This November I had quite a terrible first couple of weeks that involved having surgery and much bed-rest that made me very bored. And most of my friends that are in town are busy a lot of the time which leaves me feeling quite lonely. But thankfully my local library lets me take out something like 20-50 books, which is RIDICULOUS but I’m not complaining. 😎
It’s also now “Winter” time in Singapore which means, heavy and loud thunderstorms, which is also very ideal weather for staying in bed, under the covers, with a snack at my right hand and a book in my left.
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The Glass Sentence
by S. E. Grove 📌🌐⏳
HOLY COW THIS WAS FUN!! It wasn’t as mind blowing as I was hoping it would be, but it was still such a fun romp. I am slightly swayed by the fact that a big portion of the novel takes place in an alternate Mexico. Also that no kissing happened. There were also a few bits that felt a bit out of place, like the Mark of the Vine/Iron thing. And I’m also curious how the world functions with so many places being in different time periods, seeing as that wasn’t really explored in this first book.
The ending also had me going from a quiet to loud, aaAAAAHHHHHHHHH !!!! Which I think is a good sign that I will attempt to read the next book. I had some His Dark Materials vibes from this which is probably because she has an uncle and lost parents and makes friends with a boy and travels on her own. Whatever, Sophia seems like a rad kid and I sure hope the next novel is just as fun to read as this was!! If not more!!!!!!!!!!
Arrows of the Queen
by Mercedes Lackey 🐎💭👸
So my sister is called Talia and it was more than a little weird to read a book where they mention her name like every other sentence. I’d constantly be like, WAIT NO THIS ISN’T MY TALIA WHO IS THIS WHAT IS GOING ON?!? But I got used to it after about 50 pages, even though it would keep pulling me out of the story every so often..
OH MAN BESIDES THAT, I LOVE THIS WORLD BUILDING HOLY CRAP!!! Lackey also acknowledges trauma and mental hurt from abusive families and the long term effect it can have on children. Man, I wish I read this as a kid. I’m still enjoying it immensely as a 24 year old Lady though.
I read about 50 pages while waiting in a doctor’s office and then like the rest of the book (300 pages or so) that night… IT WAS SO FUN TO READ. SO ADDICTING AND I LOVE EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER!!! THERE ARE EVEN LESBIANS!!!!!!!!! THIS IS SO IMPORTANT HOLY HELL!!! ALSO!!!! A GUY ENDS UP BEING A BEST FRIEND AFTER ATTEMPTS AT ROMANCE KIND OF FAIL AND I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS!!!!
How can I force this book on every 13 year old I meet though… I have a Bat Mitzvah coming up… Maybe I can make a list of books for them to read and include this with BIG ARROWS pointing to it to make them read it.
LET’S NOT FORGET HOW BEAUTIFUL THE ARTWORK IS!!! My local library seems to have every single book in the series and they looks so gorgeous together even with just the spines. I want every single cover from the Valdemar stories on me. Like as a dress. They’re just too beautiful for words.
by Mercedes Lackey ⛺❄️🌲
After I finished Arrows of the Queen I knew I had to read the next book ASAP. I WAS JUST (and still am) SO IN LOVE WITH THIS WORLD. AND ALL THE PEOPLE IN IT. It’s so great. It’s like dated high fantasy, you can just tell it was written in the late 80s, but it still is so enjoyable. It’s not like reading SFF from the 60s and being like, ah yes this is clearly Old. And feeling like you’re constantly brought out of the story because of it.
ANYWAY I thought this installment was a bit more mature than the first, which made me feel a bit weird seeing as the female protagonist has the same name as my younger sister. You really don’t want to be reading Mature Scenes about someone who makes you think of your younger sibling… It’s a bit off putting… Thankfully though it wasn’t too graphic so THANK YOU LACKEY FOR SAVING MY BRAIN. But it made sense to include it seeing as at this point Talia is 18/19 as compared to 13/14 at the start of the last book.
I would have loved to learn more about the spirits in the forest of sorrows!! But maybe there are other spin off books set in this world that delve into that more.. I’d have to look!! Also: usually this kind of story in a series where it mostly takes place in once location would bore me a bit, (like the second Temeraire book, Throne of Jade) but I was just as engulfed in it as I was in the first! Well not AS much but enough to not get bored and lose my rhythm. I read the first 100 pages in one lie down before bed, and then the rest (200 pages) the next night!
I did really enjoy reading how Talia matured and grew as a person and herald, and watched how she learned to truly control her abilities and trust herself better. It was quite gratifying in a way. Made me feel good as an Adult to read that progression of her. Like it made me feel better about myself as a person who is continually improving on herself.
Reading this second book really solidified my love for this world and made me VERY VERY excited to read the other books set in this world! It will be sad to see Talia and her friends go, but I do remember seeing a book at the library about Skif before he was chosen, which is great because I do love me a good street urchin tale.
by Mercedes Lackey ⚠🔮💀
FIRST OFF: This book should hold a trigger warning of many forms of abuse, although not in graphic detail, I assume it would be enough to send someone into a tailspin if these sorts of traumas are still fresh in their minds. I don’t want to spoil the book since it is quite a Twist I guess, but it is also quite horrific. So please be warned that if mentions of sadistic torture, suicide, sexual abuse and death upsets you, maybe don’t read this book just yet. Or read it and be warned since like I said it’s not in graphic detail.
This was my face for most of the book:
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That’s really the only way to put it. But because it was so grim it did leave me wanting to keep reading to find out what would happen next and also because I enjoy reading the comfort side of things after a character is hurt…
It had a very saccharine ending which I guess is expected??? I don’t know. I wasn’t entirely surprised nor was I expecting such sugary sweetness. I have grown quite attatched to the character of Talia, which probably isn’t helped by the fact that my own sister shares her name, so part of me was glad that the ending was as predictable as it was. I JUST WANTED TALIA TO BE OK DAMNIT.
OVERALL I really did enjoy this trilogy and I think it was a great introduction to the world of Valdemar. I 100% want to read some of the spin off books now. But I think I am content enough with this book to leave the story of Talia alone. Unless there are novels of her when she is much much older. Otherwise I’d rather like to read about people from the past of Valdemar to people Talia trained with or even the future of the kingdom!!
by Tahereh Mafi 💢💏🔐
Honestly, I’m quite bored with Dystopic novels as a genre lately, especially in YA. They all want to be the next Hunger Games and it’s so boring. They’re all very similar in that respect. BUT I wanted to read this because A) I enjoy supporting female authors of colour, B) People have been raving about in book circles on the intertubes, and C) I kinda have a crush on Tahereh Mafi because she is so very cute.
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I wasn’t sure at first if I’d be into it since from the moment I started I could tell that the writing was very typical of YA. Which isn’t bad, it’s just not what I typically enjoy.
But I kept reading because I liked how it seemed that things were being revealed to you only for you to realise like a short while later that it wasn’t actually as it seemed, yet you still learned something. ALSO I liked how the words and sentences were crossed out as if the pages were also from Juliette’s notebook.
Juliette snapping back at the doctor for refusing to learn how to say a Japanese last name properly and then not understanding why said person got upset when they would shorten the name to something silly, was PERFECT. I see u Tahereh, I see u and I high five u.
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I’m not a Romance person and if a book is just a romantic story, I am likely not to read it. Unless it is a queer relationship AND the plot sounds interesting. It is very rare that I read a hetero romantic story, even if it seems like an interesting plot. There’s just so much hetero romance media out there it just seems silly to me. Also I am not a very romantic person and find romance novels to be usually really cheesy.
ANYWAY I DIGRESS, the romantic subplot here felt kinda.. convenient? Like, oh of course they knew each other from before, oh of course they had feelings for each other for ages. I dunno, it just felt kinda synthetic to me. That being said, the dialogue didn’t feel the same. Which is good!! Because even though the relationship’s conception didn’t feel organic, the emotion in the dialogue was! So at least it wasn’t too grating for a 20-something heartless cynic like me.
The ending felt a bit abrupt in my opinion, like it was just starting to get really interesting and then all of a sudden it stopped. BUT that does ensure that I wanna read the next installment so that’s good I guess?
The Witch Sea
by Sarah Diemer 👭🐚✨
I quite liked this little novella! It was very reminiscent of Gothic fiction, which I LOVE. I kinda wish it was a bit longer though. I wanted a bit more explanation on this curse/spell thing and on the witch and her family and the sea creatures and what not. I’m not sure I’ll read more by Sarah Diemer only because I am not a romance novel person and besides the fact that she writes well, it’s just not my kind of thing plot wise.
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
by Angela Carter 🏰🚺✨
This wasn’t a bad anthology by any means, I just expected more from it and was a bit let down. I had heard it was this great collection of fairy tale classics retold with a feminist twist. That assumption was not wrong, because that is what it was, it just was a bit more subtle..? I dunno. A lot of the stories were overtly sexual too, which I suppose is not that bad seeing as the originals of these stories (and I mean like the very originals from the Grimm brothers and so on) were also quite sexual and had even worse endings and what not.
Long story short – It’s an easy read, especially if you’re used to reading Gothic fiction, but don’t expect third wave feminist spins on fairy tales from it.
The Search for WondLa
by Tony DiTerlizzi 🚸👾🌐
I DID NOT THINK I’D LOVE THIS BOOK AS MUCH AS I DID!!! TRULY the SciFi-Fantasy Adventure series for the 21st century.
The illustrations are so lovely and give you just the right amount of visuals so you can use them as guidance in creating your own version in your head, and there are even interactive maps you can use with your computer’s webcam?!? I haven’t tried that yet. But I totally will.
ALSO!!!!! THERE ARE GIANT TARDIGRADES!!!! YES AS IN THE WATER BEAR! THE ANIMAL WITH THE MOST FOREIGN DNA ON THIS PLANET!!!!!!! THE FIRST BEAR IN SPACE!!!!
AND A ROBOT THAT CAN FEEEEEEEL!!!!!! AKA MY WEAKNESS!!!!
It is so very Wizard of Oz and you will only realise that in the middle and towards the end. Then it will hit you in the face and you will lie down and cry because it is so perfect.
Don’t be discouraged by the size of the book, it is very easy to read as the text is in a big font and also there are pictures and everything is nicely spaced out on the pages.
DON’T DELAY, READ TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!
by Brian Selznick 🎭📜⚓
I went into this book knowing NOTHING. I didn’t read any summaries about it partially because I forgot and I didn’t want to.
I AM GLAD I DID. This gave me almost the same feelings I had after reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I say almost because towards the end after a Big Reveal, I felt that part of the magic of the story died.
Although that might have been because I read like 80% of the book in one sitting and then the rest a day later. That being said, it’s still a superb book that will keep you totally enchanted. I was so sucked in I didn’t even notice the people around me!!
It’s also super beautiful with golden edges on every page and the cover is sososo pretty.