Top 5 Wednesday: Bookish Things I’m a Grinch About

A shameful amount of time has passed since I did a top five Wednesday.  I really have no excuse; I just never got around to making the lists.  One of my goals for the coming year is to be more active on this blog and I think top five Wednesday is a good way to ensure that I post at least once a week.  

The Goodreads group for top five Wednesday can be found here.  It is hosted by @ThoughtsonTomes and is a lot of fun, so join in!  I am very excited for the December topics, so without further ado, let’s get into my list! 

1. Cover changes in the middle of a series

 Come on publishers.  No one in the history of ever has uttered the phrase, “I really hope they change the covers midway through the this series so my covers don’t match!”  Look.  We are booknerds.  We tend to take great pride in our bookshelves and want them to look pretty.  When the cover changes and the books in a series don’t match, it throws off our #shelfie game.  Even when the previous books get new covers, it is irritating because now we have to go out and buy new copies of books we already own.  

2. Dog-earring and binding breaking 

If you damage my books, you’re dead to me.  I work hard for my money and it’s not very often that I get to spend it on new books.  For this reason, (and just because they’re amazing) my books are very special to me and when someone damages them, simply by being careless, it makes me angry.  I don’t come in to your house and scratch up your Blu-ray discs.  It’s common courtesy to treat other’s property with respect, so please be nice to books. 

3. Love triangles

Don’t get me wrong, there are some well written love triangles out there and I do enjoy them.  The love triangles that bother me are the ones in which the protagonist is stringing one or both of the love interests along.  The Twilight-y ones.  This trope is also extremely overdone and I feel that there are far better plot devices to spice up the story.  

4. Characters that don’t know how to breathe 

If I read the line, “I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding” one more time I might crack.  Why are all YA protagonists unable to tell when they are depriving their brains of oxygen?  

5. Cliffhangers

Need I say more?  I’m looking at you Rick Riordan.  The end of The Mark of Athena destroyed me.  This one I’m not necessarily a Grinch about unless I have a long wait for the next book.  

I hope you guys liked this post!  If you did, please leave me a like and a comment, I would love to discuss your Grinchy tendencies!  See you in the next one! 

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Non-spoiler Review: The Blood of Olympus: Book 5 in The Heroes Of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Finishing a series is bittersweet.  I am always so excited to reach the end and find out how the story plays out, but it’s very hard for me to let go.  I spend all this time with the characters in these amazing worlds and then suddenly it’s over.  I have to say goodbye and return to my everyday life.  I feel as though I’m losing close friends and closing the door on an entire world.  

As you no doubt guessed, I have finally finished The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan, the final book in The Heroes of Olympus series.  It was a thrilling novel and I am very happy with it, but there were a few unanswered questions.  Had I read this when it came out, I may have been irritated by the questions, but I know that we see some of these characters in the next series, The Trials of Apollo.  

Despite the unanswered questions, this book was fantastic.  It was exciting from start to finish and while it wasn’t my favorite in the series, (The House of Hades for the win!) it was well written and hilarious just like the rest of Rick Riordan’s books, and it did contain some of my favorite scenes of the series, including some kick-ass battles and an oh-so-adorable Percabeth scene that made me squeal.  

My only complaint is that I wish I could have seem from all the main demigod’s perspectives.  I understand why Rick left some of them out; it would have been a bit much to keep up with all those points of view.  Though I love them all dearly, I will miss Percy’s perspective the most.  He’s out main man, the star of the show, and though I’m sure he appears in the other books, this was our last with Percy as one of the main characters.  He is one of my favorite characters of all time and losing his voice as a narrator is like losing a piece of my heart.  

This book was wonderful and I am so happy to have completed this series.  It is now one of my all time favorites and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.  

4.75/5 stars to The Blood of Olympus and 5,000,000/5 stars to The Heroes of Olympus as a whole. 

I hope you guys liked this review!  Leave me a like and a comment; I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions about these books!  Thank you so much for reading!  See you guys in the next one!

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

“I just wanted to tell you that I’m going to carry on as I am.” – Baz

  I have found a new favorite 😍.  This is my second Rainbow Rowell book and I was blown away.  Carry On is Rainbow Rowell’s take on the characters to whom we are introduced in Fangirl, a novel about a girl named Cath who is starting college and who writes fanfiction about Simon Snow and Baz Pitch, characters from a fictional series similar to Harry Potter.  You do not have to read Fangirl before you read Carry On, but it is a fantastic book as well and I recommend it.  Carry On is one of my favorite books of the year and probably one of my favorite books of all time. I loved every second of it. 

  The magic system is very creative.  I love that the power of the spells is affected by the relevance of language and how important phrases are in modern speech.  That system ensures that magic changes with the times and can grow as society does.  There were many pop culture references that I appreciated because it kept this fantastical world grounded in the real world.  

  The characters are as flawed and realistic as magicians can be.  Obviously, Simon and Baz are my favorite characters.  How could they not be?  They are so different, but when they are together they are completely unstoppable.  Their relationship is one of the cutest I’ve read about in a long time.  Honestly, I could go on and on about them, but spoilers.  Just read it, okay?  Please? 

  I listened to the audiobook for Carry On, and it was spectacular.  I’m pretty picky about audiobook narrators, but Euan Mortan did a phenomenal job.  He is able to capture the character’s personalities with subtle variations in his voice.  If you like audiobooks, I definitely recommend this one.  

  Though the characters are the stars of the show, the plot was captivating and kept me on the edge of my seat.  Who doesn’t love a good twist on the “Chosen One” trope mixed with a little murder mystery?  Add in the Hogwarts reminiscent setting and you’ve got me hooked.  I was tempted to just restart the audiobook as soon as I finished it, but alas my TBR is guilting me.  

  I HIGHLY recommend this book to fans of Harry Potter and fantasy, although I believe anyone could enjoy it.  It was funny and whimsical and absolutely amazing.  5/5 stars for sure! 

  I hope you guys enjoyed this review!  If you did, leave me a like and comment because I’d love to discuss this book!  See you in the next one! 

  

Bookish Pet Peeves 

Pet peeves. We all have them and no matter how insignificant they may seem to other people, pet peeves drive us as individuals crazy. For book lovers, our bookish pet peeves can be some of our worst. I am a pretty high-strung person in general, so it’s not surprising that I have several pet peeves when it comes to my books and reading life. I’m sure most of you have heard at least some if not all of these annoyances as they are pretty common within the reader community, so I hope you can relate to my bookish pet peeves! 

THINGS OTHER READERS DO THAT ANNOY ME: 

1. DAMAGING BORROWED BOOKS

I know this irritates a lot of readers. We lend out our precious books to a friend or family member we believe we can trust and then it’s returned in less than stellar condition. Broken bindings, bent back covers, dog-earred and (gasp) torn pages. Book damage is one of a reader’s worst nightmares. Now, I’ve been known to damage my own books (accidentally of course), but if I lend a book out to someone, and they return it damaged because of carelessness…I can’t even. If you borrow someone else’s property, treat it with respect. It’s common courtesy. When I borrow books, I treat them like a priceless treasure, because I know how upsetting it is to have a damaged book returned to you. If you damage my book simply because you don’t care about it’s condition, you will never borrow another. I’m not completely unreasonable. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to genuine accidents, but avoidable damage done by carless handling is something I cannot handle. Just be nice to my stuff. Please. 

2. INTENTIONAL SPOILING

Why would you do this? Why? This is the epitome of rude, especially if the individual being spoiled really cares about the book (or show/movie) in question. I’ve had people intentionally spoil me for things because they think it’s funny when I get angry. It’s not funny; it’s rude and disrespectful to completely disregard someone’s feelings like that. While you may not care very much about a story, I am probably emotionally invested and it’s so not cool to utterly devastate my feelings by ruining the ending for me. If I’m going to be emotionally destroyed, let the characters do it. Geez. Accidental spoilers suck, but must be forgiven. Intentional spoilers are evil and if someone spoils you on purpose I give you permission to seek revenge by spoiling something they love. 

3. SHAMING OTHER READERS

No one should ever make anyone feel guilty or inferior about what they like to read. Reading is about enjoyment and whether you enjoy hardcore erotica or children’s books, you are a valid reader. If you were the only person to enjoy a certain genre, it wouldn’t exist as a genre. If you’re that person who looks down on the girl reading 50 Shades of Grey, maybe you should take a step back and think how sucky it would be if someone made you feel inferior for enjoying something that you love. Don’t shame each other. Have good discussion about what you do/don’t like. Remember, if someone is reading something you don’t like, it’s not hurting you. Let them to them and you do you. 

4. “AUDIOBOOKS DON’T COUNT AS READING”

Yes. They. Do. Why wouldn’t they? Now, I know someone’s going to be thinking, “well, technically it’s not reading, it’s listening,” and that statement is correct. However, invalidating someone’s reading experience because of the medium they choose/have to use is very ableist and wrong. That small technicality seems to make some believe that people who primarily listen to audiobooks can’t be real book lovers. Listeners and physical readers are consuming the same story. Why does it matter how the words are absorbed? Instead of bickering over meaningless differences, let’s all just gush over mutually enjoyed stories. Then everyone wins. 

5. BASHING YA

Young Adult books have a bad reputation in some circles. I think most of this stems from the fact that for some people “young” equates to “stupid.” I am beyond tired of hearing that young adult books are not good enough for adults to read. I am an adult woman, but I still primarily read YA. Don’t let the idea of a young protagonist prevent you from enjoying a story. This goes for middle-aged as well. I didn’t read Percy Jackson and the Olympians until I was 22 years old and it is now one of my all time favorites. YA books can be just as (sometimes more) impactful as adult books. It is extremely important for teens and young adults to feel represented and understood. Speaking from personal experience, sometimes the only place teens feel accepted is between the pages of a book. My favorite characters have been my best friends and have helped me through countless tough times. I will forever and always read YA. 

I hope you guys enjoyed reading about some of my bookish pet peeves. If you guys agree or disagree with me or have some of your own irritants to discuss, leave me a comment! I’d love to talk. I’ll see you guys in the next one! 

Review: The Lost Hero: Book 1 in The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Guys, this is one of the best books I’ve read all year.

I imagine that most of you have already read Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.  I, like most who have read the series, ADORED it when I read it earlier this year.  So, naturally, I was very excited to read the sequel series featuring Percy, Annabeth, and their friends plus some new characters.  The Lost Hero is the first installment of this sequel series, called The Heroes of Olympus.  This series takes place after the events of the original PJO series, so if you haven’t read those books (what are you doing with your life?) you should go read those right now because they are amazing.  They are technically a middle-grade series, but I know that all age groups can and do enjoy these books.  I didn’t read them until I was in my twenties and loved them more than words can explain.

After reading the first book in this series, I have the strong feeling that I am going to love The Heroes of Olympus even more than the original.  The Lost Hero follows Jason, Piper, and Leo, three teenage demigods who are abruptly thrust into the world of Greek myths and are sent on a dangerous quest to free a captive goddess and prevent the end of civilization.  But of course, each of them is battling a personal problem that makes their quest even more impossible.  Jason has no memory of his life before suddenly waking on a bus with Leo and Piper.  Piper is hiding a dark secret.  Leo is struggling to find where he fits in with his new friends and trying to keep his abilities under wraps.  The trio arrives at Camp Half-Blood only to almost immediately be sent on their quest while the rest of camp frantically tries to find a missing demigod named Percy Jackson.

Like I said before I adored this book.  The story is action-packed and fun.  There was not a dull moment while reading; the characters went from battle to battle kicking ass and taking names.  We met some interesting creatures and gods and got to know our three main characters very well.

While Jason is no Percy, I still really enjoyed him as a character.  He’s brave and kind even if he is a bit clueless from time to time (hardly his fault since he’s an amnesiac).  Piper is awesome.  She’s Cherokee, so the Native American representation was nice for me (who is also part Cherokee) to see.  I don’t see Native Americans represented very often in YA so kudos to Rick Riordan for that.  Piper is smart and refuses to let her problems overwhelm her.  Leo is definitely my favorite of the new characters.  He’s hilarious, resourceful, and badass without being a pretentious jerk.  I love him so much.

You can probably tell that I really loved this book.  I am convinced that Rick Riordan can do no wrong for me.  I could not put this book down and I am so excited to continue one with the next book, The Son of Neptune.  

5/5 stars for sure.

I hope you guys liked this post.  If you did please leave me a like and a comment because I would love to talk about these books with other fans 🙂  I’ll talk to you guys in the next one!

Review: The Dragon Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

“…like it or not, you are, shall we say, the Dragon Heir.”

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I finally made my way through this book!  It took me months to read, but not because it was unpleasant.  I LOVED this book so much.  It took me forever to get through this book partly because I didn’t want this story to end.  I know there are two more books in this series, but the Heir Chronicles were originally intended to be a trilogy, so I’m not sure if the next books will feature the characters to whom I’ve grow so attached.

The Dragon Heir was exciting and heartbreaking and almost everything I wanted it to be.  There were definitely some unanswered questions and the ending seemed a little abrupt, but overall I really enjoyed my time with this book.  The characters developed beautifully from book one to book three and I loved reading about them more every second.  The cast of characters was huge, although there was admittedly not much diversity.  It was wonderful getting to know the characters, but I would have loved to have some POC characters or some varied sexuality included.  The world was stunningly complex and it was extremely interesting reading about the political scheming on both sides of the conflict.  If you like action-packed, political urban fantasty (who doesn’t?) you should most definitely look into this series.  I have loved everything I’ve read by Cinda Williams Chima and I highly recommend her books.

4/5 stars

I hope you guys enjoyed this post!  If you did please leave me a like and a comment and don’t forget to follow this blog to see future posts!  I hope you all have an amazing day!  I will talk to you in the next one!

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Guys. I am in love. 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell follows Cath, a freshman in college, who is less than enthusiastic about her impending college experience. Her twin sister, Wren, has abandoned her and their shared love of Simon Snow (a book series about magicians) on favor of independence. Cath is alone with her fanfiction and anxiety in a world of strangers until her roommate Reagan and Reagan’s friend Levi coax her out of her shell and show her how much fun college can be. 

The characters were definitely the best thing about this story. They are all real and relatable; they have good qualities and flaws and could be real people. I cared so deeply for these characters and I was very sad when the book ended and I couldn’t read about them anymore. 

I LOVED this book. This was my first Rainbow Rowell novel and I was not disappointed. I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say that I relate to Cath on a deep and personal level. While Harry Potter is my Simon Snow, I related on almost every level to Cath and her struggles. Even if you aren’t a fangirl or fanboy yourself, this book is still full of fun. The romance is adorable, the plot is compelling, and the characters are amazing. Fangirl explores deep issues such as the desire for acceptance, divorce, and abandonment. I truly think that anyone could enjoy Cath’s story. 

5/5 stars. Would HIGHLY recommend. 

I hope you guys enjoy this review. Leave me a like and a comment and let me know what you thought about this book.