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Book Haul!!

Hello my bookish friends! ~.~*

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m Sorry about that…

Trying to balance multiple jobs, education, relationships, and sleep is as difficult as one could imagine and more. However, among all the busyness that I have been experiencing, I made it to my favorite little oasis over the weekend– also known as the bookstore!

I felt that I was due to treat myself (as Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle would suggest in the sitcom “Parks and Recreation”) since I have been working hard lately and haven’t gotten anything new from the bookstore in a while. And, why shouldn’t take advantage of day late Black Friday deals? That would just be crazy!

Treat Yo Self! | East Lansing Public Library

Since I purchased more than 2 books (my usual limit per visit), I felt that it was a sort of a haul for myself and I wanted to share what I collected. I keep track of all my books that I have read, am reading, and want to read on Goodreads. I am not sure if any of you have heard of Goodreads.com— but it’s an amazing site and also downloadable to your smart phone as an app. I thought it would be cool to give some information about it here- since I use it so frequently on my visits to the bookstore.

Basically, it is sort of like IMDB, but it’s just for books! On Goodreads, you’re able to look up information, reviews, and ratings on almost any book you can think of. If you make an account with them with your email, you are able to to add books to shelves and categorize them as you like. The simplest shelves being- Read, Want to Read, and Currently Reading. With an account, you are also able to rate books, write reviews, join book clubs, participate in reading challenges, and more!

I have been using this website/app since 2012 when I entered high school so that I could keep track of all the books that I was reading and could find more similar books to read. Now that I work in a library, when I come across an interesting title I scan it into Goodreads to add it to my “Want To Read” shelf. Below are the descriptions of the books that I purchased last weekend. For each book, you can also find a link to view the information for it on Goodreads and puchase the same edition that I got online if you wish. I hope you enjoy!

Home Body – Rupi Kaur

Home Body

Rupi Kaur constantly embraces growth, and in home body, she walks readers through a reflective and intimate journey visiting the past, the present, and the potential of the self. home body is a collection of raw, honest conversations with oneself – reminding readers to fill up on love, acceptance, community, family, and embrace change. Illustrated by the author, themes of nature and nurture, light and dark, rest here.

i dive into the well of my body
and end up in another world
everything i need
already exists in me
there’s no need
to look anywhere else
– home

Goodreads

I am a HUGE fan of this woman! If you haven’t read her other two works, “Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and Her Flowers” (which I have reviewed, link here,) I highly recommend them. I have been anticipating this book for months now, and I am very excited to read it.

I got a signed copy…not to brag or anything.

Her. – Pierre Alex Jeanty

Her

“Her” is a collection of poetry and prose about women, their strengths and beauty. Every woman should know the feelings of being loved and radiating those feelings back to her mate. This is a beautiful expression of heartfelt emotion using short, gratifying sentiments. If there is a lover in you, you will not get enough of “Her.”

Goodreads

I have seeing bits and pieces of Jeanty’s poetry on Facebook and Instagram for a while now, and I have adored every stanza. I kept saying I was going to buy it when I get to the bookstore, but I have’t been able to do so. Luckily, when I grabbed Homebody this book on a shelf nearby! Now, I have couple of wonderful prose to look forward to reading from two amazing authors. I cannot wait to share the highlights with you.

Dune – Frank Herbert

Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for….

When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.

A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction. 

Goodreads

I purchased this because I refuse to watch a book adapted movie without reading it beforehand. That is, if I can help it. However, I have had this book on my list long before rumors of it’s movie adaption. I am a science-fiction fan, and this one is a classic. I can’t wait to dive into this one and then watch it on the big screen!

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Goodreads

Beautiful cover, right? Initially, that is the reason I was attracted to it when it came across me at work. Thankfully, the plot seems equally as intruiguing. I have beem trying to make a point to diversify my reading (I am partial to science-fiction), so I have been working on reading more fantasy recently. I choose this one along with “The Choosen Ones” by Veronica Roth as my fantasy picks. Hopefully they don’t disappoint! Crossing my fingers**

An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself. 

Goodreads

This one has been on my list for YEARS. I have had this title on my goodreads shelf awaiting it’s turn for about half a decade or more, during my high school years. When I grazed past it during my hour long browsing at Barnes & Noble, I decided it is finally time to get to it. It has great ratings, so I’m excited to finally get to read it after all this time.

Chosen Ones – Veronica Roth

Chosen Ones (The Chosen Ones, #1)

The first novel written for an adult audience by the mega-selling author of the Divergent franchise: five twenty-something heroes famous for saving the world when they were teenagers must face even greater demons—and reconsider what it means to be a hero . . . by destiny or by choice.

A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.

Goodreads

The talented author who brought us the hugely popular series “Divergent,” now introduces us her first adult novel! Like “Strange the Dreamer,” I found this novel when I was working at the library. I find the story unique because of the was the hero storyline seems it’s being told. Usually, I find that stories with heroes with the central characters focus on how the hero became a hero in the first place. Books or movies with these plots include how the hero discovered their special ability or gift, the first adventures after they have that discovery, and then conflicts they have with a foe of some sort. On the contrary, this novel sort of speeds past all of those beginning phases of the birth of the heroes in this novel, which I find quite makes this novel quite distintive. I have begun reading this novel already, and it seems that Roth wants readers to piece the bits of the character’s past throughout the novel. I enjoy that part very much. Additionally, I appreciate the level of realism she has brought into this fantasy story– since I often struggle with enjoying some fantasy novels because of the lack thereof. As you can tell, so far I am not disappointed by Veronica Roth’s latest book.

I can go on more on about these exciting books, but I’ll leave that for future reviews. Thank you so much for reading my Book Haul rundown. If you enjoyed any of these books or enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like and comment. NO SPOILERS!!!

Happy Holidays 🙂

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman: A Review

Scythe (Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition) (Arc of a Scythe ...

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Everyone is guilty of something, and everyone still harbors a memory of childhood innocence, no matter how many layers of life wrap around it. Humanity is innocent; humanity is guilty, and both states are undeniably true.”

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

I haven’t lost hope in YA! It’s official.

I have been apprehensive for the last couple years when it came to YA. All the books seemed to blend together. So many of them seemed to be strange spin-offs of the more populars novels that were written years ago. Lately, I think I have found some novels that were different than others.

During qurantine, I’ve read more than I have in quite a while. I have been busy with working remotely at home, family, and other personal endeavors. Nonetheless, I made it a goal to read more in 2020, and I have read eight novels so far. It’s not much, considering I can read a novel in 3 days or less if I am that invested. Still, it is more than I have for some time. However, Scythe by Neal Shusterman was one of those books that I was very invested in.

Let me tell you a bit about this novel. Here were are in MidMerica, a couple hundred years or so in the future. Humans have conquered death with the help of technological advances. The “cloud,” a term we recognize today as the storage of computed data, has become the “Thunderhead,” the sole governor of humankind on earth. However, although humanity has become immortal, population must be controlled. Therefore, Scythes have the task of “gleaning” individuals, which is essentially killing, in order to maintain this balance. The main characters, Citra and Rowan, are chosen by a Scythe as apprentices of the Scythedom, but only one of them would be chosen to be Scythe after their training is done.

What was most appealing about this book was the style of writing. I think that writing this novel in third person was beneficial. It kept the novel more focused on the events, more than simply the characters themselves. I liked that the Shusterman switched from various points of view. At times we were focusing on Citra, Rowan, a person who was to be gleaned, or other characters as well. I enjoyed the points of view of those who were to be gleaned very much, since it was interesting how the author portrays how an individual would react to a death that they could not prepare for, but must succumb to at any split second.

I also liked the entries of different Scythes between chapters. In the novel, Scythes are required to make daily entries in a journal. Those entries were almost like little nuggets of philosophy, and they made me think quite a bit. It was strange that in their world, where no one ever died of natural causes and all knowledge was readily available in the Thunderhead, the only bit of humanity that remained could be found in the Scythes– who had to kill people. There are not many other comparable endeavors that are as inhumane as that. However, humanity finds itself in that endeavor in this novel, which was very interesting.

Additionally, I appreciated that this novel did not focus on romance. It felt it was quite a small factor in the book, which was refreshing. I think that many YA novelists feel as if when they write, even if their story isn’t technically romance by genre, they must put some sort of love conflict in the plot because perhaps some younger readers won’t be interested without it. In this novel, although romance contributed in the story, it was very minute and tasteful contribution. If it was focused on further it would have been a distraction.

Scythe was more on the darker side, which had it’s own appeal. Some events in the book were a bit disturbing and gruesome, but it was not provocative. I felt that the characters were very relatable, in spite of what they witnessed and did in the book. This novel would be best fit for readers who like edge, but also enjoy the pensivity that they can acquire from reading thought provoking literature. I would not recommend this book to teens younger than fifteen because of the theme and events that took place. However, I can only imagine how interesting discussing this book with teens would be. In the novel, people had become content with the complacency of their immortality, and did not desire much apart from it. It would be great to hear from young minds about if and how perhaps society is affected by such an attitude today, even as mortals.

As you could probably tell, I really enjoyed this novel. I could write about it endlessly, but I don’t think that’s best. I feel positive that many of you would love this book as much as I did. Scythe is a ten in my book ; ) Thank you for reading this review! I will get on to reading the next one in the series, “Thunderhead.” I hope everyone stays safe and healthy. Until next time!