TTT: Mid-Year Faves 2018

For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

Okay, so coming up with a mid-year favorite list should have happened over a month ago, but in my defense, it was a bit difficult coming up with a top ten favorites list of the year when most of my reading has been happening the last few weeks. Also difficult because I haven’t been rating many at five stars (the ones I have rated at five were things I’d already read ages back).

In any case, most likely my list will get an upheaval once I get through my reading goal for the year.

Top Ten Mid-Year Favorites 2018

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – When a book has you emotionally spent, you know it’s a great thing.

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden – The first book definitely made my top ten on the mid-year point as well, but tbh I actually liked this one much better. Must be because of all the romantic hijinks in this one…or, you know, Morozko is just great.

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce – A book that’s been on my TBR since…well, since I was a wee young lass! I love seeing young Numair running around trying to learn the things he kicks ass at.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – This was definitely one of my fave scifi-dystopian books of the year, even if it doesn’t really play out so much as scifi and focuses on disjointed narratives that connect to each other eventually.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus – I should really not be having such a kick out of teen drama, but this was SO GOOD Y’ALL.

Warcross by Marie Lu – A gamergirl’s book, this is. Um. I still cannot forgive you, Marie Lu. Not after you wrench my heartstrings like that. *sobs in the corner some more*

Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente – Tempted to put both Valente novellas on here, but I don’t want to seem biased. (Valente is certainly becoming the author I want to read more of this year).

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher – This book is certainly straightforward enough for why I liked it so much. Carrie Fisher, Carrie Fisher, Star Wars, and…Carrie Fisher.

The Step-Spinsters by Madina Papadopoulos – A pleasant surprise of a book! I read this for the Fableulous Retellings Podcast at the behest of the author, and honestly, I have no problem promoting this book to the world for its refreshing take on stepsisters who are not altogether evil and a Cinderella who is not altogether pure.

Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood – Yes, a children’s book made it here, and yes, it’s another Cinderella retelling. But guys. GUYS. It’s about a Cinderella who wants nothing more than to be a mechanic. In space. And the story rhymes. IT RHYMES SO GOOD.

What were your top tens so far this year?

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Mini Reviews: The Princess Diarist, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

I’m slowly getting out of my book slump, but it’s still pretty difficult, considering there’s really only been a handful of books I’ve rated 5 out of 5 this year. Anyway, here’s another mixed set of books. Both were listened to as audiobooks.

Have you read either book? What did you think?

TTT: Book Mash-Ups

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I love book mash-ups! This is usually how I describe some books I’ve been reading so far, and I swear to you some books really would become more epic if they were put together. Or maybe the epicness will be too much and this is why they don’t exist…yet.

I’ve paired each book, so instead of a list of ten, I’ve got a list of five, for a total of ten mentioned books. Because thinking is hard.

Top Five Epic Book Mashups

Brandon Sanderson’s Mistings (Mistborn trilogy) meet Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha (Grisha trilogy) – Alright, alright, from what I can tell about what people have said about Six of Crows, this sounds like exactly what I’m looking for. But seriously, the Mistborn trilogy still remains the trilogy with one of the best resolutions to the overarching plot, and Shadow and Bonehas given me some of my favorite villains ever (or is it villain? I haven’t decided yet, since I haven’t actually finished the Grisha trilogy yet!).

J.K. Rowling’s returning Hogwarts students (Harry Potter series) get embroiled in an Agatha Christie murder mystery…on the Hogwarts Express (Murder on the Orient Express). – Oh come on. Instead of Poirot coming in to investigate in Murder on the Hogwarts Express, obviously you’re going to have Hermione Granger on the case! And she doesn’t need a fancy mustache to get shit done.

Claudia Gray’s Firebird (Firebird series) travels through Ernest Cline’s OASIS (Ready Player One) instead of through parallel dimensions. – What I mean to say is, what would happen if, as the main character, I could jump into the avatars of different video games in an immersive manner so as to find the thousand pieces of a loved one? Anyone? Anyone? No? COME ON.

Gail Carriger’s preternaturals (Parasol Protectorate series) grace Lindsey Davis’ take on Ancient Roman detective stories (Marcus Didius Falco series). – I loved Soulless lots because it was absolutely Victorian–with an urban fantasy steampunk twist. Now I know Ancient Rome is way back in the historical timeline, but wouldn’t it be fun to throw Carriger werewolves and vampires in there?

Veronica Roth’s faction systems (Divergent trilogy) get integrated into Sabaa Tahir’s brutal world of the Empire (An Ember in the Ashes trilogy). – Honestly, Tahir’s world already has some kind of conflict between the Scholars and Marshals, which is pretty much Erudites vs. Dauntless, so it works! Honestly, I just want to see Tobias kick ass alongside Elias. Look, even their names rhyme!

Do you agree? Disagree? What books would make an epic story for you?

 

What Goes Up Must Come Down || The Thousandth Floor Review

Initial Thoughts: 

This world is pretty damn cool and definitely Gossip Girl of the future. But ohgod the drama I could. Not. Deal. The best POVs were from the peasants below floor 500 and I just REALLY WANTED THE ONE COUPLE TO GO RIGHT.

But let’s be honest, if this had been turned into a TV show I’d so watch the eff out of this dramatic trash. Pity I ended up listening to the book instead.


THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR

by Katharine McGee
HarperCollins, August 2016
YA science fiction
Rated: 2.5 / 5 cookies

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….

Futuristic Gossip Girl

Every single description of this book that I’ve seen so far describes it as being the futuristic Gossip Girl, and I’m definitely in agreement with that. If you ask me, it’s what brought me to wanting to read the book in the first place, because I frigging loved Gossip Girl. Chair ship ftw!

But as much as I loved GG, I couldn’t honestly rate this as high as I would have liked, because much of the drama drove me nuts.

How is this drama different from GG, you ask?

There isn’t much difference, honestly. There’s a ton of underage drinking, there’s sex scandals right, left, and center, there are drugs and drug addicts, there are perfect teenage specimens littered throughout the pages, and there’s conspiracy like you wouldn’t believe.

The added bonus is that this takes place in 2118, well into the future, where cities fit into one entire building, all the way onto the thousandth floor.

So what’s not to like?

Honestly, I rolled my eyes every single time Avery’s POV showed up. The way she’s been characterized is that she’s “practically perfect in every way,” and honestly, the ONLY problem she seems to have is that she is in love with her adopted brother. This in itself is cringe-worthy in all ways (it’s just wrong, so wrong, and nothing in the world will make this OKAY–AND GOD WHY THE HELL DO THEY NOT STOP). A lot of the girls want Avery to like them, because at the end of the day, she’s Queen Bee, and I don’t know, but most queen bees are not characterized as being “nice.” Avery is NOT nice. She’s as P-E-T-T-Y as everyone else clamoring up near the thousandth floor, and she’s quite honestly my least favorite character ever because every single time her POV shows up, all she’s doing is whining and pining over Atlas–when she’s not heavily drinking and hosting pity parties for Eris, that is.

Which brings me up to the love-hate relationship I have with Leda, Avery’s best friend. Leda’s obsession is definitely creepy, and things escalate to a point where she does really unforgivable things. But ya know, I love batshit crazy when it comes to story, and Leda is as batshit crazy as you’re going to get, drugs included.

On the bright side, I do want to highlight some really good things I found about the book that will eventually lead me to reading the rest of the trilogy (please just let this be a trilogy, because I really don’t want to keep reading this if it’s a series…).

Rylin and Cord – Of all the pairings that get introduced in this story, I’m really hoping this is one that eventually pans out at the end. The ending in the first book frustrated me to no end, but let’s face it, the two still have feelings for each other, and I’m always a sucker for poor girl and rich boy stories (I’m also currently watching Meteor Garden and I absolutely loved Hana Yori Dango and Ouran High School Host Club…if that says anything about my mentality). I MEAN, HE TOOK HER TO PARIS COME ON.

Watt – I’m still not sure how I feel about Watt entirely, but his storyline does bring a bit of technology back into the book. Watt and his quant Nadia get embroiled in the story because of Leda and Avery, and while Watt lives well below floor 500, like Rylin he eventually manages to drag himself into the dramatic lives of the upper floor miscreants.

The futuristic environment is probably the most intriguing part of the book. If there’s anything more appealing about this world, it’s the fact that hierarchy quite literally means the higher you are, the more powerful your family is. In this case, the Fullers–with their massive property ownership–are the richest of the rich, even going so far as to genetically create their daughter Avery to perfection. I also liked the idea that the upper floors seem spacious enough that they look more like the outside world than what we eventually see as apartment floors.

I guess I want to defend the rating by saying that had this been a TV show, I would have watched the crap out of it. It’s just the right amount of YA angst that would entertain me. It’s definitely the right amount of teen drama that could get super addicting really quickly (hell, I binged GG at some point…), and heck, the first few pages hooked me because the book started with the death of a girl (which, of course, made everyone ask “Which girl died?!”). It has every formula for being fantastic. And yet I found myself cringing a lot and skipping a few chapters just to get to ones I wanted to read about.

2.5 out of 5 cookies! As much as I would love to rant about this book, I’d probably continue reading it if only to see how many of these hooligans die off and whether or not my ship actually makes it through.


Have you read this book? What did you think?

TTT: Living Up to the Hype

For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

You know, usually, when I think of hype, I think of the more current books being toted off by fellow reviewers, bloggers, and vloggers, so not many of the older books would make it here. That being said, some of these books were definitely hyped up to the max, and normally I avoid them for a while before actually going off and reading them. There are a few exceptions, of course, but it’s safe to say that in this case, the books truly did live up to the hype, and I absolutely loved them.

Ten Books That Lived Up to the Hype

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – There’s a reason why this book came out on top for weeks on end. So good in all the right ways.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I ended up reading The Hunger Games because it was so hyped up for the upcoming movie, and it’d been compared to the Battle Royale movie. I’ve yet to read the Battle Royale book (but I plan to), but I was honestly so entertained by this book and its sequel. Yes, sequel, being singular. We don’t talk about the third book.

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – *old woman voice* Baaaack in the day when A Darker Shade of Magic came to pass, I listened to it in audiobook form, fell in love, and followed this trilogy to its end. I was totally one of the hypers. So yeah, the hype was real on this one.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson – I don’t see as many Sanderson hypers as I see YA ones *shrugs* but I had a number of high fantasy reader friends who swore fealty to all manner of Sanderson lore. For good reason, I might add. The Way of Kings was not my first entry into Sanderson’s Cosmere, but it was certainly the one most hyped to me.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – I totally read this book before the hype, and I am kind of ashamed to say it’s still the only Throne of Glass book I’ve read. I need to remedy it at some point, but to be honest, I really loved where this book ended, and judging from how the rest of the series went, I’m not sure I could get through the change of names and ships. Apparently I would enjoy Crown of Midnight though?

Uprooted by Naomi Novik – This was another book I read before the hype and in its ARC form. I’d read the first Temeraire book by Novik prior to this, but I will say that the two are completely different. And can I just say that I absolutely loved Uprooted so much more? Yeah, I so did.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – I’d wondered why this was so hyped, because it looked to me like a slightly toxic relationship. And then I read the book. Holy hell, Ahdieh. Fine. You got me.

Cress by Marissa Meyer – Normally, I would just put Cinder for this, because honestly the entire Lunar Chronicles was overhyped. That being said, Cress is still hands down my fave, even though quite honestly Cinder is still my favorite character.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I read Carry On before Fangirl, but Fangirl was definitely one I’d heard talked about ages and ages ago.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – I can’t say I’m caught up with A Song of Ice and Fire, but I read up to four books. Honestly, I’m not interested in reading the fifth book at this point, but I did read the first three books and absolutely enjoyed having read them before the hype of the HBO show got crazy.

Have you read overhyped books that you enjoyed?