September 2018 Wrap Up

September 2018 Wrap Up

My September sure went by fast and what a book filled September it was! I read a lot of books this month, 11 total and 4435 pages. I’m counting Vicious too because I know I can finish it today! This month also had so many fantastic new releases and my budget is hurting from it.

So without Further ado here’s what I read in September…

Give the Dark my Love by Beth Revis   ‎★★★★★

Ugh this book was not at all what I expected. But it was such a beautiful and heartbreakingly good read. I can’t wait to meet Beth Revis at YallFest this year!

The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck ★★★

A book that reminded me very much of Sleepy Hollow/ Halloweentown, I actually really really enjoyed this book. My really rating is probably closer to 4 stars but I keep thinking about how creepy and possessive Dev was and I can’t bring myself to it. This is a perfect spooky read for Halloween and if you liked the Halloweentown movies.

The Revolution of Jack Frost by K.M Robinson ★★

I just couldn’t get into to this to save my life. I absolutely love Jack Frost and I thought it would be like a cool story about him becoming Jack Frost, aka Rise of the Guardians (a fantastic movie, that I wish more people saw) This book was none of the above. I just didn’t understand the relationships between the characters, the actual plot. It felt very much like the setting was from The Maze Runner and I just didn’t like it.

Secret Scouts and the Lost Leonardo by Mr. and Mrs. Kind ★★★★

This was just a cool book. It originally came out in 2013 but has finally been translated from Dutch. And it was such a cool story. Reminded me so much of Stranger Things in the way the group of friends dynamic was. Great descriptive writing, I really enjoyed the adventures these crazy kids got into. Definitely recommend for fans of Stranger Things and Magic Tree House books.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa ★★★★

I finally read another Julie Kagawa book! I didn’t really know much about this story, but I do love faeries. Also the parallels with my fave Midsummer Night’s Dream were amazing, and I loved it. But I thought Grimalkin and Puck were perfect secondary characters. First book in a series I can’t wait to finish!

The Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

This is a book I just can’t bring myself to rate because I still don’t know how I feel about it. I did not like the ending, but it was also so open-ended it clearly left room for it to grow into other stories. Some people will love this and there will definitely be people who don’t, I just still don’t know where I fit in.

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa ★★★

Book 2 in the Iron Fey series was a little more on the romance part but this is an older YA so I knew what to expect. I still greatly enjoyed this. And I can’t wait to write my new mini review for this series! I honestly would read all the books from Grim’s perspective.

Wildcard by Marie Lu ★★★

Warcross was a great and easy read for me. Marie Lu is an author I can lose myself into the writing, but Wildcard just didn’t do it for me. This was just a book where I wasn’t as connected to the story like I thought I’d would be. But I’m going to move on to another one of Marie Lu’s other series and see how that goes.

Grave Mercy by Robin Lafever ★★★★

This is so close to a 5 star read, but there were some parts where I was a little confused by the plot. Honestly the author’s note at the back of this book is everything, it made me enjoy the story more. Definitely recommend this to people who like historical fiction!

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas ★★★★★

HoF is my favorite Throne of Glass book, I mean I still have to read Kingdom of Ash but it’s still. I’m currently writing my review now, but basically I love rereading books.

Vicious by VE Schwab

I won’t put down anything for this because I’m almost done. But I’m really pumped for my first VE Schwab read.

 

I’m still newer to blogging, but I finally figured out a set time frame for reading in October. I probably said this in August, but seriously, I got a system down. Get ready for a ton of new reviews, posts about my obsession with movies and probably some anecdotes from my days working in the ER. It’s about to Flu Season, and I’m already dreading it.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a fantastic September! We are finally heading into my favorite month, OCTOBER!!!!

 

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Mini- Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Mini- Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Image result for the iron kingAfter how much I loved Shadow of the Fox, I decided to read Julie Kagawa other books. I picked The Iron Fey and I used my new library card for the first time. (Yay!) First, I was drawn to the fantasy aspect including faeries. The Iron Fey series is a little older, so of course, you also run into old YA tropes.

The Iron King starts the series off with Megan Chase, a sixteen-year-old girl who is an awkward, loner at her high school. She discovers there is a world unlike her own when her brother gets kidnapped and taken to the Nevernever. She must then go to Nevernever to rescue her brother with the help of her friend, Puck. Along the way, Megan uncovers many dark secrets about Nevernever.

Despite being very much a part of the old YA, this book does have a different feeling compared to most YA paranormal stories. Routed in fantasy, The Iron King gives more of an adventure fantasy novel instead of a romantic angst central plot. A Midsummer Night’s Dream has great references in this book and it really gave this book a unique feel. Yes, there was still a love triangle with a best friend and clearly a bad boy, but it wasn’t that bad for me.

“Oh, we’re playing nice now? Shall we have tea first? Brew up a nice pot of kiss-my-ass?”

I really think Julie’s best writing style is her use of making fun and interesting secondary characters. In their own way, Puck and Grimalkin were exactly what was needed to move the plot along. Puck’s comic relief, this sarcastic character was exactly like Puck from Midsummer Night’s Dream. While Grimalkin was very much like the Cheshire Cat, who only provided help when it suited him. Charismatic and fun, these characters along with fast-paced fantasy makes for an exciting story.

“I’m a cat.” 

The Iron King was a cool series started for what could be an interesting series. This was a very easy read and I was able to finish in just a couple hours. With  Great illusions to a great Shakespearean play, charismatic characters, and pretty interesting villains, The Iron King set itself apart from other YA fantasy from the 2000s. Now onto The Iron Daughter.

✮✮✮✮

 

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Thoughtful Thursday: Fave Marvel Characters

Hey friends! This week has been the best news in terms of movie/tv news. The Emmys happened, Captain Marvel’s trailer premiered and it blew me away, the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender is going to reimagine Avatar for Netflix and Disney/Marvel Studios are going to have some Marvel superheroes TV shows (Another streaming service for my poor wallet).

Image result for marvel

Since this has been such a fantastic nerd week for me. I’m going to be sharing some of my all-time favorite comic book characters for Marvel and DC. Sorry, this might be a long post, but the nerd cannot be stopped sometimes, so I’ll post it in two parts. This week will be all about Marvel! I have 2 marvel tattoos, and I plan on turning my right leg into a Marvel shrine. So this list was hard. Fun Fact: I’ve been to two Marvel Marathons and it was the best thing I ever did. The first was for the premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron: 30-hour marathon. Slept only through some of Iron Man 3 and Thor2. The Second was the Captain America Marathon for Cap: Civil War: I think it was 15 hours.

 1. Black Panther: This shocks some people, but Black Panther is number 1. First Black Superhero, I have every single comic he’s ever been featured it. The Dora Milaje are everything. My ultimate wish list is to meet Chadwick Boseman for him to sign Fantastic Four #66 (July 1966) it’s BP first comic book appearance. I have a Black Panther tattoo that makes him look like a little lion king. Saw the movie 7 times in theaters (and cried), own most of the Funko for the series, missing the new ones. Wakanda Forever!

2. Captain America: Steve Rogers is too wonderful, I find Cap to be the Marvel equivalent to Superman, except he actually has flaws which are why I adore Cap. He’s an answer to Nazis and it works. While there are many variations of Cap, Steve Rogers is by far one of the best comic book characters ever. Chris Evans does a phenomenal job, and yeah he’s my favorite actor, but seriously he’s doing a fantastic job. I’ve got a Cap Shield tattoo, but I wanna get another one.

3. Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier: I’ve mentioned before The Winter Soldier is my favorite MCU movie, but the character is actually fascinating. When he’s sidekick to Cap he is endangered numerous times, dies a few times. Is taken by Hydra to be turned into the Winter Soldier. He’s even Captain America for a period of time. Bucky Barnes in the Golden Age of Marvel is so freaking important to the Cap comics. In the MCU, he’s the reason why there are no sidekicks because he’s always endangered. Sebastian Stan did an unbelievable job of playing the Winter Soldier with just a small amount of lines, he had to use microexpressions. Seriously love. Read the WS comics from Ed Brubaker from 2005. Great stuff.

4. Spider-Gwen: This is a newer series that started in 2015, but it’s so fun. Gwen Stacy was always a great character in the Spider-verse, but I love her as “Spider-Woman” on Earth-65. A world where Peter Parker wasn’t bitten, instead Gwen is bitten. Now you have this teenage girl’s perspective of being a superhero.  10/10 would recommend reading this series. It’s still on the newer side there are not as many storylines to be confusing like Captain America or Spider-Man. Even cooler is many of the familiar faces from the Spider-Man Universe have different storylines and it’s so cool. I’m stoked for Marvel Rising.

5. Spider-Man: Everyone’s MVP. Spider-Man is great fun. While I’m a huge fan of Miles Morales, Peter Parker is the kid next door. He had the best villains and allies. He messes up constantly but he learns from it most of the time. Read Civil War for some serious Spider-Man nonsense.  Love Spider-Man TV shows and Spider-Man: into the Spider-Verse looks like it will be a cool movie.

6. Storm: Ororo Munroe is the Queen, literally. I loved the marriage between Ororo and T’Challa. But Storm is easily my favorite X-Men. She’s level-headed, extremely powerful and just an all-around Queen. She literally beat Wonder-Woman in the DC vs. Marvel comic. And she’s another Black Superhero, so representation for my poor heart!

7. Scarlet Witch: House of M is my number 1 for favorite comic book series. Wanda Maximoff is one of the most powerful Marvel characters and I think she’s fascinating. Her powers have evolved through her comic history, but in House of M she has the power over reality warping and its amazing. Literally redesigned a whole universe. She started out as a villain, then becomes an X-Men and Avengers. I love Wanda’s entire history and her powers are fantastic. If I was to ever write a book, I’d probably base my MC off Scarlet Witch.

 

 

Some pics of my fangirl days. Anyway,  I hope everyone has a lovely Thursday! I’ll be posting my DC picks next week. What are some of your favorite Marvel Characters? What’s your favorite MCU movie or TV show?

 

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T10T: Books of my Fall 2018 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!

Happy Book Release Tuesday! There are so many great books coming out today, why can’t I win the lottery to support my book buying habit. Well, it’s time for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s theme is Books on my Fall 2018 TBR. There are so many books I’m excited about. This list is books I can’t wait to own a finished copy because I read some of these already. Enjoy

Image result for shadow of the foxImage result for kingdom of ash  Image result for the devil's thief   Image result for beneath the citadel

Image result for girls of paper and fire  Empress of All Seasons by [Jean, Emiko]  Odd One Out by [Stone, Nic]  Image result for legacy of light Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha) by [Suri, Tasha]

  1. Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Release date: October 2

  1. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Release date: October 23

  1. The Devil’s Thief by Lisa Maxwell

Release Date: October 2

  1. Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalo

Release Date: September 18

  1. Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria

Release Date: October 9

  1. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Release Date: November 6

  1. Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Release Date: November 6

  1. Odd One Out by Nic Stone

Release Date: October 9

  1. Legacy of Light by Sarah Raughley

Release Date: November 20

  1. Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Release Date: November 13

 

Thoughtful Thursday

Hey friends! I’m still new to blogging so I thought every Thursday I’d share some things about me. These topics will be all across the board. I’ve picked topics about books, music, movies, tv shows, and comics. I will still be doing Top Ten Tuesday, but I think this will be a fun additional feature.

Today’s topic is my recently added books to the ever-growing TBR!

Image result for dumplin' Image result for black wings beatingImage result for the seven husbands of evelyn hugoImage result for the coldest girl in coldtown Image result for we rule the night claire eliza bartlettImage result for The queen's wing jessica thorneImage result for the lost queen signe pike Image result for the iron daughter

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy 2015

Black Wings Beating by Alex London 2018

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins 2017

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black 2013

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Barlett 2019

The Queen’s Wing by Jessica Thorne 2018

The Lost Queen by Signe Pike 2018

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa 2010

I’m currently reading the Iron Daughter and enjoying it so far. I just started using my library card, so I’m super excited to read different books now.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!

Happy Tuesday Book Friends! Another bookish Tuesday is upon us and it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s theme is Hidden Gems. Books that haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly. I have such a weird book taste that honestly this list is just all the books I want more people to read. If any of these books look interesting to you and you decide to read them, come chat me up! I love bookish chats.

Image result for days of the dead kersten hamilton

Days of the Dead- Kersten Hamilton

This book actually comes out Today! This book means so much to me and I’m so happy I stumbled upon it on Edelweiss. I wish more people know about it and I hope everyone reads it!!! It’s MG, but honestly, anyone can read it. I also posted a review for it Here.Image result for cinda williams chima books

All the Books by Cinda Williams Chima.

I legit bought The Warrior Heir 12 years ago at my local Borders, and she’s still probably one of my favorite authors. I have every one of her books and I don’t think enough people read her stuffImage result for 11/22/63

11/22/63- Stephen King

I read this book when I should have been shelving at work and it’s my favorite Stephen King novel I’ve read. I think it was so cool how he had a time travel book and what happens when you keep messing up in the past and how that affects the present. 10/10 would recommend. Also JFK conspiracies so yeah it’s interestingImage result for the last namsara

The Last Namsara- Kristin Ciccarelli

I know this was a read people either loved or hated, but I loved it. Seriously dragons and dragon hunters. I’m sold, of course. Read in one sitting. It’s in my top 10 of 2017.Image result for the bear and the nightingale

The Bear and the Nightingale- Katherine Arden

This now one of my all-time favorite books. My go-to reread for a reading slump. Vasya is my favorite female character. And I just wish more people read this book. Russian fairy tales are becoming my whole life

.Image result for the wicked deep

The Wicked Deep- Shea Ernshaw

If you follow me on my personal twitter @melzapel before I started my bookish one, you’d probably see that I tweet Shea Ernshaw a lot. The Wicked Deep just breaks my soul. I adore that book. Got my sister into it and she loves it now too. Listen Hocus Pocus meets Practical Magic. That’s all I’m saying.

Image result for how to train your dragon bookHow to Train Your Dragon Series- Cressida Cowell

The books are way different from the movies/tv shows. But it’s a good coming of age book I think more kids should read. Plus Toothless in the books talks and he’s an asshole and I love it.

Image result for song of the current

Song of the Current by Sarah Tolscer

I really really enjoy this book. Its fun and takes place on a river, and there are pirates, old gods, and goddesses.

Image result for midnight for charlie boneMidnight for Charlie Bone- Jenny Nimmo

Another great MG book that basically shaped my middle school years. Welsh magic, a cool academy with questionable old magic families. The Children of the Red King series is wonderful.

Image result for wintersong

Wintersong by S. Jae Jones

Another polarizing read, but Wintersong is just amazing to me. I’m a big music person and I understood everything about the touring season and composing and I think it’s just beautiful. I cried when I met JJ last year.

That’s all for today friends! What are some books you think deserve more recognition? Any I can add to my long TBR?

Mel

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The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck

The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck

Image result for the lantern's ember

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ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

“The Line between greatness and villainy is as thin as a garrote wire.”

First, let me start off by saying I’ve never read anything by Colleen Houck before. The Lantern’s Ember is written in third person omniscient (reading all the point of views from the main characters) while this did, in fact, help to figure out some of the plots, it was very clunky at times. It was hard to figure out whose point of view you were reading until the name was listed. This third person style also made it hard for me really feel invested into the main characters.

While the cover is indeed beautiful and I love how creepy it is, it annoys me how this cover doesn’t go well with this story at all. Jack is mentioned to be a Lantern multiple times, he had a floating pumpkin following him the whole book. Pick a Jack-o-Lantern as a play on words. The pumpkin makes different faces MULTIPLE times.

For the plot itself, I was just torn on what I did and didn’t like. This was such a cool premise and really got me excited to read something reminiscent of Sleepy Hollow and Penny Dreadful. However, the story really felt more like Halloweentown. The setting itself confused me. There was mention of some technology, submersibles, airships, but then Ember was wearing a corset and bustle. The four characters were just overused tropes that sometimes didn’t work for me. This was a mess of a love rectangle, that seemed to stop anyone’s character development. 

Ember: I wasn’t really a fan of Ember throughout the whole book, she had no character development and never listened to reason. It frustrated me how shocked she was that people were tricking/lying to her.

Jack: I liked a little more. I’m always down for morally ambiguous characters and he fit right in. Seemed to not really care too much for the whole lantern thing. He was a little more developed and give me some cool Ichabod Crane vibes.  I enjoyed his relationship with Finney.

Finney…. Ahhh the unrequited best friend love interest. I thought he was actually the most enjoyable to read. He was eager to learn and was an inventor. He was down any adventure. Still, his development stopped cold in its tracks as soon as he had to have internal monologues for Ember.

Dev: Listen I read Twilight when it came out I thought it was the best thing ever. I thought Edward Cullen was the end all be all to book boyfriends, but it’s been 10 years and I’ve grown. So for me to be reading about a Vampire with serious possessive issues rubbed me the wrong way. I HATED DEV. I don’t hate many characters, but I hated everything about DEV. He was a manipulated jerk, who was possessive of Ember so suddenly it gave me whiplash.

Spoiler Alert: There is this one scene where he didn’t like Ember dancing with Jack too closely, so he lures her outside, lies about his strength dwindling and then asks if he can feed off her, she says yes because Ember has been blind the whole time, and then while feeding her trying to compel her to run away with just him. Just thinking about that scene makes my blood boil. AND THERE ARE NO REPERCUSSIONS!!! Because the plot has to continue and then it’s like oh well, I guess we don’t have time for this. Ember doesn’t even care that she was manipulated like that because the plot doesn’t give time for anyone to discuss this. 

Overall, I thought The Lantern’s Ember was a cool idea but a little bogged down by the overlapping romance and third-person storytelling. Yes, I ended up enjoying the story and I’ll recommend this to anyone who likes Halloweentown or just Halloween in general. I’m giving The Lantern’s Ember three stars for the cool story idea and because I did enjoy how easy it was to read.

★★★

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

 

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