Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want to See More Often in Our Community

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. This week, we’re talking about underrated gems we’ve discovered recently. So I am going to tell you about 10 books I read in 2016, that I wish were talked about more often in our book blogging and booktubing communitiesThey may not be underrated in general  (some of these have quite some ratings on Goodreads) but I don’t often see them mentioned in blog posts. 

Dark Legion (Blood of Blood #1) by Paul Kleynhans // This only has 51 ratings on Goodreads… That makes me so sad! I really enjoyed this first book, and the second one too. It’s a dark fantasy novel about a prince-turned-slave-assassin.

The Warded Man (Demon Cycle #1) by Peter V. Brett // This is not really an underrated series in general -especially not on Reddit Fantasy. There it’s mentioned quite often. But I don’t really see it around in our community, which makes me so sad. I loved it, and I still can’t wait to read the second book. 

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi // This isn’t technically underrated either because it was a 2015 Goodreads Awards nominee for Science Fiction, but again I never see people talk about it! It was really good. And kind of scary because it’s quite a realistic novel. I can actually see this happen to us all one day. 

Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers #1) by Rachel Aaron // I will always mention Rachel Aaron in posts like this one because I absolutely love her work and don’t often see people talk about it. (I mean, I’ve seen Mogsy and Kaja talk about this specific series. But they are the only ones I can really think of). I also love her Legend of Eli Monpress series and think that’s underrated too but I read that prior to 2016.

Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox #1) by Rachel Bach // Rachel Bach is the same person as Rachel Aaron (mentioned above), and I love her books. This is a space opera trilogy! About a mercenary woman, a spaceship with a bird as pilot -and other cool stuff. 

The Moon in the Palace (Empress of Bright Moon #1) by Weina Dai Randel // I’ve talked about this many times already. It’s a historical fiction novel set in Ancient China. Go read it. 

Gravity by Tess Gerritsen // I feel like Tess Gerritsen is quite well known, yet I haven’t seen many people talk about her books? Especially this one. Maybe I’m not following enough bloggers who read mysteries and thrillers?

The Emperor’s Spy (Rome #1) by M.C. Scott // I picked this one -and its sequel- up on a whim during a book sale. I love Ancient Rome, so I’m always willing to give books set in that time a go. I actually really enjoyed this! It’s historical fiction, and it includes a big part of history. By that, I mean the focus doesn’t just lie on Rome. 

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp // I’m not sure this is underrated either, because I have seen reviews around on blogs. But I still want more people to read it, and talk about it! 

Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram // I read this book in November last year, and was so surprised by it. I expected a cute and fluffy read. But this tackles so much more than just Cinderella. It’s about disability, family, self-confidence, bullying, grief, etc. This is a criminally underrated YA contemporary and people need to read it now. 


So those are 10 books I read in 2016 that I believe more people in our community should read/talk about. Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Which books do you think are underrated? 

Dementia in Literature | Disability Diaries

I wasn’t quite sure how to write this post, when I first got the idea. I want it to be informative and concrete, but at the same time respecting the privacy of my family. Like I’ve mentioned before, I personally do not have a disability (so I’m an able-bodied person, if you’re not familiar with the term). Yet there are quite some types of disability I’ve come in contact with growing up: cancer, diabetes, etc.

One of those disabilities is dementia. I don’t want to go into detail here, because I feel like it’s not my place to do so. I want to respect my family’s privacy. To understand why I’m writing this though, I will tell you that someone in my family suffers from dementia.

Before this happened, and the symptoms started rearing their heads, I didn’t really know much about dementia. I’m assuming a lot of you don’t either. We recognize terms such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but do we truly know what they are? They’re not the same at all.

Dementia is an umbrella term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. It’s a syndrome (a wide range of symptoms), not a disease, and there are many forms of dementia out there.

The two most common types of dementia are

  1. Alzheimer’s disease, which causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. It worsens over time, and there is no cure -at least, not yet.
  2. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke.

Most forms of dementia are progressive. The symptoms start out small, such as forgetting where you placed certain items or having difficulty learning new information, and get gradually worse.

There is this tendency in the world to just lob everything under the term of dementia or aging. Dementia symptoms are often seen as just a normal side effect of ageing. They’re not. Losing memories, changing behavior radically and the way you think are not part of ageing. On the other side of the coin, many other disabilities or syndromes get lobbed in the dementia category. For example, in my family someone has Parkinson’s. That’s not the same whatsoever. Other mental illnesses also get shoved under the dementia term, such as bipolar disorder. Misdiagnosing these disabilities and syndromes will neither help the patient nor those caring for them.


disability-diaries-dementia-experiences

Today, I’m talking about my experience with dementia, and that includes vascular dementia. There are really two sides to living with dementia: the side of the person who suffers from dementia, and the people close to said person.

I can’t speak from experience about being a person with dementia. I can only imagine it to be a terrifying thing, to slowly see your memories slip away. I can however, speak from experience about being close to someone who suffers from dementia.

It is an incredibly difficult thing. Dementia can not only affect your memories, but the person you are. It can start so small, with a person saying something completely out of character or context. And it can progress so quickly, that in a year that person will hardly recognize who you are.

It is so difficult to see a person you love so much, lose themselves so completely. When they forget the experiences and memories that made up so much of their lives, their personality changes too. Because you are formed by your experiences. Some return to childish behavior, like breaking stuff on purpose. Some get slurred speech, which makes it almost impossible to understand them.

After a while, it’s very possible that the person you love so much won’t remember you. That they will look at you and be confused, because who is that person visiting me? It hurts to see total confusion in the eyes of someone you love, and not see a spark of recognition.

So I hold on to my childhood memories of said person. I hold on to the Wednesday afternoons she watched over me and my brother while my parents were at work. I hold on to the “stoemp met spekjes” she made for us -which is basically mashed potatoes with spinach and bacon mashed in. I hold on to the countless of cartoons I watched while sitting on a cushion on the floor. To the spaghetti she made, which was always quite salty. To the strong woman who raised three children on her own, and kept a small farm (kind of) in a time where none of that was as “easy” as it is now. That is the woman I remember.

disability diaries dementia in lit.png

In the past few years, I’ve thought a lot about dementia. And I want to share some of that with you.

I think it’s incredibly important to portray dementia in literature. Reading about the experiences is not only useful for those working with patients with dementia, or family members. It’s important for everyone. It can mean noticing the signs early on, which gives the doctors a better chance of fighting it. It can mean knowing what to do once you do start showing symptoms, and how to talk to your family about it. It can show you ways to deal with dementia, or how you’re basically grieving for a person who is still there, but isn’t.

this is where it ends

I can only think of one book I’ve read that features a person with dementia, and that is This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp. It’s not one of the main characters though, but the mom of one of the students in the book. She’s slowly forgetting so much, and Sylv is doing all she can to care for her.

For a syndrome that is SO prevalent in our world at the moment, it is sorely underrepresented. Especially in YA and kidlit. So I’m going to try and read more about it. Read more fiction with dementia in it. Here are three books, I want to read in 2017.

disability-diaries-dementia-tbr

 

The Memory Wall: Severkin is an elf who slinks through the shadows of Wellhall’s spiraling stone towers, plundering ancient ruins and slaying mystical monstrosities with ease. He’s also a character in a video game—a character that twelve-year-old Nick Reeves plays when he needs a break from the real world. And lately, Nick has really needed a break. His mother had an “incident” at school last year, and her health has taken a turn for the worse.

The Memory Wall is a MG/YA book, and I believe it talks about dementia -or Alzheimer’s specifically, I don’t know. It’s so far the only one I could find.

Still Alice: Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Still Alice has also been turned into a movie, so I want to watch that one too. This isn’t a kidlit book, but an adult fiction one.

Hersenschimmen: This is a Dutch book that follows Maarten, who is quickly losing his grip on his memories and reality. This is a book about dementia and love, as I believe it also has a focus on his wife -who he sometimes doesn’t recognize.

Have you read any books about dementia? I would really like some recommendations from you all, whether it’s kidlit or adult.


Don’t forget to check out all the other posts by the other hosts, Ely @ Tea and Titles, Cee Arr @ Diary of a Reading Addict, Dina @ Dinasoaur, Angel @ Angel Reads, and Lara @ Another Teen Reader.

Sources I used:

http://www.alz.org/what-is-dementia.asp

http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp

Weekly Wrap Up | January #2

what i read 80c8b0

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough // ★★★★★ // This had been on my shelf for months, and I finally picked it up. I can’t tell you how beautiful this story is. It’s also quite a diverse read -even though I hate what happened to one of the “diverse characters”.  I would highly recommend this historical fiction book with magical realism/fantasy additions.

Postkapitalisme by Paul Mason (Originally: Postcapitalism: A Guide to the Future by Paul Mason) // Translated by Menno Grootveld // ★★★★ // Look at me achieving my 2017 goals. This is a non-fiction read that was translated into Dutch, and that I got from the library. 4/5 goals achieved right there. I really enjoyed this book, and it gave me loads to think about. At times it was an incredibly easy read, but other times I really struggled to continue (especially in the very historical events heavy parts). I’d really recommend it though.

what i watched 80c8b0

As always, I watched the new Conviction and Criminal Minds episodes! I also watched the first episode of season 1 of Black Mirror. What a fucked up episode. I mean, really. I do want to continue, but it’s not a series I can binge. I also watched the first episode of A Series of Unfortunate Events! I was scared NPH wouldn’t be able to do Count Olaf justice, but so far I’m really enjoying it.

in real life 80c8b0

What happened this week?

We started the #DisabilityDiaries2017 event! I talked about dyslexia in YA, and you can fidn my post here. I also link to the other blogs participating in the event in that post. You should really check their posts out too, because they’ve written some amazing and thought-provoking pieces.

I also went to the China Lights show in the Antwerp Zoo. My dad’s work organized this company trip with a boat ride (+BBQ/food) from our region to the port of Antwerp, and then we got to see the show in Antwerp. It was really beautiful! I posted a picture on my Instagram, if you want to see it. 


That was my week! How was yours? Did you read, watch or do anything fun? I’d love to hear about it!

Dyslexia in YA | Disability Diaries

When Ely asked me to participate in Disability Diaries, I couldn’t be more excited or grateful. You may all be thinking: “Jolien, I didn’t know you had a disability?”. I don’t. At first I thought this would make my participation less valid, because I can’t speak from experience, nor am I an #ownvoices person in his topic. Then I thought about how many able-bodied people out there, including me, have no idea how to address disability or what it means to be disabled (in any way there is). So I think it’s important for able-bodied people to go out and look for books on disability. That way we can learn, become more educated and hopefully never say something (accidentally) rude again.

*warning: there may be a slight Six of Crows spoiler ahead, as I’m talking about Crooked Kingdom*

As you may have guessed from the title, I’m talking about dyslexia today. If you aren’t aware, dyslexia is a learning disability characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. Next to dyslexia, there are also some other “similar” disabilities, such as dyspraxia (which affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults) and dyscalculia (which is a learning ability that makes it very hard to make sense of numbers and math concepts, it makes them difficult to grasp, understand and apply).

When I took a look at my shelves, I could only find 2 books I had ever read that featured a character with dyslexia. So I’m talking about them today.

disability-diaries-dyslexia-representation-1

crooked-kingdom

For those of you who have read Six of Crows, you know that Wylan is dyslexic. Wylan is an amazing chemist, creating his own fireworks (kind of), bombs and artillery. He’s also the son of a nobleman. During Six of Crows, you find out that Jan Van Eck, Wylan’s father, has been sending him letters often which makes you think that he cares for his son. In fact, his father knows that Wylan can’t read. He sends the letters as a cruel reminder of the fact.

Here’s a quote from Crooked Kingdom, talking about Wylan’s dyslexia:

Jan Van Eck was three kinds of fool for the way he’d treated his son, but Jesper could admit he was curious about Wylan’s supposed “affliction”. He wanted to know what Wylan saw when he tried to read, why he seemed fine with equations or prices on a menu, but not sentences or signs.

I was pleasantly surprised at how Leigh Bardugo wrote about Wylan and his dyslexia. He wasn’t just his disability. He was an amazingly interesting character first: a wonder with explosions and chemistry, a shy guy who blushes when Jesper flirts with him, an incredible friend to Kaz and his crew. And he has dyslexia. I think it’s important to talk about disability, of course, but also to not reduce the character to only their disability.

I found it interesting to see how Wylan had built a life to avoid exposing his dyslexia. He memorized books when people read them to him –I’ve also just discovered that memorizing is an encouraged way of learning in an alternative manner for people with dyslexia. He sought hobbies and passions that didn’t require him to read, only to work with numbers.

To me, that is both interesting -and a tad worrying. It’s interesting and good because it allows him to develop other skills. It shows that he is an intelligent person, as dyslexia has no correlation to intelligence whatsoever. But it’s also worrying because dyslexia is not a disability that is curable, or will go away. Is it good to truly avoid reading? People with dyslexia can learn to read! They may use different reading tactics than our “normal” education offers, but with help and patience, they can learn to read.

Overall, I found the representation of dyslexia in Crooked Kingdom very interesting, and it gave me a lot to think about. Such as how to best help children with dyslexia now? How to nurture their possible love of books in a different way? What must it have been like for those with dyslexia throughout history?

*Note: I am not dyslexic. I have done my best to analyze the representation in this book objectively, but obviously I could have gotten a lot of it wrong. If you are dyslexic, I would really appreciate it if you could enlighten me about the representation in this book. If you have found a review or talk about this book from an #ownvoices point of view, let me know!*


disability-diaries-dyslexia-representation-2

percy jackson 1

The only other book on my bookshelf, and my initial Goodreads search, that includes a character with dyslexia is the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. I’ll talk about how horrifying that is later. First, let’s talk about Percy Jackson.

I think there are both positive and negative aspects of the representation of dyslexia in this book/series.

What are the positives?

First of all, this series is incredibly popular not just with young adults, but children as well. This means that more people will read about Percy who is dyslexic -and thus the learning disability becomes more widely known. Hopefully, some kids will recognize the descriptions Percy gives of his reading experiences and know they are dyslexic. On a lot of websites about dyslexia, I’ve read that lots of kids believe they are stupid or that their brain is defect because they don’t know about learning disabilities or dyslexia. So this could help kids realize that they are neither defects nor stupid in any way.

The second positive aspect is one that I only really realized when reading these as an adult. It makes me realize how severely our education systems are lacking in dealing with learning disabilities. In this story, we are told that Percy goes from school to school and that most teachers think he’s a bad student. There has only been one teacher who believed in him:

But Mr. Brunner expected me to be as good as everybody else, despite the fact that I have dyslexia and attention deficit disorder and I have never made above a C- in my life.

The fact that students with a learning disability have so little support in education systems around the word makes me incredibly sad -especially because a fair amount of the population actually suffers from them. As an adult, this makes me realize I need to educate myself on how to best support children (and adults obviously) with a learning disability, instead of making them sit through the same curriculum and methods as everyone else and watch them withdraw or feel awful about it.

But there is also a negative aspect to the dyslexia representation in this book, I think. In this series, it’s all about being a half-blood. For most half-bloods this means dyslexia, a common disability they all share. However, it’s being explained as their brains being hardwired for Ancient Greek, not English. I feel like in many ways, this is a cop-out. In Greek, they’d have almost no problems reading anymore? I know it’s a way of adding more to the half-blood persona, but it would have been even better, in my opinion, if these kick-ass half-bloods had just sought out ways to help each other with their learning disability instead of explaining it away.


disability-diaries-dyslexia-conclude

So what have I learned, when looking for dyslexia in my books -and reading about it?

I have learned that this learning disability, which apparently up to 15-20% of the population shares in some degree, is sorely underrepresented in literature. I could only find two books I’d read that feature it, and one book that has gone onto my TBR immediately: Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

I have realized how little I knew about helping those with dyslexia. Now I know that there are several other ways to help them: for example, audio-books. This could be very useful both in fiction and with textbooks. Or use apps with voice recognition software to let your child dictate their ideas.

I have realized that I want to actively help more -and maybe see whether my local library has a program to help dyslexic children to read more.

I have realized that our current educational system sorely lacks the knowledge and resources to help children with learning disabilities. We could do so much for this children through listening, memorizing, letting them sit closer to the teacher to filter background noise out more easily, reading to them and encouraging them. But we don’t. Instead, we have one “normal” educational system for young children. At least in Belgium, children all have the same elementary school education (except for children who have been diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome, and a few other disabilities). But children who have dyslexia can only truly realize this when they start their journey of reading, which happens in elementary school. Then, they are already stuck in this educational track that is the same for everyone. And not being able to read as fast, or grasp the numbers on your piece of paper, quickly gets these children the label of “stupid” or “lazy”. We need to make teachers aware of the symptoms of these learning disabilities, and give them tips on how to help these kids.

I have realized that the problem with dyslexia starts with the diagnosis. Not only do we not make enough of an effort to help children and adults who have been diagnosed with dyslexia/dyscalculia/dyspraxia, we also don’t make the diagnosis accessible enough. In some (I don’t know whether this applies in every country, obviously) it is too expensive to get a formal diagnosis on these disabilities. It can even be hard to find a psychologist who provides the diagnosis. If we don’t even make an effort to diagnose these children/adults, how will we ever be able to help them?

In my effort to understand dyslexia more, I tried this “Through Your Child’s Eyes” simulator. It allows you to kind of see what it’s like for your child if they have a learning disability. I took the experience of a child having trouble reading, and it’s honestly the hardest thing I have ever done.

That’s what I learned this week. By opening my eyes and LOOKING for representation, I have found myself disappointed in our education system, and willing to actively help and understand more.

If you are a person with dyslexia, I would love to hear your thoughts on representation. Or if you know someone with dyslexia. Would you have any books to recommend? Any representation issues I may have missed? Any tips on helping those with dyslexia? Talk to me, people.

Don’t forget to check out all the other posts by the other hosts, Ely @ Tea and Titles, Cee Arr @ Diary of a Reading Addict, Dina @ Dinasoaur, Angel @ Angel Reads, and Lara @ Another Teen Reader.


Here are some of the resources I used:

www.dyslexiaida.org

www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/understanding-dyslexia

Simulator Through Your Child’s Eyes: https://www.understood.org/en/tools/through-your-childs-eyes

Review: The Demon King

the demon kingThe Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima
Published: 2010 by Harper Voyager (first published: 06.10.2009)

Genre: YA, Fantasy
Source: TBR (Physical Copy)

Rating: 4/5 stars – ★★★★
Goodreads

Synopsis: Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch, and reformed thief Han Alister must rely on all his skills to provide for his mother and his sister. While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer, discover three young wizards using a magical amulet to set fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han wrestles it from them, but without realising that his heroism has put him and his family in great danger. For the young arsonist is Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, and the amulet a treasure with immense power; it once belonged to the Demon King, the legendary wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. The Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back. Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells, has just returned to the city after spending three years with her father’s Clan in the mountains. She aspires to be like Hanalea, the legendary warrior-queen who vanquished the Demon King and saved the world, but her mother has other plans for her – plans that will put both the queendom and Raisa’s future in great danger.

review

I can’t tell you how long I’d been putting off this book. I think it was on my shelf for 3 years before I picked it up? I know, such a shame. Here’s my reason for it though: I was scared. This book has been getting some hype for YEARS. I can remember people talking about it years ago, telling me I’d love it. That’s a lot of pressure, okay? Hype can be a scary thing. But I’m glad I finally picked it up, because I did quite enjoy it. 

WORLD

I’ll start with a complaint. With this entire book, I have 2 little complaints. One of them is related to the world. My book doesn’t have a map. That made it less visual, and sometimes more confusing, to read while people are talking about different kingdoms, travel and regions. why don’t I have a map?

Okay. Complaint aside, I actually genuinely loved this world. There are basically three prominent regions in THIS book. There’ll be more in the next. However, in The Demon King we have the mountains where the Clans live, the Vale which is where the “normal” people live and then there is Fellsmarch where the royals live. 

There are two clans prominent in this book: the Marisa Pines Clan who live on the mountain Hanalea and the Demonai Clan. Marisa Pines is a clan of healers and such, while the Demonai are warriors and therefore travel most of the time. The Clans have many rituals of story telling to keep history alive, naming day rituals to choose a vocation and a Clan to live with from the moment you come of age. I actually thought the Clans were the most interesting of all the people in this book. 

Then there is the royal family, who live in Fellsmarch, and the wizards -who live nearby. Since the Breaking and the Naéming (did I write that correctly??) wizards are forbidden to enter and walk on the mountains. The mountains are Clan territory, and their people get their magic from their connection with nature and everything organic. The Wizards however, have a different magical source. 

I absolutely loved this world. You get some court life at Fellsmarch, some regular citizen life in the city Han navigates, and the Clan life in the mountains. It’s all so interesting!

I really enjoyed this world and its people. I’m hoping the next book I buy has a map, so it’ll be even easier for me to navigate the story.

P.S. I also love the fact that this is a queendom, and not a kingdom. And the fact that spellcheck says queendom doesn’t exist but kingdom does makes me question the spellcheck-people.

PLOT

This is my only other complaint for this review: the synopsis of this book is misleading, in my opinion. It’s not the story of Han being hunted by the Bayar, and Raisa who tries to be the legendary Hanalea. So if you go into this book expecting that, you’ll be sitting there like: when is this thing going to happen? 

I think the synopsis of this story should mention Han taking the amulet, and trying to survive his complicated life. And Raisa is trying to be the queen she always wanted to be, and is starting to wonder who she can trust. That’s a better synopsis of this story. 

I loved the story line of this book though, aside from my expectations. I really liked the characters, and thus is was a pleasure to follow their journeys. I wasn’t bored, nor did I prefer one perspective over the other. I think I do love Han just that tad bit more though… 

I don’t really want to say anything about the plot because I don’t want to spoil you. Let’s just say that some of it was quite predictable, but I never minded, nor did it bore me. I was just as happy reading until the revelation took place. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so predictable to me if I’d read it 6-7 years ago?

My point being: this was a fun story. I was never bored, and just wanted to keep reading. In fact, I read this on the train and tram to work and back, and finished it in 2 days.

CHARACTERS

Okay, let’s talk about Han. I have a soft spot for characters like him. The ones with good intentions, who resort to thieving out of necessity. The ones who take care of their friends and family. The lost boys. Just let me hug you. But he also made me laugh and cheer for him. It wasn’t just a wounded puppy act. He’s a smart and kind person, and I hope he crushes all his enemies. I also really enjoyed how adorable he was with Bird

Raisa is a fun character too. She’s a smart woman, who knows she wants to be a better queen than her mother is. She just doesn’t quite know how to do that. So she asks those she trusts for advice. I like that she didn’t just try to figure out everything on her own, but instead also relied on her father, her best friend and her grandmother. 

At one point, I was like: don’t let this be a love square, please. But this isn’t really even a love triangle? Raisa kisses 2 guys in this story, yes. But she doesn’t see herself as in love with them. She just likes them, and wants to kiss them. And you know what: you do whatever you want, girl. And Han has a quite fling/romance too. I love how it wasn’t all serious like: how can I possibly choose between these two people when I would die without either of them? No. It was just like they were dating. Or just making out, really. 

I also loved Dancer, Han’s best friend. Here’s a quote to illustrate my love:

“Relax, copperhead.” Bayar licked his lips, his eyes fixed on Dancer’s knife. “Here’s the thing. My father says that girls who go to the camps come back proud and opinionated and difficult to manage. That’s all.” He smirked as if it were a joke they could all share. Dancer did not smile. “Are you saying that the blooded heir to the throne of the Fells needs to be…managed?”

YES DANCER. YOU TELL THAT IDIOT.


All in all, I’m both happy and sad. I’m happy that I enjoyed it so much. I’m sad because I didn’t pick it up sooner, and because I don’t own the sequels. And it’s one of my goals to buy less. BUT I SHOULD MAKE AN EXCEPTION, NO?

Top 5 Wednesday: 2017 Debuts!

So I felt kind of guilty about making this video/post because I’ve already made a TTT list on the topic. But then I found some more debuts I’m really looking forward to, so I decided to make a list with 5 more. 

These authors made these descriptions themselves on Twitter, because Nori made an amazing #2017debut thread.

Books mentioned:

Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly DeVos // Fall 2017 //  “Plus-size teen feels like she needs to lose weight for her fashion career, learns to love herself instead.” #bodypositivity? Hell yes. 

27 Hours by Tristina Wright // October 3rd 2017 // “queer teens in space” 

The Tiger’s Daughter (Their Bright Ascendancy #1) by K. Arsenault Rivera // October 3rd 2017 // “Two warrior princesses who slay demons together and smooch.”

Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar // 2017? // “10-year-old girl in 1942 India whose mother joins Ghandi’s freedom movement.” This was in the thread of 2017 debuts, but Goodreads says it’ll be published in 2018? There’s no specific date though. 

The Breaking Light by Heather Hanson // April 1st 2017 // “YA SF gender switched Romeo and Juliet.”

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Releases I Never Actually Read in 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. This week, it’s all about the 2016 releases you obviously meant to read in 2016 but then never actually did… Does that happen to me? OF COURSE NOT. I’m organized. Most of the time…

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas // Jolien, didn’t you read this along with everyone else in September/October? HAHAHAHAHA NO. I am putting this off for some unknown reason. 

Age of Myth (Legends of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan // Michael Sullivan is one of my favorite fantasy authors. And I was SO excited about this series starting in 2016. But I haven’t read it yet. I haven’t even bought it yet. I prefer paperbacks, and the paperback version hasn’t been released yet. And the hardcover is really expensive.

Nevernight (Nevernight #1) by Jay Kristoff // This seems like an amazing fantasy read, about assassins and a school -obviously, I know nothing. But I’ve heard such mixed reviews on this one too. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany & Jack Thorne // To be honest, I’m scared to read this. So many people didn’t like it at all. And it’s not a novel -and I have no experience reading plays. And it wasn’t written by Rowling… 

No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished (Heartstrikers #3) by Rachel Aaron // I really loved the first two books in this urban fantasy series, and immediately bought the third one when the Kindle ebook was released. But I haven’t read it yet! 

The Crown’s Game (Crown’s Game #1) by Evelyn Skye // Magicians fighting each other for a place with the ruler of a Russian-inspired fantasy world? That sounds like something I would adore. So why haven’t I read it yet? 

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel // I’ve been wanting to read more science fiction, and this seems like an incredible sci-fi read. It’s about a girl who falls through a whole in the Earth, into a giant metal palm. 

And I Darken (Conquerors Saga #1) by Kiersten White // Not only is this about a female version of Vlad the Impaler, I have seen nothing but raving reviews. Must. Read. This. Soon.

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab // I love her work as V.E. Schwab but I haven’t read any she has written as Victoria -her full name, obviously. So I’m intrigued. 

The Hidden Oracle (Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan // I know. I haven’t read this one, I haven’t read a Magnus Chase book either. I’m so behind on one of my favorite authors new series! I can’t even believe it. 


So those are 10 books released in 2016, that I really should have read in 2016. I must get to these SOON! Which one should be my top priority?