Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

ImageThe Rundown:

I feel like I hardly know what to say about this one. It was fun and successful satire but it also felt too long and too slow. It’s good if you’re looking for something a little bit lighthearted, but don’t want to turn your brain off completely. I rate it 3.5/5 stars with points for creativity and humor in spite of an overly lengthy plot and unwieldy cast of characters.

The Background:

When the plane carrying 50 Miss Teen Dream contests crash lands on a desert island the surviving contestants band together to survive on an island that contains man-swallowing snakes, a shady government compound, hunky TV pirates, and–a pageant queen’s worst nightmare–no lip gloss.

It’s absolutely ridiculous as it’s meant to be. The story satirizes everything misogynistic about popular culture including the beauty industry, popular movie franchises, commercials,  television, and, of course, pageants themselves.

The Good:

There were a great many moments that were funny, especially in the footnotes. I was able to get attached to a few of the more major characters and really see them change their way of thinking. I loved the way it challenged romance in media as one character maintains her self respect through her short relationship and another pair acknowledges an amicable split and remains friends. Not everyone’s first love is their last in real life, after all.

It really is a feminist statement overall, and the cast includes all different types of women, stereotypical air-headed beauty queens, a stereotypical prickly feminist, a lesbian, a M-F trans woman, a bisexual. The journey they all take away from outside influence is really pretty compelling as well as entertaining.

The Bad:

I was bored a bit while reading. This isn’t an action novel, it’s not really a suspenseful survival tale either. I think the cast of major characters that we follow chapter by chapter could have been cut down, and the plot could have advanced more rapidly. It’s not a long book, but not a lot happens in the first 250 pages either. Sprinkled throughout are “commercial breaks” that I didn’t really advance the plot or add anything to the discussion of ideas already happening on the page. They weren’t funny enough on their own to be necessary. Overall there were just too many perspective changes and too much jumping around to keep me interested in any one scene.

The Wrap-Up:

This was so different from anything else I’ve read this year, so if you’re looking to laugh a little while breaking out of a reading rut, definitely give this a go. It’s a little slow, especially to start, but the ending is worth the struggle to get to it.

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Review: Unbreakable (The Legion #1) by Kami Garcia

Unbreakable is the first book in The Legion series by Kami Garcia, co-author of Beautiful Creatures. This review has no major spoilers, unless predicting the outcome of a love triangle counts as a spoiler. I give this book a 3/5 star rating; I didn’t love or hate it. It had an interesting concept and a creepy atmosphere. The action scenes came thick and fast and it was a fun book to blow through right before Halloween, though I found the romance aspect extremely tiresome.

Kennedy, the protagonist, is thrust unsuspecting into the supernatural world, learning she has inherited a position in a demon-hunting secret society, and is understandably a little shook up about it. She makes mistakes, learns some things and finds how to apply her talents to her new role, experiencing some character growth. Like I said, the story has a pretty great concept.

What killed the book for me was the frustrating and completely uninspired love triangle. Mostly I’m just so sick of this same style of love triangle turning up again and again and again (and again) in every single book I read lately. This, I understand, is partly my problem for reading so many of them. However, I do like some love triangles. I even like some predictable, repetitive love triangles, but unfortunately, this is not one of them.

Kennedy is a relatively tough and brave person yet she completely lacks any self-confidence when it comes to relationships. I get this. She’s young and has had a bad experience, not to mention a terrible abandonment by her father, I can understand her reluctance, yet her interactions with Jared and Lukas are extremely tedious. They’re both in love with her basically instantaneously and it’s suddenly a major conflict of the book, even though much bigger things are going on and they’ve all only just met. It’s a little too soon for do or die romances. Plus we all know it’s gonna be Jared in the end, even though they can never actually talk to each other about it unless their lives are in immediate danger. It is ALWAYS the brooding, damaged one with the electric fingers. It is NEVER the nice, friendly guy (though Lukas is annoying in that he is overprotective, but still).

Aside from the romance, I liked pretty much everything else about this book. The other two supporting characters were fun to have around. The demon-hunting secret (even from itself) society was cool. Kennedy has a big mystery to figure out about her parents, and the ending of this installment was unexpected and set up a hell of a ride for next time.

I give this a weak recommend. If you’re super into ghost hunting, you’ll like it. If you like The Mortal Instruments, you’ll like it. If you’re sick and tired of insipid love triangles, consider skipping it.

Review/Discussion: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant is the third and final book in the YA, dystopian Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth. This blog is coming to you in two parts: first a brief spoiler free review and then a more in depth discussion of the entire book. It is a difficult book to rate: it packs in action and huge emotional punches, but I felt that certain plot points were inconsistent with the series’ themes. I’ll discuss this further in the spoilery part of this post, and I welcome discussion on it as I work out all of my own feelings on the conclusion.

Divergent and Insurgent, Allegiant’s prequels, have been extremely popular for a reason: the Divergent series is probably the best dystopian series to emerge in the wake of the popularity of The Hunger Games. The series has a unique and interesting societal structure that drives its heroine’s character development and challenges its reader’s perspective on identity and virtue. The romance is impressive in its nuance and maturity. It takes on many narrative and thematic challenges and confronts most of them admirably and thoughtfully.

Allegiant suffers a bit, however, in its expansion of the world and conflict. Divergent and Insurgent take place inside the city, and Allegiant brings the characters out into the world to learn why they were so confined, and I thought the science was spotty and the government operation was somewhat illogical. It was extremely difficult to imagine a society making such a strange set of decisions.

Ultimately, however, I do recommend it. It’s a satisfying conclusion to an excellent series and it gives its readers a lot to think about. Now I will attempt to organize my own thoughts on it for you. Don’t continue on unless you have finished Allegiant; I promise it’s not a book you want to spoil for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seriously. Don’t do it. This is your final warning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About 100 pages from the end of this book I got extremely nervous. Tris and Tobias were both planning courses of action I thought would be disastrous and would completely contradict their own morals and the series’s themes.

In the climax of the book, the group outside the fence faces an interesting moral quandary, though both decisions have strikingly similar outcomes: do they allow people to destroy themselves and be destroyed in war, or do they erase those people down to their bare bones, destroying and saving them all at once? Tris and Tobias are from the city and want their home to fall to neither source of destruction, so they seek to stop both.

Tobias thus re-enters the city with a two fold mission. First he must find Uriah’s family before the city dwellers’s memories are wiped clean so he can deliver the news of Uriah’s impending death and confess his role in the plot that caused it.  His sense of duty to Uriah’s family was admirable. He was motivated by the knowledge that although it would be easier on them to forget Uriah, it wouldn’t be true or worthy of Uriah’s legacy to let him pass without acknowledgement of the circumstances of his death. I felt he was truly motivated by a desire to do what was best, even if it was painful, for his student and his friend.

Tobias then develops a second plan for his time in the city. He takes a vial of memory-wiping serum and resolves to dose one of his parents, who are the leaders of the warring parties inside the city, and when it comes time to choose, he heads for his mother. When I first read it, I was so appalled by the idea of his completely erasing her identity in an attempt to reconcile her with the man who made both of their lives a living hell. At the last moment, though, he changes his mind and instead offers Evelyn a choice: end the lonely, hate-driven war and have her family back or continue to fight and lose him forever. She chooses her son. Mission accomplished, and, in relinquishing total power and choosing discussion over force, Tobias faces and defeats his new-found fear of becoming his father.

As we all know, Tobias soon faces his other changed fear, and so we must turn back to Tris.

I have been struggling to come to terms with the morality of Tris’s plan to stop the memory-wipe of Chicago by the researchers. She seeks to stop an evil act by committing the same act, just on a different group of people. On one level, I understand her desperate position. She’s trying to prevent loss of life, and, especially from her point of view, the people she seeks to destroy are not innocent people. However, I can’t help but notice that her reasoning and motives are insanely similar to those of the researchers she is fighting. She reasons she is making the choice of the lesser of two evil options, and I suppose I agree with that idea because I couldn’t really think of a better option either, but I was still uncomfortable. In a series that has been so focused on the power of personal choices, it seems strange to conclude with a heroine sacrificing everything to violate that sanctity for others. It did have a very realistic ring to it, though. After all, in nearly every civil war, there comes a point where the oppressed become the oppressors. My feelings on this idea in the novel are (obviously) incredibly conflicted.

One thing I did like about the way Tris’s story ended was that it brought her individual character arc full circle, thematic inconsistency on the larger scale aside. Throughout the series, Tris is constantly learning and changing her definition of personal virtue. She leaves Abnegation in book 1 only to find that Dauntless is twisted in its own way as well, and that bravery and selflessness often go hand in hand. In book 2, she tries to sacrifice her life, but her motives come from a place of grief and guilt, selfish reasons at the core. By book 3 she’s learned better. She’s seen enough war and death not to desire it for herself, but she risks it anyway, for the love she bears her family and her friends. Her death was sad and shocking to read, and the death of any person to war and violence is tragic, but it is, for her character, kind of triumphant.

In the pages after Tris’s death we learn that the city has been liberated and is allowed to operate freely, like some other non-experimental metropolises. Due to their altered memories, the people of Chicago are much less prejudiced against so called genetically defective people. It’s a tad perfect, considering the attitude of the country as a whole, and again, the precedent of changing people’s minds by force doesn’t bode so well for the society. Things are good, but I think (hope) it’s intentionally implied that they probably won’t stay that way.

But the bulk of the ending is rightly focused on Tobias. He learns of Tris’s death, sees her body, hears her final words to him from Caleb. It felt quick when I read it, but it actually gets a good bit of description. Any longer would have felt contrived. He then hits his lowest point when he decides to wipe his own memory to save himself from grieving. Christina stops him right in time and in her words and her action  we see that a person’s identity comes from experience and their strength (or weakness, in some cases) comes from who they choose to love and call their friends. It’s a final challenge to the twisted society they live in where a gene map is said to determine a person’s worth.

Then, the epilogue, which is my favorite scene in the book. (aka the one I bawled my eyes out reading) Two years later, Tobias and the other surviving characters go zip lining off the Hancock building, spreading Tris’s ashes. It’s a big mix of what feels like every emotion possible. Nearly everyone present has lost a love or a family member, so there is grief in their absence, but there is joy in friends gathering together. Tobias is still afraid of heights, of course, but as he falls he understands Tris’s joy in the flying. It was a perfect little bittersweet moment with which to end the book.

There’s certainly more to be said, but this is as much as I can write for now. Allegiant was really a study in contradictions for me: beautiful and terrible, wrapping things up and leaving a hundred loose ends. It’s worth reading for entertainment alone, but I appreciated having a book that was so entertaining be so thought-provoking as well.

November’s a Good Month to Read a—Movie

I’ve been working most of the afternoon on this big, meaty review and philosophical discussion post about Veronica Roth’s Allegiant, which released this Tuesday. I hoped to have it up today, but it’s turning into such a monstrous and messy block of text that that is clearly not going to happen. I was just thinking though, that November is going to be such a good month to be a book lover at the movie theater as three YA books hit theaters this month.

Ender’s Game-November 1st

Ender’s Game, starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford, rockets into theaters November 1st. (See what I did! Rockets! ‘Cause it’s in space! I crack myself up.) I’d heard of the source novel by Orson Scott Card a long time ago, but I didn’t read it until about a month ago, after the movie started advertisements, and I am so excited to see the game-battles on screen. It’s definitely a book that I think will lend itself to an amazing visual experience, and there are so many great actors cast in it.

The Book Thief-November 8th

Just a week later, on November 8, 20th Century Fox releases its film adaptation of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I’ve read this book twice, and I loved it both times, but it’s been at least 4 years since the last time and I think I forgot a lot about it. I’m trying to decide if I should reread it before or after I see the movie. I want to remember the plot, but I don’t want to sit in the theater and nit pick about every little change the filmmakers make. I am interested to see if the movie maintains Death as a character, though. It was such a fascinating aspect about the novel.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire-November 22nd

Then, on November 22, Catching Fire, the follow up to The Hunger Games comes out. I was pretty impressed with the first movie, and I’m sure this one won’t disappoint either. Catching Fire was my favorite book in the series because it so perfectly balanced emotion and action, and we all know Jennifer Lawrence can do both.

Which one are you most excited for? Did I forget any? What books are becoming movies next year that I should start reading now? Hopefully I’ll be able to go and see all of these movies next month and try my very non-expert hand at film review, or at least book-to-film comparison.

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This is a major spoiler free review and discussion of Thirteen Reasons Why, a contemporary YA novel, by Jay Asher. I rate it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Several weeks after his classmate Hannah Baker commits suicide, a shoe box filled with cassette tapes arrives on Clay Jensen’s doorstep. The tapes are Hannah’s suicide note, passed on to each of the twelve people with the greatest connection to the events that sped her spiraling depression and hopelessness. The book follows Clay as he listens to and follows the footsteps of her story in one sleepless night.

For a book told almost entirely in flashback, with a known ending, I found it to be extremely suspenseful and compulsively readable. Every side of every tape could be Hannah’s note to Clay and the tension over what she might say about him drives both Clay and the reader through the story. The tension doesn’t dissipate after we get to him though, as all the threads of her story come together and we see the final weeks of her life.

I loved the composition style of this book. We hear all of Hannah’s words, italicized in the book, and Clay in first person before and after each tape as well as interjected throughout so his thoughts and emotions are experienced immediately and intimately. I haven’t heard the audiobook, but I bet it’s great, since this is pretty much the perfect story for the format. I also loved that Clay was on the move throughout the story, travelling to the places she mentioned on the tapes, because it lent a artfully misplaced sense of urgency to the story. Hannah mentions the place immediately before she talks about what happened there so that her listener arrives after her story there is done. It emphasizes her disconnect from the world before she died and the fact that everyone is too late to help her.

I had some mixed feelings about Clay as a character. He came out to be a little too perfect, Walkman theft and lying to his mom excepted. Nearly every other character was such a strong mixture of good, bad, and misguided that he felt a little more flat in terms of traits. His relationship with Hannah was completely embedded in the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, which I find to be over done, but the book did make an effort to challenge the idea that people can be viewed with simplicity. I guess I just struggled with Clay because he was a narrator that I felt wasn’t as realistic as he could have been, though I’m not sure because I wouldn’t relate to him (which I don’t mean a bad thing!) even if he was.

Ultimately, it’s a book with a clear message that it executes well: everything we do and say can and does affect someone else. There wasn’t really one major event that caused Hannah to lose hope, it was the accumulation of many missed chances and negative events, both small and large.  I recommend it to teens (and their parents!) and fans of teen contemporary novels, I think it’s earned its popularity. It has an element of mystery and suspense to it as well, so if you like that kind of thing and don’t read a lot of contemporary, you can definitely give it a try as well.

Review: Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) by Richelle Mead

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead is the fourth book in the Vampire Academy series.  That means that this entire review will spoil the first three books, which, trust me, you don’t want to do.

I give this a 4/5 stars. Action was great, story development was great, but I had a few small issues with pacing and some other personal peeves.

First off, if you are in any way a fan of the wave of vampire/paranormal teen romance books that overtook the YA world a couple years back and you haven’t read this series you are missing out. It’s a well developed world with strong characters. I love Rose, the main character, so much because she has such a strong voice. She makes stupid decisions sometimes, but wanting to slap her in the face is just a side effect of her strong personality and her development throughout the series has progressed remarkably well.

As anyone who’s read the first three books will know, Mead didn’t pull her punches on Rose either. She’s in a dark place at the start of this book: her love Dimitri, has been turned from a half-human Moroi (good vampire) guardian with a heart of gold into an evil, soulless Strigoi (bad vampire). Rose had a huge fight with her best friend and dropped out of school to seek out Dimitri and drive a stake through his heart.

This book focuses mainly on Rose making some very difficult decisions which she doesn’t always do with her usual alacrity. She first seeks out Dimitri’s family in Russia and finds that they don’t know the tragic news, which was  a totally heart-breaking sequence. She gets kind of stuck there, lost and grieving, which was compelling, but dragged on for nearly half the 500 pages, which may have been a tad excessive. Then she sets off on her journey again and faces a whole new kind of conflict from what we’ve seen from the series before. And there the fun begins, so I’ll stop the summarizing there.

As I said already, I love the direction  this series went with Dimitri’s transformation. It really pushes Rose to her breaking point and forces her to make impossible decisions. Her struggles in this installment also deeply affected her relationship with Lissa. One thing I think makes this series unique to the genre is the complexity to the politics guardian/client relationships and Lissa and Rose really face the imbalance in their friendship with this separation. It’s refreshing to read a paranormal romance that has real, complicated friendships included. Rose’s relationship with her mother also grows and develops well, considering Janine isn’t getting much screen time.

The story is surprisingly complex but someone, somewhere decided that each series installment needed a complete reiteration of the whole set up in every. single. book. By book 4 I would expect readers to remember that Moroi=good/magical and Strigoi=bad and that Rose+Lissa=Best Buds 4eva, especially since the books were published less than a year apart. I really, really don’t need my intelligence insulted with a 10 page recap at the start of each book. One other small pet peeve I had was with an obvious plot twist. I thought Rose would figure the Abe connection out, but I suppose she did have plenty of other things on her plate.

Overall the book was great, I didn’t like it quite as much as the previous one, but it was a solid addition to the series and I think there’s a lot of story left to tell in books 5 and 6. I’m really looking forward to Rose and Adrian having an angst filled relationship. I normally hate love triangles, but this one seems like it will be a lot fun (in a sadistic way) to read.

Who’s Ready for Some NaNoWriMo?

I seem to have fallen in a bit of a reading slump. Usually I knock out a couple of books per week, but I’m currently reading Jane Austen’s Emma, which is going to take some more time. Plus the advent of fall TV has seriously cut into my reading hours.

I am also trying to prepare for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’ve known about the event for a few years now, but while I was in college I never had the time, so this year is my first year attempting it in earnest. I’m struggling to get an outline together especially since I’ve never written anything near this long before, but I’m still excited about my concept. I won’t share it yet, because, like I said, it’s not lending itself to a solid plot just yet. (But I can tell you that it’s high fantasy!) The beginning is there, but I have no clear picture of where it will end. The middle development bits are consequently confused and going nowhere. I really just need to build the world a little better to figure out the conflict more and I should be ready to dive in.

I hope to be able to write some short updates about my NaNoWriMo experience once it gets rolling, though I’m sure I won’t be up to a lot of extra writing. We’ll see how it goes. 

I’ve done some research, and my local library does write-ins, but I thought it’d be fun to try to meet some other NaNoWriMo writers in the blogging community. Let me know if you’re out there!

Review: Nightfall by L.J. Smith

Spoilers for The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith through Book 4:  Dark Reunion. 

This is going to be a difficult one to review because I hardly know what to think of it. I gave it a 3/5 stars on Goodreads initially after I finished it, but now I’m thinking more of a 2.5. It’s ok, but I had a lot of issues with it.

Nightfall is technically the fifth book in the Vampire Diaries series, although I believe it is most common these days to find the first four books in two bind-ups. It picks up shortly after the events of Dark Reunion, which left us with the happiest ending we’d seen in the series: Elena returned from the dead, human again.

But Elena, we find, is not quite herself…and neither is Damon. The town of Fell’s Church, meanwhile, is facing even more supernatural weirdness than ever before; facing powers darker than any its ever seen, drawn to the new and strange power that is Elena.

I found this book to be a lot darker than some of its predecessors, it has a lot of scenes that reminded me of movies like  The Exorcist (Not that I’ve seen that movie, I’m a big chicken when it comes to scary movies, but I’ve seen the previews). It usually felt genuinely scary, not too cheesy;  the writing itself was not bad.

However:

This book went in so many crazy directions, I could hardly keep up. I felt like the previously established rules and structure of the supernatural world went completely out the window. Weird little quirky details became major plot points. The rules of magic have changed and continue to change. Some of this change is self discovery and whatever, but sometimes it’s just all too convenient for the plot. In an attempt to explain all the craziness, the book is almost 600 pages long, but that mostly just made me confused for a longer period of time, not less confused.

It wasn’t all bad, though. The characters are quite good. I really wish Meredith in particular was a presence on the television show. Damon had a really impressive, compelling character arc in this one and its almost worth reading on to see what he does next.

But I probably won’t be reading on. I was pretty lost reading this, since it went in a strange direction I wasn’t expecting. I do recommend reading it if you’re a fan of the previous books in the series (this installment is not, by any means, universally disliked) and I recommend the first books in the series to fans of paranormal fantasies.

 

Why I Read YA

Since I can tell that it’s going to be a few days before I finish a book to review, I thought I’d try my hand at a more general post like this one.

Up until I was 12 or 13, I read almost exclusively fantasy. Harry Potter was the catalyst of course; I read the first three in 3rd and 4th grade, and then reread them constantly until Goblet of Fire released. I recall tying for the win in a Harry Potter trivia game in class against my friend Kelly, who recommended them to me. We were so evenly matched in our obsession that our teacher finally had to give up trying to narrow us down to one winner. I loved reading before Harry Potter, but after Harry Potter, kids and YA fantasy was all I read for a long while. I remember devouring the Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, and Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series

Harry Potter and Young Wizards continued to release books as I grew up, and I kept reading everything I could find, at school and the kids section of the bookstore. Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series became a new favorite fantasy series, but I also read Lurlene McDaniel’s books about cancer, Ann Rinaldi’s about historical women, as well as whatever classic or adult novels I was assigned to read for school.

Some of the first adult novels I read for fun were astronomically popular books like The Da Vinci Code and My Sister’s Keeper. The Da Vinci Code, of course, is just fluffy, controversial fun for all ages. My Sister’s Keeper, I think was interesting to me because it had so many qualities of a young adult novel. Anna, its main character, is  finding a voice, solidifying her morals, and taking a stand against her parents, an intriguing plot point for any teen.

But then I continued to pick up Jodi Picoult’s books where I could find them and started to run into trouble. Harvesting the Heart is about a faltering marriage as the main character, Paige, works to adjust to motherhood. Change of Heart is about a mother struggling to find forgiveness and save her child. Nineteen Minutes is about two sets of parents trying to make sense of the tragic event that has befallen their children. As a 19, 20 year old young woman I was technically an adult, but I couldn’t relate to the trials of parenthood. I found adult novels about women to be focused almost exclusively on motherhood or marriage, something I had no experience with (nothing against Jodi Picoult, though, most of the above books are not bad reads!), so I turned back to YA where the leads were younger than me, but, especially in YA fantasy, faced the same struggles for independence and strength and identity crises as I did.

I find it interesting that there’s such a big gap in fiction in that so few characters are in their early 20’s. There are a few books that do feature true young adults of course, The Promise by Chaim Potok comes to mind, as does All Quiet on the Western Front. The only one I can think of with a modern, female protagonist, however, is Fifty Shades of Grey, which is not much to go on, in my opinion. 

So I still read YA because I can relate to teenage protagonists in a way I cannot relate to married-with-kids adult protagonists. Teens in fantasy or dystopia novels are often operating with a high level of independence from their parents, much like any college age adult is. Clary in The Mortal Instruments series is an excellent example of this phenomenon. She’s forced into total independence when her mother is kidnapped and her father figure abandons her, in the process discovering her power and forging her own path to the future. She’s 16, but any reader her age on up to 10 years or more older can relate to that cold confrontation with the “Real World”.

I’ll keep reading YA until I can’t relate to that coming of age story arc anymore, but I get the feeling it will be a very long time before I don’t.

My First Post

I know, creative post title right? You should have seen how long it took me to come up with a title for the blog.

Anyone reading this first post the day it goes up will know me already, but let’s just start there anyway:

My name is Joanne, I’m 22, and I recently graduated from college with a degree in Chemical Engineering, which is supposed to be one of those degrees that get you a super fancy job right out of school, but alas, I’m living at my parents house in Colorado. If being unemployed has any perks though, it’s that I have a lot of time on my hands to get back into hobbies I used to love. I spent a good chunk of the summer reading books at the kind of breakneck pace that normal people with things to do never reach, and I started to really love reviewing them on my Goodreads account. Some of my friends like reading them as much as I like writing them, so I decided to move the whole operation to a new blog so I could continue reviewing while also developing some new content like broader discussions of genres and authors, or reviewing movie adaptations, and anything else I think up to write.

Even though I’ve been an adult for nearly half a decade now, I still read mostly YA. Fantasy is my favorite genre, though I read sci-fi often as well, including the recent wave of dystopian novels that have overtaken the YA shelves the last few years. I read adult fantasy as well as YA, and I’ve been known to pick up a contemporary novel from time to time also.

I’m not too sure how regular the posting will be around here, I’ll probably write a whole bunch of stuff while I’m still really excited about it and put up at least two posts a week for a little while, so be sure to check back!

Pictured below is my currently reading/TBR pile, aka what’s coming up on the blog. If you’ve read any of these, let me know what you think in the comments!

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Links (top to bottom): Emma, The Return: Nightfall, The Golden Compass, Battle Royale,  Starcrossed, Beauty Queens, Thirteen Reasons Why