Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin (ARC Review)

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Page Count
: 368
Release Date: April 13, 2021

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: racism, Islamophobia, racially motivated hate crimes, loss of a loved one

Hana Khan Carries On releases soon and I cannot wait for everyone to get a chance to read this book. Set in one of my favorite places on this planet (Toronto), the book is a bold romantic comedy playing out in the world of rivaling halal restaurants, but it is also so much more than that. Let me explain!

Hana is a fantastic narrator, which makes sense as she hosts her own podcast and pursues a career in the radio industry. I loved following her thoughts and quarrels from the get go. We quickly learn that she is a South Asian Muslim woman in her twenties and daughter to immigrant parents, who juggles many things in her life even before the real drama starts. While there were always hints at what all this book would ultimately deal with, it starts out with all the makings of a romantic comedy that promises rivals to lovers excellence. There was an immediate attraction and familiarity between Hana and Aydin even when they clashed. They are not afraid to play dirty in order to come out on top, which leads to many a regretful decision. The fire and sparring between them was definitely fun, even when it was easy to guess the big revelation they’d both eventually have to face.

Around the halfway point of the book, the story shifts into something more serious though. As I said, the groundwork for this was laid, because this book was never going to be “just” a romantic comedy. While out with Aydin and her cousin, Rashid (who is visiting from India), Hana encounters a group of hate-filled racists and the situation soon escalates on a much grander scale than she could have ever anticipated. It’s never easy having to come to terms that there are people out there who want to harm you and push you out of a country you were literally born in. It was even more painful when no one came to Hana’s aid (please never be that person when you see someone being attacked. Not doing anything is being complicit), that is until she found the courage to seek refuge in her community.

As much as Hana Khan Carries On is about love and finding your place in the world, it is also about family – the one you are born with and the one you choose. This was an excellent example of how gratifying being part of a community can be and how they can help you through the darkest times. Hana always had to deal with people who were willing to talk over her (a boss using covert racism to undermine her ideas, a co-worker so desperate to fit in that they sold out and a myriad of other characters that show up and will have you wringing your hands not to punch them), but she also had people in her corner willing to go to bat for her and you were right there with them, rooting for her when she found her voice and spoke up. And that’s not an easy thing to do, to stand up to people knowing that it will leave you vulnerable. But she had a life made up of choices, choices she was very grateful to have, and she wanted to make the right ones.

I really loved reading this book and to follow along as Hana uncovers family secrets and finds her voice. I cannot possibly put myself in her shoes, but I was filled with pride and joy at her development regardless. There’s no denying that I would understand if people would rather not be faced with reliving that particular trauma when seeking out a romantic comedy, but I personally appreciated that there was no sugarcoating of racist situations like it happening still. Those parts will never get easier, but we’re not doing anyone a service by ignoring them either.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! An amazing romantic comedy, if you are also prepared for hard-hitting reality.


Would you like to read Hana Khan Carries On? I seem to pick up at least one “You’ve Got Mail”-esque book per year now and I have no regrets! Let’s talk!

March 2021 Wrap-Up

So, March was another month? I don’t even really know what to say about it, but let’s just start with what I always start with – the books! I actually read quite a lot considering what my usual monthly average was the past years and I also think I picked some great books! Let’s see what we’ve got:

  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (3 stars)
    I was on a roll when it came to the Grisha books and mostly read them in one day. Siege and Storm was not my favourite though. While I was never against Mal in the first book, the bad communication in this one drove me nuts. Still, the slow corruption of Alina Starkov had its draws and I generally enjoyed myself.
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (4 stars)
    What a satisfying ending! There really wasn’t many ways this could have gone and I personally liked it a lot. The book really had no right making me as emotional as it did in those final pages.
  • Any Place But Here by Sarah Van Name (4 stars)
  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (3.5 stars)
  • The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther (4 stars)

Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone, #2) Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone, #3) Any Place But Here King of Scars (King of Scars, #1) The Summer of Broken Rules

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

I’ve been contemplating how to best tackle my life this past month. After some personal struggles as well as a lengthy recovery from dental surgery (still healing, but all good), I knew I couldn’t put off the Canada topic any longer – I had to act! Most of you know that there is little I want more than to go back to my beloved Vancouver. The only issue is – this pandemic! It has messed up literally all my plans, I have zero desire to travel anywhere in this climate, vaccine roll outs are slow where I live and my once so very open work permit now hinges on me finding a job offer before I actually get to enter the country anyway. I’ve been writing dozens of cold applications as well as trying to apply for jobs I saw online, even if they aren’t all in the industry I used to work for. It’s been a very frustrating process. Please, for those of you who care, keep your fingers crossed for me, because at this point, my dream coming true really is just a matter of ridiculous luck …

Should I not be able to secure a job offer before the end of June (and not get another extension for the visa), this is it. I can never apply for that work permit again (as you can only do so once and getting approved is seen as taking part, even if you never enter the country), which means I literally have to rethink my entire life plan, where I want to live and what I want to do. To say I’m panicking inwardly is the understatement of the century, because I really don’t want to give up on this, but I might have to come to terms with the fact that I have to (especially since I can’t keep doing nothing in Vienna … I need to work! I LOVE work!). Sorry for this very rambly and personal outburst …

As much as I’ve tried my best at *all of that*, I still haven’t gotten back any kind of motivation to keep doing anything creatively. I have posted a couple things on my art instagram, but I wasn’t really happy with any of it. I keep not enjoying the end result and it’s really demotivating. I hope I will get some inspiration/motivation back soon, because I’m tired of being tired.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

Many of you have probably seen me freak out on Twitter about Shadow and Bone on the regular and I apologize in advance about the person I will become on April 23. However, to not just rehash my gushing from last month, I want to talk about my massive dilemma, because speaking of April 23 … that day is also the day of the final episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. (Links for the reviews to the first two episodes below!!!) I always, always enjoy Marvel content, but I didn’t expect to fall that hard for this particular show. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan just have an incredible dynamic and the character work they’re doing is beautiful! I may also have gone on a slight binge of their interviews together …

Another thing I would like to highlight is Sofii @A Book. A Thought. and the incredible work she has done to compile a really extensive list of book bloggers. Especially with the blow bloggers received after finding out how willing publishing is to throw money at tiktokers (no shade to tiktokers!!! Go get that coin!), but still pay regular bloggers nothing but dust, I love to go on lists like that and support other bloggers with likes and comments whenever I can. It’s super handy. Click HERE to check it out!

MY OTHER POSTS

WANDAVISION + THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER REVIEWS/CONTENT

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you all had a good March and are looking forward to April! I can’t decide whether time is rushing by or going really slowly in this odd odd year that is 2021 …

The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther (ARC Review)

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count
: 386
Release Date: May 4, 2021

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: loss of a loved one

Sometimes a book comes around and it just sweeps you off your feet. The Summer of Broken Rules was definitely that for me! It’s not easy for a story to be fun as well as moving, but somehow this one struck the perfect balance and just made it an incredibly engaging read.

You meet Meredith and you can easily relate to her. I think anyone who has ever lost someone close to them understands the way you yourself get lost in your grief. Every corner you turn, you see that person and remember how things used to be, but can’t be anymore. The Summer of Broken Rules managed to make this story a beautiful exploration of grief, while also the journey of reemerging from that cloudy haze that comes with loss, without it ever feeling too heavy. I may have shed a tear or two, but I laughed and smiled even more.

From the get go, I was just in love with the setting. I haven’t been on a vacation in forever and definitely have never been to Martha’s Vineyard (it feels like a rich people destination in my head and I cannot explain why?), but I could almost feel the sun on my face, smell the ocean breeze and couldn’t shake that odd feeling when you just know it’s unavoidable to get sand everywhere. Add to that a huge group of relatives and friends, where you sometimes lose track of just how you are related, but you know you are family either way because of the shared bonds and you have captured my heart. At times, I had trouble following the who’s who, but never when it came to the important players.

When it comes to the love story, I thought it was interesting how easily I was swayed by Wit. Many times, I have complained about insta-love and insta-lust, but somehow the connection between Meredith and Wit just felt natural. You basically just follow them through the course of a week, but every interaction felt authentic and made me root for them rather than roll my eyes at their quick attachment.
I’d also like to praise that there was a discussion, albeit brief, about how Meredith tends to latch on to her love interests and detach from her friends as a coping mechanism for her grief. Having scenes with that as a context puts them in a different light and, in this instance, makes them work all the better. With the characters being aware of how fast things are developing and even questioning their behavior, I thought it was refreshing. In the end, it didn’t change how I felt about them though and I was happy to see them grow together through the hurdles they had to overcome.

I can’t say I’ve ever been as competitive or invested in a game as the entire extended Fox family is when it comes to “Assassin”, but what a treat it was to follow them for a week. As serious as they take it, it also created some hilariously brilliant moments and I understand how it became a tradition for them. It’s almost something you’d want to revisit yourself every year to see how everyone was doing, which was why I was so grateful for a little epilogue from the future!

As a final note, this was my first time reading a book by K.L. Walther, but I heard that there are lovely little easter eggs to her previous novel “If We Were Us”. I adore when authors put in those tiny references for readers and it has me very tempted to check out her debut novel.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Fun and moving – a great summer read along the lines of Morgan Matson books!


Could you see yourself picking up The Summer of Broken Rules? What are some summer reads you enjoyed a lot? Let’s talk!

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (Book Review)

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Page Count
: 514

With the imminent release of the Shadow and Bone Netflix series (if you haven’t heard me talk about that basically all the time as of late, where have you been? Watch the trailer here) and the even closer release of the second book in the duology King of Scars is a part of – Rule of Wolves – I thought it was time I finally caught up on the Grishaverse.
It’s been a while since I’ve read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, but I still vividly remember how easily I fell in love with the characters and the world they inhabit. It has been much more recent that I tore my way through the Shadow and Bone trilogy, finally catching up on Alina’s storyline and getting that proper introduction to Nikolai Lantsov. He deserved that grand entry like no other! I’m glad I picked up all the previous books before reading King of Scars, because I think I would have been lost without people’s backstories. 

That’s the thing with the books in the Grishaverse; in the beginning you might have been able to just read one series or another, but we are in so deep now, with everything being interconnected, that it would do you a disservice not to know the previous material. In fact, it’s necessary, because so much of this series is built on your feelings for the characters and what is about to happen to them.

“The monster is me and I am the monster.”

King of Scars, just like the Six of Crows duology, offers multiple POVs. The most important ones are likely Nikolai, Zoya and Nina, although I have to say that I struggled to really find a proper connection between Nina’s storyline and the others. She felt very much apart with her mission in Fjerda, even if her plot made sense for her character development and offered a great new path for Nina. It’s something only she could effectively pull off. And I could see those small crumbs that tried to hint at how it would link to the business in Ravka, but (at least in this part of the duology) it felt very much like it could have been a completely unrelated just simultaneously running story.
So, I couldn’t help but feel more drawn to what was going on with Nikolai. I think I wasn’t alone in quickly having him become a favourite even without him having his own perspective back in Shadow and Bone. This broken golden boy just has his charms, as every other character in the Grishaverse could probably attest to. The fact that he now has a major part in this duology just shows that Leigh Bardugo knows what her fans like to read about.

“Most of us can hide our greatest hurts and longings. It’s how we survive each day. We pretend the pain isn’t there, that we are made of scars instead of wounds.”

While I felt like the plot was moving along quite slowly at times and not necessarily contradicted previous books, but definitely rewrote a couple narratives (just throw out your knowledge about amplifiers now for example …), which I did not care about massively, I did appreciate how much more we got to know the characters.
Again, Nikolai is not just charming, he is a really good man. The way he puts Ravka above all his needs is incredible and possibly not healthy, but he just wants to do better than the weak men who came before him. He would give his life if it meant that the people he is trying to serve as a ruler will get to have a more stable and prosperous life. As boisterous and superficial as he can seem, he is one of the most selfless characters.
But most of all, I appreciate that I got to know Zoya more. I’m not going to lie, I struggled with her character for a long time in previous books, because I just couldn’t forget her mean girl behaviour from the beginning. I don’t enjoy people who make others feal scared or lesser than just to feel superior and she has always given off that vibe. She was never kind, nor good, she was ruthless. Now though, I feel like this showed us why she is the way she is. Why she thinks kindness is such a weakness, even if that’s not true at all. Why she is all prickly like thorns despite her beauty like the most gorgeous flowers. There’s really quite a lot of selflessness in her too.

“Most women suffer thorns for the sake of the flowers, but we who wield power adorn ourselves with flowers to hide the sting of our thorns”

King of Scars definitely isn’t my favourite book in the Grishaverse, but it does what it is supposed to – it keeps me wanting more. I always want to know and probably always will want to know how these characters are doing and if lasting peace is an option. But it’s Ravka … something always goes wrong.

Lastly, which is really more of a personal side note than a criticism, I wish there wasn’t this incessant need to always pair everyone up. Tolya is literally the only person I can think of who currently doesn’t have a crush and it’s a lot to me. Sometimes characters can just be friends … or partners in crime … or confidants … or alone?

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! I rounded up, but I did struggle with this book at times.


Have you read King of Scars? How deep are you into the Grishaverse? I, for one, can’t wait for the show and the upcoming release of Rules of Wolves!

The Wine Book Tag

I was tagged for this such a long time ago, I won’t even comment on the specific year. Let’s just say it has been an embarrassing time period, but Flo @FlowlessBooks asked me to do the Wine Book Tag and I think it is fun and … better late than never?

Box Wine – a book that people will judge you for liking but you like it anyway!

Let me think about all the embarrassing things I could have read and liked. I know that the author of Call Me By Your Name has some questionable views (did he sexualize underage girls or did I imagine that interview?) and that puts the age difference in the book in an even worse light. I know all that and I know the book is far from perfect, but I really loved it when I read it. I can’t just forget some of those beautiful quotes between the mess.

Read my review HERE.

Organic Wine – a book that doesn’t have any added crap in it and is just written perfectly

SoulswiftYou better not get tired of me mentioning Soulswift, but to me that book was perfect. As a standalone fantasy novel, it’s a rare bird anyway and it’s hard to get the pacing and content just right, but this book managed to do it all. I didn’t feel like I was overwhelmed with information or missing anything crucial. I was just heartbroken in the end, but that was to be expected …

Read my review HERE.

Gluehwein – a really spicy, wintry read

Don't Tell a SoulNot sure this really qualifies as spicy, but Don’t Tell a Soul definitely takes place during winter. I still remember the descriptions of mountains of snow and wading through snow storms to get to the manor. This story is not a ghost story, but is sure brings some along on the ride, which might work for the second part of the prompt? I hope so.

Read my review HERE.

Sauvignon Blanc – a really sharp and aggressive read that you couldn’t put down!

My mind immediately went to the Red Rising saga! I don’t usually get angry, but woah, I was shaking because I was so furious in parts of those books. They are also violent and brutal, but so well written and they keep you hooked. I still have Dark Age (the most recent book in the series) staring at me accusingly from my shelf, because I still haven’t picked it up. It’s so intimidating though!

Sevro will forever be one of my all time favourite characters and I cannot wait to see who they cast should they move forward with the TV show. My fingers are forever crossed for it to be Richard Harmon.

Read my review of the first book in the series HERE.

Pinot Noir – a book you didn’t expect much from but ended up getting blown away!

I try to not go into books with too high expectations to begin with. Hype is scary and can quickly drain joy once you read something. I’m, however, always a bit wary when it comes to World War II related content, be it alternate history or authentic, so I did not expect too much from the Wolf by Wolf duology, but it is now one of my favourite duologies out there. I wish more people had read it!

Read my review of the first book in the duology HERE.

Chardonnay – a good summer read that was super-zesty?

The Unexpected EverythingWhat constitutes a super-zesty read? Anyway, I might just ignore that bit, but summer is something I associate with Morgan Matson books. I could probably choose any of her stories and would be able to fulfill that part of the prompt, but I’m going with The Unexpected Everything, just because I thought of it first. As always, it has a cute love interest, dogs and some lovely self-exploration.

Read my review HERE.

Rose – a book that has a little bit of everything in it

Maybe Beartown? When I tried to write my review of the book, it was hard to find an aspect the story did not cover. It’s about community, family, culpability, love, friendship, responsibility and so much more. Really, no clue how to summarize it other than it wrecked my feels. There’s an HBO series coming out for it soon and I cannot wait to feel devastated again.

Read my review of the book HERE.

Shiraz – A full-bodied book that is dark and juicy

Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1)I’ve delved more and more into darker stories, but I kind of thought of Ninth House first. It has so much death and mystery, which qualifies for the dark part, but I also think the relationships could be categorized as juicy. The full-bodied aspect is probably the fact that it has a very complex secret society and includes a lot of information, which bordered on overload for me at times.

Read my review HERE.

Merlot – a smooth easy read with a soft finish

Tweet CuteTweet Cute! Everything about reading that book was easy and fun and soft and warm. It was like a modern day Young Adult version of You’ve Got Mail, just with a foodie aspect instead of bookstores. What’s softer than that?

Read my review HERE.

Champagne – Your Favourite Book

AS IF I HAD JUST ONE!?!?!?

I don’t know how anyone else does it, so I’m going to cheat a little bit. I’m just going to pick a random book that I gave a high rating to recently and haven’t mentioned in the post already.

We ended on The Light Between Worlds! It’s heartbreaking with a touch of Narnia, just more heavily focused on the returning part  and mental health rather than the one about being in a magical kingdom. I mentioned several trigger warnings in my review, because I think that’s really necessary with this read, but I loved it.

The Light Between Worlds

Read my review HERE.


We’ve seen how bad I’m with sticking to tags, so I’ll just do the same I’ve been doing these past months: if you think you’d have fun with this yourself, CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED!!


What did you think of my picks for the different topics? Let’s talk!

Any Place But Here by Sarah Van Name (ARC Review)

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count
: 336
Release Date: May 1, 2021

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: underage drinking

Any Place But Here is my first encounter with Sarah Van Name’s writing and I immediately felt drawn into the world of her characters. You meet June and Jess at an evening that feels like it could be any night of the week for them, beyond tipsy and definitely drunk, just that it’s at a school venue and things are spiraling fast after they get discovered with booze in the bathroom.

After that, no matter what June says, her parents don’t trust her anymore and send her off to live with her grandmother (lovingly called Oma, which is also what I have always called my grandmothers too) to attend an all-girls-school. In the beginning, I struggled a bit with that punishment. I understand the concern of June’s parents and the way they mostly blame it on her “friendship” with Jess, but June is literally a straight A studen and … I come from a country where the legal drinking age is 16, so I always roll my eyes a bit at American laws. Of course, there is a difference between drinking responsibly and just getting wasted and I don’t condone the reckless kind since I’m not much of a drinker myself, but it’s always a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around why it is such a huge deal. I literally had bartending classes at my school when I was 16, but I’m veering off course. This conflict sets up the rest of the novel and does so really well.

Who would want to leave behind everyone they know, including the person they care about most, to live in a town where they know no one and nothing ever happens? I can tell you that the answer is not June.

As we see the world through her eyes, it quickly becomes clear that June’s relationship with Jess was more than “just” a friendship. Whenever she speaks about her, their shared bond seems undeniable, but the longer they spend apart, the harder it becomes. And you also start to wonder what held them together in the first place. Things become even trickier when June’s new friends bring up the question of her sexuality (in an intimate and non-pressure related setting) and June has no real answer for it, especially since she finds herself drawn to one of the new acquaintances. I find it’s not often that bisexuality is explored in young adult books, but I enjoyed the way it was done here.

I have spent my fair share of time away from family and friends and I always felt like I was a different person when I came back. Sometimes I was shocked to see how much had changed in my absence, other times I found myself annoyed with the lack of change in my environment when I felt so utterly different. This book perfectly mirrored my emotions and dealt with how hard it can be to let go or fight to keep someone in your life. It’s always a decision you have to make and sometimes you don’t ultimately get what you want.

When you meet new people that enrich your day to day and you find new hobbies that bring you joy, it can be hard to arrange and combine this with your old life. Things change and so do people. Aside from this beautiful exploration of love and friendship, it was also a great but nonchalant portrayal of family. The messiness of it, but the love that was woven through all decisions really warmed my heart. Even with them being miles apart, June’s younger siblings were always present in her thoughts and the struggle with her parents was so relatable. They always made her feel like she had to compete for their approval, but when she lived with her grandmother she experienced such a different parenting style and through that could actually find things she enjoyed.

Overall, I loved being on this ride with June and seeing her find her own way. It also got me really interested in photography, which I didn’t expect, but hey, maybe I’ll find my own Sam there.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A great read about changing relationships, family and expectations. Enjoyed it a lot!


I know the release is still a while away, but could you see yourself pick up Any Place But Here? Have you had experiences with toxic relationships? Let’s talk about it!

February 2021 Wrap-Up

Where January felt like a whole year in itself, I barely registered February. It’s always so short to begin with, but somehow it felt even shorter now. Nevertheless, I actually managed to read a decent amount of books, even if you probably wouldn’t have been able to tell from the lack of reviews I wrote. I just found for myself that I don’t want to review every book I finish, so I’m gonna give you a brief summary of my thoughts in the wrap-up instead.

  • Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (4 stars)
    I don’t think I properly reviewed any of the books in the To All the Boys series, so I didn’t want to do the final book either. I enjoyed it, just as I did the others. Some parts felt a bit rushed, but I liked the main conflict, because making decisions about your future is hard, but it’s sweet to think that some things might last.
  • S. by J.J. Abrams/Doug Dorst (3 stars)
    Reading S. is an experience and a challenge. The different timelines, meanings and stories are a lot and not all of them are really exciting. I enjoyed that this was a love letter to so many things, but the main storyline was still a bit lackluster.
  • Soulswift by Megan Bannen (5 stars)
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (4 stars)
    Now that the teaser for the upcoming Netflix adaptation is out, I could not resist finally picking up the books. I finished Shadow and Bone in half a day and I haven’t read anything this quick in YEARS. I agree with the people who say that Six of Crows is better, Bardugo improved her craft in since her first books, but I still loved it. I just don’t get where this incessant Darklina shipping comes from, but I do get loving the Darkling?

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3) S. Soulswift Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone, #1)

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

So, I was scheduled to get my two remaining wisdom teeth removed in February and due to some annoying stuff, I ended up only getting one out and it’s still in the healing phase and that really knocked me out for a while there. I’m really not even that huge on food usually, but I was craving the most ridiculous things and I still haven’t been able to eat everything I wanted, but I WILL!

The health aspect being really draining, I wasn’t very motivated to do anything creatively. I didn’t write. I didn’t really draw, but I did try and keep up with my blogging. I think I chucked out a decent amount of posts and I hope you enjoyed them.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

I have rarely been as excited for anything as I have for Shadow and Bone. I’ve watched the IGN Fan Fest exclusive trailer premiere and the cast q&a afterwards and I was in heaven. I don’t know what it is about all of it, because we got like 5 seconds of my baby crows, but I was beyond hyped. The sound design, the effects, the casting – all of it looks perfect! They put so much love into this show and I want to see it succeed.

Don’t hesitate to follow me over at Twitter for continuous Shadow and Bones spam!

MY OTHER POSTS

WANDAVISION REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


How was your February? Did you enjoy the content I put out? Is there something you would like to see more of? Let’s talk!

Evermore Book Tag!

I wasn’t actually tagged for the Evermore Book Tag, but I saw it over at my friend Stephanie’s blog Adventures of a Bibliophile and felt like it would be fun to do. In all honesty, I always vibed more with evermore than with folklore, so, coming up with books to fit song titles should be fun!

RULES!

  • Link back to the original creator’s post: Ahaana’s at Windows to Worlds
  • Tag at least 5 people
  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post!!
  • Feel free to use the graphics from Ahaana’s original post/or mine, but please credit back because they took a lot of time and effort to make (:

Read More »

Soulswift by Megan Bannen (Book Review)

Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Page Count
: 480

Honest question: Why has no one told me about this book before!?!?

I’m definitely not the most up to date person when it comes to book releases, but after reading the marvel that is Soulswift, I can whole-heartedly say that this book deserves more attention. I’m going to do my very best to not spoil anything for you, while still trying to convince you to pick up this book in the near future!

First off, I want to point out that Soulswift is a standalone fantasy, which is a rare bird to come across anyway (pun fully intended). So very often, you have to brace yourself for multiple volumes to release over an extended period of time to get to your conclusion, but somehow Bannen managed to pack a fully formed story, neither rushed nor dragging, into this one single book. I am in awe of that woman’s writing!

Stories about faith, even made up ones, are never easy in my opinion. There is such a fine line between religious fanaticism that feels harmful and a naivete towards the world and other beliefs that might be frustrating and annoying at times (although it didn’t feel annoying to me here), but offers great potential for growth. Bannen allowed us to draw our own conclusions, hearing different aspects and exploring the various angles. It felt very natural for the world she created and I loved that I knew that there were always going to be three sides to the belief system: Gelya’s version, Tavik’s story and the truth.

Why should I worship something that cares so little for me, or for you?

As I moved through Soulswift, I found myself attached to Gelya and Tavik more and more. Their enemies to friends to lovers dynamic and banter was endearing like nothing else, but they were also great characters on their own accords. They both have to overcome a vast amount of prejudice and yet their bond is so strong and frankly beautiful. You will weep for these characters, without a shadow of a doubt, because they are so strong and dedicated and devoted. By the end, it’s just a question of who to.

Aside from really enjoying the religious aspect, the created world and the characters, it was the small things that made this novel stand out for me. It challenged gender norms and stereotypes without throwing it in your face, but rather letting the characters question their world view through dialogue and realistic situations. For example, I cannot recall another Fantasy novel where a character got her period while on the road, which wasn’t dismissed here, but also not made into this awkward big deal. I really appreciated that!

Life and Death
All things in balance.

Why wouldn’t this book be for you?

Aside from the topic of faith, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea, be it fictional or not, the ending isn’t something every reader will love either. I’m fully in the camp “a good ending doesn’t mean a happy ending”, but if you seek a story that will leave you warm and joyful, this is not it. I’m not saying it ends it utter devastation, because everything makes sense and is very beautiful in its own way, but also tragic. So very tragic and sad. I cried.

fly, little soulswift, fly

Fazit: 5/5 stars! 100% one of my new all-time favourites!!!


Could I convince you to take a look at Soulswift? Was it on your radar before? Let’s talk!

The Guilty Reader Tag!

I thought I had dealt with my reading guilt a while ago (Do I read enough? Do I read the right books? etc. etc.), but then I got tagged by the Orang-utan Librarian and found myself really intrigued by the Guilty Reader Tag. It was originally created by by Chami @Read Like Wildfire and I cannot wait to dive into this with you! Let’s see if I will be judged guilty or not.

One. Have You Ever Re-Gifted A Book You’ve Been Given?

I have not! At least not that I can remember. I donate and sell my books and let some select friends and family choose out of the books I want to give away in case they want to read anything, but I don’t believe I have re-gifted anything on purpose.

Two. Have You Ever Said You’ve Read A Book When You Haven’t?

What would be the point of doing that?

Okay, so … I might have done that back in school in a way. I often skimmed books that I didn’t like, but I never claimed that have read something I did not read even one sentence of. I maybe, just maybe, have said that I finished something I haven’t. That definitely has happened. But in a social setting, again, what’s the point?

Three. Have You Ever Borrowed A Book And Not Returned It?

There were definitely moments where I had borrowed my cousin’s books (we share a very similar taste when it comes to reading) and I maybe wanted to keep them, but I don’t think I ever did. I would not want to not get my books back, so I wouldn’t not return something either.

Four. Have You Ever Read A Series Out Of Order?

That is actually something I am guilty of! It wasn’t on purpose, but I was standing in line at the bookstore to pay for what I had selected, when there was this table with a new book being promoted. It wasn’t really obvious that it was a sequel and because it mentioned Oregon (which was appealing to me, because that was shortly after my semester abroad in Oregon), I felt compelled to read it.

So, to speak more plainly, I read Where She Went before If I Stay. Did not really feel that weird though to be honest.

Five. Have You Ever Spoiled A Book For Someone?

Yep, a couple times accidentally and other times because I was asked to just tell them and I had checked beforehand if that was okay with them. I don’t mean to spoil anyone, like I don’t go out of my way to make sure I ruin someone’s experience, but sometimes you just gotta talk about stuff.

Six. Have You Ever Dogeared A Book?

Nope, I don’t like to do that. If it’s your book and you want to dogear a page, by all accounts, go for it!! It just feels like a crime when I think about doing it to mine.

Seven. Have You Ever Told Someone You Don’t Own A Book When You Do?

I can’t recall a specific book this happened with, but I might have just to not have to lend it to anyone. I have made bad experiences with people who borrowed my books. Like, they came back drenched and torn and it’s my nightmare.

Eight. Have You Ever Skipped A Chapter Or A Section Of A Book?

Oh, 100%! Sometimes certain passages in a book are just boring and mind-numbing, but you also don’t want to give up on the story entirely? The solution is to just skim-read. It really speeds up the process and I simply do not have the brain capacity for super detailed meaningless descriptions. They are not for me.

Nine. Have You Ever Bad Mouthed A Book You Actually Liked?

This entire post sounds like my memory is getting really bad, but I just can’t remember doing that. Maybe I haven’t? Sometimes I just also think that opinions and tastes change and something you’ve really liked before can turn into something you dislike later on and maybe in that context, I have bad-mouthed a previously beloved book? But I don’t know. I am going to go with no.

THE VERDICT

4.5 out of 9 … so I am neither entirely guilty nor free of guilt. This fits my chaotic persona so well.


Hope you enjoyed this little excursion into my reading habits. If you want to do this as well, CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED! I’d love to hear your thoughts.