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Book Review: In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness #2) by Tamora Pierce

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 264 pages
Author: Tamora Pierce
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 1st, 2005
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Disguised as a boy, Alanna of Trebond becomes a squire, to none other than the prince of the realm. But Prince Jonathan is much more to Alanna; he is her ally, her best friend, and one of the few who knows that she’s really a girl. Now it will take all of Alanna’s awesome skill, strength, and growing magical powers to protect him from the mysterious evil sorcerer who is bent on his destruction, and hers!

Here continues the story of Alanna, a young woman bound for glory who is willing to fight against enormous odds for what she believes in.

NOW I’M GETTING INVESTED.

I find it rare to come across a short fantasy book (less than 300 pages). I’m loving that this are this short because it’s a good break from big daunting fantasy books.

Alanna is someone I think we can all cheer for. I love continuing to watch her grow and become a powerful woman in her own right. She makes her own decisions and has her own convictions about how she wants her life to go and I applaud her for trying to attain those goals.

Yes, things could be overall fleshed out more. That’s the downfall to shorter reads. This has a lot of focus on just Alanna. A lot of information is thrown into casual conversation without any backstory. I occasionally was confused as to why things happened but, I like focusing on Alanna and what she’s going through rather than what everyone else is doing. This is a rare case of me being able to overlook these matters.

Her kinda sort-of-ish love connection is intriguing. I like that Alanna is choosing who she wants to be with on her own volition (but also you said you didn’t want to be with anyone…so….?). It’s good and fine and all, but I’m not sure they’re endgame. I think it would be interesting if she actually ended up with no one and she originally intended. WE’LL SEE.

The villain still makes me laugh. He’s not evil enough for me and since Alanna keeps besting him, there’s not a push and pull of issues between them.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses, mentions of spending the night with each other, but no actual depictions of those nights
  • Violence: swords, poison, magic, kidnapping, murder, battle skirmishes

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Book Review: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆  
Audience: YA Dystopia Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Length: 473 pages
Author: Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 7th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic. 

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT FOR THIS SEQUEL?!

Y’AAAAAALLLLLLLL.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED. Like Illuminae Files this duo has destroyed me. I buddy-read this with a Bookstagram friend and it was so much fun to go over things together with her!

This book is so good. I have no words.

I love this group of characters. Squad 312 is full of unique, emotional, interesting, creative souls. Everyone stands out in their own way and I love them all for different things. My favorite currently is probably Kal. I could go into a bunch of reasons for each character, but trust me, everyone has a reason to shine. The chapters rotated in a perfect way where the main POV was the right character to be observing from. This made the entire book soar.

There were so many twists and turns. Some you can pick out, others left me like WHAT. I’m still reeling from the last few scenes. Though, what’s really nice is that it doesn’t leave off on some major cliff-hanger. While absolutely crazy things happen, it also closes out the book. Leaving you begging for a time machine to get to book two.

The main antagonist is so complex. We only scratched the surface on what’s happening in the universe and I have so many theories. I love having theories about what’s going to happen.

A lot of relationships were thrown around and happened a little here, a little there, a maybe here, a maybe there. I think this nuanced banter and love was entrancing. Within all the action we got to the nitty-gritty of each characters flaws and dreams. Each one immensely different, but also intertwined.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopian sci-fi + fantasy
  • Language: a little (mostly phrases like son of a biscuit)
  • Romance: a no-details remembrance of a night together
  • Violence: physical, guns, magic

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Top Ten Tuesday: Characters That Remind Me of Myself

Hello Top Ten Tuesday!

I can’t say I know any character that exactly reminds me of myself. I can think of a few who may present an aspect that would remind me of how I am.

So this list may be scatter-brained. Lets see what happens. Might be a few spins on things because I am only so clever.

And yes, I know I could do a backlist version, but I personally have made it a goal to push myself outside my comfort zone. In this way, I’m trying to do the post regardless because it causes me to think a bit more about my choices.

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

She’s a baker, I’m a baker. Though granted she can bake cookies and THAT IS SERIOUSLY WHAT I’M WORST AT BAKING. I’m trying though.

Feyre from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Feyre goes through some really crappy things, but I’m focusing on the fact she got away from a male who never saw her true worth and who she thought she loved. I went through the same kind of thing before I met my husband (and y’all, I’m so glad I went through that storm to get to him).

Hazel from Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Hazel reminds me of myself because she’s often been described as having a flair for the absurd, but also owning who she is. Do I dance in the middle of an aisle when my jam comes on? YES. Does my husband think I’m silly? YUP. But I never want to lose doing this simple silly things in my life.

Lira from To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

I believe I was a mermaid in another life. My obsession is strong, so Lira reminds me of all the things I love about the ocean and its mysteries.

Max from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

I live in fantasy books and often I find myself wishing they were real. Max reminds me of myself because he’s able to dive into his imagination like I often enjoy every time I pick up a book.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

This isn’t a character (it’s non-fiction), but this book reminds me of myself. I am passionate about the benefits of being a runner and this book re-kindled that for me when I read it.

Laila from The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Laila reminded me of a “team mom” type of persona. She actively makes sure all of her family are taken care of and have what they need. I have always acted like this with my family. They come first.

Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

Yup, that sums that up.

Rasmira from Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

As Rasmira faces her battles in the wild, the phrase warrior of the wild is used. Like the title it reminds me of how determined she is to face the problems before her. We all have our own wild and I often find myself remembering this quote to persevere.

Love you Forever by Robert Munsch

This book reminds me of the kind of mother I hope my children remember. Because oh how I love my babe (and any future children we’re fortunate to have).

Y’all, I did it! Have you read any of these books? What’s a book that reminds you of yourself? Lets talk in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

Helllllllo readers!

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday. Today we’re discussing things that make me pick up a book. There’s a handful of reasons I decide to read a book. Check them out below!

A beautiful cover.

I am a sucker for a pretty cover. But I’m also not particular about a cover. I think so many covers are gorgeous. I just love all the covers *shrugs*.

A well crafted synopsis.

This is super important. I want the book to suck me in based off of the summary. I want to know just enough to make me want to read it.

A solid Goodreads rating.

I would consider this probably one of my highest factors for me. I will generally pick up anything with a 3.60+ rating. If it’s lower, it takes a bit more convincing for me.

A recommendation from a friend.

If someone I know recommends me a book, I figure they truly think I’ll enjoy it. And they loved it too, so I respect that opinion and want to check it out for myself.

A new book by an auto-buy author.

I have a fairly big list of authors that I will buy anything from them. And if I hear they have a new book coming out, YOU BETTER BELIEVE I pre-ordered that stat.

Seeing it often on Bookstagram/Blog.

If I see a book absolutely everywhere sometimes I can’t resist. And if it also has a gorgeous cover, those photos are going to make me want to read it.

Fear of missing out.

Hype, hype, hype. This explains itself.

Need of an anxiety/stress reliever.

I’m grateful to have a husband that gets me. When I am seriously having the worst day, he takes the babe, goes to the park and lets me read for an hour to detox. It truly calms me and I feel centered again.

Continuation of a series.

This should be a given. You need that next book? YOU GET THAT BOOK.

The perfect weather.

I am a big mood reader. And honestly, depending on the weather the day I’m starting a new book will influence what I end up choosing! Some days call for a long fantasy read, others call for a short rom-com.

What makes you pick up a book? Were any of these on your list? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book Tag Saturday: 1 Year Anniversary + Get to Know the Blogger Tag

It’s my one-year blog anniversary!

I never thought I’d get this far. This all started out as a way to combat postpartum depression. I have come to deeply love this community and still get gleeful every time I see a like/comment on here.

I appreciate and thank you for all your support and hope to continue providing a joyful, bookish blog.

Now the fun part.

I CREATED MY OWN TAG. Hot dang. To help y’all get to know me (and vice versa) I have created this Get to Know the Blogger Tag.

Also, if you have any questions for me, I would LOVE for you to leave them in the comments and I will make another post with the answers.

Rules:

  1. Thank the person who tagged you!
  2. Link back and credit the original creator (myself: GoodeyReads)
  3. Answer book questions about yourself.
  4. Answer the other questions about yourself.
  5. Change the last 5 questions when you tag someone else (if you want! – the more random the better)
  6. Tag at least 3 people.
  7. Have fun! (ooh, that was cliche)

A book about where you’re from (City, State, Country – your choice).

Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

I’m from the South (USA), and the best I could find (off the top of my head) was this book! It’s by an author in Austin, Texas. I don’t know much about it, but it sounded pretty interesting. A mix of different retellings put together.

A book about your favorite non-bookish hobby.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

I LOVED READING THIS BOOK. If you enjoy running in any way (walking totally counts), read this. I was fascinated and captivated and found it so informative. One of my favorite non-fiction reads.

A book about a fear of yours.

Skyward (Skyward #1) by Brandon Sanderson

I am so utterly terrified of flying. I mean seriously. It’s bad. Dramamine is my drug of choice to sleep my way there. Not only am I freaked out by the concept of being stuck in a metal tube without any control, I also get sick being that high and I get so miserable.

Spensa flying in those tiny ships all day? Yeah, I’m going to say NOPE for me.

A book about something that brings you joy.

Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small

Okay, up front: this book itself is not joyful. BUT, it’s about dancing. And I attended dance lessons from 3-18. I still turn on the music loud and dance around the house with my toddler. I love it, it’s cathartic. I also feel better about a good dancing session.

A book about your career/what you’re studying in school.

Human Anatomy & Physiology by Elaine N. Marieb, Katja Hoehn

I studied health in school, yet apparently haven’t read many specific health books since. This is a 1,200+ page textbook that I essentially read cover to cover for one of my classes. Hands down one of the hardest courses I ever took (it was one of those where a 70 on a test was considered an 90+).

What job would you be terrible doing?

Motivational speaker. I have such a fear of legit public speaking (not talking small group stuff, I’m okay there, but like hundreds of people kinda groups). I was asked to speak in church last week and had to say no because I literally started shaking as I was asked.

What’s a subject you wish you knew more about?

Anything medical/nutriotional. My degree is in health (and my dad and husband both have medical based careers) so I am always looking for great medical books to read.

In your opinion, what is the best day on the calendar and why?

July 4th. Y’all, my favorite holiday is the fourth of July. I AM OBSESSED with all things patriotic. I dress up in crazy outfits, make (and consume) a bunch of food and soak up all the sun. USA USA USA!

Oh, and I guess my birthday. I may or may not plead with my husband to celebrate a birthday week.

What is the craziest item you spent way too much on?

My treadmill. I dearly love it (and dearly need to get it fixed), but dude. Those things are pricey.

What’s a quirky thing you do?

Whenever I’m concentrating on something I stick my tongue out. This is anything from a test, to a Bookstagram photo shoot. Luckily my husband finds this adorable. I’ve been doing this since at least middle school.

I’m tagging more than 3 people to hopefully get this out there!

The Bibliophagist || Purple Manatees || TheGeekishBrunette || Reading with Jessica || Kristin Kraves Books || Literary Weaponry || The Reading Chemist || Shalini’s Books & Reviews || Becky’s Book Blog || The Secret Library Book Blog

No pressure! And if you weren’t tagged, please feel free to do this too! And tag me, I’d love to see your answers.

Let’s be friends on my other handles: Instagram || Goodreads

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Top Ten Tuesday: Standalone Books That Need A Sequel

Top Ten Tuesday is here again and we’re discussing Books That Need A Sequel. Going through my books I realized just how many series I read. Do I mind? Nope, I love series. But below are some great standalones that I felt could have more to make them even better or that I loved so much I want more from their world.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I could definitely live in this world again and get more of Celia and Marco.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Based off of what the book is about, you know the ending will hurt your soul. So I’m thinking a sequel where Catherine has a much happier ending, ya know?

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I absolutely adored this book and reading about Puck. Having more of this story and these crazy water horses would be so cool.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Sirens. Pirates. Slow-burn romances. GIVE ME MORE. (Review here).

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Now, she does have The Girl the Sea Gave Back coming out, but those have different characters even though it’s the same world. I would love more Eelyn and Fiske and am happy that they will at least appear in the next book! (Review here!)

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

I think this book was too brief. I did like it, but I think with even more story and tales it would be even greater. Especially if there was a PREQUEL book. Yes, this needs a prequel book. The Wicked Deep was a clever read that left me with so many mixed emotions.

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

I LOVED this book. And wish dearly I could have more of it. Levenseller has become one of my favorite authors.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

A book a few years down the line after Eleanor has conquered all of her demons, falling in love and living her best life. That would be one sweet book.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

I liked this book, but didn’t love it. If things were expanded and had time to flourish I think I would be allllll over it. Because there’s fairies and I love fairies.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

This was on of my favorite books from a few years ago. So many feelings. I could use a sequel with more Atlas and Lily because y’all, they deserve it.

Have you read any of these? What books do you think need sequels? Lets talk in the comments!

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Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: February 2019

March is here!

Lots of good reads this month! I finished the Shattered Realms series just in time for the last book to come out next week. Finally finished the Mistborn series and even found a contemporary I really enjoyed.

Life wise, my running injury is finally on the mend. We’re loving our new place and are loving the cool weather that is still sticking around.

Favorite from February: The Hero of Ages

Least favorite: The Dysasters

You win some, you lose some! Have you read any of these? Let’s talk in the comments! Happy March!

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