Friday, April 3, 2020

The Friday 56 (175) & Book Beginnings: Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.

44804083Synopsis from Goodreads...
The fifth installment in Seanan McGuire's award-winning, bestselling Wayward Children series, Come Tumbling Down picks up the threads left dangling by Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones 
When Jack left Eleanor West's School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister--whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice--back to their home on the Moors. But death in their adopted world isn't always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome. Eleanor West's "No Quests" rule is about to be broken. Again...

Beginning: "Eleanor West was fond of saying--inasmuch as she was fond of saying anything predictable, sensible, or more than once--that her school had no graduates, only students who found somewhere else to do their learning for a time." 

56: ""No," she said, with surprising strength."

Comments: Come Tumbling Down was just as good as I thought it was going to be. What are you reading this week? Or what are some of the 2020 books you're looking forward to?

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Quarterly Recap: January-March

It’s been a very hectic and unpredictable beginning to the year. It’s also finally time for the first quarterly recap of 2020.
January Reviews:

February Reviews:

March Reviews:

Other January Posts:

Other February Posts:

Other March Posts:
I don’t currently have too many concrete plans at the moment. I do want to do something art related again, since it’s something I enjoy.

Some blog posts that are coming soon…

I got approved for a copy of Heiress for Hire by Madeline Hunter. So you can expect my thoughts about it sometime closer to the release date. I also listened to Death Stranding: Timefall, so there’s going to be a post about that. And, last, but certainly not least, I read one of my most highly anticipated books of 2020: Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire. The review should be live on the blog Wednesday morning next week.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Music Monday (109): Raven Symone, Grace Jones, Mary J Blige, Mike Yung, and Doctor Elvis

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 

Breana: My pick this week is Raven Symone’s new song called Spacetruck. I like this song. It has a jazz sound and a chill vibe. It also fits with the kind of music I’ve been listening to in recent weeks.

Adri: Since I've been catching up on some projects, I've stayed on the same few playlists. But recently, I decided to check out some of Grace Jones' other work. I came across her 1979 album Muse, and I can't get enough. Thats why my pick for today is On Your Knees.

Andrea: One of the songs I've been listening to this week is Reminisce by Mary J. Blige.

I also came across Doctor Elvis on Instagram. I love his cover of Mike Yung's song Alright. I admire what he does for a living and think he has an amazing voice. So if you are curious, click on the link above to hear his cover of Alright. After listening to Doctor Elvis, I sought out Mike Yung's Video on YouTube. It's such an uplifting song that I had to share it this week. Mike Yung appeared on season 12 of America's Got Talent. You can find more information about Yung on Wikipedia. Have an amazing week!

What are you listening to this week?

Friday, March 27, 2020

I Listened to Where Are You? by Abi Ocia

I’m stepping outside of my usual playlist in my quest to find new music and artists to follow and listen to. One of my finds and new go-to artists is Abi Ocia. I found her music by randomly listening to a playlist, and her song, Running, happened to be on it. It’s such a gloriously elegant and stylish track, and the black and white music video is one of my favorites to date. From there, I gave her debut EP a listen. I have to say that, as of late, I’m really enjoying smooth R&B sounds with a side of guitar riffs. Where Are You? by Abi Ocia ticked all the boxes in that regard. At just five songs long, Where Are You? packs quite a punch, with its catchy rhythms and Ocia’s powerful and distinctive vocals. 
Beside the guitar riffs, there were other sounds on Where Are You? as well. Such as some synth pop influences, which were more evident on the track called Easy to Love. The feel and creativeness of the EP reminded me a little of Saturn by NAO—who is another artists I have mentioned on the blog before. They’re intrinsically different artists, and when I’m making the comparison, I’m talking about the way they mix and match influences from different genres/subgenres of music. Yet, the songs always feel and sound like one cohesive piece of music. In that way, Easy to Love reminded me of Orbit from NAO’s album, Saturn—which essentially does the same thing.

Abi Ocia has already shown a lot of promise as an artist. If this is what she can do with an EP, then I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do with a full-length album.
Have you listened to any music by Abi Ocia? If so, what are some of your favorite songs?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Review:The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

34275232. sy475 Title: The Hazel Wood
Series: The Hazel Wood #1
Author: Melissa Albert
Source/Format: Won in a giveaway; Paperback
More Details: Young Adult; Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Flatiron Books; January 30, 2018

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads...
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.” 
Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.
This is the second time I’ve picked up The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. The first time around, I wasn’t feeling it. However, I was in the mood for something with a fairy-tale atmosphere to it, and I decided to give this book another try.

The Hazel Wood was good. I liked it. I still encountered some of the same issues I had the first time around. Like the opening chapters, while interesting, weren’t my favorite part of the story—Alice Proserpine’s characterization and interactions with the characters around her somewhat contributed to that. That being said, once I got past the point that I originally stopped at, the story picked up some pace with the introduction of more of the fantastical elements. The “Tales from the Hinterland” and everything to do with it were among my favorite portions of The Hazel Wood. They were where the fairy-tale atmosphere and Alice shined the most—and the aspects about Alice that were sort of meh, made sense when put into context with the rest of the story. The Hazel Wood is, by no means, a light book. It deals with some of the darker aspects of fairy-tales, and that was true for most—if not all—of the Hinterland stories.

In general, the characters were interesting. Finch was probably my favorite character from The Hazel Wood, because I enjoyed his backstory and character arc the most.

Overall, I liked The Hazel Wood. The ending definitely left room for more possibilities, and since the sequel, The Night Country, is already out, I don’t have to wait to read it. Have you read The Hazel Wood? If so, what did you think about it?
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