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WWW WEDNESDAY – DECEMBER 7

Good morning my friends! It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time for WWW Wednesday, a book meme to show off what you’ve been reading this past week. I am still not doing too hot, or I guess I should say, I’m not up to my usual speed yet.

Right now, I’m a little over halfway through The Bone Ships, and so far I guess it’s okay? I really genuinely do not care about any of the characters, and at halfway through that’s not a good sign. I’ve heard it gets better, though, so I’m going to at least finish this book. Then we’ll see if I want to read the next. I read The Lost Metal last week, and overall I liked it. It wasn’t up to my usual standards for Sanderson, but it was still a Sanderson book, so you know I enjoyed at least a little of it. Next, I really really really need to read some ARCs as they have piled up. I’m now at 12 sitting in my Netgalley shelf. Whoops. I think I’ll go in order they’re going to be released in, so next up is Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries.

Happy reading, my friends!

BOOKISH SMASH OR PASS BOOK TAG

My brain is basically dead this morning, so thinking of 10 books for Top Ten Tuesday just isn’t going to fly. Since I was tagged by the absolutely lovely Becky in her brand new tag, the Bookish Smash or Pass book tag, I thought I’d give it a go! LET’S GET GOING!

Bookish Tropes

I am definitely a smash for these — I love a good trope as long as it’s done right. I also really love subverting tropes, or taking a trope and turning it on it’s head. I love being surprised by a trope!

Alternating POV

Mostly a smash? I think single POV can be done very well by the right author.

Ambigious Endings

PASS. Not a huge fan of Ambiguous endings, I will say. I like things to have finality, a feeling that the story has wrapped up in a way that both makes sense, and is satisfying. Mistborn era 1 has the best ending of a series ever.

Non/Fiction

Paaaaaaass.

Historical Setting

Definite smash. I love anything set in the Victorian era for stuff with mysteries, and I love a Regency romance. As for fantasy, anything that feels historical is also something I tend to enjoy.

Morally Grey characters

Hm. If done right, I’m into it, but a lot of the time authors just write ‘morally grey’ characters that are in actuality, total jerks. I think I’ll pass.

First Person POV

Middling between smash and pass, is that an option? Sometimes it’s okay — romance books, but most of the time it’s not something I particularly enjoy — YA Books. It can definitely make a book feel more childish to me.

Audiobooks

Pass. I read faster than I can listen to someone read to me.

Re-reading

Oh absolute smash. I love, love, love rereading books. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reread HP3 or Sabriel, or His Dark Materials, or…god. Any of my favorite books, really.

Classic novels

DEFINITE PASS. The only experience I have with them is when I was in school, so I have no interest in reading them ever again. They’re written in complicated ways, and a lot of the time the story is something I don’t really have interest in, either.

Annotating

Pass — for one I read on my Kindle, and two I don’t want anyone writing in my books.

Cracking Book Spines

Smash. It’s a book. Meant to be enjoyed fully. What I don’t like is when people fold all the pages over and make it so the book will never lay flat again. My mom is guilty of this in all her paperbacks. Drives me insane.

Smut

Oh definite smash. I get disappointed if a romance fades to black, honestly.

Character Driven Books

Smash! I love character driven stuff.

Past/Present Split Timeline

Smash…ish? This can make or break a book for me, honestly. Anything with time travel — a favorite trope — needs this to work. But it can be done in really confusing ways, or in a easy to follow way. The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley did this, and all it did was confuse the hell out of me. I had such high hopes for that one, too.

Heavy World Building

Smash, as long as you see it through the character’s eyes as they move through the world, and not through straight info dump at the beginning of the novel.

So there it is, the Bookish Smash or Pass book tag! What do you think? I’m tagging a few of you:

BOOK REVIEW: THE LOST METAL BY BRANDON SANDERSON

the book cover for The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson

  • STAR RATING:  4ish stars
    PAGE LENGTH: 507 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: November 15, 2022 
  • PUBLISHER: Tor Books
    WHAT SERIES? The Mistborn Saga
  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? The Alloy of Law
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 4 in this era, 3 in the era before
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Death, body horror, kidnapping
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY:  Mistborn era 1 by Brandon Sanderson, The Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix

SYNOPSIS

For years, frontier lawman turned big-city senator Waxillium Ladrian has hunted the shadowy organization the Set-with his late uncle and his sister among their leaders – since they started kidnapping people with the power of Allomancy in their bloodlines. When Detective Marasi Colms, and her partner, Wayne, find stockpiled weapons bound for the Outer City of Bilming, this opens a new lead. Conflict between Elendel and the Outer Cities only favors the Set, and their tendrils now reach to the Elendel Senate – whose corruption Wax and Steris have sought to expose-and Bilming is even more entangled. After Wax discovers a new type of explosive that can unleash unprecedented destruction, and realizes that the Set must already have it, an immortal kandra serving Scadrial’s god, Harmony, reveals that Bilming has fallen under the influence of another god: Trell, worshipped by the Set. And Trell isn’t the only factor at play from the larger Cosmere-Marasi is recruited by offworlders with strange abilities who claim their goal is to protect Scadrial…at any cost. Wax must choose whether to set aside his rocky relationship with God and once again become the Sword that Harmony has groomed him to be. If no one steps forward to be the hero Scadrial needs, the planet and its millions of people will come to a sudden and calamitous ruin.

If you’ve been following me for a while on here, then you know that I’m quite a fan of Brandon Sanderson’s work. It’s not like I hide my opinion on his incredible talent, or his amazingly fascinating worlds or magic systems. Brandon Sanderson is a true genius at fantasy writing. There’s no doubt about it. I usually rave and rave about his latest books after I’m done reading them, but this time I find that I can’t do that.

The Lost Metal was good. It really was. A good ending to Mistborn, Era 2. So why do I feel just a little let down? I won’t spoil anything, I promise, but there’s a few things that just didn’t quite live up to my standards of Sanderson’s work. Which may be too high, honestly. I expect a lot from him, and maybe I should tone it down. ANYWAY.

I will admit that I did not reread the previous three novels before diving into this one. It’s possible that would have increased my enjoyment of this one. There’s a lot going on in this world, and it’s hard to keep things straight. ESPECIALLY when Sanderson introduces a lot of other cosmere-related characters in this book. (Aren’t sure what the cosmere is? A lot of Sanderson’s works take place in the same universe, and many of the characters are planet or world hoppers, meaning they can appear in more than one series. Confusing? You bet. But it’s also super cool to see a familiar face in a new series.) Sanderson took the cosmere up a notch in this book, and like I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’m not sure it worked for me this time.

So how come? Well, when you have to read all the other cosmere-related books (probably 10+ books at this point) to understand something, it can be a bit of a drag. AND THAT’S COMING FROM SOMEONE WHO HAS READ ALL THE OTHER COSMERE BOOKS. It’s a lot to be familiar with and remember, especially when you’re a heavy reader like me. So basically, I guess what I’m saying is this. The book was decent, it just had too many…details? I guess? That sounds ridiculous, and I’m aware of it.

ANYWAY, I love Wax, and I love, love, love Wayne. I’m so glad he was featured prominently in this one. Marasai is still fascinating, but I was THRILLED to see that Steris’s talents were finally put to use on a grand scale in this one. She deserved the spotlight and the recognition. Sanderson’s female characters never really disappoint — they’re all vastly different from each other, and I love that they’re not reduced down to love interests or wallflowers. I’ll definitely be picking up the next Mistborn era when it comes out, but with some hesitancy, I guess.

Did this review make any sense whatsoever? Who knows.

Add to your Goodreads, or order at at the following links:

GOODREADS | BOOKSHOP.ORG | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

The First Ever Year-Long Scavenger Hunt!

Last year, my husband and I did a version of Reddit’s Sci-fi/Fantasy Bingo. I got bingo at least three times, but ultimately did not finish out my card. In 2023, I thought I’d change things up a bit, and I’m inviting all of you to join in! Next year, I will host THE YEAR-LONG SCAVENGER HUNT!

What’s the Year-Long Scavenger Hunt, you ask? Well, it’s basically a bingo, but with a few differences. There are 31 prompts for the entire year — January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023. You can choose to read 31 books where each book fits a different prompt or you can choose to find books that fit multiple prompts. The more times over you complete the entire Hunt, the cooler you are. And don’t we all want to be super cool???

Few things:

  1. Rereads count as long as you read the book within the year of 2023.
  2. You don’t have to do this with Sci-fi/Fantasy books, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be easier if you do.
  3. There’s no one here to slap your wrist if you do something ‘wrong’. Have fun with this!

Without further ado — here are our 2023 Scavenger Hunt prompts:

And in text form, for those of you that need it:

  1. Animal sidekick
  2. Inspired by a culture OTHER than any in Western Europe
  3. Debut
  4. Merlin character
  5. Green cover
  6. Female villain
  7. Time travel
  8. Final book in a series
  9. Sword on the cover
  10. Found family
  11. Title __ of __
  12. New to you author
  13. Retelling
  14. YA Book
  15. Set on a space ship
  16. Magic house
  17. Urban Fantasy
  18. More than 2 women
  19. First person POV
  20. Hugo winner
  21. LGBTQ+ Main Character
  22. Pirates
  23. 2023 Release
  24. POC Author
  25. Space Opera
  26. Witches
  27. Dragons
  28. Standalone
  29. Over 500 pages
  30. High fantasy
  31. Cool Weapon

If you have questions about any prompt, please just ask. This is supposed to be a friendly, fun little way to collect books over the year.

Do you think you’ll join me in the Hunt this year? Let me know in the comments!

WWW WEDNESDAY – NOVEMBER 30

Good morning my darlings! It’s the very last day of November, and then it’ll be onto DECEMBER. Which is simultaneously one of my favorite months and one of my least favorite. Any guesses why? (It’s crappy weather, but CHRISTMAS!!!! We love Christmas here.) Anyway, my slump is doing better, but still not great.

I’m most of the way through The Lost Metal, which I am FLYING through. I’ll probably finish it today or tomorrow, honestly. I’m liking it just like I like most Sanderson books, but the cosmere related stuff might finally have reached the TOO MUCH level for my tastes. You have to read almost all of his other cosmere books to understand what’s going on. I finished up Georgie, All Along last week, and love love loved it. You can find my review here. Next, I’ll dive into The Bone Ships, because my husband has been asking me to for quite awhile and he’s highly recommended it.

What are you reading?

ARC REVIEW: GEORGIE, ALL ALONG BY KATE CLAYBORN

the book cover for Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn
  • STAR RATING:  5 ENORMOUS stars
    PAGE LENGTH: 320 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: January 31st 2023 
  • PUBLISHER: Kensington Books
    CONTENT WARNINGS: Child abuse, Emotional abuse, Drug use
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY:  In a Jam by Kate Canterbary

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books for providing an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

SYNOPSIS

In this heartfelt tale of one woman’s quest to reinvent herself, the acclaimed author of Love Lettering and Love at First delivers a poignant, witty reflection on how the hopes, dreams, and stories from our past shape our future . . .

Longtime personal assistant Georgie Mulcahy has made a career out of putting others before herself. When an unexpected upheaval sends her away from her hectic job in L.A. and back to her hometown, Georgie must confront an uncomfortable truth: her own wants and needs have always been a disconcertingly blank page.

But then Georgie comes across a forgotten artifact—a “friendfic” diary she wrote as a teenager, filled with possibilities she once imagined. To an overwhelmed Georgie, the diary’s simple, small-scale ideas are a lifeline—a guidebook for getting started on a new path.

Georgie’s plans hit a snag when she comes face to face with an unexpected roommate—Levi Fanning, onetime town troublemaker and current town hermit. But this quiet, grouchy man is more than just his reputation, and he offers to help Georgie with her quest. As the two make their way through her wishlist, Georgie begins to realize that what she truly wants might not be in the pages of her diary after all, but right by her side—if only they can both find a way to let go of the pasts that hold them back.

Honest and deeply emotional, Georgie, All Along is a smart, tender must-read for everyone who’s ever wondered about the life that got away . . .

Georgie, All Along is a profoundly lovely story about self-discovery and figuring yourself out. Yes, it’s a romance book, but I found that wasn’t the most important part of it for me. Georgie is lost — she’s been let go from her important assistant job out in Hollywood, and has found herself slinking back to her home town. She’s supposed to be staying her parent’s house while they’re out vacationing, but the first night she’s there a man walks right into the house while she’s dancing in her robe and underwear. That night will forever change her life — in the best way possible.

I love, love, loved this book. Every character in it felt like someone I know in real life. They all were dynamic, and understandable and dang if they didn’t just breathe right off the page. Georgie reminded me so much of myself I wanted to scream. She’s such a lovely, bright, bubbly person but all she does is help everyone else. Once she realizes this, she’s even more lost than she already was — who is she when she’s just taking care of herself? Who is she when she has no one to help? Who is she when she looks forward and stops thinking about right now? Georgie finds the answers to all of these, and gah. I want to be her best friend, but that role is already taken by Bel, another fantastic character.

But even more than I loved Georgie, I loved Levi. What a strong person. What a horrible past. What god-awful parents. I loved that Clayborn gave him such a thorough backstory, but what was best was that she sort of peppered it in. You learn in bits and pieces and then when it all finally comes out you want to take Levi and hold him tight. I love that he took his hurt and used it it improve himself, and make a life that he wanted. I loved that he was silly with Georgie, but generally a quiet man. He took care of her without smothering her — Levi let Georgie be Georgie. He loved her — all of her, not just the palatable bits. Georgie and Levi fit together like puzzle pieces.

It’s obvious I’m just gushing now, but I really adored this book. This one is one I’ll come back to again and again, just hoping for more Georgie and Levi. Go pick this one up the second it comes out, okay?

GEORGIE, ALL ALONG comes out JANUARY 31, 2023.

Add to your Goodreads, or preorder at at the following links:

GOODREADS | BOOKSHOP.ORG | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

Life in Books Book Tag

I saw this on the lovely Dini‘s blog and I had to grab it. I really like the questions on this one!

Find a book for each of your initials

I loved each of these books, so I thought I’d use them! BUT DANG ISN’T IT HARD TO FIND A BOOK THAT STARTS WITH J.

Count your age along your bookshelf—what book is it?

I love Jenny Lawson so much — if you haven’t read her books you’re really missing out. She’s hilarious, witty, and just plain crazy sometimes.

Name a book set in your city/country?

I actually had an ARC of this one and was pleasantly surprised to see it took place in my city! I gave up on reading it, though, as I couldn’t get past the ultimate cheese that was the writing.

Name a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to

The book cover for Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I would absolutely love the chance to go to Scotland, or just the UK in general. Really, my most wanted destination is Italy, but I can’t currently think of a book that I’ve read that takes place in Italy.

Name your favorite childhood book

The book cover for Sabriel by Garth Nix

Was anyone really expecting another answer? I could have put Harry Potter — that absolutely would have fit, too, but I’m trying my best to distance myself from the series these days. The story will always be one I’m partial to, but Rowling does not need any more attention from me.

Name a book that’s your favorite colour

Teal / Turquoise for the win! I gave you a bunch bc I had fun scrolling through my images on here, and bc I couldn’t choose!

Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

the cover for a compilation of The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson

Because the Mistborn series is the first series I picked up on my husband’s recommendation. He turned my attention to Sanderson, and needless to say, I fell in love. With my husband (not just because of his book recs, LOL) and with Sanderson’s works!

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

the book cover for The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

This is the only one I can think of right now, but it isn’t the most recent book I’ve struggled through. While I love the story of LOTR, the book is needlessly long. (Yes, you can yell at me. But I didn’t need 11 pages describing Bilbo’s birthday cake.) I love the Hobbit, but LOTR is too much for me. I vastly prefer the movies. Sorry.

Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

If I ever get around to reading all of Terry Pratchett’s works, I think I could feel proud of myself. I have a huge chunk of them on my kindle I just need to sit down and read them!

I’m going to tag:

TOP TEN TUESDAY – THANKFUL

Good morning, friends! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about being grateful. I thought I’d pick out the ARCs and books I received this year that I was so, so thankful to get to read early. Basically — the ARCS that I loved the most. Check out my list below. Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Most, if not all of these, were five star reads. I am so beyond thankful to the publishers for allowing me to read these books early. I am still so surprised that I get ARCs. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And if you haven’t read any of these — pick them up as soon as you can!!!!!

END OF THE YEAR BOOK TAG

Hey ya’ll. I don’t have much for the rest of the week, so I thought I’d throw a tag at you. I got tagged in this one by Michaela @ Journey Into Books!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Hmm. The only books I’ve started and not finished are ones that I’m not going to be picking back up. Everything else I’ve finished! Unless you count the book I’m literally reading right now, which is Georgie, All Along!

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

Not really! I have books that remind me of Christmastime or Winter, but not really any that remind me of autumn, funny enough.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

As of right now, nope. All my anticipated books are out in the world! A Taste of Gold and Iron, A Restless Truth, Nona the Ninth, and The Lost Metal were the ones I was waiting rather breathlessly for. Can’t wait to get into The Lost Metal!

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Oh tons, but I’m not sure I’ll get to them all. These are the ones I’m hoping to get to, at least:

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

I’m not sure, actually! I had high hopes for The Foxglove King, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved that book.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2023?

Vague plans. Very vague plans! I already have a few ARCs for things coming out next year!

I Tag

WWW WEDNESDAY – NOVEMBER 16

Hello everyone! The slump is still lingering, so you get minimal updates from me until I return to full reading strength, unfortunately. There’s just not much to blog about when you’re struggling to get through a book a week. BUT here I am anyway, telling you what I’ve been working through.

Alsoooooo we might be getting 4 – 6 FEET of snow this weekend so I guess I really need to push through this slump. That’s prime reading-under-a-blanket-with-a-cat weather!!!

I’m a decent chunk of the way into Georgie, All Along and I’m enjoying it! I can’t wait to get to the steam — here’s hoping it’s nice and hot. I finished up The Foxglove King this weekend, and my review went up for it yesterday. You can read it here. Next, I should probably get to Pride and Puppies, as it’s coming out in a few days. Whoops.

reviewing fantasy, sci-fi, and romance novels