Tag Archives: Books

Discussion: Falling Out of Love with an Author/Series

discussion

FALLING OUT OF LOVE WITH AN AUTHOR/SERIES

I’ve fallen out of love with quite a few series over the past few years and it’s always hard to make the decision to part with books you once loved. It’s always hits hard when I think about how much I loved a particular book or series and then realizing that the love just isn’t there anymore. Sometimes it’s a direction that the series took, sometimes it’s an incident that made me see the author/series in a different light, and other times it’s just not quite the topic or series for me anymore.

Sometimes, this is why I love stand-alone novels. The publishing industry seems both fast and slow. Putting out one book of a series per year may seem like forever to wait for it but I know there’s soooo much more that goes on in order to get that book to publication, like you know… writing it. While it feels like we wait forever for a series to finish, I’m sure for an author it can feel like a mad dash to stick to the one-book-per-year pressure! And at the same time, I‘ve fallen out of love with series over the span of two or three years simply because I’m a different person than when I started reading it. I started the SWEET EVIL series when I was a baby blogger four or five years ago and I JUST LOVED IT. Then by the time that series wrapped up last year, I lost all interest in even finishing the series. Part of it was that I didn’t love the second book as much as the first but by the time the third book came out, I wasn’t the same person or the same reader that I was when I had read the first book. It was so sad to see how much I had loved and fangirled over the first book and then my love for the series just changing over time because of how my life had changed me.

Other times, it’s heart-breaking to see a series change with each book. There are plenty of books that I’ve read where I really enjoyed the first book in a series and then the second book just took a turn that baffled me! I think that is harder to take than just falling out of love with a series because of life-changes. It’s a disappointment that settles in when you were expecting the series to go one way and it totally goes somewhere that you’re not expecting. I positively adoooored REBEL OF THE SANDS but reading the second book just felt so…. different, and I just wasn’t on board with everything that happened in TRAITOR TO THE THRONE. Usually the changes aren’t too drastic but there have been a few series where it just didn’t even feel like the same characters or plot and I just had a hard time wanting to read the second book, much less continue on with the rest of the series, even if it was only one more book.

And the worst, I think, it’s falling out of love with an author completely. By now, you may know that I am not as into Sarah J. Maas’ books as I used to be. I hopped on late to the THRONE OF GLASS fandom but I fell in loooove with CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, HEIR OF FIRE, and QUEEN OF SHADOWS was actually my top top read of that year. I also really enjoyed A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES and was impressed with how it still felt like Sarah J. Maas but was different from the Throne of Glass series. Then I started having… issues. I just couldn’t get into EMPIRE OF STORMS and I never got in the swing of the book. I was surprised and disappointed to see the same elements pop up in EMPIRE OF STORMS that I had just read in A COURT OF MIST AND FURY. I had a hard time with some of the writing styles and dialogue in ACOMAF, didn’t get the pacing in EoS, and barely even had the desire to read A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN, which ended up really disappointing me even going into it knowing that I wasn’t going to love it. I was just so shocked and a little heart-broken (or something less dramatic) that I just wasn’t loving her books as much. I simply adored QUEEN OF SHADOWS and I don’t know if it was me or the books but somewhere along the way, I lost that passion and the little things ended up being a main focus of irritation instead of seeing those big things that I loved as a whole. The series just felt… different by the end and so many things had happened that I almost didn’t feel like I was reading the same books anymore. Again, just my personal opinion but it’s the most notable change for me and the one that sticks out when talking about this topic. I’ll still be finishing the Throne of Glass series since I’m almost done and so far in but I’m not excited about it anymore, and that makes me sad.

BUT this happens! It’s a natural progression of a reader’s life, I think, and really it’s all the books’ fault!! I’ve changed so much because I read so much, so in a way, the fact that I’m a reader in itself has been the cause for a lot of my feelings to change. The more I read, the more I learn what I like. The more I see more technical things like world-building and character development. The more I discover magical new concepts and get tired of repeated ones. I guess reading it both a blessing and a curse when it comes to finishing old series and starting new ones! There’s always something new out there so it can be comforting to come back to a series that you’ve been keeping up with for years or it can be tiring that it’s not quite what you felt it used to be.

 

Are there any series or authors that you’ve fallen out of love with over the years? What caused your opinions to change? How do you deal with it — do you push on and finish a series or just let it be?

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) – Renee Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) – Renee AhdiehTitle: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renee Ahdieh
Publishing Info: May 16, 2017 by Penguin
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes, Audible
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: May 27, 2017
Related Posts: The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

bookreview1

Welp. The hype got this one for me. I actually went in with an open mind because I had no idea what to expect and despite not totally loving THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, I wanted to go into a new series with no reservations. I still ended up hitting some of the same issues that I encountered with WRATH though without even realizing it until I was done with the book.

FLAME IN THE MIST turned out to be a much slower-paced fantasy than I thought. I don’t mind slower pace BUT I didn’t feel like there was enough character development to create that sense of a character-driven novel when plot isn’t action-packed. The story was moving forward and things were happening but it wasn’t a whole lot to actually continuously keep the plot engaging. I don’t need all action, all the time, to enjoy a book but when action slows down, that’s where characters shine and it didn’t feel like there was a lot of dialogue to really get to know the characters or interact with them.

Most of the book took place in the first chapter and the last 25%. I feel like I barely got to know the main characters at all and most of the things I knew about them, I was told instead of actually seeing. The relationships were confusing until the romance was clearly outlined because there was a little tension with a few people until the romance finally started developing into what it was. The plot could have used some cleaning up and there wasn’t a really clear focus for a while. Aside from Mariko surviving the attack in the first few chapters (not a spoiler – it’s literally in the synopsis and happens in the first chapter), I wasn’t sure what her motivation was or what the point of the book was. Revenge? That’s it? Which is fine, but the reader can tell that more political motivations will also be involved, being the daughter of an important family, and I just wanted to explore more of that right off the bat. Instead of something being introduced and working it into the story throughout the book, it seemed like a concept was introduced and had to be expanded upon right away instead of letting the story naturally unfold over time.

The whole book felt a little too… open. Like I always say, I don’t need things clearly spelled out for me but I would like a better feel of what the book is, where it’s going, and who these characters are. I just didn’t feel like enough was developed. I got bored waiting for something to catch me and this just didn’t do it for me. Who else is not surprised I’m a black sheep on this book? Sigh.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Non-European fantasy. So many high fantasy novels are based on European concepts or settings and I really enjoyed the Japanese influence in this book! I can’t really judge how well it was done since I don’t know much about the culture in specific there but it was refreshing to take a fantasy somewhere else.
Left Me Wanting More: Development. I love character-driven novels and I don’t always need jam-packed plots to keep me interested but I felt like neither the plot nor the characters were really developed enough to hook me into this world.

Addiction Rating
Get a second opinion

I know I personally won’t be continuing this series. Maybe I just don’t click with Renee Ahdieh’s writing? I had a hard time with THE WRATH AND THE DAWN taking a while to get somewhere and then BAM it finally did, a little similar to FLAME IN THE MIST, so maybe it’s just a me thing! I know many people who have loved both series so far but I just don’t appear to be one of them.

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE FLAME IN THE MIST

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    THE STORY SPINNER

Royal Reads | Kings

I feel like I’ve been reading a lot “Royal Reads” lately, mostly because I seem to really enjoy a lot of high fantasy! A lot of my recent reads have featured some royal titles of King, Queen, etc so I thought it would be fun to put together a mini-series of some of my favorite “Royal Reads”!

Today, we’re talking Kings. Real kings, fictional kings, kings of imaginary worlds… doesn’t matter — I love ’em all!


THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater

Naturally one of my first thoughts is THE RAVEN KING. The Raven Cycle is one of my all-time favorite series and just this title along evoked a lot of feelings! It’s definitely unique, totally magical, and a wonderful series full of amazingly in-depth characters.
Review | Goodreads


THE WICKER KING by K. Ancrum

THE WICKER KING  was a very interesting read! The book was very well put-together in structure and in plot and the pacing was incredible! I definitely didn’t want to put it down at any point and I think this will be a big buzz-book in the fall!
ReviewGoodreads


THE KING OF ATTOLIA by Megan Whelan Turner

I still haven’t written my reviews yet for the Queen’s Thief books but I binge read them on audio and had such a great time listening to them! THE KING OF ATTOLIA is smack in the middle of the series so I can’t say much about it specifically but it’s a really interesting series in its structure and where it takes the reader!
Review | Goodreads


THE WAY OF KINGS by Brandon Sanderson

I’m determined to read all of Brandon Sanderson’s works and I finally stared on The Stormlight Archive. If I thought a 600 page book was a little intimidating, it had nothing on these 1000+ page books. THE WAY OF KINGS was different than what I had expected but I’m so curious about the next book! I’m hoping it has a bit more development and I can’t imagine it won’t with where this left off!
Review | Goodreads


A CLASH OF KINGS by George R.R. Martin

And what kingly feature would be complete without one of the most epic throne battles, A Song of Ice and Fire? It’s already been so long since I’ve read the books (well, I guess not as long as some people but a few years for me already, somehow!) and I need to catch up on the TV show. I’d love to re-read these someday but maybe the show will have to suffice for reliving these books again!
Review | Goodreads


What are some of your favorite kingly reads? What else needs to be on my TBR for these royal reads in the way of kings that I haven’t read yet?

The Crown’s Fate (The Crown’s Game #2) – Evelyn Skye

The Crown’s Fate (The Crown’s Game #2) – Evelyn SkyeTitle: The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game #2) by Evelyn Skye
Publishing Info: May 16, 2017 by HarperCollins
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes, Audible
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: May 23, 2017
Related Posts: The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game #1)

Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

bookreview1

** Warning: This review DOES contain spoilers for the book! I will be talking about specifics! ** 

THE CROWN’S GAME was one of my favorite reads of 2016 and I absolutely loved how much it reminded me of THE NIGHT CIRCUS in so many ways (which I actually just finished re-reading and it cemented this feeling even more)! Naturally, I was very excited to read THE CROWN’S FATE and it was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017! It’s always so hard when I have an most-anticipate read coming up because I tend to hype the book up for myself so it was an interesting experience reading THE CROWN’S FATE!

There’s no way I can talk about this book without specific spoilers, so first I’ll talk about some non-spoilery things! I loved that this world felt the same! There are some times with sequels that it feels like a totally different book but I was able to fall back into this world right where I left off.
The world where we left it after THE CROWN’S GAME was much more political and while I don’t mind that, I did miss some of that fun and a “challenge” aspect of THE CROWN’S GAME itself (the game, not the book) because it was a fun structure and involved some creativity on the characters’ parts to explore their abilities.
And I still love Pasha. He was very different in this book because of all the political ramifications and situations that he had to deal with so he just wasn’t as much fun but I still loved his spirit.

Okay, so here are the spoilers. While the world felt the same, why why whyyyyy did we have to have Nikolai turn bad?! Nikolai was too pure and sweet and precious and he was my favorite part of the whole darn book, so I was SO SAD to see that his character was essentially removed from the story line since his whole personality changed. I know it was because of REASONS, yes, but still. My favorite part of this story was changed and to boot, that affected the romance too which I wanted to see developed even MORE but that got put on hold because “bad” Nikolai, of course, wasn’t pursuing romance. SIGH. The book was still enjoyable but this changed so many things and took away those little nuances that really had me enjoying the series so much!

I also just wanted more magic…? The magic involved in this book was kind of dark, which is cool, I can appreciate dark magic… But I missed that sparring between Vika and Nikolai so much. I guess I’m just tired of everything ending in war or battles (which is silly considering that this series is also kiiiiind of historical fiction, with magic) so I didn’t really want to see things come to that. I just really loved the structure of the Game itself, which encouraged the enchanters to grow and explore their powers and THE CROWN’S FATE was more of a desperate battle for power or to stop that power, so it lost that magic and that spark that I loved so much. I didn’t feel as enchanted, no pun intended.

I DID appreciate that things didn’t turn out too sunshine-y though. I actually liked what happened to Vika in the end, actually. There has to be something in the events of war because no one comes out wholly unscathed and it’s a great shock to readers when something happens to a main character, even if it’s not a death. I applaud Evelyn Skye for taking it there like so many other authors have avoided. I know it’s hard to have something difficult happen to your characters without a way to “save” them but these things need to be done to keep things realistic or at least not a cheesy happy ending.

When it comes down to it, this was not the ending I was expecting or hoping for the series but I also appreciated how it wrapped up. I think I just wanted more romance and more Nikolai. Always more Nikolai.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Historical fiction meets magic. I never used to enjoy history or historical fiction so I’ve really been appreciating books that combine it with magical elements! It’s kind of a way for me to catch up on some historical events or at least feelings, even if they are fictionalized and combined with other things.
Left Me Wanting More: Romance. I don’t always need romance in a book but I was so delighted by the relationship between Vika and Nikolai in the first book and things were heading in a great direction… until the end. But then they didn’t really continue in this book!! I almost feel like THE CROWN’S GAME should have been a stand alone in many ways, but maybe that’s just because I didn’t totally love the finale here.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

If you loved THE CROWN’S GAME, it’s definitely still worth the read! It was different than what I was expecting and I would have loved just a bit more but I also did appreciate so many things still!

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE THE CROWN’S GAME

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    GRAVE MERCY

The Link List: Bookish Candle Companies

I love lists and having tons of information all in one place. The idea started with a list of Harry Potter quizzes and escalated from there! Check out today’s Link List with all your go-tos for Bookish Candle Companies!

Okay, so the obsession with bookish candles doesn’t get any better once you start making your own. I’ll tell you that right now. In fact, it’s only gotten worse since I started my own candle company and I ended up buying a few too many candles recently… but I love seeing the different interpretations of my favorite characters and books and my collector’s heart doesn’t let me do anything in small doses. Here’s the most comprehensive list of bookish candle companies I could find, especially since so many companies have now started their own websites and moved away from Etsy! (And if I’m missing one, please DO let me know because it certainly isn’t intentional!)

(About halfway through curating this list, not even getting to the point of links, I asked myself why I had started it… I hadn’t realized there were THIS many companies!!)

** Note: I am not affiliated with any of these companies or websites in any way, except, of course, for my own, Novelly Yours Candles. ** 

UNITED STATES

INTERNATIONAL


WHEW, that’s a whole lot of candle shops! Don’t ever tell me you can’t find bookish candles again haha!! So there you have it! Which ones are you favorites? If there are any I missed, let me know and I’ll add them!

Mini-Review: Pretty Baby – Mary Kubica

Mini-Review: Pretty Baby – Mary KubicaTitle: Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
Publishing Info: July 28, 2015 by Harlequin
Source: Audible
Genres: Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: May 5, 2017
Related Posts: The Good Girl

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can't get the girl out of her head...

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family's objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow's past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she's willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

bookreview1

PRETTY BABY definitely wasn’t as strong as THE GOOD GIRL for me. The story line wasn’t as intriguing and I’m glad that it had a different feel but I also wasn’t as fond of the plot involved in this book. Call me silly, but any time a baby is a main part of a plot, I just find it unappealing. I don’t have anything against the baby, but babies are so vulnerable that it really holds a character back and I find it frustrating. While it’s a part of real life, it’s just not something that I usually choose to read about.

PRETTY BABY seemed to be a little less intriguing as well, not only compared to THE GOOD GIRL, but just in general compared to other mysteries or thrillers. I really felt like there was a lot of time spent in places where the plot could have moved forward and more info through the backstories could have been provided to keep the reader intrigued. It seemed like there were a few missed opportunities to really keep things moving and some big things were delayed a bit too long.

Things did end up unraveling for a fast and furious finale so that did bump up my rating just a bit. I did enjoy the ending and it was expected, yet not. I could see something coming but to actually watch the events unravel was kind of mind-boggling.

I actually liked the twist of characters throughout the book and I enjoyed how I started out with one impression of each one of the narrating voices and changed my opinions slowly the more pieces of the puzzle I gained. Some of the more unlikable (or simply less warm) characters became more likable towards the end once I gained a little more perspective on what exactly they were dealing with.

I’m definitely still interested in more from Mary Kubica (and I love that her books are set in Chicago! Hello, St. Charles/Kane County mention!) but this one wasn’t as strong as her first for me.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Adult thrillers. I’ve always been a big mystery/thriller fan and I’m enjoying getting into Mary Kubica’s books! It’s really fun to take a break from YA and get into an adult mindset.
Left Me Wanting More: Plot Development. I wanted things to keep moving forward just a little bit. I didn’t mind a bit twist/reveal/thing at the end but I was hoping for just a little bit more forward motion throughout.

Addiction Rating
Try it!

I did enjoy this one but it wasn’t as strong as other thrillers for me. I think it’s a good read though and I enjoy Mary Kubica’s writing!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE PRETTY BABY

(Click the cover to see my review!)

     

A Million Junes – Emily Henry

A Million Junes – Emily HenryTitle: A Million Junes by Emily Henry
Publishing Info: May 16, 2017 by Penguin
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: May 17, 2017
Related Posts: The Love That Split the World

For as long as Jack “June” O’Donnell has been alive, her parents have had only one rule: stay away from the Angert family. But when June collides—quite literally—with Saul Angert, sparks fly, and everything June has known is thrown into chaos.

Who exactly is this gruff, sarcastic, but seemingly harmless boy who has returned to their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, after three mysterious years away? And why has June—an O’Donnell to her core—never questioned her late father’s deep hatred of the Angert family? After all, the O’Donnells and the Angerts may have mythic legacies, but for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them.

As Saul and June’s connection grows deeper, they find that the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers seem to be conspiring to reveal the truth about the harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations. Now June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored, and she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all the O’Donnells before her—to let go.

bookreview1

** Warning: This review DOES contain spoilers for the book! I will be talking about specifics! ** 

A MILLION JUNES was a very solid sophomore novel from Emily Henry with her debut, THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD, being one of my favorite reads of 2016. I’ve been having a hard time with sequels/sophomore novels lately so it was so refreshing to enjoy this book and get lost in the same sort of writing style that I experienced with THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD.

Emily Henry has a unique story-telling experience and her books are ones in which you totally lose yourself. While THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD was magical realism, it was a also a little bit science-fiction so it was really great to see the same sort of feel and concept with the magical realism aspects but ones that took the stage even more so in A MILLION JUNES. Depending on your view of the book, it’s magical realism meets paranormal and it’s truly a magical experience to read.

Possible spoilers in the rest of the review! No giveaways about specific plot points but things that may be a general spoiler if you want to go in blind to certain aspects of the shape of the book. The thing that I really took from this book the most is the family aspect. It’s not the usual family dynamic or lesson that you see in a lot of books because it approached the topic from a totally different angle. The O’Donnells and the Angerts have been in a feud for at least four generations and after the passing of her father, Jack IV (aka Junior aka June) is left to decide whether she wants to hold that grudge or let it go with her generation. Her mother still holds those feuding values although not as tightly as her father and and June loved her father so much that she had every intention of following in his footsteps until she falls unexpectedly head over heels for youngest Angert, Saul. Without rehashing the whole plot, throughout the book, June is able to experience the memories of her father through the “whites”, which are a sort of wraith or spirit (glowing white, hence the name) and through these memories, she learns a lot about her dad… and not all of it is good. The stories of the past lose shape and take on new ones the more they get told so June learns a lot about her family’s past, spanning back to the first Jack O’Donnell all the way down to her father and his relationship with his family, including June. She realizes that the truth about him and how their family history played out is very different than what she thought it was. It’s especially hard since he passed away when she was eight. She still idealized him and didn’t know some of the darker truths or grittier details and it was shocking to realize that her dad wasn’t as perfect as she thought it was, and I thought this was a really, really great concept to include in the book. It’s so interesting to think of your parents’ history. There are so many things I know about my parents through the stories they tell me of their pasts and childhoods and yet I know that there’s so much more that I don’t know or from which I’ve been shielded. It was really interesting to watch June go through this experience and wonder what exactly I’ve been missing from my own family’s history because it’s not a pretty story to tell. My parents have told me a lot of things throughout the years and I’ve gained a lot of family knowledge as we’ve grown up but it’s so interesting to think of really how much history there would be to learn when experiencing memories first-hand. There are only so many stories that get told and no one wants to constantly tell the negative ones so it was just a really curious thing to think about!

I really loved the connection between June and Saul. I loved the bond that brought them together so fiercely and how it was the requirement that they stay apart that patched their worlds. Their chemistry was excellent and I loved how real their characters felt. Both characters were simply them, not trying to be someone else and not wanting to be, and I could just feel their personalities really come through.

The ending was a little different than I thought it was and sometimes I have trouble when magical realism takes a little turn into a little bit more magical than I expected. There were a few things in the end that crossed over from magical realism into more of a fantasy-type concept so that changed the tone of the book for me a bit and I wasn’t a huge fan but it was still a solid ending to the book.

THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD holds a special place in my heart for the way it made me feel and the books that it reminded me of but A MILLION JUNES is a wonderfully solid novel and great sophomore book from Emily Henry. I’m a big fan of her writing and the atmosphere that she creates in her books and I really am able to feel myself in the story. I’m up for her next adventure and I can’t wait to see what it holds!

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: The blur between reality and magic. While THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD was magical in a sci-fi way, this was definitely more magic and hedging on the paranormal. There’s still a possible bit of a sci-fi angle but I love the uniqueness of how reality blends with the impossible.
Left Me Wanting More: Structure. I guess structure isn’t the right word, but the ending felt a little too… untethered. I think I just wanted something a bit more concrete and it kind of ventured more into the magic.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

I love Emily Henry’s story-telling and this book continued on the great path of bending reality and expanding beliefs.

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE A MILLION JUNES

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    BONE GAP

Book Recommendations | The 4th and Fireworks

Happy Independence Day! Hope everyone is having a great day celebrating the 4th of July… or just having a good day if you’re in another country! I thought it would be fun to gather up some books that have scenes on the 4th of July or involve fireworks! Here are a few of my favorites (which all happen to be some wonderful summery books too!)


26 KISSES by Anna Michels | Noted: fireworks | Review

26 kisses anna michels


FIREWORKS by Katie Cutugno | Noted: fireworks | Review


NANTUCKET BLUE by Leila Howland | Noted: 4th of July AND fireworks | Review


PAST PERFECT by Leila Sales | Noted: 4th of July | Review


THE SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS by Sarah Ockler | Noted: fireworks and 4th of July | Review


OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord | Noted: fireworks | Review

open road summer


Which 4th of July and Fireworks books are your favorites? Happy 4th!

The Link List: Harry Potter House Sorting Quizzes

With the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter being this week, a lot of us spent our time taking new (and old) Harry Potter quizzes. Even though I’m a die-hard fan and know I’m a Ravenclaw, I still take any Harry Potter quiz that someone puts out, juuuust to have that further confirmation that this is where I’m supposed to be.

But I also have friends who can take any number of quizzes and range all over the place! I spent some time chatting with friends yesterday morning and decided to gather up as many sorting links as I could find (and ya know, take them myself) to help those in need get a definitive answer of which Hogwarts house they should call home based on what they got the most!

So here’s a link list of Harry Potter House Sorting quizzes for you!

** Note: I am not affiliated with any of these quizzes or websites listed below in any way. This is purely for fun and for the purpose of sharing!
There are also sooooo many more but I tried to pick some of the ones that first pop up and then a mix of Buzzfeed quizzes for you! ** 

And the many Buzzfeed quizzes…
(This is only some of them. There are SO MANY)

Final verdict for me? I’m definitely a Ravenclaw, even with some of the silly quizzes! Which Hogwarts house are you most often sorted into?

Do you have any other good sorting hat/Hogwarts house quizzes? Leave a link below and I’ll add them to the list!

 

Looking for more Harry Potter love? Check out these previous posts on The Book Addict’s Guide!

A Monday with Maggie Stiefvater

 

Yes, I know it’s not Monday today but I simply have to tell you the story of my Monday afternoon from a few days ago! It all started around 3pm on Monday afternoon…

I got a phone call from my husband telling me that Maggie Stiefvater’s car was at his shop right. now.  Maggie Stiefvater is into cars (though I’m sure you knew that, considering she has some seriously cool vehicles that she posts about and even has a hashtag #stiefvater cars on her Tumblr account) and her car with the notorious “THIEF” license plate just so happens to be a type that my the company that my husband works for works on (okay, that was a horrible sentence, but you know what I mean). I had seen in a tweet before where she mentioned the shop by name so I knew that she had been there before (where I promptly freaked out) so I quietly reveled in the fact that she had been to my husband’s work before and they had helped tune the THIEF car!

So it’s Monday afternoon and I didn’t even think about making this connection between the shop being near Chicago, knowing Maggie often drives her cars to events, and the fact that I just saw her on Saturday at ALA in the city. I got a phone call from my husband saying that his company just posted a photo of her car on the dyno (a dynamometer that in short, measures the power of the engine and spits out reports that help tuners see and maximize performance) and tagged her in it on their Instagram story. Now I’m guessing that most people who follow the shop’s account are car people, not book people, so if they know Maggie Stiefvater, they probably know her for her cars and that fact that she writes articles for Jalopnik from time to time, probably not for her books… But since Shane knows that I love her books and that she’s taken her car to his shop before, he knew exactly who that tag was and immediately let me know.

We had a few excited and maybe incoherent phone calls back and forth when I realized she was at the shop that was currently ten minutes away from me and literally on my way home from work. Like, I would pass the shop — and her — on my way home. “Would it be weird if I asked to go over there?” I asked him, thinking that maybe I could swing by and say hi but truly not wanting to be creepy and dropping in out of nowhere, being a fan that was invading her privacy. I knew it wasn’t like I was following her and trying to figure out where she was but in this crazy turn of events, it just so happened to be a place that I knew, frequent, know the employees, and my husband freakin’ works there, so it’s not so crazy after all. “Let me make a few phone calls!” Shane said, and got on the phone with his co-workers.

His closest friends were in meetings or on conference calls and was having a hard time getting a hold of them so after a few phone calls to them and then back to me, I told myself it was totally okay if this didn’t happen. It was purely coincidental and again, didn’t want to be a creepy fan and just show up. I definitely wanted permission from the shop to drop in and of course, Maggie’s permission herself as she would be giving up her time to talk to me, a complete stranger.

Finally at 4:51pm, he called me back and said, “She’s waiting for you. Go right now!”

“RIGHT NOW?” I said, trying to mentally prepare myself because I had just spent the last 30 minutes at my desk pretending to try to do work but really trying to think of conversation starters in my head so my first words to Maggie Stiefvater weren’t “werjleksdjkhakjsdjf”.

“Yes, right now!” He said. “They’re waiting to close up the shop. There’s only a few minutes left of the work day. Just go!”

So not wanting to just skate out of work early and look bad, I popped into my boss’s office to ask if I could leave a few minutes early. He told me “of course” without even asking why (sometimes this place really is great) and I immediately packed up my stuff and got in the car. I texted my friends that IT WAS HAPPENING, freaked out for a while, chastised myself for not wearing a better outfit that day, and promised everyone I’d take a picture. I tried to put my audiobook on in the car but how can someone concentrate on listening to a book at a time like that!? So I gave myself a pep talk on the way over, still racking my brain for something on this Earth to talk about. I raced down the street, trying not to speed too much, knowing that MAGGIE WAS WAITING FOR ME, and then I got STUCK BY A FREIGHT TRAIN. Fortunately it was moving quickly but the whole time I was shouting to it “go go go go gooooo Maggie is waiting!!!”

I finally pulled into the shop and I was so dazed that I didn’t even notice Maggie’s car sitting out front, tucked behind another car (unless they had pulled it around when I was inside), and I walked in the front office to go find the sales manager who had set this all up on the shop’s end. I walked in the front door and THERE SHE WAS. I waved to the sales team and then Maggie turned around and I possibly gave the either creepiest or most excited wave I’ve ever given in my life.

“Are you here for me?” She asked.

“Yes, hi! I’m Brittany!” I replied, and we launched into conversation from there.

I thought I would be totally tongue-tied but we actually had some really nice conversation! I was a little awkward at first but I told her that she might know me from my candles because I run and own Novelly Yours.

She said “Yes! The candles! Blue and Her Boys,” with little bit of a grin at the name.

AHHH she knew my candles!! She knew who I was, in a way! She told me she had received three of them so far (So thank you to everyone who gave her one!!!!) and she’ll be burning them for the rest of the year! She asked me what other kinds of candles I made so I had told her about the other Raven Cycle candles that I make and she seemed excited to hear of them. We actually talked about candle-making a bit, asking me if I stirred a giant pot of wax like a witch’s brew (I wish. That would actually be pretty cool) so I detailed the candle-making process a bit and we talked about how I got into making candles of my own.

“So how did you get into making candles?” She asked me. “I’m sorry, I’m sure you get that all the time.”

“Not at all!” I told her, and launched into how I got my start making candles and starting Novelly Yours. I’m sure she answers the same questions over and over way more than I do and who doesn’t want to tell a favorite author about the candles that you made specifically because of their books? It was truly a dream to be able to discuss. I told her about the November Cakes and Scorpio Sea candles and she asked me what the November Cakes candle smelled like, excited about the scents that I described. I told her I’d be happy to send one her way and she said she would love that!

We continued to talk about books — what I was reading (I showed her my copy of THE WICKER KING and forgot to tell her that the friendships in it so far remind me a little of all of the Raven Boys combined), what book I was most looking forward to in the fall (I drew a TOTAL BLANK and helloooo I couldn’t say ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS?) and told her that I was so deep into candles right now that I haven’t been keeping up with my TBR.

“So deep into candles — that’s a sentence I didn’t expect to hear when I woke up this morning!” she said with a laugh. I explained how I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks, especially while I work.

We ended up talking about ALA and I told her that I saw her there on Saturday (as pictured above!). She had asked if she asked me what my favorite book was and I said she hadn’t! So I told her my favorite of the Raven Cycle is BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE  — “Ah, the unfinished sentence” — and overall, my favorite is probably THE SCORPIO RACES. I shamelessly told her that I’ve actually only ever listened to the audio because it’s so good and that I listen to it every year. We launched into a conversation about the audio for that book and she shared some funny anecdotes about a bunch of 90-year-old librarians swooning over Steve West at an event at which Maggie, Steve West, and Fiona Hardingham were present for an award. She told me that she actually had gotten to choose the narrators for that book and that it was the first audiobook that Steve West had done so I profusely thanked her for that because I love his narrations, trying to contain my creepy and refraining from telling her that I just listened to eight books narrated by Steve West in the past three months.

I embarrassingly didn’t recognize Courtney Stevens who was with her (I think it was a combo of sunglasses and the fact that I was so starstruck) and we were introduced somewhere along the way of the conversation! I apologized for not recognizing her and told her that I had read THE LIES ABOUT TRUTH and loved it! She mentioned her upcoming novel DRESS CODES FOR SMALL TOWNS which comes out in August and said, “You know what? Let me grab it for you. I was going to give it away anyway,” and went out to her car to grab an ARC for me. “It has a Doc Martin on the cover so you know it’s good,” Maggie said. Courtney even signed it for me, “to make it more valuable when you sell it on eBay,” Maggie joked to which I gasped, “I would never!” though we both knew of course I wasn’t selling it on eBay.

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

“I actually am more surprised when someone does want an ARC personalized,” Maggie told me. She said she doesn’t even keep copies of ARCs of her own books anymore because it’s just too many copies and she understands that most people pass an ARC along or it just falls apart over time so it makes more sense to get a finished copy personalized.

We started winding down the conversation and although I was having so much fun, I really didn’t want to keep her there any longer than she wanted to be. We wrapped up our chat and I told her I didn’t want to hold her up so with a quick few words back to the shop’s sales team, we parted ways, but not before I asked if she would mind if we took a photo together. “I would not mind at all,” she said, and Courtney was nice enough to take a photo of us…. as my phone once again ran out of space. Thankfully she took two before my phone decided to be so rude (“I knew it would do that,” I told them. “I was deleting things on the way over here!”) and then it was time to go.

I neglected to take a picture of Maggie’s car on my way out because she was already in it and felt like that would be a little weird so I just admired it as I pulled out of the parking lot and reveled in what had just happened. I called my husband on the way home to share some of the details and then tried to listen to my audiobook on the way back home but was admittedly a little too dazed and starstruck to really focus.

It was a crazy whirlwind of events that totally brightened up an otherwise stressful and frustrating Monday. Shane was so wonderful to set that all up for me with the phone calls back and forth to his shop and I thanked the shop and Maggie and Courtney for taking the time out of their days to make this happen for me. It was so nice of everyone to stay at the shop and let me stop by to say hi to one of my favorite authors. I can’t even say it was a dream come true because I would have never thought that this would be something that would have happened, so I guess I have to say it was beyond my wildest dreams!

Thanks again to Maggie Stiefvater for making my day and for making this incredible story happen. It’s always wonderful to fall in love with an author’s work but it just makes reading their books that much more special when you know how much they appreciate fans and give up their time to do things like this for me. It was a truly unique and special experience!!