November Subscription Boxes

Here we are, yet again, showing off the books that we got through our subscription boxes in November. Are you excited to see? I hope so, otherwise, why are you reading this? Anyways, onto the books!

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


PageHabit – Mystery + Horror Add-on

This is the last month you guys will see me with the horror add-on. It was a bit too pricey for me, plus I found a subscription box that I’m going to try in December to see if I like it more and then I might change some other things up. But, who knows!

This month, PageHabit donated books to Liberia through Saclepea-Mah Development Association.

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The first thing I noticed in this box was the nice tote bag.

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I’ve been meaning to get one, so having it included in this box is even better!

Next, the other swag that I got from them:

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The usual short story and bookmark, as you can see on the left. Then I got a book magnifying glass. You know, just in case I need to see better. The last thing is a “book”. Aka, it’s a hollow book where you can store shit in there. I already have a big one my friend got me for a birthday a long time ago that I keep coins in, so I’ll be interested to see what I decide to store in this new one.

Now, the books!

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Little Broken Things was the book chosen for the mystery. Thanks to the cover, I thought for a second that they sent me the wrong book and it was romance or literary fiction. But, no. It’s mystery. And it looks pretty interesting.

Blackbird is definitely horror. Again, it’s one of those that looks pretty interesting and I’m excited to read it. I love horror, after all. 


Book of the Month

Okay, so this is the other one that I got in November, which was a real treat for me.

 

For one, I got two books that I love and BotM had as add-ons. And Then There Were None was the first foray I had into mystery, actually. At least, the first book that can be solidly labeled as a mystery. I’ve told the story before, but not on here. In eighth grade, for Honors English 8, we had to read this. To this day, I don’t know why we read this, but it was a really good book and I totally didn’t guess the ending for it. My second add-on was The Heart’s Invisible Furies. That one was definitely a favorite that I’ve read this year. I mean, it’s an epic look at a man’s life as he navigates sexuality in Ireland.

As for my actual choice for the book box, I went with Future Home of the Living God. First, the cover got my attention. Next, the title did. And lastly, when I read the description they provided, I knew that I had to get it. It’s dystopian yet also seems heartfelt and then still seems genuinely interesting without being pretentious. Plus whenever I read the title, Foreigner’s God by Hozier gets stuck in my head.

And, those are the books that I got this month for my subscriptions!


Hey there, ho there! 

In November, I also got two subscription boxes. However, this month I decided to skip Owlcrate because of money. I hate having to skip a month, but I’ll survive. 

Owlcrate – Castles, Courts, and Kingdoms 

I have to admit, after last month’s Owlcrate I was a bit disappointed with this one. It wasn’t bad, but last month was just so good that it was hard to top. 

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Here are all the goodies! 

Included in the box was a beanie that says Expecto Patronum, so naturally, I love it.

There is a thing of soap in the shape of elven bread from LoTR from Fizzy Fairy Apothecary.

There is a Game of Thrones-themed lip balm from Geek Fire Labs.

A notebook with an ACOMAF quote on it from Stella’s Bookish Art.

A wooden broach which is related to the Grishaverse from Juniper and Ivy designs.

The book in the Owlcrate was The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStephano which is a King Midas retelling where the main character can turn people into gemstones, as always the book comes with a signed bookplate and a note from the author. This month it also came with a set of temporary tattoos. 

My favorite things in this box were the Expecto Patronum beanie and the spoiler card. The art is gorgeous and it’s always my favorite part of Owlcrate. 

 

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I mean, it’s beautiful.

 


Book of the Month

Like Caidyn, I also got Book of the Month in November. I love it, honestly. I thought knowing which books you are getting would take away the fun, but it doesn’t. It’s incredibly exciting to get 1-3 books a month that are critically acclaimed and includes new releases. You cannot get a new release for 15 bucks, not anywhere except maybe Amazon. 

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I picked Artemis by Andy Weir and added on The Power by Naomi Alderman. I haven’t read The Martian, but I’ve seen the movie and I got the gist. Artemis has a female as the MC and it takes place on the moon, that’s all I needed to know really. 

The Power, on the other hand, reminded me so much of Sense8 when I read the premise. I love Sense8, btw and was heartbroken when they canceled it. 

 

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Why Netflix? WHY?? Because it was too expensive and had no plot.

 

Ahem, anyway…moving on. Basically, I was drawn to The Power because it takes place all over the world and includes powerful females. Say no more, I’m in. 

That was it for November! I look forward to what is coming up in December. 

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Lady Bird – Written & Directed by Greta Gerwig

Lady Bird poster

(Chantel)

I know this started as a book blog, but movies are my first love. When I was younger, I wanted to be a director and dreamed of winning an Oscar for my acclaimed film in the life of a queer teenager. So whenever a coming-of-age story comes along, I’m interested. Usually, they come in the form of movies directed toward a younger audience. They are often sanitized and something doesn’t quite feel authentic about it. The movie Edge of Seventeen got a lot of praise because it felt more real and the teenagers swore. Gasp! Yes, most teenagers swear. I know I did. It’s hard to connect to movies that don’t present things in an authentic way, and Lady Bird was incredibly authentic.

For those who might not have heard of this movie, it stars Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. (Both of them have been nominated for a Golden Globe award.) As of right now, December 2017, it is the best-reviewed movie on Rotten Tomatoes. It maintains 100% on the site with nearly 200 reviews. This means that every critic gave the movie a “Fresh” or positive rating. Rotten Tomatoes scores should be taken with a grain of salt, but this movie has broken a record that was previously set by Toy Story 2.

That’s not the reason I saw this movie. It’s because of Saoirse Ronan. I have been a fan of hers for years, one of her first film roles was in Atonement and even though I couldn’t sit through that movie, I’ve seen her in other movies. She’s a fantastic actress and she’s got a long career ahead of her. She shines so brightly in this movie as a senior in her last year of high school. She’s snarky, funny, rebellious, curious, and plenty of other adjectives. Otherwise known as a complex character. Christine, aka “Lady Bird” deals with a lot over the course of her senior year. She attends a Catholic school because he mother refuses to put her in a public school and this becomes an interesting backdrop for her character. She has two romantic interests that end up not working out and she struggles with her role at a school where most of the students are from wealthier families. She lies to fit in and is bold in the way she approaches people. Personally, I thought she was an excellent character.

This movie takes place in Sacramento, dubbed “the Midwest of California” in the movie. While I have not personally been there, I felt like Gerwig did a great job of giving us the sense of what it was like. It was a place you wanted to be free from and yet were nostalgic for at the same time.

I think the reason I enjoyed this movie so much was the relationship between Lady Bird and her mother. I am very close with my mother. It was just us when I was growing up and there were many times when we only had each other. When I was close to graduating high school we fought all the time. There were times when our relationship was really tense. The same is portrayed in Lady Bird. For example, Lady Bird wants nothing more than to leave Sacramento while her mother is insistent on her going to college nearby. There is also an issue of money. Her father gets laid off and her mother works her ass off to support five people. It’s a struggle. They struggle and more than once, Lady Bird becomes aware of things she doesn’t know because she’s not paying attention. She’s focused on herself. It’s one of those things where Lady Bird doesn’t realize how much her mother (and father) do for her until near the end of the movie. Things were really emotional toward the end and I thought I might cry. The ending gave me hope that everything was going to be fine for the two of them.

I’d also like to say that I’ve only seen Laurie Metcalf, who plays Lady Bird’s mom, on Roseanne and she was fantastic in this movie. There was so much she said without dialogue. At one point, just a look had people laughing. The two actresses worked really well together and you could almost believe this relationship between a mother and daughter was real.

For me, a great movie is one that sucks you into its world and convinces you that you are there. All of the characters felt real. The relationships felt real. The highs and lows felt real. There is no doubt in my mind this is a great movie. I adored the characters and loved escaping into their lives for an hour and a half. If you get a chance, go out and see it. You don’t have to be a film lover to enjoy this movie, and I think it brings an authenticity to something that is often meant to help us escape.

The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson

The Murders of Molly Southbourne

(Caidyn)

4/5

So, this is the first read I’ve completed for my Yule bingo! And, it wasn’t a bad start, either. I talked about this book in our last First Lines Friday, and if you guys read the opening lines, you’d see why it’s so interesting.

It held my attention the whole time, despite watching various movies or documentaries while I was reading. I was impressed by this book, too. It’s small, just over 100 pages, but packs a punch. I kept wondering what was going on as this unnamed narrator tells us the story of Molly Southbourne, her kidnapper.

Other than that, I can’t go into more detail. Since it’s so small things happen quickly and I’d end up spoiling everything.

There are a couple cons that I’d like to bring up for the book, though. Despite my interest, I felt rather detached from the action. It was sort of like watching a movie that really interests you, but you can’t exactly get into it and emotionally connect with the characters. Which isn’t a great thing because there are quite a few emotional events in the book. I just never connected. Maybe that was the point the author had with the style he chose, but it also made me wish I got attached to people.

Another con is the very sudden twist at the end. It wasn’t eased in at all, just suddenly there’s a bunch of information that explains Molly and how she is and all of that. It felt very sudden and like a load of info-dumping that made me more detached from the reveal.

Other than those two things, I highly recommend this book. It’s weird and freaky, but intriguing at the same time.

Poll Results!

Well, guys. Here we are. I’m announcing what we’ll be reading in 2018. Honestly, I couldn’t believe how many people filled out our survey. 37 people. We compiled everything in a Google doc that ended up at 20 pages with all the books and details on those books for our reference, suggestions we got, and the ratings. So, firstly, thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey. We appreciate it so much.

The average rating for the blog was 4/5 stars. 10 people gave 3 stars, 10 people gave 4, and 13 gave 5 five stars. I’m going to say I gave this blog four stars when I filled it out, just because there were things we could do better. There’s always room for improvement.

So, what are we going to change with the blog in 2018? Based on what you guys told us what you’d like to see more, here’s what:

  • Book tags

50% of you said you wanted to see us do more of these. While they take us a long time to do, we will add more to our blog. Perhaps a bimonthly tag, so two per month in 2018. That’s not bad and a change we’ll take on.

  • Personal posts

35% said more personal posts. However, our lives aren’t that interesting. We still came up with a few areas. Chantel goes to Comic Cons, so she can write posts about those. We can also talk about what movies or TV shows we watch. In my house, we cook a big meal on Saturdays that I can take pictures of and post about. So, we have some things to talk about our lives more.

  • Reviews other than books

18% of people said they wanted to see other types of reviews. Not surprisingly, we will do these in joint reviews of movies and TV shows. We frequently watch things together, so whipping a joint review of it up isn’t bad. Then, we also thought about music or video game reviews. We both love music, so why not? Then, Chantel does play video games, so perhaps she can post about this, too. For those 21+ people, alcohol reviews might be a thing.

  • Tips for how to do things

21% of people wanted us to tell them how to do things. We don’t really know how to do unique things. But, we can talk about book subscriptions. Chantel can talk about writing since she does like writing. Then, I write about research and formal writing for school.

  • More Chantel

While the surveys were anonymous, I know Chantel was the first person to fill it out and it’s not rocket science to figure out she put this since it was in the response of the first person.

I know you guys could care less about what we’re adding and you can expect to see more of, so I’ll move onto the thing you guys want to know most about. What are we going to read together in 2018? Let me tell you, 18 of the 20 pages of that Google doc pertained to that information. You guys really gave us a lot of options to sort through, which was really nice.

Based on all those responses, we came up with a personal Top 12 for each of us, then decided on what we had in common and what we needed to sort out.

And, here are our 12 books:

Four people actually asked us to read this, so we did at least attempt to keep in mind what people really wanted us to read.

Both of us really enjoyed Le Guin, so we automatically saw her name and bumped it up. Last year, we read The Left Hand of Darkness and enjoyed it. Ignore the review. We were still figuring out how to do stuff and were trying to take this job seriously.

Another repeat from last year, actually. We loved reading Bonk together and I read Stiff by myself. Another time where we saw her name and agreed to read her without thinking.

Okay, this one was one of those where I didn’t want to read it and Chantel said she was going to read it eventually. Five people said they wanted to see us read it. I’ve tried avoiding it thanks to trying The Grisha trilogy, but I guess this year I’m not lucky.

With May’s read, you guys are probably wondering why we have two books listed. That’s because weren’t sure if we’d like Six of Crows and wanted some lee-way. Just in case we like that book, we’ll be reading Crooked Kingdom. If not, we’ll be reading Vicious. Three people mentioned this book in their recommendation and we have read Schwab before, although to a disastrous conclusion.

While this one didn’t get multiple votes, we decided that we liked the sound of this book and have chosen this for our June read.

For July, I was all for this book since I’ve seen so many positive reviews. Chantel gave a noncommittal “sure” but actually we put it as the same month so July it is.

This is a retelling of The Tempest, a book we read together, written by the same person who wrote another book we read together, The Handmaid’s Tale. We both talked about how we wanted to actually read the “series” of retellings that are being done and I’d like to give Atwood another chance, so here we are with this one.

Now, I wanted to read this since I saw it was getting hate for a white author writing about Mexican culture and I like drama. Then, Chantel gave another “sure” for this, and we both decided it was a good idea to give this a try.

I’ve had this book on my to-read list for years. I gave a solid yes, Chantel said sure. We decided, yet again, we should give this one a go since it’s kind of spooky looking for October. At least Chantel has some taste with “scary” books.

This book was a contentious choice for us since Chantel put it in her choice and I didn’t. (Which surprised Chantel, actually.) Either way, it looks like a good book and one that could be fun for us to read together.

We both gave this book a sure and decided that since it’s so popular, we can give it a good try, you know? Either we’ll hate it or love it. Either way you guys will be amused by our commentary. Plus the movie doesn’t look half bad.

So, that’s it! Those are the things you guys should look forward to in 2018 (and probably late 2017 as well) with our blog. Do you like what you see? Did we choose any of your books to read in 2018? Do you guys have any other suggestions or complaints or rates about us not choosing your car?

You Can’t Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump by Alec Baldwin

You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump

(Caidyn)

4.5/5

That’s a long title, isn’t it? And if you don’t already know, I really hate Trump and everything he stands for. I also find Alec Baldwin as Trump one of the funniest things alive since he’s actually pretty spot on but over the top, but also really accurate. He knows how to act the part no matter how you put it.

I was scrolling through the political books that were available as a downloadable audiobook through my library and this popped up. Which is funny since 1) this is slightly political; 2) it is satire; and 3) it is very loosely nonfiction. I don’t know what my library was thinking, but I wouldn’t have found out about it otherwise.

So, the first thing I want to say is that I highly suggest the audiobook version. Alec Baldwin narrates first as Trump, then as himself, and then he leaves and gets someone else, and then someone else does, and finally Trump comes back.

Either way, it’s really funny since it largely takes you through the year from the eyes of Trump. Baldwin and Andersen (since this is written by the two of them) take Trump and really make it a joke about how he’s mentally unstable. He’s very public about how he doesn’t use any type of drugs, so he’s sober when he makes all of these statements. Scary, right?

I found myself laughing right away and it kept me entertained throughout the whole book. Humor isn’t my genre for the most part. I don’t read it because humor gets old really fast for me. I get bored since all the jokes are the same. This book doesn’t escape that critique, but I still found it funny the whole time.

I do recommend this book if you want to find humor in the past year, and wants a twist about what’s going on in Trump’s mind and perhaps all the things he holds back from us.

First Lines Friday

Hello everyone! For one of us (aka Caidyn) finals are kicking in. For everyone else going through these dark times, good luck to you!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


I wake into a universe defined by pain.

I can only open my eyes to slits, and the lids are so swollen, it feels like staring out of a hamburger. Warm fluid trickles out of my nose, but that doesn’t worry me as much as the warm pool I appear to be lying and sliding around in. Every part of my body hurts. It hurts to breathe, it hurts to hold my breath, it hurts to think. The fabric I’m wearing hurts against my skin. I close my eyes to rest the lids, then I open them again because I have no idea where I am.


I’m sure that Chantel will hate that opening. Yup. It’s quite violent and right away brings images to mind that are uncomfortable. But that’s what makes this my favorite genre. And a part of my Yule bingo board. I think that gives you enough hints right there.

So, it is….

The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson

The Murders of Molly Southbourne

This book is super short, so I have a feeling I’ll be finishing it very quickly. Also, from those two paragraphs I gave you guys, it’s pretty catching, isn’t it? Granted, you have to be interested in violence and I saw in one review that there is self-harm in this, so who knows where it’s going to go. Either way, I’m intrigued by it.


When I was seven winters of age, my mother caught me in the hearth stacking red-hot coals with my bare hands. 


Okay, I know this is short, but when I thought about adding the next paragraph, it didn’t flow. I think this line alone sucks you into the story because it’s fascinating. At least, I think it is. It grabbed my attention for sure. This was a book I read earlier this year and while it’s not a perfect book, it was a cute f/f romance and the circumstances surrounding that romance was quite interesting and it was the reason I had picked up this book when I first heard about it.

Without further ado I present, 

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Of Fire and Stars Cover

This book’s plot goes like this, Princess Dennaleia is betrothed to Prince Thandilimon to bring peace to their two kingdoms. However, Princess Denna ends up falling for Thandilimon’s sister Princess Amaranthine. Yes, it’s a story with two princesses who end up falling in love. It’s very fairy tale-esque, and I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. This is a whole other genre of YA fantasy which features an f/f romance at its core. It’s also a hate to love romance and a slow burn, so if you like that give it a shot!

Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In by Bernie Sanders

Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In

(Caidyn)

5/5

Full disclosure: I wanted President Bernie. I was all for him as the president and I really wanted him. To this day, I’m convinced he would have made a perfect president and a better person to go against Trump. He was my favorite since he deviated so much, yet kept on the same track. And what he wanted actually had a plan. Maybe you guys disagree with me, which is fine, but that’s my personal bias going into this book.

I listened to this book while at work. My hourly job that is below the living wage, me clinging to benefits that I have and rarely use since I’m never given the opportunity. I mean, I’m Bernie’s target audience for this. 2016’s election was the first election I really was involved in. While I knew some things about both of Obama’s campaigns, they didn’t really matter to me. This one was the first election I was fully aware of. I knew the issues. I followed the campaign trail. This was the first election I could vote in.

However, I hadn’t been able to vote for Bernie because of Kansas law. To vote in the primaries here, you have to be registered under the party. I’m an independent because while I am a very strong liberal, I also have a few conservative views and I don’t want to assign myself to a party.

Or, that’s how I was before this book. Now, I’ve realized that both parties are corrupt and I need to be careful.

This book is really important. Not just for the Bernie supporters, but for people who just want to hear another view and is upset with the state of things right now. There’s something wrong. That’s what Bernie and Trump’s campaigns told us and perhaps why Hillary wasn’t elected. Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark and going with the status quo isn’t going to work. Even though Trump is the status quo and then some for the Republican party. I digress.

So, what is this review, really? It’s a jumble of thoughts about myself and how this book related to me. Not a deep analysis of the issues, even though I’d like to do that. Bernie’s message impacted so many people because we can see that there’s something wrong with how we live today in America. The rich are getting richer and the middle class is going away. I mean, he spoke to me and my worries.

My parents are using their retirement money on my undergrad. That’s so much money that they could have used for their actual retirement, but they invested it in me. Yes, they wanted to do it that way. I knew they would. But it still hurts me because I worry so much about how I’m going to take my degree and use it. Then, how am I going to pay them back to make sure they live good lives as they get older?

While perhaps you might not agree with some of the things he said, you can still hear that he genuinely cares about the way things are going in the United States and he wants to fix them in the way he thinks will work best. I don’t even agree with some things he talks about, but I agree on the key issues.

This book explained his thoughts in a way that was easy to understand. You could follow his line of reasoning in his own words, pulling from the most recent data that he could and showing exactly what he has done while in Congress. I highly recommend it no matter what party you come from (or neither party) so long as you feel upset about the way things are. Bernie offers great alternatives and things that you can think about.

Yule Bingo

(Caidyn)

As I said in our wrap-up for November, I was planning on doing this whole deal. My goal for this is to do a blackout board. While I don’t think I will manage it in December, I’ll extend it into January to accomplish it all.

Gryffindor

  • Weasleys: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Harry: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • Dumbledore: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  • Marauders: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

Slytherin

  • Snape: Henry VIII and His Court by Alison Weir
  • Voldemort: The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
  • Malfoy: King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
  • Nagini: The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

Ravenclaw

  • Luna: Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Moaning Myrtle: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  • Ollivander: The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
  • Room of Requirements: The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson

Hufflepuff

  • Newt: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wrecker
  • Cedric: The Invention of Hugo Cabaret by Brian Selznik
  • Tonks: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  • Butterbeer: Still Life by Louise Penny

The “Nope” Tag

Emma tagged us in this back in October. We are finally getting to it. Great, right? We’re really on top of shit this time. But, you guys, totally check out her blog. She’s fantastic and funny and great. Her posts are always a joy to read.

We’re super excited for this tag because we love throwing shade, both at other things and at each other for life choices.

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


1. Nope. Ending: a book ending that made you go nope either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was crappy.

Oh, man. Strange the Dreamer got me so pissed off with that ending. I could tell it was coming a mile away — with both main twists it presented — and I was so upset that Laini Taylor did the same shit she did in her other series that I can’t imagine myself reading the rest of that series.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid pissed me off so much. I don’t rage at books often, but this ending was fucking stupid and I predicted it about halfway through the book. It was not only angering, but I wanted something far more original than what I ended up with. I guess that’s what I get for reading a book just because of the cover. 

That book was good and masterfully crafted. You just found it dull since you guessed it too early.

I do not deny that the book was interesting and I read it quickly, but the ending was absolute shit and predictable. 

It wasn’t, though! It was really well-done.

Nope timon

 

2. Nope. Protagonist: a main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

LILAH FUCKING BARD. DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON HER. Damn, you hate her so much you spelled her name wrong. She deserves her name spelled wrong. She pisses me the fuck off in all the ways. She makes no sense to me. She’s not feminist. She’s not fantastic. She’s a dumb shit. Also, why is that book considered adult fantasy? Shit reads like YA. Also, not the biggest fan of Ron Weasley (sorry) or anyone in that damn heretical book called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Can I just dedicate this one to all of the Katniss/Tris/Bella Swan ripoffs because those characters are shit to start with. They should not be copied in any form. Instead, they should be a lesson in how to not write flat, boring, annoying characters. 

Titus andromadon

Titus knows what’s up. 

Why would anyone want to copy them anyways, right? Katniss was cool until she decided to want to worry about guys. Bella always sucked ass. And who the fuck is Tris?

Many YA authors have copied them. The Hunger Games just angers me. I don’t understand why a love triangle was even a part of the plot. Why was romance part of the plot?! Tris was the main character in Divergent a wannabe Hunger Games. 

Man, fucked if I know. Revolution > love triangle every day. Well, I failed reading those books so makes sense why I never got into them.

In real life, I’m absolutely certain that’s how it would go. You wouldn’t care about which boy you were going to choose. Yeah, well it sucked. I didn’t even finish the series because I stopped caring. 

That was me with Hunger Games. I couldn’t give two shits after Catching Fire. Probably because I found the sequel so boring. It suddenly turned political after that very interesting beginning.

3. Nope. Series: a series that turned out to be a huge pile of nope after you’ve invested all of that time and energy on it (or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore.

C’mon. I’m trying to remember any books that I’ve had happen with that. Probably because I blocked them out. However, that Asylum series by Madeleine Roux really was shitty in the end. Same with Miss Peregrine’s.

Okay, so I believe last year I started reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman (maybe it was this year, I don’t remember) and I didn’t even make it through the first book because there was a really weird sex scene that I couldn’t get past so I promptly gave up on ever reading this series. 

ah no

My actual reaction.

Haha! I actually read that book, rated it four stars, and wrote a nice review for it. And I don’t remember why I did it.

Image result for confused gif

Me @ me

Isn’t it fun when we can’t remember why we liked a book? Always a good sign.

It’s even worse since I wrote that nice review of it AND I can only remember things I didn’t like. So, fucked if I know.

I can’t believe you even finished it. 

I literally don’t remember the ending.

4. Nope. Pairing: a “ship” you don’t support.

So. Many. Ron/Hermione, Luna/Scammander, Snape/Lily, Kell/Lila (because I didn’t finish the series but I knew it was coming), and others. I’m sure that Chantel will have a few that we can mutually bitch about. (And Ash totally did a blog post about this so I have to link her in for the hell of it.)

I don’t give a shit about ships. If a book has a great romance, that’s awesome. I’m really struggling to think of a ship I don’t like. I will say that Kell/Lila was set in stone from page one. Hard pass there. Other than that, let’s just agree that toxic relationships aren’t romantic at all. 

First of all, that is a fucking lie. You do care about shipping and if you didn’t we wouldn’t be friends.

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What other toxic relationships are there? Besides the obvious ones, like Bella and Edward. Or Bella and Jacob. Or Jacob and Renesmee.

Okay, let me issue a correction, I don’t care about shitty ships. All of the ships I care about are fantastic and aren’t from books. So there. 

I call bullshit again. Victor/Sherlock is 100% from a book. You just fail since you haven’t read the series even though you own a very nice copy AND PROMINENTLY DISPLAY IT ON YOUR SHELVES.

Okay, but I have never read any of the Arthur Conan Doyle novels or stories, so the basis on which I ship Victor and Sherlock has nothing to do with the books. I also have many things displayed on my bookshelf I have not read. 

You’ve just failed, yo. Read them. They’re actually really good.

5. Nope. Plot twist: a twist you didn’t see coming and didn’t like.

I’m usually good at picking out possible plot twists, honestly. It’s rare that I get one that I didn’t guess in some fashion. Chantel help me because I can’t think of any. Probably because I blocked it out or have read things since then.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an abomination, and part of that is because of the twist that what’s her face is Voldemort’s daughter. Fucking gross, man. Also, the time travel bullshit was just that. Bullshit. I can’t believe I paid money for this piece of shit. 

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I bought a hardcover and Kindle copy of Cursed Child and returned the Kindle one. I’m still on the edge on keeping the hardcopy. Keep it for a complete collection or burn the thing?

BURN BABY BURN!

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6. Nope. Genre: a genre you will never read.

Poetry is usually a no-go for me. Same with romance or erotica. But, I have read stuff like that in the back. I don’t think that it’s a genre, but I’m going to call torture porn a genre. What I mean by that, are books that are full of pointless suffering and sadness and no one’s happy and then everyone dies. I hate that shit.

Never is such a strong word. I am trying to expand my horizons and so I don’t want to close off any genre. However, I likely won’t read many horror or non-fiction. I’m not saying I will never read books from either genre, but I’m less likely to. 

Imma get you to read horror, ho.

Gimme some queer characters and I’m in. 

You know I’m going to do this now. You’ve found your own doom.

I’m serious. It worked with mystery. 

Anyone know any queer horror books? I’m deadset to get this done.

7. Nope. Book format: book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different addition.

Anything with print the size of my tiny ass fingernail. I have decent eyes, but damn. I can’t read that shit.

Mass market paperbacks are the fucking devil. 

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BURN THEM ALL!

You remember how you bought me the series Locke Lamora for my birthday? All of them are mass market paperbacks.

…I’m so sorry. 

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I forgive you, Chantel. However I don’t hate them like you do.

8. Nope. Trope: a trope that makes you go nope.

I’m really coming to hate men as saviors for women. I can go with the usual thing like love triangles, but that and woman on woman hate over a dude pisses me the fuck off.

If you use a character’s sexuality or gender as a plot twist, kindly fuck off. Other than that, don’t pair every character off with someone else. It’s completely unrealistic and stupid. IT’S OKAY IF A CHARACTER IS SINGLE.

PREACH CHANTEL PREACH. I tend to like books that aren’t in relationships or the relationship isn’t the center of the story.

I love how Gentleman’s Guide ended with Felicity single, however, she wasn’t the main character. I am just sick of the idea that characters have to be with someone. Books, where there are romances that aren’t the main focus, are just delightful.

I also hope that she’s ace because that’d be great k thx bai.

OMG YAAAAAAASSSSSSS. 

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I’m white so this is my yas dance.

yas yas yas

9. Nope. Recommendation: a book recommendation that is constantly pushed at you that you simply refuse to read.

Cassandra Clare, Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas. They aren’t constantly pushed at me, but I literally can’t with them. Dropping this in as well, but if you want us to read things and have recommendations, even if they’re nopes for us, please see our survey where you can push things at us.

Right now, as much as I want to read Adam Silvera I’m pretty fucking fragile right now so I can’t. Basically, I was 100% burned by the Shades of Magic trilogy, so I’m very distrustful of books that are hyped. 

Silvera = torture porn.

Considering I practically curled up into a ball at the end of The Song of Achilles, I don’t think I can handle Silvera. 

Or A Little Life.

10. Nope. Cliche: a cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

That thing where people just stare into mirrors and examine themselves. I’m guilty of doing that in my writing, but, like, it’s so hilarious. Who does this? Who examines everything about their body when they look in a mirror? Who does this?

YA is so full of cliches that I think I’m desensitized to them by now. Besides, what’s the difference between cliche and trope? 

Cliche: a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought
Trope: a significant or recurrent theme; a motif

Thanks for that. Unfortunately, nothing came to mind, but I’m sure I’d think of something eventually. I feel like this is really specific and nothing really bothers me that much. 

11. Nope. Love interest: the love interest that’s not worthy of being one.

SEVERUS FUCKING SNAPE. Like, Kali, I hate that man and fuck off with him being in love with Lily.

Bella Swan, eat a dick. 

I disagree with you. Edward is an abuser and needs to be there. Bella deserved better and was just stupid.

I suppose you are right. Edward Cullen, eat a dick. 

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No one hates Edward Cullen than RPatz.

I think that’s fantastic. 

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Witness it. WITNESS.

See, that’s not a negative. If Edward was gay, Twilight would’ve been a lot more interesting. 

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This is what Chantel wants.

NO, IT’S NOT!

12. Nope. Book: a book that shouldn’t have existed.

That fucking book Vanilla by Billy MerrellI saw this advertised with the LGBTQ+ books at my local bookstore and almost raged. What a fucking waste of space.

Adam by Ariel Schrag is the book that has pissed me off the most. Let me give you the general premise: a boy goes and stays with his older sister in NYC for the summer and when he meets a lesbian, Gillian, he wants to date he pretends to be a transman. WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? Not only does it work, but he says he’s 20 something years old when he’s 17. After Adam tells Gillian all of this, SHE HAS SEX WITH HIM. This book angers me so much. From Adam to Gillian’s sudden realization she’s into guys with a snap of the fingers, to the fact that Adam suffers no consequences for his actions other than not getting the girl at the end. This book makes me fucking nauseous and what’s even worse is they are making it into a movie. 

Hollywood, why are you the way you are and why do you do the stupid shit you do?

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Yes, because a lesbian wants a transman because he’s a dude. Total sense. Oh, and the movie’s being billed as a comedy. I’ve also heard this rant, like, 10 times. She texted me for three hours about the movie a few weeks ago. 

From what I remember, she was very much into the idea of dating a transman. So, fetishizing it. Even better. This book is a fucking garbage fire. 

Yes, because a vagina makes it fine. Maybe you’re not a lesbian then.

It really seems that way because she ends the book dating a guy. I have no issue with a character’s sexuality changing, but I take issue when the character isn’t the main character and we don’t see their journey. 

It’s also not funny to pretend to be a transman. Seriously.

It’s not funny or okay, ever. 

13. Nope. Villain: a villain you would hate to cross.

Uhm. Hm. Jorg Arancrath. Voldie. Mrs. Weasley. (Okay the last isn’t a villain but holy hell I wouldn’t want to piss her off.)

Dolores Umbridge. She is more terrifying than Voldemort any day. 

Oooh. Good one.

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Okay, but the real question is, who’s better. AVPM or the book/movie?

Okay, that first gif is hilarious but she was super menacing in the book/movie. 

She was and AVPM took her into something very special.

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14. Nope. Death: a character death that still haunts you.

SPOILERS FOR THE BOOK THIEF, HARRY POTTER, MOCKINGJAY, AND LOOKING FOR ALASKA.

My baby Rudy will always haunt me. Same with Dumbledore and Remus. Or the Potters. There are lots of dead characters that hurt me.

Oh gosh, my precious Rudy still kills me to this day. I knew it was coming the whole time and it just wrecked me. Rudy was a sweet baby child who needed many hugs and love and got called an ass daily by the girl he loved and it was so romantic. Ugh, I know and she totally loved him but realized it too late. Breaks my fucking heart. Also, the fact that Prim dies in Mockingjay probably ruined the whole series for me. Mockingjay was such a piece of shit. BAHAHAHAHA. I remember hearing that and laughing my ass off. I think I cried that I laughed so hard because the series was pointless. To save Prim, she went to the games and then Prim died because she went to the games. EXACTLY! It was a very stupid decision and the fact that Gale was thrown under the bus for it pisses me off more. Fuck I hate that book. I didn’t like this book either, but Alaska in Looking for Alaska caused me to throw the book in anger. 

Anything by John Green kills me.

15. Nope. Author: an author you had a bad experience reading and have decided to quit.

Schwab, both YA, and adult for her. I know that some of her stuff is super good or has a ton of hype, but I read two of her books and they were so subpar that I can’t do it.

I don’t like this question either, but I don’t think I will ever read Ellen Hopkins again. I just don’t like the “torture porn” genre as Caidyn calls it and nothing good ever comes from reading her books. 

Ellen Hopkins was great up until she started into adult novels. I still like some of hers, honestly. However, she doesn’t write for a reason anymore. She started writing to get her emotions off her chest about her meth addict of a daughter, then she realized she could raise awareness of other things. Now she’s run out of stuff and it’s just like she packs as much pain and potentially triggering content into the books she writes without having a reason why. It sucks even more since I’ve met her and have two autographed books from her.

November Wrap-up/Book Haul and December Planning

Here we are again. December is here. Snow is in the air if you live somewhere cold.

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So pretty! That was the point of this gif.

This month is just full of wrapping up things for last year and getting into the new year, so I’m sure you’ll see more of projected ideas for what we want to do.

In November, we read actually a few books together (by accident) but we really read The Song of Achilles together. For December, we’re reading two books together! On Writing by Stephen King and The Power by Naomi Alderman.

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


November was an interesting month, but here’s a concise list of what I read:

Next month, I’m really not going to make a huge plan for myself. (Terrible, I know.) But, right now, it’s the end of my semester and I can’t think ahead for December because I’m just stretched thin. However, I really want to try doing Yule bingo. I heard about it from Melanie’s blog and I really love the idea. Since I don’t have Facebook, I won’t do the assigning a house thing, but I’d like to (ideally) do a blackout board.

Hit me up if you have a book idea and/or want to buddy read!

I do have some ARCs that I need to get done as well:

Not too bad, right?

Also in November, I bought one book. One. Probably because I was busy buying presents. I totally got the illustrated edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

 

 

Those are just a few examples of the pages and I can’t wait to take time to really flip through it.

 

They’re just so pretty.

Other than that, I’m just going to sit around waiting for Christmas to come so I can open some gifts and for 2018 to arrive so we can get this shitshow called 2017 out of the way.

 

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Me @ 2018


November turned out to be a typical reading month for me. I read a total of five books, which is pretty good considering I was in the middle of three books at all times it seems and I’m terrible at time management. 

Here are all my books divided by rating:

5 Stars: 

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – So, this was technically a re-read for me as it’s pretty common for most people to have read this in school. At the time I didn’t appreciate it, but I am so glad I read it again. The audiobook done by Sissy Spacek was great and normally I don’t like audiobooks, but it was very well done and the book is just wonderful. Go read it or give it another chance if you were forced to read it in high school. 
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – This book made me smile and made me sob, and it was a beautiful book with a lovely relationship between two boys. If you haven’t read this yet, check it out. I read most of it in a day and that is the highest compliment I can give it. 

4 Stars:

  • Idyll Threats by Stephanie Gayle – Again, this was a re-read for me but I decided to read this again before starting the sequel Idyll Fears. I was a chapter into the second book before realizing I had forgotten most of the characters. However, reading it again just made me appreciate it more. I enjoyed it so much even if the mystery was the weakest part for me. 

3 Stars: 

  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (*2.5) – This was naturally the next book to read after To Kill a Mockingbird. I wanted to read what is essentially another version of To Kill a Mockingbird. However, I was disappointed. I think there was something magical about Mockingbird that wasn’t in Watchman. I think it was the POV change from a child to a 26-year-old. Even still, the complexity of Atticus’ character was the most interesting part of the book. 
  • Zealot by Reza Aslan – This was a book completely out of my comfort zone to the point where I put off reviewing it because I didn’t want it to be controversial. I am not religious, I think I’ve mentioned that a few times, but that doesn’t mean I’m not open to reading about religion. I might drag my feet a bit, but I think it’s important to read about things that aren’t familiar. Ultimately, I liked Aslan’s writing but there were huge chunks of the book that was dull to me. 

All in all, it wasn’t a terrible reading month but it wasn’t great either. I would’ve liked to read more enjoyable books, but it’s also important for me to take chances on books. 

Book Haul

I ended up getting more books than I expected, but I am excited to read every single book I bought in November. I ended up with 4 physical books and 6 Kindle books.

A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood and Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen

A Single Man is a book I’ve been putting off reading because I’ve seen the movie so I know it’s going to break my heart, but I want to read it because I love the movie and it’s a story about grief. I don’t know a lot about Wake of Vultures, but I’ve seen hints that the main character is queer in some fashion even if the language isn’t used. It sounds interesting so I’ll give it a go soon. 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden & The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

These both are books on my TBR that I’ve wanted to read. I’ve heard great things about both and I look forward to reading them. 

Kindle Books:

  • The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves by James Han Mattson – Okay, I forgot about this one, but it was from Prime First or whatever it’s called where you get a book for free. It also has a queer main character which is always great. 
  • Caroline’s Heart by Austin Chant – I’ve heard good things by Austin Chant from Cece who is my favorite booktuber and this is his latest book. All of his books are LGBTQ+ and this book in particular features two trans characters. 
  • Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce – I’m pretty sure I got this because it was on sale, but it also sounds like a fun fantasy series to read one day. 
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch – What was that? Was that the sound of Caidyn cheering? Probably because he’s recommended this to me and it was on sale so I bought it. 
  • The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld – This is a mystery/thriller book. Not my thing usually but it sounded interesting enough that I bought it. Thanks, past Chantel. 
  • The Girl who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow – I haven’t heard a lot about this book and it came out in 2010 which is, holy shit you guys, almost 8 YEARS AGO. Time flies. Anywho, it features a biracial main character which I related to so I wanted to give it a shot.