The Reading Rush 2020

I’m going to be doing my best to participate in this year’s Reading Rush.

Formerly known as Booktubeathon, this is a week long reading challenge that begins on July 20th – July 26th. More information about the challenges can be found on their website here.

So this post isn’t a TBR but mostly a post of my intentions to join in. I’ve brainstormed a few titles for each prompt, but nothing’s written in stone.

These are the reading challenges.

1/ Read a book with a cover that matches the colour of your birth stone.

I had to Google my birthstone and I guess there two stones I can choose, turquoise or  tanzanite.

Letters to the Dead by Brigid Kemmerer
Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton

2/ Read a book that starts with the word “The”.

There are so many to choose from. I decided to list a few standalones that I want to read.

The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill

3/ Read a book that inspired a movie you’ve already seen.

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

I can only think of this title for this promt. I’m sure I’ve watched plenty, but I’m not sure its fun to read thrillers if I’ve already seen the movie.

4/ Read the first book you touch.

I’m not sure how I’m going to approach this prompt. Maybe I’ll just go to my TBR cart to randomly select one, or just double up on prompts.

5/ Read a book completely outside of your house.

I’ll mostly likely pick up a manga and read it on my patio given the weather.

6/ Read a book in a genre that you’ve always wanted to read more of.

This will either be science fiction or nonfiction depending on my mood.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

7/ Read a book that takes place on a different continent than where you live.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (Europe)
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Asia)

We’ll see what I pick up in the end.

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Mid-year Book Freakout Tag 2020

I’ve been denying it for a while but I’m currently in a reading slump. Oh, the struggles. I’ve gotten over my wariness of audiobooks now and I even look forward to finding my next ebook read. However, seems I’ve read enough to do this tag.

1. Best book you’ve read so far

Wolfsong by TJ Klune

I enjoy the characters and seeing how much they grow together. This was the book that I was searching for. I enjoy reading dialogue and all the dialogue was entertaining. The next book that I have to read is Heartsong, but I’ve been avoiding it like crazy even though I own the ebook. The fourth and final book, Brothersong, will be coming out October 13th, 2020.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far

Night of Dangers by Zack Loran Clark & Nick Eliopulos

The third and final book of this middle grade fantasy series. I knew that I should have stayed away from the comments/reviews of this book but I was just wondering what everyone’s thoughts were…then I read a spoiler on one of the characters. While it wasn’t the end of the world I’m sure I would have enjoyed the revelation more if I found out for myself. I’m still hating myself, but I loved this book.

This book has friendship, adventure, and fantasy.

3. New release you haven’t read yet but want to

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

I have no idea when I will get around to this. My library wait list is long. As I have yet to make up my mind of if I’d rather own the hardcovers or paperbacks of The Hunger Games perhaps I’ll just wait until the paperback comes out. It took me forever to pick up The Hunger Games I guess this one can wait too.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu

It’s a toss between a few sequels, but I’m more excited to read this next installment. This comes out September 1st, 2020.

5. Biggest disappointment

Priest of Bones by Peter Mclean

This is only if I have to choose. I just couldn’t get into Peter Mclean’s writing style even though I pushed to the end. Typically if I can’t get into the writing style I try to attach to either the character or the plot to keep me interested. Nothing worked for me so this is one of the instances where I won’t be continuing the series. This book is grimdark and has some tough topics in the story.

6. Biggest surprise

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

I’m very picky when it comes to romance books because I often imagine a lot of drama and angst. I really only picked this up since it had a Renaissance Faire which was different from other summaries. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the book even though things got dicey near the end. My gripe is that I would have wanted to see a confrontation between Emily and Simon or at least a conversation about the issue that popped up.

7. Favorite new author (debut or new to you)


Wranglestone by Darren Charlton

I’m still in the process of trying to find favorite authors. I figure I need to have at least read a few standalones or (different) series by the same author to really call them a favorite. Instead I’ll just introduce a new debut author.

This is life after the zombie apocalypse. While there’s mystery and chaos happening this book is more romance focused. We follow Peter whose sexual identity crisis is happening during the worst time possible as the lake that keeps the undead away from his community’s little paradise is beginning to freeze due to winter. As he becomes more involved with his town’s defense he starts questioning everything he’s been told.

I enjoyed the characters that while flawed can rise to the occasion. I also like Darren’s twist to the zombie situation that I won’t say more on. A book about figuring out our identity and finding out where we belong.

8. Newest fictional crush

I typically don’t get fictional crushes but there is one that I’m keeping my eyes on since I’m wondering how his story will unfold. It’s Brand, the Jack-of-all-Trades bodyguard from The Tarot Sequence series by K. D. Edwards. I enjoy reading about his friendship with Rune and their interactions.

This is urban fantasy where Atlantis has been discovered and the Atlanteans have integrated with the world. Trigger warnings of past rape that while not explicit does come up.

9. Newest favorite character

Again, it’s hard for me to gain a favorite character. My last favorite was Myron from The Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan. The one that’s come close is Linus Baker from The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune. He’s a very quiet ordinary character whose life picks up the moment he goes to Marsyas Island Orphanage. Linus is very human as he has insecurities like we all do and strengths that others can lean on. I like that he stays true to character throughout the story because most books with such lead characters undergo some type of personality change at the end when everything is resolved which is a pill that I can’t quite swallow.

10. A book that made you cry

Okay I cry easily. If the wording is just right for me to imagine it, or if I’m just in the mood to cry then it will happen. So it’s hard to pinpoint a book that made me cry because I usually don’t remember them (nor do I keep track of them). So I’ll skip this one. Maybe I’ll have one next year.

11. A book that made you happy

The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty

Nothing makes me happier than jumping into a world of a series I’ve been anticipating since the prior book.

12. The most beautiful book you’ve bought so far

I typically can’t remember covers of books so if I have to choose it will have to be Far From the Tree by Robin Benway. I haven’t read this book yet, but from what I remember it’s about family and adoption.

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

So much. I’ll just share a few. Some of them I’ve been avoiding because of the hype. Some of them I’m scared to be disappointed by.

Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Jade City by Fonda Lee
The Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

I really have no excuse especially since I own them.

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Manga: Secret XXX

Secret XXX
Story & Art by Hinohara Meguru

Publisher: SuBLime

Release Date: April 14, 2020

Shohei loves bunnies! He loves them so much he’s even taken to volunteering at a local pet shop. Store owner Mito is as sweet and kind as the fuzzy critters he cares for, and it’s not long before Shohei finds himself wanting to cuddle with him as much as the bunnies! But Shohei is hiding a dangerous secret, one that makes this dream an unlikely reality.

Definitely a trope BL plot but with a bit of depth added to the characters. What I do enjoy is the chemistry between the characters and watching their relationship grow past the confession. I couldn’t help but grow attached to the characters once they overcome the hurdles to their relationship.

An appealing factor of this manga is definitely the artwork. I couldn’t help but be visually captured by what I was reading. There are explicit scenes in the volume, but they don’t take away from the story being told.

There is going to be another series based from this world coming out in June which follows Mito’s younger brother, Minato. I am actually looking forward to this release based on what I’ve read.

—Read on February 2, 2020

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O.W.L.s Year 3 Magical Readathon 2020

Begins April 1st – April 30th.

This is one of the readathons that I look forward to. I first participated in it last year with the goal of getting a career as Ministry Worker in the Department of Magical Accidents & Catastrophes. I managed to complete the requirements but I just didn’t post my wrap-up. I had put a lot of thought into the career choice just to feed that serious monster inside but this time was able to take on a more fun choice.

So this time around I chose Curse Breaker.

These are the reading prompts:

Ancient Runes – heart on the cover or in the title

Arithmancy – read something outside your favorite genre

Charms – book with a white cover

Defense against the Dark Arts – book set at the sea/coast

Transfiguration – book/series that includes shape-shifting

This seems quite doable. I’ve already made a list of books that could fit these prompts, but I’m never sure what I may pick up. The only book I now for sure is Heartless by Marissa Meyer for Ancient Runes only because I’m quite certain it’s the only book I own with the word “heart”.

There is a lot to choose from for Arithmancy since I have titles outside of the fantasy genre just ready to be read.

Happy reading.

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Manga: Caste Heaven Volume 1

Caste Heaven
Story & Art by Ogawa Chise

Publisher: SuBLime

Release Date: March 10, 2020

Definitely a more darker BL story that explores social bullying. In this manga, your social value in the school is based on the number of a card. While reading it’s almost as if I could experience the high tension and the frustration of the injustice happening when the adults in the situation just do nothing.

A harsh reminder of how social pressure can affect our actions. There are explicit scenes in the manga that add another element into the power struggle between the students. While the contents can be bleak I can’t help but be curious on how everything will turn out for Azusa and Atsumu.

These two characters are put in situations they’ve never been in before, and their presence brings an element of hope to this manga as they surprisingly seem to the ones being the “voice of reason”.

Read on February 2, 2020

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BL Manga Bulk Review

I’m going to be catching up on my reviews for the following titles:

  • Page   1 – A Strange and Mystifying Story Volume 7 by Suzuki Tsuta
  • Page   2 – The Wize Wize Beasts of the Wizarding Wizdoms by Nagabe
  • Page   3 – The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese Volume 1 by Mizushiro Setona
  • Page   4 – Hanger Volume 3 by Kisaragi Hirotaka
  • Page   5 – Don’t Call Me Dirty by Kanbe Gorou
  • Page   6 – Given Volume 1 by Kizu Natsuki
  • Page   7 – RePlay by Tsukahara Saki
  • Page   8 – Dekoboko Sugar Days by Yusen Atsuko
  • Page   9 – Our Dining Table by Ori Mita

All the following titles I received as ARCs from Edelweiss for an honest review.

A Strange and Mystifying Story
Volume 7
Story & Art by Suzuki Tsuta

Publisher: SuBLime

Release Date: May 14, 2019

The final volume to an urban fantasy BL series that focuses on supernatural entities. In this series we follow different couples typically between a human and their guardian to the supernatural world.

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My TBR I’m Avoiding Reading and Why

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

1. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

The hype of overwhelming. I often feel more comfortable picking up an overhyped book after the hype has died down otherwise my expectations are too high and I wouldn’t be enjoying the book for what it is. If that means I have to wait until the series is completed then I can totally wait.

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I have idea in my head that I will never fully understand literary classics unless I annotate or interpret each and every sentence (just like I did in school). So I’ve come to associate them with needing outside research to fully understand/appreciate the book.

3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I am sort of intimidated of the book size. I did read The Secret History and enjoy my experience. I had a small bit of anxiety while reading The Secret History because I usually like to stop reading once I reach a new chapter, and if you’ve read the book you know that the chapters are suuuuper long. I’m glad I finished reading it, but that reading experience has been ingrained.

4. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

There are 14 books in the series. I know I should just pick up the book to see whether I would actually like the series, but what if I did like the series. The commitment and expectations sort of scares me.

5. My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

I feel like reading the book but as the subject is horror I’m hesitant to read it. I’ve later heard from booktubers that the book is slightly more comedic(?) so I’ve become more open to picking up the book. Now I just have to see when I’m in the mood for the book.

   

6. The Skeleth by Matthew Jobin

This is book two of the Nethergrim series. The third book is not out yet so I’m hesitant to read the book and just to be left hanging.

7.

8. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

This book intimidates me. I once owned the mass market paperback version but upgraded so I can comfortably read it. I thought the book would be slimmer, but the book is actually a beast.

9.

10. Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke

This is book three in the Inkworld series. I picked up the first book, Inkheart, in middle school and then book two, Inkspell, in high school. By this point I would like to re-read the first two before I finally pick this book up.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read that I’d Like in my Personal Library

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

My personal library consists of owning physical copies and collecting e-books (mostly when they’re on sale). For this prompt I tried to list as much books I would like to physically own and then list e-copies.

Own the physical book:

OrbitingBodies

1. Orbiting Bodies by Diana Jean – read the ARC

One of my favorites from 2019. A coming-of-age story of figuring out identity in a college setting with lovable characters.

 TwilightoftheElves

2. Collecting The Adventurers Guild Series by Zack Loran Clark & Nick Eliopulos

Total fan of the adventure in this book. The characters are compelling and the world is unique to middle grade fantasy. Can’t say enough things about this book.

Night of Dangers, book 3, comes out December 17, 2019!

3. Heir of Novron by Micheal J. Sullivan – read the library copy

I’ve been slowly collecting Michael J. Sullivan’ books once they appear on Book Outlet. At this point I’m slowly leaning towards purchasing the book. I own the first two books of this series, The Riyria Revelations, and I can’t believe I don’t have the last copy yet.

4. Collecting The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins  – read library copies

I only started reading the series after I watched the movie. While I was quite blasé on which format of the book I wanted to read I do want to own the series. I typically only like collecting the book in its original cover, but I saw the beautiful UK paperback editions so I plan on getting those instead.

TheGirlWhoDranktheMoon

5. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill – read the library copy

Another favorite from 2018 I read during Witchathon. I loved the storytelling and the plot was intriguing. While I was debating on getting the book I found out that there was a gift edition being released on October 1st, 2019. Now I’m waiting for that version.

Wouldn’t mind just owning the e-book:

6. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – read library book

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but just not enough to own the book. Maybe if I find a good deal on the physical copy then I’ll get it otherwise I’m perfectly fine owning the e-book.

7. Collecting Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – read the library books

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Hollow City

I know reading the physical copies may be better to fully appreciate the format of the book which incorporates black and white pictures. I read these books as e-books too so I don’t have much attachment to the physical books. I did purchase the third book, Library of Souls, back in June so now it’s a waiting game for the first two books. I do plan on reading A Map of Days some time this year or the next year.

8. City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab – read the library book

There is something about Victoria Scwab’s writing style that pulls me in to her stories. I immediately picked this book up after I finished reading the Darker Shades of Magic series. I don’t typically read paranormal books so this book did appear spooky at times.

Tunnel of Bones, book 2, comes out September 3rd, 2019!

9. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson – read the library book

Enjoyed the action, but I wasn’t that attached to the main character to want to own the physical copy.

Starsight, book 2, comes out November 26, 2019!

10. Collecting The Infernal Devices & The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare – read the library copies

I’m currently only collecting The Mortal Instruments (I’m missing City of Bones & City of Ashes) and the short-story bind-ups (I still need to get Ghosts of the Shadow Market). For City of Bones I’m just going to get the  10th Anniversary copy. I’ll have to see how I feel about The Last Hours before I make a decision, but I’m excited nonetheless.  I don’t have a strong attachment to TID or TDA like I do TMI, but I would like to own a copy to revisit the worlds once I feel nostalgic.

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N.E.W.Ts Magical Readathon 2019

This readathon was created by booktuber, the Book Roast. The N.E.W.Ts (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests) take place from August 1st until the 31st. For more information about this readathon you can find them here.

I didn’t have the opportunity to participate in N.E.W.Ts last year so I was really excited this time around. I even took my O.W.Ls (Ordinary Wizarding Levels) in July (since I missed the time in April) so I would be able to qualify.

So I’m working to become a Ministry Worker in the Department of Magical Accidents & Catastrophes

A = Acceptable     E = Exceeded Expectations     O = Outstanding

The minimum N.E.W.Ts requirements to apply for a Ministry Worker are:

  • A in Charms
  • A in Defense Against the Dark Arts
  • A in Potions
  • A in Transfiguration

Then to qualify to become a part of the Department of Magical Accidents & Catastrophes I would need:

  • O in Charms
  • O in Transfiguration

I’m quite a stickler to the rules because it’s one thing that brings order into my life. So while I have the opportunity to be more casual with this readathon I just really want to challenge myself. Each class subject will have three prompts and it’s a matter of matching the job requirements to the prompts. So to get an “O” in Charms and Transfiguration I would need to read a book for both “A” and “E”.

On to the prompts.

Charms:
A – Read a book with a gorgeous cover
E – Read a comic/graphic novel/manga (or a book under 150 pages)
O – Read a paperback book

Defense Against the Dark Arts:
A – Read a book that’s black under the dust jacket

Potions:
A – Read a friend’s favorite book

Transfiguration:
A – Read a book with LGBTQ+ rep
E – Read a book that is not the first in a series
O – Read a book over 500 pages

Overall, I need to read EIGHT books which is something I can handle and is a book less than when I took the O.W.Ls. I’ve already generated a list of books that qualify for each prompt, but I haven’t been able to narrow my choices down so I’ll most likely just leave it up to the mood that I’m in.

Then because I really want to read the group book, Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell, I decided that the Confundus Spell will most likely replace my Potions requirement. I really want to try and limit my choices to books that I own either as an e-book or as a physical copy.

Happy readings.

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