Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

I can’t believe it’s half-way through the year already! Despite having some moments where it’s dragged on, I’m still stuck thinking that it’s March or April, not June! And I’m out of school, too, which is fantastic!

I’ve seen this tag in a few different places, but forgot to write down where I saw it last.

The best book that you’ve read so far from 2019?

Best sequel that you’ve read so far in 2019?

New release that you haven’t read yet, but want to?

Most anticipated release for the next half of 2019?

Biggest disappointment in 2019?

This wasn’t a bad book by any stretch of the imagination. It was very well done and well written. However, it was dark and depressing and left me feeling down, which was not what I expected.

Biggest surprise in 2019?

How much I liked the Infernal Devices series.

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)?

Bridget Kemmerer is a new-to-me author who has become a favorite.

Newest fictional crush?

Grey from A Curse so Dark and Lonely.

Newest favorite character?

Audrey Rose from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.

A book that made you cry?

But out of happiness.

A book that made you happy?

The most beautiful book you’ve bought or received in 2019?

The Infernal Devices trilogy. The books are gorgeous, right down to the spines.

What book do you need to read by the end of 2019?

A Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, dammit!

Tag, you’re it!

Top 10 All-Time Favorites

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Shanah @ Bionic Book WormEach week, she posts a new topic and gives us all a chance to respond.   This week’s top 5 is actually a top 10: Top 10 All-time Favorites. Here are mine!

I’ve talked about Beauty by Robin McKinley many time before. After all these years, it’s still my favorite Beauty and the Beast retelling of all time. There’s just something so soothing and beautiful about this book. I love the characters and the plot and just everything about it.

Another book by Robin McKinley, Outlaws of Sherwood was my introduction to Robin Hood (outside of the Disney movie). I mean, Prince of Thieves came out around the same time I read the book, so I knew who Robin Hood was, but I didn’t see the movie until many years later. I guess, this was my literary introduction to Robin Hood, and it remains a favorite. It has everything I want: a noble hero with a bit of a temper, colorful side characters, my all-time favorite trope, and people who are in love with each other but don’t admit it out of a misguided sense of nobility. I love it.

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire is my all-time favorite Star Wars book. There’s nothing about this book I don’t love. The characterization of the movie-characters is spot-on. The villain is terrifying and brilliant and set the standard for all villains for me. The new characters, especially Mara Jade and Talon Karrde, are so interesting, I could read novels devoted to just them. It reawakened my love for Star Wars and got me creative in a way only a few books had ever done for me in before.

I have to confess: I saw the BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice before I read the book, but I just couldn’t get into it until I could properly visualize the characters. Once I had an idea of the language in my head, I was able to read it and I’ve loved the book ever since. I also have to confess that I’ve never been as in love with Darcy as the rest of the world is; to me, the book is all about Elizabeth Bennett and how awesome she is. Darcy is just the cherry on top of all that awesomeness.

Persuasion is one that sort of snuck up on me. I was in my twenties when I reread this, and I appreciated it so much more than I had originally. And when I got to Wentworth’s letter to Anne, I just melted and fell in love.

I only fell in love with Northanger Abbey a few years ago, but I love it so much, I had to include it. Catherine is just so funny and so real. I love how she’s romantic and dreamy, but when she’s tested, she’s able to get through hard times. I love her family and how supportive they are of her. And I love the sarcastic and charming Henry Tilney. It’s just a delightful book.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite book in the Harry Potter series. I liked Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets, but the expansion of the world in PoA just got to me. I loved the Marauders and the map. I loved Remus Lupin when he was introduced and his relationship with Harry. It was just a great book.

Lady of the Forest was a book I discovered in college at the library. I was about halfway through when I ran out and bought it for myself, because I loved it that much. It was a Marian-centric retelling of Robin Hood and I loved the Marian it gave me. I also loved Robin, who was suffering of PTSD after being a prisoner of war for many years. It was just so, so good.

I was very much into pirates and age of sail stories when I was a kid, so True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle felt like it was written for me. It’s not about pirates, but it is about a girl who finds herself on a ship where the crew is being oppressed by a cruel captain. She finds herself in the middle of the conflict and eventually must choose a side. I love Charlotte and wish Avi had written more of her adventures.

I got into Star Trek: The Next Generation in high school when I watched the same episode four times in one week and thought, “This is good. I should see another episode.” I was a huge superfan and spent hours and hours watching, reading, and writing about Star Trek. Peter David was my favorite author and Q was my favorite recurring character. This book is perfect. It is so good, I wish they had filmed it as the final episode instead of All Good Things (or, at least, in addition to). I’ve read it over twenty times and will probably read it another twenty in my lifetime. (Well, maybe not that much, but you get the idea).

So, those are my top 10 favorite books of all time. What are some of yours? Drop me a comment below and let me know!

Sunday Post – June 8

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the Caffeinated Reviewer . It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things you’ve received. The rules are here: The Sunday Post.

And, just like that, the school year is OVER! I’m free! This week actually went by pretty quickly, all told. There were moments I was convinced I couldn’t make it, but by Wednesday things were looking good. I successfully had my first ice cream party for the kids, and it wasn’t the disaster I’d always imagined. Then, on Friday, I managed to keep them all engaged long enough to get through the half day, and I was done. I am so relieved because this year has been tough. It was a nice class and there weren’t a lot of behavior problems, but they were so talkative and so high energy, that it took a lot out of me. Now, I have a week off, then an educational conference, then my summer really gets going.

Yesterday, I got to see the stage musical of School of Rock, which was a lot of fun. The kids were amazingly talented. They were so good on their instruments, and one of the kids has only been playing for two years! They blew me away.

I didn’t get a whole lot of reading done this week. I was tired after school and one day, I actually forgot my book at school. I also started writing a new story, so that’s what I worked on after work instead of reading. But now, I have long summer days ahead to catch up.

Monday: Caraval (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Debut Novels

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Clockwork Prince (review)

Friday: Literary Dinner Party tag

Saturday: Shatter Me (review)

Monday: With the Fire on High (review)

Tuesday: Top 10 All-Time Favorites

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Friday: TBD

Saturday: City of Ember (review)

Also, for anyone interested, Clockwork Princess still hasn’t been delivered. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll show up by Monday, which was the last day in the window they gave me. I’m so sad that it’s not in my hands.

How was your week? Read anything great? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Sunday Post: June 2

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the Caffeinated Reviewer . It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things you’ve received. The rules are here: The Sunday Post.

I was in full on survival mode this week. It was the second to last week of school, I was still testing kids, doing grades, having meetings that ended up not happening at the last minute, and trying to keep the kids from going off the rails. Every night, I came home totally exhausted. I wasn’t able to blog hop at all. Practically, all I did was stared at the wall until it was time to go to bed, read a bit, then slept. I will be so glad when this school year is over. Five more days!

Monday: F is for Fugitive (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Summertime Reads

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Escaping from Houdini (review)

Friday: Book Addiction Tag

Saturday: May Wrap-up

Monday: Caravel (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Debut Novels

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Clockwork Prince (review)

Friday: Literary Dinner Party tag

Saturday: Shatter Me (review)

How was your week? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Book Review: Clockwork Angel

Title: Clockwork Angel

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Paperback

Tessa Gray travels to Victorian England to live with her brother, Nathaniel, after the passing of their aunt. But instead of the quiet life she expects, she’s abducted by the mysterious “Dark Sisters” who teach her to use a power she never knew she had: the ability to change shape into another person. Under threat from the Pandemonium Club and the Magister, the head of the organization, Tess despairs of ever being free again. However, she is rescued by a group of warriors called the Shadowhunters, who free her from the clutches of the Dark Sisters and thrust her into a world unlike she has ever known.

I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up sort of on a whim when I was at the library the other day. They didn’t have another book I wanted, and my sister has told me that she thought I’d enjoy this one, so I decided to give it a try. I found the plot really engaging and didn’t want to put the book down. I was intrigued by the magic system and the Nephilim and Downworlds. I thought the organization and rules of the world were very clever.

The character were interesting, but they do feel a little unfinished somehow. They’re painted in broad strokes. Will Herondale, who is sharp, caustic, clever, and beautiful, borders on being more of a cliche than a fully realized character. However, he has some depth to him that pops up throughout the book that saves him from being too shallow (in fact, for all that I feel he’s not quite a fully realized character, yet, he reminds me a lot of someone I know in real life. So I’m not quite sure what to do with that.) I think, however, it’s less to do with the writing and character and more to do with the fact this is the first book in the series and just an introduction. The ending certainly suggests there’s a lot more to Will.

I also really liked Tessa. She’s your typical heroine where she thinks she’s average and ordinary, and then is thrust into extraordinary circumstances. I like how she adapts to her situation, and I especially like that one of the main ways she adapts is through books and reading. I like how she deals with Will and how sure of her own worth she is.

I’m a little less than thrilled that there appears there may be a love triangle in the series. I’m not totally opposed to them, but I’m not usually happy when they appear. I am very concerned as to how it will play out.

This book was a really fun read. I almost wish I hadn’t read it first out of my selections, because I have three more books to read before I go back to get the other Infernal Devices books. Unless, you know, I say screw it and just go and get them anyway. We’ll see.

April Wrap-up

Wow, another month down. I can’t believe it’s May already; April went by in a blur. I’ve now been blogging for two months and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve fallen into a routine that’s a good fit, I’m reading a lot, and reviewing pretty much everything I read. It’s been a great month!

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

In the month of April, I read:

15 books: 6 physical, 2 audio, and 7 e-books.

a total of 4649 pages.

13 female authors, one male, and one non-binary author

5 YA books, 1 middle grade, and 9 adult books.

1 fantasy, 2 mystery, 7 fiction, 2 m/f romance, 1 m/m historical, 1 m/m fantasy, and 1 self help.

4 library books, 5 purchases, and 5 e-ARCs from NetGalley, and 1 I won in a giveaway from Goodreads.

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan

Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

An Artless Demise by Anna Lee Huber

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

The Earl Next Door by Amelia Gray

Milady by Laura L. Sullivan

Any Old Diamonds by K.J. Charles

The Stone Rainbow by Liane Shaw

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Top 10 Things that Make Me Pick Up A Book

Top 5 Romantic Reads

Reader Problems Book Tag

Blogger Recognition Award

Top 5 Reads I Predict Will be 5 Stars

Top 5 Mind-blowing Mysteries/Thrillers

I Should Have Read That Tag

Top 5 Sequels I Need to Get To

Wow. I had a busy month!

How was your April? Did you get around to reading everything on your TBR? Drop a comment below and let me know!

WWW Wednesday May 1

And we made it to May! April was actually a pretty quick month for me, what with spring break, but it’s nice to be in a new month. And it’s Wednesday, so let’s get this started.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, you answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you just finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading An American Duchess by Caroline Fyffe. It reminds me a little of Downton Abbey in that an heir dies and they have to search for the new heir. Only this one is the son of the duke, thought to be illegitimate but it turns out he’s not. When he finds out he’s going to be the new duke, he marries his new love in a whirlwind and they swan off to England so he can assume his responsibilities. There’s also a girl named Charlotte, who works in the village bakery but takes over as a scullery maid when her cousin falls ill. It’s interesting and I’m enjoying it so far.

Play it Again by Aidan Wayne is about a popular YouTuber named Dovid who starts following a gamer on Youtube named Sam. Dovid promotes Sam’s channel on his, and Sam’s popularity soars. They being exchanging DMs, which eventually leads to a relationship. It was a cute book, but without much substance or depth. It felt very safe and superficial. My full review will be up Thursday.

Next, I’m going to read Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi. I just reread the first book, and I am ready to the next. I love the characters, I love that it centers around girls, and I love learning about new gods and goddesses. It’s a win all around.

What are your reading plans for the upcoming week? Drop a comment below to let me know!