books of 2021 (masterlist!!)
september : 1 / 2 / 3
september : 1 / 2 / 3
From the Archives: The Hannibal Books
With a little hel(l/p) from my insomnia, I’ve finally finished the Hannibal books. Now, I should probably start at the beginning, which technically wasn’t the beginning, because I didn’t start at the beginning. Let me start over. I started this series with the second, better known title, The Silence of the Lambs, and then went back to the first book, Red Dragon. Afterward, having been warned of…
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Concrete Rainbow bookend <3 available in limited numbers until holidays!
do you really wanna love for free?
that’s who I’m meant to be.
A tiny Frankenstein can still be scary 😉… This is just 3 x 2 cm in size. It also has a printed fly leaf and real pages (although unprinted). And a pin on the back to wear as a brooch.
More info: https://www.etsy.com/ie/listing/888374383/micro-mini-book-broach-pin-frankenstein
HEAVEN, libro disponible en wattpad 🧡
(Description below image)
One victor. One heir. One throne.
In a crime-infested aristocratic family, Adeline Fravenski has learned to survive. When her father begins the battle of the heirs, Adeline is determined to win. If not, her own siblings may just kill her.
The game to survive begins. But she was outplayed.
Out now! Available here:
Today! And I finally got my copy of Aristotle and Dante - the sequel - ! Very excited to dive (😜) into it!
BOOKS I’VE READ IN 2021
ruin & rising by leigh bardugo read: mar 5 - 7 rating: four stars 15/?
Books I Read in 2021
#102 – The Japanese Lover, by Isabel Allende
Mount TBR: 84/100
Rating: 1/5 stars
If you had handed me this book with a fake cover listing a different author, I would not have been able to point out the lie.
My first Allende work was her memoir/ode to her daughter, Paula, and I was captivated by her vivid language and honest emotion. From there I kept my eye open for more of her work in my secondhand-sale scouring, and turned up Daughter of Fortune, which I found good but not great–but it was only my first fiction read of hers, the others could certainly be better, right?
Not this one. This has none of the vibrancy or honesty of either of those works. It’s a dry, disjointed tale with flat, often nonsensical characters, and a plot that never seemed to be going anywhere. (DNF just shy of halfway through, by the way. I was bored.)
If Daughter of Fortune was a beloved grandmother spinning me a tale of her younger years, and Paula a grieving mother laying out her pain with urgency and clarity, then The Japanese Lover is a bored professor three weeks from retirement phoning in her lectures until the school year is over.
I got nothing from this, and as the story went on it felt like a chore to keep reading. Nearly everyone in it is miserable, but their misery isn’t particularly compelling or interesting; again, because the historical aspects of it amount to dry recitations of the ills of the world (racism, concentration camps, human trafficking, I could keep going but I won’t) without any depth or insight into the characters those ills are attached to.
Today on Spotify we're discussing Lost in the Never Woods, a modern retelling of Peter Pan with an unexpected twist.
Today on Spotify we’re discussing Lost in the Never Woods, a modern retelling of Peter Pan with an unexpected twist. https://open.spotify.com/episode/1VYn9lsD1Z3Qqlp0KZ1fdk Like What You See? Don’t forget to follow Cyn’s Workshop on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Spotify | YouTube | BookBub | Goodreads | LinkedIn to stay tuned for future reviews. Become a Supporter Anchor. FM…
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I was in a reading slump, and this title keep showing up here and there, especially with the recent Netflix series -- so I decided to give it a go.
And BOY, do I have thoughts about it. Hence this review. With a bit of my own analysis, too.
I will try my best to be spoiler-free. However I might go over several storytelling aspects (like worldbuilding or character progression), so please be advised before continuing!
Here goes nothing.
Firstly, the summary
Taken from grishaverse.com, the official website for the series.
Soldier. Summoner. Saint.
Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold—a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.
Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with her country’s magical military elite—and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.
Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.
Quite intriguing, huh? Now, here's the basic data on the book:
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: fantasy, YA, angst (and a LOT of it)
Number of books: 3 (Shadow and Bones, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising). I love the names!
Vibes I get: steampunk, magepunk (not sure if this is a real world, but I heard a friend use it before), industrial era
Tropes: chosen ones, friends to lovers, slowburn romance, right person-wrong time, found family, us against the world
My opinion about this series
It has its moments, and it was the kind of book you can't put down without being eager to come back. However, it has some parts that makes it the kind of story that wouldn't suit everyone. I personally think it's good, but I wouldn't read it more than once.
What's notable about it, both good and bad (IMHO)
The worldbuilding! I love worldbuilding, and the world of Grishaverse is a great balance between real-gritty-historical world, with a dash of fantasy. There were also military and royalty elements thrown in. I recognize references to European cultures in several points, mainly in terms and names. What's genius was the people in the world know that magic exists (also known as 'small science'), but they also have the mindset that "yeah we have magic, but that's just a fairytale". It's kinda like us in the modern world who have all this science and debate "do alien exists?"
The narrative style. Leigh Bardugo masterfully use the "show, don't tell" approach to her storytelling. This is very apparent on several heartbreaking moments portrayed in the books. I haven't been in romantic relationship for a while, yet the sad romantic interactions remind me about the struggles of being in one. That conflicting feeling of wanting to push someone away but wanting them to be closer at the same time. Honestly, there were times I need to take a break from reading because it was so painful, but the storytelling keeps me coming back.
The foreshadowing! I believe foreshadowing is a tricky thing to pull off -- you need to give out little bits of clue without making it look like one, but it has to be significant enough that readers can pick it up. This series has some things foreshadowed, and I typically react in two ways: a smug "I knew it!" or a gasp of "oh shit, how did I not put two and two together?". Very satisfying either way.
The POV. This series use 1st-person POV, so Alina told her story to us (I did this and that), with the exceptions of first and last chapters of each books that use 3rd-person POV (she did this and that). I personally prefer stories with 3rd-person POV, though I understand why the author write it this way. The story was about Alina, and always about Alina, even with wars and terrors that surround her. The main conflict was always "man versus self", even when shits are going down in the entire world.
The conflict. AAAAAAAH I was so torn about this. Like I said, it was mainly about Alina and her inner self. I don't really dig it, though, because BABE, YOU'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A WAR, PLEASE CONCENTRATE ON SURVIVING?? Her character growth is not the battle-hardened track, and she keeps the soft, crybaby side of her to the end. And I'm not saying "crybaby" as a negative traits here, but a lot of problems stemmed from her personality, that much is true and is exasperating. I guess if we really consider Alina's circumstances, it makes sense. However, I'm only human and I get frustrated at her sometimes. BUT, she was a teenager in here, and I think it's to be expected somewhat. You can't put a teenager into a warzone and expect them to do everything perfectly, you know? That's why I'm conflicted. In the end, I just like a meaner main character I guess, and this book doesn't scratch that itch for me.
The characters' dynamic. As I said, Alina wasn't a battle-hardened type of person. However she has a way of building relationship and loyalty with others, and they support her where she needed. It's kinda sad because, well, they were trying to support each other with various ways and various degree of success, but they were just KIDS. Where are the ADULTS, goddamit? But I do like how not everyone is buddy-buddy, not everyone is close to everyone, and different pairs of characters have different feel and lingos to it. It's a great found family trope with realistic relationships.
The ending!!!!! You read the POV part above right? About how the stories was in 1st-person POV, except the first and last chapters? That's precisely where the problem is for me! After so many emotionally driven recounting from Alina, the ending was of strangers observing her and her love interest. At least make her tell us how she felt now that everything is over???? Again, I understand why the author did this (but I can't tell you because it would be a spoiler), and it also has a bit of foreshadowing, so I shouldn't be surprised, buuuut I still made that *surprised pikachu face* when reading the end. Actually, scratch that and make it a *scandalized pikachu face*. I just feel like the ending doesn't give me the closure I want, and I was a bit taken aback and gutted when the story ends. It felt like... "that's it? you gotta be kidding me". If you consider the entire story, though, the ending fits really well. It's just not for everyone.
This is longer than I expected but that's it! I think this series is good if you want to consider the writing skill of the author, but not really if you just want a story and an escape to fantasy world. Both are valid.
Reminder that my review is just an opinion, and what suits my taste (or not) might be different from what suits your taste. I recommend reading the books for yourself and find out if the stories is to your liking!
Until the next review, then.
It’s not a collection.
It’s a fucking Hoard.
Flash Back to Me by akatomlinson ( @mason-conaway )
the one where Louis loses his memory and Harry just about loses his mind trying to win him back (or something)
Characters: John Bernard “J.B.” Books and Bond Rogers
Media: The Shootist (1976)
Played by: John Wayne and Lauren Bacall
Setting: 1901, Carson City
If you’re looking for a fun, queer, witchy, cozy fall romp, this book is for you 💜✨💀🍂
Book Review This Is My First Review. I’m excited to be a part of the #wordpress community. I hope I’m welcome. ❤️BOOK TITLE: The Silent Patient BOOK AUTHOR: Alex MiichaelidesBOOK GENRE: ThrillerBOOK PAGE: 325 Pages MY REVIEW: 5 of 5 Stars Every single word imprinted on this page was magical, mysterious and equally enchanting. I have severe anxiety and I felt it so fiercely at the end of this…
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