The Bookish Scenarios Tag #amreading

Hello, fellow book junkies! I won’t lie; it was super challenging to narrow down each of these categories to just one book  (you know how it is, right, when you love so, so many books?). Everyone should try this book tag, though–it’s a fun one, so I hereby tag all of you! Thanks to Jess @ Blogging Everything Beautiful for telling me about it. 🙂

[1.] You have to get rid of all your books and you can only keep one from each of these genres – contemporary, fantasy, non-fiction and one other genre of your choosing. What books do you keep?

Contemporary: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Fantasy: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Non-Fiction: The Gypsies by Jan Yoors

Fantasy/Speculative: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

[2.] You’re at the bookstore and you hear a teenager telling their mom they don’t like to read, but their mom insists they pick something. You walk over and recommend a book you think is great for people who aren’t big on reading – what book is it?

I’d say, “Start easy with this amazingly awesome comic book, reluctant reader, and work your way up.”
Captain Marvel, vol. 1. by DeConnick and Lopez

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[3.] You’re not feeling yourself and need a pick me up. Which book do you read to put yourself in a great mood?

Uprooted by Naomi Novik. As scary as this novel gets at times, the main character Agnieszka is so full of love, there are great friendships, and the homespun (but very powerful) magic is a joy to read about.

[4.] You go back in time for a day to your childhood years. What book would you most likely have caught yourself reading?

I’d have to go with Fairy Tales from Around the World. It was a very old series I found in the far corner of our small-town school library. I haven’t run across it since, but in third grade I couldn’t get enough of it.

[5.] Your friend surprises you with a 4-day trip and you have 1 hour to pack. Which book do you bring to read on the way?

I’d pack my Kindle so I could choose from several books already loaded onto it: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather, Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Geir, and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.

[6.] Your house has been robbed! Don’t worry – everyone is safe, but your bookshelf has been raided. What’s the book you really hope is safe?

A Darker Shade of Magic, signed by V.E. Schwab at my very first book signing.

[7.] Your friend borrows a book and returns it in awful condition. Do you a) Just pretend you haven’t noticed b) Ask them to repurchase it or c) Secretly do the same to something of theirs?

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or d) Wonder what the heck happened to me that I would go back on a promise to myself–after many, many unreturned books–to never loan out books unless I’m okay with giving them as a gift.

–Eve Messenger

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What’s Your Favorite Kind of Bookmark? #amreading

Hello, fellow book junkies! I popped into my blog today to spark a bit of discussion about bookmarks.

One of my favorite types of bookmarks are the homemade kind. A friend of mine drew an amazing bookmark for herself. It’s folded into four panels. On each panel is a Pegasus representing each of the four elements so, for instance, the Pegasus of fire has flames rising from its wings, etc. I covet that bookmark so much. I’ve dropped hints but. . .

If I were a better artist, I’d probably make myself a four-fold bookmark of Kell from ADSOM wearing each of four different coats.

Then again, I lose bookmarks like cuh-razy, so I’m probably better off not investing too much time and money into them. Still, it’s fun to have pretty and unique bookmarks to choose from. Lately the bookmarks I use the most include:

  • the bookmark I bought from a local museum–I would show you a picture of it but, I kid you not, I can’t find it right now. That’s how bookmarks and I roll.
  • whatever slips of paper are randomly lying around when I decide to close my book.

What kinds of bookmarks do you like to use? Do you receive lots of bookmarks as gifts? Are you one of those people who never needs a bookmark because you can always remember what page you left off on?

The Bookish Academy Awards of the Past 12 Months

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Cue the spotlights, it’s time for the Bookish Academy Awards. Out of all the books I’ve read in the past 12 months, these are the winners. Thanks to Brittany @ The Grisha Lieutenant for tagging me and for having such spectacular taste in books.

Best Male Protagonist

Kell from V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic because he’s sympathetic and unique, with a mysterious past that I want to learn more about. (Note: Will and Jem from Infernal Devices were close runners-up in this category.)

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Kell by Victoria Ying

Best Female Protagonist

For her curiosity, bravery, fierce talent for magic, and strong moral compass, I choose Celia Bowen from The Night Circus. Even as a little orphaned girl of six, Celia refused to allow the fearsome magician to intimidate her and speak badly about her mother.

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Best Plot Twist

Everything about The Knife of Never Letting Go is twisted, especially the plot.

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Best Book Cover

I haven’t read The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson yet, but for some reason I am really drawn to the cover.

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Best Supporting Character

Kenji Kishimoto in Unravel Me. He’s an accomplished fighter with a sympathetic history, and what I love about him most is his sense of humor and fun-loving nature.

Kenji Kishimoto: “You are moody. It’s always ‘Shut up, Kenji.’ ‘Go to sleep, Kenji.’ ‘No one wants to see you naked, Kenji.’ When I know for a fact that there are thousands of people who would love to see me naked—“

Juliette and Kenji by Ice Ridden

Most Unique World

Magonia features a world unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

Best Screenplay Adaptation

Room with Brie Larson. Watching this movie was honestly like seeing the book come to life. I’ve been a huge fan of Brie Larson’s for a while now, and I’m excited to see her getting starring roles. What a great actress.

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A Book You Would Love to See Animated

The Night Circus, except what I’d be most interested in is an animated version of a prequel featuring the story of Tsukiko and Hinata.

Best Author

V.E. Schwab. I love her writing and everything about her.

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Best Collection of Short Stories

Firebirds: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction (2003). I don’t read a lot of short fiction, but I picked up this anthology on a whim at the library and really enjoyed it. There are stories by lots of famous fantasy and sci-fi YA writers. My favorite was “Hope Chest” by Garth Nix.

Best Historical or Historical Fiction

I don’t read much historical fiction, but I’m liking it more and more. Not sure if this book counts, but I’ll go with Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier.

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Best Book of the Year

Applause, please, for the big winner of the night, A Darker Shade of Magic. The characters, the story, the unique and magical world, I loved everything about this book.

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 Tag, you’re it:

Carolyn @ A Hundred Thousand Stories

Beth @ Betwixt These Pages

Jesalin @ Blogging Everything Beautiful

Lila @ The Bookkeeper’s Secrets

Rae @ BookmarkChronicles

Morgan @ Hopeless Book Addict

Jocelyn @ 52 Letters in the Alphabet

Amanda @ Cover2Cover Mom

 

Totally Should’ve Book Tag #amreading #YA

Totally Should've Book tag

Thank you to Brittany @ Grisha Lieutenant for tagging me to do this fun “Totally Should’ve” book tag (created by lively video blogger Katytastic.)

1. A book that TOTALLY SHOULD’VE had a sequel.

It’s no secret that I adore Lauren Oliver’s novel, Before I Fall.  The lovely writing and compelling story make me want to read more, plus there’s a certain male character I’d love to see get another chance–sorry if that’s vague, but we’re spoiler-free here at Eve Messenger’s OtherWORDly Endeavors. 🙂

2. A book/series that TOTALLY SHOULD’VE had a Spin-Off series.

Fangirl already has a spin-off with Simon and Baz in Carry On, but one-of-a-kind, adorable Levi is the character I’d most like to read a spin-off about: growing up with his big, blond brothers, working in the coffee shop, overcoming his unique challenge.

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Artist: Noelle Stevenson (I think!?)

3. An author who TOTALLY SHOULD write more books.

V.E. Schwab, V.E. Schwab!

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4. A character who TOTALLY SHOULD’VE ended up with someone else.

What randomly popped into my head just now is that Cinderella should end up, not in a cliched relationship with Prince Charming, but in a loving relationship with his dark, lovely, girl-knight sister. That would be cool.

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5. A book/series that TOTALLY SHOULD’VE ended differently.

Not that I’d like a different ending, just a more complete one. In Sarah Dessen’s book, The Truth About Forever, a major plot question is raised at the beginning, which is never answered. That was kind of frustrating.

6. A book/series that TOTALLY SHOULD’VE had a movie franchise.

If it’s done right, Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking would be amazing.

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7. A book/series that TOTALLY SHOULD’VE had a TV show.

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any novels I’d want  adapted into a TV series.

8. A book/series that TOTALLY SHOULD’VE only had one point of view

The Future of Us.  Emma and Jay’s POV voices were confusingly similar, and the story was really about Emma anyway. One POV would’ve worked great.

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9. A book/series that TOTALLY SHOULD’VE had a cover change.

I wholeheartedly agree with Brittany @ Grisha Lieutenant on this one. I love the story Ella Enchanted, but nothing about this cover works.

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10. A book/series that TOTALLY SHOULD’VE kept the original covers.

I appreciate beautiful covers but am not adept at keeping track of originals vs. new edition covers, etc., so I abstain from answering this question.

11. A series that TOTALLY SHOULD’VE stopped at book #1.

I must have issues with  attention span or something because I rarely stick with a series past books one or two–with some notable exceptions, including Throne of Glass and A Darker Shade of Magic. . . . SQUIRREL.

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— Eve Messenger

I Nominate:

Michelle @ The Bibliophile Struggle

Carolyn @ A Hundred Thousand Stories

Dee @ The Bookish Khalisi

Nazahet @ Read Diverse Books

Lila @ The Bookkeeper’s Secrets

Astra @ A Stranger’s Guide to Novels

 Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books

The Bibliotheque

 

February Wrap-Up & Flash Reviews

Hello, fellow book junkies! In February I’m happy to report I was able to shorten my tower of owned books by four, and I read seven books in all (. . . sort of–see below). My “Rock My TBR Challenge” is looking good so far.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

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This book takes the reader deep into what it must have been like to grow up poor in Brooklyn in the early 20th century. I definitely felt like I was there, and learned a lot about cultural history. There were also some great observations about human nature and family relationships. I’m glad I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, though I didn’t love it.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

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A heavyset teen girl bucks the system and signs up for her small-town beauty pageant run by her mother, a former beauty queen. Good concept. I expected the main character, Willowdean (a.k.a. Dumplin’) to be a big girl who’s comfortable in her own skin, but she isn’t. . . or is she? The theme is frustratingly unclear. There’s a cute jock who loves Willowdean, but we never get any insight into the nuances of their relationship. The writing is good, and there are cute moments with lots of potential, but overall a disappointment.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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A Darker Shade of Magic was the  highlight of my month. I loved the writing, the darkness, the imaginative world-building, the memorable characters, and whoah does Victoria/V.E. Schwab know how to write villains. Her writing is so good that reading it feels as if it´s making me a better writer. Coincidentally, within a week of reading this, my first, V.E. Schwab book, the author tweeted she would be doing a book signing less than 15 miles from my house. Do not pass go, do not collect $200–I had to meet her! In a later post, I’ll share more about what it was like to attend my first book signing event.

Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle

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The title and concept grabbed me–something about a cult, a girl surviving the bizarre disappearance of her mother and father, and the apparent end of the world. This book veered hard into preachy agenda territory, but overall it turned out to be a good, solid read.

Angelfall by Susan Ee

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This plot grabbed me and did not let go until the epic ending. Excellent world-building, and a plot that new exactly where it wanted to go, like a bullet. The only thing I had a hard time with was that a 17-year-old human girl and a 2000-year-old archangel might have a romantic attraction. He’s gorgeous and doesn’t look like an old man, but he is. The angel also had the unfortunate nickname Raffe (pronounced Raffi), which solidly planted in my head an image of an affable guy strumming guitar while singing Baby Beluga to a bunch of kids. That’s just me, folks. The book was really good.

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

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A girl finds out she has inherited the ability to time travel. Sign me up, I thought, but as I read Ruby Red, I kept wishing more would happen. This book turned out to have good staying power, however, because a few days after finishing, I found myself wanting to  return to this imaginary world. I definitely plan to read the next book in the trilogy, Sapphire Blue. I was surprised to learn that the Ruby Red trilogy was originally written in German, which definitely added interest for a linguistics nerd like me. Translators deserve more credit! Sure, they’re translating someone else’s words, but they’re also WRITING A BOOK, so, kudos to Anthea Bell for doing a great job on the translation–not that I read German (I wish I did so I could read my favorite poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, in his original language), but the story read well.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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I just want to start by saying I love author Jenny Han, her personality, her openness, her humor, just everything about her. But wait a minute. Hold up. Cue screech of a needle across record album. I could not finish this book. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before ended up being a DNF. The main character was sweet, the concept was intriguing (letters Laura Jean privately penned to all the boys she’s loved end up mistakenly being mailed to them), but as hard as I tried, I could not get through this book. I may have to face that saccharine,  very-young adult books might not be my cup of tea.

I’m sorry to end on a DNF note, especially re: a book that so many people adore but, all in all, it was a really enjoyable month of reading. I hope you’re getting to read lots of good books, too. 😀

–Eve Messenger