February wrap-up

BOOKS

Read:

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This was a weird reading month! I slowed down on the ARCs (also because I didn’t receive many new ones lol), which was a big change from January in which I tried to read as many as I could. I finally read some books I had been wanting to read for a long time and found the pleasure of reading things because I want to and not just because I have to review something.

Don’t get me wrong, I love reading and reviewing ARCs. But I guess I was in an ARC burnout, and even though I was enjoying the ARCs I read, I couldn’t wait for it to be March, in which I’m going to be doing my friend Laura’s mARCh challenge. Basically, for the whole month of March I won’t request* or read any ARCs, and only focus on books I’ve been putting off or new releases (and there are so many books coming out in March!)

* I told myself I can request them if they’re my most anticipated ones because when have I ever managed to keep my ARCs in check anyway? Ahahahah ahah ah……a…h…..

Overall, I feel like I’ve spent the first half of February in a slump and then made up for it in the second half. I kinda got reacquainted with mood-reading and I love it, I hope I can keep it up and not fall into the ARC hell I was in before. I’m also very happy about not having DNF’d any books this month, which hasn’t happened in a while.

Highlights:

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson: this was such a great book and now I want to read everything by this author. Full review here.

Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs #1) by Santino Hassell: I was feeling in the mood for a Santino novel again (I like to savor them) and I’m so happy I finally started this series.

Fence #4 by C.S. Pacat: this was more of a filler issue to be honest but it did offer some veeeeeeery juicy stuff and it set up the upcoming match in #5 which is great! Review to come soon.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (audiobook): I haven’t really reviewed this yet and to be honest I don’t think I could do it justice by reviewing it when so many people have done it already and much better than I ever could, but I will say that it was absolutely worth the hype (also if you’re into audiobooks I totally recommend it because it was awesome)

Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (audiobook and reread): I finally got around to rereading this favorite of mine and I’m so so happy. Not going to lie, I’ve read this two summers ago and my worst fear was that I wouldn’t love it as much as I did back then. Long story short, 2016-me knew a good book when she read one, and somehow this reread meant even more to me. Also this is another audiobook I can absolutely recommend. I really wanted to reread before the movie came out but the joke is still on me because it’s not coming out here until the summer so that’s really fun 🙃

Currently reading:

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (audiobook): for the first 2-3 hours I wasn’t really sure what to think about the audiobook and the book itself to be honest. I’ve listened to a few more hours today and now I think I’m hooked. The story finally got a bit deeper and I started to understand the main characters more, and I am getting used to the writing style, which is definitely a peculiar one that I guess people either love or hate. Still not sure I am 100% in love with the audiobook itself (especially the male narrator) but I don’t mind it.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson (audiobook): I love it! I’m reading it slowly because I kind of need to focus more than with fiction, but I love it so much and his voice is so suited for this.

La Mossa del Principe (Captive Prince #2) by C.S. Pacat (Italian version!): this is my favorite book ever but sadly I’m not the biggest fan of the translation. It doesn’t help when you know the book by heart and you can see smallest changes in meaning in the translation, but there’s also a few parts where the dialogue is completely changed to signify the opposite meaning of what the characters originally say and I don’t understand how such big mistakes can be made.

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BLOG

I usually don’t add this section to my wrap-ups but I just wanted an excuse to talk about my new project, my guest post series #QueerLitStories, in case someone missed it. Here’s the announcement + rules and here’s the first post. This project is my baby and I’m so proud of everyone who sent me and will send me their posts ❤💛💚💙💜

I’m also pretty happy that I’ve kept up with my blogging schedule, and even posted three times outside of it (in addition to my normal blogging days). Posting three days a week might seem a lot to some and very little to some others, but I feel like it’s perfect for my life schedule right now. I might have to change it and slow down at some point, but for now I’m happy like this.

One thing I’m a little sad about is not having posted any discussion post. One of my 2018 blogging goals was to post one discussion a month, but I figure I can just make up for it by writing two discussions next month (or any other month). I’m actually in the middle of writing one but I didn’t have any more days on my February schedule to post it, and I’m also writing one more that needs a little bit more research. I also keep thinking of some of the condescending comments I get sometimes after I post my discussions and quite frankly I wasn’t in the mood for that.

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TV SHOWS/MOVIES

I haven’t watched much besides Miraculous Ladybug (I only have a couple of episodes left and I’ll watch them soon). I’ve tried watching Dark because it’s a German show and I need to exercise my German but I didn’t like the first episode (too h*terosexual) so I don’t plan on continuing it. Ohh and I’ve watched a couple of episodes of Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey and boyyy I love space so much.

As for movies, I’ve only watched Black Panther and well, it was simply awesome. It’s actually probably the only Marvel movie I’ve ever seen (don’t @ me) but yeah it was understandable even without knowing much about this universe (even if I had to watch it in German??? I’m so sad because it probably lost A LOT of its amazingness in the translation).

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How was your February? Tell me your highlights (bookish or not)!

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Cover reveal: Circle of Ashes (Wish Quartet #2) by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

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Title: Circle of Ashes (Wish Quartet, #2)

Publication Date: April 9, 2018

Author: Elise Kova

Publisher: Silver Wing Press

Genre(s): New-Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Summary:

EVERY WISH HAS A COST BUT WILL THE SOCIETY BE WILLING TO PAY IT?

Once a hacker-for-hire living in the shadows, Josephina “Jo” Espinosa is the newest member of a magical Society. Their mandate? To grant the wishes of mortals. A simple enough task until Jo is faced with an impossible wish – and her inability to grant it might spell disaster for her entire team, if not the Society itself.

Jo is used to high-pressure situations, but after a string of disasters, the last thing she needs is stakes of this magnitude. Especially given that neither she nor the Society know quite what the consequences of failing to grant a wish might be.

The only person with answers is the Society’s aloof and cryptic leader, Snow. Yet while Jo is enigmatically drawn to the man, all their clandestine encounters leave her with only more questions about the true nature of the Society, her magic, and her own history.

Time is running out for the Society, and an executioner will rise from among them to exact the price of failure.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

ELISE KOVA

Elise Kova is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens series, Loom Saga, and Wish Quartet.

In her past lives, she has graduated from an MBA program, lived in Japan for a bit, and worked for a Fortune 500 technology company. However, she finds herself much happier in her current reincarnation as full-time author. When not writing, she can usually be found playing video games, drawing, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She’s happy to call Saint Petersburg, Florida, her home, but is always looking forward to her next trip.

LYNN LARSH

Lynn Larsh considers herself to be a serial hobby-dabbler. She got a bachelors degree in music (which she used for all of four months), studied aerial acrobatics and classical piano for many years, worked briefly as a stunt woman in a Wild West stunt show (it’s a long story), and eventually settled down into the bar tending business in St. Petersberg, FL. When she’s not acting as a purveyor of fine libations, you can find her diving head first into her newest venture as a New Adult author, or simply writing Voltron fan fiction on Archive of Our Own.

Pre-Order on Amazon: http://getbook.at/circleofashes

Elise’s Website: http://elisekova.com

Lynn’s Website: https://www.lynnlarsh.com/

Release Giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/39698f6c26/?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37913906-circle-of-ashes

Down the TBR hole #5

down the TBR hole

Down the TBR Hole is a weekly meme hosted by Lia @Lost in a Story. These are the rules:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

(I’m doing a softcore version of this, and some books will end up on my “maybe” shelf!)

TBR count after the last post: 496

Current TBR count: 503

(whyyyyyyyy does this keep happening!!! I sweAR THIS IS WHY I SHOULDN’T BE TRUSTED TO RUN MY OWN GOODREADS)


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Scythe by Neal Shusterman

I keep seeing this cover everywhere but I’d actually forgotten what the blurb said until now when I read it again. I actually didn’t realize this was YA? Also the concept is really Great and a few trusted friends have liked it.

KEEP

 

 

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Avery by Charlotte McConaghy

Basically none of my GR friends have read this and it sounds so….so 2015, you know?

REMOVE

 

 

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Disruption by Jessica Shirvington

This sounds too generic and meh, next.

REMOVE

 

 

 

 

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Lord of the White Hell by Ginn Hale

I lost interest in this not even halfway through the blurb

REMOVE

 

 

 

 

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Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling

Ah, the famous Nightrunner series. I wouldn’t be interested in this book if it wasn’t for the 357837.3 people who have personally recommended it to me. It looks a lot like a fantasy book from the Nineties (that’s because it is) and that kind of intimidates me but also I want to trust my friends.

KEEP

 

 

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Sacred Fate by Eressë

Why is the blurb written……..like that? I’m just going to assume the book is also written Like That

REMOVE

 

 

 

 

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Dream Waters by Erin A. Jensen

How did I even find this if none of my friends have read it??

REMOVE

 

 

 

 

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The Lyre Thief by Jennifer Fallon

Sounds boring and none of my friends have read it.

REMOVE

 

 

 

 

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Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting

The cover is kinda pretty but nah mate

REMOVE

 

 

 

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The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar

I’m not interested in it all to be honest, but 2015 me bought it on a whim, and me being me I bought it as ebook so I can’t even sell it or anything. I suppose maybe I’ll get to it in the distant future, I also just want to keep it in my GR shelves because I like keeping track of what I own and haven’t read yet.

MAYBE

 


FINAL TBR COUNT: 495 BOOKS

Have you read any of these? Do you agree with my decisions to keep/remove them from my TBR?

#QueerLitStories: Black Iris and pansexuality

queer lit stories

This guest post series is all about queer people talking about their relationship with queer books, whether they saw themselves represented in them or not. If you would like to write a guest post for me, the rules and info on how to contact me are on this post.

I am so honored to have my friend and fellow blogger Melanie as my first guest, and I would like to thank her again so much for writing it and for all the support she keeps giving me ♥divider-2461548_960_720

When Silvia asked the queer book community if they’d be interested in writing guest posts on her blog about their positive or negative experiences with seeing themselves represented in literature, I knew that I couldn’t resist talking about Black Iris by Elliot Wake and how much that book literally changed my life.

I should probably preface this by letting you know that I am a cis, able-bodied, white passing, young, immensely privileged woman that lives in the United States. I have also had a very supportive immediate family when I was discovering my sexuality, and when I eventually came out to them all early in high school.

Very early in life I realized that I was attracted to more than just boys, so I took on the label bisexual in high school, even though I always felt like it wasn’t 100% a perfect fit for me. I had very serious relationships with both men and women all throughout high school and college, and even though I could say things like “I love the dimples on the lower back of my girlfriend” or “I love the broad shoulders on my boyfriend” I still didn’t have a good understanding of my sexuality, but I chose to identify as a bisexual/biromantic.

And then in 2015 I read Black Iris by Elliot Wake and my life was changed forever. And that book alone is what made me realize that my true identity was pansexual/panromantic. To say this book changed who I was as a person is honestly such an understatement. I read the most beautiful quotes that, for once in my life, described me and my feelings:

“If I was gay, I wouldn’t need an asterisk beside my name…… I wouldn’t have to explain that I fall in love with minds, not genders or body parts. People wouldn’t say I’m ‘just a slut’ or ‘faking it’ or ‘undecided’ or ‘confused.’ I’m not confused. I don’t categorize people by who I’m allowed to like and who I’m allowed to love. Love doesn’t fit into boxes like that. It’s blurry, slippery, quantum. It’s only limited by our perceptions and before we slap a label on it and cram it into some category, everything is possible. That’s me. I’m not gay, not bi. I’m something quantum.”

I cried so many tears. Happy, sad, questioning, understanding tears. And even though the main protagonist, Laney, never uses the word pansexual to describe themselves, Black Iris is a love letter to every queer kid that is questioning their sexual identity. I’ve never read a book that more perfectly talks about sexual fluidity still to this day.

Also, I completely understand that being bi doesn’t limit the person to only liking two genders, but I finally understood that my sexual attraction had nothing to do with gender, and I was honestly liberated. The feelings that I felt when closing that book still makes me weep to this day thinking about it. I truly do not have a combination of words to explain what I feel for this book. It was nothing short of a cathartic experience, and I owe Black Iris and Elliot Wake so much.

Black Iris is a book about vengeance and revenge and all the messy parts that come along with those two things. And I believe with my whole heart it is best to go into this story blind. But it’s very dark, and twisted, and I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but it truly did change my life. Laney’s sexual questioning throughout the novel literally changed who I was as a human being.

But please use caution picking this book up because it heavily talks about mental illness. Also, trigger/content warnings for sexual content, bullying, abuse, addiction, drug use, homophobia, suicide, and talk of rape.

And this is just a hard book to read. It takes a lot from you, regardless of your sexuality. All the characters make choices that you are forced to watch, while covering your face with your hands, and squinting between your fingers. But you also won’t be able to look away.

And this probably goes without saying, but it was my favorite book of 2015, and will be one of my favorite books of all time forever. And I am forever grateful for Black Iris, because it was the book that helped me proudly tell (or scream at) the world that I am pan. 💗💛💙

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Audiobook mini review: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

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Summary: Introducing an instant classic—master storyteller Neil Gaiman presents a dazzling version of the great Norse myths.

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly reincarnating Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, the son of giants, a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. From Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerges the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

Add on goodreads

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★★★★

This was my first audiobook EVER and I don’t think I could have chosen a better one to start with. I don’t know how to review myths and stuff but Gaiman’s retelling was so good and it gave life to these silly and scary and traitorous and petty and clever gods.

If you already know your Norse mythology you would probably still enjoy this a lot, but for a complete newbie like me this was amazing and the audiobook format only made everything more right. It reminded me of my mom telling me about the Greek myths when I was a kid, and that’s how myths were originally narrated before people started writing them down.

I’m so so happy to have read this and I cried at the very end because I wished to never finish listening to Neil Gaiman’s voice. I don’t know how you can feel nostalgic of something you’ve finished twenty minutes before, but this book has made me laugh and cry and it has opened a whole new world (or nine) to me and I will always love it and cherish the time I’ve spent with it.


Have you read this or anything by Neil Gaiman? What else should I read by him?

Announcing #QueerLitStories ❤💛💚💙💜

queer lit stories

Hello everyone! Today I’m happy to announce my first guest post series, and it’s one that’s very dear to my heart.

A little while ago I shared an idea on twitter, not really thinking anyone would reply, but it got much more attention than I thought it would.

So, here’s what this series will be about:

 

Basically, a series to share how diverse, and specifically queer, literature can make a difference for people who see themselves represented in it (or not). Everyone’s story will be different, the books they’ll talk about will be different, their relationship with them will be different. All to show that actual people with different life stories and backgrounds live under the umbrella term “queer”, and that more stories are worth sharing than the typical m/m romance between two gay cis white guys.

I have temporarily closed this off to new entries on twitter because I want to see how this goes first. However, I want to give everyone a fair chance to be able to post their story, so if you only follow me here and you would like to be featured in this series please let me know through my contact page or send me an email (silviareadsbooks@gmail.com), or just comment down below, but please only do so if you’re sure you will send me something and if you already have an idea of what you’ll talk about. I will be sharing the posts in the order I receive them so the earliest you send it to me the earliest you’ll be published.

Edit: When you send me something, please follow these rules:
• contact me beforehand and sum up what you’re going to talk about in your post

• specify what title you want me to give to your post – please come up with your title yourself
• keep your post around or under 1k (1000) words
• send your post to my email as I mentioned above with the formatting you want me to post it in – bold, italics, quotes. Preferably send it to me in easy HTML (like you’d do in a goodreads review).

• tell me if you want me to post it with your name or anonymously
• send me any links you want me to share (your blog, twitter, instagram,…)
you have complete freedom to write your post about your own experiences. However, you must not erase other people’s experiences and identities. If I think that your post might in any way or form harm other people, I will let you know and kindly ask you to please rethink or reword your post. I have the right to refuse sharing your post if I still think it will hurt others.

I personally can’t wait to share the first post later this week, and I really hope you’re all going to like this series!

The Sunshine Blogger Award

The lovely Ash @ wildheartreads has tagged me to this and I’m so honored! Also look at me, I’m actually doing a tag and not postponing it until it’s 347832 months later and at that point it doesn’t even make sense to post it anymore and- well my point is that I’m doing this now so y’all can be proud of me (and sorry to everyone who has tagged me and never heard back from me lmao – Laura this one goes to you).

I actually did this same tag a looooooong time ago I believe but the questions are different so it’s all good!

How Does it Work?

  1. Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog.

Ash’ questions

  1. If your favourite book was adapted would you prefer it as a film or TV series?

    My favorite book series is Captive Prince and a film (or even three) wouldn’t do it justice, so I’d have to go with TV series! It would make much more sense and if done right it would be the best way to convey the same exact slow burn vibe that the books have.

  2. What would your dream reading nook look like?

    You know those couches shaped like an L? I love the corner part because I can sit however I want and stretch my legs all the way and I feel “safe” I guess.

  3. Paperbacks or Hardcovers?

    Ebooks actually gsdhlgsgh but I guess hardcovers because they look nicer and you don’t have to hold the book open the whole time, you can just put them on a surface and keep reading.

  4. Do you listen to music when you read or do you need silence?

    I very rarely listen to music when I read, mostly I just don’t think about it and start reading in silence. If someone else is listening to music I can read but it can’t be something with a lot of lyrics if that makes sense, and it also can’t be something that I already know because if I know the lyrics and music I just start humming along and get distracted from my book.

  5. Favourite meme that describes you reading?

    IMG_20170816_145541IMG_20170827_021846Screenshot_2017-03-31-22-23-41Screenshot_2017-05-20-02-30-37
    You get the idea

  6. Favourite genre?

    It used to be fantasy but now I see that I can’t read only fantasy anymore, I also need to read some contemporary stuff sometimes, so I have no idea. But I’ll just go with YA in general I guess.

  7. Do you fancast characters or do you prefer to let your imagination do the work?

    Neither, I don’t really see faces in my head when I read so I can’t fancast.

  8. Favourite trope/least favourite?

    Favorite romance trope: enemies to lovers
    Least favorite generic trope: dead queer people for the sake of furthering straight people’s narrative

  9. What fictional world would you love to visit?

    Earlier I would have said the Harry Potter one but since it’s apparently impossible to be a queer person there I’d rather go visit the Always Human world so I could try different mods for different hairstyles and looks and also knowledge mods would be super cool.

  10. What book surprised you the most (good or bad)?

    I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into when I started The Darkest Part of the Forest and I guess I thought it would all take place in a faerie world but it actually mostly takes place in the real world but then again nothing about it feels like our world because it’s all so magical and the writing is perfect to give you this sort of magical vibe. The romances also surprised me a lot in a very positive way.

  11. What was your last 5 star read?

    That would be At the Edge of the Universe (my review)! I loved it and it made me fall in love with SDH, now I really need to check out all his books.


My questions!

  1. What was your favorite book as a child?
  2. Do you get reading slumps? How do you get out of them?
  3. What’s the one book or series that made you fall in love with reading?
  4. What are your thoughts on ebooks?
  5. Are you more of a fantasy or a contemporary person?
  6. Who’s your all time favorite author?
  7. Do you read audiobooks? Why or why not?
  8. First person or third person?
  9. Plot or characters?
  10. Heroes or antiheroes?
  11. Single point of view or double/multiple POV?

I tag:

Elise @ thebookishactress
Laura @ thebookcorps
Em @ emspermanentink
May @ foreverandeverly
Acqua @ acquadimore
Alienor @ meetthebookworld
Marta @ thecursedbooks
Syd @ reading&rambling
Shan @ littleirishbookcat

No pressure to do this if you’ve already done it or you don’t feel like it!