The Emperor’s New Clothes Tag

The Orang-utan Librarian sure is keeping me busy with tags, this time with an original creation called The Emperor’s New Clothes Tag. Let’s get right to it!

“YOUR MAJESTY, THIS IS A MAGIC SUIT” – An overhyped book that promised to be *something more*

A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire, #1)It’s not so much that I don’t like the book, but I just expected MORE from A Shadow Bright and Burning. Maybe I was blinded by the cover, maybe I just had completely wrong expectations to begin with, but in the end it all comes down to the book lacking in some way. It’s not terrible at all, it could have been better is all I am trying to say.

“SOMEBODY SEND FOR THE QUEEN” – A love interest that wasn’t called for

Seriously, any book that has three guys or girls fawning over the the main character is just way too much. I’ve seen that happen once in real life and the person didn’t actively have to worry and chose one of them, because they were oblivious to the crushes. Anyway, back to the question, I will forever refuse to acknowledge Gale as a valid love interest in the Hunger Games series. Team Gale is a myth when it comes to the books!

“THE DOUBLET IS A LOVELY SHADE OF GREEN” – A book that seduced you with its cover (that you ended up disliking)

Love Letters to the DeadI hate it so much when this happens and the unfortunate thing is that it DOES keep happening. One of the most memorable to me was Love Letters to the Dead. I was really in love with it, but it did not hold up one bit. It felt like a genderswapped version of The Perks of being a Wallflower and since I didn’t love that book either, it just wasn’t for me.

“SUMMON THE COURT TO CONVENE” – A book where you were swayed by public opinion

I am going to have to go with the same answer as the Orang-utan Librarian here, because I used to love Twilight when I was young. I won’t ever deny that (#nobookshame!) but over time and with the franchise growing so immensely, I just kind of started to resent it more and more. I totally get it when people ridicule the books now, but at the same time I am sad that it has taken the joy out of it completely.

“LOOK AT THE THE KING! LOOK AT THE KING, THE KING, THE KING!” – A stark raving mad book that just boggles the mind

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1)Mind boggling and crazy can be a good thing, right? So, I am going to go with Sleeping Giants, because it was insane in that quiet, dark and twisted way.

“IT’S ALTOGETHER THE VERY LEAST THE KING HAS EVER WORN” – A tropey get up you’ve seen before that probably needs redressing (aka a trope you’re bored with seeing)

That one will forever go to the absentee parents/guardians, because while I do understand that not all parents pay attention to their kids even when they should, it’s ridiculous how lacking they are in literature sometimes. Again, not saying they have to be good parents or anything like that, but when I was little I legit thought that the only way to go on an adventure is when you are an orphan.

“SUMMON THE COURT PHYSICIAN! CALL AN INTERMISSION!” – A book that needs medical attention aka a rewrite

Anne & HenryAnne & Henry is a modern day teenaged retelling of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII. When I first heard that, I was all over it, but I had hoped for so much more. The stakes just weren’t high enough, which made everything seem pointless and ridiculous.

“IT’S ALTOGETHER THE VERY LEAST THE KING HAS EVER WORN” –  There’s no hiding for this one: a book that is just nakedly bad

The HomecomingWhen you read a book, finish it and are still not sure what happened during the key event of the story, you just know it’s bad. That happened with the Homecoming for me.

BONUS: “HIS MAJESTY IS WIDE OPEN TO RIDICULE AND SCORN”- Something (anything) that astounds you with its popularity

I can’t really think of anything, but I want to keep the question in for the people that I tag … Okay, I know something. Avocados! I do not understand where their sudden popularity came from and I don’t like their taste.

I TAG THEE

Michelle | Flo | Vicky | Rachel | Samantha | EVERYONE

August 2017 Book Haul

Admittedly, this post isn’t really necessary because I haven’t gotten that many new books, but oh well, I’ll do it anyway. As per usual, the books that have made it in the monthly wrap-up won’t be mentioned here.

  • Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
    I love Mindy and I really enjoyed her first book. I found this one as a hardcover and on sale, so there was just no way around me getting it.

eARC:

  • 27 Hours by Tristina Wright
    It has been months since a publisher accepted my request on Netgalley and I honestly cannot tell you why. My follower stats are solid, my ratio was 100% before I got this book, I am just a little lost as to why I don’t get any responses at all on there. Then again, I am in a reading slump … so, there’s that.
    Anyway, the book is pretty eventful so far (I am at about 40%), but I have heard mixed things and will wait with full opinion until I am done. Obviously I will post a review when I am done!

Why Not Me?  27 Hours (The Nightside Saga, #1)

Did you get some new reads this month?

August 2017 Wrap-Up

According to Goodreads, I am 2 books behind schedule on my reading challenge and I can definitely see that. I’ve been in such a reading slump these past months and it feels so strange, because books have always been such a big part of my life, but now I can barely focus on anything long enough to get through a chapter. Anyway, I read a little bit and even reviewed the stuff, so yay me! It’s progress from last month!

Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of)  Still Star-Crossed

Click on the titles to get to my reviews and on the covers to get redirected to Goodreads!

I can’t believe August is over! The time has just been flying by. I am already getting ready to move to the new place for September and October on the other side of town! There legitimately hasn’t been a single day that I felt bored ever since I came to Canada. Sometimes boring would be nice, because once again a lot of things have happened in the past month. Some events were scary, some disappointing *cough*whensomanypeopleforgotmybirthday*cough* but for the most part it was fabulous.

Once again, I’ve been to quite a lot of sets and I’d really like to think that I am a good set visitor. I am quiet, stay out of the way and people have said I am chill. Me! Chill!? I can promise you all that I had absolutely no chill whenever I was on any set ever, but I have apparently learned to keep that in.

This past month I’ve been to set of iZombie, Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, The Man in the High Castle and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. I don’t have picture proof for all of them, but I had a great time at all the sets and even made some new friends. Okay, saying that I had a great time at the Man in the High Castle might be the wrong choice of words. I never realised how much it would affect me to see actual real life people in Nazi uniforms in front of me. In all honesty, I nearly started crying. But they had some really patient and kind PAs there and I want to give them props for how respectful they went about their business. They made sure that all the symbols and uniforms were covered up whenever they weren’t filming and they had several signs explaining the situation. I really appreciated that.
As for my picture with Colin/Captain Hook … I can’t get over how awkwardly stiff his hands are … I just can’t.

 

I also had the best birthday weekend ever, because I went to Vancouver Pride and got to fangirl so hard about the cast of Sense8 as well as one of the co-creators of the show, Lana Wachowski. They don’t film here, but they were invited specifically for the Pride parade and I can’t think of a time I was ever this happy. The Pride weekend in itself was already filled with so much positivity and joy but Sense8 is one of my most cherished shows and I never thought I would meet them. The atmosphere was beyond amazing when we all sang “What’s Up” together, I still can’t believe this all happened. And I technically even met Max and Brian twice! Anyway, they are kind and sweet people, giving out free hugs and taking the time to talk and take pictures with everyone. Now I just love them even more.

 

I also went to a short film premiere and I haven’t done that in such a long time. It totally brought me back to my days at uni. Anyway, they actually screened three movies instead of just one, all of them starring Rob Raco (who you might recognise from Riverdale and who will be in the upcoming season of Supernatural). The cast and crew were all so nice, had an incredibly insightful Q&A and they hung out in the courtyard of the cinema afterwards to talk. By some weird chain of events, two girls and I went to a bar with them afterwards when they celebrated. The weirdest stuff happens these days!

ALL SORTS OF TAGS

WRITING RELATED

TV SHOW/MOVIE POSTS

TRAILER POSTS

So, that was my busy month? How was yours? Btw, feel free to ask me anything you want about the sets if you are curious.

Book vs. Book Tag

I am in the mood for tags and that has to be taken advantage of before my drafts spill over with unfinished posts. The Orang-utan Librarian tagged me to do the Book vs. Book Tag and let me tell you, it’s a mean one! Basically you have a big book face off and they made sure that I would have a hard time getting a winner. Still, it was also a lot of fun, so, thank you for tagging me!

RULES

  • Thank the blog who tagged you and link back to them
  • Your first book is the last book of the person who tagged you
  • Follow the list of books the tagger you gave you and then face off “book 1 vs book 2”
  • As soon as you have a winner, choose 7 more books and blogs to tag

The Orang-utan Librarian ended on “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and these were the other contenders:

  1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  5. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  6. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  7. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

ROUND 1

I think I am one of the few people on this planet who did not actually like The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I didn’t even give it a bad rating, but the way it was written just didn’t connect with me. On the contrary, I felt so detached from all the characters that there was no real emotional hook. Carry On on the other hand, that is a book I really enjoyed. So, easy choice to begin with. Winner: Carry On

ROUND 2

I started 1984 sometime ago … and I never finished it. That’s no real judgment of a book, but it kind of makes the winner of this round obvious.

Winner: Carry On

ROUND 3

Now we’re talking! This is when I actually have to really think about which book will win. As I said, I really enjoyed Carry On. It made me laugh and I connected to the characters way more than I first expected from my experience with them in Fangirl. BUT The Book Thief is a whole other story. I sobbed, like downright ugly cried with this book. WWII is such a tough topic for me, but I loved this book. I loved the characters. To this day, I would marry Max in a heartbeat just from this book alone. So, I guess The Book Thief wins.

Winner: The Book Thief

ROUND 4

This is just progressively getting meaner. I adore my Dregs and pitting them against the Book Thief is just cruel. But what I said above still rings true. I love both, but The Book Thief has been with me a tiny bit longer.

Winner: The Book Thief

ROUND 5

Whyyyyy? You don’t even want to know how long I stared at my computer screen trying to figure this one out. Emotionally, I still think that the Book Thief was more powerful, then again, I have rarely shaken with anger as much as I have with Red Rising. I was so invested with that series as a whole, even though I had taken a rather long break from SciFi. Oh well, I think Red Rising just overthrew the Book Thief.

Winner: Red Rising

ROUND 6

I haven’t actually read The Shadow of the Wind, so that one’s easy.

Winner: Red Rising

ROUND 7

I don’t dislike Illuminae, but it has nothing on Red Rising. Also, I always liked Gemina more. I guess the results are final!

WINNER

Phew, I am glad this is over. I am also pretty sure that the result won’t exactly be a shock to those who have known me for a while. Anyway, time for some other folks to go through the agony of facing off books. I, too, have chosen contenders that would be very difficult for me.

  1. The Martian by Andy Weir
  2. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
  3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  4. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
  5. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  6. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
  7. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

It’s okay if you haven’t read all the books. If you’ve read none of them you could do a cover face off? Here are my nominees for the tag: (Please don’t feel obliged if you don’t want to do the tag!)

Cátia, Cristina, Michelle, Fadwa, Marie, Sara, Aldii

Still Star-Crossed: Book vs. TV Show

Back in the day I used to make quite a lot of comparisons between books and their TV or movie adaptations. Whereas others hate movie tie-ins, I actively seek them out in the store. I am odd that way. Today I would like to talk about the book/show Still Star-Crossed. I want to point out that this is a spoiler free comparison but other than that, I think the way I am doing this is fairly self-explanatory so let’s just jump in!

General Plot

Still Star-Crossed follows the story of Verona’s most famous houses – the Capulets and Monatgues – AFTER Romeo and Juliet have found their tragic deaths. To unite the warring families, Prince Escalus, ruler of Verona, suggests a union between Rosaline of House Capulet and Benvolio of House Montague to finally bring peace upon the city. Neither one of them very inclined to marry the other, they have to work together to stop their wedding. An adventure with romantic entanglements, mystery, murder and betrayal ensues.

TV Show

I want to start with the show, because that’s also what I saw first. It consists of 7 episodes, was produced by the Shondaland crew and aired on ABC this summer. I really, really enjoyed the show, which is why I was shocked when the network didn’t even give it a chance and canceled it after airing 2 episodes. They broadcast the rest of the season, but cut it short from the initial 9-episode-order to 7 and ultimately ended on a cliffhanger. To be frank, that makes me quite mad, because those two episodes they scratched could have perfectly concluded the story if you go from what happened in the book. There is no use in being bitter about it now, because ABC refuses to give any more statements on it, but that’s why I ultimately turned to the book. First more about the show though.

One of the first things I noticed was the variety of POC cast members in the show and I am 100% here for that! The characters they played weren’t just servants either but princes, princesses and ladies – do you know how stupidly rare that is? I’ve been saying that historical fiction needs more diversity in its casting and I am glad to see Still Star-Crossed taking a step in the right direction. While history books unfortunately have been written by a lot of white people, they were by far not the only ones existing during that time and especially when it comes to fiction, you can simply do whatever you want. So, why not mix it up a little and make it less white? Give others a chance to see themselves represented. It worked for Hamilton, so it can work for pretty much anything.

While I wasn’t a huge fan of the visuals or the costumes (they looked cheap to me but were apparently super expensive and not worth it for ABC), I did love the relationships between the characters and their growth. We didn’t get to see much of them, obviously, but the show had some really badass women, good and decent men and also a lot of crazy people. My personal favorite was the development of the relationship between Rosaline and Benvolio. They truly hated each other, then became friends and only after that foundation of mutual respect and trust was built and tested, there was this option of something more. I was just in love with that. Also, their banter was genius.

Book

Needing to know what happened to my new OTP, I tracked down the book (not as easy as it sounds) and was determined to read it as soon as possible. Right as I started, I was immediately slowed down though. In true Shakespearean fashion, the language was way more flowery and old-timey, especially in terms of the dialogue. I am not saying that’s a bad thing, it is to be expected for this kind of story, but it does not always make for an easy reading time for me personally.

The major difference from the book to the show is the age of the characters (and that they all seemed very white). In the source material, they are only around 16 years old and therefore much more impulsive and superficial in their declarations of love and war. It makes sense for their age, but because I was so used to the TV representation, I missed the more mature versions of the characters.

There were a couple changes made to the story (e.g. in the book Romeo was initially pining for Rosaline, the show thankfully gives the princess a way bigger role, etc.), however, the main premise remains the same. I could easily follow the plot and compare it to the different episodes of the show, but that also meant that there were very few surprises left for me to discover. Ultimately I was glad I read it, because I got a very satisfying conclusion, but I think I might have liked the book better if I hadn’t seen the show first.

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars (click on cover to get redirected to Goodreads)

Conclusion

In the end, I would say that I prefer the show. It was more mature and less superficial, especially in terms of the romantic relationships. It gave a some characters that barely even appeared in the books a place to shine and definitely did a great job in making it even darker than the book. If I could change one thing, I would give the show a proper ending and make it an official mini-series.

Have you seen the show or read the book? Do you want to?

The Book Aesthetics Tag

I haven’t done a tag in a while. They just really have to grab my attention right away to get me to do them and Michelle @The Writing Hufflepuff certainly knows how to do that! Lately she’s been doing some amazing aesthetics and that ultimately lead to her creating her very own book aesthetics tag! I am by no means good at aesthetics, but I will try to do her tag justice for sure and am so grateful she thought of me because it seems like a lot of fun to do. This will definitely take me hours, especially since I have none of my books with me and I do tags best when I can stare at my shelves. Anyway, enjoy!

RULES

  • Thank whoever nominated you!
  • Credit the creator of this tag (all props to the amazing Michelle!)
  • There’s no limit of how many aesthetics you can make for a question, but think of your poor readers.
  • Make your OWN aesthetics, please don’t steal them from someone else. Also what’s the fun in that?

Favorite Book of the Year

This isn’t the only book I loved this year and I am sure it won’t be the last one. However, my reading spirits have been low these past couple of months and this was really a highlight among them. I hope that if you read it, the aesthetic kind of gives it away, but in case you don’t know, I am talking about Words in Deep Blue! It was super sad, but I really loved it and I think I will cherish it for a while.

Character You Relate to a Lot

Honestly, I don’t really relate to characters on a physical level. Even when they finally are chubby and have brown hair, they are mostly short or something else that I am totally not. But I do relate to a character’s passion and one I definitely felt very close to was Elle from Geekerella! She’s a blogger, super passionate about the things she watches and really into conventions. She even cosplays despite her fear of going in front of a crowd. That’s definitely all stuff I can see mirrored in my life.

A Character You Look Up to

Mark Watney from the Martian is my actual hero. The survival skills, the humor, the fact that he simply didn’t give up on life even though he was in the most unlikely situation to ever be saved. Mad props to this guy!

But I can’t let this category stand without mentioning AT LEAST one female I look up and that’s Inej Ghafa from the Six of Crows duology for sure! She is strong, smart, beautiful and just a complete badass. The world has not been kind to her, but she kept fighting for the things and the people she believed in. I admire her greatly for that.

Un Underrated Gem

You Know Me Well is such an underrated book in my opinion. It’s one of those books that just makes you happy while reading. Mark and Kate’s friendship is beyond precious and purely platonic, like seriously, there is no question about it because they are both gay af. Nothing much happens in the book, but it’s still such a great ride. I appreciated those characters so much.

A Character that Deserves More Love

In my opinion Noah from the Raven Cycle deserved an infinitely better treatment. He was all but forgotten and I am seriously not above starting the #NoahCzernyDeservedBetter trend, because he did. He was nothing but kind when he could be and I am still bitter about how everyone just keeps forgetting about his existence.

An Underrated OTP

I am so mainstream, it took me literal hours to think of an underrated OTP. HOURS!!! Ultimately I went with Yael and Luka from the Wolf by Wolf duology. First, because it’s a cool hate to love thing and second, because that series in general still hasn’t been read by enough people. I am the first to complain about the abysmal use of the German language but maybe the topic is more relevant now than ever. Don’t let history (or alternate and still terrible versions) repeat itself!

Bonus Category (added by me): Just Because … Character You ADORE

Sevro is no one I particularly relate to. He is downright gross sometimes and I wouldn’t say I am looking up to him either. I admire him in some aspects, but saying that I look up to him would simply go too far. However, I do love him with all my heart. He is loyal and doesn’t give a fuck about what others think. He is my smol, dirty (like actual dirt) son and needs to be protected at all costs. Forever my fave from the Red Rising books! (Also, high-key want Richard Harmon to be cast as Sevro for the movie …)

 

I TAG THEE

Lois @My Midnight Musing

The Orang-utan Librarian

Aine @Writing on a Vintage Typewriter

Lia @Lost in a Story

EVERYONE!

Did you like my aesthetics? Do you feel like doing the tag as well?

Almost Adulting by Arden Rose (Book Review)

Publisher: Harper Collins
Page Count
: 208

I haven’t done a book review in quite a while, so it’s been a bit of a surprise to myself that I practically flew through this one. Arden Rose is one of the few YouTubers outside of Buzzfeed and booktube that I watch on a regular basis – you can visit her channel here. There is this trend where everyone on Youtube seems to currently either write a book or already have one in stores. Mostly I am not curious about them at all, but I’ve faced some challenges lately and I had to deal with them myself. Adulting is difficult and it’s something I doubt anyone really ever has down, so I suddenly became curious and there I was – book in hand and flying through every single page.

I want to say that, despite my mediocre rating, I like this book a lot. It felt like a conversation, a friend telling you a story. Arden’s style of writing is very direct and while I could see some people having a problem with her choice of language sometimes, however, I didn’t really mind it that much. It’s how people talk and that’s just the way I read it. BUT I don’t think this book is what it advertised to be.

While I learned a lot about Arden, her parents, her journey to discovering her sexuality and body, her adorable boyfriend Will (love his videos too, click here to get to his channel) and how she handled living by herself, this read much more like an autobiography than a book that’s supposed to help you to adult. Don’t get me wrong, I get that Arden used her own experiences as an example only and I could see that she tried to turn her sample situations into a more general life hack, but it still felt very tailored to her only. She had some great points and I agreed with her stand on things a lot, but I didn’t really find anything new in it. Maybe I am just too old, maybe I’ve been adulting for far longer than I realised and that’s why the advice parts didn’t resonate with me as much – everything’s possible! To me, it just seemed like there were very detailed accounts of her life and then far too short and generalised portions for everyone else.

Nonetheless, as I said before, I really enjoyed the book. I had fun reading it and I was done with it in record time. The illustrations are quirky and cute and the topics relatable. If you are a fan of Arden (or Will for that matter), I’d definitely think you would enjoy this book as well. As for me, I still have no idea what I am doing, but apparently, so has nobody else.

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! While I really liked the book, it’s just not exactly what they advertised.

Do you watch Arden’s YouTube videos? Are you as exhausted by adulting as me?