Illustration, Review

(Non-Spoilery) Book Review: Wildcard

wildcard

Wildcard (Warcross #2) by Marie Lu (Goodreads | Amazon)
CW: (not a spoiler) non-violent death, drugs
Rep: Asian leads, non-binary individual

**This review includes spoilers for Warcross.**
(See my review for Warcross here.)

**Edit: Updated to include an illustration I drew**

Summary

Hideo Tanaka’s nemesis Zero approaches Emika to try to stop Henka Games’ takeover of the world. With a bounty on her head, Emika submits to Zero and his team’s protection while she and the Phoenix Riders aim to take down the NeuroLink.

Tempered expectations

I have been anxiously awaiting the second book in this duology for months, ever since I read Warcross. And I didn’t get to read an ARC! I bought the book on the day of release and read into the wee hours of the night. But the mixed reviews on Goodreads by those who did get an ARC copy, and cautious positive reviews (like Becky’s at Velvet Spade Reads), had to quash my hype a little.  Continue reading “(Non-Spoilery) Book Review: Wildcard”

Home Library

Dream Library Wall (Finished Pics!)

This is a continuation of a series of posts about our home improvement project. Just click on the “home library” tag to see more. 

We are pretty much done with our library wall. Though there are things we still need to do to fix it (like add our surround-sound speakers), it’s like 99% done and I feel I should probably share.

So here it is….

librarywall-01

Continue reading “Dream Library Wall (Finished Pics!)”

Review

Book Review: My Best Friend’s Exorcism

exorcism

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix (Goodreads | Amazon)
CW: ED, talk of rape

Summary

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends ever since Abby’s disastrous 10th birthday party. Now as sophomores in high school in 1988, something happens to Gretchen. No one else seems to be concerned with her strange actions except for Abby, who knows her so well. The back blurb of the book says this is BeachesThe Exorcist, but I likened it more to Jennifer’s Body set in the 80s.

Cover Art

I’m going to have to start mentioning the book cover art when it’s really impressive (just like I had to talk about it for Emergency Contact). The 80s-tastic throwback cover is just so delightful. I got a hardcover from the library, which had a different cover (pictured below), but the liner pages were set up to look like Abby and Gretchen’s high school yearbook. Love. I really enjoyed the book, and though I am not one to re-read thrillers, I kind of want to own the above (paperback?) version just because the cover art is so fantastic.

exorcism2
The hardcover version

Anyway.

This book hit so many of my notes: strong, engaging writing. 80s nostalgia. A thriller that wasn’t full of jump-scares, but a story that compelled me to read more. I read this in one sitting. Continue reading “Book Review: My Best Friend’s Exorcism”

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Labor Day Book Haul

I started to write this post by saying I try to buy books rarely — then stopped, because I rarely succeed at buying books rarely! Still, I don’t often do big book hauls; instead I buy a pair of books here, a pair of books there… However, everybody was having a Labor Day sale this year, and we had gaps in some of our books. Which means… I have a haul.

Barnes & Noble

B&N advertised a book blowout sale, but when I got there… I found that it was relegated to only a few titles. Still, I got My Year of Rest and Relaxation for 20% off since it’s a new release. I was well into the double digits on the library hold list, and it wasn’t budging, so I thought I’d make the trip to B&N worth my while. (Emergency Contact I’ve already owned and read — see my review here.)

my-year

Half-Price Books

HPB was having a 20% off everything in store sale, which I don’t think happens that often. I took this opportunity to buy things I’ve been wanting to read…

I also got a book that I’ve checked out twice from the library, so it’s probably about time for me to actually own a copy (and it was in the clearance section, so woohoo $2.40 book!)

I also needed to fill in the gaps in our bookshelves. We love lending out books, but unfortunately don’t keep track of who borrows what, and years later some of these books are as good as gone. When we had messy shelves hidden in a back bedroom it didn’t matter as much, but now that our bookshelf wall is basically a part of our living room decor, I wanted to fill in the gaps. So we got…

labor-day-haul

BookWoman

I love our local feminist bookstore, which is a stone’s throw from one of the HPB in my area. I stopped into BookWoman to place an order for two new releases that would be right up their alley — I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya and How to Be Alone by Lane Moore — and spent a few bucks there too (#shoplocal!)

I’m pretty excited about all of my books! Did you take advantage of any sales over the long weekend?

Here’s a cat stepping into my pile of books for you.

luna-books

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August Wrap-Up

August stats:

Books read: 11
Books purchased this month: 6 (3 hardcover, 3 ebook)
Illustrations drawn: 0
Number of re-reads: 5

Longest book: Winter, at 827 pages
Shortest book: News of the World, at 209 pages

Ratings of the books I read:
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 7
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2
⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1
No rating given: 1

This month, I was all about the re-reads. Halfway through the month my sister and I traveled to NYC and I found myself drawn to comfort reads I already had on my Kindle. I reread the entire The Lunar Chronicles series (minus Fairest, because I really don’t care about Levana’s origin story) and then Eliza and Her Monsters, one of my favorite reads, because my friend returned my book to me.  Continue reading “August Wrap-Up”

Blog about it, Review, Young Adult

Book Review: Emergency Contact

emergency-contact

Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi (Goodreads | Amazon)
CW: drugs (in the lightest sense of the word)
Rep: Asian lead

I admit, this is where the pretty cover got me. I was in BookPeople looking for something else when this caught my eye. It wasn’t altogether a blind purchase — I’d read a few positive reviews — but the rose-gold cover, beautiful illustration (I now follow the artist GG on Instagram), and gold foil letters swayed my purchase. And it made for a richer experience. I know we’re not supposed to say that about books — they’re supposed to be good on their own merit, and this book is really good — but I think I was more open to loving it because I already loved the cover. Kinda like how Lizzie warms to Darcy because of Pemberley.

Summary

When Penny leaves home to attend college in Austin, she is ready for the next chapter in her life: getting some distance from her mom, throwing herself into her writing class. Sam, an aspiring documentary filmmaker with no resources, is still dealing with the fallout of his life after a recent breakup. He and Penny meet at the coffee shop where Sam works, and through odd circumstances, become each other’s emergency contact. They bond through texting and grow fond of one another.

An aspiring writer, freshman in college…

Look, it’s a story that’s been done a thousand times. I’m not going to pretend that this is a groundbreaking story — it’s like Fangirl 2018.* BUT!!! It’s got a Korean-American lead. It’s got a heavily tattooed love interest. It’s set in Austin, Texas (my home). It’s written richly — there were so many passages I wanted to highlight because Mary H.K. Choi is brilliant with words. I just related so hard to this. Continue reading “Book Review: Emergency Contact”

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Do You Have Multiple Copies of the Same Book?

I was wandering around Half-Price Books this past weekend and saw a hardcover copy of Warcross. If you haven’t seen the book cover for this, it’s really pretty: a white cover with a rainbow graphic on the front cover and spine. I picked it up and added it to my stack, even though I own it on Kindle already.

I think it’s because I’m anticipating its sequel, Wildcard, and I know I’m going to buy a hardcover as soon as it’s released. I want some consistency in my books!

warcross

My husband and I are currently organizing our new bookshelf wall and we’ve noticed a lot of gaps in our book series. He purchased physical copies of the Stormlight archive by Sanderson, but only 1 and 3; book #2 is on his Kindle, which makes for an irregular shelf. I hate that! I’m wondering if it’s worth it to buy a physical copy to even it out. I don’t want to be all about the ~aesthetics~ but inconsistency irks me!

Anyway, my Warcross purchase came on the heels of me reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer on my Kindle while on vacation. I’d bought all hardcovers of the Lunar Chronicles series but when an e-book copy of Cinder was on sale for $1.99 a while back, I bought it, just so I could have it with me while I traveled. Which worked out well, because I didn’t want to experience anything new while relaxing on the couch after a long day of walking around NYC, I wanted my comfort reads.

cinder

Which made me think: what other books do I have multiple (digital + physical) copies of? And what do you have multiple copies of?

pridepeacock

So, of course I have Pride and Prejudice, and a lot of other Austen novels, because paperbacks are everywhere and classics can be obtained for free via Project Gutenberg. When you need Lizzie Bennet, you need Lizzie Bennet, and the format of how you read her shouldn’t matter.  Continue reading “Do You Have Multiple Copies of the Same Book?”