Top Ten Tuesday: Hate To Love

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week there is a new bookish topic. For more details, and how to participate, click the link above.

Hate To Love

This is possibly my favorite trope ever and I am trash for it. I don’t want to go into details for each of these books because of spoilers but feel free to discuss with me in the comments. Each of these has varying degrees of love-to-hate, the hate stage lasts longer in some and in others its really more annoyance-to-love (I was tempted to include Ron and Hermione for that reason but couldn’t decide which book to choose, Goblet of Fire? Anyway I’m getting side tracked). I don’t know what it is about this trope but I adore it. Please recommend books containing hate-to-love relationships in the comments below because I can’t get enough!

 

Thanks for reading!

I want to know, whats your favorite trope to read?

Why I Read

There are many different reasons why I read, and as I’ve grown those reasons have changed and evolved. I read as a child because the worlds I read about were more like the ones in my imagination than the one I lived in. As a teen, I read books to find characters I could relate to. As a young adult full of wanderlust I read as a more affordable form of travel.

Now as an adult and a book blogger I read for all those reasons and also to review books for others. Reviewing has changed the way I read books, I analyze and I critique where I didn’t before and it has made me a better reader as well as a better writer. However, it doesn’t feed my soul the way reading used to.

For the last ten years, I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression, sometimes worse than others. Reading has almost always helped me in those times, bringing me laughter or simply giving me a temporary escape. Lately has been one of those worse times and I found reading and blogging to be a struggle, even a chore.

After struggling for a month or so I turned to some books on my shelf that I’ve reread a few times before. To my surprise, I flew through them AND I felt comforted by them.

It’s then that I began to wonder if the reason that I read above all others is to find those few stories that have the power to bring me solace. Like the feeling of a hot mug of tea and being wrapped in your coziest blanket. The ones that seem to speak to my soul and brush away the dust and decay it collects. The ones that act as a balm after the pressures and rigor of everyday life. The ones that shine a light on my darkest of days.

Perhaps that is why I read, what I’m in search for, my own personal life rafts. Only, I can’t know them till I have read them so I must keep reading to seek them out. Perhaps my shelves are not just full of paper and fantastical worlds but of security and ointments for this chaotic life, I live.

 

July Reading Highlights

My July Reading Stats

I read 1 book2 graphic novels and listened to 1 audiobook
Of those, 3 were fantasy and 1 was contemporary

Saga Vol 2 by Brian K Vaughan  ★★★★ 25494343
A fantastic sequel, so glad that the nanny is back! So glad I finally found a GN series I can’t wait to continue!

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (Audio) ★★★★
So here’s a little history for you guys. I read City of Bones a very long time ago, I didn’t enjoy it and I haven’t so much as looked at a Cassandra Clare book since. Something about Lady Midnight though maybe me want to give it a try. I saw it on Overdrive in audiobook format and went in with an open mind. I liked Emma alright, better than Clary, and although some of it was cheesy a lot of it had me laughing with it rather than at it. By the end, I was hooked and immediately reserved my place for Lord of Shadows. Will I read her previous work now? Probably not, but I look forward to enjoying the next books in this series.

Giant Days Vol 1 by  John Allison ★★★.5
I tried a new graphic novel! You all know Rat Queens and Lumberjanes fell flat for me but Giant Days was a big hit! Esther was my favorite ❤ I think I would give it 4 stars if I was confident that I will continue to enjoy the series. 

The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski ★★
What wasn’t a big hit last month was The Wood. It reminded me of The Edge of Everything which I really disliked earlier this year. It simply wasn’t dynamic enough to hold my interest and by the last 60 or so pages I was skimming. 

Currently Reading

In Other News

My biggest news is, I redesigned my blog! Well, I’m still working on it but I really how it’s coming along so far. I had a lot of help from the amazing Chelsea of booksforthought.ca who did the graphics for me and offered advice. I’ve wanted to do it for a while and I’ve been in a big reading and blogging slump so I decided to finally go for it. I hope that the excitement of a ‘new’ blog will get me out of my slump and so far it’s worked! New ideas are rolling in and so is the motivation to execute them.

Off the pages, my son celebrated his second birthday! We made it and I’m proud to say he still has all his appendages. LOL. Seriously though he is just an amazing two-year-old and I am so lucky to be his mama. He talks up a storm now and loves it when I read to him, he points things out and I name them so he can repeat them. He even said Harry Potter last month! I really hope his love of books remains as he grows.

I also enrolled to do some upgrading courses at my local college so that I can enroll in a diploma next fall. I feel kind of old to be going back to school but an opportunity came up that will cover the cost of my tuition and since I won’t be returning to welding, I decided this was the next step fpr my life. So please wish me luck! One thing I can look forward to is shopping for school supplies, did anyone else thinks that was the best part of back to school shopping? Who doesn’t love pens and notebooks, am I right?

Kitten update! The five kittens I was fostering (Leia, Mattias, Nina, QueenB and Iko) all went to new homes and I have five more babies! These new kittens are so cuddly and once again all orange tabbies. I have named them Tyrion, Sansa, Wolf, Rogue and James (Flooferton St James to be exact) I am in love with all of them. I don’t know how I will part with them in a few weeks, especially Tyrion.

 

Books Discovered

Books Hauled:

Ummm
Guys, I’ve just realized I didn’t acquire any books last month! I am both shocked and proud of myself.

Added to Goodreads:

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor7507944
I see this everywhere lately. First on my friend Jennifers Instagram and then on AlexaLovesBooks youtube channel. It sounds incredible and I really want to read more fantasy from other cultures. 

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
A few of my favorite booktubers have talked about this recently and I seem to be enjoying contemporary lately. 

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
A slightly older book that has been recommended to me a few times because I love assassins and I just never remember to add it to Goodreads. 

Coming Up Next For Review

Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman

Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman

Publication Date: August 1st 2017
Genre: Contemporary
Source: ARC from Swoon Reads
Link to the authorhttps://katyupperman.com/

Click Here For A Full Synopsis Or To Purchase

RATING: 3.5 Stars

 

THOUGHTS:

Kissing Max Holden is not the kind of book I would pick up. The genre, the title, and even the cover would normally make me look right past it. I must have been in a very rare swoony mood when I requested it and yet, I’m really glad I did.

It isn’t often that I can even make it to the end of a high school contemporary romance let alone enjoy it as much as this book. No one is perfect here, everyone was flawed and made a bunch of awful choices, some owned them and others didn’t. I think I should mention that there is cheating involved and that can be a hot button issue for some. Many of characters are kind of awful actually, catty, bullying, lying, etc. Personally, I have experienced a lot of that in my life so it felt realistic to me, but let it be known I don’t condone that behavior at all.

I adored Jillian because she’s a chronic baker, whipping up delicious pastries for friends and family but also to deal with stress and anxiety. She wasn’t a fluffy girl though, she was strong and knew what she wanted in life. Until Max sort of turned it upside down. There were moments when he drove me crazy but I could also see why Jillian loved him. They were just perfect together and I ADORED his family. Again, I don’t condone his behaviors (his father was in a bad accident and he was not handling it gracefully) but I just loved the way the friends-to-more trope was done and that Jillian never gave up on Max. She didn’t condone his behavior and kept pushing him to get his act together. Max also encouraged Jillian to keep following her dream by any means possible and it was moments like those that made me feel he was worth all the trouble.

My favorite relationship though was between Jillian and her step mother. Despite feeling like they were very different from one another their bond grew throughout the story. It really hit home for me because I have a strong connection to a lot of people I consider my found family.

In contrast, the relationship between Jillian and her dad made me really angry. He was so condescending and controlling, I really couldn’t stand him. He blows up everything and expects Jillian to understand while telling her she can’t have an opinion because she’s a child. There ending leaves a lot open and I both liked that and wanted a little more from it. However, I acknowledge that again this is what life is like, sometimes there is never justice, some people never own up to their actions and relationships remain broken.

Overall I felt it was a well-written debut and I would pick up Upperman’s work in the future. I do feel that this book won’t be for everyone but I like books about people who are kind of a mess, I’m kind of a mess too.

Thank you for reading this review of Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman curtsy of Swoon Reads, in return for my honest opinion. I hope you enjoyed my insights and look forward to more reviews from me in the future.

 

 

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Publication Date: July 18th 2017
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC from Simon & Schuster
Link to the authorhttp://www.lisa-maxwell.com/

Click Here For A Full Synopsis Or To Purchase

RATING: 4 Stars

FAVOURITE QUOTE:
“Not that he was fooled into thinking she was harmless-even kittens had claws, after all. And he’d had enough experience with this one to know hers were sharper than most” 

THOUGHTS:

The Last Magician came as a really big surprise this year, I hadn’t even heard of it until Simon & Schuster offered it to me for review. I was also pretty skeptical when I read the words, ‘gangs’, ‘time travel’ and ‘magic’ in the synopsis. That’s a lot to pull off in one book! Then when I began reading I realized there are multiple points of view, another difficult feat! I’m happy to report to you that Lisa Maxwell did it, she brought all those elements together so well, I really liked the characters and even though this is a stand alone I would definitely pick up a sequel.

Right away the main character, Esta was giving me Lila Bard vibes, and the dark gritty atmosphere combined with the gangs was reminding me of Six of Crows. Now, if you read this book and say “Hey this was nothing like either of those books!” No, it isn’t, and that’s a good thing. However, if you like strong, independent, snarky women like Lila Bard I think you’ll love Esta and if you enjoyed the atmosphere and never knowing who can be trusted, like Six of Crows, I think you’ll enjoy reading The Last Magician.

I loved Esta. I wanted to give you my favorite quote from her but my son pulled out half of my page flags and do you think I can find it now? Sadly not. She was independent and stubborn but she had moments of self-doubt as well and that made her likable as well as realistic and relateable. The romance between her and another character was far from the spot light and they dance around one another for most of the story. I liked it, and the few ‘intense’ scenes were swoony in my opinion. It also didn’t feel like it lacked romance because both characters had goals that directly opposed the relationship. It was kind of nice to see a female lead who decided that her feelings had to be second to her ambition.
Viola was another great character, and while I wish there was more of her what I did get I loved. She was straight to the point, cunning and sharp. Literally! Esta and Viola clashed a lot but that just made me like them more.

There wasn’t a lot of time jumping throughout the story, Esta is in New York 1901 for the majority of the book but I loved it. I cannot testify to the authenticity of the era it but I felt like I was accurately transported back in time. I found that the author did a great job of making the past come alive and Esta’s reactions to it believeable.

The magic system was probably the weakest point for me, that and a few parts of the story that I found to be a bit slow. There simply wasn’t a lot of explanation as to how or why things worked the way they did. I never really understood the different kinds of magic other than I think some was learned while others were born with it? Everything about the Brink felt really vague as well. I understood the basics, you can’t cross it without losing your powers and losing them makes you crazy at best, dead at worst. (Don’t worry no spoilers here this is in one of the very first chapters) The origin and the way it works was never very clear though, and I like to know the how and why of things in books. I will say that Esta’s magic was amazing, I loved the way it was used and described and the author did a really great job with that. Everyone else’s abilities were again vague or under utilized.
As for the slow parts, there were some but I am the kind of reader who doesn’t mind a few slower parts if the author already has me hooked. If in the first few chapters I have all kinds of questions I’m dying to know the answers to, then that usually keeps me going. If you like back to back action then you might struggle to get through parts of the book.

Lastly, I want to touch on the ending because I didn’t see it coming AT ALL. That earns top marks from me because nothing is worse than predictability. There are a few smaller twists along the way but they were understated and nothing like the big reveal. I live, or should I say read, for that moment when the author drops the truth bomb and your mouth falls open and you have to put the book down for a second while you mentally go back and connect all the dots you missed. That was pretty much me in the final chapters. The end is left sort of open, and that’s why I thought there was going to be a sequel, but it also stands on its own quite well.

Conclusion: I gave The Last Magician 4 out of 5 stars

Thank you for reading this review of The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell curtsy of Simon & Schuster Canada, in return for my honest opinion. I hope you enjoyed my insights and look forward to more reviews from me in the future.