Blogmas Day #12: Three Gifts for Three Young Adult Books

blogmas

If you’re a huge fan of books, often times you’re a huge fan of bookish merchandize. Below, I found three gifts for three series in young adult fiction that would make great gifts any time of the year for fans of these series.

If they’re a fan of… The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I love merchandise that looks like it could easily fit into a room’s decor without people knowing right away where it comes from. This scroll map of Elfhame on Etsy would be the perfect gift to decorate your room without sticking out among other decor.

If they’re a fan of… To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before 

Another interesting piece of merchandise that I found online was a hoodie that mimics Peter Kavinsky’s from the Netflix adaption on Etsy. This hoodie features a school logo on the front, as well as Kavinsky’s name and number on the back. I think this would be perfect for a fan of the books as well as someone who is a huge fan of Noah Centineo, who plays Peter Kavinsky in the movie.

If they’re a fan of… Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Candles are a popular gift in subscription boxes, and these candles inspired by the Renegades series would be a great gift for a fan of the series. This set of two candles includes a blue candle named Renegades and a red candle named Anarchists.

 

What are your favorite bookish gifts?

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Renegades Review

book review

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a new Marissa Meyer book!

Renegades, the first book in Marissa Meyer’s new young adult series, follows prodigy Nova as she attempts to infiltrate her city’s superhero organization in order to eliminate them. After the organization, known as the Renegades, failed to protect her family, Nova aligned herself with her uncle’s rebel group, the Anarchists. After witnessing the abuse of her fellow Anarchists, Nova decides to join the Renegades to learn their secrets and to take them down once and for all.

I rank The Lunar Chronicles as one of my favorite young adult series, so I was extremely excited to start a new series by the same author. In The Lunar Chronicles, I loved the characters, the setting, and Meyer’s re-invention of classic fairy tales. While I don’t think the first book in this new series is as strong as The Lunar Chronicles in regards to those three aspects, I did enjoy the book overall and will definitely continue the series.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the reasons Marissa Meyer’s books are so popular are the characters. In this book, I’m on the fence about the overall execution. I really enjoyed the two main characters, Nova and Adrian. Their backstories were pretty well-developed and aligned with their motivations. However, I really needed a little more from the side characters. While I appreciated the helpful guide in the front of the book to help me remember both the character and their superhero persona, it was hard to differentiate between personalities of them individually in the book. I felt like too many characters were introduced in this book, so none of them really popped like side characters in other Marissa Meyer books (for example, Iko stood out in Cinder).

As for the setting, there were aspects that I really enjoyed and some aspects that I thought could be improved. I appreciated how Marissa Meyer gave us a lot of backstory on how the world in this book came to be. Additionally, I enjoyed that we were able to see any aspects of both the Renegade and Anarchist organizations. The only aspect that I wasn’t a huge fan of was the carnival-like feel given to the Anarachist. Where they live and how they dress came across as a little cartoonish so they never really seemed like a threat. Especially since the books literally ends at an amusement park/carnival setting, I didn’t get the strongest superhero vibes.

Another huge reason that people love Marissa Meyer’s books is she takes an idea done many time before, but puts her own spin on it. Once again, I’m hoping to see a little more growth in this area within the next books in the series. Although some of the superheroes have fun and different powers (for example, I really enjoyed Adrian’s superpower where whatever he sketched came to life), none of the story elements so far differ from the typical superhero story line. That being said, I still really enjoyed this book and found myself keep turning the pages to see what happened next.

Even though most of my review contains mixed feelings towards this book, I have high hopes that this series will continue to improve just as The Lunar Chronicles did. While I have mixed feelings towards some aspects of this book, I still really enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down once I started reading. I give Renegades five out of five stars.

Rip It or Ship It Book Tag

Blogentines

Love is in this air this Blogentine’s Day with the Rip It or Ship It Book Tag. Originally created by Emma at emmmabooks (see her video here), this book tag takes characters from different books and judges whether or not they cute be a cute couple/friends or not so much. Here are my answers:

  • Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and Nesta from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Since Thorne drives Cinder nuts in the Lunar Chronicles, I can only imagine how Nesta would respond. Honestly, I don’t think Thorne would make it out alive! Since Thorne is one of my favorite characters from The Lunar Chronicles, I’m going to have to rip it.

  • Cress from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and Cassian from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Even though I like Nesta’s fiery personality with Cassian, I can see Cress having a crush on Cassian. Like Thorne, he’s very confident with the ladies and is willing to sacrifice himself for his friends. I ship it!

  • Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and Matthias from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Well, for this one, it depends if I think of Six of Crows Matthias or Crooked Kingdom Matthias. I definitely think Six of Crows Matthias would be too judgmental to even see Cinder as human. However, I think Crooked Kingdom Matthias could be friendly towards Cinder. I still can’t ever see them as a couple though. I rip this one.

  • Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and Kai from The Lunar Chronicles

Hm… I think Feyre and Kai could definitely get along. They both make good leaders, but also have a dash of sass in them. Even though Feyre tends to like guys in power positions, I can only see her as being friends with Kai. I ship them as friends, but not as significant others.

  • Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins and Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I can’t exactly pinpoint why, but I just can’t see this at all. Even though Lola definitely has an artistic streak like Feyre and is into bad boys (at least at the beginning of the book), I can’t see her Rhysand together. I’m going to rip this one.

 

What couples do you rip or ship?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that I Hope Santa Leaves Under My Tree

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is books that I hope Santa leaves under my tree. Last year, I had a very bookish Christmas and I hope this year is the same! Even though there aren’t ten, here are the books that I added to my Christmas wish list:

  • Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades (Renegades, #1)

Marissa Meyer is one of my favorite authors, so I’m excited she released another book! Even though I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book, I can’t wait to finally read it for myself.

  • Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Blood for Blood (Wolf By Wolf, #2)

Wolf by Wolf was one of my favorite fantasy books of the year. I checked it out from my library, but was disappointed when my library didn’t have the sequel. I’m so happy that I will have the chance to read this book next year!

  • Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last Word

I want to read more books that feature characters with mental illnesses. Every Last Word features a main character with OCD. I saw this book online and was intrigued by the plot. I also was really excited because I thought I saw this book in my library. After discovering that it wasn’t in my library, I thought it could be a great addition to my Christmas list.

  • Amazon Gift Card

Image result for amazon gift card

I’m the type of person that when people in my family ask what I want for Christmas, I can’t think of anything. Usually, I just end up suggesting a gift card. I always love Amazon gift cards so I can buy more books for my Kindle!

 

What books do you hope Santa leaves under the tree?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Winter TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is books on my winter TBR. With several new releases and several other books I’ve been wanting to read, I had a lot of books to choose from! Here are the top ten books on my winter TBR:

  • Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades (Renegades, #1)

A new Marissa Meyer book set outside of The Lunar Chronicles world? Of course this is on my list! Even though this book has recently been released, I haven’t read it yet because it’s on my Christmas list. Hopefully, I will love this book as much as I love her other books!

  • What Light by Jay Asher

What Light

I haven’t heard great things about this book, but it seems like a great book to read around the Christmas time because it takes place on a Christmas tree farm. I can’t wait to light some winter-scented candles and read this book by my Christmas tree.

  • Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

Love, Life, and the List

I don’t know how Kasie West cranks out so many books in a year, but I’m not complaining! I’m so excited to read this book since it’s going to be part of a three book cross over, so I’ll get to see the characters again.

  • Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Vengeance Road (Vengeance Road, #1)

The description of this book reminds me of Walk the Earth a Stranger, which I didn’t really enjoy. However, I’m interested in reading more western-style books that seem to be popping up more frequently.

  • Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely

Gunslinger Girl

This book has an interesting premise: after World War III, the west turns back into the wild west and a girl is offered fame and fortune in one of the most lawless cities. This book comes out early next year and I can’t wait to pick it up!

  • One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

One for the Murphys

I recently read Fish in a Tree by the same author and really enjoyed it. This book focuses on a girl in foster care. I love middle grade books dealing with real life situations, so this book is right up my alley.

  • Fallen Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)

I don’t know much about this book other than it is high fantasy and reviews are mixed. I know I’ll never pick this book up in the summer, so I want to try to read it when I’m reading more books outside of the contemporary realm.

  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

I gave A Court of Thorns and Roses another shot and enjoyed it, so I would like to do the same with Throne of Glass especially since Hulu will be turning into a series!

  • Wires and Nerve, Volume 2: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer

Wires and Nerve, Volume 2: Gone Rogue

I love The Lunar Chronicles world, so it will be fun to read about my favorite characters again when this book comes out in January.

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lions, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis 

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)

I’ve been wanting to read The Chronicles of Narnia after I watched the movie awhile ago. I have a feeling that I would really enjoy this book if I read it again and winter seems like the perfect time.

 

What books are on your winter TBR?

Wires and Nerve Review

wires and nerve

Wires, and nerve, and Iko, oh my!

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer takes place after The Lunar Chronicles series ends and follows everyone’s favorite andriod, Iko. Even though Levana’s rule has ended, her mutant soldiers still walk the earth and cause more attacks on civilians. Iko decides to take the job of corralling the soldiers back to the Luna with the help of a few members from the Rampion crew and one of Cinder’s handsome guards.

Before Wires and Nerve, I haven’t really read any graphics novels. However, I’m a huge fan of The Lunar Chronicles world and will pretty much read anything that Marissa Meyer writes that takes place in it. After being slightly disappointed with Stars Above, I didn’t go into Wires and Nerve with incredibly high expectations. Even though there are some aspects of this book that I would change, I overall enjoyed this graphic novel and plan on reading its next installment.

The highlight of this book definitely lies with Iko as the main character. Although she is one of the heroes of the Lunar Revolution, we never really see her perspective in the original series and she acts more as a cute and fun side character. With her bubbly personality, incredible fashion sense, and the only android character, it was nice to finally see her perspective. In this book, Iko’s voice really stands out and readers get a more complex look at her character, especially the discrimination she faces as an android.

Another aspect of this story that I enjoyed was how easy and enjoyable it was to read. I read Wires and Nerve within a couple of hours in only one sitting. The story is very easy to follow and it was very fun to have more adventures with characters from one of my favorite series. Although some readers may not enjoy the primarily blue and red artwork throughout the novel, especially since some of the character may not look like how they pictured, I really enjoyed it. Since I’m not a huge reader of graphic novels, seeing such a familiar world made me really interested in reading more graphic novels outside of The Lunar Chronicles world.

That being said, there were a few things that I loved in the original Lunar Chronicles series that I found missing in the graphic novel. The first being that some of the original characters seemed a little out of character in the graphic novels series. Besides Iko, we mostly see Thorne and Cress from the original nine characters. While Thorne felt more true to his personality, for some reason, Cress seemed a little bit off to me. Cress always felt more comfortable in dresses, so it surprised me that the artists outfitted her in a loose fitting shirt and cargo pants throughout the whole novel. While Cress does get more brave throughout the original series, her boldness as well as some of her dialogue seemed a little off to me.

One minor complaint that I have with this novel is the romance. Iko’s love interest, Kinney, was introduced in Winter. Unfortunately, I feel like his character never really develops any more in this novel. Iko and Kinney definitely have a love-hate relationship, especially since Kinney struggles to see Iko as more than an android. Even we’re told Kinney is a good guy due to his loyalty to Cinder, I never see this in his actions, especially towards Iko. Whenever Iko and Kinney finally have “a moment” in the book, it really comes out of nowhere and it wasn’t something that I anticipated like I did with the other couples in the series. Hopefully, Kinney and his relationship with Iko develop more in the next installment.

Another issue that I had with this book was the plot and the pacing. In the original series, readers are offered multiple points of view throughout the story that hint at different story lines or make the story line at hand more complex. Even though we are offered multiple perspectives in this book, I found it not as successful as in the original series. In this graphic novel, I felt like the multiple perspectives told me what happened because it actually occurred in the novel, which took away an element of surprise. Additionally, I didn’t see as many layers to the plot as the original series which made the book a little boring at times.

Overall, Wires and Nerve is a great book for fans of The Lunar Chronicles. I definitely would recommend reading the original series before picking up this one in order not to spoil any outcomes for the original series and to understand the language and plot used within this book better. Since I really enjoyed reading about Iko and the graphic novel format, but had some characterization and plot issues, I give this book four out of five stars.

 

Stars Above Book Review

stars above review

I’m giving Stars Above by Marissa Meyer an average number of stars.

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer gives fans of The Lunar Chronicles a deeper look with a collection of short stories. Within this collection, most of the stories focus on the characters before The Lunar Chronicles take place. Readers also are given a short story with characters new to The Lunar Chronicles world, a scene from Cinder from Kai’s point of view, and a story that takes place after the events of The Lunar Chronicles.

I’m a huge fan of The Lunar Chronicles series and will pretty much read anything that Marissa Meyer writes which takes place in this world. Needless to say, I went into Stars Above with high expectations. Although there were a few stand out stories, I only found myself mildly interested in this story collection.

I think the greatest reason I found myself not completely invested in this collection is because many of the stories take place before The Lunar Chronicles with several of the stories already being vaguely mentioned in the original series. For example, the background stories about Scarlet’s grandmother or how Cinder came to Beijing, are already mentioned in The Lunar Chronicles. These stories weren’t awful and I definitely enjoyed some of them, but it wasn’t as exciting to read stories where I already knew the ending.

As for the story that didn’t feature characters from the original series, I was slightly disappointed. I didn’t feel invested in any of the characters and I sometimes found it difficult to follow the story line. Since this felt like one of the longer stories in the collection, I struggled to finish it. I’m also not a fan of stories that are the same story from a different character’s point of view, which is Kai’s story within the collection. To me, I feel like I’m just reading the same story again.

The highlight of this collection is the final story. I heard about this story before the book and I knew it further developed some of the relationships from the original series. This story is also the only story in the collection which takes place after the original series. Out of all of the stories in this collection, this was by far my favorite. I loved seeing all my favorite characters again and getting a glimpse of their lives after all of the drama that concluded with Winter. Without giving away any spoilers, this story will really delight some die-hard shippers of Lunar Chronicles couple.

While I loved reading more stories centered on The Lunar Chronicles, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as others within the series. I appreciated learning more of the back stories of some of the characters, but only found myself loving one of the stories in the collection. I give Stars Above three out of five stars.

Top Five All-Time Favorite Series

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Over the past few weeks, I started a series of posts on my favorite book series. First, I started with Five Series I Will Not Finish. Then, I discussed Five Series I Need to Finish. Last week, I talked about Five Series I Want to Read. Today, I’ll conclude my series on book series with my five all-time favorite series.

When I was younger there were a lot of series that I loved to read. I devoured anything Junie B. Jones, Magic Tree House, Judy Moody, Baby-sitter’s Club, and Pony Pals. Even though those series will always hold a special place in my heart, I’m going to focus more on series that I’ve read recently. On this list, there are many series that I read from seeing on different book blogs and I was surprised that actually enjoyed. Now, they are some of my favorite series of all time! Here are my choices for my five all-time favorite series:

  • The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot

The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1)

I remember reading books in this series as early as fourth grade. A few summers ago, I reread the whole series straight through and it brought back so many memories of why I loved this series throughout my entire school experience. I loved Meg Cabot’s fun and humorous style that I didn’t usually read in school. I related to Mia and wished that I could be the Princess of Genovia. I know that this series will always hold a special place in my heart so it deserves to be in my top five favorite series.

  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

I remember that I picked up The Hunger Games on a whim because I heard some positive reviews for it and my sister heard that they would be turning it into a movie. I literally flew through this book and purchased the next two books in the series the very next day. I recommended this book to all of my friends, bought tons of Hunger Games merchandise from the pin to the nail polish, and saw the midnight premiere even though I literally had to be up for twenty four hours the next day. I never read Twilight, so The Hunger Games was the first series that I really went in with the hype. It also got me to try many young adult series outside of my contemporary comfort zone. For that, I will have to consider it one of my favorite series.

  • Divergent series by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

I’ve never had such mixed feelings towards a series. Looking back, Divergent isn’t the best series that I’ve ever read. I had problems with the world and a book has never made me more angry than Allegiant, which was actually one of my first book reviews on my blog. However, I remember picking up the first book in this series after finishing The Hunger Games series and I literally could not put it down. I actually checked out this book from the library, but I went to the store and bought it the next day. Divergent is the first series that I read as the books were being released, so I finally understood what it was like to be stuck on a cliff hanger. Even though I find some areas of the series problematic, it still remains a special series for me.

  • The Winner’s trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3)

When I first heard of this series, I thought I wouldn’t like it because it wasn’t what I usually read. Then, I saw more and more people reviewing this series online and they talked about how much they loved it. Eventually, I saw so much on this series that I decided to read it. I’m glad that I did because The Winner’s trilogy is probably was one my favorite series of all time. Unlike most series that may lag in one of the books, I was invested in every single book in this series. Outside of the blogging world, I feel like not many people have heard of this series, so I find myself constantly recommending it to friends. Out of all the series on this list, I would say this series receives the least amount of hype, but is one of the most deserving.

  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

I remember people raved about Cinder when it first hit the market, but I never picked it up after a friend with similar book tastes told me that they weren’t a fan. After seeing so many positive reviews from the blogging community, I decided to read it and decide for myself. I’m so happy that I did because The Lunar Chronicles is one of my most-loved series. I loved the unique take that Marissa Meyer took on some of my favorite fairy tales, the world, and every single one of the characters. This is another series on my list that I feel is very underrated, so I recommend it to everyone that I know!

 

What are some of your favorite series?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Lunar Chronicles Memes

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s theme is fandom freebie. There have been a lot of fandoms that have stemmed from books.  In high school, I LOVED The Hunger Games. I bought a shirt, I bought the nail polish, I bought the pin, and I wore it all to the midnight premiere. Besides The Hunger Games, I never became extremely invested in another book “fandom.” Then, I read The Lunar Chronicles.

I love fairytale retellings and I loved the unique takes Marissa Meyer took on some of my favorite classic fairytales. I loved every character and breezed through every book within the span of a few days. After scanning Pinterest, here are some of my favorite memes/pictures from The Lunar Chronicles fandom (all images from Pinterest):

I remember Marissa Meyer saying somewhere how she had watched Tangled and her first thought was,"Hey that's my cocky bandit!" And then you see this.:

Source: broadwayandballgowns THIS IS SOO BEAUTIFUL:

This is so true oh my word:

Source: broadwayandballgowns THIS IS SOO BEAUTIFUL:

Cresswell:

 

What is your favorite fandom?

Winter Review

winter

Mirror, mirror on the wall, is Winter the fairest Lunar Chronicles book of them all?

Winter, the fourth and final book in The Lunar Chronicles series, follows the Rampion crew as they take their final stand against Queen Levana. As the wedding draws near, Cinder and her friends must convince the Lunar people to join their cause. With the help of Winter, the queen’s delusional stepdaughter, the crew may be able to end Queen Levana’s reign once and for all.

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite young adult series and this book was an action-packed end to the series. When I read Cinder, I was bored throughout the first half of the book, but by the end I was completely hooked. While I had minor problems with Winter, overall, I really enjoyed The Lunar Chronicles and I will really miss reading about the cast of characters within this series.

One of Winter’s strengths is the action and cliff-hangers packed into every chapter. One of my main problems with Cinder was the beginning was extremely slow and the action didn’t pick up until the end of the book. Winter reminded me more of Scarlet where the stakes remained high throughout the whole novel.

That being said, I don’t think every part of the story was necessary. I swear almost every character is captured by Queen Levana, their significant other despairs, and then there is a heartfelt reunion with longing stares. If injured, Lunar medicine conveniently saves them. While I loved reading so much about characters I really enjoy, this book could be cut in half and be just as effective. Sometimes, it felt like some potentially powerful moments were skipped in the book to appease the audience.

Another aspect I enjoyed was seeing the characters and their relationships grow. I think out of all the characters, Cress is my favorite, and I love how she grew more confident and brave in her actions throughout Winter. The Rampion Crew is a great group of friends and I loved seeing them depend and trust each other so much.

I have a few minor complaints about some characters. Even though the book is titled Winter and she plays some role in the rebellion, I expected her to play a much larger role. Since the book focuses on so many characters, Winter and Jacin’s relationship really isn’t focused on. While I appreciated to several aspects of Snow White’s story, I never felt as invested in their relationships as others. Furthermore, compared to the other male love interests, Jacin never showed as much depth.

Despite a few issues with Winter, I really loved the final book in The Lunar Chronicles. After finishing it, I have a hard time choosing the next book to read! I give Winter four out of five stars.