The Court of Miracles | Review // When the last quarter saves you

Greetings readers!

Thank you to the author for providing me with a digital copy of her book in exchange for an honest review!

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

The Court of Miracles (Court of Miracles, #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2020
Publisher: Knopf
Goodreads

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie).

When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.


A Prelude for my lack of knowledge

I would like to start off by saying that I think I would have had a deeper and more profound appreciation of this book if I had read/watched Les Misérables and or The Jungle Book before diving into this one.

Um but not having any knowledge of these stories shouldn’t feel so…essential when reading and yet here I am feeling like I missed half the point of the story because I don’t know who Eponine is from the original story and how anything that she goes through in this book is extraordinary. sigh

Okay onto the review…

The characters were just there…

Someone, anyone please tell me if Nina had a personality because frankly I couldn’t find one. Like she seeks vengeance on the people who hurt her and I’m like yesssssssss vengeance, but there’s nothing else to her. Nothing. She was just a notorious thief and so amazing and everybody was like omg you are amazing and she’s like yes I am and I was like girl give me something! anything? Like what’s your favourite colour. Wrong question because it is obviously black since she is THE Black Cat, best thief, mastermind, can do no wrong. She trampled every obstacle! I just found nothing substantial beyond her need for vengeance. She was so distant from the story despite being the voice of the story itself. Does that make any sense!?

As for the rest of the cast. I can’t say I have a favourite. I can’t say I remember many names. Maybe the Ghost Lord just because he was so mysterious and the father-ish figure to the MCs.

The Experience in four parts…

Part one was a doozy. The first part was a bombardment of information that I was literally so lost. So lost. And by the end of it all I think I understood about half of it. There were so many names to remember. So many houses to keep track of. I know that there were guides at the beginning of the book and it’s my fault that I never referenced them again. But should I have to keep going back to remember everyone? Nonetheless, it was a lot of information to take in within the first few chapters.

I will say though that learning about The Court of Miracles was a very interesting. (I didn’t know it was an actual thing, until I googled it after reading.) It had a rich history, with so many interesting characters (that I wished we had delved into more). I liked the sense of found family found among these different guilds. I won’t lie though some-most were pretty shady, some more shady than others: you know if you know. It was a really dynamic setting, despite the fact that it took me most of the book to understand.

Then comes part two and I’m kind of like okay I sort of understand what’s going on. I was wondering about the time jump we did because the math wasn’t really making sense, but then I was able to wrap my head around it.

Then comes part three and I started getting impatient, it was time to get this show on the road. Um but I don’t remember many things happening. Just a lot of planning and planning. Basically part 2 & 3 were blurs of information. It was all build-up and build-up and could get quite tedious to get through.

Then part four came to save this book from being a one-star review. It was pretty good. Like really really good. More on that below.

The times jumps are what really messed me up. From what I remember there was no actual distinction of time, like no year or date. (Or maybe there were? Oh dear… Don’t quote me, it might be different in the finished copy) It was just so confusing because I thought she was a teen at the very beginning and it turns out she is only 9!?!? There were no real explanations for them other than the author wanting to explore this story from the very beginning instead of doing flashbacks. I can’t say it was that effective.

My slow-ass brain. I took me until part 3 to make the connection to The Tiger and honestly I’m more disappointed in myself because hello the book was literally citing The Jungle Book before every part!

We’re gonna talk romance for just a second because it is super background-ish. But y’all. There are like three dudes into her and again I question it because personality-wise Nina is just angry and again while that’s not a bad thing, there was nothing else substantial about her in my eyes. Anyways she’s got 3 dudes into and OF COURSE the one I like seems like he’s the one she might like back BUT I bet he’s the one that will a) betray her or b) die.

o-o

Anyways.

The Way the last 30% of this book saved me!!! We love to see it! 

I was worried for the longest time, friends. Nothing seemed to be really gripping me and while we were making plans and plans and plans, nothing was getting done until finally things started moving!!! I was very much into the secret planning going on. The deception was g r e a t. The aristocratic court life was a little less upfront than I had hoped, but the politics were very fun to read about!

It was super intense because all that build up from the first 70% finally came crashing down. There was so much happening, but it wasn’t confusing at all. The political intrigue was high with so many views clashing and so many needs to be met. It’s a book about the oppressed rising up and clamouring for justice. The resemblances to the modern context are not lost on me.

In the end, the choices that Nina had to make were difficult, but she was unapologetic about it. THERE WAS A REALLY GREAT TWIST. I actually didn’t see it coming and I appreciate it! She had one goal since the very beginning and she achieved it. Will it have serious repercussions for her…oh yesss and that’s what the sequel is for.


Overall, I didn’t have a great time with this book. I struggled mainly due to my lack of knowledge and I wasn’t the biggest fan of the very slow pacing and build-up of the first three quarters. The book had great promise, but it just didn’t grip my attention enough.

Rating: 2 / 5 Stars

Recommend?: Um well I wasn’t a big fan of it, but maybe fans of Les Mis or the Jungle Book will find something more substantial to the book.

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Do you find it necessary to know background story of comp titles before diving into a new story? Has the ending of a story ever saved it from being a DNF or one-star review?

*Link to the master list of how you can help Black Lives Matter movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Hercules Book Tag

Greetings readers!

Last month, Mandy and Sha  from Book Princess Reviews created this splendid tag to celebrate the amazing Disney movie that is Hercules!

With the announcement of the live action of Disney’s Hercules on the way, I couldn’t be more excited to do this tag!! This movie has a great story, yes, but it also has some of the greatest songs! Shower concerts are always pumping when a Hercules song pops in 😉

Zero to Hero – Name a Character That You Didn’t Think Much Of At First But Ended Up a Favorite

Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
via Goodreads

Lee – Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

I didn’t love Lee at the beginning of this story because he was just so golden-boy and some of the stuff he did I just couldn’t get behind. Nevertheless, I really warmed to him in the end. He made some really tough choices and I had to give him credit for them!

The Muses – Name Some Characters/Books/Authors That Inspire You

Characters: Laia of Serra, Cress Darnell, Nina Beaulieu

Books: Gods of Jade and Shadow, The Penderwicks, Empire of Sand

Authors: Sabaa Tahir, Marie Lu, Marissa Meyer

Megara – Name a Character Who Has to Do Morally Complex Things To Save Themselves/Others/World

Untamed Shore
via Goodreads

Viridiana – Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Oh yess she does some shady things. I mean other characters do even worse things, but I really liked reading about Viridiana getting herself out of some serious trouble that she is lured into. This crime story has lots of morally complex things going on so I definitely recommend picking it up if you’re into that!

Hercules – Character That Goes Through a Huge Change

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Maia Tamarin – Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

One transformation is obviously the disguise as the boy to enter the competition and so on, but I feel like Maia goes through a lot in this book. She learns so much and embraces new techniques in the hope of becoming the best. Plus she goes through a rather BIG and DANGEROUS transformation at the end so…

I Won’t Say (I’m in Love) – Name Your Favorite Romance With the Miscommunication Trope

Oh geez, what romance doesn’t have this trope!!! Honestly I don’t love this trope, but if I had to choose one book that I love…

The Wedding Date (The Wedding Date, #1)
via Goodreads

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

I’m pretty sure this book has miscommunication or rather lack of communication in it. I really enjoyed how the author explored the struggle between the characters though and 10/10 I would read it again!

Hades – Name a Villain That Stole the Show

The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)
via Goodreads

Adelina Amouteru – The Young Elites by Marie Lu

This trilogy follows the villain origin story of a young girl so of course she steals the show! It is action-packed, magical and heart-wrenching all in one! I love this trilogy and it deserves your love too, especially those of you who love villainous characters.

Go the Distance – A Book World Where You Feel You Would Fit In/Belong 

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This one is hard!! I want to say Narnia, but I’m not 100% sure I’d fit in! But let’s be honest I wouldn’t survive in a lot of the fantasy worlds I love, so Narnia would be my best choice. Plus, I must honour little-Rendz’s dreams—so Narnia it is!

I Tag…

Kaya @ A Fictional Bookworm

Nadwa @ Painfully Fictional


Let me know what you think! Are you excited for the Hercules movie? Which Hercules character is your favourite? Which song is your favourite?

*Link to the master list of how you can help Black Lives Matter movements across the globe*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Tune & Title Tuesdays | It’s Britney Bitch

Greetings readers!

I really had no idea what song to do this week because I haven’t really been listening to music these past few days. But randomly I just started belting out this song Monday evening and I thought: Why not!?

Look. I am not Britney’s biggest fan, but you could say I am a Britney Spears fan-ish. She was one of the firsts artists whose music we had on our first computer growing up. My favourite song of hers EVER is “Lucky” and I would listen to it on r e p e a t. I would even reenact the music video!!! I was that obsessed.

Yet, that is not the song I’m focusing on today o_o

STILL I love this song too

Tune: I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman – Britney Spears

I sing this alllllll the timeeeee. I just feel in my bones sometimes XD It’s a great tune, it has some long notes, it has Britney’s signature ohwowhowohwo XD. It’s perfect for those melodramatic teenage moments when you’re trying to be grown up but you just haven’t reached that point yet. But it’s also about just trying to figure out who you are on your own. It’s a great song, I can’t deny it.

Title: The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

The Education of Margot Sánchez
via Goodreads

A teenager who’s just trying to figure out who she is on her own???? That would be one Miss Margot Sanchez. My girl goes through a lot to try and figure out who she is. And along the way she messes up enormously. But it is a really great book. Her journey has so much to offer. It’s hard, it’s embarrassing, but it is so so important. I enjoyed reading every minute of it even though I raged *for reasons* And while Britney might not capture the image of the book, the song definitely does.


Let me know what you think! Are you a Britney fan? Have you read this book? Did you have or are you still going through a period of figuring out who you are?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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

Greetings readers!

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

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

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What Rendz Read

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

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

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

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

night witch


The Haul

NOTHING. NOTHING. NOTHINGGGGGG.

Nothing except for digital library books.


Other Going Ons

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

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

Penguin Teen Virtual Events

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


Posts of the Month

Tune & Title Tuesdays

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

Tune & Title Tuesdays

My Favourite Book Children | I Am A Mother of Many

My Favourite Book Children

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

Rereading the Lunar Chronicles

Animal Crossing New Horizons Book Tag

BOOK TAG!

My Signed Books Collection | Second Edition

MY SIGNED BOOK COLLECTION


TBR

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

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

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


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

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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My Signed Books Collection | Second Edition

Greetings readers!

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

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

Pre-Signed

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

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

The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli

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

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

penderwicks

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

Supernova by Marissa Meyer

supernova

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


Personalized

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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

The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena

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

The Triumphant by Lesley Livingston

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

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

noc

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

Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk

bas

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

Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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

Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster

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

Maud by Melanie Fishbane

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


Book Plates

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

tlbw

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

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

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

Cinder, Scarlet, Cress by Marissa Meyer

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



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

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Animal Crossing New Horizons Book Tag

Greetings readers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

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

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

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

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir

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

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

penderwicks

The Penderwicks.

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

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

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

And her Rowan Whitehorn. Bleh. Trash trash trash.

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

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

Marissa Meyer
Marie Lu
Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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

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

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The Rampion Crew!

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

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

There were golden specks in [their] eyes

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

Super obvious secret identities

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

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

oren yaro

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

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

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

I Tag…

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


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

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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

Greetings readers!

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

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

Tune: Hard Times – Paramore

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

Title: The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel

pipi

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


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

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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

Greetings readers!

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

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

dont judge me GIF
via giphy.com

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

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

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

2017 posts can be found below:

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

Let’s get to it!

Cinder

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

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

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

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

Scarlet

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

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

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

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

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

Cress

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

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

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

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

Winter

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stars Above: Something Old, Something New

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

BONUS: Graphic Novel reread

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

What I didn’t reread:

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via Goodreads

Fairest:

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

The other short stories in Stars Above:

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


IN CONCLUSION,

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

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

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Tune & Title Tuesdays | A Tween-Rendz Anthem

Greetings readers!

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

Tune: White Doves – Young Empires

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

Title: A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

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


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

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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My Favourite Book Children | I Am A Mother of Many

Greetings readers!

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

Today I’m talking about my book children.

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

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

My Child Cliques 

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

The Rampion Crew with the exception of Thorne

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

The Penderwick Siblings

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

The Crows

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

My Kid Couples

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

Josh and Hazel

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

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

Mehr and Amun

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

My Babies

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

Laia of Serra

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

Nina Beaulieu

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

Lazlo Strange

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


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

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

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY and Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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