Tag Archives: Isis

The End of the Year Book Tag

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This book tag was created by Ariel over on Youtube. It sounded fun, so we decided to do it!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Nicole: All of them? Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, and Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh is just two of them.
Isis: I need to finish the book I’m currently reading: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee. It’s a good book, but it’s pretty long for my usual taste. I’m hoping I finish it soon. Other than that, I’d just like to finish all the books I’m currently reading on GR. There’s just too many to list.
Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?
Nicole: The Diviners by Libba Bray. It has magic and deals with the occult which always makes me think of fall for some reason.
Isis: I’ve been reading Point Pleasant by Jen Archer Wood every fall for the past few years. It’s set in October, and it’s sort of a monster book with an eerie vibe. I even have a soundtrack for it. That’s my go-to fall book. I’m not sure if I’ll read it again this year, but I might.
Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?
Nicole: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan comes out October 3rd. I can’t wait.
Isis: I’m looking forward to Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. It comes out October 10. Although I fear I may be too old to enjoy a John Green novel, the teenager in me is still super excited to get back into his stories. I have high hopes.
What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?
Nicole: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Follow Her Home by Steph Cha, and The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin.
Isis: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, and Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?
Nicole: I expect to love The Fifth Season and The Ship of the Dead.
Isis: I think The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee definitely has its potential to become a new favorite. I’m about 150 pages into it and I’m already in love with the writing style. I love the dynamic between the three main characters and I’m looking forward to more. I’m hoping it stays consistently good.
Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?
Nicole: I did but I don’t think it’ll happen. I never stick to anything.
Isis: No. I don’t like to think that far ahead. I don’t even know what I’m going to read after I finish my current reads.
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The Reading Quest Final Update

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Nicole:

In the last update, I was unsure of which book I would continue. I ended up reading, finishing, and loving Serpentine by Cindy Pon. It was 274 pages, and a complete five star read for me.

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Out of the five books and 1,964 pages I had in my TBR, I finished three books and 1,083 pages. While not living up to my hopes, I finished books I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. Plus, all the books I read I enjoyed. So I will have to consider this a success on my part.

Isis:

I was under the impression that the read-a-thon was over a week ago, but apparently it wasn’t. I did read, but it was not one of the books on my list. However, I’m still counting it. I read The Last Cigarette on Earth by Benjamin Alire Saenz. It was 130 pages long. I wrote a review on it. 

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I also read 10 pages in After the Quake by Haruki Murakami. I’m really not feeling this book of short stories anymore. I loved the first story, but I couldn’t even finish the second one. Maybe I’m not in the mood for this book right now.

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So, in total, I read 471 pages and two books during the read-a-thon out of the five books and 1,200 pages from my TBR. I blame it on my recent obsession with Friends. It happens every time I decide to rewatch it. But come on, it’s the best show!

Fat Angie by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo – Book Review

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Fat Angie is about a girl in her freshman year of high school dealing with some difficult stuff. Angie refers to herself as Fat Angie because she thinks that’s all there is to her. I should mention trigger warnings for self-harm and suicide, bullying, abuse, and homophobia. Due to all of these reasons, I found it hard to read it at times, but I pushed through it. Despite all the bad stuff, there were sweet moments to balance it out.

There are two lovely characters in this book: KC Romance and Jake, both very different people, but they are probably the only two decent people in Angie’s life. I liked that KC was a “bad girl” who shows up to a new school and is immediately drawn to Angie. It felt like a little twist to the “bad boy” trope. I loved that KC and Angie fall for each other (Not a spoiler, this is amazing). I love that Jake is the jock who always has Angie’s back, and works to help her achieve her goals. I loved all of those things.

That being said, I really hated Angie’s mom and brother. Angie’s mom was just awful. Again, it’s a really common trope in YA whenever young people have totally neglectful, verbally abusive parents, but I am so sick of it. The mom had no reason to treat Angie so poorly, and yet she did. Angie was probably abused way more at home than at school, and that’s just terrible. I didn’t want to read about Angie’s mom anymore, but she just kept showing up and ruining the peace that Angie found with KC and Jake.

Overall, this was a good read. The storyline of Angie’s sister who went off to war, was taken captive, and disappeared for months was really touching. I really felt for Angie. I understood why her world seemed to be crashing down on her the entire time. And the ending wrapped things up nicely. So, I think this book is definitely worth checking out.

The Reading Quest Update #2

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Nicole: First, I have to apologize since there hasn’t been any posts for two weeks now. I didn’t put up an update last week because honestly I didn’t open up a book at all. And since I didn’t finish anything, I didn’t have a review to put up. This week however was much better. I read all week, and finished The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan on Thursday.

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It was 312 pages, and a five star read. Since then I’ve been bouncing around books again. I’ve read 10 pages of Serpentine by Cindy Pon and 44 pages of Asylum by Madeleine Roux even though that wasn’t on my TBR for this.

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I’m not sure if I will continue one of those, go back to The Bone Witch, or start something new. There’s one more week of this Reading Quest, and I hope to finish at least one more book.

Isis:  This week I had a lot of health issues that stopped me from reading a lot, but I still managed to get some reading done. Thanks to goodreads, I was able to monitor the pages I read in Fat Angie. I got to page 108 on 8/27, and then to page 161 on 8/29, and this was my favorite moment because the romance started kicking in. And let me tell you, I was rooting for this romance. It was very sweet. Today I managed to finish the entire book, so I read 263 pages for this book. 

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I have some mixed feelings about Fat Angie. Although it was mostly good, there was a lot that bothered me. The writing style was odd. I liked Angie, but didn’t like the way she narrated the book. I didn’t like KC’s dialogue, as much as I liked her. Their lingo just didn’t make much sense. Overall, I did appreciate the themes in the book, and the romance between Angie and KC. I also really liked Jake, Angie’s friend. He was so sweet and supportive. I wish I’d managed to finish other books during this time, but I’m glad I got one done at least. Counting the bit I read from the other books, I read 331 pages total.

Reading Quest Update Week #1

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Day 1:

Nicole: I decided to start by reading Reckless by Cornelia Funke. All I knew was it involved fairies in some way so I thought it’d be a good book for researching a little for the book I’m writing with Isis. I got to 70 pages.

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Isis: I had a busy day Sunday, so I didn’t read anything.

Day 2: 

Nicole: I continued the read Reckless, and read 69 pages.

Isis: Didn’t read on Monday either. Go me!

Day 3:

Nicole: I was deep in the book, and decided to devote more time for reading. I ended up read the last 255 pages to finish the book. I also wrote a review for it already. You can read it here. This completed the read a book set in a different world challenge.

Isis: I started by reading Fat Angie by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo and read two whole chapters. I read up to page 28, and let me tell you, I was tired from all my hard reading.

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Day 4:

Nicole: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco was my next pick. I had a busy day, and unfortunately only managed to read 12 pages.

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Isis: I went to the doctor this day, and couldn’t even get out of bed most of the day. I read a few more pages until I made it to page 32 of Fat Angie.

Day 5: 

Nicole: I had appointments again, but I arrived early and read 40 more pages. 

Isis: I don’t think I read on Thursday at all.

Day 6:

Nicole: I think I read another 10 pages, but I had enough time to read more. I just choose to do other things.

Isis: I read up to page 40 of Fat Angie on Friday. I’m an excellent reader.

Day 7: 

Nicole: I didn’t read anything. I’m struggling with The Bone Witch, and it really sucks. I’ve been so interested in it for so long, but it’s a slower paced fantasy. In general, I struggle with those more. I’m thinking of setting it aside, and picking up another book but I’m not sure. It makes me feel guilty.

Isis: On Saturday, I made it to page 66 of Fat Angie. I decided this book relied too much on bullying and too little on the f/f romance, which is what I was interested in. So I thought I should read the beginning of all of my books to try them out. So, I read up to page 16 in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, which was very intriguing. I’m enjoying the narrator, and I want to get back to it soon. I read up to page 28 in After the Quake by Haruki Murakami. This is a collection of short stories, so I read the first one, and started the second one. It was really good. Then I read up to page 18 in A Monster Calls. It’s already feeling quite sad, so I feel like I’ll need to take it easy with that one. And finally, I read up to page 6 of A Kiss in Time, which was only the first chapter. This one was just okay, it’s your typical Sleeping Beauty retelling. Nothing special so far.

 

The Reading Quest TBR

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Nicole: 

Two weeks ago Booktube-A-Thon ended. It’s the first Read-A-Thon I’d done in a long time, and I had a lot of fun doing it even if I didn’t do a lot of what I set out to do. I came away from it vowing to do another one as soon as I could, and luckily, this one popped up soon after. ReadatMidnight is hosting this really creative video game based challenge. I’ve picked the mage path to do first since I love magic, and I’ve even managed to convince Isis to join in.

A book with a one word title:

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I picked Serpentine by Cindy Pon for this challenge. I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while, but I’ve never been able to get it before. It’s inspired by Chinese mythology, and is 274 pages long.

A book that contains magic:

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I’ve put this book off for so long that it is ridiculous. It’s about this girl who raises her brother from the dead, and it’s 406 pages.

A book based on mythology:

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I meant to read this during the booktube-a-thon, but it didn’t end up happening. It’s 312 pages.

A book set in a different world:

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This book takes place in a portal world that I think involves fairies. I don’t know much about it to be honest. It’s 394 pages.

The first book in a series:

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I’ve been so nervous to start this book since it’s a bit bigger, but I think it’s time. Set in the 1920s, it involves the occult and serial killers. It’s 578 pages.

All in all that’s 1,964 pages. There’s extra challenges and I could go through the other paths too, but I will be mainly focusing on these five. If I read more that’s cool, but nothing I’m focusing on right now.

Isis:

I chose to play as the Bard just ’cause he’s the cutest. These are the books I chose for each category:

 

A book that has a tv/book adaption:

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (205 pages). I’ve heard a lot about this book, mostly that it’s sad. I’m hoping it’s not too sad though. 

A fairy tale retellings:

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A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn (371 pages). I don’t know why I bought this book, but I’m guessing it happened during the time I was obsessed with Beastly by the same author. This is a Sleeping Beauty retelling. 

A book cover with striking typography:

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Fat Angie by E. E. Charlton-Trujillo (263 pages). This one has great typography, the words of the title create the shape of the MC. All I know is that this book is gay, so I’m excited. 

A book translated from another language:

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After the Quake by Haruki Murakami (147 pages). I don’t know what this one’s about but I’ve heard good things about the author. 

A banned book: 

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The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (214 pages). I’ve wanted to read this since I read Perks of Being a Wallflower. I hope I end up loving it. 

In total I’m hoping to read 1,200 pages.

 

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz – Book Review

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“That’s the way it was when you loved someone. You took them everywhere you went — whether they were alive or not.”


Benjamin Alire Saenz is known for writing beautiful novels. Most people know him only for his masterpiece (and my personal favorite) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. During the past couple of years, I’ve made it my duty to read most of his books. I’ve read his adult and young adult fiction, poetry collections, short story collections, and children’s books. Each and every story has brought something new and sweet to my life. And The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is no exception.

I struggled with this book. I’m not sure why. I picked it up the day after I graduated from college, hoping that with my suddenly acquired free time, I’d finally get to read it. But then life got in the way, and I fell into a reading slump, and the book was pushed aside, forgotten. Every time I picked it up, I hated it. I hated the writing, the characters, the lack of plot (which is unusual for me), and I doubted my love for Saenz’s writing, after all this time.

But I finished the second half of the book in two days, and I smiled, laughed, and cried a few times. I underlined all my favorite passages and drew hearts on the margins during all the best scenes. I grew to love the wonderful characters, and appreciate the themes and messages so carefully woven into the story. I understood the beauty of it. And it was, as usual, so easy to relate to.

Saenz writes stories with an emotional punch. You never see it coming, but when it comes, it comes hard. That’s how I felt while reading about Salvador, a young Caucasian boy raised by a gay Mexican man. Although Vicente is not Sal’s bio dad, he’s the only father he’s ever known and loved. But Sal knows nothing about his bio dad, and he fears those genes he inherited are changing him. Then there’s Samantha, or Sam, Sal’s best friend, who is practically his sister. She’s strong and stubborn in the best ways. I loved the way she expressed herself and took care of Sal. And of course, there’s Fito, who joins their little group to make it better. Fito is a gay boy who comes from a bad family, who doesn’t have time to worry about trivial things because he’s very set on going to college. I loved him with all of my heart, and I was so glad I got to meet him.

I could sit here and try to explain the story, but that would be pointless. I think all that needs to be said is that this story is about familial love, strong friendships, staying still and moving on. Most of all, it’s about coping with loss, which is never easy. It’s about appreciating the good people around you, and seeing them for who they really are. It’s about life in the border town of El Paso, and what it means to belong, and how you can see the world in a new light every day.

This is why Saenz continues to be one of my favorite authors. He writes stories to remember. And his stories always find their way to my heart.