Scion of the Fox | Review

Greetings readers!

There are certain things I wish for in my bookish dreams. Some of them are more easily fulfilled and others have yet to be fulfilled or I have to scavenge really hard to find them. They exist, but not in a large amount. Books, specifically YA, never take place in or have characters from El Salvador (id est. Rendz’s family’s place of origin). I may be wrong, though I doubt it. So that’s a dream still not fulfilled, but perhaps someday.

Now YA set in Canada is another dream. It’s a lot easier to find books set in Canada/with Canadian characters! There are lists on Goodreads that I can scroll down and so on!

So pretty much all books set in Canada get put into my TBR, no questions asked. This was one of those books, so when I saw it on NetGalley you I snatched it up fast!

Scion of the Fox by S.M. Beiko

Scion of the Fox (The Realms of Ancient, #1)
via Goodreads

As the winter ice begins to thaw, the fury of a demon builds — all because one girl couldn’t stay dead . . .

Roan Harken considers herself a typical high school student — dead parents, an infected eyeball, and living in the house of her estranged, currently comatose grandmother (well, maybe not so typical) — but she’s uncovering the depth of the secrets her family left behind. Saved from the grasp of Death itself by a powerful fox spirit named Sil, Roan must harness mysterious ancient power . . . and quickly. A snake-monster called Zabor lies in wait in the bed of the frozen Assiniboine River, hungry for the sacrifice of spirit-blood in exchange for keeping the flood waters at bay. Thrust onto an ancient battlefield, Roan soon realizes that to maintain the balance of the world, she will have to sacrifice more than her life in order to take her place as Scion of the Fox.

American Gods meets Princess Mononoke in this powerful first installment of a trilogy sure to capture readers’ imaginations everywhere.

*My deepest gratitude to the publisher for providing me with a copy! This does not affect my opinions!*

Well this was definitely an interesting read no doubt. It was a little bit of a roller coaster ride in terms of how I felt about it at times while reading, but overall it was a pretty fun read! With an added bonus that it’s set in Canada!

What I Liked

Characters

Roan: Our lovely chosen one. (As she so warmly names herself) Um…I actually have some mixed feelings about her. She was a very entertaining character to follow. She definitely wasn’t the perfect hero! She felt like giving up multiple times (she almost did), but like the good heroine she is, she pulled through. She made not so intelligent decisions, some of them more mind-boggling than others (more on that later). I wouldn’t label her as my fave character, but she was alright.

Sil: Sil was an interesting character to follow! She was the not fairy god mother but still the wise figure in Roans adventure. Wise and very sassy. I really enjoyed her banter with Roan as it made the book a whole lot more entertaining.

Eli: Very interesting. Very troublesome. Not exactly a villain but definitely possesses some evilish qualities. Not exactly the most romantic hero for Roan either (like they have issues)….but unless I read into it wrong he’s feeling something! (There wasn’t any romance in the book, I’m just pointing out from observation!)

Other characters…Roan had a great cast of friends by her side. Phae, Barton, Natti and more who helped her survive her journey. There were secondary characters that were less likeable, but that I liked to hate so I had fun following them too.

Setting: Le duh! Set in Canada, specifically Winnipeg (a city I be never actually visited…I haven’t visited a lot of Canada FYI) The story takes places during the winter so the atmosphere really contrasts with Roan and makes her stand out! Where she burns bright with fire her surroundings are very cold, ominous and chilling. And then as the story melts into spring, her fire gets more intense and the big show down happens.

Magic System: While I liked it, it was also kind of hard to wrap my head around. I liked the use of the elements and the Ancient system that passed down their powers from generation to generation. It was classic so I enjoyed it. What stumped me were the animal familiars. I didn’t have a problem with the Owls, Fox, Seal or Deer….what stumped me was the Rabbit, representative of the earth element. It was just funny to imagine because I see earth as a strong and fortifying element but envisioning cute little bunnies kind of threw me off (and it didn’t help that the people descending from this line looked jittery and scared). I don’t know, it just didn’t work for me. Otherwise, I really like the Magic and its ties to humanity and the villain.

What I Disliked

Predictive: I saw a few things from a mile away, that were really no surprises or shocking revelations. I felt that the intensity of the novel was low, there weren’t any really OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG moments, but it wasn’t completely flat either. I think this was a little juvenile for me despite some of the more mature themes.

Trope Talking: This book had some tropes in which I was like, whatever *shrug* But then the author goes and makes fun of the tropes within the book…in which I was like okay….? The obvious one is the Chosen One trope, ie Roan. She actually poked fun and makes jokes about being the Chosen one….and continues to do so throughout the story. It was funny at first, but then it gets annoying so I really could have done without it. The author does this with a few other tropes too: the white saviour w/ a diverse side cast and the old wise person, dead parents are some examples. It’s kind of like saying “these tropes kind of suck, but I’m going to use them anyways!”

Roan’s Idiot Mistake, for being an Idiot Chosen One: I read about 400 pages of Roan trying to stop Eli from being evil. She helps him get through some intense struggle and y’all, they pull through. And then in the final chapter, she made the same damn choices as evil-Eli so now she is at risk of becoming evil! Was she not present for the earlier chapters of the book??? Did she not realize the consequences of her decision??? Apparently this book is a cycle, and we are going to get right back where we started.


Overall, I did enjoy most of the book. It was fun and magical. A little flat in some areas, but it was a solid read.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Recommend: I think this would work well with younger YA readers

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? What are some of your favourite tropes? What are some of your least?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Let’s Talk Spoilers (In Which There are No Spoilers) | Discussion

Greetings readers!

Ahhhh spoilers. A cause of great drama, pain and probably a lot of unhappiness.  But hey they come with fair warnings right? Wrong, not always. Sometimes spoilers just assault you out of the blue and you can’t unsee what you’ve seen so your scarred for life, baby!

spoilers GIF by University of California
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So let us discuss!

• Spoilers = The Devil’s Spawn OR Spoilers = A Bit of Necessary Info •

~ Confession: I have a secret love for spoilers. ~

Maybe not big ones, but little ones. Spoilers that make me wonder, why?, how?, and increase my intrigue to read a certain book or series! Maybe I “accidentally” scroll through a spoilery review and see a spoiler about the MC having magical abilities, intrigue hits and I press Want-To-Read. Maybe I see another minor spoiler about the  plot. Something that doesn’t give the whole thing away but you know little, little things.

Maybe, I’m one of those people who scavenges for spoilers about books with love triangles to see who I have to root for and not be on the losing side!?! (I totally do this.) Why? BECAUSE I HATE LOVE TRIANGLES BUT I WOULD RATHER BE ON THE WINNING SIDE THAN THE LOSING ONE!!!!!

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I don’t always look for spoilers. But with books that I’m kind of iffy about (or books with triangles) I just want a little bit of necessary info. Let it make me wonder and question and draw to the book to me. Sometimes I end up liking the book, sometimes I still end up on the wrong side of the triangle and sometimes the spoilers bring up things I don’t want to read about and I avoid the book completely.

Little spoilers are okay, but big spoilers.

No.

• Let’s talk about BIG spoilers which actually are the Devil’s Spawn. •

~ The Epic Plot Twist Spoil ~

I have had a couple epic twists spoiled for me, by accident. Both of the big twists in A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir were ruined for me. I was scrolling through Tumblr and she was answering questions about the book and I spotted two huge things that left me going “WHAT?!??” but at the same time “NO?!?!” It kind of ruined the momentum of the book, it was still AMAZING but those two revelations weren’t as epic as they should have been because I was spoiled! >.<

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~ The Character Death Spoil ~

This is actually the worst! I’ve had it happen to me a couple of times. I was spoiled for Crooked Kingdom (by my own fault), The Crown’s Game (by Kez’s fault) and pretty much all the deaths in Throne of Glass (by fault of Pinterest/Tumblr).
It just really sucks to get death-spoiled because then you are already mourning that character and by the time they die, it just doesn’t hit you as hard. I like to be hit hard and cry a little, but death-spoilers ruin this!

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~ The Final Ending Spoil ~

I hardly doubt anyone likes to know the ending of the book while they are reading it. Especially the conclusion of a series. I mean, it kind of defeats the purpose of reading the preceding books if you know how it’s all going to end. At least, that’s how I sometimes feel. Usually I push through and continue reading, but like I don’t have the same enthusiasm!
I know Maz and Kez would just not read the books at all if they spoiled the ending-ending for themselves (Which they do often to avoid long series. I don’t see their logic.)

• The Problem with Me and Spoilers •

I have the worst poker face. THE WORST. My fake smile, shake of the head, or just plain, “neutral” expression gives it all away!

Here’s the thing. I am a great liar when I want to be. (Which may be too often) But when it comes to books/movies/all things fandom, I just cannot keep my composure and I give it all away!

My friends and cousins, especially my cousin will come out and friggin interrogate me about her theories and ideas. Over text, I can keep the secrets but in person, I look guilty…especially when their theories are spot on.

I start sweating:

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My hands get clammy:

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My face gets red:

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And I put on the fakest smile of life!

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At that, my friend/cousin start yelling at me that I’m spoiling it for them, to which I answer: “THEN DON’T ASK ME!”

Moral of the story: I am an automatic spoiler, don’t tell me your theories unless over text because if you see my face, the cat is out of the bag!


Let me know what you think! Let’s discuss! SPOILERS! Do you voluntarily search for them? Do you religiously avoid them? What books have been spoiled for you? (Please do not give actual spoilers, lol) Do you have a good Spoiler-Poker Face?

I would love to know, so leave me your thoughts!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Halloween Creatures Tag!

Greetings readers!

It is that time of year again! When the scariest movies are on TV and the Halloween Town theme song is on endless repeat in my head! It’s Halloween Season!!

I love Halloween. I loved dressing up as a kid (though I usually went as a witch or princess….one time as a cowgirl) But this is a great time for movies, even though personally I cannot do scary/thriller and I will never be able to do horror, I love kids Halloween movies! (The Kid in Rendz never died)!

Thank you so much to  Melting Pots and other Calamities for tagging me to do the Halloween Creatures Tag! Give my girl a visit and explore all the great posts, reviews and discussions she has going on! You’re in for such a great treat!


I do love me some mythical and eccentric creatures so this seems like a really fun tag!

Rules for the tag:

  •  Follow the Categories
  • You Must Be Honest
  • You Must Answer All Questions to the Best of Your Ability
  • You Must Tag At Least 3 People
  • Have Fun!
  • Credit Would be Greatly Appreciated! (credit goes to: Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward)

Witches : A book or character that is magical:

The Chronicles of Narnia! The books that first introduced me to magic and never let me go!

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Mummies : A book or character you can’t wrap your mind around:

Jonas from the Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Like I don’t hate him…but I also think he is a nuisance and needs to get his act together.

Vampires : A book, series, or author you can’t live without:

Marissa Meyer and The Lunar Chronicles

I would be living an unfulfilled life had I not read this series. Marissa Meyer is my queen, she gave me everything I ever wanted. Who would I be if I never met my husband Carswell Thorne??? Answer: No one. I would living incomplete. Thank the stars for the existence of this amazing author and these incredible books!

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Werewolves : A book best read in the middle of the night:

House of Ash by Hope Cook

This was a gothic and really dark read. Plus it gave me Monster House vibes which in my defense is kind of creepy movie to show kids (Oh Rendz, you soft, scardey cat)

Zombies : A book you picked up for the 2nd time/Continued after DNF’ing it:

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

What a foolish creature I was. I first tried to read this book back when I hated reading so I understand why I dropped it after a few pages. Thankfully, intelligent 12 year-old Rendz picked it up again, fell in love and I’m still endlessly waiting on the fifth book!

Ghosts : A book you easily predicted a twist or ending:

Warcross by Marie Lu

I absolutely adored this book, but I have to say that I did see the twist that came at the end. Although, the reason why it happened still shocked me.

Frankenstein : A book that truly shocked you:

Champion by Marie Lu

I’m never going to get over that ending. I am and always will be broken because of that ending.

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Skeletons : A book or character that chilled you to the bone:

The Commandant from An Ember in the Ashes Quartet by Sabaa Tahir

This lady is insanely frightening and I would never want to cross paths with her. She is crazy!

Ghouls : A book that left you hungry:

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

My mouth was literally salivating after the first couple of pages.

Goblins : A greedy character:

Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Dirty Hands wants it all and he knows exactly how he is going to get it.

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Devil : A dark, evil character:

Levana from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Hated her with all my guts. She is literally responsible for the death of thousands and feels exactly zero remorse.

Grim Reaper : A character you loved/hated that died:

Sorscha from Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Sorscha was the first character in that series I really related to and I absolutely hate that her time was cut so short. I hate that she is just brushed under the carpet and in the next installments of the series she is nothing but an after thought. If she were still alive, I would demand/petition/riot for a book solely on her and her adventures. But no, she’s dead!

Scarecrow : A book or character that scares you:

Every horror book out there. Goodbye Mr. Stephen King.

The Monster Mash : Tag 3 or more people to do this tag:

Fire and Rain Books

Ryann the Reader

Darque Dreamer Reads

That’s all for me folks! Let me know what you think! What was your favourite Halloween costume ever? What is your favourite scary book/movie? (You know, so I can avoid it) What is your favourite Halloween creature?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Greetings Readers!

If there is one thing I love to do on my blog is spillllllllll my unpopular opinions. Things that I don’t find quite amazing that others fawn over, or things that I fawn over that others hate. It truly makes for some good drama and me?…Well I love me some drama!

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via giphy.com

Huge thank yous to the following lovely bloggers for tagging me and giving me the opportunity to spill all my unpopular views of this bookish universe!

Melting Pots and other Calamities

IceBreaker649

Painfully Fictional

TheBookCorps

All of these bloggers are fabulous and have such incredible posts, reviews and discussions. You should give them all a visit and lose yourself in their amazing archives!

Let’s get started! *evil laughter*

A POPULAR BOOK OR BOOK SERIES THAT YOU DIDN’T LIKE

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)
via goodreads

Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard

I thought the first book was amazing after having read it, but then I let it simmer and really…it wasn’t all that great. Then I read the sequel which was really boring and just a big nope. I never picked up the third one and now the fourth is coming…….I just don’t know if I will ever get back to that series.

A POPULAR BOOK OR BOOK SERIES THAT EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO HATE BUT YOU LOVE

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1)
via goodreads

Dust Land Trilogy by Moira Young

Maybe it’s not hate, but just a big dislike because of how the story is written. The author doesn’t use proper grammar or spelling to really emphasize the rustic-ness of characters. There isn’t even any punctuation really. This bothers a lot of people, but I loved it! I thought it was so cool!

AN OTP THAT YOU DON’T LIKE

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Rowan and Aelin a.k.a Rowaelin

I hate them both. Individually and as a couple. Their existence to me is unbearable but I have to bear it for all the secondary characters that I love. But I honestly don’t like these too, I do roll my eyes every time I scroll down Pinterest/Twitter/Tumblr and see something about them. I do not care for them at all. If either of them die…good.

*Did I take it too far*

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A POPULAR BOOK GENRE THAT YOU HARDLY REACH FOR

Thriller……………………….it’s cuz I’m a big scardy cat and I just can’t do the intense twist and brain melters! Also, horror because, again, tooooo scary!

A POPULAR/BELOVED CHARACTER THAT YOU DO NOT LIKE

Geez other than Rowan and Aelin?

Cal from the Red Queen series

I found him really boring, dry and just a big baby. No thanks, I liked Maven more and we all know how that turned out to be.

A POPULAR AUTHOR THAT YOU CAN’T SEEM TO GET INTO

John Green.

I never actually even read one of his books….I’ve never had the inclination to. I watched The Faults in Our Stars movie, but I still have no desire to read the book. I don’t even know what his new book with the turtles is about. Just nope.

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A POPULAR BOOK TROPE THAT YOU’RE TIRED OF SEEING

Love triangles need to stop. Just nope. Nope. Nope.

A POPULAR SERIES THAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN READING

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
via goodreads

City of Bones….and that entire series by Cassandra Clare. Even though I’ve read the first chapter of City of Bones, I never continued. There are way too many books in the Shadow Hunters world that I just will never have the inclination to start them now!

THE SAYING GOES “THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE”, BUT WHAT MOVIE OR TV SHOW ADAPTATION DO YOU PREFER MORE THAN THE BOOK?

I actually don’t have an answer…

I haven’t read enough book to Movie/TV adaptations to judge. I’ve either read the book or haven’t watched the movie or vice versa! But like I’m pretty sure I like the Princess Diaries movies more than I would the books (If I were to ever read them)

I Tag…

Oh gosh, everyone has done this tag…but I’ll still tag a few of my new blogger friends! *no pressure to do it if you already have!*

Angelica @ DreamingofFiction

Taiwo @ StuffedShelves


Let me know what you think! Share any unpopular opinions with me? Share any opposing ones? What is your ultimate unpopular opinion?

Sorry if I like kind of trashed your fave book, series, author or OTP…..but this is my blog and opinions are mine! That being said I completely respect you if you disagree with me.

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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All the Wind in the World | Review

Greetings readers!

One morning, I woke up to a lovely email from Netgalley that said my first wish had been granted. I had a mini-celebration with myself because luck had finally struck me! It was a rather groggy celebration since I had just woken up and I might have curled back to sleep afterwards, but still it was a momentous occasion for me. I was really looking forward to this one because it is written by a Latina author and it has elements of magical realism which I don’t get quite often!

All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry

All the Wind in the World
via Goodreads

Sarah Jacqueline Crow and James Holt work in the vast maguey fields that span the bone-dry Southwest, a thirsty, infinite land that is both seductive and fearsome. In this rough, transient landscape, Sarah Jac and James have fallen in love. They’re tough and brave, and they have big dreams. Soon they will save up enough money to go east. But until then, they keep their heads down, their muscles tensed, and above all, their love secret.

When a horrible accident forces Sarah Jac and James to start over on a new, possibly cursed ranch called the Real Marvelous, the delicate balance they’ve found begins to give way. And James and Sarah Jac will have to pay a frighteningly high price for their love.

*I was provided a free digital ARC from Netgalley and the publisher!*

Just look at that cover! *Swoons.*  It’s absolutely gorgeous and the colours and silhouettes totally encompass this book perfectly. But I’m not here to solely critique the cover and as much as I want to say that the cover and the story go hand in hand as one blend of total epicness…I can’t. This book was good, don’t get me wrong, it just lacked that final oomph. It fell flat to me in some areas, but there was never a moment where I didn’t want to continue reading. It’s kind of complicated, me and this book.

What I Liked

Characters:

Sarah Jac: Okay, Sarah Jac and I have a bit of a bumpy relationship. On one hand I’m like “Yes, go girl! You do you. It’s a game of survival be prepared for anything!” On the other hand I’m like “No stop. You’re being stupid. No. No. Please, stop. Think girl. Think!” She was a very complicated gal, in a very complicated situation. She had to act tough, be ruthless, think about no one but herself and James, but having hard hearts leads to big trouble in many ways as having a soft heart does. She wasn’t exactly the most “likeable” character but she was and interesting one at that!

James: Well..I liked him in the first half of the novel. He seemed like the endless flirt who just wanted everyone to feel good. To be even just a little content in time of hardship. Then the second half of the novel came and my feelings changed. He wasn’t very present in the novel but his actions are known, acknowledged and not appreciated by me!

Leo: I wish there was more of him in this book because he was a really funny and charismatic person. He fades off into the background about halfway through but for *reasons* so I guess it’s okay.

Bell: What a fun creature she was, indeed.

Other characters…there were plenty other characters like the ranch owners, the other maguey laborers and foremen but none of them took a prominent position.  They did however make a big impact on Sarah Jac and her journey, Bell being the biggest factor of them all.

Atmosphere: The best aspect of this book is the atmosphere, the setting and descriptions. Just beautiful. You really get the sense of the hot desert sand, the blazing sun, the relentless heat that is beating on our characters day in and day out. Mabry does a superb job creating the atmosphere and the tension of the characters nerves, motives and actions. Very well done.

Magic Realism: So I may not be an expert or know the exact definition of what magical realism is, but I’m 100% sure this book has it. And it was beautiful. The use of magic to makes the reader understand the desperation of Sarah Jac. Her experience working in these fields and the memories from her past that plague her. I enjoyed the use of magic to explain the going-ons in Sarah’s head and her emotions. It just added to the beauty of the story and I really enjoyed it.

Though I do propose a question: What does the YA world have against bees??? This is the second book I’ve read that uses bees as a source of corruption and death…like hello? Did no one ever watch The Bee Movie, our little friends deserve justice!

Romance: Stress. So you go in with a pre-made ship you don’t have to worry about all that tension, right? No. This ship had its problems in the beginning, but I was okay with it. That’s what couples have to do, work through their problems. Survive against the toughest of circumstances. Still. *Rendz, why is this under the liked stuff if you didn’t really like it?* The drama, obviously! I lived for it and it’s one of the few things that kept me well entertained.

What I Disliked

It could be slooooww: It got boring really fast and I just couldn’t keep myself glued to the pages long enough. I would have no motivation to pick it up because I knew that I was going to have to endure endless pages of Sarah Jac in her head, just thinking. That’s not to say that all her thoughts were boring, it’s just that sometimes things got repetitive and I wasn’t into it.

I was also a little confused about the time period! Was it set in the old west or in some twisted dystopia based on that time…I was very confused….it came off to me as a mix of both.

The Quick-Fixer-Upper Ending: This is a really big pet peeve of mine. Sometimes authors just end their books, they don’t conclude. This is one of them. If a book is a stand alone and the character’s journey is ending then they at least deserve a good, solid portrayal of what their lives after will be like after. I feel like this book ending too fast, there was no look into the post-trauma, just a “well they sort of lived happily ever after on their farm and they still have some issues dealing with the past. The end.” Ummmm could you expand maybe, just a little please? Like their issues were kind of big!! Really big actually, I’m still not over it!


Overall, it was a lovely story. I really enjoyed the more dramatic and entertaining bits and the hint of magic made the atmosphere even more beautiful to be in. The interesting characters and their dark pasts and motives made this a real roller coaster of emotions. Even some of their good intentions weren’t all that “good”. Interesting, I feel is the just the word to describe it.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Yes! If you want to start out reading some Magical Realism, this could be a start!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Did you enjoy it? Can we gush about that cover? What genres are you looking to get into/try out? I definitely need more MR recs!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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September Wrap Up, Haul & October TBR

Greetings readers!

September went by in such a blur. I can barely recall most of what I did this month…oh wait! Yes I can. School. School and some more……wait for it…..school.

-_-

Yeah, it’s been fun guys….*fake yay* September has been tough on Real-life Rendz and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. Starting university this month has been a roller coaster of emotions. Excitement, self-doubt, fear. These are all things I feel on a daily basis.

My reading month was good. I actually got a lot more done than I thought I would. Things are starting to slow down and I’m trying my best to keep up, but school is a priority and it’s taking over my life. That’s why I’m sporadic a lot of the time on blog, I take some breaks to blog-hop or write but most times I just need to sit and relax and do nothing.

Enough about me, let’s talk about bookish things!

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Wrap-Up

What the heck did I read this month? Seriously I kind of forgot….bless the creators of Goodreads for keeping track for me!

This month I read…

Poison’s Kiss by Breanna Shields

I buddy read this with the amazing Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews. It was so much fun reading with her, even though this book didn’t quite meet our expectations. I ended giving it a 2.5 / 5 stars. You can read Mandy’s amazing review here because I’ll be honest the story is kind of a blur to me now….

Colorless by Rita Stradling

This was a Netgalley and it also turned out to be less than what I hoped for! It had such a cool concept and so much potential but it just fell flat to me. The beautiful cover definitely deceived me. My Full Review

Warcross by Marie Lu

I reviewed my ARC that I won in a Goodreads giveaway and I LOVED it! Hello! It’s by Marie Lu and she is my idol, I expected nothing but an intense and twisty read! She delivered perfectly and I cannot wait for the sequel! My Full Review

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

A long awaited book. A book all about my baby Chaol! I wrote a rather long and ranty review because I had thoughts and I needed to vent! My Full Review

All The Wind In The World by Samantha Mabry

I am read this while I commuting to school, but sometimes I got dizzy reading on the bus so I have to do short reading bursts. Still I am enjoyed it, the ending left me feeling many things though! Review To Come.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This is actually a book I’m read for one of my classes. And wow, I loved it. I will be honest, reading this book made me nervous. It is super hyped and deals with such an important topic that sometimes I would get overwhelmed even just by thinking about picking it up. But I’m so glad I did. It’s so important, heart-breaking and inspirational! Review To Come.

*I’m so sad I missed Angie while she was here in Toronto on tour! But SCHOOL is messing with me!!!*

That’s a total of six read books! A success, I would say!

Other Fun Blog Posts!

One Year of Blogging (The Thank You) 

You Asked, I Answered! (Blogoversary Q & A)

A Moment of Fangirling: Winter

Book Series I Want to Give A Second Shot


The Haul

What did I get this month? The Month of Releases! Did I even go to the bookstore? No. Well I did go to my school bookstore, but that doesn’t count!

I did, however, send Kez to buy me Tower of Dawn from Indigo because they had a special edition!!! Oh and Strange the Dreamer came in the mail earlier in the month, which I won in a lovely giveaway hosted by Laura @ TheBookCorps

And I also pre-ordered Marissa Meyer’s Renegades and Wires & Nerve Vol 2. because I had a gift card to spend and I of course spent it on the Queen! Le duh!

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TBR

The TBR

Well it’s going to be a long one, but I will definitely not make it to all of these reads. *Sad face*

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Scion of the Fox by S.M. Beiko
Captain Guinevere by Clara Bennet
Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova (This will hopefully happen, as I want to buddy read it with Mandy @ BookPrincessReviews!)

I still have Gemina from the library…oh gosh I think it expires soon?? I will have to either return it or renew it…but it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting to it any time soon. *sad face*

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So that’s my October. It looks like it is going to be quite busy for me in terms of school and blogging responsibilities, but I rather enjoy blogging so it’s not too much of a hastle (yet).

Let me know what you think! What was your favourite read from September? What did you buy during September: The Month of Releases!? What book are you most looking forward to this October (Another month of insane releases!)?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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You Asked, I Answered! Blogaversary Q&A

Greetings readers!

A short while ago I celebrated my one year blogoversary! (blogaversary? blogiversary? whatever…) and I asked you guys to ask me questions! Anything you were curious about, whether it be about blogging or me in general. There was such a huge response, when I was literally expecting to have to fill in a post with only two questions! So thank you to all those who asked me questions and I hope you enjoy my answers!

1. If you could make an group to survive the zombie apocalypse with, which five book characters would you choose and why? (SYDNEY @ FIRE AND RAIN BOOKS)

  1. Cress Darnell (Lunar Chronicles) Super hacker skills would be great to get into all those secret government safe houses should they exist….(they must)
  2. Helene Aquilla (An Ember in the Ashes) I heard she’s good with the killing.
  3. Inej Ghafa (Six of Crows) I heard she is good with the killing and sneaking/stalking those zombies!
  4. Wolf Kesley (Lunar Chronicles) Someone to protect me, hello!
  5. Carswell Thorne (Lunar Chronicles) Just because he would promise to kiss me before I die, sorry Cress.

 

 

2. How did you find the writing style for you? Like, we all worry we’re not typing the right words to express what we feel or that if we do, the post could be boring, but how did you find what fits you best? (OLGA’S ODDISH OBSESSION)

My writing style doesn’t really differ from how I talk in real life. A little big of professionalism with the use of big words and some fangirl language mixed in. I didn’t want to sound stiff and formal while writing my reviews I wanted to come off as charming and fun. So I didn’t stop myself from using the “Omgs” and the “Lols” and most importantly the “Ahhhhhhs”.

It’s not that people who write formal reviews are boring, in fact I admire them. They can write a full page without the fangirl additions and still keep you very entertained. I am just not at that level yet and I cannot write about books without using my fangirl language. C’est moi! It’s who I am. What fits me best is what I already have on, so let’s stick with the big words and fangirl words. Together.

Plus gifs. Gifs make everything a whole lot funnier and entertaining.

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3. Do you have a sort of ritual for reading? A specific drink you like to have when reading, music you like to have playing? Or do you just read, no ritual required? (The Book Goddess)

I don’t usually drink or eat while reading, but before I start a new book I do have a ritual!

*Rendz takes book off shelf*
*pets front cover and backcover *
*If there is a dust jacket, Rendz carefully removes it*
*Reads synopsis, reads author’s bio, reads and fumes about the prices of books*
*Pets naked hardcover, front back, and lastly the spine*
*Traces the lettering on the spine*
*Opens books, flips through every single page as I go (even the publication info)*

I literally flip through every page, no page left unturned. Even if they are blank at the end. They get flipped through!

Before I dive into my reading, I flip to the very last page of the story, read the last word, go back to Chapter 1 and try and figure out the story!

My mantra: I read cover to cover. That means everything in between.

4. Did you ever feel pressured to change your blog format/appearance to look more like “popular” bloggers? If so, did you and did it help anything? I’m asking for a friend 😉 (ROYAL READER)

Do I ever feel pressured? EVERY. DAY. SINCE. I. STARTED.
A lot of the big bloggers get their designs done for them and they pay $$$ for them too.
Me? I’m a cheap  student and would rather try something on my own, break out my watercolours think of something cool.
But I’m always so lazy and I need to look up tips for blog design making me lazier. I’ll just stick to my amateur logo and pink colour scheme! That’s not to say you can’t go all out. Be my guest! And then share with me your wisdom, please!

Pretty blogs are one thing. The content is still 100000x more important!

5. What happened with Disney? (MELTINGPOTSANDOTHERCALAMITIES)

So if you don’t know Disney has a publishing company named Disney Hyperion and they always have nice books to request on NetGalley. So naturally Rendz is like: “YES! Disney will see how much I love them and accept me right away.”

LOL past Rendz

I have been declined every Disney book I have requested. Popular or not. And it stung the first time…so I’ll never let it go. Until I get approved!

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6. Are you writing/have written a book or story project? (INKGIRLANDWORDS)

Yes! Though, I have never finished a single project because student life is busy and I don’t actually have a good outline for any of them. I just write down the scenes that play on and on in my head.

That being said, I do have three projects started. One is middle grade and the other two are YA. I realized that I sill need to simmer a lot of the middle grade and the first YA piece I started up because they are heavy fantasy and a whole lot of stuff needs to be drawn out.

This third YA one, that I recently opened a word document for is slowly coming along. It’s actually Urban Fantasy so less world building per se.  I know how it begins, I know how it ends, I know the climax. It’s just the in between that needs to be figured out. The characters also need some polishing and I’m not exactly sure on a lot of things. But it’s going along and it obviously has a soundtrack and Pinterest board!

Plus, I have a note pad filled with 10 other story ideas, spin offs and short stories. My imagination obviously never stops.

Will these projects ever see the light of day? Time will tell.

7 & 8  What character do you feel closely resembles you? If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? (SHANAH – BIONIC BOOK WORM)

7. The characters I find myself most in are Cress (TLC) and Laia (AEITA). Cress because she is the shy, meek fangirl who when she pushes herself has the courage to use her talents and be brave. Laia is also very important to me because she was not brave at the beginning of her journey. She was scared and cowardly, she ran away instead of fighting head on. Something I would do. Neither of these girls are your typical “badass” kind of heroine, but I have never felt “badass” myself. These girls represent me and help me see that I can still save the world, even if I can’t come up with something snarky to say on the spot or wield a sword like a pro.

8. I would eat pupusas for the rest of my life. (A traditional Salvadoran food.) They are freaking delicious and can be eaten at all times of the day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Break Time: There are a lot of questions…here is a funny gif.

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9. How do your posts compare from the beginning to now? (DARQUE DREAMER READS)

At the beginning I was still trying to be a professional, then a month later I was like “screw it” and found my odd little blogger voice. The set up is somewhat the same, but I think I got better at really communicating what I want to say, instead of rambling.

However, I still do not know how to use a comma properly. End me.

10. If you could bring one fictional character to life to be your best friend who would you choose? (JOURNEYINTOBOOKS)

After some pleading I was able to raise this to two character BFFs, so YAYAY!

Linh Cinder (Lunar Chronicles) BECAUSE SHE IS CINDER!!!!!!!!!!!

Lucy Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia) GIRL TAKE ME AND CINDER TO NARNIA!!!

 

 

11. & 12.  How often do you read? What is your favourite food? (CHARLOTTE ANNELISE)

11. I usually read everyday. Throughout the day time hours I read a physical book, for about a hour, two maybe three? Then in the night time I switch to my ebooks/kindle. But since I don’t want to completely destroy my eye sight, I only read for about an hour and a half. Unless I am in the final stretches, I’ll exceed my limit.

12. Fave food: Pupusas!!!!!!

13. & 14. & 15. Do you like mangoes? If Thorne died, what would you do? Why do you go by the name Rendz? (MAY @ FOREVER AND EVERLY)

13. MANGOES ARE MY FAVOURITE FRUIT EVER!!! IT TOPS EVERYTHING. GREEN OR YELLOW, I AM IN LOVE!!!!!

14. HOW DARE YOU ASK SUCH A CRUEL QUESTION!
If Carswell Thorne had died in the books, I would have freaking balled. A part of my soul would have been ripped out, chewed up and thrown away. Even thinking about it hurts. I honestly would have cried!!!!! Sobbed!!!! I would have ended up in the depths of despair. My swoony Captain would live on in my heart (and fantasies) forever, but I am so glad he lives in the books!

15. I go by Rendz for two reasons. One being that as much as the internet is cool and all, there are still creepy, stalker people at large and so I never give away any personal info like my name, age and birthday (sorry to all the birthday tags) It’s a safety precaution. Secondly, I wanted to separate real me, from blogger me, so I created Rendz to fill in that role.

16. What do you do to get through a reading slump? How many books do you own? What’s your favorite reading spot? ANDDD What’s your favorite quote? (NADWA @ PAINFULLYFICTIONAL)

Reading slumps are tough, but I usually just stop reading for a while. Make myself miss it. I go read some raving reviews about exciting books, maybe even reread some of my favourite parts of older reads!

I own 143 books currently. That number is about to rise exponentially.

Favourite reading spot is the couch. A perfect place to lean my back on, sit,  lay and be in complete comfort! (Guys you don’t understand my couches are super soft and sitting on them is pure bliss)

Favourite quote, from my Idol, Marie Lu:

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“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.”
― Marie LuLegend

Thank you once again to all of the lovely people out there who asked me questions! Thank you to all you lovelies who read my answers and found something interesting about my boring self XP! Here is to another year of blogging *cheers*!

If you want to know anything else, I’ll gladly answer you in the comments!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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August Wrap Up & September TBR

Greetings readers!

August. What. A. Month.

I cannot even correctly recall the beginning of the month! It seems as if the end of July and beginning of August just fused together! So many things were going on, that before I realized it, it was mid-August.

Yikes!

I told myself this month was going to be full of awesome reading and slow on the book buying.

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Yeah…that sooooooo did not happen! At all. I was supposed to be saving up for September because we all know that September is going to be huge with the releases. Thus, needing to save my money. But no. I didn’t do that at all.

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Wrap Up

Reading this month was okay, nothing really stood out to me. I had a couple okay reads, so I feel like it could have gone much better.

I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil
This was a very cute contemporary read! Full of formulas and romance! My Mini Review

Bridges: A Daphne White Novel by Maria Murnane
This was the first Women’s Fiction book I’ve read in a while and it turned out to be a very sweet and happy read! My Full Review

The Reader by Traci Chee
A fun fantasy read that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while! 3.75 / 5 Stars

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
This was a really fun and fast sci-fi read! I really enjoyed it! 4 / 5 Stars

House of Ash by Hope Cook
This was a very intriguing read, plus it’s Candian YA! Woot! Woot! My Full Review

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This is a super duper popular Adult Fantasy novel that I wanted to try and while I really enjoyed it, I also found it to be very slow! 4 / 5 Stars

Black Birds of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
This was a big anticipated read of mine, however it turned out to be okay rather than mind-blowing amazing! Still it was very fun! My Full Review

Winter by Marissa Meyer
This was a reread and I loved it (obviously!) My fangirling post for this will be up soon hopefully! But let’s just say I might have gotten choked up…..just a little bit. All the stars!

Fairest by Marissa Meyer
I decided to reread it despite how many feels and moments of second hand embarrassment I went through! Levana is one crazy witch! (Should I do a post for this too? The answer is yes!)

The Bride of Glass by Candace Robinson
This was the sequel to Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault which I read a while ago. I really enjoyed this one, though not as much as the first I believe! My Full Review

10 Books! I think that is pretty awesome!

 

Fun Posts of the Month! 

The Princess Bride Book Tag (A whole lot of TLC answers…)
Unique Blogger Award Pt 2
My Hierarchy of Fictional Love Interests (I had so much fun writing this!)
The Happiness Tag 

I had a lot of TLC related content on my blog this month. I beg of thee, fellow Lunartics to go check them out! 

A Moment of Fangirling: Scarlet 
A Moment of Fangirling: Cress (The book of my life!!)

I entered the #WinRenegades Bookstagram challenge hosted by Queen Meyer. I didn’t win, but I had a whole lot of fun entering! And since I was in the midst of my TLC Reread, all the books were at hand!


The Haul…

Lordy, lord. I spent too much money this month! By now everyone should know how big September is going to be in terms of new releases. Basically a whole bunch of magical and super intriguing reads are headed our way. Some of these books I have been anticipating for months on end! So my plan was to save! Save money!!! But the heart wants what the heart wants and my heart wanted books this August.

This month I bought:

Book Outlet:
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (Because I had to own it!)
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (Because I never hear the end of its epicness)
Windwitch by Susan Dennard (Merry Christmas, Maz)

BMV (Cheap bookstore)
Ivory & Bone by Julie Eshabugh (Because it was there and I was like “gimmegimme”)
Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers (By recommendation of Mandy @BookPrincessReviews)

Chapters Indigo (Not cheap, but my home-away-from-home bookstore)
Wonder Woman: Warbringer  by Leigh Bardugo (Because I needed that pull-out poster!)

 

And then I got super lucky and won two ARCs!

Warcross by Marie Lu (My first Goodreads giveaway I entered and won!! Plus it’s by my Idol!!!)
Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster (I actually won this through a twitter giveaway. The object was to write a Haiku and the best one won! *Thank you to all my twitter peeps who voted for me….I love you!)

 

My winning Haiku!

And a NetGalley Haul! 

Black Birds of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry (My first granted wish!)
Colorless by Rita Stradling

So yeah….A lot of hauled books this month! All the more to read!


TBR

On to more pressing matters. My TBR. September, unfortunately means the start of school, which unfortunately means these large reading wrap ups start to dwindle in numbers. It also means I’m slower to post and write so I’m trying to get as much as I can done before school begins (tomorrow for me)!

Did I reach my summer goal, absolutely not. I didn’t read Truthwitch (sorry Maz) or ACOTAR (sorry everyone else) but I’ll get to them……eventually.

Not this month though. THIS MONTH I HAVE PLANS!

This month I plan on reading:

Poison’s Kiss  by Breanna Shields (Buddy read with Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews)✅
Warcoss by Marie Lu (in progress)
Colorless by Rita Stradling (in progress)
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
Scion of the Fox by S.M. Beiko
Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Library book, so my time is limited)
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas (Chaol boo, I’m coming for you!)

 

I’m not going to set myself up for anything higher, but if I’m lucky enough and the school year starts off slow (unlikely), I hope to squeeze in Last Star Burning, Wonder Woman: Warbringer and All the Wind in the World…..all very unlikely!


I also may have a little secret project going on……it might have something to do with fanart….it might have something to do with the Lunar Chronicles…….😉😉

It’s nowhere near finished but…maybe I’ll share a little taste with you sometime….!

Let me know what you guys think! What was your favourite read from August? What was your favourite buy from August? What release are you most looking forward to in this September of Releases? Can’t wait to see your thoughts!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Bride of Glass | Review

Greetings readers!

I am not much of a thriller, horror kind of person. I’m just too much of a scaredy cat. Literally, I am weak. I am however, a fantasy kind of person. If the two are mixed…well that spells a whole lot of fun for me! And if the story is super intriguing, a little bloody and perhaps some kissing here and there: I’m all for it!

The Bride of Glass by Candace Robinson

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Perrie Madeline is trapped in Vale’s clutches as the Bride. Can Perrie find a way to escape her mental prison?

Maisie Jaser is on a rescue mission to retrieve her cousin and best friend, Perrie. Together, she hopes to bring down Vale and rid the world of the destruction he has caused.

Will Vale prevail?

*I was provided a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review*

 

So back at the end of the first book, Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, I was immediately like: there better be a sequel…no way in hell it can end like this!!! Thankfully, Candace fulfilled my wish and wrote a sequel! Hoorah! Luckily, it was just as entertaining, fun and spookalicious as the first one!

What I liked:

Characters:

Perrie: I really liked Perrie in this one, she was fighting for her own conscience which I found very intriguing for the first half of the book. She doesn’t have it easy and a lot of bad stuff happens because of her. She has to accustom herself to a completely new life, without some of the old comforts she had. She has to forgive herself for some of the evil she herself unleashed. Yet, despite all this she is thoughtful and brave!

Maisie: Stole the show for me! She was the best! Very quirky, funny and oh-so courageous. She had a minor role in the first novel, but this book really showed off her best self! She doesn’t always think twice about her decisions, but since her gut is right a lot of the time, we’ll allow it!

Vale: Oh so intriguing. Another character fighting for conscience and moral. His back story was very interesting, though I wished a little bit of it had been established in book one. That would have elevated it so much more in this one.

And Neven, sweet Neven. He just got a lot of “awwww”s from me!

Plot: I thought the overall story itself was done well.  It connected well with the first book and closed all those hanging moments very nicely. I liked the backstory chapters in between the present day chapters because they really helped to give insight into the characters motives and actions. It also brought in those historical and mythological figures that were featured in the first book, which I loved.  It focuses less on being inside a traditional fantasy setting and brings the problems and the evil outside to the real world.

That Cover: Glorious. Symbolism is like used to the max on it and I love it! Plus it’s purple!!!!!!

Romance: Ship! Ship! Ship! TWO SHIPS! The first ship was a little scary. It started out as abusive….but changed because *things happen* and though this book does not in any way promote the abuse as romantic, it was there and I was a little hesitant to cope after it in the second half. The other ship however: SHIP SHIP SHIP!!!!

What I Disliked:

The Flow: My biggest complaint. All the good drama as battle stuff doesn’t happen until the very, very end. I’m talking last chapter. There was not enough time put into that drama which was what I wanted. The first 80% of the novel was just the characters walking, talking and some small backstory bits. Not to say that they weren’t entertaining and had some suspenseful elements, it’s just that the end was super squeaky clean!The big epic finale didn’t happen. The part where I was supposed to be biting my nails and going OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG didn’t happen and I was very disappointed!

What did happen wasn’t even that intense. The author opened up a great window, but didn’t use it! I was hoping for a little more on that factor!


Overall, I did enjoy this book! It was fast and when I did read I couldn’t put it down!! The characters are what made this book great, so if your a character kinda person like me, definitely check it out!

Rating: 3.75 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Like your books a little bloody, a little spooky, and a whole lot of intrigue? Perhaps with a little fairy tale elements here and there? Then yes!!

This book came out September 1st, yesterday! Please go out and support out fellow blogger author Candace @ Literary Dust by giving her book a read! (But read the first one first!! Obviously!)

Let me know what you think. What are some of your favourite historical figures you would love to see get YA twists?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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One Year of Blogging and a Q&A

Greetings readers!

So, I’ve been pondering when exactly this little notification from WordPress was finally going to show up! Low and behold it has finally happened!

1 Year Anniversary Achievement

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

 

You registered on WordPress.com one year ago.

 

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.
Thanks, WordPress!

 

But, seriously I don’t know what to write. This whole blogging thing really just started out as a dare to myself. Can I focus on keeping an actual goal? Can I finish a project I start? Well, in no way am I finished blogging, I still have so many tags/awards to answers and reviews to put up! But I have successfully kept at this for a full year!

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I want to first of all thank you. Every one of my 360 followers who have pressed that little follow button and liked my posts (even if you didn’t read them, that’s a-okay)! To those of you who comment hold a special place in my heart because despite my hesitancy to interact it is honestly the best feeling to see someone agree with you!

I want to give a special a special shout-out to Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews. She was one of my earliest followers and started commenting way back when! Mandy, I appreciate every comment and like that comes from you. I am also so happy that I found my TLC Soul-Sister. (Big words, but its true!)

I also want to thank all my friends that I have made throughout this whole year, Krysti, Sarah, Stephanie, Kyera, Clara, Nadwa, Princess, Kate, Candace, Sophie, Kester, Jackie, Em, and all those others who I forgot to mention and might probably resent me for it! (I love you)

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*Rendz, this is not the Oscars….you didn’t even win anything??*

WELL I’M NOT DONE MY SPEECH, SO HOLD THE MUSIC!

Special thanks, to my sisters Maz and Kez, who when I told you I made a blog showed very little emotion, but listen to me every time I ramble on about blog! For taking me to all those authors signings and standing in line for 4 hours (and handling the epic disaster that was the SJM signing).

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Thanks to Mom and Dad, who won’t read this (because they do not know it exists) but for not scolding me every time I buy books. (Only sometimes)

Thank you to every author who has reached out to me to read their books. For trusting me with your own little baby. I’m sorry, if I take so long to post my review!!

For every publisher who has approved my request on NetGalley.  Bless your souls.

To those who rejected me (looking at you Disney….the betrayal is real), I will bend you to my will one day! *evil laughter*

And finally thank you Real-life Rendz. For letting me take over your life for a little bit and distracting you from all those crazy assignments and tests you had to study for! We should hang out some time? XD

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So now I turn the tables to you. I’ve been around a whole year, I have *some* blogging experience under my belt! Thus, I shall bestow my wisdom upon you!

Send me your questions in the comments and I’ll answer them in another post! Please let there be more than two questions…………….hehehehe.

*Music begins to play*

I AIN’T FINISHED!

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Last but not least, I want to reach out to all the newbie bloggers out there. I’ve been around a year and I’ve seen a lot. My blog is still very small, but it’s getting some attraction. You will see others gains tons of more followers/likes/comments before you, even thought they started after you and you will get jealous, perhaps even worried. But it’s not about the amounts of follows or likes or comments. It’s about those moments when you lose yourself writing  your posts, when you find someone with the same opinion as you, when you finally realize that you put yourself out there no matter how scary it can be!

I’m proud of us!

Happy reading! And send me your questions!

~ Rendz

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