Arcs I’m Going To Read in August!!

It’s arc august!! And I need to stop grabbing arcs. Seriously. Unfortunately, my ass is broke and needs those free books. What’s the result? I have more arcs I haven’t read than I do physical copies of books I haven’t read. Great job, Elise. Great. Job.

Anyway, it’s time to read some damn arcs. Here’s the list, in a vague sort of order of how I’ll read them. I’ll be flexible though based on my moods!!

  • The Tiger’s Daughter by Julia Ember – August 22nd
    I started this a few days ago, so I guess I’m reading it?? So far the worldbuilding is pretty darn confusing. But I like the main character. I picked this up almost entirely because it’s a nonbinary protagonist in fantasy, honestly.
  • The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook – October 3rd
    I picked this up bc I loved the author’s debut, but it’s kind of annoying me. First of all, it’s only available the computer and doesn’t have a kindle version. Second of all, mean girls already popped up 25 pages in.
  • Odd and True by Cat Winters – September 15th
    I’m REALLY enjoying this so far!! It’s historical fiction about sisters. Also I absolutely love the cover 🙂
  • Warcross by Marie Lu – September 12th
    Not to be this person but I fucking love Marie Lu and everyone says this is fabulous??
  • Speak Easy Speak Love by McKelle George – September 19th
    I love Much Ado About Nothing. And the cover.
  • He Said / She Said by Erin Kelly – already out
    This is a suspense novel, I saw about three decent reviews of it, and I decided to netgalley request it. Please can this not have been a mistake.
  • Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday – already out
    I am honestly reading this entirely because one of my friends told me to. And because it was free. Goodbye. Anyway, it’s a romance between two guys and the blurb is cute.
  • Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle – August 8th
    Bi witches!! Also I loved the author’s first book.
  • They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera – September 5th
    Both major hype and an author I really love. I also don’t want to physically die though??
  • Echo After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta – October 10th
    This is about girls falling in love in the theater with suspense. That honestly sounds like somebody read a list of Things Elise Wants To Read and brought this book down from heaven. Hilariously, both my coworker and one of my GR friends recognized this fact and went to recommend this to me.
  • Three Sides of a Heart by Various – December 19th
    I love story collections. I hate love triangles. How will I reconcile these facts? Let’s see.
  • Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C Dao – October 10th
    I. LOVE. ANTIHEROES. This looks freaking amazing.
  • Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson – already out
    The blurb of this sounds freaking amazing. It’s set in the future and in the present and in the past. Three. Different. Threads. Winner!!
  • Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios – already out
    This released a month ago and I was super excited for it. So maybe I should actually read it? Maybe?
  • The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente – September 19th
    I need to read long books for tome topple!! So here we go.
  • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton – February 20th
    I need to read long books for tome topple!! And I’m also incredibly hyped for this book – the concept especially sounds awesome.

Tome Topple TBR

Round four of tome topple is lasting from August 4th to August 17th, and though I’ve never participated in this readathon before, I’ve been trying to do more challenges this year and I think I’ll be reading some books for the challenge. I have a lot of really long books on my tbr, and it’ll be good to get to a few!!

Tome Topple is all about reading books over 500 pages. There are several challenges, and I’ll be trying to get to all of them. You can find more info at the Goodreads Group event’s twitter page, @tome_topple.

The Challenges

1. More than 1 tome 
This should be fairly easy with the amount of books I’m planning on reading.

2. Read a graphic novel
For this challenge, I’ll be reading a bindup either of the first three Saga volumes or the first three Wicked+Divine volumes. I’ve been trying to read more graphic novel series this year, because I tend to enjoy them when I do read them.

3. Read a tome that is part of a series
For this, I’ll be reading The Diviners by Libba Bray, or the sequel, Lair of Dreams, if I get to Diviners next week as I was planning. The Diviners is the only book I’ve owned and not read for over six months, which is rather impressive when you think about it.

4. Buddy read a tome
For this, I’ll be rereading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo!! I’ve been planning on rereading this with a friend for ages now, and this is the perfect time.

5. Read an adult novel 
For this, I’ll be reading The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente. This is an arc I own and am excited to read. I’ve never actually read any Valente before!!

There are three more books on my shelf I plan to read but haven’t read yet over 500 pages. All three are arcs. There’s The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera, The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton, and The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. These I won’t be trying to get to quite as hard.

Are any of you guys doing this challenge? Let me know if you’re reading any of these books and want to join me 🙂

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

I was tagged for this by lifeofaliterarynerd. And it looks so interesting that I have to do this.


A POPULAR BOOK THAT YOU DIDN’T LIKE

I talk about the Holy Overrated Fantasy Trinity down below in popular authors, so for now let’s go with a less-popular choice. A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Maas is a terrible book!! That sends out a terrible message for little kids!! And really changed me as a person in a bad way!!


A BOOK THAT EVERYONE HATES BUT YOU LOVE

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I’ll literally fight everyone about Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge. (How dare y’all hate on this gem!!) This book is a little confusing, but… I guess in a good way??

 

 

 

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I also really loved Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan. Yes, the romance is idiotic and nonsensical. This is also one of the most atmospheric books I’ve ever read. Also, please just look at the cover. It’s… perfect for this book. And stunning. This gave me vibes of Revenge the tv series.

 

 


AN OTP THAT YOU DON’T LIKE

I’m going with two here, because the thing that always comes to mind is from a tv show and it’s a SUPREMELY unpopular opinion.

First of all, to talk books!! I absolutely fucking hate Evan and Cassie from the Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. Just hate them. They ruined the final book for me to the point where I DNFed it. I hate them.

And then to talk tv shows.

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Emma, the main character of Once Upon A Time was once a fabulous badass. She is now a prop for her love interest, and I’m afraid this has totally colored my feelings of this relationship. I hate the fact that she’s turned into a prop for her own character, and I hate that all her storylines are turned around to focus on him. I actually finally dropped this show after the show did this yet again with the season five finale. A storlyline meant to be about Emma’s character exploration was suddenly plot-twisted to be all about how much they’d sacrifice for each other. That’s not cute when she never gets any storylines of her own. He wasn’t even around in season one. It’s not his show.


A BOOK GENRE THAT YOU DON’T REACH FOR

Nowadays, contemporary!! I really have begun to get upset with this genre. Today’s contemporaries often come off to me as either fluffy romances without much substance or really depressing books about how terrible mental illness / abuse / whatever issue is. You know exactly what books I mean with BOTH those categories. There’s the Kasie West / Stephanie Perkins type, which can be entertaining for a while but never stick in my mind. And there’s the John Green / Jennifer Niven-esque type, which is a genre I sometimes enjoy but get annoyed with easily due to the abundance of mental-illness-to-force-a-romance stuff. Sorry. I know y’all enjoy that. I have depression and I can’t. There’s a time and place for both of those, but I’m getting really tired of it all.

My ideal contemporary is coming-of-age that doesn’t focus on either romance or any particular issue, while still touching on depression and social issues.


A BELOVED CHARACTER THAT YOU DO NOT LIKE

Every single jerk dude character who the protagonist falls in love with because he’s Hawt and has Abs. So Stalker Alien from the Fifth Wave, Teen Angst Boi from The Mortal Instruments, Literal Physical Abuser Holy Fuck from Article Five, Other Physical Abuser Except This Time He’s Harry Styles from After, and Piece of Kale from Throne of Glass. Sorry.


POPULAR AUTHOR THAT YOU CAN’T SEEM TO GET INTO

Oh my god, so many. I usually mention the Holy Overrated Fantasy Trinity here.

Number one is Sarah J Maas, author of Throne of Glass, where I read book one and hated. This book is written terribly. Maybe the next books get better and I don’t want to disrespect that!! But this book is actually legitimately bad.

Number two is Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes, which is fairly well-written and well-plotted, but has some of the most annoying characters I’ve seen in a book. They’re flimsy and badly written, but I could’ve handled this if I hadn’t gotten so annoyed. This is one where I genuinely get the hype and I’d maybe check out more of Tahir’s stuff in the future, especially given her fantastic presence online. I just don’t agree with the hype for this particular series.

Number three is The Mortal Instruments, and I actually forced myself through all three of the first trilogy. I have to admit, book three was genuinely pretty good! If the entire series had been like book three I would’ve totally understood the hype. Yes, the characters are flat and boring and stereotypical, but if I’d been entertained it would’ve been fine. I was just so bored.

And a bonus number four that I actually forgot because it’s so damn bland!! Morgan Rhodes and her Falling Kingdoms series. A terrible book.


A POPULAR BOOK TROPE THAT YOU’RE TIRED OF SEEING

Mental illness as a plot device. And cheating, of course.


A SERIES THAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN READING

Anything by authors that I’ve mentioned. But also probably The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, because I just don’t care about that love triangle. Even thinking about it makes me not care.


 

THE SAYING GOES “THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE”, BUT WHAT MOVIE OR TV SHOW ADAPTATION DO YOU PREFER MORE THAN THE BOOK?

The 100. Honestly, this is one of the worst books I’ve ever read. It’s terrible. And the show is one of my favorite shows ever.

To copy some of my rant:

• Clarke is not a badass slytherin with complex morality. She’s a shallow, undeveloped prop for a love triangle.
• Bellamy and Clarke have crappy romantic development. I don’t even ship them hard in the show but their relationship is fucking beautiful as a friendship too. Here, their relationship is terrible and based entirely on his abs. Hate it!!
• Wells is basically a creepy stalker, rather than a guy who wants Clarke to be happy even if he can’t be a part of that
• Octavia is whiny and annoying rather than being a badass with a great character arc
• I can’t believe I forgot this but where the fuck was my son Lincoln
• No Raven Reyes whatsoever (was her character based on Glass?? Well, Glass sucks. In contrast Raven is my fucking wife)
• No subversion of a typical love triangle, meaning no takedowns of girl hate, meaning no book version of the Spacewalker episode, meaning no Raven and Clarke’s gorgeous beautiful perfect relationship
• Every single character is white and straight?? oh my god there are literally no characters who aren’t straight and white
• And it pulls the brutal-race-of-brown-people-trope out. I’m not saying the show was immune from this trope but the show had so many major nonwhite characters that I didn’t feel disgusting, and the “other race” was sympathetic in the show.
• Did I mention that there’s literally no moral conflict? Or plot?
• Did I mention Raven was literally not here
• This had nothing to do with the tv show
• The tv show is much better
• Even though I hate season three with the burning passion of a thousand suns


A SERIES THAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN READING

Anyway, hope you all enjoyed this rant about things!!

July Book Haul + WrapUp

Arc Haul

  • Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner – A physical arc I got through my bookstore. This is contemporary, which I haven’t been reading so much recently, but I loved Gardner’s debut You’re Welcome Universe so I wanted to check this out. I’m really happy I tried this!! Here’s my review.
  • The Window by Amelia Brunskill – A physical arc I got through my bookstore. It’s a fairly short suspense novel and I need more of those.
  • Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller – Edelweiss. This got a ton of hype for being one of the first fantasy books with a nonbinary protagonist, and I was really excited for it. I saw a ton of negative reviews for this debut, but one of my friends just read it and gave it five stars!! So I’ll be trying it. Why not?
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire – Edelweiss. I requested this as soon as I saw it due to my love for the rest of the series – this is one I definitely would’ve bought as well. Here’s my review.
  • The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember – Netgalley!! This is fantasy with a nonbinary protagonist and I’ve heard good things about the author’s other books.
  • Artemis by Andy Weir – Edelweiss. It’s a space opera and I saw a good review of this from a friend!!
  • Like Water by Rebecca Podos – Edelweiss. Again, I’m not that into contemporary anymore, but I know this is about two girls falling in love, it has great reviews, and I love the cover. I’d like to try this one out!!

Books I Bought (mostly on discount)

  • I got a few copies of different Shakespeare plays that I’ve read before but didn’t own for fairly cheap.
  • The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore – One of the only two full price books I bought this month, and it was on an employee discount. I had already read most of the book, but I bought this for a signing I went to with the author. Here’s my review!!
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz – The other full-price book, and of course on an employee discount as well. I don’t know if this even counts, but I needed it for school.
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – I just really needed a short suspense novel and this has been on my list for a while. And this one was cheap too!!
  • Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter – Again, discounted book I’d never seen before!! Strand bookstore was really a lot of fun. This is a historical fiction book that I’ve seen get a lot of praise. I think it’s also lgbt??
  • Saint Death by Marcus Sedgewick – A really short standalone that, again, I’ve never found in a store beyond Strand.
  • Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz – A standalone I’ve been excited to read and have literally never found in a store. I finally found a copy of this for only five dollars at Strand.
  • Shiny Broken Pieces by Chairoptra / Clayton – A sequel to a book on my shelf. More discounts at Strand.
  • In Ageless Sleep by Arden Ellis – A novella. I just needed to finally download and finish this, considering how short and cheap it is. Anyway, it’s f/f scifi.
  • The Devil You Know by K.J. Parker – Another cheap novella I just needed to finally download. This is existentialist fantasy.

Most Anticipated Releases of 2017

I’m going to be skipping all the books I’ve received arcs of, which is… kind of a lot. So if you’re really confused as to why a certain book isn’t here, it’s probably one of my arc copies. (Unless it’s Tower of Dawn, which I just don’t care about.) I’ve recently been avoiding buying any books that aren’t new releases, bargain shopping, or for author signings. So here are all the new releases or books I’m anticipating for this year and don’t have copies of already.

books that I won’t buy, but might read in one sitting

  1. Threadworlds by Bryan Konietzko – this is a graphic novel with a really interesting premise and cover. I’ve been trying to expand my horizons and read more graphic novels this year, so I think I’ll check this out.
  2. Goldie Vance vol. 3 by Hope Larson – I really liked volumes one and two as cute detective novels, so I think I’ll read this when it comes out on November 11th.
  3. the sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur – I wasn’t a huge fan of milk and honey, but I enjoyed the writing enough to pick up Kaur’s next book, especially since it will be such a short read.

some new releases I’m planning to read for sure

  • The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente – This is a humor novel about women in refrigerators, a trope that gets criticized a lot. I am always here for making fun of tropes. Plus this is super short.
  • Because You Love To Hate Me by Various – I love story collections and this has a bunch of my fave authors’ writing!! So obviously I have to read it. Also damn that cover is… incredibly ugly.
  • Our Dark Duet by VE Schwab – I haven’t actually read This Savage Song yet, but I really really love Schwab’s writing, so I’ll almost certainly pick this one up.
  • Godblind by Anna Stephens – I haven’t decided whether to read this yet, but it comes highly recommended by a friend. So maybe from the library?? This is lower priority for sure.

releases later this year I will (almost) definitely read

  • Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo, Aug 29th – I love Leigh so much. And I’ve seen a few good reviews too!! This doesn’t really seem like my thing, to be honest, but it looks cool.
  • An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, Sep 26th – I’ve seen such great reviews for this!!
  • The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo, Sep 26th – Again, I love Leigh so much.
  • Invictus by Ryan Graudin, Sep 26th – This looks amazing and I’ve seen great reviews from friends I trust.
  • Brooding YA Hero by Carrie Ann DiRisio, Oct 3rd – This is a book by the head of that awesome parody twitter account. It looks really cool though.
  • Star Wars Stories by Various, Oct 3rd – This is short stories by a bunch of cool authors, including Renee Adhieh, Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, Daniel José Older, Madeleine Roux, and Zoraida Córdova!! So I’ll definitely find a copy.

releases of this year I might pick up if I get an arc

  • Little Monsters by Kara Thomas, July 25th – A psychological thriller that’s gotten some high recommendations from my friends.
  • Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody, July 25th – This looks pretty cool, but I’ve seen a few mixed reviews. If I got an arc, I’d almost definitely read this!! But as is, it’s only a maybe.
  • The Hearts We Sold by Emily-Lloyd Jones, Aug 8th – this is one of the best novel concepts I’ve ever seen. Snarky heroine who sells her soul to escape a bad life?? sign me tf up. I’ve seen no reviews so far, but I might try this anyway.
  • Keep You Safe by Melissa Hill, Aug 22nd – I saw a great review of this from a friend of mine, and while I’d never heard of it before, I might pick up this book now. If I can’t find an arc on netgalley or edelweiss, I’ll probably skip it, since it’s not really my thing 😦
  • The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James, Sep 7th – This is scifi and has a really great cover, plus I enjoyed James’ debut. And two of my fave booktubers gave it a great review!! I don’t think it’s releasing in the US until next year, though.
  • Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nichols, Sep 7th – Gay suffragettes!!
  • A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge, Sep 21st – This is historical fiction and it just looks really good?? I’ve seen a couple good reviews too. I requested it from Netgalley, so we’ll see if I get approved.
  • Exquisite by Sarah Stovell, Oct 1st – This is suspense and I saw a five-star review from a friend I really trust.
  • Devils Within by SF Henson, Oct 17th – This is a novel about a boy overcoming his upbringing in a white supremacist community. Again, almost no reviews, but this premise just sounds amazing if it’s done well.
  • The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano, Oct 24th – This is fantasy and just really appeals to me for some reason. But again, seen no reviews, so we’ll see.
  • Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns, Oct 31st – GAY SCI-FI!!!!!!!!! anyway I would die for this book already. I requested it from Edelweiss already and am hoping Edelweiss Stays Loyal To Me. I’m really hoping it’s good!!
  • Renegades by Marissa Meyer, Nov 7th – I love all of Meyer’s books. So this looks really cool!!
  • Winter of Ice and Iron by Rachel Neumeier, Nov 21st – I know nothing about this!! It’s fantasy with an interesting blurb. I might read it. We shall see.

books I am really torn on whether to read

  • Monster (Gone #7) by Michael Grant, Oct 17th – I’m going to be honest and say I don’t know if I’ll read this. I used to love Gone, but I’m not sure it’s my thing anymore and I don’t want to ruin the originals for myself.
  • La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman, Oct 19th – I used to really love the Golden Compass trilogy. So I’m a little worried for this?? but maybe.

anyway, there’s my full list. Let me know which books you guys are anticipating!!

Hype vs. Underrated Books

Honestly, I find that hype tends to ruin my book-reading experiences.

Many of my favorite books are books that I’ve seen described as “hidden gems”. You know what I mean – books that aren’t necessarily popular, but are well-beloved by their small readership pool. Often, I find that these books end up being my favorites.

That’s part of the reason why I’ve been reading less constantly recommended genre classics this year. Now that I’ve read what I like to call my Overrated Fantasy Reads Trifecta (Throne of Glass, City of Bones, and An Ember In the Ashes) I’ve decided it’s time to get going on some of the more underrated books out there. Honestly, hype ruins books for me. With the exception of a few books everyone loves that I loved too, even after finding out about the hype (such as TRC, the DoSaB trilogy, and the ADSoM trilogy), I think moving on to mostly less-hyped books is the best choice for me.

What do you guys think about hype and how it affects your reading? Feel free to talk more below!!

T5W: Series That Got Better

The wisdom goes that series go downhill, but are there ever exceptions? For this week’s top five Wednesday, we’re going through some series that only go uphill. Check here for topics.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – Book one isn’t bad – I think every book of this series is solidly good – but it doesn’t have as many cool characters. Book three is my favorite, though book two is a very close second. Book four is too long.

Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire. Book one of this felt completely underdeveloped to me, despite my love for the concept and themes. Book two is better though, and I’m loving what I’ve read so far of book three!!

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater: Compared to book one, everything else is far better. Book two and book three are both absolutely fabulous. Book four, though, is tough to rank. It’s a great book, but it’s not the best conclusion. That being said, this definitely goes uphills.

The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavick – This definitely goes uphill. I mean, the first book is entertaining crap. The second one is slightly less crappy entertainment. Book three is much less crappy.

And I Darken by Kiersten White: Book one is fine, but this series has a blatantly better second book. I liked book one fine, but book two is literally one of my top five favorite books of all time. I don’t know if book two particularly raises the stakes, but it definitely gives the characters far more depth.

What are your top fives??