Aug 4, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday

 

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

 

The competition has come to a disastrous end, and Daron Demarco’s fall from grace is now front page news. But little matters to him beyond Kallia, the contestant he fell for who is now lost to this world and in the hands of a dangerous magician. Daron is willing to do whatever it takes to find her. Even if it means embarking on a dark and treacherous journey, risking more than just his life, with no promise of return.

After awaking in darkness, Kallia has never felt more lost. Especially with Jack by her side, the magician with who has the answers but cannot be trusted. Together, they must navigate a dazzling world where mirrors show memories and illusions shadow every corner, one ruled by a powerful game master who could all too easily destroy the world she left behind -- and the boy she can’t seem to forget. With time running out, Kallia must embrace her role in a darker destiny, or lose everyone she loves, forever.
 

 

Still need to give the first one another try but decided I really wanted to give it a second go, which is rare for me! Lol!

 

TITLE: When Night Breaks
AUTHOR: Janella Angeles

PUBLISHER: Wednesday Books
GENRE: YA Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: October 5, 2021








Aug 3, 2021

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

 

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker



Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.

 

"It was magnificent, in a shocking terrible sort of way. Thousands of knives and daggers covered the surface, packed so close they looked like silver stalks of grass. Mulan couldn't see their hilts, but the blades were all shiny and clean. Not a smear or speck of blood." p 152

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TITLE: Reflection
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Lim

PUBLISHER: Disney-Hyperion
GENRE: Disney Retelling
RELEASE DATE: March 27, 2018





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. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

 

 This week's topic is: Top Ten Titles or Covers That Made Me Want to Read/Buy the Book


*in no particular order


TITLES:

10. HELLWORLD by Tom Leveen--I mean seriously, how can this title not make you at least pick it up? This one was creepy weird too!
9. STALKING JACK THE RIPPER by Kerri Maniscalco--I remembered when I heard about this one and I was sooooo for it!
8. THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE by Stephanie Perkins--I mean the title alone tells you you're in for a creepy thriller!



7. CURSED edited by Marie
O'Regan--the title already told me it would be magical, further learning told me it was fairy tale retellings and I was sold! Still need to read it too!
6. FOR THE WOLF by Hannah Whitten--another one to read still! But the title already clued me in that it was something sacrificial like and the description also gave me that idea but with possibility of romance! Of course the cover also played a role after hearing that title and I was like whoa!


COVERS:



5. BLACK CITY by Elizabeth Richards--anyone else remember this one? The cover was just gorgeous! Learned that they froze a rose then shattered it and caught the image like thus! So pretty!
4. HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE by Jeaniene Frost--that one beautiful day at Borders when I saw this amazing cover that proclaimed of a vampire related story and several favorite authors had blurbed it and I was pretty much sold!
3. CRAVE by Tracy Wolff--the likeness to a certain other YA vampire story had me a little worried, but the cover was so pretty AND I enjoyed Tracy's other books, so I took the deep dive on it and fell in love!




2. THE WICKED DEEP by Shea Ernshaw--this cover was just sooo pretty! It grabbed my attention right away!
1. 13 TO LIFE by Shannon Delany--you're not surprised right? This was the first case of cover love I've ever really had because oh wow, it still captivates me after all this time!









Aug 2, 2021

Review--Reflection by Elizabeth Lim

 

What if Mulan had to travel to the Underworld?

When Captain Shang is mortally wounded by Shan Yu in battle, Mulan must travel to the Underworld, Diyu, in order to save him from certain death. But King Yama, the ruler of Diyu, is not willing to give Shang up easily.

With the help of Shang's great lion guardian ShiShi, Mulan must traverse Diyu to find Shang's spirit, face harrowing obstacles, and leave by sunrise⁠—or become King Yama's prisoner forever.

Moreover, Mulan is still disguised as the soldier called Ping, wrestling with the decision to reveal her true identity to her closest friend.

Will Mulan be able to save Shang before it's too late? Will he ever be able to trust her again? Or will she lose him—and be lost in the Underworld⁠—forever?

 

 

I picked up Elizabeth Lim's Reflection when I was wanting a nice standalone novel and since I am enjoying the Disney Twisted Tales series thought why not pick up one of the older ones? In this one we encounter a tale with Mulan in that Shang gets injured and is dying and she must travel to the Chinese underworld to rescue his soul because he is gone forever.

Shang gets injured when he takes the blow meant for Ping while they were battling Shan-Yu. When Shang is about to die, Ping is visited by the ghost of Shang's father pleading her to save his son. That is she were to travel to the underworld and plead a case to King Yama, Shang could be saved. Since Mulan considers Shang a friend of sorts, and since he took the blow meant for her, she readily agrees. Sadly, she leaves Mushu behind--a huge mistake in my opinion because come on, it's Mushu! Joining her instead is ShiShi, Shang's family guardian.

Ping--for that's what she still goes by for the time being--and ShiShi enter Diyu and make a deal with King Yama. Mulan has until the end of the night to find Shang and reach the 100th level of Diyu in order for them to both leave and return to their mortal lives. If she fails, they both remain in the underworld and Ping will turn into a demon and will be under Yama's command. Finding Shang will be the next step and overcoming all the challenges lie in wait.

I guess one thing I thought odd was that everyone still saw Mulan as Ping. I mean, I guess I sort of thought that the god of the underworld would be able to see into Ping's soul and see her true identity, but alas it seems even gods and ghosts and demons can still be fooled by Mulan's charade.

I don't know much about Chinese mythology but I did find the encounters and trials Mulan had to face interesting. I always loved mythology growing up, so I did enjoy this story even if I was unfamiliar with everything.

It's not long before Mulan finds Shang and convinces him of her Ping identity and that his father led her to rescue him. Soon, he joins her and ShiShi on their quest to escape.

Mulan does a lot of self-discovery in this one as well. Much like in the movie, she realizes the choices she was making were not just about saving her father. She was trying to proves something to herself as well. While the book doesn't follow the course of the movie, we do still see some famous lines pop up here and there in a new light. Mulan comes to all the same answers and self-discoveries that she did there too. 

Another thing I thought odd was how this time, the avalanche really did seem to defeat the Huns. Though what really happened to Shan-Yu afterwards was a little unclear. So there's no big rescue at the end with the emperor...unless that's something that happens off the page of course, but I feel like it's not, but the mystery of Shan-Yu though was still not quite clear.

All in all, this was a fun story. I did still enjoy how Mulan and Shang came together in the end. In some ways it was still like the movie though the path to get to those certain moments was different. Reading this definitely makes me want to watch the movie again! Loved that one (the animated one of course!) and all the music included. Reflection was a nice twisted version of the beloved classic, Mulan, and what would have happened if Mulan had to travel to the underworld!



Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars






It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.

 

Last Week I Read:

Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain (ARC)--Review to come at a later date



Currently Reading:


Reflection by Elizabeth Lim


What I Plan to Read Next:

Mary, Will I Die? by Shawn Sarles (ARC)


Other Posts of Interest:

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays
Waiting on Wednesday
Random Thursday
Book Blogger Hop
Challenges Monthly Wrap-up: July
Stacking the Shelves








Aug 1, 2021

Stacking the Shelves

 

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.

 

Well this was a pretty forgettable week. It was just meh, all around. Work was blah. The company I interviewed for the previous week rejected me. I had felt pretty good about how the interview went, so it was a bit of a letdown when I got THAT email. Back to applying for more of everything and anything now as I did kind of slow my roll a bit on that front. Had another coworker quit this week as she already had something lined up and I was just like omg. HOW do these other people get a new job SO quickly! I mean, I could possibly see her looking in the last week or so as she was absent a few days last week, but daaaaaang! Wish I could have that kind of luck! Took me almost 3 years of serious looking to get where I am now. :(

But the week wasn't a complete wash as I did get quite a few awesome things in the mail this week!

 


Red Wolf by Rachel Vincent--keeper copy! Read this one as an ARC and LOOOVED it! Pretty much love all of Rachel's books! Still have 3 more backtitles on my TBR I need to get to!
A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones--SIGNED!

 


Then I got the email everyone loves, the one that says you WON a contest! Not a Goodreads one--though I did get the "you entered a giveaway to win THIS book and you LOST! But you can still read it in THREE months!" Yeah, I hate that they send me those. Those aren't necessary! But anyway, here's what I did win from the author:


Mary, Will I Die by Shawn Sarles (ARC)--SIGNED!! This is one of my most anticipated creepy reads for fall! There's like 4 or 5 titles I am super excited about that all have potential to be my Halloween giveaway pick this year!


THANK YOU Shawn!


Then I also got my July Fairy Loot box yesterday! It wasn't too bad this time around. The book isn't one I'm familiar with, the items were kind of so-so, but I was SUPER excited for this month's tarot cards! 



Then the next white apple I bought off Mercari arrived and I was SOOO much happier with this one! The first one was nice and will be good for pictures, but this one was just the right size that I was imagining in my head, so that was a nice treat!



And that was it for me this week! What all did you get?






Jul 30, 2021

Challenges Monthly Wrap-up: July

CHALLENGE 1: 2021 New Release Challenge

Not Your Average Hot Guy by Gwenda Bond (10/5/21)--Review to come at a later date
Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber (9/28/21)--Review to come at a later date
Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Meyers Sain (8/31/21)--Review to come at a later date 

 

 I'm close to the top of the tier I chose! I already passed my goal and am just 2 new releases away from the top number!



CHALLENGE 2: Beat the Backlist 2021 Reading Challenge

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout (9/1/20)
#NoEscape by Gretchen McNeil (9/15/20)
What She Found in the Woods by Josephine Angelini (7/25/19)
Haunted Homicide by Lucy Ness (9/29/20)


And that makes 20! I finally completed this challenge, now let's see how far I can make it grow! Lol. I'm still really wanting to dive back into the TBR pile after I finish my current review stack, which at the moment is very close to happening!



CHALLENGE 3: 2021 Series Enders Reading Challenge


#NoEscape by Gretchen McNeil (#murdertrending)


This made 11/10 series! I'm now at the point where I've series I need to start and finish...plus a few where I read book 1 and have books 2 & 3 to read...or more in a few instances. Which is what I'd like to try focusing on once I clear out the review stack!




CHALLENGE 4: 2021 Discussion Challenge

Technology Rant
It's Only a Game Tag


I'm at 17/25. This hasn't been a super great year for me so far. I mean, it started okay, but I think my downward spiral started in March and only expanded! I try not to bring too much of that to my blog and keep it all happy and bookish. But on another note, I'm finding a severe lack of book tags these days. I used to love doing those back in the early days and I still do really. I just couldn't really fathom making up my own. Lol.



I also completed my Goodreads Challenge this month! Though I feel like 5 out of my 50 books there shouldn't count as 2 were novellas and 3 were re-reads of graphic novels. But I'll definitely get there as I'm at 54/50 now and reading #55 now! Lol.