August 28, 2016

My Book Favorites So Far

June, already? It's that time of year everyone. We're halfway through the year, which means I read (or should've read) a lot of great books by now. I should just make it easier and choose my favorites now so I don't have to make such hard decisions at the end of the year. 

Best Contemporary

It was either between this title or The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson and let me tell you, that wasn't an easy decision to make. Majority of the books I've read thus far have been contemporary so it was a hard choice to make. In the end, this book stuck with me the most. Its message really gets to its readers and as I stated in my review, it covers a whole spectrum of topics that are relevant in our society- confusion on sexual orientation, dangers of talking to online strangers, bullying and even sibling rivalry. The author was able to include all that and the game of hockey without it getting too crazy. That's impressive. You can find my review, here

Best OTP

#FEYRHYS/#FEYSAND. Were you surprised? I don't know if you follow me on my other social media platforms but I'm completely won over by Rhysand and Feyre. If you recall from my A Court of Thorns and Roses review, I said I was in love with Tamlin, but I guess we didn't get to see his true personality in ACOTAR. Something snapped in Tamlin when he was under the mountain. Sure I understand his love for Feyre but if he loves her so much, why won't he just freaking listen to her. Rhys, on the other hand, understands Feyre better than she understands herself. The trust they have for each other is just so adorable and when they flirt, I get goosebumps on my skin! They call each other names and make each other's skin crawl. I made a Tumblr account because of this OTP. I spent $54 on Society6 because of this OTP! I failed my Japanese final because of this OTP!!! I basically just died for this OTP. If you have yet to read this series, WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE??

Runner Up - Best OTP

It took a lot out of me just to choose between FeyreXRhysand and KestrelXArin. Although I chose Feyre and Rhysand as the best OTP, the couple in this book still deserves a huge pat on the back. In the beginning of the series, Arin has a strong hatred for Kestrel. I mean, she did buy him as a house slave. But when they slowly start to fall in love, you can see the tension, the angst and just the GODDAMN admiration they have for each other. They both put each other on a pedestal and look up to each other. The relationship development was spot on and you can't help but love the snark and the banter that these two characters constantly throw.  

Best Fantasy 

I read a good number of fantasy novels these past few months, but none compared to V.E. Schwab's exquisite masterpiece. Of all of Schwab's titles, I think the A Darker Shade of Magic books are the most well-known. The characters are so lovable and admirable. Specifically in this series Schwab creates parallel worlds that seem like they could be real. This book evokes incredible imagery and visualization. It makes you think, "Wow, how did the author come up with this concept?". Plus her books always leave off on cliffhangers, so you'll be yearning for more by the end! 

Best Book (Overall)

I can't give this book enough praise. I think it's extremely neglected and it wasn't given enough attention during publication. There are just so many great things to mention. First starting off with the feminist representation in this book! Like HOLY FOSHIZZLE this book follows a team called Defiance, and they are one of the top ranked teams in the RAGE tournaments. Out of the five teammates, three were girls. I mean, talk about female representation! We have a majority girl gaming team that is one of the top ranked in the tournaments! That just made me really happy. Some people might argue that the role of the females were undermined since they casually when to clubs and were the ones that 'seduced' the guys, but I didn't feel that at all. In fact, the main protag Kali Ling stole the show! The focus of the book was her debut as the first female captain of a championship team and her struggle with battling addiction. Addicted to the virtual world, that is. This book also had a NA romance! Oh goodness you don't know how long I've been wanting to step out of my comfort zone of cliche YA romances. It was refreshing, brilliant and hilarious!! Read my review, here!

Extra: Most Anticipated of Fall 2016

*grabby hands, needs now*
Heist. Romance. LGBT. Guy with gloves. Need I say more?

What have been your favorite so far?

August 7, 2016

YA Tropes I Love | Discussion

The Young Adult genre is riddled with book tropes. From love triangles to the damsel in distress there are many different kinds of tropes, good and bad. I do find myself ranting about how often most tropes show up in books but there are the many few I can't stop reading about. Maybe that says a lot more about my personality and how easily I am entertained, but I assure you there is a reason behind my madness. 

1. Good Girl Likes Bad Guy

These books are just some examples of the trope that has been in YA since the beginning of time. The trope is as follows: there is a girl (usually the main heroine/protagonist) and she's this sweet-loving beauty. She's independent (and perhaps even shy) yet somehow she's missing something. Now to warn you all, this trope usually follows some sort of love triangle as there is the "safe" guy and then there is the brother/friend who is a rebel and enjoys breaking the rules. The girl is immediately more attracted to the "bad" boy. Why? Simply because the boy is more exciting and makes the girl feel like she's "actually living".

2. The All Powerful 

This is a trope I used to get annoyed at because the author would give too much power to a certain character. I thought this was just unfair and didn't make sense as no one is that powerful. However, if it is done correctly I honestly have no problem with it. Take Celaena in ToG for example. In the book, she's known as the most notorious assassin but the series shows her constant inner struggle with staying at the top, boy problems and finding her identity. So although she may be Adarlan's greatest assassin, she has flaws that make her her.

3. "OMG I'm a what"

PLEASE DON'T HATE ME FOR LOVING THIS TROPE. I know so many people who hate it because it's so cliche and we think that when these characters have these epiphanies, their whole world starts to change for the better. That's not true! In fact, for some characters finding out their true power might be even worse for them. One of my reasons for loving this trope is you really get to see the development they go through from before the change to after they've fully come to terms with their powers/right.

4. Best Friends Falling in Love

This is one trope I won't ever get tired of. For all those that aren't aware, I am a huge disbeliever of insta-love. I think it's so overrated, cliche and just unnecessary. I HATE IT! I sort of have this belief that two best friends falling in love is the opposite of insta-love, since these two people have known each other since the beginning so it would make sense for them to develop feelings. I've also had the experience of falling for a best friend, so I guess it's sort of just relatable. D'awww I know I know, Alex falling in love. Sounds silly, ehh? 

5. Falling for someone who's at the top of the food chain

Here's a better way of thinking about this trope: Imagine you're pining after this celebrity, who you know you can't have but you still love him/her to pieces. That's what this trope reminds me of. The feeling of longing and pursuing someone you know you'll never be with is weirdly fascinating to me. 

6. Teacher & Student Relationships 

This trope doesn't necessarily mean the teacher and student have to be in love. I'm just talking about students having a plain and simple connection with their teachers, other than what's talked about in class. I think we can all personally say that we've had that teacher who just understands us more than our friends do. I mean, don't get me wrong I'm all for a teacher as the love interest but it has to be done astonishingly well. The topic is frowned upon and is often called taboo. A great example is Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott, which took the whole book to develop the love between student and teacher. It wasn't mainly based off of attraction or as a mere tactic to boost a grade. I'm sorry but a horrible example of this trope would have to be in Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. For starters, the MC only liked the teacher because he was 'hot'. Another reason was because they 'did it' while they were still in the school building, which I think is stupidly reckless. 

There are some cases where the student and teacher have a common interest and therefore have a connection. This doesn't have to be romantic in any way. In Forgive Me Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick the MC is a troubled young man who plans to kill his ex-best friend and then himself. However his mutual connection with his teacher, the only person that truly understands him, will be the one to save the day!

July 23, 2016

Dee's Travel: Sarajevo, Bosnia & what I've been reading

Where has Diamond been?

I've been in Sarajevo, Bosnia! If you missed my last post, you are probably unaware where I went off to when school ended. I'm living in Bosnia this summer and am doing archival  fieldwork and an internship here in the beautiful city of Sarajevo. *if you want an even earlier update, here's my prior prior update post

I wanted to share some pictures with you guys...just because its a beautiful place and it has really inspired me to read! Too bad the books I'm craving are not packed with me, luckilly I have my kindle..and I even bought a random book the other day on my kindle (and its non-fiction too!) *gasp*

First, since this is a book blog, I'll share what I'm reading so far since I've been abroad...
then I'll share with you my glimmering photos that I've taken so far in the 3 weeks I've been living abroad.

What I've been reading 

almost done with both of these..they've just been sitting on the backburner :8

I got this on my kindle after reading an excerpt and being so intrigued! I normally do NOT read nonfiction, but its really really interesting. Lately I have been so interested in "relationships" and what makes them "work" and how our personalities can affect who we are compatible with. If you're also into that stuff, I highly recommend this! I'm flying through, already 40% in! xP

Maybe books (weekend travel):

those are just the physical books... I also have some on my kindle too.. O.o

A glimpse of the kindle mother-load (glimpse, I tell ya!) :O


July 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #27

Happy middle of the week everyone! Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that celebrates upcoming releases and our excitement for them. It was originally created by Jill over @ Breaking the Spine. Link any WoW posts in the comments so we could check them out too! 

What Alex is waiting for...

Title: The Diabolic 
Author: S.J. Kincaid 
Pages: 416 pages 
Release Date: November 1st, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Red Queen meets The Hunger Games in this epic novel about what happens when the galaxy’s most deadly weapon masquerades as a senator’s daughter and a hostage of the galactic court.

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

July 3, 2016

Summer Biannual Bibliothon TBR 2016

That's right! I'm finally participating in the Biannual Bibliothon. This summer is actually pretty chill and all going according to schedule so I know I'll have a lot of downtown to read during my 6 hour commute everyday! The #BiannualBibliothon is a week long readathon running from the 3rd to 9th of June run by a group of awesome Booktubers. There are prizes, reading challenges and video challenges! 

1. Read the group book

Because this readathon is kind of a like a book club as well, the hosts have chosen a group book that will be read and discussed at the conclusion of the readathon. I already read this so I won't be rereading it! I will, however, still count this towards the books I read because I feel bad if I just don't read anything for this challenge! 

2. Wildcard: Pick any book you'd like to read 

This is my current read. It's quite long and so I think it'll take me a while to finish it. Crossing my fingers that I finish it before Tuesday so I already have a jumpstart into this readathon. Did I mention that I always do really bad during readathons? This is just an effort for me to catch up on my Goodreads challenge!