Lists

Wicked Book Tag!

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I recently got into Wicked and man, have I been missing out! The songs are catchy, the characters are fun and the story is an unforgettable journey. For those of you who don’t know, Wicked is a musical that tells the origin story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. While listening to the musical, I wondered if there was a book tag dedicated to Wicked. Finding none, I decided to create my own using seven tracks from the musical!


Dear Old Shiz: A book featuring a school setting. 

Other than Harry Potter– the most obvious pick for this song- I’m going to have to go with Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Anna was one of the first books that introduced me to the genre of YA contemporary and I was not disappointed! I loved the overseas setting; living with Anna at boarding school was a refreshing change in pace.

Something Bad: A book in where the foreshadowing clued you in on later events early on in the story. 

I’m going to have to go with Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. No spoilers, but I totally called it. You guys know.

Popular: A popular book whose hype you didn’t understand but enjoyed nonetheless. 

Don’t get me wrong- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins isn’t a bad book. It’s just that, in my opinion, there are an abundance of science fiction/dystopian series that are much better than The Hunger Games. The only way I can reason its excessive popularity is because it was one of the first young adult dystopian novel to be turned into a movie.

One Short Day: A short novel that packed a spectacular punch. 

(Sidenote: This song has been on repeat for the better part of two days.) For this song, I’m going to have to go with What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler. It’s only 336 pages, but contains rich content- speaking on topics of rape, consent and subtle hints of feminism throughout; an important book if I’ve ever read one.

Defying Gravity: A book that exceeded your initial expectations- whether good or bad. 

When I first heard of Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins I never thought it was something for me. It’s Goodreads summary was trope-ish, and the entire “Southern belle” feel didn’t vibe well with me. But when I read it, I was blown away. It was hilarious, it was fun, and definitely taught me to give every book a chance.

Wonderful: A book that you thought you would enjoy but didn’t. 

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp is a YA fiction novel that recounts fifty-four minutes of a school shooting and hostage situation. I was excited to read a book in where the premise was sadly all too familiar but was ultimately let down with its execution. Although it’s a book that made me think, it didn’t quite resonate in me as much as I thought it would.  Despite my disappointment, I would still recommend it.

Finale: Your  favorite conclusion to a series. 

Winter by Marissa Meyer, obviously! No book series has satisfied me as thoroughly as The Lunar Chronicles have. Winter was a rather large book- a whopping 832 pages- but aren’t finales always better when longer?


And that concludes my Wicked book tag! Sadly, I don’t know many people that have listened to Wicked here on WordPress other than Sayyeda over at Literary Hues (Her blog is GORGEOUS by the way), so I’m tagging her! To all other Wicked fans, feel free to participate as well! Make sure to tag me- I’d love to read your responses!

Until next time!

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Lists

Books of 2016: Best Of

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Boy did 2016 pack a hard punch! My year was so hectic, I doubted I would be able to meet 2015’s 100 books. The fact that I made it to 99 makes me so proud of myself! Granted, a good percentage of the books are re-reads (The Lunar Chronicles minus Winter, the Mara Dyer trilogy minus Retribution, everything Shadowhunters, the Gone series and BZRK)- but hey, it’s still good! I read so many good books this year, it was such a headache choosing my favorites. So here I go- my favorite books that I read in 2016, not necessarily published in that year. So without further ado:

1) Solitaire by Alice Oseman: I have no idea how I stumbled upon this rare gem of a book, but I am so glad I did. Tori’s cynical view of life and school is shockingly relatable, and the portrayal of depression with the slight thriller element was amazing. Highly, highly recommend this book, especially to those struggling in school.

2) A Court of Thorns and Roses & A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas: Faeries and magic and rich world building and biting-your-nails-till-they-bleed adventure? The novel inspired by Beauty and the Beast, Sarah J. Maas- author of the Throne of Glass series- has done it again. Her work only gets better and better as time goes.

3) The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee AhdiehIn the retelling of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, we are gifted with badass female characters, believable villains, beautiful scenery, heartwarming romance, and a unique magic system. Toss a generous dose of diversity in there, and there you have it: the perfect blend for a perfect novel.

4) Illuminae & Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: Wow. These books are absolute stand outs. Science fiction in SPACE, crazy artificial intelligence, and… actually, just read Kristoff’s review, he explains it better. The books are written in the form of files: Case files, chats, transcripts- it’s such a fun read. Although they’re large in size, the formatting makes it quick to breeze by. Best science fiction I’ve read this year, hands down.

5) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: This dual perspective novel is perhaps the most brilliantly written fantasy I’ve read this year. In this Rome inspired novel, we follow Laia- a slave, attempting to save her brother from the clutches of the Martial Empire- and Elias- a soldier at a brutal military academy struggling to succeed in whatever way possible. The action in this book is unbearable- Sabaa Tahir is, once again, simply brilliant.

6) Lady Midnight by Cassandra ClareAnd we finally got Lady Midnight! I have a feeling this series will be my favorite of them all, if I’m being honest. For those who are clueless about the latest Cassandra Clare book, it’s a spin-off sequel trilogy to The Mortal Instruments series, following characters who fight demons in our regular world. Listen- it’s a hundred times cooler than it sounds. Trust me.

Honorable Mentions: The Young Elites by Marie Lu, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, & Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

And there you have it folks- my 2016 wrap up! I hope you had the best year you could, and have an amazing 2017 filled with lots and lots of good books!

If you have suggestions and/or requests for book reviews, fill out the contact form here. Feel free to check out my bookstagram account, abooksavant.

Until next time!

Lists

Birthday Book Haul

I just turned 18 a week ago on September 26th, and I thought: how else to treat myself than with books? So here’s my birthday book haul!

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  1. The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
  2. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  3. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
  4. Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
  5. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
  6. Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton
  7. Diary of an Oxygen Thief by Anonymous
  8. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

If you have suggestions and/or requests for book reviews, fill out the contact form here, OR you can direct message me on my twitter @thebooksavant!

Until next time!

Lists

October TBR List!

I’m finally out of my reading slump and although I missed my September goal of nine books by two, I’m feeling really good about October! I’ll be reading seven contemporaries this month, and I always seem to breeze by those in a day or two. Hopefully that will speed up my extra ambitious (and wild) TBR!

  1. The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  2. The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
  3. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  4. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  5. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
  6. He Said, She Said by Kwame Alexander
  7. Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
  8. Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn
  9. Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold by Katie Finn
  10. Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
  11. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
  12. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
  13. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
  14. Zodiac by Romina Russel

I’ll be posting reviews of The Wrath & The Dawn, Kids of Appetite,  Zodiac, The Thousandth Floor, and Three Dark Crowns, so keep updated!

If you have suggestions and/or requests for book reviews, fill out the contact form here, OR you can direct message me on my twitter @thebooksavant

Until next time!

Lists

Contemporary Books Everyone Should Read

I’m a total sucker for cute, lighthearted contemporary reads. They’re fun, happy, and stress-free. But then there are contemporaries that carry such important messages while narrating a fantastic story. There are some books that resonate deeply within our society today, books that I believe everyone should read and take something from.

1) What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

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What’s it about? Photos of Stacey Stallard passed out over a boy’s shoulder at a party circulates through social media at her high school. The next day, Stacey charges four boys with rape. What We Saw is told from Kate Weston’s point of view as she follows the rape case and observes the way it affects her school life and relationships.

Why should you read it? What We Saw is a powerful novel that is inspired by true events. It explores the way we perceive sexual assault in today’s society and it’s enormous reach. Navigating the intricacies of victim blaming, slut shaming, “boys will be boys,” and many other familiar- yet terrifyingly accurate- reflections of our society, What We Saw is an absolute must read.

“Remember,” Mr. Johnston says, “nothing is exactly as it appears. The closer you look, the more you see.”
2) Silent Alarm by Jennifer Banash
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What’s it about? Alys is a talented violin player, has an an amazing best friend and a loving boyfriend- everything is going good for her. Until her brother decides to bring a gun to school and kill fifteen people, then turn the gun on himself. Silent Alarm is Alys’s story, of how she and her family attempt to cope with the horrible tragedy that now surrounds their life.

Why should you read it? This novel brings attention to a subject that seems to be perpetually relevant, to my despair. It’s gritty, dark, and sad. Alys’s story gives us a look inside a horrible situation many families are in. The pure emotion will blow every reader away with the tumultuous emotions the book is sure to cause.

“I’m sorry,”  I say for what feels like the millionth time. I know, even as my mouth forms the words, that I will say them for the rest of my life. Forever. That there will never be a time when I am not, in some small way, apologizing for the damage my brother has wrought.
3) Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

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What’s it about? Solomon is agoraphobic; he hasn’t left his home in three years after suffering a panic attack at school. When Lisa enters his life, she’s fixated on figuring out how to make him leave his house, hoping to write an entrance granting college essay with him as the subject. The thing is, Solomon doesn’t know her true intentions.

Why should you read it? Although this book is humorous and an enjoyable, quick novel, Solomon’s agoraphobia and anxiety were portrayed in a manner where it was simultaneously simple but accurate. The dynamic between the main characters was fun to read, especially since it was told from both Lisa and Solomon’s point of view.

He was afraid of the world, afraid it would find a way to swallow him up. But, maybe everyone was sometimes.
4) Mosquitoland by David Arnold

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What’s it about? Mim Malone lives with her father and step-mother in Mississippi. When she finds out her mother has fallen ill back in Ohio, she decides to take a solo trip to Cleveland on a Greyhound. Her journey takes a couple of unexpected turns and through it all, she slowly discovers things about herself that she wouldn’t have if she hadn’t taken the impulsive trip.

Why should you read it? Mosquitoland is a beautiful story of self-discovery. It’s emotional (you WILL cry), hilarious, and ultimately an amazing character driven story. Arnold has an undeniable skill with words- I cannot wait to devour his newest novel, Kids of Appetite.

I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange.