Top 5 Tuesday: ABCDE

Hello again, my book-obsessed beloveds! Today I thought I’d jump in on Bionic Book Worm’s Top 5 Tuesdays, especially since the theme for July is so fun: best books by letter. The alphabet-matching is significantly more difficult than I had expected it would be, with some letters being impossible to choose a single top book and others being impossible to find a book I enjoyed enough to count it as a top. All indecision aside, here’s my list of top reads from letters A-E.

So y’all know: Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme where Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm explores different topics. If you are interested in participating she would love to have you! Just ping back your post to a specific post of hers so she can add you to the participants list!

A:

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

If you’ve read my earlier posts, this one definitely doesn’t come as a surprise! Maas’ ACOTAR series quickly became a favourite of mine, with this sequel spearheading it. A Court of Mist and Fury just did such a great job at developing Feyre’s character from the ‘weak’ human trapped in the Fae lands to the independent warrior she becomes. The novel tackles the effects and manifestations of depression and PTSD, takes a good look at a toxic relationship, and demonstrates the value of a relationship–platonic and romantic–based on equality and mutual acknowledgement of worth. Not to mention the complex fantasy plot and steamy romance to wrap everything together! Click here for my full review.

B:

(The) Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

I was torn between this book and C.C. Hunter’s Born at Midnight for the longest time, but eventually I settled on The Book of Broken Hearts because it has stuck with me the most. A fluffy, cute contemporary romance at first glance, Ockler’s novel also deals with the complexities of family, the difficulty with conflicting loyalties, and finding confidence in one’s own decisions. Emilio is a sweetheart trying to bounce back from a difficult past while Jude is too wrapped up in her sisters’ pasts to let herself see the good in him. The book is sweet and wholesome and genuine and romantic in the best kinds of ways.

C:

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

Apparently many of my top books start with Cs! After debating with Colleen Gleason’s patchwork of The Clockwork Scarab (review here), Cassandra Clare’s City of Glass–an all-time favourite–Kevin Kwan’s perfectly ridiculous Crazy Rich Asians, and the pleasant surprise of Lisa McMann’s Crash (review here), I settled on the second of Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girl series. These teen spy action-romance books are in major part the novels that turned me into a reader. Callie in this one is a sophomore in her all-girls spy school thrown for a loop when a bunch of teenage spy guys enrol in her academy. This second book is not only my favourite of the series (and therefore one of my absolute favourites ever) but also the one that introduces Zach Goode, a major early fictional crush (I love sarcastic “bad-boy” sweethearts) and begins the conflict that carries the rest of the series.

D:

Devoured by Amanda Marrone

So on the opposite end of the too-good C books, turns out D books don’t tend to be my favourites. More specifically, the D books I’ve read often happen to suffer second-book-syndrome and lose the excitement of the rest of the series, such as with Dreamless by Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed trilogy) and Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan (Immortal Beloved trilogy)–both series are absolute favourites but neither D book is. Devoured stood out to me for this because the concept is rather unique. Though the GR blurb waxes on about a love triangle, the real excitement here is a fairytale-based murder mystery with some ghosts thrown in–and yes, of course, that dash of romance. I originally borrowed it from my public library but liked it so much I went out and bought a copy myself! Definitely recommend if you’re feeling for something mysterious and different but easy to read.

E:

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

This fluffy romantic retelling of Pride and Prejudice is an all-time feel-good fave. LaZebnik specializes in modern Jane Austen and Epic Fail most certainly did not disappoint! Elise is a perfectly sarcastic and protective Elizabeth, sure of herself and her contentment without Derek, who is withdrawn and irritating enough for you to resent like Darcy but not so much to be irredeemable or unforgivable. The Bingley and Jane are positively heartwarming-ly adorable and the Wickham is charming enough to delude until you learn why he’s trash. It’s also still a great read if you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice–I read this before I read Austen’s original and loved it just the same! One caution is that this is not for those iffy on the romance genre since this one here is pure love story, but if you also have a sweet tooth specially for saccharine romances then definitely give it a shot!

Mid-Year Freak Out

Hello again, my lovely bookworms! Super SUUUUPER long time no post. Very sorry about that – life got crazy and then work got really tough (three jobs at once is NOT good for you) then my last year of university got absolutely ridiculous and a lot of things fell by the wayside. I’m still working through this whole Time Management thing when it comes to hobbies…

Anyway, even though this is late, I figured the best way to jump back in would be little look at what I’ve been reading (and not reading) this year so far. Nothing could be more apt of a description than “Freak Out” because I am most definitely not where I want to be this year. Most of what I’ve been reading are thick history books for my research and some English classics for my other classes, so in the realm of fiction I am most certainly behind. Still, I’ve read some good novels the past few months, so let’s unpack those.

Best Book You’ve Read So Far

To be honest, I haven’t yet been totally wowed with a book this year, so this one is a bit of a cheat. For best book I’m choosing Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell, which is a book I’ve only recently started but am already hooked on. It’s fun, it’s fast-paced, and the writing is hilarious but in a surprisingly beautiful and entirely fitting way. I may only be a little bit into it–and I know these things can change with the flip of a page–but just the first few chapters have already instantly hooked me on Kellen’s character and his plight. Soooo, though it may not be the best book I’ve read per se, it’s the book that has gotten me most excited this year while reading.

Favourite Sequel This Year

This one goes to Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren, which was a contender for Best Book until I cracked open Spellslinger. The final book in Christina Lauren’s Wild Seasons series, Wicked Sexy Liar follows the arguably most intriguing couple, Luke and London, who are unique in that both of them are kind of ‘whatever’ on the whole concept of love and dating at the outset. I felt that these two had the easiest chemistry and most natural progression of the series’ four couples. Rather than dealing with one major WOAH moment issue in their relationship, as I feel most of these contemporary romances do, Luke and London struggle their way through and actually talk about their moments of struggle, which made it more real than the hot Vegas drunken wedding one-night-stands of the other books. Oh plus it’s swoon-worthy and definitely hot so, ya know, there’s also THAT.

New Release You Haven’t Read but Really Want to

Wow, this is tough. Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren and I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella (started but unfinished!) are strong contenders, but I’ll have to go with Nocturna by Maya Motayne. I’ve recently been moving a bit from YA into Adult Fantasy and general NA, which is part of the reason I think I haven’t picked this up yet but I’ve been dying to read it since the second I saw it on the Indigo New & Hot table. Not only does the premise of mobsters, magic, face-shifting, and thievery seem immensely cool, the setting of a Latinx-inspired fantasy world is new and exciting, something definitely not done enough. Also, I’m heading into my Masters degree this fall to study culture and literature in medieval Spain, so anything I encounter with that kind of inspiration is an auto-buy.

Most Anticipated Book for the Rest of the Year

My most anticipated read for the remainder of the year has to be Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. Now, unlike most of the screaming GoodReads commenters excited to have another Bardugo book, I STILL have not read any of the Grisha books and have minimal expectations regarding the author aside from the fact that she’s apparently amazing. But you know what I KNOW seems amazing? THE PREMISE. Though mystery and murder aren’t typically my thing, occultism and secret societies most definitely are. Especially with ghosts. I’ll probably have to pass on sleeping, but seriously, give me the ghosts.

Biggest Disappointment

This one made me so upset! I downloaded Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman because an erotica author finding love with a historian on a writing retreat A) sounded adorably fun and B) combines literally all my major passions–history, romance, writing–into a single couple. HOWEVER. The relationship was neither what I was expecting nor particularly romantic. The progression didn’t feel entirely natural and went far too quickly, and the relationship consisted primarily of the hopeless romantic MC giving up on the romance she’s always wanted in favour of her beau’s mindset of practicality. I kept waiting for her to clue in and realize that GOOD RELATIONSHIPS DON’T FORCE THIS MUCH SACRIFICE but alas. Not really my style. Full review to come.

Biggest Surprise

I grabbed Listen to Me by Kristin Proby on sale from Kobo for my vacation, not really expecting anything beyond the standard lusty romance. The novel turned out to be a hidden gem! There was significantly more substance and less random sex than I was expecting, the MCs are real and flawed and had well-developed stories beyond just their relationship, and the plethora of supporting characters are involved enough for you to grow attached to their stories without it eclipsing the main plot. I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the series!

Favourite Debut or New-to-You Author

Since Spellslinger is my first of Sebastian de Castell’s novels and it already has me hooked, I think I’ll have to give this one to him. Plus, after a brief glance over his author website, I not only want to read his books, I want to BE him. Castell, if you ever read this, bards are indeed the best!

New Fictional Crush

Luke Sutter from Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren. Like I said, Luke and London have quite the different relationship from the others of the series. While I wouldn’t necessarily say my fondness for Luke hits quite Rhysand crush proportions, his charm and humour, relentless pursuit—in an endearing, not overly hunter way—and genuine attempts to work through his issues still had me swooning and rooting for him the whole way. Sex aside, Luke’s one hell of a catch.

New Favourite Character

The concept of Lingerie Wars by Janet Elizabeth Henderson on its own is a little unconventional: two lingerie shop owners–one, a local ex-lingerie supermodel, the other, a newcomer ex-military man–enter a fierce rivalry for the monopoly on knicker sales in a small Scottish town. It’s probably one of the quirkier takes on the competition hate-to-love trope that I’ve read, and with that came some of the quirkiest characters that I’ve read in a while. My favourite this year would have to be Betty, the 90-something resident troublemaker with a mean streak. Though a supporting character, she dives headlong into the lingerie shenanigans, resulting in some of the most ridiculous mishaps possible. The book itself is hilarious, but Betty’s craziness really bring all of it together.

Book that Made You Cry

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young. Not many books this year yet have made me particularly emotional, but reading about orphaned Joss dealing with the loss of her parents made my heart ache for the character. Though the tragedy struck far before the events of the book, Joss moves miles forward on the healing front over the course of the book, but seeing how deeply their absence still affects her and how much grief she still hadn’t dealt with is pretty saddening.

Book that Made You Happy

Definitely My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris! This book was such a light and cute read that I couldn’t help but leave it grinning. There were points when it felt rather young, and definitely parts when the history major in me wanted to scream WELL OBVIOUSLY at the MC, but the love story is so genuinely wholesome that despite some minor quips, I finished it on a high.

Favourite Book-to-Movie Adaptation You’ve Seen This Year

Haven’t seen any this year yet! However, I am excited to start the TV show for A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness when I finally finish the book. I’ve been waiting to see this supernatural side of Oxford for probably my whole life.

Favourite Blog Post You’ve Published This Year

Well… this one? And here I say “Sorry!!” again that this is my only post so far.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought or Received This Year

Prettiest book would be City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s not particularly stunning (though the physical copy is nicer than the photo suggests) but there’s something about the cover that feels silky and seductive and makes me want to climb inside and float around in the feathers.

Some Books You Need to Read by the End of the Year

Oh geez. Well, first I definitely want to finish Spellslinger and probably get started on de Castell’s swashbuckling Greatcoats series, starting with Traitor’s Blade. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is a must so I can watch the show. I also figure it’s high time that I read the Grisha books so Smoke and Bone–and hopefully the rest of that trilogy plus the Six of Crows books–is next on the list. I’m also currently reading I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and a friend lent me YOU by Caroline Kepnes and Verity by Colleen Hoover, so I want to get through those too. I could keep this list going endlessly but I’ll stop there for now!

Best of luck to all of you also meeting your reading goals for the next few months, and may those odds be ever in our favour!

My Blind Date with a Book

Hello, all you beautiful humans!

Who here has read a Blind Date book?

For anyone who doesn’t know, blind book dates are usually orchestrated by libraries and bookstores around Valentine’s Day, and essentially consist of a mysterious book wrapped up with a clue on the front.

In case you haven’t already noticed, I did not read this in February when I was supposed to. I also did not post this in February when I meant to.

I’m a queen of library renewals and disappointment.

Aaaaanyway, I’d never done one before, so I figured I’d give it a go this year. I am very much a judge-a-book-by-the-blurb-and-cover girl–AKA the absolute OPPOSITE of the whole going-in-blind thing–so this was very much something I am not at all used to.

The book I turned out to have gotten is The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg. When when I picked it up, it was covered in brown paper packaging (tied up with strings! These are a few of my favourite things!), labelled “It’s a 5-Star fluff with a little protein to make it stick.”

Clearly, that tells me NOTHING except that it’s probably contemporary. I’m still not entirely sure what possessed me to go “yeah! Let’s definitely pick the most ambiguous clue for the first time you’re doing this!”

I wanted to guess things! I had nothing to guess!

I decided, against my usual grain, that I would not look up the title and read the blurb, that instead I would go in totally blind. So in the book about a 40th high school reunion, I first had to piece out oh they’re all seniors, oh they’re from high school, oh it’s a reunion.

It’s an interesting experience to have gone in without any reservations at all, and I found it largely freeing that I didn’t have any expectations, meaning I couldn’t so easily be disappointed. Also, everything was a surprise. Blurbs will often contain or allude to spoilers, presumably as a way of hooking their readers, but then twist ceases to be a twist! The shock isn’t shocking! This time I had ZERO spoilers, and had to piece everything and everyone out as I went. I didn’t know about, as the description states, “Candy Armstrong, the class beauty,” I just knew everyone was jealous of her or wanted her, meaning okay she’s probably the cheerleader.

A downside I found was that I couldn’t get excited about something that was going to happen. I mean, okay, if two characters are gonna end up together, I kinda want to know about it! To anticipate it! Get pumped about it! But I didn’t, so I couldn’t, which didn’t affect me as much as it could have but bugged me more than I, who hates spoilers, might care to admit.

The book itself at the end was pretty good. It definitely took some getting used to the seniors acting like sex-starved teenagers and superficiality of some of the characters, but as the novel progressed it showed more and more depth, offering not only a picture of nostalgia, but also the reality of coping with life coming to an end. I gave it 4/5.

As an experience, the blind date thing was neat. I’m not entirely sure if I’d do it again, and the book wasn’t exactly my usual style, but I found the whole ordeal (yes, ordeal) more fun that I’d anticipated!

Maybe come next Valentine’s Day, it’ll be a solid alternative to my nonexistent love life–who needs a real date when you’ve got a book? 😉

Introducing: Compendium of Quotes

Hello hello, bookworms!

This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a little while now, and incredibly basic as it is, I think it’ll be fun in the long run.

See, first I was thinking about keeping a running list of quotes I love from various books, but I already have a notebook for that and a list on my phone. It didn’t sit the way I wanted it to.

But what would be fun? A collaborative one.

I opened the page under “Compendium of Quotes” (you’ll see it in the bar up top under ‘Bookish Fun’, or just click here). I’ve filled it so far with a bunch of lines I particularly like and will update with more as I go, but what I’d really like is you guys’ input. So! Add in the comments either here on the quotes page any lines you love and what they’re from, and I’ll regularly add to the list. That way we alllll may be graced with some kick-ass words.

xoxo, Brittney

Summer TBR

Welcome! to my latest list of unrealistic expectations – AKA my summer TBR! It’s been a while since I’ve done a legit one of these (TBH I think the last one was in video form. Awks.) and, frankly, I’ve been a terrible reader these past months. But today is a new day! July is here! The sun is out! The birds are singing! My bibliophilic hopes are soaring! And I am gonna kick some serious TBR ass.

To be fun for once, instead of repeating the same books I STILL have on my shelf that you’ve probably heard about a dozen times and I apparently think about reading more often than actually reading, I’m making this more about what I want to add to my ever-growing shelf of unread-tragedy. Three cheers for shiny new reads! Continue reading

Totally-Didn’t-Happen “TBR” 2.0

GUESS WHO’S BACK?????

Me. I am. Free from the chains and chokehold of academia to succumb to my baser bookish desires for the next 2.5 months! Though also, if y’all don’t trust me to be consistent here AGAIN, I don’t blame you. But hey, I’m a-working on it.

Aaaaaanyway, considering I not only didn’t read for a solid four months of school but I also hadn’t posted for the first 1.5 months I’ve been off for (the real world sucks, guys. Stay far far away.) I thought I’d do another shame-filled lament of everything I wanted to try but didn’t. It kinda does the double duty of what I want to read for the coming months anyway, so we’ve got a legit TBR and some teary-eyed self-deprecation all in one!

If school has taught me anything, it’s multitasking 😉 Continue reading

A Definitive Ranking of My Book Boyfriends, Because I’m Alone

Oh, Valentine’s Day! So sweet! So romantic! So beautiful! So–

ALONE.

Kay, to be frank, despite having been single for 20 of the 20 V-Days I’ve experienced, I LOVE today. But still, there’s nothing like an abundance of happy couples to draw a little too much attention to your singleness.

So today, I will not be alone. I will be surrounded. Surrounded by beloved characters who already have beloved girlfriends who will be OVERLOOKED so I can be loved by them.

And what better way to celebrate that than with a large pepperoni pizza, a full bottle of wine, and a top-ten list of my favourite book boyfriends??

Easy answer: there is none. Continue reading

My Totally-Didn’t-Happen “TBR”

HELLO STRANGERS! Yes, strangers, because I’ve been gone so shamefully long I may as well be new here. Sigh. Aaaaanyway, I’ll be doing something new today: a totally-didn’t-happen TBR. Yeah, I made it up, so bear with me!

Backstory: I intended back in THE BEGINNING OF SEPTEMBER to do a Fall TBR. I was all excited, had all the books picked out, and…just never got the chance to write it. So then I thought ‘oh, I’ll just do that now!’ but, uh, no, because a) it’s DECEMBER and b) just as I’ve had no time to blog I’ve also had no time to read. Seriously. I’ve been on page 137 of Queen of Shadows since my vacation in AUGUST.

*Cries*

So instead, here is where I compile all those books that my optimistic reader self thought I’d read (until my academics-are-important self took a blow torch to that dream and watched it burn, baby, burn) with the thoughts that I like to imagine I would have reviewed for them and a hefty dose of self-deprecation. It’s a guessing game of hypotheses and sarcasm that I hope you will enjoy.

(PS. goodreads links are in the titles if you want to check anything out!) Continue reading

The Clockwork Scarab

17084242The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

What happens when a genius, a vampire hunter, and a time traveler walk into a museum?

I don’t even know where to begin with The Clockwork Scarab. This book is probably the craziest mismatched hodgepodge of different elements I have ever read…and yet I enjoyed it immensely!

The novel introduces Alvermina Holmes and Evaline Stoker, niece of Sherlock and sister of Bram, a detective and vampire hunter tag-team duo called to investigate missing persons and a murder. It really is such a shame that they hate each other and refuse to work as a unit–or maybe not, since their antics are hilarious! Enter a time-traveling teen and the cult of an Egyptian goddess in a steampunk Victorian London, et voilà! A masterpiece of strangeness. Continue reading

Norse Mythology Book Tag

Góðan daginn (good day), everyone!

I haven’t yet been able to do any reading this month or really August either (thank you, school, for sucking) and I’m a wee bit behind on my reviews, which makes this the perfect time to avoid all my responsibilities and do a tag!

Fellow book bloggers, for those of you who find tags nice because they’re quick and easy…YOU ARE MAGIC. I put soooo much thought into these things, they end up taking longer than my–usually also long–reviews!

But will I stop? Probably never.

The Norse Mythology Tag was created over at Kyera’s Library–which is fabulous by the way, especially her series recs, so you should all go check it out if you haven’t already! I first saw it pop up on Book Princess Reviews and a ton of other wonderful people started doing it, then Birdie Bookworm did it not too long ago too and every time I see it I swear to do it, then I don’t. SO I’M FINALLY DOING IT!

I would like to thank myself over on my own blog, obsessionsofabookaholic, for thinking about my love of mythology and Nordic history and tagging me to do this! Really, her blog is just so great it’s, like, my favourite 😉

Shall we?


ODIN – Favourite Standalone

Odin is the All-Father, the leader of the Norse Gods. He is the god of wisdom, poetry, battle, death, wine, and war, among other things

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In case you haven’t heard by now, I’m SUCH a romance lover. Taste Test follows BBQ-er Nora in a cooking show contest where contestants are being mysteriously sabotaged and chemistry is flying with a certain fierce competitor. Bonus? They can’t stand each other.

The plot is fun and the mystery is surprisingly difficult to determine, but most of all the back and forth weirdness of Nora and Christian’s relationship gives me so much life, which is obviously my priority.

Hey, I did warn you that I loved romance. What did you expect? 😉

THOR – A Book That Hits You Right in the Feels

Thor is the god of thunder, weather, warriors, strength, and storms, so his might packs a punch. He is married to the beautiful Lady Sif.

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LITERALLY. EVERYTHING. ABOUT THIS BOOK. HURTS ME.

LOKI – Biggest Plot Twist or Character Betrayal

Loki is the god of mischief and thieves, and thrives on chaos.

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As y’all will hear when I finally get off me arse and finish this review, Red Queen didn’t exactly live up to my expectations. Also unfortunate is that the plot twist everyone freaks about was sort of hinted to me before I read it, so I can’t actually figure out if I just wasn’t surprised or if I was spoiled. GAHHH! Despite all of that, though, THIS WINS SO HARD FOR BETRAYAL. I mean, holy hells it’s evil!

FRIGG – OTP

Frigg is Odin’s wife, the goddess of love, marriage, fertility, and fate.

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DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LONG IT HAS TAKEN ME TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION?????

OTP? OTP?! ONE true pairing? Nuh-uh, I don’t think so.

I went through a good six of my beloved couplings trying to sort through this one (Feysand? Will and Tessa? Percabeth? Hex Hall‘s Archer and Sophie?). Clace (my loves! My true loves!) is usually my go-to answer here but I’m trying reeeeeeaaaal hard to only use a book once in this tag and I use City of Bones later. So what I’ve decided on is my first hardcore literary ship, which is Zach and Cammie from Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series. I love these books so much–who doesn’t want to read about crazy missions and a secret spy school?!–but they carry an extra special weight for me because this is the series that turned me into the full-on obsessive reader I am today. Zammie’s pretty damn amazing–their banter is on point and, even when they’re separated or hiding things from each other, it’s always clear how much they genuinely care for each other. We get a lot of sexy romances now, but this is a more romantic romance which, much as I love the new stuff, is kind of something I miss.

BTW, if you’re interested in reading, Zach doesn’t show up ’til book two (pictured above!) but book one is totally worth reading to get to him 🙂

HEIMDALL – Favourite Second in a Series

Heimdall is the god of loyalty, faithfulness and he is who protects the bi-frost, the bridge that connects all nine worlds.

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No explanation needed. My love is just too strong.

BALDUR – Favourite Male Character

Baldur is the beloved son of Odin and Frigg, twin brother of Hodor.

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JAAAAAAAAAAAACE. Jace, my dearly beloved, how are you so incredible? I love his sarcasm, and his confidence, and his devotion to Clary, and his bravery, and his determination, and literally every single thing about him. Jace is my hero and, if it weren’t for Clary, also my husband. They’re too perfect though, so I can’t steal him away.

SIF – Most Beautiful Book Cover

Lady Sif is known for her beautiful golden tresses, although she is also the goddess of the harvest and is married to Thor.

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Shatter Me defines the term ‘glow up.’ The original cover? Enh. This one? BEAUTIFUL. SO BEAUTIFUL. SUCH BEAUTY. Apparently I have a thing for eyes on covers, as also evidenced by my enthusiasm for Lisa McMann’s Crash all those ages ago, but the Shatter Me books take gorgeous eyes to a whole ‘nother existential plane of prettiness. I mean, just look at it! *unashamedly swoons over cover art*

FREY – A Book or Series That Made You Happy

Frey is the Lord of weather, god of light, summer, master of agriculture, fertility, and brother of Freya.

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Basically anything by Kasie West makes me happy, but this is my favourite thus far! Camden and Xander have their ups and downs but their relationship is so cute and the story is so cute and everything is just so happy and lovely even when it’s not happy that I left the book with such a big grin on my face.

FREYA – Favourite Book Setting

Freya is the goddess of love and beauty, fertility, war, wealth and growth, and sister of Frey.

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I find Middle Eastern culture fascinating so the very fact that The Wrath and the Dawn is set there already puts the book pretty high on my favourite setting list. Ahdieh’s writing is what takes that one step further. I love how rich and real everything is! I could taste the food, I could smell the incense, I could feel the fabrics, I could see everything as if I were experiencing it there.

TYR – Favourite Book With a Huge Upheaval or Epic Fight Scene

Tyr is the god of war.

SO MANY BOOKS TO USE HERE! ACOWAR was my first instinct because REASONS butttttt I also wanted to throw in Eternally Yours, the finale to Cate Tiernan’s Immortal Beloved trilogy (which is great and has both a hilarious narrator and a sexy Scandinavian lover boy), because, yes, there is a huge fight, but mostly because of her instructions on decapitating someone, which I enjoyed probably a lot more than I should have…

ULLER – Character Death That Affected You the Most

Uller is the god of death, winter, archery and hunting.

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Sobbing, gasping, ugly cries.

NJORD – Favourite Book With an Epic Journey in a Water/Sea Setting

Njord is the god of the wind and sea.

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To be fair, I haven’t read a ton of books with watery settings (I should probably get on that…) but Of Posiedon is the first that came to mind! Galen, the lurrrrve interest, is the Syrena (essentially mermaids, but don’t tell him that) prince and human ambassador of an underwater kingdom. Only a direct descendant of Triton (Galen) and of Posiedon can have the special abilities that make them fitting for Syrena royalty, so when human Emma starts talking to fish Galen’s understandably confused and heads up to check it out.

The characters are loveable and hilarious, the plot is different and interesting, and the romance is swoon-worthy and utterly adorable. Plus, the whole book is about figuring out Emma’s fish-talking powers and stopping a desperate dolphin-wielding Syrena gal from becoming Queen so, ya know, I think it fits pretty well here .

VALKYRIE – Strong Female Character

The Valkyries, much like the Amazons, are strong female warriors.

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Celaena/Aelin is such a freaking badass (especially in the later books) that I will give her every possible award imaginable. I think she works especially well for ‘Valkyrie’ because she’s not only a strong female character, but a fierce female fighter/warrior as well.

Also, I just love her. End of.

AESIR/VANIR – Favourite Book Crew

The Aesir and the Vanir are the two groups of Norse gods, believed to be the old and new gods.

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So everyone and their uncle’s been using the Gregs gang for this one but, errr, I haven’t actually read Six of Crows yet… (cue Game of Thrones shame bells). But you know who else is awesome? BLUE AND GANSEY AND RONAN AND ADAM AND NOAH. Their relationship dynamic is perfect as they all individually are in my heart.

SEIPYRTS – Favourite Non-Human Sidekick

Seipyrts is Odin’s trusty eight legged steed; yes, you heard that correctly – eight legs.  I promise that he is the god’s horse companion and not a giant spider that he rides around on… although that would probably strike more fear in the hearts of his enemies than a pretty horse does.

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Oh Derrick, you honey-loving pixie, you. He’s definitely not as freaky as an eight-legged horse (yeah, I know you say it’s not a spider, but it feels like a spider *shudders*) but he’s just so freaking cute! Also loyal, and caring, and sweet, and protective.

Anyone know where can I get an adorable pixie companion? Asking for a friend.


And on to the tagging! Since I’ve seen this going around already and I don’t want to tag people who’ve already done it, I’m only going to tag a few of you. That said…

Rhea @ bookchanted

Em @ Keystroke Blog

Casey @ adoptabookaus

…consider yourselves tagged!

Their blogs are wonderful and you should go read them if you haven’t!

I also challenge anyone else who likes mythology, likes Norsemen, likes shirtless Chris Hemsworth as Thor, likes tags, or just likes books to do this tag too! No matter how long it may have taken me, I swear it’s a lot of fun.

At last, I shall leave you with a strange Norwegian proverb I found on a random website while I was busy having no life:

Dei galne har mange morosame stunder som den vettige ikkje har.
(The maniacs have many funny hours that the sane guy does not have)

Three cheers for Vikings promoting insanity. Hurrah!

Sjáumst! (See you!)

xoxo, Brittney