Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make Me Want to Travel In Unconventional Ways

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Books That Awaken the Travel Bug In Me.” I…am not a big fan of airports and when I think of traveling, I think of airports and customs and all that hassle. Ideally, I wish you could travel somewhere without having to deal with jetlag and uncomfortable airplane chairs. This is why this week’s travel-themed post is inspired by books that involve magic/science and traveling instead of world-renowned locations. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig – Where does one book a seat on a time-traveling ship because yes, please.

2. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente – I feel like the title says it all.

3. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – Why yes, I’d love to travel to alternate Londons using blood magic. Well, hopefully not my own blood.

4. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Can’t quite decide if I’ve like to travel by broom, thestral, floo powder, or just Apparate.

5. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke – Read a few words and be instantly transported into a novel? Sign me up now.

6. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – Why, yes, I would love to travel the universe by tessering. I just saw the recent movie adaptation of this and it was so charming.

7. Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda – Despite the fact that space kind of creeps me out and this book does this nothing to alleviate this fear, I wouldn’t mind traveling on a spaceship at least once.

8. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – I’m not sure if I’m prone to sea sickness, but traveling to different countries via a pirate ship doesn’t sound all that bad.

9. The Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh – No one who grew up watching Aladdin didn’t immediately want a magic carpet of their own.

10. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – Black’s descriptions of traveling by ragwort steed is one of my favorite things about this novel.

Would you be interested in traveling in any of these unconventional ways? Has any book made you want to travel in a unique or odd way? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own TTT post in the comments, so I can visit.

Signups for the Summer 2018 Comment Challenge for the month of July are now open! Join us and meet a new blogging friend. Every month we pair bloggers and they spend the month getting to know one another through comments on each other’s blog. Sign-ups for July are open through June 25th. Click the image to the left for all the info.

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The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Title: The Way You Make Me Feel
Author: Maurene Goo
Series: N/A
Pages: 336
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books
Release Date: May 8th 2018

      “Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?
      With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.”

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“I felt at home here, not only because I’m Korean American, but because it was a blend of old and new L.A. I related to this future version of America that wasn’t tidy but layered, improvised, and complicated.”

Maurene Goo’s The Way You Make Me Feel is the perfect lighthearted and fun summer read you should be reaching for in the coming months. Clara Shin has cultivated a reputation for trouble and high jinks. Not one to take anything too seriously, Clara loves making a game out of anything. Pissing off Rose Carver, all-around know-it-all and overachiever, is just the icing on the cake. When Clara’s plan to have a little fun at prom ends with her and Rose wrestling over a tiara, resulting in accidental fire, Clara’s dad concocts an plan for the two of them to work on his food truck over the summer to avoid suspension. It’s the worst punishment Clara could ever imagine. But with each passing day, Clara begins to realize there’s more to Rose than the pristine facade she shows everyone. And as Clara begins to take a more serious interest in her dad’s business, Clara begins to realize there may be more to her than her own frivolous facade.

Clara is the kind of character who might rub some readers the wrong way, but I loved her nonetheless. This is a novel for those of us who will never be mistaken for being the nice one. For those more comfortable making snarky comments than accepting compliments. Clara has no problem letting people know what she thinks. She terrible when it comes to taking responsibility for her actions. Clara thrives off of attention and is the kind of teen that thinks caring too much would make her uncool. She’s stubborn and difficult and sometimes obnoxious. There were moments where I though Clara was being a real brat, but I was less interested in this and more invested in her growth over the course of the summer. I loved seeing a female friendship blossom and grow. Though Clara and Rose could not be more different, they eventually manage to find common ground. They find something in each other that they never had in another female friend. Their rivalry has always brought the worst out in each other, but their friendship ends up allowing each girl to mature and embrace a different side of herself.

I loved Clara’s budding romance with Hamlet, who is very different from Clara, but whose geekiness she finds nonetheless endearing. Hamlet was thoughtful and sincere; unlike Clara, he was all in from the beginning and his warm personality made it hard for her to resist for long. While I enjoyed both these relationships, the highlight of the novel is Clara’s relationship with her father. Their rapport is sweet and genuine. Clara is used to her dad being easy-going with her, so when he buckles down after her prank, it throws the harmony between the two out of sync. They eventually find their footing again with one another. Clara begins to understand how important a step her dad’s food truck is in his dream to eventual run a restaurant. Clara comes to appreciate just how much he cares about her and to recognize the small sacrifices he’s made to make her happy.

The Way You Make Me Feel a fun, quick read that is undeniable adorable and may have you unexpectedly tearing up at its warmhearted ending.

4/5

★★★★

The Friday 56: The Fifth Season

The Friday 56The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It’s that simple.

**Be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56 post in the comments!**

“There is no warning jangle of sesuna, as there would be if the movement of the earth came from the earth. That’s why people like these fear people like you, because you’re beyond sense and preparation. You’re a surprise, like a sudden toothache, like a heart attack.”

I loved N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season. There are so many layers to this world that long after I finished, I was contemplating the many different political and personal relationships in this one. One thing that really stuck out to me was the use of second person narrative, which I took too really easily. You can read my mini-review here. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS. AGAIN.
      Three terrible things happen in a single day.
      Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world’s sole continent, a great red rift has been been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.
      But this is the Stillness, a land long familiar with struggle, and where orogenes — those who wield the power of the earth as a weapon — are feared far more than the long cold night. Essun has remembered herself, and she will have her daughter back.
      She does not care if the world falls apart around her. Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.”

Top Ten Tuesday: Last Ten Books I Checked Out From the Library and Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Books I Decided to DNF (did not finish) too Quickly (are you questioning your DNF choices on any books? If you have a policy to not DNF, put a spin on the topic to make it fit you.).” Honesty, I don’t spend too much time thinking about DNF books. I usually figure out pretty quickly if a book is for me or not. I don’t tend to keep track of DNFs and in many cases if I only get 15 pages in, I don’t really count it as a DNF. As it were, it would be really hard to come up with ten books to fit this week’s topic, so I will be doing something a little different. I’m listing the last ten books I checked out from the library that I never ended up reading. Sometimes this means that I gave it a chance, but we didn’t click, other times I just ran out of time and had to return it, and in some cases I just didn’t feel like reading that particular book at the time. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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Have you read any of these? Should I give any particular one another shot? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own TTT post in the comments, so I can visit.

Signups for the Summer 2018 Comment Challenge for the month of July are now open! Join us and meet new blogging friend. Every month we pair bloggers and they spend the month getting to know one another through comments on each other’s blog. Sign-ups for July are open through June 25th. Click the image to the left for all the info.

ARC Review: Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova

Title: Bruja Born
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Series: Brooklyn Brujas, #2
Pages: 352
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: June 5th 2018
**I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, which does not influence my review.**

      “Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.
      Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula’s bruja healing powers can’t fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.
      Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back…”

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In Bruja Born, Zoraida Córdova reintroduces readers to the Mortiz sisters and her world of witches. When Alex Mortiz cast a spell to take away her power, she inadvertently sent her entire family to Los Lagos, a dangerous in-between realm. While Alex was able to save her family, she could never foresee just how much her world would change. In Bruja Born, Alex’s older sister Lula takes center stage. While Alex is learning to accept who she is as an encantrix, an all-powerful bruja, Lula is trying to find her way back to who she was before Los Lagos. When Maks, Lula’s boyfriend and the only person who makes her feel normal, is taken from her, Lula does everything she can to bring him back. Unfortunately for Lula, in her quest to save Maks, her actions will disrupt the very balance of life and death, and in the end, Lula will have to decide what she is willing to sacrifice to right her wrongs.

As much as I enjoyed Alex in Labyrinth Lost, I actually think I relate more to Lula. Before I had finished the first chapter, I was fully invested in Lula’s story. There is something incredibly fragile about her, but the strength and determination underneath is never sacrificed for this fragility. Lula was a character flawed from the very beginning. She makes rash decisions because she is a character driven by emotion. Though her journey has her meeting the Lady de la Muerta, the goddess of death, and facing off against zombie-like creatures, ultimately Lula’s story is internal. I don’t want to give too much away but there is one moment at the end where it felt that Lula had finally taken back control of her life and she was able to see how strong and valuable she was. It made me want to cheer out loud. Watching Lula struggle between being the girl she used to be and the one who emerged from Los Lagos is heartbreaking, but in the end, her story manages to be incredibly hopeful.

I want to touch on how much I enjoy the relationship between the Mortiz sisters. At the beginning of the novel, Lula harbors a lot of resentment toward Alex and Alex, who recognizes that Lula has changed, blames herself. Though tension and anger are always present, underneath it all is love. Alex and their younger sister Rose have done their best to take care of their older sister. While the Mortiz household has be disrupted by the return of their missing father, these three have always had each other. In the end, these sisters would do anything for each other and it’s this relationship that is at the heart of this series. I feel like we get to see this even more in this sequel and after getting to know Rose better, I am really looking forward to her novel.

In Bruja Born, the dead live and the living get their hearts carved out, both metaphorically and literally. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting the Mortiz sisters and following them on their witchy journey, you’re missing out.

4/5

★★★★