Popular Disliked Characters that I Like | An Unpopular Opinion Post I guess??? // Don’t @ Me please

Greetings readers!

Look people, we all have those characters we cannot stand. Exhibit A, me with most of SJM’s characters. And sometimes we can’t help but speak out on that dislike, see my case with Exhibit A again. But other times we like the characters that others don’t. Sometimes we like the very not popular characters and well…we all need some good drama in our lives.

I figured I’d out myself and tell you all about the popular disliked characters that I enjoyed! I fully recognize that they are not perfect and yet…I still like them okay gosh!

Scarlett Dragna (Caraval)

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Okay, I admit she is not too disliked, but people like to whine about her. They like to judge her for not being as daring, brash and outspoken as Tella which annoys me to a tee!!! Not every single YA heroine has to be fiercely cunning and risk-taking. Is she flawed? Yeah. Do her insecurities and does her shyness get her in trouble? Yeah. But that is who she is! If she grows and becomes more that is amazing, but I truly enjoyed seeing a YA heroine who didn’t have a spark so readily available and that she builds courage.

Alina Starkov (Shadow and Bone)

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She is not just a basic bitch people (Have y’all read Red Queen and met Mare???—yup that’s the tea). Look I totally see why people get frustrated with her so easily, I really do. But can a girl catch a break? When you are thrust with all this power and told to be one thing by a really evil attractive dude and at the same time be told to be something else by a whole bunch of other people, you are going to panic! You are going to make bad decisions and that is what happens with Alina. But I really enjoyed her character, her power struggle, and her own battle with her desires.

Malyen (Mal) Orestev (Shadow and Bone)

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I fully admit that the man is a fool, but I can’t help it! I really can’t! I know many people do not like him for how he treats Alina, especially in book 2, but he tries his best to make up for it in book 3…! My argument for him is weak, I know. But he’s just a kid as much as Alina is just a kid. He makes poor choices because he doesn’t know how else to compete with all the power that surrounds him. I am fully aware that he was not Alina’s best choice, but he was her choice so…¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’ll be honest though this is more of me not wanting to be on the losing side of this love quadrangle so…yeah.

Katherine (Three Dark Crowns)

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This is mostly in response to a close friend who dislikes Kat very much and me fighting her because I love Kat. My wicked, wicked girl. Bare in mind, I have only read the first two books so I do not know what goes down in book 3 or 4, but all I can say is that I really enjoyed her descent to madness. I loved her evilness!!!! I know what she does is so wrong, but I sense some redeeming qualities, I do!

Chaol Westfall (Throne of Glass)

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One of my husbands. And also an SJM character!?! This is a hill I will die on. HE WAS A FREAKIN AMAZING CHARACTER. He was flawed, made poor choices, made great choices. Nehemia’s death was not his fault. His treatment by the other characters is not always fair. Like I get that sometimes he needs a talking to to face the facts, but some times I just wanted to yell at everyone else for treating him horribly for not worshiping the Alien’s ass. He was one of the greatest characters in that series, Alien, Rowan, and Aedion can suck it. *calm down, Rendz* I know he gets a good ending, but I will always–ALWAYS–be bitter. (Especially about the ToD cover)


I hope I didn’t give any of you heart attacks for having some unpopular opinions! But sometimes you can’t help but swim against the current! Now tell me! Who you love that others love to dump on? I want to know all your secrets! Especially with how you deal with the criticism of it all!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Beautiful | Review // More blood required. 🧛

Greetings readers!

I cried to get my hands on this ARC. I seriously sent the most lamentable email to the Penguin publicist and begged for a copy. It was dramatic af because I literally had no hope of actually getting one. BUT the people at Penguin are too amazing for words (@SamDevotta) and they sent me a copy!

It is to my shame that the review is coming so late after it’s publication. I seriously am a terrible blogger. So without further delay…

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Oct 8 2019
Publisher: Putnam
Goodreads

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.


*Thanks to Penguin Teen CA for the ARC*

So what I really loved about this book is that we start off with a first person POV and we don’t know who it is. I love it. I love the mystery it brings up, I love that we get to guess who it could be, I love that it adds so much more danger to the story. What I didn’t love so much is that these very sporadic little snippets were the only real vampire moments I got.

Celine was a great character. On the run from her past, on a hunt for a better life, risking it all for a bit of adventure and struggling very badly with some inner demons. Her anger, wit and stubbornness were as wonderful to read about as they were frustrating!

Bastien was….he was a little too mysterious, but I liked him well enough. I liked that we got a little bit from his POV here and there just to see how things were running in his life. I loved that he was such a suave charmer but also a “Bitch, please” kind of man. Good looking? Absolutely. I just hope to see him fleshed out a little bit more in the next book.

Odette? A star. Pippa? A sweetheart. The court? It was also a little too ambiguous and mysterious. I didn’t get quite attached. Michael? Maybe I have a soft spot for him and perhaps shouldn’t.

The New Orleans was très fantastique! (That is grammatically horrible…but you get the point) I thought Adhieh did a wonderful job in creating this lush atmosphere where we get those flashes of the luxurious aristocracy, with the sterility of the convent and the shady alleyways of the city. I loved that we got insight into the strict high society life and also mixed in the magic of the secret court life. The magic was a little more tame than I was first expecting, but still very intriguing.

This book had lots of languages and as a language student this was a HELLS YES. The unfortunate thing is that I read an ARC version, so the French and Spanish phrases were plagued with grammatical errors, BUT I am pretty sure that would have been all cleaned up in the finished copy! Regardless of the fact, I thought that the use of languages was lots of fun and I love how the characters were snarky in any tongue!

Things that disappointed me:

The lack of vampires. I mean they were there but their actual action was so minimal. I felt like I was just reading a regular historical fiction book and totally forgot about the supernatural flair. It wasn’t completely absent, but I wanted MORE. I always want more!

The romance… Look. I like this ship. It is a well established ship. It is going to happen, I don’t really have any doubts about it. So why bring in a second possible love interest only to disappoint a very cute nonna! Just sayin!

The big twists…………………………………………….weren’t that impacting. I just didn’t get that WOW! A lot of it has to do with the fact that we do not get in depth with the court and all it’s secrets. I’m not saying we needed a detailed history, but I felt like we needed a lot more to get why the final actions of the characters led to this disaster. Also she used a trope…that I just don’t like. I feel like it is such a cop-out. Yikes.


Overall, the book entertained me but the hype got to me. It was most certainly a lush, historical fantasy with an amazing cast of characters. A headstrong protagonist who does what she needs to do and is un-apologetically herself will charm your hearts. However, I felt it lucked some luster and that it could have benefited from more detail.

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars 

Recommend: I say yes! I still think this book has a lot to offer even if it lacks some blood…

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Did you like it? What are some of your favourite vampire books?  

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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October Wrap Up & November TBR | Life’s ruff.

Greetings readers!

Wow. October really did come to hurt me. And I’ll be honest November is not looking that bright either in terms of uni. I am honestly so overwhelmed just thinking about all the things I have to do. The end of the semester is only a month away and then exams! I have so much to do which is why my posting has been so sparse these past weeks. It will continue to be like that and it’s stressing me out because I am so behind on reviews! I promise to take it in stride though and not stress too much!

What Rendz Read

The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes
I really enjoyed this Mayan MG adventure! Mini Review!

Q: What godly power would you love to have?  As much as my younger self would plead for an elemental kind of power, today's Rendz would really love to handle time and space. I'm fascinated by the idea of time and dimensional travel. Imagine hopping from one time to another from one world to another. Is that not cool???? But great godly power requires great godly responsibility and I think that power would be a lot to handle 😅. But then again gods can do whatever they want 😉, especially the Maya gods!  Speaking of Maya gods (what a great transition, Rendz) Last night  I finished The Storm Runner by @authorjcervantes and I am happy to say that I very much enjoyed it! It was fun, hilarious, outrageous and perfectly blends in Maya mythology. I loved spending time with Zane and the gang (Uncle Hondo is the coolest!) I'm so looking forward to reading the sequel, hopefully sooner rather than later!  #hispanicheritagemonth #latinxheritagemonth #cuentosunidos #bookstagram #mgbooks #octobertbr #books #middlegrade #kidlit #bookishcanadians #fantasy #magic #mayamythology #readriordan #disneybooks #jccervantes #reader #bookstagrammer #igbooks #igreads #fiction

A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
I ADORED THIS. Please read it! Mini Review!

Q: What power would you want to have as a witch?  It's almost October and you know what that means? Spooky season! 👻  I love Halloween and all the magic, myth and mayhem that comes with it. I used to dress up as a witch almost every year as a kid and it soon became my staple costume!  I can't wait for the movies to start playing on TV. Since I'm not a horror fan, I really prefer the cheesy, magical movies of Disney Channel 😂 I really can't do scary, I just like the magic of the season.  I'm curious if you have a favourite  Halloween movie?  I'm super excited to pick up this book very soon! A Dash of Trouble features a family of witches, delicious treats, magic and mayhem so I know it will sweep me off my feet!  #lovesugarmagic #adashoftrouble #annameriano #hispanicheritagemonth #latinxheritagemonth #cuentosunidos #bookstagram #mgbooks #octobertbr #books #middlegrade #kidlit #bookishcanadians #fantasy #magic #witches

Five Midnights by Ann Davila Cardinal
A really good Latinx horror novel! Review to come!

Q: What scary tales were you told as a kid?  It's spooky season and it's the perfect time to read scary tales. Although I am not one for much spook I really enjoyed this recent YA horror set in Puerto Rico based around the myth of El Cuco and the mysterious deaths of five friends.  I had a really great time reading this! It had a great cast of characters, very spooky scenes and some shocking twists! FIVE MIDNIGHTS by @anndavilacardinal is sure to keep you at the edge of your seat!  Many thanks to @torteen for the review copy! Be sure to pick up yours today!  #fivemidnights #anndavilacardinal #yahorror #bookstagram #reader #books #igbooks #igreads #spookyseason #horrorbooks #latinxbooks #latinxreads

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
I needed more vampires tbh. Review to come!

Cupid’s Match by Lauren Palphreyman
This was fun for a cheesy book! My Review!

Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon
This was not it for me. Review to come!

Crooked Raven by Talis Jones – DNF

Waiting for the Beast by T. Hayden – DNF

6 read books is not bad considering the month I had!

The Haul

Rebel by Marie Lu
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace
The Opposite of Falling Apart by Micah Good
Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco

Posts of the Month!

THEME THURSDAY | Witches // The Perfect Theme!

theme-thursday-witches

The Bookish Feels | Books that make me WEEP // Let’s cry together

THE BOOKISH FEELS weep

Contemporary Romances that I Want to Read| I Am Actually So Ready to be Attacked by Fluff and Fun!

Contemporary Romances that i want to read!

Other Going-Ons

The Grisha Cast Announcement

Ben Barnes Hot Guys GIF
via giphy.com

BEN MOTHER FREAKING BARNES, AKA PRINCE CASPIAN IS GOING TO BE PLAYING THE DARKLING AND I ABSOLUTELY LOST MY SHIT THE DAY I FOUND OUT.
*Breathes*
What can I say, that hasn’t already been said? I am super excited for the show. I stalk all the actors’ Instagram accounts for updates. I even followed some update accounts because I am that obsessed. I love the memes and edits that have already come out!

Do I think they got the casting perfect? No. Am I a little disappointed? Yes. I don’t know how they would fix it, but it’s important to note that they’ve already made some mistakes.

Hispanic Heritage Month Wrap-Up

The first half of October was dedicated to getting my HHM TBR done and I am happy to say I read all four novels I wanted to read! I also put my face (well half of it) on Instagram so go follow my account to see me lol! I have to say of the four I read, A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano was my favourite! It was absolutely adorable and I loved everything about it!

I Bought A Signed First Edition of The Penderwicks

There can be miracles. I knew that the used bookstore I usually visit had a hardback copy of TP and I had no intention of buying it until I talked myself into doing so this month and to my absolute joy IT WAS SIGNED! I lost my shit in the store and my sister and mother were super embarrassed of me, but I was too happy to care. I think this book is one of my most prized possessions now!

TBR

I am in a serious romance mood. Don’t ask me why, this really sprung out of nowhere. BUT I still have a lot of ARCs to get to so I will try and find that balance!

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibert
Cold Falling White by G.S. Prendergast
A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy
Song of a Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao
The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyester by Cary Fagan

Q: What is your favourite season?  Since I'm a summer baby, that is obviously my main answer. But I find something appealing about each season, really. I love the changing colours of fall, I love the holiday season and pristine white of winter, AND Spring means winter is finally over which is a blessing in Canada!  Zero Repeat Forever by @gsprendergast takes place in a futuristic-Canada when an alien race invades! It follows Raven, a survivor and Eighth, a Nahx soldier through the many trials they encounter over the course of four seasons. I remember really enjoying myself when I read it the first time around and I look forward to rereading it before diving into the sequel, Cold Falling White!  Many thanks to @simonschusterca for sending me these lovely review copies!  #zerorepeatforever #coldfallingwhite #gsprendergast #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #dystopianfiction #canadianauthor #bookstagram #scifi #yabooks #books #reader #igreads #bookaddict #thenahxinvasions #arc #simonandschuster #bookstagrammer #teenreads


I don’t think it will all get done. I have a tough few weeks ahead with exams and final assignments. I’ll be honest, as I’m writing I’m fighting back against the crushing weight of a horrible day where I failed in more ways the one. I can only try again tomorrow. I’m glad I can find some comfort in my reading!

On that lovely note…Let me know what you think! How was your October? What were your favourite reads? What do you have planned for November?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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THEME THURSDAY | Witches // The Perfect Theme!

Greetings readers!

It has been a while since I did a Theme Thursday post! We can kindly blame school for pushing me off track, but I am super happy to be posting this today!

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

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

This month’s theme is witches, and I have certainly read my fair share of witchy books that I am excited to share!

🍫 Books I’ve Read/I’m Reading:

The Wicked Deep The Price Guide to the Occult A Dash of Trouble (Love Sugar Magic, #1)

🍫 Books I Want to Read:

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1)  Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)

🍫 Other Books That Fit The Theme:

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft These Witches Don't Burn (These Witches Don't Burn, #1) Undead Girl Gang

*all images via Goodreads*


Gosh there were so many good witchy books to pick from! And I totally want to drop everything and read these books now! (Well I am currently reading A Dash of Trouble so I am getting a witch-fix at the moment). As someone who dressed up as a witch for yearrrrsss on Halloween, this is definitely a theme I take to heart XD

Let me know what you think! What are your favourite witch books? Which witch books are you looking forward to reading? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Woven in Moonlight | Review // First Read of Hispanic Heritage Month!

Greetings readers!

Today I am excited to share my first review of my Hispanic Heritage Month read. This is one of my most anticipated reads of 2020 and I am so grateful that I was able to get my hands on it!

I would like to thank the Canadian Manda Book Group for sending me an ARC! This is in no way affects my opinions!

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

Woven in Moonlight
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Jan 7th, 2020
Publisher: Page Street Books
Goodreads

A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

The Likes:

I really liked the plot of the book, it was very politically charged and dealt with themes of colonialism and revolution. It really shows how grey and complicated it is to discuss this subject, but also how necessary it is. The kingdom of Inkasisa has suffered centuries of conquest and has recently felt the rumbles of a revolt that has the kingdom headed down a rough path. Ximena, an Illustrian, was part of the group that was overthrown by the Llacsans. She had a very one-sided view of how the world worked and she was constantly painting the Illustrians as the victims. What I loved to read about was her growth in understanding that Illustrians were not blameless and that their racism led to this mass schism and eventual revolt. However, the book doesn’t show that the revolt results in perfect harmony either and I loved that Ibañez didn’t shy away from writing about the corruption of power.

I also loved how the author displayed this cycle of violence that persists when people choose to always focus on the differences between groups of people instead of A) embracing the diversity of cultures and B) Seeing the harmony that also exists between cultures. I know that Ibañez was heavily inspired by the political climate in Bolivia, which just makes this book all the more realistic and authentic.

The magic system had to be my favourite aspect of this book. Ximena’s weaving of moonlight (title epiphany!!!) was so cool. And while I don’t want to give too much away, I must say that the cover is quite a revealing piece…..*wags eyebrows* Lots of characters in the book practiced magic and I was super intrigued to see everyone explore their powers.

You’ll honestly probably be hungry after reading this book. Ximena does a lot of eating and there are so many delicious foods described in this book. Luckily there is a glossary at the end for those who want to know more about the tasty treats. Beyond the delicious food, there was a wonderful exploration of culture in the book. There was a lot of talk about traditions, clothing and religion. Most of it fiction, but a lot of it was drawn from Bolivian life. Safe to say that the world building is top notch and you really get immersed into the life and conflict of the people of Inkasisa.

I liked how the ending set up the companion novel. I really, really liked the drama at the end. It was bittersweet because it is a reflection of what happens in real life when opposing views sever bonds.

The Questionable

The characters were just not in it for me to win it. I feel like this is such a cop-out for not enjoying a book, but I cannot lie about how I feel. Ximena, whose name I forgot was Ximena half the time since everyone referred to her as “Condesa”, was a decent character to say the least. I wasn’t totally in love with her but I didn’t mind reading from her perspective. It was actually very interesting reading about her growth from this close-minded, hostile girl to a more open-minded one. I understand that pretending to be someone you are not is pretty much a guaranteed way to lose yourself, so I liked that we got this self exploration plot. I can’t say that I really connected with her. Maybe a little when she would talk about having to unlearn an almost heritable hatred and the discomfort of re-evaluating your whole life, but other than that…meh. There was nothing really exciting to look forward to with her, this feels like such a horrible reason for not enjoying a character…

Rumi fell so flat to me. I…couldn’t. Like I found nothing remotely intriguing about him and I cannot even think of one thing right now that made him interesting. It’s not that he was bad and I in no means hate him, but he was just there. I didn’t connect to him in any way which is upsetting because I really wanted to find him interesting.

The other characters were slightly more intriguing. Like Atoc, the dictator, although he was pretty nasty. The priest guy and Atoc’s sister were also very, very interesting. They had lots to do with the twists which I really like.

The romance, I did not buy. It really tried to sell me this enemies to lovers thing which did happen, but I didn’t find myself involved. It probably has to do with my lack of connection to the characters. I just felt nothing. I had no feels. How do you ship, if you have no feeeeeellllzzzzz.

The pacing was quite slow and there weren’t many action packed moments. The author does kind of make up for it with some twists and secrets. But the single most important twist was so obvious, I just couldn’t.


Overall, this book was good, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for. Maybe I aimed too high with my expectations which is the likely culprit of my disappointment. I hate to call it disappointment though because this book has a really important message and I think that the YA world really needs to read this message.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend:  Yes, on the basis of the plot and it’s overall meaning.

Let me know what you think! Are you looking forward to picking this up? What politically charged books do you enjoy? Have you ever had the problem of not connecting to characters?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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September Wrap-Up and October TBR // Wow school really slapped me this month and it’s about to backhand me too

Greetings readers!

Well, hi. It’s been a while, hasn’t it. We are well into October and this is my first post of the month. Huh. Well the reason why is pretty much in the title of the post.

It’s that time of the year, it’s the mid-term time of year when readings, assignments and tests all start piling up and try to drown you. Then there is this very small grace period where you can breathe until the pile starts growing again. That grace period just so happens to be this week.

So I have to get in all my blogging in nowww.

That means starting by wrapping up last month!

wrap-up-3

What Rendz Read

The Zeppelin Deception by Colleen Gleason
It was a lovely conclusion for a series I have been waiting for! Review to come!

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
God, I loved this duology! I absolutely adored it! My Full Review.

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The Brilliant Dark by S.M. Beiko
Another finale to a series! I thought it was great even though it broke me a little! My Full Review

The Brilliant Dark-2

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez
I have ~thoughts~ on this very highly anticipated book, it did not go exactly as planned. Review to come.

Q: What 2020 books are on your radar?

I CANNOT EXPRESS TO YOU GUYS HOW EXCITED I WAS WHEN THIS POPPED UP IN MY MAIL ON MONDAY!

I mean... LOOK AT THE COVER!

WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT by @isabelwriter09 is a a YA Bolivian fantasy about magic, romance and revolución!!! While the announcement for this book came out ages ago and the pub date was pushed we are slowly inching towards its release! I am very grateful for having received an advanced copy and I hope to dive into this #HispanicHeritageMonth! (Because of course!) Many thanks to @mandagroup for the ARC!

#bookishcanadiansaug19
Day 30 | Book Haul

#WoveninMoonlight #IsabelIbañez #bookstagram #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #latinxbooks #newbooks #2020debuts #diversebooks #ownvoices #books #latinxreads

It was not that bad a month considering I started school, so I’m very proud I was able to finish one series and read another entire one.

The Haul

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

HAPPY (Belated) BOOK BIRTHDAY TO @lauraeweymouth and her new novel, A TREASON OF THORNS!

Naturally (because I suck) I'm two days late to the party, but I am still within release week so it's all good!

I cannot express how much I loved Weymouth's debut novel, The Light Between Worlds (its AMAZING) so I am very much hoping to love this one just as much!

It has a magical house. I mean. A. Magical. House. The only thing that could possibly be as great as a magical wardrobe is a MAGICAL HOUSE!

#atreasonofthorns #lauraeweymouth #bookstagram #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #igbooks #bookstagrammer #epicreads #TheLightBetweenWorlds #canadianauthor #magic

Simon & Schuster CA
Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast
Cold Falling White by G.S. Prendergast

Posts of the Month

MINI REVIEWS! | Library Reading Round Up! // Dealing in Dreams & Kingdom of a Blazing Pheonix (These are long overdue)

MINI REVIEWS (1)

6 Series That I’ve BEEN Meaning to Read (and very much feel the need to do so…like…NOW) | The Power of Fan Art

6 Series That I've BEEN Meaning to Read

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month |The books I’m reading and the pictures I’m taking

Copy of The Representation Book Tag & My very near future Latinx TBR

Books I Liked But Perhaps Over-Hyped | We about to get SCANDALOUS

Books I Liked But Perhaps Over-Hyped

Other Going Ons

3 Year Bloggaversary!

Aug 31, I celebrated 3 years on WordPress. Can you believe it! I’ve been doing this for three years already and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon! I am so very thankful for each and every one of you who follow and read my posts! For those who comment and send me so much love, I thank you! To the publishers who entrust me with books, I thank you! To the authors who send me requests and grant my requests, I thank you! I have learned a lot over the three years and I look forward to seeing what the next year has in store.

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations

I have slowly been making my way through my TBR for HHM. I have gotten through 2 of the 4 books I have planned! I’ve also added a lot more Latinx books to by Want-to-Read list! There are so many good books coming our wayyyy!

I have also been posting a lot on Instagram lately…And if you follow me you’ll know that I had a little reveal….I’ll post it here to, just for my lovely blogger frens.

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Ready???

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Ta-da!

Q: What is your favourite genre? 
Oh look, it's me.

I figured that if I were to ever "show my face" on here it woud have to be during #HispanicHeritageMonth! 
Today's featured book is Nocturna by Maya Motayne! It's the first ever Latinx fantasy that I read, based specifically on Dominican culture, and I'm very happy I enjoyed it! I'm even more glad I got to meet Maya when she came to Toronto earlier this year!

If there is one thing I hope to see in the bookish universe one day, it's a Latinx fantasy based on Salvadoran culture! I can only imagine what it could be like, but I'm very hopeful that one day I'll get that book! Who wouldn't wish to see their own culture reflected in their favourite genre?

#HispanicHeritageMonth #LatinxHeritageMonth #CuentosUnidos #bookstagram #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #latinxbooks #Nocturna #MayaMotayne #bookstagrammer #epicreads #hccfrenzy #igbooks #reading

IS THAT ME????????????????????????????????????????????????????

yes. 🙂

An Ember in the Ashes Graphic Novel

A Thief Among the Trees
via Goodreads

I screamed when I saw the news! You all must know how much I love Ember and the fact that we are getting a PREQUEL GRAPHIC NOVEL TRILOGY is the highlight of my month. I am actually gonna get to see baby Elias!!!!!!!!!!! It comes out next July, my birthday month, so happy birthday to me!!


TBR

HHM TBR (The End Game)

Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal
Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Q: What power would you want to have as a witch?

It's almost October and you know what that means? Spooky season! 👻

I love Halloween and all the magic, myth and mayhem that comes with it. I used to dress up as a witch almost every year as a kid and it soon became my staple costume!

I can't wait for the movies to start playing on TV. Since I'm not a horror fan, I really prefer the cheesy, magical movies of Disney Channel 😂 I really can't do scary, I just like the magic of the season.

I'm curious if you have a favourite  Halloween movie?

I'm super excited to pick up this book very soon! A Dash of Trouble features a family of witches, delicious treats, magic and mayhem so I know it will sweep me off my feet!

#LoveSugarMagic #ADashofTrouble #AnnaMeriano #HispanicHeritageMonth #LatinxHeritageMonth #CuentosUnidos #bookstagram #mgbooks #octobertbr #books #middlegrade #kidlit #bookishcanadians #fantasy #magic #witches

The Regular TBR–My Dedication to Penguin Teen CA

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
Grave Maidens by Kelly Coon
A River of Royal Blood by Amanda by Amanda Joy
Fireborne by Rosaria Munda
Song of a Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao

Q: What was your first vampire read?

I was about 12 years old when I read my first vampire book. It was called Ruling Passion, a bind up of the first three books in Alyxandra Harvey's Drake Chronicles.

You can bet that I got obsessed real quick. I was never a fan of the main main character but her best friend, Lucy was great. And I'm like 80% sure it's set in Canada. This is a series I still think about to this day. I never quite finished them but I've had the nostalgic feeling of wanting to reread them, but it's six books long with lots of novellas.

ON ANOTHER NOTE: Vampire YA is making a comeback and I have my hands on a coveted ARC of The Beautiful by @reneeahdieh!!! (Many thanks to @penguinteenca for making this possible) 
I can't wait to be whisked away my Renée's work again! 
#TheBeautiful #reneeahdieh #yafantasy #youngadultbooks #yabooks #bookstagram #vampireya #books #bookishcanadians #vampires #reader #fiction #penguinbooks #fantasy #ya #igbooks #igreads #newbooks

Am I being overly ambitious again? Absolutely. Am I still gonna go for it? Absolutely.


Let me know what you think! How was your September? What were your favourite reads? What do you have planned for October?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

The Dreamer Duology | Series Review // I AM IN LOVE.

Greetings readers!

The following review will probably make no sense. I tried my best to be eloquent and we should all know by now that when Rendz tries to be smart she does not sound smart.

ANYWAYS. WELCOME TO A VERY GUSHY REVIEW. I AM SO EXCITED TO SHARE MY THOUGHTS ON THIS SUPER HYPED SERIES THAT I HONESTLY THINK IS WORTH THAT HYPE.

It is PHENOMENAL.

Strange the Dreamer & Muse of Nightmares
by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1) Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, #2)

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Goodreads

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.


*Many thanks to HBG Canada for sending me finished copies for review! You are the real MVPs in this line of work!*

THIS IS ALL LIKES

Where do I even begin? Gosh. I have had this series in my possession since last fall/winter and yet I had never found the right moment to pick it up. I was always too nervous. Do you know how incredibly hyped this book series is? Laini Taylor is a household name in YA and the first time I read one of her books, it didn’t go as planned. (For many reasons, most of them having to do with my level of maturity)

Well I can safely say that this series is undoubtedly AMAZING. Hella weird, but so, so, so wonderful! This is a story that is so complex and yet 100% comprehensible. Never was there a moment where I was lost or side tracked or doubtful of how things were. I have to applaud Taylor’s amazing writing style and organization. She crafted this story so elegantly that while you consume the words on the page you grow with immense knowledge of the world and it’s history and characters. You get lost in this story and it is a good kind of lost, the kind where you don’t even notice the pages slipping by because you are so incredibly immersed in the story.

The characters were absolutely phenomenal. Lazlo, Sarai and the rest of the gang were incredible. They were fleshed out beautifully, incredibly dynamic and complex. Ruby was hilarious, Sparrow was a sweety pie but also a boss, Feral was clueless but also fun and Minya was the first 6-year old that I called a b*tch and yet wanted to hug close to my chest. Thyon took some getting used to that’s all I will say, but he is also so incredibly interesting and his growth through both books is huge! Eril-Fane, I don’t even know where to start, but his story was so heart-breaking and complex and bitter and seemingly hopeless, but it’s a journey and it’s not easy and it might have spiritually broken my heart. Azareen, was a boss and broken and tough and vulnerable and so so so many more things. My heart ached for her every single time she was on the page!

Lazlo was everything. He is the Soft Boi™. I can’t think of a single other dude who beats his status of softness. I love him. I love him. I love him. I think I might actually be in love with him. Like he is scholarly, compassionate, funny, painfully naive, warm, passionate, he’s got a little bit of a dark side. Truly, I think I’m in love and this is coming from the girl who loves bad bois i.e. Carswell Thorne. Anyways. Lazlo was the perfect star for this series, from his humble origins to his big adventure, every step of the journey was charming and crazy and dangerous with him.

Sarai. People speak of her as if she is a spoiler, but I don’t think so. She was also soft. Like the cutest thing ever, but she can literally make you go insane (?) so like she’s also dangerous! I loved everything about her! From her dedicated love to her siblings to her compassion for dreamers and her love of life! Gosh when things happened to her I felt like sobbing. The end of book one is literally so HORRIBLE (in a good-story kind of way) that I didn’t know what to do with myself. Sarai’s goes through a lot and journeying with her and having to deal with all that she has done is an incredible adventure.

The chemistry Lazlo and Sarai had! *screams* I think it is the only sort of insta-love I will ever accept. INCREDIBLE.

Okay, this world is weird and really intriguing. I have an imagination, but Taylor has an Imagination. I loved Weep and it’s surrounding cities. I loved how complex it’s history was and how much it suffered for it. The creatures of this world are unlike like any others I’ve ever read. When shit gets weird, you know it’s a High Fantasy and this is a prime example of it! Taylor’s exploration of Weep and the world is so amazing and covers a lot of ground. The culture of the people is so beautiful and yet marred by it’s history. Gosh, it is amazing. It actually celebrates a girl’s first menstruation with a tattoo around the belly which is so cool!! And no aspect of the culture is left just to be, it is integral to plot and wow I just LOVED IT.

I keep talking about the history of Weep and I won’t say much because you really have to experience it to get the full meaning of it all. But I will say is that it deals with my most favourite, favourite plot-line ever: Divine Intervention. And let’s just say that the gods are not nice in this one. And they wreak havoc. And the consequences of that damage is so monstrous that both gods and humans don’t know how to move on.

The history and whole plot of the story deal with such hard questions. Taylor did not hold back. If I were more eloquent in these reviews I would do a full analysis, but I’m not so I’ll just tell you that it’s hard. It made me question a lot of the notion of heroes. Heroes who do the unforgivable to win. The trauma they might have after “winning” and the shame/guilt that comes with it. The way sorrow consumes a community as much as it does a person. The prejudice and hate that exists because we are taught to hate and choose to pass it down. How we reconcile the unforgivable to move forward, if that is even possible? How all-consuming vengeance can be and how it drains a person of their will to truly live. It’s an endless series of questions. Not all of them have answers, but I just love the way the book explores these themes and challenges the reader to think. 

The endings to both books are so incredible. Book one ends in a shock, that had me speechless! I didn’t know what to do with myself! Book two has quite an ending too! I did not see it going in that direction and there is one little bit that made me sob inside!

On the more technical side. The pace was perfect. Actually book one was a little heavy and slow in the beginning and it takes a while for the adventure to start, but I really liked that we got this full background so that we were fully prepared to take on the rest of the story! Other than that, the pace is great. The suspense had me going wild, it was just right to keep me intrigued all the time. The writing, as I mentioned before, is stunning. It was absolutely beautiful. The action was less fight-y and more of a ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh what the heck are we gonna do now??? kind of thing. Although book 2 has it’s moments and there are lots of flashbacks too!

THE MAGIC. I can’t say much about it. But the powers were quite unique. It gets a 10/10 from me.


Overall, I loved this series. I thought the writing was beautiful. The story was elegant, intriguing, thought-provoking and fun! It’s a story starring a book-nerd and a life-lover. The characters are amazing, the world is lush and horrific and enchanting. Everything about this series is perfectly thought out and wonderful. It’s a thrilling read!

Ratings:

Strange the Dreamer: 5 / 5 Stars

Muse of Nightmares: 5 / 5 Stars 

Recommend: ABSOLUTELY 100% YES.

I definitely look forward to picking up Taylor’s previous series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and co. I have a feeling I’ll have a better appreciation for it now!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this series? Tell me everything! Who are your favourite characters? Did you like the ending? Do you hope for more? Have you read Taylor’s other work?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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