mid-year book freak-out tag

Allll the Booktubers I follow have been completing this tag lately, and it seemed like a lot of fun! So even though I haven’t been tagged by anyone, I’m a-doing this tag. Here’s my Mid-Year Book Freak-out!

(Also, sorry, no clue who started this tag. If you know, please comment below!)

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Best book you have read so far in 2017

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1)

I have to go with The Way of Kings from the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. This series is just freaking phenomenal, guys. And even though I loved book 2 as well, The Way of Kings was the one that really blew my mind. I still think about it all the time, and it’s one of those books that I need on my shelf because I know I’ll re-read it more than once!

Best Sequel of 2017 so far

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I actually didn’t completely love Six of Crows, didn’t quite understand the hype, but wow. Crooked Kingdom knocked it out of the park. It’s beautiful inside and out. It officially made me a big Leigh Bardugo fan.

New releases you haven’t read yet, but you want to

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab! Also Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (although I just got this one on audiobook, so hopefully I’ll be listening to it this weekend!).

Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017

Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3)All the Crooked SaintsI’m going to cheat and list two. The first is the third book in the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson–Oathbringer. It shall be awesome. The second is All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater. I LOVE her writing, and I think this book sounds cool. I already read the first chapter and loved it.

 

 

Biggest disappointment

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)Unfortunately, I have to go with ACOWAR for this one. I really enjoyed the first two books in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas, but the finale, A Court of Wings and Ruin, just did not do it for me. And the more I think about it, the more disappointed I am.

Biggest surprise

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I didn’t know what to expect with this book, due to its mixed media format, and I didn’t think I was going to like it. But I was intrigued, and as soon as I started reading I understood the hype. It’s SO good. It sucked me right in, and I really loved the story and the world.

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)

Favorite author new to me: Brandon Sanderson. I’ve only read a few debut authors this year, and none of them I’d really consider favorites at this point!

Favorite new character

I’m not sure if this is just fresh on my mind because I only recently finished the series, but I really loved Darrow from the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. When I first started reading, I actually DIDN’T love him, but after reading his entire journey, he won me over. I mean he’s a superhuman, soppy, questionably bisexual, badass rebel leader. What’s not to love?

Close runner up-though: Kaladin from the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. (Once again, my Sanderson obsession is becoming very clear. Ayyy.)

Book that made you cry

I’ve actually cried reading quite a few books this year; I guess I’m an emotional sap. The worst I think was Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. A certain SOMETHING happens to a certain SOMEONE and I was not prepared, I was not happy about it, and I was a little devastated. I was also super engaged in the book and feeling for the characters, so when that happens, things get intense.

Runners up: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas & The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

Book that made you happy

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)I’m going to go with A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. Even though this book wasn’t necessarily the greatest in terms of plot, I just loved the characters in this series and they really started to shine in this book. There were so many great moments between Kell and Rhy, between Lila and Alucard, and between all four of them. Genuine, deep relationships between characters are really enjoyable to read for me.

 

 

Favorite book to movie/TV adaption you’ve seen this year

Image result for a series of unfortunate eventsA Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, on Netflix! This is the only book to TV adaptation I’ve seen this year of a book I’ve actually read! Plus, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was awesome.

 

Favorite review you’ve written this year

Bleck, what is this question? I’m supposed to have a favorite thing that I’ve done? Impossible!

But if I had to give an answer, I guess I could say my review on Goodreads for A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. It’s basically a mess of feels and incoherence, but it was raw and it was the first time in a while I was that psyched to finish a series.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought/received this year

IdahoI bought Idaho by Emily Ruskovich at the beginning of the year, kind of on a whim. I still haven’t read it, but it is so beautiful that I’m content just letting it sit on my shelf for now.

Books you need to read by the end of the year

Firstly, all the books on my shelves that I have not yet read. This was supposed to be one of my new year’s resolutions, and let’s just say it’s not going super well. I think there are around 30-40 on that list still.

Secondly, basically just everything on my TBR. I can’t choose any in particular.

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I guess that’s that! If you haven’t done the Mid-Year Book Freak-Out tag yet, consider yourself tagged! These are great prompts, and I’d love to read your answers!

Until next time,
Brianne

book review | red rising by pierce brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆

This is the story of Darrow, who lives on Mars, which has society structured by color. Darrow is a Red, the group of people at the very bottom of society, who work in the mines to prepare the planet for habitation by the other, higher colors. Darrow’s wife, Eo, has dreams for a better life, and she begins a series of events that draws Darrow into a group of rebels to fight for a world in which color doesn’t define who you are or your quality of life.

Recommended if you like:

  • Dystopias or space or any combination of the two
  • Ruthless, morally gray characters
  • Bloody and stabby stories

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My Spoiler-Free Review

I’m a little late in reading Red Rising, I know; this book was published over three years ago. However, it’s been on my radar for a while and I *finally* managed to get my hands on it. Oh boy, am I glad I did! I really enjoyed this.

There’s something really edgy about this series that made it unputdownable and different than anything else I’ve read–even though there are many familiar tropes in this book. Darrow begins his story as a teenager, but this is not a YA book. It felt like a cross between Captain America and Percy Jackson at Camp Half Blood and the Hunger Games–but an adult version, with more violence and swearing. (If you’ve read Red Rising, do you agree with this?!) However, these tropes and ideas all felt fresh in this setting and with these characters. And besides, they’re all tropes I like to read, so I wasn’t bothered in the least.

The setting and characters really made this story. The setting is awesome–MARS. This is a full-fledged sci-fi world, where they have technology and animals and food unrecognizable to us. Not to mention they use terminology that went right over my head sometimes. You get thrust into this space world, and it’s super awesome and only a little confusing. Pierce Brown’s world-building really is great. I just wish I understood it more. (Maybe a re-read would help me.)

And the characters! Man. Pierce Brown knows how to do side characters! They are all so well-developed with their own quirks and weird personalities. Seriously–there are so many weirdo characters, but those are the ones you love the most! *Ahem* Sevro, anyone? Aptly nicknamed the Goblin. Or Pax au Telemanus, a friendly(-ish) giant.

There’s also excellent friendship–I do love me some bromances. And even the romance I thought was really well done. I liked the love interest, and I liked her and Darrow together.

The only real complaint I have with this book is Darrow himself. The main character. I know–this seems like it’d be a big problem, to not like the protagonist. But let me explain.

I like Darrow well enough. I just didn’t really connect with him. He starts off in this series as an arrogant boy, who goes about collecting “worshippers” even though in the grand scheme of things, he’s a little lost. He’s following this dream of his wife’s and I’m not sure I understand *his* motivations for all the things he does. Throughout the book, I was still pulling for him–he is the protagonist after all–but I just didn’t quite click with him. He experienced a lot of growth throughout the book, but he still didn’t make it to the leader I expected him to be. (But with two books left in the trilogy, there’s time for that yet!)

I’d definitely recommend this to anyone looking for an edgy, bloody, spacey read.

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Let’s just say I was pretty smart when I snagged all three books from the library at once.

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Have you read Red Rising? What did you think of it? Leave your thoughts below!

Until next time,

Brianne

may wrap-up

It’s that time of the month…

I had a great balance of activities in May. Read a decent amount, completed a few bigger crochet projects, made decent headway on a story I’m writing, and started a new job! Plus, summer has finally arrived, and I couldn’t be happier for the sunny weather.

Read on for my monthly wrap-up!

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bookish things

stats

  • Total books: 6 books and 1 novella read, 1 DNF
  • Total pages: 3,044 pages
  • Longest book: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
  • Shortest book: The Hope of Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (novella)
  • Favorite book: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
  • Least favorite book: It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

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mini reviews

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas: ★★★ 1/2

I was disappointed with this one. I will always love Feyre and Rhys, but this conclusion to their story really fell flat for me. I didn’t really like the plot, the ending, or the writing.

Read my full review here.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: ★★★★

I liked this! It was a solid YA read–which I think is both a compliment and a complaint. The writing was good, the romance was sweet, and most of the characters were nicely crafted. I’m planning to read the sequel in June.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson★★★★ 1/2

My last (adult) Sanderson book–of COURSE I loved it. It took me a little longer to get into this one, as it’s more heavily focused on religion and I didn’t enjoy Hrathen’s chapters as much. But eventually I was totally sucked into Raoden and Sarene’s story. I didn’t want it to end!

The Hope of Elantris by Brandon Sanderson: ★★★★★

A very sweet (and short!) novella that felt like a sentimental epilogue to Elantris. Loved it.

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan: ★★★★

This was fun! Riordan has his book formula down pat, and yet he manages to make each book full of new adventures and diverse characters. I think maybe I’ve outgrown these books, but they’re fun to read when the mood strikes.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab: ★★★★

This one was different yet more than I expected. The more I sit on it and think about it, the more I think I really liked it–especially my newest book boyfriend, August. *heart eyes* However, I did have some issues with the ending and overall pacing.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover: ★★

Blegh. Didn’t enjoy this one, but I can see how others might. It was the entertainment I needed at the time, but it’s the kind of contemporary I can never seem to enjoy at all. Not to mention it’s all about domestic abuse, which I was completely clueless about before I started reading.

DNFed

The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

I’d read a few good reviews about this one, but by about 30 pages in, I had to set it down again. I didn’t love the characters, and the setting was too high school for me. And again–contemporary (even with a touch of magical realism–though I’m not entirely sure if this book has that or not) just isn’t doing anything for me at the moment.

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crafty things

I was busy with crochet this month! Baby blankets are too fun to make. I know of a few expectant moms through my friends and sisters, so I might get commissioned to make a blanket or two in the next few months. These blankets ended up being great practice! Plus, I am still definitely a novice but my finished products don’t come out looking too shabby, do they?

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completed

  • peachy ripple baby blanket (above left)
  • teal icicle stitch baby blanket (above right)
  • set of 6 gray hexagon coasters for my sister

in progress

  • hexagon blanket-turned pillow cover — I’m lazy and procrastinating on this
  • body pillow cover — somehow ended up extremely messy, but it’s going
  • chevron gray and maroon afghan for my sister — chipping away at this daily!

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bloggish things

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How was your month of May? What was your favorite book you read or crafty thing you made?

Until next time,
Brianne

 

top 5 wednesday | may 24

I’m back again for another Top 5 Wednesday!

Top 5 Wednesday is run by Sam thoughtsontomes. Check out the Goodreads group if you’re interested in learning more or joining in on the fun!

Today’s prompt: Favorite Minor Characters

Note that today is all about minor characters and not side characters. So I’ll be talking about those characters who only make a small appearance in the book but are still named and important–and whom I love very much despite their minimal screen time.

Let’s get into it!

1. Dobby from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

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Oh, Dobby! He creates so much trouble for Harry in The Chamber of Secrets, but it’s only because he cares! How much Dobby loves Harry gets me every time. I loved how he popped up throughout the books, and the important role he ended up playing in The Deathly Hallows! He really stands for all of those who are underestimated yet rise to the task and succeed. Also, I don’t know if I’ve ever cried as hard as I did when he died in the last book.

2. Spook (AKA Lestibournes) from The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Spook eventually becomes a more important character as this series goes on, but in book one he is such a random misfit teenager within the group of mature characters. I loved him immediately. He is so shyly into Vin, speaks in this bizarre (and entertaining, and confusing) dialect (for example, “Wasing the where of needing”), and is sweet with his uncle. I was super excited when I kept reading the series and got more of him!

 

3. Matthew from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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art by aymmichurros @ tumblr

Matthew is just sunshine personified. How can you not love him? I love how sweet and innocent he is, and how much he loves his brothers. Also, he’s an actual dream thing? That Ronan dreamt up? Because he wanted a little buddy? I will never get over that (and I will never get over Ronan Lynch, straight up). I really just want the best for Matthew, and I care deeply about his well-being.

4. Kuwei from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

I’m not sure Kuwei should really be on this list; first, because he’s nearly a side character but not quite, and second, because we have a hate-to-love relationship going on. I hated Kuwei in this series. He’s just the worst! He always has some snarky comment he has to add in or he’s otherwise getting in the way and not contributing to the success of the group. (Not to mention his intervention between Jesper and Wylan…grrr.) But I know he’s really just a helpless kid and honestly, his bits in the books were just the right amounts of exasperating and amusing. I guess he deserves a bit of recognition.

5. Bridge Four from The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

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I couldn’t resist doing more Sanderson…I know, I have a problem. But Bridge Four, you guys! They are all the best. I adore the way they all bond over their late-night stew and follow Kaladin like the fearless leader he is. Rock in particular was one of my favorites; his way of speaking and silly comments are always the perfect comedic relief. Not to mention how he has this hidden talent for archery but only wants to be a chef. What a sweet, lovable Horneater.

 

And there you have it. As usual, this was harder than expected! Who would make your list of favorite minor characters?

Until next time,
Brianne

awesome book moms…do they exist?

After celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom yesterday and being inspired by some fellow book bloggers today, I thought I would write up a post on Awesome Book Moms. Perfect time of year to show moms some appreciation, right?

Except, I have a problem.

I’m not sure Awesome Book Moms exist.

Okay, I admit, this is an exaggeration. The posts I read from other book bloggers featured some great Awesome Book Moms. However, when I went through the list of books I’ve read this year (33 so far), I realized they didn’t include even one mom for me to gush over in this post.

All 33 books I’ve read in 2017 fell into one of these three categories:

  1. Awesome Book Mom did not exist because Main Character was an orphan
  2. Awesome Book Mom was icky and decidedly not awesome–she was not supportive of Main Character and not worth of any sort of gushing
  3. Awesome Book Mom was great but played a very small, if not insignificant, role in the book

What is with this? 

I know 33 books is not a huge number in the grand scheme of things, but I still find it astounding that there wasn’t one Awesome Book Mom within my 2017 reads. What is the meaning of this? How dare we treat our moms this way?

I have a few theories as to why this could be.

First: Perhaps it has to do with the genre I’ve read most this year–fantasy.

How common is the main-character-is-an-orphan trope in fantasy books? Answer: VERY COMMON. Like, more common than common. Not to mention the mom-died-when-Main-Character-was-young trope. Just as commonly common. At least in the fantasy books I’ve been reading this year. So, obviously, there can’t be Awesome Book Moms in books that simple don’t have any moms. Makes sense, I guess. Still makes me frown.

Second theory: Moms are easy obstacles for the main character.

Have you seen this in books? Sometimes Book Moms are made out to be so caring and cautious that they just get in the way of the main character accomplishing their goals and dreams. As such, they become almost an antagonist or enemy to the main character. Why can’t we have a healthier balance of this? Moms can be caring, but they can also be supportive.

Or, on the other hand, Book Moms might disapprove of the main character’s goals and dreams, getting in their way and becoming an enemy in that sense. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I would hope most moms could eventually support their children’s goals and dreams. I guess not Book Moms.

My last end-all theory: We take our moms for granted.

Authors aren’t the only ones who fall prey to this, but it certainly becomes clear in books. Let’s be honest–moms really are awesome. Where would we be without them? (Not existing, that’s for sure.) We take our moms for granted, and in novels, that means their awesomeness doesn’t get the chance to shine through and make a difference toward the main story goal. Moms deserve more, don’t they?! Authors–and the rest of us–just don’t give moms the credit they deserve.

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So there you have it. I, for one, am now on a quest to find some more books with Awesome Moms in them.

Do you know of any Awesome Book Moms? Am I just reading all the wrong books this year? Leave a comment down below!

Until next time,
Brianne

book review | a court of wings and ruin by sarah j maas

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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

My Rating: ☆☆☆

A Court of Wings and Ruin is the third book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series and concludes the story arc for Feyre and Rhysand (as far as we know, anyway). Feyre finds herself back in the Spring Court and immediately begins her work that continues throughout the rest of the book: stopping the King of Hybern from destroying the world she knows and loves. Along with the help of the Night Court, her sisters, and other allies, Feyre concludes her epic journey, though not without some mishaps and romance on the way.

Recommended if you like:

  • Fantasy of the fae and fantastical creatures variety
  • Steamy romance
  • Fun, dramatic characters with great chemistry

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My Spoiler-Free Review

Just like many other readers I know, I eagerly anticipated the release of this book for months. I enjoyed book 1 in this series, and book 2 was even better–possibly one of my favorite new books. I couldn’t wait to see how Feyre’s story would wrap up.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

After loving the first two books so much, I certainly had high expectations, but the book fell short on so many levels that I can’t figure a way I’m being unfair. It just missed the mark. I didn’t love the writing, I didn’t love the plot, and I finished the book feeling unsatisfied.

The few things I enjoyed about the book were enough to keep me reading; most of all, I love Feyre and Rhysand. Their relationship was what I loved most about book 2, and Rhys continues to support and love Feyre just as hard in ACOWAR. He makes me swoon for days. *heart eyes*

I also love many of the side characters in this series, and it was fun to see how newer characters meshed with those I grew to love in book 2. There was interesting and entertaining chemistry between some character that I didn’t expect.

It was clear that Maas took to heart some criticisms regarding diversity in her books, because ACOWAR included many diverse characters! That was great to read.

However, for all the things I enjoyed, they still weren’t quite what I’d hoped for.

In book 2, it was great to see Feyre and Rhysand’s growth, individually and together. ACOWAR really lacked any sort of growth between them or in each individually. Not to mention that Rhysand is basically perfect–he has no flaws. While I still adore him, looking back on it, his character was a little flat in this novel.

There were SO MANY side characters, and I often found them overly dramatic. They’re supposed to be immortal fae, but they act and talk like immature teenagers in this novel. This didn’t sit right with me, and neither did some of the romantic pairings.

And as for the diversity, the representation was great but it didn’t feel genuine. Many of the LGBT+ characters seemed to be thrown in just for the sake of being there. I liked the diversity, but I think it could have been done in a better way.

I could probably go on and on–I have a lot of thoughts about this book. If you’re interested in reading more, check out my Goodreads review, which includes more spoiler-free thoughts and also a spoilery gushy/ranty section.

 

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Have you read ACOWAR? What did you think of it? Leave your thoughts below!

Until next time,
Brianne

april wrap-up

It’s that time of the month…

As you’ll see if you continue reading any further through this post (heck, even if you just take a look at the picture of my reads for April), you’ll notice I was rather single-minded this month. *coughs embarrassedly* Yes, every book but ONE that I read this month was written by Brandon Sanderson. I just couldn’t help myself! I can be incredibly indulgent at times, and discovering a new favorite author is one of those times I don’t feel the need to hold back.

So, the bookish section of this wrap-up might be a bit of overkill. BUT! At least take away a glowing recommendation from me to get yourself some Sanderson books and start reading. I have loved him THAT MUCH. Seriously. You might as well just walk away from this post and read one of his books instead, you’ll be much better off.

But, if you insist on staying…read on for my April wrap-up!

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bookish things

stats

  • Total books: 7 books and 2 novellas read, 1 DNF
  • Total pages: 4,544 pages
  • Longest book: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
  • Shortest book: The Eleventh Metal by Brandon Sanderson (novella)
  • Favorite book: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
  • Least favorite book: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
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SO. MUCH. SANDERSON.

batch mini reviews

Mistborn Era 2 (Alloy Era) by Brandon Sanderon: ★★★★

Overall, I enjoyed this series (so far), but I did have some problems with relationship developments in the later books. I thought this era started off really strong, but books 2 and 3 just didn’t quite hit the mark for me. Still good reads, especially for the simple fact that the Mistborn world feels so familiar and wonderful to go back to.

The Eleventh Metal and Secret History by Brandon Sanderson: ★★★★★

I read these two novellas in the Arcanum Unbounded bind-up (if that’s what it’s considered, not really sure). I don’t usually bother with novellas, but Secret History in particular was AMAZING and so worth it. Sanderson is so indulgent with his stories sometimes (but I’m not complaining), and this was definitely, 1000% one of those times, but Secret History was also just so fascinating! And just a good read, too. After being slightly disappointed by the Era 2 books, I was so relieved and happy to feel at home again with these Mistborn novellas.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones★★★

I bought this book a while back and finally got around to reading it (as I attempted a break from Brandon Sanderson…ha). This book was dark and creepy yet fascinating. In the end, it didn’t quite work for me but it was still an intriguing read. For more of my thoughts, you can read my full review here.

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson: ★★★★★

I LOVED THIS BOOK. As a standalone book, this one would be a great way to break into Brandon Sanderson’s writing without too much pressure. I found the romance and slightly less complex magic system to be really approachable and enjoyable! Plus, I’m just coming to adore the way Sanderson creates these fantasy worlds with gods and magic and religion and real characters. Highly recommend this one. Read more of my gushy thoughts here.

The Stormlight Archive (books 1 & 2) by Brandon Sanderson: ★★★★★

WHAT TO SAY about this epic series. OH my goodness. I only just finished book two after a whirlwind of reading; these books were utterly unputdownable. This is the epitome of an epic series, and it’s so easy to get sucked into the epicness of it all. As always, Sanderson writes each book in a way that it can stand on its own, with its own arcs, and the characters he crafts are completely irresistible. With each book at about 1,000 pages each, SO MUCH happens yet in the grand scope of things, this story has only just begun. I cannot wait for the third book to come out in November. Keep an eye out for a full review on these soon (if I can manage to get my thoughts straight at all).

DNFed

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Everyone was gushing so much about this one that I picked it up from the library and got about 100 pages into it, but it just wasn’t jiving with me. Perhaps I’m not a huge fan of flowery writing? I just wanted to skim to the ending, and not because I was excited to know what was going to happen. I liked Lazlo, but I just didn’t care about the story being told. So far, at least. I’d like to try and pick this one up again, but I now have mixed feelings on it.

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crafty things

I was a little lazy this month with my crafting. I was so sucked into reading that I often had to force myself to take a break and make some headway on my projects…but I also let myself get lazy and start new things instead of working on WIPs. But productivity is productivity, right?! I think so.

I’ve started thinking about opening an Etsy shop, but a whole host of concerns comes along with that, namely: my lack of self-confidence, my lack of original patterns, and–most important–my lack of an amazing store name! I’m still considering it, but it’s not something I’m expecting to start up anytime soon.

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My first completed baby blanket!

completed

  • a (second) set of 4 dahlia coasters
  • gray baby blanket (see above!)

in progress

  • peachy ripple baby blanket — almost complete (you can catch a peek in my April reads picture!)
  • hexagon blanket — haven’t touched at all lately
  • more coasters — attempting to design a decent original pattern
  • body pillow cover — not yet started, ideas only so far!

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bloggish things

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How was your month of April? Read any Sanderson? If not, let me know so I can natter on at you about why you should. 😉

Until next time,
Brianne

 

top 5 wednesday | april 26

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I’m back again for another Top 5 Wednesday!

If you don’t already know, Top 5 Wednesday is run by Sam thoughtsontomes. Here’s the Goodreads group if you’re interesting in learning more or joining in on the fun!

Today’s prompt: Authors You Want to Read More From

This is actually a weirdly hard prompt for me, because I’m the kind of reader who discovers a new favorite author and immediately inhales everything they’ve written. I’m sure (*I hope*) I’m not the only one like that out there!

However, since I’ve been kind of out of the reading game these past few years, I’ve been frantically catching up on what I’ve missed. As such, I just haven’t had enough time to inhale all the words by some authors I’ve recently discovered.

So, without further ado or useless commentary on my behalf, let’s get started!

1. Brandon Sanderson

Returning readers, are you starting to see a theme on my blog?

I am currently mid-inhale with Brandon Sanderson, and I can’t seem to stop reading his books or gushing about them on this blog. But I can’t bring myself to really care! I just love his unique fantasy worlds, his straightforward writing, and his positively epic stories.

Also, I find it just the Coolest Thing Ever that his books are all somehow connected, even in the tiniest of ways, and that there’s this broader scope to the universe (ahem, excuse me, the Cosmere) he’s created. SO. COOL. Can I be like Brandon Sanderson? In your dreams, Brianne.

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Only *slightly* embarrassing how many Sanderson books I currently have in my posession. (And I have one more on the way…)

2. Victoria Schwab

Around the end of February and beginning of March, I read the Darker Shade of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab, and I loved it! Oh man, those characters got me so emotional. Kell and Rhy! *wipes away tear* I adore them.

I’ve heard lots of good things about Victoria Schwab’s other books, and they all seem especially unique, from each other and from other popular books these days. I’m hoping to pick up another one of hers in the next month or so!

3. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I might be breaking the rules by lumping these two together, but hear out my reasoning! The only books I’ve read by these two were ones they wrote together, the first two books in the Illuminae Files series. Holy moly, how cool are those books! I was so skeptical over the mere design of these books, but they were so great. Again–what characters! If they could make me care about characters who I learned about only through journal entries, interviews, and the like, I’m super intrigued to see what these authors could do in a more traditional novel.

4. Maggie Stiefvater

I’ve kind of had a change of heart with Maggie Stiefvater, although it’s not really all that dramatic. When I was in high school, I picked up her Shiver series from the library, and I thought they were all right but didn’t quite hold my attention. Back then I had the TERRIBLE habit of skimming through books, whether I was enjoying them or not. (I know, I’m cringing as I write this!) So, of course, I skimmed through the Shiver series, and, of course, completely ruined my entire reading experience.

Now, though, I’d like to go back and re-read those books because I realized how amazing Maggie Stievater is after I read the Raven Cycle last year. Oh, those books were so mystical and creepy and heart-wrenching. I had just the best experience binging that series, and have come to follow Maggie on social media and learn just how awesome she is. The rest of her works are on my eventual TBR.

5. Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan! Ending this list with a bang! How great is the Percy Jackson series? I read them while in college but still ADORED them. For me, it was one of those rare cases where I saw the movie and enjoyed it enough that I wanted to pick up the book. (Might’ve also had something to do with Logan Lerman, can’t lie about that.)

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I mean, how cute is he? Such a sweet babe.

I started reading the Heroes of Olympus series after, but college got too busy and I never finished. Now, I’m hearing that the Magnus Chase series is Super Great, so again, all of Rick Riordan’s series are on my eventual TBR.

And there you have it! What authors would you like to read more from? If you’ve read from any of these five (six, technically), which books would you recommend I read first?

Until next time,
Brianne

book review | warbreaker by brandon sanderson

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Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Warbreaker centers around five main characters: two sisters, two gods, and the Warbreaker. Two countries, Idris and Hallandren, are on the brink of war, and the king of Idris sends off his daughter to marry the God King of Hallandren to fulfill their treaty and hopefully appease his enemies. Except, he sends his younger daughter Siri, instead of the expected older sister, Vivenna. Suddenly, Siri finds herself completely unprepared in the city of T’Telir, about to marry the all-powerful God King, and Vivenna finds herself purposeless. She decides to take on a new mission: to save her sister and take her rightful place as wife of the God King. However, she find herself pulled into more than she expected in T’Telir, something a reluctant god, Lightsong, is also starting to discover on his side of the city. And finally, Vasher, the Warbreaker, is wreaking havoc for mysterious reasons, with his sentient sword Nightblood. All five of them play important roles in shaping the events in T’Telir as they resist–or provoke–the war.

Recommended if you like:

  • High fantasy
  • Multiple POVs
  • Slow-developing yet intricate story lines
  • Characters with chemistry and dynamic relationships

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My Spoiler-Free Review

I finished this book days ago and I’m still thinking about it. Just when I wondered if it was really possible Brandon Sanderson was the writing god I suspected, I read this.

This book, guys. It ticks all the boxes.

✓ Well-developed, super interesting fantasy world!
✓ Dynamic, interesting characters!
✓ Teasing romance and burning chemistry!
✓ Just the right amount of action!
✓ Political intrigue and questioning religion!
✓ Ridiculously satisfying ending!

I just adored this book. I wish there could be more in this world (and maybe there will be someday?), but it did work really well as a standalone. Sanderson wrapped everything up and left the reader satisfied yet hopeful for the future of the characters, yet also mourning bittersweetly over those who didn’t make it. (It’s a Sanderson book–yes, there were deaths. Bah.)

I can’t help but marvel again how Sanderson creates such great characters, who have amazing  chemistry with each other, AND puts them into these amazingly, intricately developed fantasy worlds. I was hesitant that I wouldn’t like his other books because I so enjoyed the Mistborn world, but Hallandren and the magic of BioChromatic breath sucked me in (ha) and didn’t let me go. I’m not sure I loved the magic as much as the Mistborn world, but it was still so well written. I wish we could have seen even more regarding the use of BioChromatic breath–we didn’t really see what it was or what one could do with it until much further on in the book. But still–super cool.

And can I just gush about the characters a minute? These characters are all working out their role in their world, yet they’re all so unique, with clear motives and problems they want to solve. I love that Sanderson’s characters question themselves and their beliefs, and come out better for struggling through it. They all manage to niggle their ways into my heart for different reasons, and I just love them dearly!

Warbreaker is definitely less action-packed than some of Sanderson’s other novels, but it worked for me. I could see how other readers might find it slow, but the politics and the developing relationships were enough to propel me forward (and even look ahead in a few spots, oops). I mean, c’mon…who WOULDN’T keep reading for more of Siri and the God King? Sanderson did a better job writing a fantastic romance than most supposedly dreamy YA authors I’ve read lately.

Overall: again, this book ticked all my boxes and then some. I loved it. I think especially women would enjoy this book, but Sanderson has a great way of writing to appeal to a broad audience. Basically: READ THIS BOOK. You won’t regret it.

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Have you read Warbreaker? What did you think of it? Leave your thoughts below!

Until next time,
Brianne

so i guess i’m accidentally participating in tome topple

So I’ve come to the realization that I’m (maybe not so) accidentally participating in Tome Topple.

Here’s what happened: Initially, when I heard about Tome Topple a few weeks ago, I didn’t think I’d participate because I didn’t want to limit myself in regards to my reads; I like to go with the flow and see what calls to me. And I THOUGHT a few books I wanted to read next were short and wouldn’t qualify. But here’s the reality: 3 of the last 4 books I’ve picked up qualify. (And the one that doesn’t I think I might save for later.)

So, hooray?! I’m probably the only person accidentally joining Tome Topple Round 3, but I’m going with it.

Let’s back up. For those of you who don’t know, Tome Topple is a readathon hosted by Sam at thoughtsontomes (yes, I KNOW I just mentioned her in another post but I really do love her videos and we have such similar tastes and opinions) and a bunch of other awesome readers. Round 3 started April 7 and will continue until April 20. The only “rule” is that the books you read must be 500+ pages, aka “tomes.” There are also other challenges, such as:

1. Read more than 1 tome
2. Read a graphic novel
3. Read a tome that’s part of a series
4. Buddy read a tome
5. Read an adult novel

So, since all my recent/current reads are 500+ pages, I decided I’d join in. I may be late, but hopefully no one minds.

 

My Reading Plan:

✓ Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (506 pages) > see my review here

✓ Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (588 pages) > review coming soon!

☐ Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (532 pages) > currently trying to read

 

If I manage read all three of these, I’ll complete challenges 1, 3, and 5! All of these are parts of series, to the best of my knowledge, and Warbreaker is an adult novel. I’m really going to try my best to use this as motivation to finish Strange the Dreamer, since I’m struggling with it a little bit

So, yay! Tome Topple! I was initially intimidated, but I guess I like to be intimidated because nearly all of the books I read lately are 500+ pages. Apparently it’s a thing for me.

Are you participating in Tome Topple? If so, what books are you reading? Let’s talk!