May Wrap-Up & June TBR | Slow reading, but new obsessions…

Greetings readers!

Here we are half way through the year and ahh the days are getting gorgeous outside. I love summer and everything that has to do with vacation vibes (even thought there will be no vacation this year) so I am *smiles* taking it day by day.

May was a pretty good month. It was a great reading month even though I didn’t read many books. Then again, quality over quantity!

wrap-up-3

What Rendz Read!

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart (3/5 🌟)
Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean (4/5 🌟)
The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng by K.S. Villoso (5/5 🌟)
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He (3/5 🌟)
Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo (3.5/5 🌟)
Jade City by Fonda Lee (4.5/5 🌟)

Highlight Book(s): So definitely The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng and Jade City by Fonda Lee. Two books that ahh blew me away for so many reasons. The first the end of a beloved series and the second the start of a new one. I am living.

Lowliest Book(s): While these aren’t low ratings I was not quite happy with Witches Steeped in Gold and Descendant of the Crane. I just felt like they both lacked some luster for me.

The Haul:

Let’s just say I have been very, very lucky with the publisher love.

For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June
The Unpopular Vote by Jasper Sanchez
Don’t Breathe a Word by Jordyn Taylor

On the Hook by Francisco X. Stork

Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry
Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa
Song of the Forever Rains by E.J. Millow

Other Going Ons

~ Shadow and Bone Meet & Greet ~

I lived my best life on May 8th 2021. I was in the same Zoom room as the Shadow & Bone cast. I WAS IN THE SAME ZOOM ROOM AS BEN BARNES. I can honestly tell you that I do not remember a single thing from my session. I was so focused on getting screenshots and staring lovingly at the actors that I do not remember a single thing that was actually spoken about during the 20 minute interview period. 🙂

Luckily someone uploaded my session to YouTube so it is there forever.

~ Speaking of which…I Binged Shadow and Bone Again ~

You know I had to. You just know that I had to. 🙂 I thoroughly enjoyed myself a second time around and ahh I am eagerly awaiting any news on season 2!

~ So I watched my first K-Drama ~

I really needed something to watch and my cousin, who recently started watching K-Dramas herself, recommended that I start “Crash Landing On You.” And all I have to say is this: I AM OBSESSED. This drama delivered everything that I could possibly want from a TV show. The tropes, the romance, the plot…I–I loved, I loved it. I loved it. If you have any recommendations for me I AM TAKING THEM.

Crash Landing on You (TV Series 2019–2020) - IMDb
IMDb

Posts of the Months

Flamefall | Review // That moment when a book blows every single expectation away!

Goodreads Was Wrong Book Tag

TBR

TBR

Boy do I have so many books to read this month! I already know that I won’t get to all of them, but I am going to try my best!! I really want to prioritize Indigenous and Pride reads this month because June is commemorative of both communities.

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
Skraelings: Clashes in the Old Arctic by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley & Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley
Sisters of the Snake by Sarena and Sasha Nanua
Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten


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

Sunshine Blogger Award | The sun is shining, so I shine as well

Greetings readers!

I was tagged by the amazing Michaela @ Journey Into Books to do this fun tag and answer her excellent questions. I must confess that…I have been tagged to do this award many times but have lost count so I’m sorry to those I’ve missed, but I am starting anew.

Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to there post.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked of you.
  • Nominate 11 new bloggers and ask 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and showcase the logo in your post.

Michaela’s Questions

1. What was your last 5 star read and why?

The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng by K.S. Villoso
An absolutely incredible finale to what is one of my favourite series ever. I cannot recommend it enough! This book was a rollercoaster of emotions. Screaming, crying, laughing and my total destruction. I love it.

2. Recommend a book for each season?

Spring: The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall (So cozy and warm, total new life vibes)
Summer: Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp (Hot and sweaty and MARVELOUS)
Fall: The Bitch Queen Chronicles by K.S. Villoso (So much chaos, so much emotional destruction)
Winter: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (A chilling and thrilling horror novel)

3. If you weren’t a reader what do you think you would spend your time doing instead?

I’d probably spend my days doing more art! Even though I get a lot of my artistic inspiration from books, without reading I would definitely spend more time actually making art and refining my skills hehe.

Fan art for The Wolf of Oren-Yaro

4. What book would you love to see turned into a movie or tv show?

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir!!
This needs to be done and it needs to be done NOW! I want this on screen so bad!!

5. Which fictional character would you want to travel the world with?

Nikolai Lanstov. My suave king knows how to have a good time and I want to have a good time with him everywhere!

6. Most anticipated release for this year?

Velvet was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia!
This is an obvious one if you know me! I love everything SMG and I am so lucky to already have an ARC of this book! It comes out in August so have your eyes peeled for it!

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

7. Why did you decide to start blogging?

I attended a bookish event held by Canada’s biggest book retailer, Indigo, where we basically talked all things books! I met so many bloggers, got some ARCs a stuffed swag pack and well I just knew I wanted to be part of this beyond that night. I started up my blog a few days later and well it’s been a journey ever since!

8. What is your favourite thing about blogging.

I love getting to express myself as a total bookworm! I know there are lots of platforms where I can do that, but on this blog that I created, it just feels extra special! There is no limit to how much or how little I can write! I can add all sorts of fun images, videos and clips. It’s just a space that is so near and dear to my heart and the very first place that published my voice!

9. Is there a specific book or series that made you fall in love with reading?

Hmmm…I would say The Hunger Games, but I think more likely it was Marie Lu’s Legend series. It was the first series I picked up of my own volition (not because it was becoming a movie) and I loved it!! It was the first series that I became obsessed with and am still obsessed with today!

10. Favourite fictional pairing? (Romantic or Platonic)

Oh wow this is such a hard question to answer!!!!!!

But you know what? Cresswell (Cress x Thorne) still owns my heart.

11. What book do you planning on reading next?

I’m in the middle of three reads right now, but I’m planning on picking up The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri next! So excited for this next glorious adult fantasy!

The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms, #1)

My Questions:

  1. What is your favourite book trope?
  2. Which book brings you the most comfort?
  3. Spill the tea, what is one book you will *never* be picking up?
  4. What song do you associate with a certain book?
  5. Who are your favourite authors?
  6. Which book character would you want to trade lives with?
  7. What is the first book you remember reading?
  8. How often do you buy/borrow books?
  9. During what time of the day do you like to read?
  10. What is one non-bookish fun fact about you?
  11. What is your star prediction for your current read?

I tag:

Hehe…I won’t be nominating 11 people, but some bloggers I have loved as of late. As usual there is no pressure to do this and if I didn’t nominate you, you are more than welcome to answer my questions!

Gaby @ Living in Libros

Angele @ A Dominique Reads

That’s it for me folks! Let me know what you think! What would be your answers to some of these questions?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Goodreads Was Wrong Book Tag

Greetings readers!

Today, I figured we’d have some fun and do a good ol’ tag to spice up the blog. And why not do a tag about a booklover’s greatest frenemy, Goodreads. Goodreads has been a hot topic as of late, while it may be a great site for readers, it also has its problems hehe. I for one have been slowly moving away from GR to use other book platforms to track my reading (StoryGraph!). But for the sake of this tag, I hopped onto to the old, big G and went through my shelves (which need some major editing).

I found this tag on A Dominique Reads! This tag is originally created by GabsAboutBooks! Definitely give both posts a look through, both have such great answers!

What is the highest rated book that you gave a low rating? (Sort your books in Goodreads based on Average Ratings and find the highest rated book you gave a low rating)

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7)

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
GR rating: 4.57
My Rating: 2 (should be a 1)

Not surprised. I have not been a fan of this series since book 2, just one big swoop downhill for me. The fact that I endured however many hundreds of pages this book contained is a small miracle. But yeah, this was such a huge no for me.

What is the lowest rated book that you gave a high rating? (Sort your books in Goodreads based on Avg Ratings, in reverse order, and find the lowest rated book you gave a high rating)

The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1)

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi.
GR rating: 3.56
My Rating: 5

I know the rating is not bad, but this was such a beautiful book! The writing, the imagery, the plot. ALL OF IT was spectacular in my eyes and the reasons why I love Roshani’s books so much.

What is the most popular book you disagree with the avg rating? (Sort your books in Goodreads based on number of Ratings, and find the first book you disagree with the avg rating)

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Number of Ratings: 288,861
GR rating: 4.54
My rating: 3 (It should really be 2)

This book was just *shakes head* torturous for me to read. Again, no surprise. This series just was not for me after book 3 and my ratings reflect that despite it being so popular.

What is the least popular book you disagree with the avg rating? (Sort your books in Goodreads based on number of Ratings, in reverse order, and find the first book you disagree with the avg rating)

A Mark Unwilling (The Reckoning #1)

A Mark Unwilling by Candace Wondrak
Number of Ratings: 126
GR Rating: 3.76
My rating: 1

This book is *shivers* a big nope! A. BIG. NOPE. The characters, the writing style, the plot, the token PoC character no no no.

Choose two books that have an average rating of 3/5 stars but you gave a higher rating

The Matchmaker's List

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli
GR rating: 3.34
My Rating: 4

Obsidian Mirror (Chronoptika, #1)

Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher
GR rating: 3.67
My rating: 5

I really enjoyed both of these books! The Matchmaker’s List was funny and intense, but definitely not perfect. Still I laughed a good bunch. As for Obsidian Mirror, it’s a very quiet YA novel, but I enjoyed it so much! I picked it up on a whim from my library and it turned out to be quite entertaining!

Choose two books that have an average rating of 3/5 stars but you gave a lower rating

The Good Luck Charm

The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting
GR rating: 3.59
My Rating: 2 (But it should be 1)

The Wedding Date Disaster

The Wedding Date Disaster by Avery Flynn
GR Rating: 3.75
My rating: 1

Both of these books were technically DNFs but I made it almost to the end…so I’m counting them. These were AWFUL reads for me. I hated almost every second which is why I had to stop. I hated the romance in The Good Luck Charm and it’s a romance book, so yeah. As for The Wedding Date Disaster, it was one disastrous CRINGE-fest. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Choose two books that have an average rating of 4/5 stars but you gave a lower rating

Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked, #1)

Kingdom of the Wicked by Keri Maniscalco
GR Rating: 4.01
My Rating: 2

The Sky Weaver (Iskari, #3)

The Sky Weaver by Kristin Cicarreli
GR Rating: 4.10
My Rating: 2

Sigh. These books were highly anticipated but ending up being such let downs. Kingdom of the Wicked was so bland, to put it simply. I expected so much more, but plain, bland and boring is all I got. As for The Sky Weaver, my buddy reader and I both agreed that it did not live up to the vibe and feels of the previous books in the series. Disappointing.

Choose two books that have an average rating of 2/5 stars but you gave a higher rating.

I don’t have any avg 2/5 stars books on my shelves!

Do you tend to agree or disagree with GR average rating and do you use GR as a guide for books you want to read?

It depends. But from my shelves, it seems my ratings tend to match the average ratings. Other times they are way off. I try not to use GR as a guide, usually I just take a quick glance at star raitngs, but mostly I don’t. Unless I’ve heard about some questionable things I tend to go in blind and just give the book a try! 🙂

I TAG…

Anyone! I would love to see what answers you would put in!

Let me know what you think! Do you use Goodreads? Do you follow GR ratings and reviews closely?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

March/April Wrap-Up & May TBR | I’ve been busy living my best (Shadow and Bone) life!

Greetings readers!

So it has been a while since I’ve come at you with a wrap-up, hasn’t it? Let’s blame it on the fact that the end of the school semester was quite an end. I won’t go into much detail, but it is the reason I’ve been feeling a little unmotivated and uninspired with some of my blog posts. I hope to come with new material soon. Perhaps a fun tag or two!

In terms of reading though…I have had an incredible time with my reads. No lies detected. I’m at that point where I am reading faster than I can review, but it just means that I’ll have lots of great reviews coming your way soon.

wrap-up-3

What Rendz Read

~ March ~

Truly, Madly, Royally by Debbie Rigaud 3.5/5 🌟
Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira 3/5 🌟
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laeken Zea Kemp 5/5 🌟
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (re-read) 5/5 🌟
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert 4/5 🌟
Fireborne by Rosaria Munda (re-read) 5/5 🌟
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Bouley 4.5/5 🌟
Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau 3/5 🌟

Grishaverse Re-Read!
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

~ April ~

The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner 3.5/5 🌟
Flamefall by Rosaria Munda 5/5 🌟
Make a Scene by Mimi Grace 5/5 🌟
Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera 4.5/5 🌟
The Ikessar Flacon by K.S. Villoso (re-read) 5/5 🌟
Anchored Hearts by Priscilla Oliveras 3/5 🌟

Grishaverse re-read!
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Highlight book(s): Apart from my phenomenal rereads of The Ikessar Falcon, The Beautiful Ones and The Grishaverse reads, the top spots goes to Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet, Firekeeper’s Daughter, and Flamefall!

Lowliest book(s): Nothing was truly lowly. I enjoyed all of my 3 stars they just needed more pizzazz.

The Haul

March

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp

April

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
Velvet was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng by K.S. Villoso
Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry

Other Going Ons

New Cover for CERTAIN DARK THINGS

As always, I try to be Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s #1 hype-person and this past March the cover for her re-release of the Mexican vampire novel she wrote was revealed and it is stunning! There is so much symbolism and colour to behold! I loved the original cover, but this one…this one has the pizzazz and spark that I’m sure will intrigue many a reader to pick it up!

Certain Dark Things
via Goodreads

My Grishaverse Re-read Extravaganza!

In preparation for the show, which I talk about below, I decided to do a grand Grisha Reread and it was the best decision. I know, I know, I shouldn’t have. I really need to get focused on those ARCs that I have, but I am pleased to say that I did in fact read the majority of my e-ARCs in time (getting reviews up is another matter entirely) but all will be updated soon hopefully. But anyways. I indulged myself with this reread and I can’t complain. I enjoyed myself immensely. It hasn’t been that long since my last reread of Shadow and Bone, Six of Crows on the other hand…that is a duology I haven’t picked up since I read it the first time around when this blog was just beginning. To be concise. I loved it. I loved everything about reading these books again because 14 year old Rendz was living her best life and I want that girl to have her best!

I Attended to Bookish Events with Publishers!

Let’s just say that there are plenty of books to look forward to! Both HCC Frenzy and Penguin Teen CA had some amazing teen book previews at the end of April and I was lucky enough to attend (virtually, of course!). Wow, friends. We YA Lovers have lots to look forward to in the coming months! Here are some titles I am excited for:

Sisters of the Snake (Ria & Rani #1)
Beasts of Prey

I binged Shadow and Bone & lived my BEST life.

Yes, I really did spend roughly 9 hours in my room Friday, April 23rd 2021 to watch the entire series in one go. Lunch and bathroom breaks were really the only moments of not-watching that I had for most of the day. And I regret ABSOLUTELY NONE OF IT. I have waited how long for this show? Ages. Big question: Did I enjoy it? HELLS YES. MY goodness. I was screeching alongside my cousin as we shared thoughts, predictions and critiques over a series of audio and video messages on Snap Chat XD. This adaptation was definitely not perfect, but it had heart in it. I think it did a great job of melding these two different series together and bringing these beloved characters to life! 10/10 recommend you watch it (mainly because I need high ratings for a season 2! but also because it is really good!!)

As for me…I’m stalking the actors and watching cast interviews like its my job.

Posts of the Months

I’ve been feeling a little creatively dry with blog content as of late. I’m trying to find some interesting tags or discussion topics to tackle so it you have any suggestions, I would love to know about them!

Get to Know the Fantasy Reader Tag

This was a really fun tag to take part of! Even as a serial fantasy reader I know I am always lacking or missing out on some sort of amazing story so please direct all your recommendations to me!

Infinite Country | Review // A short, but mighty read

It’s a 200 page book that you all need to read.

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet | HOV Book Tour // Review + Fan Art

I made some fun fan art for this book that I hope you all check out!

5 Reasons to read The Beautiful Ones | In other words…I lived my best life reading this masterpiece again!

I mean the title says it all. 🙂 This is one of my top SMG books, I ~need~ you all to read it. And if you love it, I need you to come yell at me about it.

Anchored Hearts by Priscilla Oliveras | Release Blitz + Review!

A quick review for the summer romance readers! The sunny days are coming and I anticipate some romcom bingeing in my future.

TBR

TBR

Well as always, I’m going to be slightly ambitious with my TBR 🙂 I will always try my hardest to get to as many books as possible I just need some good luck and good vibes from you all!

I also happen to start my summer semester this month so…le sigh. I need to take that into account as well.

Since it is Asian Heritage Month in Canada and in solidarity with my American friends celebrating AAPI Heritage Month, I plan on reading books by API authors as much as I can 🙂 I’m excited because there are some good ones of my shelf calling out to me! And it should go without saying, but a friendly reminder that we should be supporting API voices 24/7/365 and not only in May!

The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng by K.S. Villoso
Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean
Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri
Rising Like a Storm by Tanaz Bhathena

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
Indivisible by Daniel Aleman

And that’s all I have planned for now. I feel like I’m in need of some more romance-y reads especially considering I have some heavy fantasies that will leave me emotional distraught. Any recommendations by API romance authors are welcome!


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

February Wrap-Up & M(ARC)h TBR | Well March, we meet again.

Greetings readers!

Well another month of 2021 down for the books. And I have to say it was both quite hectic and wonderful at the same time. There were so many wonderful stories to tell you about!

wrap-up-3

What Rendz Read!

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel – 5/5 Stars Review
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna – 4/5 Stars Review
Love in English by Maria E. Andreu – 4/5 Stars Review
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo – 5/5 Stars
Like Home by Louisa Onome – 4/5 Stars Review
Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory – 3/5 Stars
Some Other Now by Sarah Everett – 5/5 Stars Review
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – 4/5 Stars Review

Highlight Book(s): Oh I have a pretty incredible reading month, but picking a favourite is not too hard because Infinite Country and Some Other Now were simply SPECTACULAR! Absolutely amazing! Both of these reads swept me off my feet.

Lowliest Book(s): I don’t think I have a book that truly fit this category from this month. Even if I had some mid level reads, I don’t think they can be considered lowly!

The Haul:

Oh…my. No physical book mail to report, but…my oh my has my Netgalley been bursting! Seriously *sobs* I have so many e-ARCs to get to…but more on that later.

Other Going-Ons:

A new, powerful Silvia Moreno-Garcia cover – Velvet was the Night:

Oh the power. The power. The power. I cannot wait to read this book *Yes, I have an ARC! Eh!* Just feast your eyes on this! The fashion, the style, the entire vibes! ugh I love it so much!

Shadow and Bone Netflix Teaser Trailer #1

When I tell you I am obsessed, I mean it. I AM OBSESSED. To say it has been on repeat since it came out is exactly what is going on these days. From the looks of it, I think the show is going to be really good! I know that 25% of me will be enjoying the show, another 25% will be comparing it to the books and a full 50% will be obsessing over Ben Barnes. I speak my truth.

Posts Of the Month:

A Sky Beyond the Storm | Review // I will NEVER recover from this book, and that’s okay with me

This was so much fun to write! Even though I relived every painful emotion that I endured while reading the book, this post is probably one of my favourites ever!

TBR

TBR

Two factors have affected my TBR this month:

1. The great Netgalley binge!
2. Yup, the Shadow & Bone trailer

So here is what I have lined up for March:

Truly, Madly, Royally by Debbie Rigaud (Read)
Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira (Read)
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laeken Zea Kemp (Read)
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Flamefall by Rosaria Munda
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Bouley
Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau

And also a very slowly paced re-read of the Shadow and Bone trilogy and Six of Crows duology!


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

Get to Know the Fantasy Reader Tag

Greetings readers!

As you all know fantasy is my genre! If I had to pick one genre of books to read for the rest of my days, we all know it would be fantasy no question about it! So when I found this tag on Angele @ A Dominique Reads‘s blog, I knew I really wanted to give my shot at it! The fantasy version of this tag was created by  The Book Pusher.


WHAT IS YOUR FANTASY ORIGIN STORY? (First fantasy novel you read)

I think the first fantasy novel I ever read was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Okay, it was read to me in the sixth grade and I had already been OBSESSED with the movie since the tender age of six…but still it definitely was the first fantasy story in my life.

IF YOU COULD BE THE HERO/HEROINE IN A FANTASY NOVEL, WHO WOULD WRITE IT, AND WHAT IS ONE TROPE YOU WOULD INSIST ON BEING IN THE STORY?

Oh my…such hard decisions! Well if we’re going for a magical and mythical fantasy I want Silvia Moreno-Garcia to write me as a heroine with rivals to lovers THAT STAY TOGETHER. I just gotta make that note because SMG does have a track record here and there *eyes two of her novels*

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

WHAT IS A FANTASY YOU’VE READ THIS YEAR THAT YOU WANT MORE PEOPLE TO READ?

The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso! Well, first you would have to read The Wolf of Oren-Yaro…so maybe it would be more relevant to say that I want you all to read The Chronicles of a Bitch Queen! It is a high stakes, character driven epic fantasy set in a world that draws from the author’s Filipino heritage. It is an absolutely brilliant series that I recommend to all fantasy readers!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FANTASY SUBGENRE? WHAT SUBGENRE HAVE YOU NOT READ MUCH FROM?

Favourite subgenre is definitely Portal Fantasy! (Hello Narnia obsession) Any and all books that deal with travelling to a different world instantly grabs at my attention. And even though I haven’t read many (I know, I know) it is a subgenre I absolutely love.

A subgenre I have not read much from is Urban Fantasy. There are lots of UF books out there but there is just something that gives me a pause before I pick them up. I want to give them a better shot, so if you have any recommendations I am all ears!

WHO IS ONE OF YOUR AUTO-BUY FANTASY AUTHORS?

Sabaa Tahir. K.S. Villoso. Leigh Bardugo. Marie Lu.

Ahh and I’m hoping to lengthen the list with time. I definitely want to add more BIPOC to the list!

HOW DO YOU TYPICALLY FIND FANTASY RECOMMENDATIONS? (Goodreads, YouTube, Podcasts, Instagram, etc.)

I think mainly Instagram! People just have a way of selling books to me with gorgeous pictures and fun captions. I have gotten so many amazing recommendations from my bookstagrammer friends! I also look through the weekly publishing announcements to find out what books I can look forward to!

WHAT IS AN UPCOMING FANTASY RELEASE YOU’RE EXCITED FOR?

Oh so, so many!

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner
The Dragon of Jin Sayeng by K.S. Villoso
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri 

Witches Steeped in Gold (Witches Steeped in Gold, #1)
The Light of the Midnight Stars
The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen, #3)
The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms, #1)

WHAT IS ONE MISCONCEPTION ABOUT FANTASY YOU WOULD LIKE TO LAY AT REST?

“Fantasy books are all always way too long and complex.”

There are a lot of long and complex fantasy novels. There are some series that just go on and the worlds get more convoluted as you go. There are some books that are chunky and thick that intimidate even me! Can’t deny that, BUT fantasy books come in all shapes and sizes! Using the excuse that they are all long and complex makes you miss out on all the short and concise fantasy books there are to enjoy! Need some recommendations? Here you go:

*These are all less than 400 pages*

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (standalone)
The Young Elites by Marie Lu (trilogy)
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (standalone w/ companion sequel)
Raybearer by Jordan Ifeuko (duology)

Gods of Jade and Shadow
The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)
The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1)
Raybearer (Raybearer, #1)

 IF SOMEONE HAD NEVER READ A FANTASY BEFORE AND ASKED YOU TO RECOMMEND THE FIRST 3 BOOKS THAT COME TO MIND AS PLACES TO STARTWHAT WOULD THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS BE?

Ahhh the pressure is on! Okay top 3…here we go!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown


I’m tagging ANYONE who wants to give this tag a shot!

Ahhh this whole tag has only made me want to drop everything and go read a fantasy novel! I don’t even know which one! But I just want the magic and tension and high stakes of a good book to immerse myself in!

Let me know you think! What kind of fantasy reader do you consider yourself? What is your ultimate favourite fantasy book? What fantasy worlds/stories would you love to visit yourself?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

January Wrap-Up & February TBR | This semester came for my neck, but my reads keep my going

Greetings readers!

Happy Valentine’s Day, my loves!

What’s new for you? How have you been holding up? I can’t say anything new has been happening in my corner of the internet. I know my blogging has been slow this past month and well…it will probably continue to be slow because if you can tell from the title of today’s post, my school work is really trying to end me!

But my dear friends, this has only made me realize how wonderful it is to be a reader! Books have been a major escape for me as I fumble with my school and I am so blessed to have had such an incredible reading month to start off 2021!

So let’s get onto it, shall we!

wrap-up-3

What Rendz Read

A Thief Among the Trees by Sabaa Tahir – 4.5/5 stars
The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso – 5/5 stars
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado – 5/5 stars
The Degenerates by J. Albert Mann – 4/5 stars
Charming as a Verb by Ben Phillipe – 4.5/5 stars
I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter by David Chariandy – 5/5 stars
Infinite Country by Patricia Engel – 5/5 stars

Highlight Books: Well as you can see they are all pretty much highlight books! I can’t believe how blessed I am to have had such a wonderful January reads! If I had to pick a top book it would be a three-way tie between The Ikessar Falcon, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega and Infinite Country.

The Haul

I haven’t been buying much as of late because well…hehe…money is really something I can spend too much on on books right now. I want to lol but it is not in my best interests. That being said I did get Skyhunter by Marie Lu came in the mail the other day! And I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of Infinite Country by Patricia Engel by the publisher which is very awesome!

Other Going-Ons

Geez if I could remember I would tell you….

Oh wait, one thing!

Shadow and Bone Netflix News

So we now have a teaser trailer, a release date and promo posters!!! I was screaming for the entire day when I saw these beauties!! I just couldn’t stop staring at them. *sobs for an eternity* I would love to hear what you all thought! What was your first reaction? How many times have you stared at them since? Because I am telling you that I have been looking at these beauties ever since that day!

Posts Of the Month

New Year, New Look, Still all about the Books

Pine Island Home | Review // A sisterhood read!

Most Anticipated Reads of the first half of 2021 | The books this year are here to give me LIFE

The Bookish Feels | Books that are emotional roller coasters

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega | Review // THE Contemporary book to read this February!

TBR

TBR

I know we’re already half way through the month, but I’m really playing this month by ear. So far I’ve read:

Love in English by Maria E. Andreu
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

For the rest of the month, I plan on getting through some upcoming ARCs! I went on a Netgalley binge…and let’s just say I have lots of reading to do. As for my other reads, I will be prioritizing books by Black authors as it is Black History Month. This doesn’t mean that February is the *only* month we celebrate Black excellence and stories, but it is the month where we can be extra supportive! As for me, some reads I have planned are:

Like Home by Louisa Onomé 
Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
Make a Scene by Mimi Grace
Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud

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

The Bookish Feels | Books that are emotional roller coasters

Greetings readers!

I would love to know how emotional you get when you read?

And I’m talking EMOTIONAL! Like facial expressions, odd noises and all. When I tell you guys that a book was an emotional roller coaster, I’m telling you that I experienced a very powerful series of feelings that had me in all sorts of ways XD

So I figured today I would highlight some of the books that made me totally and utterly and completely emotional. I know I usually organize these posts by singular emotions, but today I’m going full scale feeling frenzy.

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso

We start with my top read of 2020. This book had several SCENES that literally made me scream “AH” out loud. I felt a lot of rage and honestly I think it’s why I loved it so much hehehe This book was so amazing, I read it twice within the same year. And friends it just gets better the second time around! Ahhhhhh this book just had so much to take in at once, my jaw was literally on the floor by the end of it. (It might still be on the floor)

Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez

Furia

I need to quote my review because past me just knew what she was talking about: “absolutely gobsmacked by my emotions” Oh Rendz how right you were! This was definitely one of my top reads from 2020! It is a contemporary story that packs punch after punch and also very warm hugs. I was squealing and raging and crying and laughing my whole way through this book. Incredible. Simply incredible!

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Hoo. Friends. This book had me bouncing back and forth between stress, rage, hopelessness, love, joy, rage rage rage, and then hope. I just nfjnkajdbhjnjfef this book is soo amazing! It’s one of Marie’s quieter book, but it deserves your love and attention. This historical fantasy swept me off my feet and wiped the floor with me. It is both heart-breaking and inspiring, I cannot recommend it enough!

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Are we surprised to see this book on here? Nope. This book…oh my lord THIS BOOK. *clucthes heart* THIS BOOK WAS MY PERSONALITY for like three months after I read it XD I just ahhh I felt all kinds of things while reading this book. I may have not literally wept, but the squealing and book hugging was real. How many times have I gone back to read my favourite parts? So many times. I adore this book.

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir

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

Two words: Weeping Uncontrollably. This book (which I’m still working hard to write my review on) had me on every level of emotion you can imagine. I was dreamy then I was sad, I was hopeful and then I was distraught, I was smiling in glee and then I was sobbing. My body shaking in absolute horror at what happened. And well…I can’t tell you how I felt at the end (you can read that in my review *winks*) but let’s just say my world was ROCKED.


And that is it for me friends! I would love to know what books sent you on an emotional roller coaster! What kind of feelings do you go through? How do you handle the emotions when they wrap you up?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Most Anticipated Reads of the first half of 2021 | The books this year are here to give me LIFE

Greetings readers!

This year we are going to get some amazing books, friends. We are in for some outstanding and mind-blowing reads and people I am living. This year, like last year is going to come with its obstacles, but I am very comforted by the thought that there are so many books coming up that are just totally going to knock it out of the park (or at least I hope they will!)

So let’s get started!

January

Happily Ever Afters
Concrete Rose (The Hate U Give, #0)

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant – I am always on the hunt for fluffy goodness in my YA contemporary reads and this is it friends!

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas – I am so excited to see what young Maverick is like! He was one of my favourite characters from THUG

February

The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1)
Like Home
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna – A new fantasy that I have a good feeling is going to sweep the reading world off its feet! I mean a whole army of magical girls sounds epic on its own!

Like Home by Louisa Onomé – It was pitched as a great read for fans of On My Block and Elizabeth Acevedo and honestly that was enough for me! Looking forward to this story about friendship and community!

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado – I’m in the middle of this and I AM LOVING IT! It is such a gorgeous story I can’t wait to finish it!

March

Lost in the Never Woods
Firekeeper's Daughter
Once Upon a Quinceañera
Act Your Age, Eve Brown (The Brown Sisters, #3)

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas – I am here for the Peter Pan premise and this cover!!! I just know that this will totally knock me off my feet!

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley – Indigenous YA literature!!! We love to see it! We have to support it! I went to a virtual book event featuring the author last year and she said some pretty interesting things about her research! I’m excited!

Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira – Any and all books that are even remotely related to quinceañeras get put on my radar! I am so excited for this debut!!!

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert – I LOVE the Brown sisters so much! But I am MOST excited for Eve! She is the youngest sister like me! And she is totally chaotic! This is going to be amazing!

April

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
Witches Steeped in Gold (Witches Steeped in Gold, #1)
Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls
The Light of the Midnight Stars

Somewhere Between Bitter & Sweet by Laeken Zea Kemp – This is one book I have been waiting for since its announcement! Here is just a snippet of what I was promised: “[a] stunning story of first love, familial expectations, the power of food” This is going to be amazing!!!

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart – I am here for Caribbean witches. I repeat: I am here for vengeful, magical Caribbean witches!!!!!

Cece Rios and Desert Souls by Kaela Rivera – A mesoamerican mythological magical middle grade read! Yes. WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO SEE IT! I am here for this!!!!!!!! I need everyone to talk about this because I know it will blow my mind!

The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner – I adored Rossner’s first novel and I am so excited she is coming out with another book! If you want Jewish folklore and fantasy in your life then you definitely need her books on your shelves!

May

The Beautiful Ones
The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen, #3)

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – I just got approved for an ARC on Netgalley!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!! SO I’m going to read my ARC and then probably read my finished copy again because I can never get enough of this story!

Bitch Queen Book #3 by K.S. Villoso – The first two books took my breath away, I can only imagine what the finale will do to my soul!!!! I am here for it! I am here for my destruction! If you haven’t picked up this adult fantasy series, you better go do it NOW!

June

A Psalm of Storms and Silence (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, #2)
Blood Like Magic (Blood Like Magic, #1)
The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms, #1)
Sisters of the Snake (Ria & Rani #1)

A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown – Who isn’t anticipating this sequel?? A Song of Wraiths and Ruin swept the world of its feet, the sequel deserves the exact same, if not more, attention!

Blood like Magic by Liselle Sambury – Black witches in near-future Toronto!!!!!!!!!!!!! YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is all I needed to know, that is all you need to know!

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri – Empire of Sand is one of my favourite books of all time! I am here for this new epic fantasy with forbidden magic, morally grey sapphics and vengeance!

Sisters of the Snake by Sarena and Sasha Nanua – I am so excited that my fellow Canadian booklovers are going to publish another book! Sarena & Sasha’s new book is going to be The Fantasy Novel to read this year, I hope you have it on your radars!


And done! While these aren’t the only books I’m anticipating this month, these are the ones I’m hoping to yell about the most when I get around to reading them hehe!

There are so many good books coming our way this year! I would love to hear what books you have on your radar!

Keep an eye out for part two coming sometimes soon or not…It will get here when it gets here hehehe

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Pine Island Home | Review // A sisterhood read!

Greetings readers!

Of course my first review of the year is about a book I should have reviewed in the fall of last year. 🙂 But what’s the saying friends?

You: Better late than never.

That’s right, better late than never.

That being said, I love reading books about sisters! I think it is just a natural condition of being part of a sister set myself! There is just something fascinating about the way sisters interact with one another that always seems to amaze me!

I would like to thank Tundra Books for sending me a copy of this book to read and review! It was sold to me as a Penderwicks-like book and let me tell you I was Sold! Sold! Sold!

Pine Island Home by Polly Horvath

Pine Island Home

Pub Date: Sept 1st, 2020
Publisher: Puffin Books
Goodreads

Four sisters search for true family in this story of resilience by a Newbery Honor author.

When the McCready sisters’ parents are washed away in a tsunami, their Great Aunt Martha volunteers to have them live with her on her farm in British Columbia. But while they are traveling there, Martha dies unexpectedly, forcing Fiona, the eldest, to come up with a scheme to keep social services from separating the girls – a scheme that will only work if no one knows they are living on their own.

Fiona approaches their grouchy and indifferent neighbor Al and asks if he will pretend to be their live-in legal guardian should papers need to be signed or if anyone comes snooping around. He reluctantly agrees, under the condition that they bring him dinner every night.

As weeks pass, Fiona takes on more and more adult responsibilities, while each of the younger girls finds their own special role in their atypical family – But even if things seem to be falling into place, Fiona is sure it’s only a matter of time before they are caught.

Written in Polly Horvath’s inimitable style, gentle humor and tough obstacles are woven throughout this story about the bonds of sisterhood and what makes a family.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection


The Likes

These sisters were a fun bunch. They definitely had really distinct personalities and ways of looking at the world. I feel like Fiona got the most page time because she was the oldest making a lot of decisions for her sisters, but I liked her very much! Of the four, she is my favourite!

The supporting cast was really interesting! Al was quite a character. Grumps are one of my favourite kinds of characters, there is just something wonderful about seeing them go soft for certain things or people! There were other characters that hmmm I did not like at all, and I was right not to like them. And that is the tea. On the other hand, Aunt Martha is a character I would love to read about in her youth! She might have been deceased, but her presence in the story is felt!

There is one thing I must warn! Be prepared to suspend your belief a lot. Four children living on their own without a legal guardian is really not realistic. And to go that long unnoticed wouldn’t happen in real life, but this is fiction friends! The book tries its best to find all the loopholes it can, but you still might need to just let some thing slides and go along with the plot! Overall, it was very interesting. I think it can show young people how many decisions adults have to make on a daily basis, that they may not think about.

Nonetheless, the book always takes on a humorous tone and I really enjoyed the antics that the girls get themselves into! That being said, this book can be pretty sad at times. The girls face a lot of disappointment in consecutive sequences, so I wouldn’t call it light read at all. However, I do think that it shows how resilient and hope-filled they are as sisters fighting with all they got to stay together.

The Questionable:

I do have to say that there are some fatphobic jokes at the beginning. It didn’t sit well with me, so be warned of that.

There a few loose ends by turn of the last page, which I just felt left me hanging quite a bit.

I also have to say that this book has the most going-ons, it’s very tame and really focused on the challenge of trying to not be found out. That being said, I can maybe point out only 2 really dramatic things that happened which were great. I still think that there was opportunity for more to happen.


Overall, it was a sweet book! I think that it had the chance to be more dramatic, but the quiet havoc it explored was still very engaging! It’s a quick read and sure to intrigue young and less-young readers alike!

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend?: If you like sister-tales, I think you’ll have fun with it!

Let me know what you think! What is your favourite sister book? Do you find yourself able to suspend your belief easily? What kind of middle grade reads do you like to pick up?

Happy reading!

Rendz

Website Built with WordPress.com.

Up ↑