Challenge: 2020 A to Z Book Challenge

Hey there, bookworms and dragons! I was working through editing some small aspects of my blog this week and noticed it’s been almost two whole years since I participated in any book challenges? I figure the A to Z Challenge is basic enough that I can use the books I’ve already completed this year in an attempt to both catch up and actually participate in a book-related challenge for the first time since 2018.

The A to Z Challenge is relatively straightforward: Read a book that begins with each letter of the alphabet. I’ve seen it done where if the first word of the title is the or a, it can be overlooked for the first letter of the second word and I’m gonna run with that. Links are to the Goodreads page for the book and not my personal reviews since I’ve gotten so horrible about writing them with any amount of regularity. Let’s do this thing!


A: A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee 🐛🐛🐛🐛🐛

B:

C: Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare 🐛🐛🐛🐛

D: Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram 🐛🐛🐛🐛🐛

E: The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya 🐛🐛🐛🐛

F: The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth 🐛🐛🐛🐛 ½

G: Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega 🐛🐛🐛🐛

H: Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith 🐛🐛🐛

I: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab 🐛🐛🐛🐛 ½

J: 

K: Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue by Paula Harrison 🐛🐛🐛🐛

L: Lu by Jason Reynolds 👾👾👾👾

M: Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor 🐛🐛🐛🐛

N: Nyxia Uprising by Scott Reintgen 🐛🐛🐛🐛 ½

O:

P: Patina by Jason Reynolds 👾👾👾👾

Q: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black 🐛🐛🐛🐛

R: Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse 🐛🐛🐛🐛🐛

S: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson 🐛🐛🐛🐛 ½

T: Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab 🐛🐛🐛🐛

U:

V:

W: When You Know What I Know by Sonja K. Solter 🐛🐛🐛🐛🐛

X:

Y:

Z:

Have you ever done an A to Z Challenge? Do you have any suggestions for the letters I haven’t completed yet? Let’s talk about it in the comments! 🙂

Movies: Back to the Future

Recently, I’ve been rewatching a few of my old favorite films with my wee monsters. This started because I was talking to them about one of the movies I watched a lot growing up and they… hadn’t even seen it once? It had never occurred to me to sit down with them and watch any of my old favorites but at the same time I was somehow surprised that they had never seen any of them.

Yeah, I don’t know how my brain did that either, but I set out to correct this egregious oversight by watching as many awesome movies from my childhood with my kids as is humanly possible. Clearly, this had to include the series that first introduced me to the science fiction genre: Back to the Future.

I’ve been back to working outside home for a while now so watching the movies in a true marathon hasn’t been an option. We watched one each night over the past week with the first one on Tuesday, Part II on Friday, and Part III on Saturday. I did write some abbreviated thoughts into my Letterboxd (which is like Goodreads for movies, but with half star ratings) so here’s the links to those.

I’m really happy that we watched them together. It was like giving them a part of my childhood, though now they’re wondering what happens with the train at the end? (If you’ve watched the animated series, please let me know in the comments if it occurs after Part III!)

Watching this series together also made it so we were able to talk about some things that might not have come up otherwise. These things weren’t always handled well in the movies, but they made great conversation starters for us and learning opportunities for the monsters. You know, besides the usual “don’t travel back in time because you might change something” discussion. That would have been too obvious.

In Back to the Future, Marty visits the past and accidentally interrupts his parents’ romantic beginnings. This effectively makes it so that Marty risks not existing at all anymore and he has to straighten it out. There’s a scene where the issue of consent comes up. While my monsters are still relatively young, it’s never too early to discuss body autonomy with your kids.

There’s a part in Back to the Future Part II where Marty’s son is bullied into participating in a robbery. We got to talk about right and wrong decisions and how it might be tough to make the right decision when someone is bullying you. There’s another part in the same movie where Marty decides to bring a sports almanac back with him. We got to have a discussion about how cheating is always the wrong decision.

Finally, in Back to the Future Part III we got to talk again about body autonomy (when Clara is dancing with Buford Tannen) and how her reaction was justified. We also got to talk about how the portrayal of Native Americans is inaccurate and unacceptable. Finally, we talked about how sometimes you have to think with your head and sometimes you have to lead with your heart.

In general though, we just enjoyed watching the movies together. I love that I was able to give my monsters a piece of my childhood. I’m really hoping to continue with a few of the other movies that were my favorites as a kid. It’s going to be great!

What were some of your favorite movies as a kid? Let me know in the comments and maybe we’ll add them to our list! 🙂

Movies: MCU Movie Challenge

Hi there, bookworms and dragons! I’ve been talking about making some changes to my blog for a few months now. Adding movie related content is one of the changes I’m considering making. (Is this something you’re interested in seeing here? Let me know in the comments! 😊)

I realized recently that I haven’t watched most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies, so I’m challenging myself to watch all existing MCU movies by the end of summer. 22 September 2020 is when summer will “officially” end so we’ll go with that for the official challenge end date. I’m planning to watch them in chronological order so I’ll list them below. I’d love for you to join me in this challenge!

I’m not going to give each movie its own full review post because I’m still not 100% sure this is something I want to do on this blog regularly. For now, I’ll add a “Movies Watched” section to my monthly wrap ups. I also use Letterboxd (it’s kind of like Goodreads but for movies) so you can see my progress/thoughts/reviews on the movies in this challenge (or whatever other movies I’m watching) there. I’ll try to remember to update this post and my wrap ups with the appropriate Letterboxd links and a rating.

A quick note before we dive into the list… I intentionally didn’t include any MCU movies that won’t be released before I’m hoping to finish watching this already massive list of movies.

Without further ado, the list of MCU Movies in chronological order is:

Have you seen any or all of the MCU movies? What are your thoughts on them? Are you up for taking the MCU movie challenge with me? Happy reading (and watching)!

Turning the Page: March 2018 Wrap Up

Is it that time of month again? Let’s wrap up March so I can start April out fresh and ready!

Books I Reviewed In March

March has been a very productive reading month. Like… wow how did I even? I don’t know. During the month of March I read more books than I reviewed and I still managed to review quite a lot! Here’s what I reviewed during the month of March along with ratings and links to the full reviews themselves.

Other Things I Did In March

I participated in the Fox & Wit Reading Challenge on Instagram. You were meant to select a book to read for each prompt and post a photo of them when #currentlyreading and then post a wrap up style photo at the end. Here’s what books I did for each prompt (with links to the photos):

I wrote another series review for the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. Spoiler: I loved it!

Hair update: I cut about two feet off my hair. I’ve been thinking about doing it for a while and decided it’d be better to do it before I start colouring it again instead of after. Less hair, less dye, less money spent! I also did round one of lightening/bleaching my hair. It’s very orange-ish blonde at the moment but I’m waiting a few more weeks before giving the lightening another go as my hair is quite angry with me just now.

I continued doing Bookworm of the Month posts because I really love them and there are so many amazing bloggers and vloggers in the community that I honestly don’t think I’ll ever run out. So far, I’ve spotlighted

Bookworm of the Week: 16 March 2018

Um… What happened to this week and where has it gone? I slacked off quite a bit in my post writing this week so….

Happy Saturday, bookworms! It’s that time of the week again!! 😀 Bookworm of the Week is a spotlight started here on Vicarious Bookworm where each week a different book blogger or vlogger and their platform(s) are highlighted. It started as a way to help bring more attention to book bloggers and vloggers within the online book community.

This week’s Bookworm of the Week is:

2018-03-17 09.02.37.jpg

I stumbled across Eli’s blog shortly after I started blogging here and I’ve been hooked ever since. She uses a variety of social media in her posts to create a unique blog. I haven’t seen anyone else use social media on their blog the way she does and it’s really creative.

I’m not sure if she’s still doing Top Ten Tuesday, but I always love watching her videos for it because she manages to cram it all into 60 seconds or less without making it feel rushed. They’re really fun to watch and my TBR explodes or I find a book on the list I’ve read and I get excited she’s talking about it.

She also writes Sticky Note Reviews, which are reviews that can fit into a single sticky note. Her most recent one for Let’s Talk About Love has me really hoping the library will get it in soon! (Side Note: I just checked again and it’s listed as “On Order” for the branch I work at. The stars are aligning!!) But I really enjoy her quick reviews because she’s brilliant at wording things in a way that efficiently tells me what she thought of the book and why. It quickly tells me whether or not picking up the book will be worth my while.

Eli is one of the few I regularly take recommendations from because, for the most part, we enjoy the same style of books. There’s, so far, only really been one that we disagree on and even that isn’t a huge deal to me because HER TASTE IN BOOKS IS EXCELLENT! Also, there is the occasional dissertation update, which is always good to read.

Anyway, if you’re looking for an awesomely creative blog and social media account to follow, definitely check out the (book) supplier! You can find Eli on:

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Goodreads | Google +

 

25 Bookish Facts About Me

I saw this done by the lovely Weezie at Weezie’s Whimsical Writings and thought it looks super fun. I know I haven’t been posting as often as I would like to so I wanted to do something special and hopefully get my creative blogging juices flowing. 

1. I love buying used books that someone has annotated because I feel like I’m getting a part of their story along with the one the author wrote.

2. But I can’t ever bring myself to annotate a book. Even when I was in school, I couldn’t mark my books even to highlight the parts I needed to study later.

3. I really enjoy character based stories, but if there’s no plot I’m not likely to finish reading it. Especially if it’s a tome.

4. Cover changes mid series set off my anxiety so badly that I have stopped buying books of the series until it’s been completed.

5. The most satisfying covers for my anxiety are Rick Riordan’s. The paperbacks of each series are all the same height and are of similar design and that is just so soothing to me.

6. I am constantly rereading the Harry Potter series. Sometimes it takes me a year or two to get through the whole thing, but I’m always currently reading at least one of them.

7. My favourite bookstore isn’t one I get to visit with any regularity at all, but if you’re ever in London you should check out Word On The Water. It’s. The. Best!

8. I love the maps in books because they’re so detailed and creative and beautiful… but I rarely use them for reference while I’m reading.

9. My TBR is a disaster zone and I have no shelf space for that.

10. I’ve gotten really good about how I request books and give feedback for NG and I’m kinda proud of myself for it.

11. I’m TERRIBLE at fancasting.

12. I’m almost never reading only one book at a time. It’s always between 2 and 8, depending on the level and genre of each book. I’m currently reading 6.

13. I don’t read many anthologies because when I do I feel like I’m both rushing through stories and not reading quickly enough.

14. At least one of my current reads is always an audiobook. This is because I listen on the bus to work instead of pulling out a book. I don’t get bus sick often, but they do tend to be crowded and stuffy. Headphones = less conversation expectations.

15. If you talk to me while I’m obviously reading, I will glare you to death (or until you go away).

16. I don’t lend out my books. Ever. I used to, but they always came back damaged if they came back at all.

17. I love that my job allows me to get kids excited about reading. I also (not so) secretly love doing this by reading them picture books. Children’s picture books authors are underrated.

18. I love bookish candles. I know I could probably get something similar at the store if I really looked, but I love that someone had a specific book or character in mind when they created them.

19. My very favourite bookish candles are from Canterbury Road Co because the scent throw is strong enough to fill a large room without being at all overwhelming.

20. 99% of the time, if I can get a book at the library I won’t buy it, even if that means waiting 6 months. There are few exceptions.

21. I take so many notes when I’m reading a book I plan to review that sometimes when I read something I know I’m not reviewing it’s such a relief.

22. I read and write both nonfiction and fiction.

23. I make bookish amigurumi.

24. I’ve gotten into the bad habit of coming up with ideas I like for blog posts….and then never writing any of them.

25. I can read almost anywhere with almost anything going on. In bed or on the bus? Sure. Radio or tv blaring? Why not.

I hope you all enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! Hopefully, I’ll be more regular with my blog posts soon. I’m not going to tag anyone specifically because I always feel awkward doing that so if you want to do it, consider yourself tagged! 🤓

That’s all for me today, bookworms. Happy reading!

Blog Tour: The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

I’m so amazingly excited to be part of the blog tour for The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed! I’ve got the privilege of giving you my favourite excerpts from the book as well as my full review and my first ever dream cast! There’s even a giveaway at the end! Let’s start out by having a look at what the book is about.

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.

Nowhere Girls Cover

I don’t know about you, but as soon as I saw the synopsis, it screamed read me!

 

Dream Cast:

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Natalie Portman as Erin DeLillo, Nikki Blonsky as Grace Salter, Demi Lovato as Rosina Suarez

TNG-quotes

Note: These are quotes and excerpts I pulled from the advance reader copy provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The quotes and excerpts may be changed in the final edition.

Page 22:

What’s worse? Lying about who you are, or not knowing who you are at all?

Page 39:

“Did you believe her?” Grace says.

Rosina sighs. “Of course we believed her. Most everybody did, but they’ll never admit it. Probably half the girls in this school have had some kind of run in with one of those assholes.” Rosina looks up from her barely-eaten sandwich. “But it doesn’t fucking matter.”

“Why doesn’t it matter?” Grace says. “Of course it matters.”

“On what planet?”

Grace has no idea how to answer.

Page 78:

Silence does not mean yes.

TNG-review

I have so many thoughts on this book and I’m trying to pull it all together. First, given the topic of the book, there are a few trigger/content warnings that are necessary. Let’s get them out of the way.

  • Ablism (addressed internally on the page)
  • Misgendering
  • Transmisia
  • Suicide Jokes
  • Gang Rape (Chapter 9 – Lucy, Chapter 52 – Erin: both these chapters contain thorough recountings of separate instances of gang rape)
  • Mentions of rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Nonconsensual sex
  • Homomisia (addressed on the page)

The characters in The Nowhere Girls were incredibly well developed and I could imagine having full interaction with all of them. Because I was planning my dream cast while reading, I did notice that the physical descriptions are fairly vague, but the personalities were all so distinct and fleshed out so much that I could easily know any of them.

I like how the use of multiple points of view allowed for me to see the characters not only as they see themselves but as they see each other. I feel like this is an instance where using multiple points of view really added to the character development and story. I’m still not sure how I feel about the Us. chapters, but there were parts of them that really added to the characters and story.

The Nowhere Girls is set in Prescott, Oregon, which could easily be any small town in the United States. The world was built up enough to give an immersive feel to the story. Everything from the high school to the characters’ homes to the town itself is developed enough to be easy to visualize while reading.

The story has so much going on while still focusing on the main plot. I really love how we got to follow the separate stories of the main characters and a few side characters in addition to the main plot following the Nowhere Girls as a group. I do want to say that this is definitely not a feel-good novel so if you’re looking for something sweet and fluffy, you might want to pick up something else. If you’re looking for one of the most important and well written novels of the year, look no further. The Nowhere Girls shines a spotlight on rape culture and doesn’t shy away from the painful truth that so many girls and women live with today.

Overall, I rate The Nowhere Girls 4 out of 5 bookworms.

Don’t just take my word for it! Preorder your copy today to read it when it’s published on October 10th! A few places you can reserve your copy are:

 

About the Author

Amy Reed

Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constant moving taught her to be restless and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually graduated from film school, promptly decided she wanted nothing to do with filmmaking, returned to her original and impractical love of writing, and earned her MFA from New College of California. Her short work has been published in journals such as Kitchen Sink, Contrary, and Fiction. Amy currently lives in Oakland with her husband and two cats, and has accepted that Northern California has replaced the Pacific Northwest as her home. She is no longer restless. Find out more at amyreedfiction.com.

BEAUTIFUL is her first novel.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

TNG-giveaway

Congratulations! You made it to the giveaway. One lucky reader (US only – sorry, international bookworms!) will win:

  • one (1) finished copy of The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

follow-the-tour

There are so many other amazing posts on this tour by amazing bloggers. Plus, if you follow the tour, you get the added bonus of an increased chance to win the giveaway! You can find the full tour schedule here.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Amy Reed for writing this heart wrenching and important novel. You are a rockstar!

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for the digital advance reader copy of The Nowhere Girls they supplied via Netgalley.

Finally, thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me the privilege of participating in this blog tour.

That’s all for now. Happy reading, bookworms!

Cover Reveal: The Rebels of Gold by Elise Kova

Happy Friday, bookworms! I’m still prepping for Hurricane Irma, but I could not miss out on sharing the Loom love by participating in this cover reveal! If you’ve been around a while, you already know the Loom series is among my favourites and very close to my heart. The Rebels of Gold is to be the final book in the series so while I’m super excited to read it, I’m sad the series will be ending. Let’s take a look at the synopsis for this one, shall we?

 

A new rebellion rises from the still smoldering remnants of the five guilds of Loom to stand against Dragon tyranny. Meanwhile, on Nova, those same Dragons fight amongst themselves as age-old power struggles shift the political landscape in fateful and unexpected ways. Unlikely leaders vie for the opportunity to shape a new world order from the perfect clockwork designs of one temperamental engineer.

This final installment of USA Today bestselling author Elise Kova’s Loom Saga, The Rebels of Gold will reveal the fate of Loom’s brilliantly contrasting world and its beloved inhabitants.

 

If I wasn’t excited for it already, I would be now! But now it’s time for the moment we’ve been waiting for…. The cover reveal!

Final-Cover-Rebels.jpg

*incoherent screaming*

It’s so gorgeous and I’m so happy we get to see my baby Florence on a cover! In my humble opinion, Nick D. Grey did an incredible job on the cover art.

 

The Rebels of Gold is due to be released on December 5, 2017! You can reserve your copy by preordering from:

 

In true Elise Kova style, there are tiers of preorder bonus swag that can be unlocked based on the number of preorders there are. Remember that by preordering you’re unlocking the level, but you need to submit your information in order to actually get the bonus swag. You can find the tiers and how to access them here.

Also, in true Elise Kova form, The Alchemists of Loom ebook is on sale for $3.99 (the regular price is $6.99). Here are a few places you can get that:

 

I hope you all have enjoyed this Cover Reveal as much as I’ve enjoyed participating in it! Have a great weekend and, to all of us in the path of Irma, please stay safe. Happy reading!

Waiting On Wednesday: Winter Glass

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that highlights anticipated releases. I decided to participate in this one this week to see how I like it for when I return to blogging more regularly.

This week, my anticipated read selection is:

Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer

Winter Glass Cover Art

Publication Date: April 10, 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:

Princess Aurora, torn from the dream world, plots to assassinate the faerie queen Malfleur, only to confront temptations she never expected. Isabelle, meanwhile, opens her heart to Prince William as they attempt to unite their kingdoms and wage war against Malfleur’s army. But when the appearance of an unbreakable glass slipper prompts Isabelle to discover more about her lineage, her true identity begins to take shape and her legacy becomes as clear as ice.

Devoted half-sisters Isabelle and Aurora will grapple with their understanding of love and loyalty as they face a threat even greater than that of the evil queen–the threat of losing each other forever.

Waiting On Wednesday: Turtles All the Way Down

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that highlights anticipated releases. I decided to participate in this one this week to see how I like it for when I return to blogging more regularly.

This week, my anticipated read selection is:

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

(The cover hasn’t been revealed just yet.)

Publication Date: October 10, 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward.

Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence with the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green shares AMA’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity.