lbardugo:

#GrishaTrilogy inspired gel manicure for #SDCC and #FierceReads Block Party at the Grove! Thanks to Amy at @nailserviceusa for the beautiful work. #nailartclub #nailart #RuinandRising #ShadowAndBone

lbardugo:

#GrishaTrilogy inspired gel manicure for #SDCC and #FierceReads Block Party at the Grove! Thanks to Amy at @nailserviceusa for the beautiful work. #nailartclub #nailart #RuinandRising #ShadowAndBone


I Am Malala
Malala Yousafzai
Summary:

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. 
On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. 
Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. 
I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. 
I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world. 

If you think you don’t want to read this book, you’re wrong. Read it immediately, like literally, just get it right now. It’s beautiful and sweet and sad and perfect. I love everything about it, but I really love how throughout the book, while talking about horrific things that are going on around her, she’ll still make references to Twilight, or talk about arguments she had with her brother. This book is so real and beautiful. Just read it. 
5/5

I Am Malala

Malala Yousafzai

Summary:

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. 

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. 

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. 

I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world. 

If you think you don’t want to read this book, you’re wrong. Read it immediately, like literally, just get it right now. It’s beautiful and sweet and sad and perfect. I love everything about it, but I really love how throughout the book, while talking about horrific things that are going on around her, she’ll still make references to Twilight, or talk about arguments she had with her brother. This book is so real and beautiful. Just read it. 

5/5


Hollow City
Ransom Riggs
Summary:

The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom. 

If any of you read my review for the first book in this series, you know that I really didn’t like it very much. Or at all. Which is why I really really didn’t want to read this book, and I kept seeing it and feeling so conflicted, because I NEED to finish series I start, but it was just really really not my thing.
So finally I broke down and read it, and I was surprised that it actually was a bit better than the first one. I still really didn’t like it; I disliked the characters less in this one, but I still didn’t like them. I really still don’t like the writing. I can’t really put my finger on it but it’s kind of boring and superfluous at the same time. 
The one thing that really got better was the plot. I found myself actually interested in what was happening, and I kind of couldn’t put it down for a while. I still didn’t really CARE what happened, but I was pretty interested, if that makes sense..
3/5

Hollow City

Ransom Riggs

Summary:

The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom. 

If any of you read my review for the first book in this series, you know that I really didn’t like it very much. Or at all. Which is why I really really didn’t want to read this book, and I kept seeing it and feeling so conflicted, because I NEED to finish series I start, but it was just really really not my thing.

So finally I broke down and read it, and I was surprised that it actually was a bit better than the first one. I still really didn’t like it; I disliked the characters less in this one, but I still didn’t like them. I really still don’t like the writing. I can’t really put my finger on it but it’s kind of boring and superfluous at the same time. 

The one thing that really got better was the plot. I found myself actually interested in what was happening, and I kind of couldn’t put it down for a while. I still didn’t really CARE what happened, but I was pretty interested, if that makes sense..

3/5


Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy From Mars
Daniel M. Pinkwater
Summary:

Leonard Neeble, a short, portly, wrinkled kid with glasses, was pretty well ordained to be an outcast at Bat Masterson Junior High School. Especially after he sat down on somebody’s half-eaten Good Humor bar in the school yard. 
In fact, his new life in the affluent suburb of West Kangaroo Park was generally a washout as far as Leonard was concerned. Until Alan Mendelsohn turned up in his class and being weird became interesting. 
The search for additions to Mendelsohn’s collection of over two thousand comics led to some unique new experiences, including Mind Control and the Bermuda Triangle Chili Parlor.
And more. Much more. 

I really enjoyed reading most of this book. I thought it was pretty adorable and had some funny parts, but for a lot of it I realized I just felt really really bored? Like I was more excited to finish it than anything else. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I liked it and didn’t at the same time. I really just don’t know. 
3.5/5

Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy From Mars

Daniel M. Pinkwater

Summary:

Leonard Neeble, a short, portly, wrinkled kid with glasses, was pretty well ordained to be an outcast at Bat Masterson Junior High School. Especially after he sat down on somebody’s half-eaten Good Humor bar in the school yard. 

In fact, his new life in the affluent suburb of West Kangaroo Park was generally a washout as far as Leonard was concerned. Until Alan Mendelsohn turned up in his class and being weird became interesting. 

The search for additions to Mendelsohn’s collection of over two thousand comics led to some unique new experiences, including Mind Control and the Bermuda Triangle Chili Parlor.

And more. Much more. 

I really enjoyed reading most of this book. I thought it was pretty adorable and had some funny parts, but for a lot of it I realized I just felt really really bored? Like I was more excited to finish it than anything else. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I liked it and didn’t at the same time. I really just don’t know. 

3.5/5


Still Lolo
Lauren Scruggs (and the Scruggs family)
Summary:

Join Lauren Scruggs as she reveals the story of the night that changed everything for her….

I think sometimes it can be really rough to try to read an autobiography by someone you’ve never heard of, and no matter how interesting the book looks, I usually worry about that in a situation like this, but I had no reason to worry about this one. 
If you’ve never heard of Lauren Scruggs, let me tell you: she’s adorable and inspiring and really really interesting to read about. I adored this book, especially because it cycles through lots of different viewpoints to tell the story of Lauren’s whole life, with the (spoiler alert!) plane accident that led to this book even being published playing a relatively minor role. I honestly found it much more interesting than many autobiographies written by people who I already knew about, which is pretty impressive.
5/5

Still Lolo

Lauren Scruggs (and the Scruggs family)

Summary:

Join Lauren Scruggs as she reveals the story of the night that changed everything for her….

I think sometimes it can be really rough to try to read an autobiography by someone you’ve never heard of, and no matter how interesting the book looks, I usually worry about that in a situation like this, but I had no reason to worry about this one. 

If you’ve never heard of Lauren Scruggs, let me tell you: she’s adorable and inspiring and really really interesting to read about. I adored this book, especially because it cycles through lots of different viewpoints to tell the story of Lauren’s whole life, with the (spoiler alert!) plane accident that led to this book even being published playing a relatively minor role. I honestly found it much more interesting than many autobiographies written by people who I already knew about, which is pretty impressive.

5/5


Brunette Ambition
Lea Michele
Summary:

Lea Michele is one of the hardest-working performers in show business. Whether she’s starring as Rachel Berry on Glee, rocking a glamorous look on the red carpet, recording her solo album, or acting as the spokesperson for L’Oreal, Lea is the ultimate multitasker. She knows better than anyone that it is difficult to be your best self and keep things in perspective when your to-do list is overflowing and you are faced with challenges, so she’s developed a foolproof system for remaining healthy and centered. 
In Brunette Ambition - an illustrated book that’s part memoir, part how-to, and part style guide - Lea reveals lessons and advice that have worked for her, from how she keeps comfortable on the red carpet and maintains flawless hair and makeup all night, to how she stays motivated to work out (even when she just wants to sit on the couch!). Lea shares her favorite recipes - for the hair masque she uses to restore fried ends, the comfort soup she eats to unwind on Sundays, the vegan grilled cheese she indulges in when she wants a treat, and many more. Most important, she reflects on ways she remains grounded, centered, and true to who she is. 

I really really love Lea Michele, and I really really loved this book. It was really cute and actually had some great recipes and things (I think I may actually end up buying the book), and it was just really adorable all over, as I would expect from her. 
My only problem with it is that sometimes the format seemed to be sort of trying too hard? If that makes sense? It was usually really great, but sometimes I just felt like it would have been better to just read as a book than a scrapbook-type format. 
4.5/5

Brunette Ambition

Lea Michele

Summary:

Lea Michele is one of the hardest-working performers in show business. Whether she’s starring as Rachel Berry on Glee, rocking a glamorous look on the red carpet, recording her solo album, or acting as the spokesperson for L’Oreal, Lea is the ultimate multitasker. She knows better than anyone that it is difficult to be your best self and keep things in perspective when your to-do list is overflowing and you are faced with challenges, so she’s developed a foolproof system for remaining healthy and centered. 

In Brunette Ambition - an illustrated book that’s part memoir, part how-to, and part style guide - Lea reveals lessons and advice that have worked for her, from how she keeps comfortable on the red carpet and maintains flawless hair and makeup all night, to how she stays motivated to work out (even when she just wants to sit on the couch!). Lea shares her favorite recipes - for the hair masque she uses to restore fried ends, the comfort soup she eats to unwind on Sundays, the vegan grilled cheese she indulges in when she wants a treat, and many more. Most important, she reflects on ways she remains grounded, centered, and true to who she is. 

I really really love Lea Michele, and I really really loved this book. It was really cute and actually had some great recipes and things (I think I may actually end up buying the book), and it was just really adorable all over, as I would expect from her. 

My only problem with it is that sometimes the format seemed to be sort of trying too hard? If that makes sense? It was usually really great, but sometimes I just felt like it would have been better to just read as a book than a scrapbook-type format. 

4.5/5


Starclimber
Kenneth Oppel
Summary:

Pilot-in-training Matt Cruse and Kate de Vries, expert on high-altitude life-forms, are invited aboard the Starclimber, a vessel hat literally climbs its way into the cosmos. Before they even set foot aboard the ship, catastrophe strikes:
Kate announces she is engaged - and not to Matt. 
Despite this bombshell, Matt and Kate embark on their journey into space, but soon the ship is surrounded by strange and unsettling life-forms, and the crew is forced to combat devastating mechanical failure. For Matt, Kate, and the entire crew of the Starclimber, what began as an exciting race to the stars has now turned into a battle to save their lives. 

I have one complaint about this book. There isn’t a sequel??? And he isn’t even writing it???? MAYBE there will be one eventually?? I 100% fell in love with this series and I am nowhere near ready for it to end. It did get a teensy bit formulaic by this book, so maybe he’ll write a new one eventually and it’ll be totally fresh and beautiful. 
5/5

Starclimber

Kenneth Oppel

Summary:

Pilot-in-training Matt Cruse and Kate de Vries, expert on high-altitude life-forms, are invited aboard the Starclimber, a vessel hat literally climbs its way into the cosmos. Before they even set foot aboard the ship, catastrophe strikes:

Kate announces she is engaged - and not to Matt. 

Despite this bombshell, Matt and Kate embark on their journey into space, but soon the ship is surrounded by strange and unsettling life-forms, and the crew is forced to combat devastating mechanical failure. For Matt, Kate, and the entire crew of the Starclimber, what began as an exciting race to the stars has now turned into a battle to save their lives. 

I have one complaint about this book. There isn’t a sequel??? And he isn’t even writing it???? MAYBE there will be one eventually?? I 100% fell in love with this series and I am nowhere near ready for it to end. It did get a teensy bit formulaic by this book, so maybe he’ll write a new one eventually and it’ll be totally fresh and beautiful. 

5/5


Today’s library haul. I had to tear myself away from the bio section to end up with only these. 
I also got a new Emma Donoghue book I hadn’t even heard of, so I’m excited for that!

Today’s library haul.
I had to tear myself away from the bio section to end up with only these. 

I also got a new Emma Donoghue book I hadn’t even heard of, so I’m excited for that!


Vampire Academy
Richelle Mead
Summary:

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires - the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them. 
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by. 
Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. The story was great and I ended up really caring about the characters, and I was super invested in what happened, and I read it really really fast.
It was just so cheesy. I think maybe I’m at fault this time, rather than the book, because I think I need a break from YA, since I just can not appreciate the language authors seem to think teenagers really use?? 
But it was really so good and interesting, I’m excited to read the second one. 
4.5/5

Vampire Academy

Richelle Mead

Summary:

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires - the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them. 

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by. 

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. The story was great and I ended up really caring about the characters, and I was super invested in what happened, and I read it really really fast.

It was just so cheesy. I think maybe I’m at fault this time, rather than the book, because I think I need a break from YA, since I just can not appreciate the language authors seem to think teenagers really use?? 

But it was really so good and interesting, I’m excited to read the second one. 

4.5/5


Books read in (the last part of) June:


thewellofastarael:

thebookslist:

Sabriel
Garth Nix
Summary:

Ever since she was a tiny child, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the random power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won’t stay dead. But now her father, the Mage Abhorsen, is missing, and to find him Sabriel must cross back into that world. 
Though her journey begins alone, she soon finds companions: Mogget, whose seemingly harmless feline form hides a powerful - and perhaps malevolent - spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. 
With threats on all sides and only each other to trust, the three must travel deep into the Old Kingdom, toward a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death - and bring Sabriel face-to-face with their own hidden destiny.

This was my second try on reading this book, and I’m actually really disappointed in myself for not finishing it the first time, because it’s so interesting and well-written, and the overall story is really enjoyable.
My only problem with this book is that it was difficult for me to get my mind into Sabriel’s world. The politics made very little sense to me and I couldn’t really fathom any of the imagery? It was a strange feeling that I can’t really describe, but it just didn’t pull me in as much as I would have liked it to. 
4/5

Worldbuilding is one of Nix’s weaknesses - I love these books but I’ve read two of his standalones and half of The Keys to the Kingdom, and I can tell you that yes, this is a consistent problem.
The Old Kingdom series is kinda weird, because the next two books (Lirael and Abhorsen) are actually supposed to be one big book, and they’re set basically 19 years after Sabriel. Then there’s a short story (The Creature in the Case) set 6 months-1 year after the end of Abhorsen. Then there’s Clariel, set 320 years before Sabriel (not out yet). AND Nix is working on a sequel to Abhorsen/The Creature in the Case.
The world does get fleshed out as you go through the subsequent books, so if you liked Sabriel enough then the next few books should help expand the world.

This is really really good to know! I already have the next one on hold at the library, and I was a little worried I would just get more confused!!

thewellofastarael:

thebookslist:

Sabriel

Garth Nix

Summary:

Ever since she was a tiny child, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the random power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won’t stay dead. But now her father, the Mage Abhorsen, is missing, and to find him Sabriel must cross back into that world. 

Though her journey begins alone, she soon finds companions: Mogget, whose seemingly harmless feline form hides a powerful - and perhaps malevolent - spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. 

With threats on all sides and only each other to trust, the three must travel deep into the Old Kingdom, toward a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death - and bring Sabriel face-to-face with their own hidden destiny.

This was my second try on reading this book, and I’m actually really disappointed in myself for not finishing it the first time, because it’s so interesting and well-written, and the overall story is really enjoyable.

My only problem with this book is that it was difficult for me to get my mind into Sabriel’s world. The politics made very little sense to me and I couldn’t really fathom any of the imagery? It was a strange feeling that I can’t really describe, but it just didn’t pull me in as much as I would have liked it to. 

4/5

Worldbuilding is one of Nix’s weaknesses - I love these books but I’ve read two of his standalones and half of The Keys to the Kingdom, and I can tell you that yes, this is a consistent problem.

The Old Kingdom series is kinda weird, because the next two books (Lirael and Abhorsen) are actually supposed to be one big book, and they’re set basically 19 years after Sabriel. Then there’s a short story (The Creature in the Case) set 6 months-1 year after the end of Abhorsen. Then there’s Clariel, set 320 years before Sabriel (not out yet). AND Nix is working on a sequel to Abhorsen/The Creature in the Case.

The world does get fleshed out as you go through the subsequent books, so if you liked Sabriel enough then the next few books should help expand the world.

This is really really good to know! I already have the next one on hold at the library, and I was a little worried I would just get more confused!!


agrownupgeekgirl:

Sabriel by Eddy-Swan

Sabriel
Garth Nix
Summary:

Ever since she was a tiny child, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the random power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won’t stay dead. But now her father, the Mage Abhorsen, is missing, and to find him Sabriel must cross back into that world. 
Though her journey begins alone, she soon finds companions: Mogget, whose seemingly harmless feline form hides a powerful - and perhaps malevolent - spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. 
With threats on all sides and only each other to trust, the three must travel deep into the Old Kingdom, toward a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death - and bring Sabriel face-to-face with their own hidden destiny.

This was my second try on reading this book, and I’m actually really disappointed in myself for not finishing it the first time, because it’s so interesting and well-written, and the overall story is really enjoyable.
My only problem with this book is that it was difficult for me to get my mind into Sabriel’s world. The politics made very little sense to me and I couldn’t really fathom any of the imagery? It was a strange feeling that I can’t really describe, but it just didn’t pull me in as much as I would have liked it to. 
4/5

Sabriel

Garth Nix

Summary:

Ever since she was a tiny child, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the random power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won’t stay dead. But now her father, the Mage Abhorsen, is missing, and to find him Sabriel must cross back into that world. 

Though her journey begins alone, she soon finds companions: Mogget, whose seemingly harmless feline form hides a powerful - and perhaps malevolent - spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. 

With threats on all sides and only each other to trust, the three must travel deep into the Old Kingdom, toward a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death - and bring Sabriel face-to-face with their own hidden destiny.

This was my second try on reading this book, and I’m actually really disappointed in myself for not finishing it the first time, because it’s so interesting and well-written, and the overall story is really enjoyable.

My only problem with this book is that it was difficult for me to get my mind into Sabriel’s world. The politics made very little sense to me and I couldn’t really fathom any of the imagery? It was a strange feeling that I can’t really describe, but it just didn’t pull me in as much as I would have liked it to. 

4/5


Skybreaker
Kenneth Oppel
Summary:

Former cabin boy Matt Cruse, now a student at the prestigious Airship Academy, is first to identify the Hyperion, the private airship of a reclusive and fabulously wealthy inventor that disappeared forty years ago with its owner. Armed with the Hyperion’s coordinates, which only he possesses, Matt, heiress Kate de Vries, and a mysterious young gypsy board the Sagarmatha, an airship fitted with the new skybreaker engines that will allow them to reach the Hyperion, 20,000 feet above the earth’s surface. Pursued by others who want the Hyperion and will stop at nothing to get it, and surrounded by dangerous high-altitude life forms, Matt and his companions are soon fighting not only for the Hyperion but for their very lives. 

I’m really really really in love with this series. I feel like I want to tell every single person in the world to start reading it, and I want to rent billboards about it and I certainly want movie adaptations and everyone in the world to fall in love with it like I have. 
So…there’s that.
5/5

Skybreaker

Kenneth Oppel

Summary:

Former cabin boy Matt Cruse, now a student at the prestigious Airship Academy, is first to identify the Hyperion, the private airship of a reclusive and fabulously wealthy inventor that disappeared forty years ago with its owner. Armed with the Hyperion’s coordinates, which only he possesses, Matt, heiress Kate de Vries, and a mysterious young gypsy board the Sagarmatha, an airship fitted with the new skybreaker engines that will allow them to reach the Hyperion, 20,000 feet above the earth’s surface. Pursued by others who want the Hyperion and will stop at nothing to get it, and surrounded by dangerous high-altitude life forms, Matt and his companions are soon fighting not only for the Hyperion but for their very lives. 

I’m really really really in love with this series. I feel like I want to tell every single person in the world to start reading it, and I want to rent billboards about it and I certainly want movie adaptations and everyone in the world to fall in love with it like I have. 

So…there’s that.

5/5


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About me:


I have a gigantic, ever-growing list of books that I want to read, and have read, since approximately the beginning of 2011. This will be where I give reviews and suggestions. My favorite genres are YA, fantasy, and autobiographies, but I will literally read anything, so please feel free to give me suggestions. Please feel free to contact me if you have a book you'd like me to review.


Currently reading (July):

Starclimber (7/5)
Lirael
Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars (7/8)
Beautiful Creatures
Hollow City (7/13)
Brunette Ambition (7/3)
Still Lolo (7/5)
Frog Music
Dirty Daddy
Silverwing
I Am Malala (7/18)