Monthly Archives: July 2016

Ruler of Books Tag!

Standard

This tag was created by Ariel Bissett over on YouTube. It sounds fun, so we decided to do it.

If you were the Ruler of Books…
1. What book would you make everyone read?

Isis: Since I already do this, my answer has to be Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.

Nicole: Wonder by R.J. Palacio.
2. What would you abolish in book construction?

Isis: Books with font way too small. You’re not doing anyone any favors.

Nicole: When the paper is too thin or too thick. There should only be one size.
3. What author would you commission to write you any book?

Isis: I’m having a hard time choosing between Benjamin Alire Saenz and Rainbow Rowell. They are both incredible writers, and I trust them both. I can’t choose. I’ll have to pick both. Co-writers are cool, am I right?

Nicole: Victoria Schwab.
4. What book would you demote to the library basement to make room for new books?

Isis: I’m going to have to go with Fifty Shades of Grey because I know the author is not the nicest person, and really, there is so much better fiction to be discovered.

Nicole: A Clockwork Orange.
5. What cover artist would you commission to make a mural?

Isis: The artist who made the covers for the U.S. Harry Potter editions.

Nicole: Kazu Kibuishi.

6. What characters face would you put on a coin?

Isis: Prince Robot IV from Saga, obviously. It’s the least he deserves. And also Penryn from Angelfall, and last but not least, Dante from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. We really need their faces in currency.

Nicole: Harry Potter.
7. What book would you award the “Ruler of Books” 2016 Prize to?

Isis: I’m going to have to give it to We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. It’s one of the few releases I read this year, and it was just as good as I imagined.

Nicole: I don’t think I’ve actually read a book that came out in 2016 so I’ll go with which I liked the most so far which is The Secret Life of Bees.

St. Clair (Gives Light #3) by Rose Christo – Book Review

Standard

“I could still feel the thirteen-year-old scars stretched across my neck. Scars my mother’s murderer had left with me for life. Scars his son had tried his hardest to kiss away.”

I was on the fence about reading this third installment. As much as I loved the first two books in the series, and desperately wanted to continue on, I accidentally spoiled myself on a particular storyline in this book. It was a very personal issue for me, and it triggered me for days. So, the simple idea of picking up this book was kind of scary. Eventually, though, I caved, unable to hold myself back. I’d really missed the characters, and I actually really trusted the author to deliver a satisfying story, no matter what happened. And I was right.

St. Clair starts off right where Looks Over ends. Skylar continues to deal with the truth his father kept from him so long, and to come to terms with his Shoshone identity. This book deals with much harder situations, including the invasion of the government into the reservation in an attempt to “take back” the land the people bought in the past. It is all, of course, a big scheme in order to arrest Skylar’s father for a murder he committed for the sake of revenge. I found it endearing the way the teenagers of the reservations teamed up to save their land. They came up with many clever plans to work their way around the laws that insisted their lives there were meaningless.

“I think the world is mostly good. I know it is. I’ve met a lot of good people.”

Again, my favorite part became Skylar and Rafael. But that’s not to say there isn’t much more to love. Skylar’s life in the reservations oftentimes seems secluded from the rest of the world, and nowadays, that’s the best escape anyone could ever find. He deals with many other issues, but nothing that can’t be solved. That’s what I love the most about Rose Christo’s prose. She takes her time to write mostly positive things for her characters, and then when she presents problems, her characters unite and face them head on in the best ways. I can always trust that she will treat my favorite characters with the utmost respect.

I’m glad I decided to read this book after all. I would have never forgiven myself if I put it off any longer. It became one of my favorite books. I have nothing but love for this series.

Book Playlist – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Standard

Book: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

This is one of my favorite books, and I’ve decided to create a playlist inspired by it. I constantly listen to Aristotle and Dante playlists, and I’ve put together songs that I feel truly fit the book’s themes and characters.

Listen to it on 8tracks!

Songs:

  • Summer Skeletons – Radical Face 
    We were sun-burned and shoeless kids. It was the dead of July.
  • From Afar – Vance Joy
    It shouldn’t come as a surprise, what I’m feeling, what I’m feeling now.
  • Bright – Ecosmith and Lindsey Stirling
    I think you and the Moon and Neptune got it right, ’cause now I’m shining bright.
  • Only Love – Mumford & Sons
    And I rage and I rage, but perhaps I will come of age and be ready for you.
  • Heart of Glass – Blondie
    Love is so confusing there’s no peace of mind.
  • Talking Bird – Death Cab for Cutie
    It’s all here for you as long as you choose to stay.
  • Viento – Caifanes
    Viento, amarranos. Tiempo, detente muchos años.
  • Wild – Troye Sivan ft. Alessia Cara
    Never knew loving could hurt this good and it drives me wild.
  • Ends of the Earth – Lord Huron
    There’s a world that was meant for our eyes to see.
  • These Streets – Bastille
    These streets are yours, you can keep them.
  • Pasa El Tiempo – Caloncho
    Paso el tiempo asi, y no recuerdas que era tan feliz.
  • Featherstone – The Paper Kites
    And my love is yours, but your love’s not mine.
  • 16 Years – Phantogram
    Summertime is a whirlwind away and I know that the lights won’t invade.
  • Photograph – Ed Sheeran
    So you can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans.
  • We Belong Together – Los Lobos
    You’re mine and we belong together.

Looks Over (Gives Light #2) by Rose Christo – Book Review

Standard

“I’m home, I thought, euphoric. Home, but tired. The bull and pinyon pines, the dirt paths and log cabins, the blue, blue sky and blue-gray badlands–they were mine and I was theirs.”

There’s something terribly sweet about this series. I found the first book, Gives Light, to be one of the most heartwarming, soothing stories I’ve ever read. In the second book, Looks Over, things get a little rougher.

For a story that centers around a mute boy, Skylar says a lot. He’s been living in a Shoshone reservation with his grandmother and fugitive father. His new home, which has welcomed him back after many years, has many traditions yet to teach him. In the reservation, Skylar has many lovely friends, and his boyfriend, Rafael, who became my favorite character in this installment.

I really appreciated the beautiful, tender love story intertwined among many other important storylines. Skylar and Rafael both come from torn families and a shared tragic past, but despite all that, they have nothing but love for each other. It’s selfless and caring and passionate, and it really ties the story together.

“There are only three things you need to know in life. Who you are, how the world works, and how you can change it.”

Most importantly, I enjoyed the way so much Native American history was provided. There’s such a lack of this history, and even when taught, it’s often dismissed or wrongly presented. It’s important that these stories are told, especially told by Native Americans.

Looks Over had a lot more conflict than I was expecting, based on the slower-paced first book. Regardless, I found this book to be a satisfying sequel. I’d recommend the Gives Light series to everyone. It’s a significant and fascinating story. I’m looking forward to reading all the other books in the series.

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Standard

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2016.

Isis: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

Nicole: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2016.

Isis: Haven’t read any.

Nicole: Same.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

Isis: In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero

Nicole: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

Isis: Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Nicole: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
5. Biggest disappointment.

Isis: Bombora by Mal Peters

Nicole: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
6. Biggest surprise.

Isis: We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Nicole: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Isis: Shaun David Hutchinson

Nicole: Ursula Vernon
8. Newest fictional crush.

Isis: Diego from We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Nicole: I don’t have one.
9. Newest favorite character.

Isis: Celie from The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Nicole: Hazel from Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
10. Book that made you cry.

Isis: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Nicole: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
11. Book that made you happy.

Isis: Looks Over (Gives Light #2) by Rose Christo (Currently Reading)

Nicole: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year.

Isis: I guess Shadowhunters is the only one I’ve seen, but it’s not a film, and I haven’t read the Mortal Instruments.

Nicole: Does Orange is the New Black count?
13. Favorite review you’ve written this year. (Booktube version: Favorite video you have done so far in this year)

Isis: We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Nicole: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Isis: Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black

Nicole: The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide by Douglas Adams


15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Isis:

  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
  • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
  • Carry Me Like Water by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • At Swim Two Boys by Jamie O’Neill
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
  • Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Nicole:

  • School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Hero by Perry Moore
  • The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  • The Girls of Murder City by Douglas Perry
  • Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison
  • The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman by H.G. Wells