Bullet Journal, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | 2021 Reading Bujo Set Up

Hello and welcome to a post where I share some of my spreads from my new reading bullet journal for 2021. In the past I had my life and reading in one place, but this year I decided to use a planner for my life, but I wanted to continue to use a bullet journal for my reading. I really find it a ton of fun and I can’t wait to see what books I will be adding to it this year!


The Spreads

This time around I wanted my year long or bullet journal long pages to be pretty neutral for the most part so I used a black pen, torn up tan paper, and a few blank tags and cut outs to decorate the pages. I also wanted to tie all the pages together so I decided to put a black boarder on every page. The first page on the left is 10 books I want to read in 2021. I putt bullet points to add the books later on. On the right I put a place for random book recommendations I might get. I decided to add a little bee because these books will most likely have some buzz around them.

On this pages I continued to use the tan paper and boarder to just have some type of continuity. On the left I have a space for a favorite book of each month. I need to measure so I can properly print the covers as the months pass. On the right side I decided to list the three series I want to read in 2021. I want to read The Farseer Trilogy, Liveship Traders Trilogy and The Hobbit and Lord of the Ring Series. I just listed the books under their series title and I can put a check when I have read them.

Continuing with the same theme I made a page to track more of my 2021 reading goals. On the left I listed my use the library monthly goal and placed 12 circles to color in, twelve non-fictions with 12 circles as well and lastly for this page read 50 books and I added 50 circles to color in. On the right I made 6 rectangles for each book of the International Booker Prize where I have the title listed and I can add my rating and date read later on. I also added a ticket that was mostly blank and put the title on that.

I wanted to continue to track quite a few stats that I tracked last year so I made a single place for all of them on this page called monthly stats. I am going to track number of books, number of pages, fiction/nonfiction, library/owned, DNFs, 5 star reads, hard cover and soft cover. I left the page on the right empty incase I end up wanting to add more or I end up needing more room.

This year I really want to keep my TBR in check, last year I actually got my TBR down to 0 at one point and I really want to keep it reasonable from now on. I decided each month I am going to keep track of the books I have at the start of the month that are unread, how many I hauled, how many unhauled, and then what I have at the end of the month. Somewhat similar to the series Balancing the Books by Drinking By My Shelf on youtube. Each month has a rectangle and then within that each stat has their own box.

Last and one of my favorites is my Someone Picks My Books spread. Last year I just kept a simple list, but since I love this series I have been doing over a year now so much I wanted to give it a really awesome spread. I decided that I would make a bookshelf for each month and doodle a book on each of those shelves and then label the book spine with the book I am reading that month. I also drew some doodle arrows from the month and name of the person who picked my books to the book. I have the first half of the year already set, huge thank you to those who helped me! I will probably look into getting more help around may of this year.


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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Erica @The Broken Spine | Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Books! This month I am reading a book recommend by the wonderful Erica who you can find on twitter as @2020hines_sight or on her youtube channel The Broken Spine. I was so excited when she picked Lovecraft Country for me to read for a few reasons, first I have been hearing a ton about the adaptation and secondly, the book just sounds amazing!


Picture of book on pillows.

One Sentence Review

A wonderful collections of historical horror/science fiction that show cases the “typical” horror and the horrors faced by American Americans.

Description

Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, twenty-two year old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned Atticus’s great grandmother—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.

At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn—led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb—which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his—and the whole Turner clan’s—destruction.

A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of one black family, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism—the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

I have to say, I was looking forward to this book ever since Erica picked it for me and it did not disappoint. In fact, I liked it more than I thought I would. I typically love horror and read it all year, so that alone set this book up for being a winner in my book. On top of that I really liked how the author blended in historical facts. The author picked to follow an African American family around the 1950s. In doing this the author was able to bring attention to sadly very common racism that took place during that time, but also made this horror novel feel even more realistic.

The writing itself was done very well both from a grammar stand point, but it also had a very sturdy pace. Personally, pace needs to be consistent when it comes to reading. I don’t mind a slow burn book or a fast paced book, but I really dislike when it is all over the place. The author was able to keep it consistent and I actually ended up reading this book from cover to cover in a single setting. Not only that, I also enjoyed the nods to Lovecraft and how the author built upon them to build what this family goes through. On top of that I really liked how the author wrote all of the characters, they felt real.

What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, not a single thing and I feel like this is one I want to reread again in the future.

Overall

Overall, I feel like this is a really wonderful books that not only has supernatural horrors, but also real life horrors as well. I think if either of these topics are something you want to to read more about this is a book you should look into. The mixture of historically accurate context, great writing, and a great story really has a lot going for it. Now, I can finally watch the TV adaption!


Next month I am reading a book picked by Misty from Misty’s Book Space, you can also find her over on twitter @mistymichelle30. This is the second time Misty is picking a book for me and I am so excited because it went so well the first time.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Olivia’s Catastrophe | Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Books! For November I was lucky enough to have Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe pick my book for me. She is very active over on her youtube channel, which is amazing, and twitter @oliviascatastro. I was so happy when she picked Clap When You Land, I heard nothing but amazing things and she even said she gave it 5 stars. I felt like this month was going to be a huge win.


One Sentence Review

A beautifully written exploration of the complexities of relationships and people, on top of that it explores the life of two half sisters that have no idea existed until they experience a life changing tragedy.

Description

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive. -goodreads.com


What I Liked

Just a warning, this review is just going to be me gushing about a book I loved. This book is so beautifully written. I am actually surprised that I am saying this. Going into this book I had no idea that it was written in verse before I actually went to read it. I normally don’t do well with books written in this manner, but Acevedo really made it count in this book and not just a gimmick. The words were powerful, meaningful, and beautiful. You can see the authors care when it came to constructing each sentence and picking each word.

As for the two main characters, I really felt that the dual perspective worked wonderfully and we really were able to explore the lives of Camino and Yahaira. I really appreciated the fact that the author didn’t just tell us how different these half siblings lived, but showed us. I felt like while exploring the grief they had the author really opened up their worlds and made them dimensional. I really loved their personalities and I really enjoyed following them both. Normally when I read a dual or muliple perspective book there is one I am not too fond of, but in this book, I really enjoyed them both. I would not be sad to see another book with these two, I would love to see how they are doing. When I put down this book initially, I was thinking of all the possible situations they could be in now.

I also want to take a moment to appreciate that this author talked about a very difficult topic that in my opinion was very respectful, but also did not shy about from the difficult aspects as well.

What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, nothing. I really enjoyed reading this book and I am so happy that Olivia picked this one for me. I can see why she also gave it 5 stars.

Overall

Overall, I loved and adored this book so much. I have already recommended it to a few people in my life and will continue to do so. This book is a beautiful exploration of relationships, people, and family.


Next month I am reading a book picked by Erica who you can find on twitter as @2020hines_sight or on her youtube channel The Broken Spine. I am beyond thrilled to read her pick, I have been holding myself back from reading it too early for months!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Storme Reads a Lot | I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Books! This month I had the wonderful Maggie from Storme Reads a Lot pick my read. Not only do they have a great blog, they also have a great twitter feed you can follow @hybibliophiliac. Now, this month I read I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, a true crime novel that was a great pick for October!


Picture of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark on a cover.

One Sentence Review

A very well written account of the crimes of the Golden State Killer, but also a good deal about the late author.

Description

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer—the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade—from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

This book was a really good account of the crimes of the notorious serial killer known as The Golden State Killer. If you enjoy true crime, chances are you have heard about the things this man has done, but I will say that this the most in depth look at the crimes that I have read. You can see how much research the late author put into these events, but also looking into possibilities and theories. She did her own interviews and even made suggestions to officers.

Another thing that stands out to me when I was reading this novel was the fact that the story was so gripping. For me, it was gripping because it showed the horrors that humans alone can create. Now, when this was written, the Golden State Killer was not found yet, but this book is credited with keeping this, then unsolved case, in the public eye because of the way it is written. While it is a filled with horrific crimes and the horrible deeds done by this individual, I know I kept reading because I needed to know more. I wanted to know more because I wanted this person caught and I wanted to see what clues there were, even though the person responsible, at the time of my reading, was arrested and charged. I could only imagine readings this before that event.

What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, I thought this was only going to be about the Golden State Killer, but this book has a lot about the author. In some way I thought it really added to the book, going over how she researched and such. At times though, it seemed like there was a memoir spread out in the book. I really did enjoy that content, but I feel like it would have been more enjoyable for me personally if it was part one of the book and the Golden State Killer was in another. The book jumped so much for me personally, but I really liked all the content.

Overall

Overall, I thought this was a very engrossing read. As I said early this is a story not just about the Garden State Killer, but also about the late author. It is touching to hear the love that those who finished this book for her held, but also the dedication to the author passion. Brining this criminal to justice. If you enjoy true crime I feel like this could be a very enjoyable read.


Next month I am reading a book picked by Olivia who you can find on twitter as @oliviascatastro or on her youtube channel Olivia’s Catastrophe. I can’t wait for you to see what she picked for me!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Belle Can Read | The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Hello and welcome to my August installment of Someone Picks My Books. This series is where fellow book bloggers pick a book, any book, for me to read and review. This month, as you can see from the title, the book was picked by Belle Can Read. Thank you Belle for volunteering for this series and picking this months book!


One Sentence Review

A determined woman fights for her rights and the rights of her fellow women with a paranormal twist.


Book Description

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

First and foremost, I really enjoyed the time period that this book was set in. Not only did it led itself to an enjoyable story, but the author truly did it justice in the historical sense. The suffrage movement in the US was not something that was embraced, and the author really did a great job in portraying this. Showing family turning against family and so forth. In doing this, the novel truly feels historical and does not just have the setting, which sadly can happen with some historical fiction novels.

I really enjoyed the main character in this novel, Olivia is such a strong determined woman and grew throughout the novel. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a character is stuck and is not dynamic. Winters does not do this, their characters are dynamic and show development. Another character that I found interesting was Henry. The relationship with Henry, was done really well, but at first I did not like him. As I read and the more I saw from him, the more I liked him and felt like he was a good partner, key word PARTNER, for Olivia.

What I Didn’t Like

Her father is a jerk and you wont change me mind. But, this is not really something the author did wrong, actually did quite right. It is not often where I actively dislike a character. It might be because I keep reading Shakespeare this year and that fathers are all like this and I get so mad. But, it is the time and it is a historically accurate depiction.

Overall

Overall, I thought this was a really well done historical fiction. It did a great job of representing the struggle of women during the early stages of suffrage in the US. Also, the novel feels like it is consistently within this time period it is set. If you like strong and determined women and sometimes a paranormal twist to your historical fiction, I would suggest looking into this book for yourself because I think you just might like it!


Next month I am reading a book picked by the wonderful Heidi from the blog, This is My Book Shelf Blog. I recommend checking out her blog and other social media accounts!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Tay from Frayed Books | House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Books, this month I had the honor of Tay one of the duo running Frayed Books picking my book! You should check out her work as well as her co-blogger Missy, they are both wonderful! As you can see from the title Tay picked out House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas.


One Sentence Review

An action packed adventure that was inventive and somehow was also boring? kinda?


Book Description

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

Sarah J. Maas, credit where credit is due, the world and lore created for this book and series down the line is wonderful. Even within the first chapter you can see the effort and time she put into crediting backstories, magic systems, and a society as a whole. Within this magical society you follow quite a few characters, the most appealing aspect being they are 20 year olds. Can I get a yay for some new adult? I personally love reading books that are new adult because I relate the most with it. I truly wish there were more and this book ticked that box for me.

Another bonus about the characters is the dynamics between them. I really thought the way the characters interacted with one another was portrayed for the most part well. There were even a few parts where I thought to myself, “yeah, I’v seen people do that before to each other” even though it is a fantasy novel.

What I Didn’t Like

Sadly, there were quite a few things I did not enjoy about the book. The first being even though there was a lot going on, I was bored at times while reading. The main reason I ended up giving it the rating I did was because the last section of the book turned it around for me.

Another aspect that stood out to me were the plot twists in this tome. The first one, I can honestly say made me mad. I kinda wanted to just put down the book at this point because I was so mad and reading is not meant to make someone this angry. I did continue though, but the twists weren’t much better. While the rest did not make me as mad they were quite predictable and I figured them out without much effort.

Overall

Overall, I thought this was an average alright read, it had its good and bad points to it. The biggest positive being the world and lore of this world by Maas, I feel like a lot of great stories could come out of it in the future, which is great because this is a series. The dynamics are great as well, even with the slow burn romance, I do hate insta-love so the slow burn was much appreciated. I feel like if you look into this book and you feel like you are going to like it, go for it, get it from the library.

3stars


Next month I am reading a book that was picked by Belle who has a great blog called Belle Can Read. She is very kind and you should all check her out!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Basement Bookcase | A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another one of my Someone Picks my Books post! This month Melinda over at Basement Bookcase has picked my read. This month I was given the task of reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, which you most likely got from the title of this post. Now, this is very far from what I normally read. It is the start of  series, it’s young adult, and it is fantasy. Now, I do enjoy high fantasy, but I am very finicky when it comes to this genre. Going into this book I was both excited, but worried to say the least.


Book Description

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

First off I would like to say, I am surprised it has taken my this long to give this book a go. I have been blogging for years and this is well loved by many. I have thought that this book is based on a very interesting idea of there being multiple versions of the world, specifically London where some are filled with magic. That is one thing I will give V.E. Schwab a lot of credit for, this idea was thought up by someone with a very entertaining imagination.

The world building on this book was spot on and I felt like it really set the scene for the rest of the series. Not only did Schwab create various versions of London, they came up with a system for traveling between them. Everything they created was unique and intriguing. I kind of wish that there was even more of this because I enjoyed it so much.

Also, I will openly admit I am a sucker for magic being present in a book. If it is even hinted at in a blurb or description I am most likely going to pick it up. As with the world building, the magic is very unique and I loved the way it was used in this book.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing that stood out to me was I did not care about the characters in the slightest. While reading I was just indifferent and along for the ride. I was more invested in the world created by Schwab than the various people. For me, this is a bit of a bummer because I read more so for the people than anything else. But, if you read for the world building, you will not be disappointed.

Overall

Overall, I felt that this book was average for me. Not amazing and not bad at all, it was just in the middle. I enjoyed the world, but I was not invested in the plot or the characters. I was just someone following along. Now, this could be because as I stated earlier I don’t read a lot of YA anymore and I am annoying specific when it comes to fantasy. I really did enjoy the world building in this novel and I feel like Schwab has a lot of talent when it comes to this. I will say I am happy that I gave it a try and finally read it. I always had the feeling of “Fear of Missing Out” when it came to this series, now that question has been answered. Thank you for picking my book Melinda!

3stars


Next month I am reading a book that is picked by Tay one of the duo running Frayed Books! I am really looking forward to her pick and to find out if I will like it or not.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Evelyn Reads | Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another one of my Someone Picks my Books post! This month Evelyn over at evelynreads.com has picked my read. I was very excited when she picked this months pick because I have read other works by this author and really enjoyed it and I have seen many others have loved this book. I guess I should tell you that the book is Middlegame by Seanan McGuire. This is the first adult book I have read and the longest book I have read by this author so I am curious to see is her talent flows into this age group and length.


Book Description

Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained. – goodreads.com


Review

I decided that I am going write this post more like my traditional review format where I talk about what I liked and didn’t like and then my overall feelings.

What I Liked

As with other works by Seanan McGuire the worlds she creates is very imaginative, but this is imaginative in a very different way than the there works I have read by her. One of the standout things in this book for me is the mixture of alchemy and science. While  I have read quite a few books with these aspects in them, I have never seen them combined in such a way. It was refreshing and interesting, part of my wishes that I saw more of it.

Also, if you know me science fiction isn’t really my thing…like at all. I don’t know what it is, but I am unlikely to enjoy a book with science fictions details in it with a few rare exceptions of 11/22/63, Jacky, and a few others. I have to say that this book also makes that list for me. I think the reason that it does make it on that short list is because it has an old world feel to it, which I love. It is almost like a spooky gothic modern science fiction book? It is really hard to pinpoint what this book truly is because I feel like McGuire melds together so many things so seamlessly.

On top of everything I also mentioned I found it really interesting the “rules” of this world when it came to particular characters interacting as well as the “government”. I felt like a lot of these aspects were shown and not told to me, which was great. Sometimes books that have such “out there” things in them the author can come across as if they are showing an unknowing child something. McGuire just goes through the story and you don’t miss anything.

What I Didn’t Like

One of the things I did not fully like about this book was that in the start I felt like one section of interaction could have been cut and not a ton would have been lost. This is just a personal thing and I feel like a lot of people enjoy seeing these sections interactions. They are still written in a really enjoyable manner and I didn’t feel like I had to seriously push myself to oread them, but I did find myself going “again?”

Overall

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am so happy that Evelyn picked this for my to read because honestly, while I enjoyed McGuire’s other works I am fairly certain I would not have picked it up. That is the beauty of this series. This was a very imaginative book with a very gothic/dark/old world feel to it that I was craving. On top of that it was well written had great characters.


Next month I am reading a book that is picked by Melinda at Basement Bookcase!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Meeghan Reads

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another one of my Someone Picks my Books post! This month I had the wonderful blogger Meeghan pick my book, you can find her over at meeghanreads.com. She writes some great stuff and she is very kind. For this month she picked The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I have read the first two books in The Raven Cycle series, but never anything outside of that so I was excited for it!


Book Description

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen. – goodreads.com


I will be 100% honest about this, I had no idea what to really expect when I jumped into this book. I mean I obviously read the description and I knew I would be reading about kids riding on water horses, which sound amazing by the way, and there would be a race. I also knew our main character was going to be a girl. I am not sure why, but I got hunger game vibes and for me personally that isn’t a good thing.

When I actually got to reading  I liked the writing style, but I have always enjoyed the style of Maggie Stiefvater. I read the first two books in The Raven Cycle and liked how lyrical and her sentences felt, they just had a good rhythm. This book also had that feeling of magic, if that makes sense? I will say, that this novel was written before The Raven Boys and you can tell. That is not to say the writing is bad in anyway, but you can see how much her writing improved.

One thing I really liked about this story was the fact that the love was not the main driving force of this book, but working together to make it through this dangerous race. Nothing felt forced or just there for the sake of the plot, which annoys me to no when when that happens. The plot overall was good, I enjoyed it from start to finish for the most part. There were times I just wanted to skip a few pages because got bored, but as soon as the thought entered my mind something would happen to pull me back in. I will say, I was slow though even with all the action. Which is a bit confusing for me.

Overall, I am glad read it and Meeghan picked it for me. It was enjoyable and it was nice to read something different from Maggie Stiefvater. Was it my favorite by her? No, I still prefer what I have read of The Raven Cycle. Take that as you may, I still enjoy her style.


Next month I am reading a book that is picked by Evelyn over at evelynreads.com. I am excited for her pick because I have read other books by this author and really enjoyed them, but I have also heard mixed this about the book. I don’t know if I am the only one who does this, but when there is a mixed reviewed book I am more excited to read it to see what side I will fall on.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Misty’s Book Space

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another Someone Picks My Books post! I am really loving and enjoying this series so much and I am happy that you all seem to be enjoying it as well. This month I am reading a book that is picked by the wonderful Misty over at Misty’s Book Space. She is one of the nicest people I have talked to online, she is supportive and kind, and has a great taste in books. This month she picked Between Shades if Gray by Ruta Sepetys.


Book Description

Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life — until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father’s prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive? – Amazon.com


So, going into this book I was pretty certain I was going to like it for a few reasons. The first being, as I said earlier, Misty has a wonderful taste in books. So, I felt like I was in very good hands. The second being I love history and historical fiction. The third reason being I have heard a lot about Ruta Sepetys, all good things. I have always heard that she is a very talented writer and her work is well researched and quality. Quality when it comes to historical fiction is important to me since I studied it so when something is off it tends to ruin the entire book for me.

I just finished this book the day I am writing this and I wrote a quick review over on my Goodreads account, but I just wanted to elaborate on a few things in this post. First and foremost is that the author really lives up to the expectations that were set. You can clearly tell she has done her research due to the details that are present within her novel. I have read about this topic countless times and for her to add so much of the real world into this book, just made it is much more powerful and in my opinion a superior historical fiction novel. Her writing of this topic was wonderful and you can tell she was passionate and cares about the topic. I do not want to come out and say this is a beautiful book because the topic is just so heart breaking, but it is written so well.

As stated in the description this story follows a 15 year old girl named Lina who has fallen victim to the horrid campaign of Stalin during WW2 towards his own nation. This book depicts the horrible events that many faced who were educators, librarians, and anyone else who happened to have the wrong career. I don’t want to really say much about what happens in this novel and while I highly suggest this novel, it can be a very difficult read. I suggest doing a bit of research to see if it would be triggering for you to read.

As I said in my goodreads review, this book felt like I was listening to a first hand account of the things that happened because of the not well known actions of Stalin against his own people. Lina had such fight and spirit within her, but this book isn’t just about her. This book shows how a wide range of people responded to the events. It shows how they react and respond to not only the horrible treatment of them, but of others. It really shows the wide range personalities and mentality of human beings. This book is hard to explain and do justice because it is so much more than just a story, it is the story of hundreds and thousands of people. While this was a very heart breaking read, I really enjoyed it. I will certainly be reading another book by this author in the future.


Next month I am excited to say that I will be reading a book that was picked by Meeghan from Meeghan Reads. I am very excited to be reading her pick this April. It is a book written by an author I have read in the past and really enjoyed, but it is not a genre I have read in a while. So, I am excited to see how it goes, but I have high hopes!

Have you read this book? What is another book I should read by Ruta Sepetys?

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