Tag Archives: Isis

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

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1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017.

Nicole: The Gauntlet by Karuma Riazi. I’ve talked about this book a lot, and I still really love it.

Isis: At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson. I’ve talked about this one endlessly.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017.

Nicole: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan. It was fantastic.

Isis: Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat gave me life. It’s the best sequel ever. The political aspect is so juicy and the romance is such a slow burn. So great, so good.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

Nicole: The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas. I haven’t picked this up yet, and it’s really sad.

Isis: The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich. This one has really poor ratings on Goodreads for some reason. I’ve heard that it shouldn’t be taken too seriously in order to enjoy it. I’m still really looking forward to it.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

Nicole: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan. It comes out in October and I can’t wait.

Isis: The Last Cigarette on Earth by Benjamin Alire Saenz. This is Saenz’s new poetry collection that was pushed to August 15. I’m so excited because the only poetry I read comes from Saenz.
5. Biggest disappointment.

Nicole: Ink and Ashes by Valynne Maetani. I quit this book around fifty pages in. It was sad because I was looking forward to loving this book. But the subplots regarding the main character’s romance put me off too much even when I was enjoying the mystery.

Isis: What in God’s Name by Simon Rich was so disappointing. It’s an angel book that I was really excited to read, but it was so poorly executed. Not only was the entire thing stupid and boring, it was also body-shamed to an extreme. No good.
6. Biggest surprise.

Nicole: Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier. I expected to love this book, and was really surprised that it was just blah. And I didn’t know that it had iffy rep so I was also surprised by that. I think this question was supposed to be about a book that surprised you in a good way but oh well.

Isis: Preacher vol. 1 by Garth Ennis definitely took me by surprise. I loved the TV show so I read the comics, and it was not what I expected. Very different from the show, and way more bloody and shocking. I love both.
7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Nicole: Karuma Riazi

Isis: I liked C.S. Pacat’s world-building and characterization a lot, and I would definitely read anything she writes in the future. I also love that she’s very open about being genderfluid and bisexual.
8. Newest fictional crush.

Nicole: Alex Fierro from The Hammer of Thor

Isis: Jesse Custer from Preacher. I adore him.
9. Newest favorite character.

Nicole: Ballister Blackheart from Nimona

Isis: Damen from the Captive Prince series quickly became my favorite character.
10. Book that made you cry.

Nicole: No books have made me cry this year.

Isis: At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson brought me pretty close to tears.
11. Book that made you happy.

Nicole: The Hammer of Thor. Doing this tag has made me realize that I haven’t read as many books as I thought I had so I’m sorry I have a lot of repeating answers.

Isis: Shelter the Sea by Heidi Cullinan. It was such a great book. Very sweet and pure. I wish more people talked about the Roosevelt series.
12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year. 

Nicole: I think the last adaption I saw was Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children so I’ll put that. Much better than the book.

Isis: Does the Vampire Academy movie count, even though I’ve never read the book? I enjoyed the movie. It was cheesy, but entertaining. Interesting vampires.
13. Favorite review you’ve written this year. (Booktube version: Favorite video you have done so far in this year)

Nicole: My Zombies at the East End review. I feel like I explained my feelings very clear in that one which I struggle with sometimes.

Isis: My Captive Prince review is probably one of the longest ones I’ve ever written ’cause I just had a lot to say.
14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Nicole: I’m going to cheat again and say the books Isis got me for Christmas. She got me the full Vampire Academy series and it’s amazing even if that series has unfortunate covers. But I don’t get a lot of books all the time and almost all of them aren’t new so they look really nice.

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Isis: I recently bought this manga, My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame. It’s such a beautiful hardcover edition full of the most beautiful art. I can’t wait to read it.

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

Nicole: Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Flying Witches of Veracruz by James Endedy

Isis: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It’s about angels, so of course I have to read it.

Netflix Book Tag

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1.Recently Watched: The last book you finished reading

Isis: Shelter the Sea by Heidi Cullinan. This is a sequel in the Roosevelt series, and I really enjoyed it. I think it’s an important read, really diverse. It made me so happy.

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Nicole: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. It was a good graphic novel.

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2. Top Picks: A book/books that have been recommended to you based on books you have previously read

Isis: I read The Song of Achilles because everyone recommended it after reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. But I was so disappointed in The Song of Achilles. It was not my cup of tea. I still don’t get the hype for it.

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Nicole: People recommend The Iron Trial by Cassandra Claire and Holly Black to people who like the Harry Potter books. I did not like it at all.

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3. Recently Added: The last book you bought

Isis: I just recently bought an e-book I found randomly called Bonfires by Amy Lane. It’s about two older men who fall in love, both men have children from previous marriages, both are trying to get through life. It just sounds right up my alley. I’m excited to read it.

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Nicole: I finally bought The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. I’ve been wanting it for a long time, so now I’m resisting the urge to drop what I’m currently reading in order to get to it quicker. 

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4. Popular on Netflix: Books that everyone knows about (2 you’ve read and 2 you have never read or have no interest in reading)

Isis: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Gotta go back to the oldies. 

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I feel like everyone has heard about this book. 

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City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Love Shadowhunters, but I don’t like the author of the books. I don’t think I’m missing out on anything. The show is amazing.

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I’ve heard mixed things about this one. I’m not interested in a new book format or whatever. The story itself doesn’t really interest me.

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Nicole: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. A surprisingly good book.

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. With how everyone talked about it, I expected it to be fantastic. It wasn’t.

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The Divergent series by Veronica Roth. I feel like everyone can still be obsessed with it, but after I found out the premise my already mediocre interest fell completely away. It just doesn’t sound interesting to me at all.

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The Black Witch by Laurie Forest. This one’s buzz is mainly on twitter, but it still counts. At first I was interested in this one because I simply heard it was about witches and it was good. Then all the negativity surrounding it happened, and I learned it was about unlearning racism, badly, in a fantasy setting. Even if it was well done, I still would have decided not to read it. It simply isn’t a plot that interests me.

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5. Comedies: A funny book

Isis: The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore. I loved the humor in this book. It was the sort of humor that sinks in and really gets to you. If that makes sense. I still think about this book. It had a lot of heart too.

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Nicole: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. I think it’s his funniest series yet.

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6. Dramas: A character who is a drama queen/king

 Isis: As a drama queen myself, it’s hard for me to really pinpoint other drama queens/kings because I think everyone should be dramatic. But Juliette Ferrars was pretty dramatic in the Shatter Me series. I really loved her development though.

Nicole: Draco Malfoy is the ultimate drama king.

7. Animated: A book with cartoons on the cover

Isis: The new Carry On paperback book has this amazing cover. Simon and Baz are cartoons and they look beautiful. 

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Nicole: Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon.

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8. Watch it again: A book/book series that you want to re-read

Isis: Eventually, I’d love to re-read the Gives Light series. I’ve talked about this one before. It’s one of my favorites. It’s set in a Native American Reservation, which is something you don’t see a lot. It was beautiful and so informative.

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Nicole: I’m not a big re-reader. I have been kind of wanting to re-read the Harry Potter series, which is the only books I’ve really re-read before. Also the two books I mention in the childhood favorites list.

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9. Documentaries: A non-fiction book you’d recommend to everyone

Isis: I think everyone should read We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s a good starting piece.

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Nicole: Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas. I think it’s not popular, but it really opened my eyes. I think it has important information that society, especially present in the media, doesn’t share at all.

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10. Action and Adventure: An action packed book

Isis: I don’t read many action packed books, but Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan was full of action. I wanted it to slow down, but it never did.

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Nicole: The  Outliers by Kimberly McCreight. This book never stopped from the first page. Every page had something dramatic happen till the very last sentence.

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11. New Releases: A book that just came out or will be coming out soon that you can’t wait to read

Isis: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but I’m dying to read When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. It looks so good and sweet and summery. I still haven’t bought it yet, but soon!

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Nicole: Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh comes out on July 25th, and I can’t wait. It’s a middle grade mystery book that includes ghosts, and it sounds amazing.

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12. Max: Tag some people

Everyone, consider yourselves tagged

Favorite Childhood Reads

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Isis:

I never read much as a child. I do remember reading Clifford obsessively and these Maisy books because they had little pop ups. They were my favorites as a kid.

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Nicole:

I read a lot more than Isis. Not like now, but I’ve read a lot of different books. I remember rereading a lot of the same book over and over again. Unlike now when I rarely ever reread books.

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I’m pretty sure that I read all the Dr. Seuss books, and a lot of The Berenstain Bears seriesI would finish one book in one sitting and start on the next one right away.

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I was obsessed with Winnie-the-Pooh when I was little. I vaguely remember the book, but I watched the movies over and over again. My room for years only had Winnie-the-Pooh decorations.

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I had a lot of these Little Golden Books. I read a lot of them but Aladdin and 101 Dalmatians were a couple of my favorites. I would read these and then watch the movie and then read these again.

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My kindergarten teacher used to read to us everyday. I don’t remember any of the books she read except with the Junie B. Jones series. I loved these. I loved Junie, and all of her mishaps. I found this through my teacher, but I loved it so much that I would go to the library to get the ones she didn’t read.

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I remember always picking this series up though I don’t remember what actually happened during it. I do want to find these in thrift shops or the library and reread them when I can. 

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I’m so glad I decided to do this post, because I’ve been trying to figure out the name of this book for ages and I could never find it. I tried one more time so I could add it to this list, and I finally figured it out. In elementary school sometimes if you got there early they would take you to the library and the librarian would read to everyone until it was time to go to class. This was one of the books she read though I never got the full story since sometimes I would miss school or come later so then I missed out on parts of the story. But I always wondered what happened at the end. Now that I remember the title, I’m going to look it up and read it again.

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We had to read these books in fifth grade, but I never minded the work involved because I loved these stories. With Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry especially. I went to the library and got all the other books in the series. When I finished them all, I was so upset that it ended that I wrote my own fanfiction of it. Not that I knew the term then.

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These aren’t so much children’s books, but I felt the need to add them here. I didn’t read as much as I got to middle school, but these books were my everything. I would get in trouble all the time for reading the Maximum Ride series in class. I never liked getting in trouble, but I just had to know what was going to happen. Though by the time I think the third or the fourth book came out I was over them. I think I read all the books that Lois Duncan had out. I would read them in one or two sittings because I was so captivated, and then I would immediately go to the library to get another one. This was also the time I picked up Harry Potter, and became obsessed with that. Then, for years Harry Potter books or fanfiction was the only thing I read.

Books We’ll (Probably) Never Read Tag

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1. A really hyped book you’re not interested in reading?

Isis: Caraval by Stephanie Garber. It doesn’t sound appealing to me at all. I’m not sure why there’s so much hype surrounding it.

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Nicole: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I thought this sounded interesting because when people talk about it they just mention clairvoyants, but when learning more I learned about the slave/master romance it mainly involves around. Who wants to read about that?

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2. A series you won’t start/won’t be finishing?

Isis: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I mentioned this before, but I don’t like assassin books at all.

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Nicole: The Mortal InstrumentsThe Infernal Devices, basically any of the shadowhunter books.

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3. A classic that you’re not interested in?

Isis: Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. I don’t think I’ll ever get to this one. It’s probably one of the few classics that have never appealed to me.

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Nicole: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. I’m not interesting in reading about white men who think they are misunderstood.

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4. Any genres you never read?
Isis: I don’t think I’ve ever read any sci-fi. It’s something I stay away from. I’m not into it.

Nicole: I don’t think I’ve ever read a western or a cyberpunk. I wouldn’t say I would never read a book from either of these genres. They just aren’t on my usual radar.

5. A book on your shelves you’ll probably never actually read?
Isis: I like to think I will read everything, but I’m not sure I’ll ever get to the Spanish version of Stephen King’s 11/22/63. I bought it for my mom a few years back and she never read it, and when she passed away, I kept it. My sister read it and loved it, but I’m not sure I would like it.

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Nicole: I recently got rid of a lot of the books I didn’t think I would ever read. But I’ve stubbornly held onto a couple for some reason. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

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Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt) by Heidi Cullinan – Book Review

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“The problem is, a lot happens when people don’t regard you as a real person. They think they can ignore you, and worse, they think they can use you.”

When I read Carry the Ocean two years ago, I loved it from the bottom of my heart. The book and its characters lingered with me for a long time. It felt incredible seeing someone with anxiety facing daily challenges and coming out stronger. Every time I dealt with anxiety in my own life, I remembered Jeremey, and I felt comforted, knowing I was not alone. This is the kind of impact books can have on people. For that reason, and many others, I adore this series.

Shelter the Sea is the sequel following Emmet and Jeremey from the first book. It follows the events right after the ending, and it explores a more political struggle overall. Emmet has a great job and Jeremey is still David’s aide, and the two of them are still in a very loving, healthy relationship. But problems arise when the building they live in, The Roosevelt, faces financial difficulties. This is the story about how Emmet, Jeremey, David, and now Darren–their lovely new friend–work together to help the Roosevelt, and fight to stop a bill that would only harm people with special needs and mental health problems.

Getting back into this world after two years was a breeze. I instantly remembered every character and their unique personalities, along with most of the major events from the first book. This is unusual for me because I usually forget what I read, even if I love it more than anything. Reliving Emmet and Jeremey’s love was the sweetest thing ever. Even though I had already loved them before, I grew to love them even more in this book. Emmet became the face of their public fight, and he was a hero to many other people with autism. Regardless of the level of difficulties he faced, Emmet shone through until the very end. I was so proud of him. And of course, Jeremey was not left behind. His depression got really bad, and it was a fight that seemed impossible, until it wasn’t. I was relieved to know he was getting better.

There’s a lot of diversity in this book, which I really appreciated. I love the issues Cullinan discussed so bluntly, things that shouldn’t just be brushed over. The political issues resonated with me the most, especially because in our current political climate, people with mental health issues and disabilities rank lower than most people. The message spread in this book is one of inclusivity and hope for equality.

“To be honest the fact that we had to lip sync and dance and I had to keep giving speeches and put Darren’s and my autism and David’s quadriplegia and Jeremey’s social anxiety on display to get people’s attention made me realize how much people had been ignoring us all this time.”

The addition of Darren to the group made me so happy. I loved that Darren was given a voice even though he struggled with verbal speech. Rather than simply pushing him aside, he was given the spotlight a few times, and his intelligence was put to good use. I’m looking forward to rest of the books in the series, which will follow David and Darren closely. I really want a happy ending for all of my Roosevelt Blues Brothers. They’re some of my favorite characters of all time.

Summaries We Love and Avoid

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There are some summaries you read, and you know instantly that you have to check the book out. These are ours.

Nicole:

  • Fast, exciting, adventurous, intense. These words always grab my attention and make me want to see more of what a book is about.
  • Magic/magical. Anything with magic I feel like I need to check it out. It’s honestly my favorite thing in stories.
  • Friendships. If a blurb or summary mentions friendships it’s always exciting. Not enough books focus on this aspect enough when promoting.
  • Anything with space/pirates/thieves/a group of misfits. I’m very into all of these types of stories right now. I need more of them.

Isis:

  • An lgbt+ character is a main character. If there is any indication of this, I will read it. 
  • A story about family. I love seeing family dynamics play about so this always draws my attention. 
  • A coming of age story following a teenager who is still finding himself/herself. I’m such a sucker for coming of age stories. Especially when they’re set in the summer. 
  • A story set in a small town where all things seem normal, until the supernatural appears. I’m usually hoping this doesn’t include vampires. Any other creates make for an interesting story. 

On the other hand, there are some summaries that make us go ehh I don’t know about this. These are ours.

Nicole:

  • Hot, sexy, sizzling. Any words like these tell me that the book focuses more on the romance, no matter what else the actual plot is.
  • Any summary along the lines of “he/she/the town was normal and boring until this new person showed up. Wonder what caused all this trouble/they changed this persons whole life.” It annoys me intensely.
  • Also, any summary that starts off with “Jane Doe had the perfect life until.” I find it so boring and tiring.

Isis: 

  • A journey through space. Chances are I’m already bored. Me and sci-fi don’t really mix. 
  • An assassin as a main character. I’m not throwing shade at Throne of Glass. I’ve heard so many books starring assassins and I don’t find the excitement. I don’t care about assassins. Take them away. 
  • Paranormal romance between a human and some ancient creature. So many books tried to copy Twilight. This is so overdone I just can’t stand it.