My children!” before it gets annoying? Because let me tell you these two are MY CHILDREN. Mehr is so amazing. Fierce and defiant and caring. Then there is my soft, sweet Amun who is just so incredibly compassionate! ❤ I LOVE THEIR STORY AND THEIR INDIVIDUAL JOURNEYS TO OVERCOMING THE THREATS THEY FACE AND TAKING THEM HEAD ON. I—I LOVE THEM.

My Babies

*Individual characters that I have a strong connection with and wish to protect with all my heart!*

Laia of Serra

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We all know I bow to one queen and one queen only and that is Miss Laia of Serra. She is my daughter and owns practically my whole soul. She is one of the first characters in which I found my personality reflected and just related to so much. She is not perfect, definitely, but she is so incredibly hard-working and scared but willing to risk it all for the one she loves.

Nina Beaulieu

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My girl is so quintessentially herself and I love everything about her. I may not be into insects like her or be as cheeky, but the love she has for her family and the fantasies she has about romance is just so sweet! She also has plenty of spunk which I cannot help but appreciate! I want to protect her with all my being and also make every one of her dreams come true!

Lazlo Strange

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He is my soft, book-loving child and I cannot help but adore him. We would totally bond over books and languages and our love for divine intervention plots! I love Sarai too, yet oddly enough Lazlo is the one that I kept calling my son while I was reading. He is just so sweet and kind and intuitive and compassionate and everything I would want in a real son!


Basically, what you need to know is that I would lay my life down for any one of these characters. I care deeply for my children and rereading their stories is the only way I get to spend time with them, so be sure that I will probably be picking up these books again soon if I haven’t already!

Let me know what you think! Are you a book parent? Do you have characters you wish to wrap up, protect and cradle? What motherly characters do you love reading about?

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY and Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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