Book Series Review: Soul Eaters

The synopses and reviews for books two and three contain mild spoilers to prior novels. For my overall thoughts on the series are at the bottom of this post.

Title: Cracked (Soul Eaters #1)
Author: Eliza Crewe
Date Published: November 5, 2013
Rating: 4.5/5
Date read: March 3, 2020 (reread)

Cracked follows a half-demon, half-human named Meda who believes she is the only one of her kind. One day, in the middle of one of her human meals, she runs into demons and demon hunters. Meda tricks the demon hunters into thinking she’s harmless in order to infiltrate their base and learn more about herself. 

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, the Soul Eaters series is everything I wanted the Shadow Hunter books to be. We have witty banter, kick butt characters, and interesting (not necessarily romantic) relationship dynamics. Meda is the unconventional hero of my dreams, she’s snarky, sarcastic, and knows how to get her way. She does a lot of terrible things and she doesn’t feel remorseful about it (most of the time). My favourite aspect of Cracked is the friend group that forms. These characters really have to work for their friendships and that makes them so much more believable.

Title: Crushed (Soul Eaters #2)
Date Published: August 5, 2014
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Date read: April 20, 2020 (reread)

Crushed is the second novel in the Soul Eaters trilogy. Crushed picks up a few months after the events of Cracked as Meda is poorly adjusting to life with the Crusaders. Matters aren’t helped when a certain bad boy makes an appearance and a tempting offer Meda doesn’t want to pass up. 

I can’t deny that Crushed is a filler novel, in that we pretty much end things off where we start, but I personally have never been one to hate on filler novels. I find that they tend to offer the most character development/exploration and world building, two things I love, and two things I thought were very well done in this instalment. Because of the events taking place in the novel, Meda develops a lot as a character and becomes more sympathetic towards others (to an extent, don’t worry, she’s not a completely different character by the end of this). As for the world building, it was introduced in a very natural way and at a very natural point in the story, and I thought Crewe’s use of Armand to answer main questions was brilliant.

Emotionally, Crushed is equivalent to Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix or Spider Man 2 (2004) in that we have ANGST, ANGST, ANGST a situation that is wholly frustrating for the protagonist, and it seems no one is on their side. I’m personally a sucker for this type of story line, it really pulls on my emotions, so naturally I loved where the story went. I also think the situation Meda is in is very compelling. You can’t be mad at the Crusaders for not trusting her, but at the same time their attitude and actions towards her are both infuriating and questionable and make you sympathize for her. 

The highlight of this novel for me was Jo and Meda’s relationship, it’s why I have so much love for this series, well that and Meda’s charm, and sense of humour. How often do we come across a young adult novel where the bonds between two female friends are this important to the story? There is nothing easy about their relationship, its a constant uphill battle, and yet they love and are loyal to each other. 

Title: Crossed (Soul Eaters #3)
Date Published: August 13, 2015
Rating: 4.75/5 stars
Date read: April 28, 2020 (reread)

Crossed takes place not too long after Crushed, the Crusaders have lost their base and are moving around a lot. On the bright side, after the events of the last novel they’re also more willing to work with Meda. When the Crusaders propose a crazy plan to help them get an edge over the demons, Meda is less than willing to oblige.

So we’ve finally reached the end. Meda is just as snarky and embracing of her cowardliness and sense of self-preservation as ever. There were some pretty crazy plot points that I had completely forgotten about in this instalment that were a very pleasant surprise. I do have to say that the series gets a bit repetitive in the sense that the ultimate conflict in each novel involves infiltrating the demons’ base, but it makes sense given the premise. 

As usual, the highlight of the novel for me was the characters. I especially liked where the story went with Jo’s character, her development in this novel was fantastic and brought about some really great discussions on hatred and hope. I also liked that we saw more to Chi’s character and the character development and backstory we got on Armand made me sympathize towards him a lot more. It was weird that Meda was the sense of reason in this novel, but fair. And of course I loved how Jo and Meda’s relationship was the most important relationship in the novel. My biggest complaint about this series is that Meda and Jo aren’t canon.

Final thoughts: Speaking for the series as a whole, it’s solidified its position as one of my favourites. I can’t imagine myself disliking a story where the main character constantly struggles to do what’s morally correct versus what’s in their best interests. I’ve read from a few different characters where one of their internal struggles was not succumbing to their more terrible base desires and I think Meda is one of the best depictions of this type of character. It also helps that she’s incredibly charming in a sarcastic and snarky way. If you’re looking to pick up a series with one of the best main characters ever, then this is it!

Have you read Soul Eaters? If not, do you plan to? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading! 💗

Six for Sunday #4

#SixforSunday is a weekly MEME hosted by A Little But a Lot, this week’s prompt is:

Favourite characters from series

This month has been series themed and next week’s topic rounds things out with favourite series. This week, to avoid repetition, I’m going to refrain from mentioning any characters from my top six favourite series.

❥Ruby Oliver from the Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart
I don’t really know what this says about me, but I wanted to be Ruby Oliver when I was younger. I just thought she was the coolest girl ever. Ruby is quirky, cute, and really just tries her best. I find her so endearing and I can relate (or rather could in university) a little too well to her boy troubles. If you’re looking for a cute story with great anxiety representation and that focuses a lot on the falling out of a friendship, this is your book and Ruby’s your girl!

❥Royce Melborn from the Riyria novels by Michael J. Sullivan
I also don’t know what this says about me but I have a thing for Slytherin main characters. I love a character who’s more interested in their own goals and ambitions than in being altruistic, I think it adds a lot more depth to the character, especially when they’re faced with something that isn’t in their best interest but is for the greater good. Give me all that inner conflict. Royce is especially ruthless and cold and unintentionally funny and I think he’s so great.

❥Quan Diep from The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
While we haven’t gotten a novel where he’s the main character yet, Quan stole my heart in The Bride Test and I am so looking forward to The Heart Principle where he’ll finally get his chance to shine. Quan was just so sweet and kind to his younger brother, and he really looks out for the people he loves, I love that.

Adrian Everhart from Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Look, I’m not one to do the whole book-boyfriend or book-girlfriend or book-significant other thing, but I make an exception for Adrian Everhart. While I love me my self-centred, self-interested characters, I also love some of the characters that fall on the opposite side of the spectrum, characters that are so selfless and that are so set on doing the right thing and do all they can to make it happen. The hero type can be pretty hit-or-miss for me, but they’re especially my thing when they’re as sweet and kind as Adrian Everhart.

❥Pen Alcott from The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
I have such a soft spot for when a guard falls in love with the person they’re protecting. Pen is a perfect example of this, and he’s so brave, and kind, and sweet, and loyal, easily my favourite character of the series.

❥Danika Fendyr from Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas
The older I get the more I appreciate a good friendship, and what Bryce and Danika had, it was everything. Give me two best friends who will literally do anything for each other and I’m almost guaranteed to love them no matter what. I also greatly value loyalty in a character, and that is Danika to a T. It also helps that I think she’s so cool!

Who are some of your favourite characters from a series? I’d love to know! Happy reading! 💗

The Real Neat Blog Award

Many, many thanks to ChapterMalliumpkin for nominating me to do The Real Neat Blog Award! Her blog is one of my absolute favourites so if you haven’t already checked her out I highly recommend that you do! 💗

This award was created by Dear Kitty, Some Blog and came about as a means of showcasing bloggers that deserve more attention because of the awesome content on their blog.

The Rules

❥Display the Award Logo.
❥Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
❥Answer the questions of the one who nominated you.
❥Nominate some bloggers.
❥Ask them seven questions.

Malliumpkin’s Questions

What’s one book that you can relate to the most and why?

This might seem like a weird answer, but I have to go with Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. Miyrem, the main character, and I have a very similar thought process, and with everything she does I just completely understand where she’s coming from and what her motivations are.

Aside from reading, what’s your favorite activity to do in self-isolation?

I really love art and design. Recently I’ve also made an effort to create more art and practice drawing on a daily basis and it has made me so happy. To see some of my work you can click here.

You just inherited a house, you have one room left to remodel into the dream library. Describe what your dream library looks like and what the crown jewel of this library is.

Something like this, but with a flat ceiling and fairy lights dangling overhead. It would also make me the happiest person ever if I had an entire bookshelf dedicated to Spinning Silver.

Besides being a collector of books, what are some of the other things you collect?

I don’t collect many things, but one thing that comes to mind is my stationary/art supplies. Aside from reading I love to draw and bullet journal and I’ve amassed a lot of pens, markers, and pencils over the years.

Real talk, what’s one topic that you’ve been wanting to discuss on your blog, but haven’t and why?

When I started my blog I went into it with the selfish attitude that this blog is for me and that I wasn’t going to stop myself from posting anything that I want to post. Of all the social media platforms that I’ve used I feel the most free with this one, especially since I started things off with that attitude. So, there isn’t really anything I’ve been putting off discussing for now 😊.

What are the top five books you’re planning to buy from your local bookstore this year?

I’ve preordered He Must Like You by Danielle Younge-Ullman, and I’m definitely going to be buying Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin, Well Played by Jen DeLuca, Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer, and A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik.

Feel good time! What are five songs that have been keeping your spirits high?

Ahaha, this is a hard question because I haven’t been listening to music much lately. Some songs that make me really happy are:

❥2002 by Anne-Marie
❥Sunflower by Post Malone & Swae Lee
❥Bad Habits by Delaney Jane
❥Like OOH-AHH by Twice
❥Dango Dai Kazoku by Chata

The first three songs are songs my husband and I love to dance West Coast Swing to. Like OOH-AHH never fails to put me in a good mood because it’s so upbeat. As for Dango Dai Kazoku, I’m rewatching Clannad, and if you know you know.

Thank again to Malliumpkin for nominating me ☺️ theses were some really great questions and I hope they’ve allowed you to get to know me a little better. Please don’t forget to check out Malliumpkin’s blog if you haven’t already 😊.

I’m going to nominate a few of my favourite blogs to receive this award:

Corina from The Brown Eyed Bookworm
Matty from Matty’s Book Avenue
Evelyn from Moonlit Books
Micky & Hollis from A Take from Two Cities

And my seven questions are as follows:

❥Why did you start blogging?
❥What genre do you read the most and what genre do you wish you read more of?
❥What’s your favourite comfort food?
❥If you were stuck on a deserted island which five books would you want with you?
❥What are your hobbies outside of reading?
❥Does anyone in your family read?
❥If you could travel anywhere (fictional or not) where would you go?

Of course don’t feel obligated to do this tag if tags aren’t your thing! 😊

That’s it for today, I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend and don’t forget to check out Malliumpkin and the other blogs I listed above, I’m sure you’ll love them if you don’t already. 💗

Mini Reviews: The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Picture of Dorian Gray, & Heidi

Title: The Adventures of Pinocchio
Author: Carlo Collodi
Date Published: February 1883
Rating: 3/5 stars
Date read: April 22, 2020

The Adventures of Pinocchio follows a marionette named Pinocchio as he struggles to be good in order to turn into a real boy.

I say Pinocchio “struggles” to be good very loosely because, really, Pinocchio could put in more effort. Before reading Pinocchio I read a couple reviews on it and was shocked over how harsh some of them were, but now that I’ve read Pinocchio I understand, he really is a dumbass. There are multiple occasions throughout the novel where someone tries to deter Pinocchio from doing something stupid, but he never listens. It also doesn’t help that this novel lacks subtly when it comes to morals, I feel as though I’ve been bashed over the head repeatedly by the idea that “going to school and working hard leads to good things.” I didn’t hate this story, and ultimately enjoyed the direction in which the plot went, I just wish Pinocchio had been smarter about things, or perhaps had more conflict about whether or not to act out. On a more positive note, I appreciated reading a fairytale-like story that originated in Italy because it was a fun change in scenery from other children’s stories/fairytales. What made this reading experience more enjoyable for me was listening to the audiobook and reading the MinaLima edition, Simon Vance does a terrific job narrating it, and the MinaLima edition of it is stunning. 

Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author: Oscar Wilde
Date Published: 1891
Rating: 3.75/5 stars
Date read: April 20, 2020 (reread)

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a novel revolving around the young and handsome Dorian Gray. An artist paints his portrait, and upon seeing it Dorian wishes it would age instead of he. Dorian’s wish comes true with horrific consequences. 

I’ve always loved and will always love the concept behind The Picture of Dorian Gray, a picture that ages instead of its subject, I just think that’s so brilliant. In terms of execution, Wilde can get quite long winded at times, and Henry’s attitude towards woman was appalling, but otherwise I enjoyed this story. I love Wilde’s writing style and truly think he has a way with words. As for the characters, they’re the type you’ll love to hate. I especially enjoyed Dorian’s gradual change of character and how he got worse as the novel progressed. Additionally, I think this book has one of the most perfect endings ever. I do think that my next read through isn’t going to be from the audiobook though, I didn’t enjoy that nearly as much as physically reading it. 

Title: Heidi
Author: Johanna Spyri
Date Published: 1880
Rating: 3.75/5
Date read: April 28, 2020 (reread)

Heidi is the story of a young orphan girl named Heidi who goes to live with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps. She charms everyone she meets, but eventually moves to the city to get a proper education, missing the Alps the entire time she is gone. 

Heidi, the girl, is a bit too perfect for my tastes, and I didn’t think she had enough charm to warrant all the adoration she received throughout the novel. Still, I did enjoy the antics she got herself into, and I loved the backdrop of the Alps. The background was well described and fleshed out and this little story is worth reading just for that.Unfortunately the novel got a bit too heavy-handed with its religious messages for my personal tastes in the second half, it was just a bit jarring given it wasn’t as present an element in the first half and had it been more balanced out it probably would have bothered me a bit less. While Heidi is a cute and charming story, I do think there are better children classics out there.

If you’ve read any of these books or plan to read them, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading! 💗

Book Review: Alex, Approximately

Title: Alex, Approximately
Author: Jenn Bennett
Date Published: April 4, 2017
Rating: 3.75/5 stars
Date read: April 16, 2020

Alex, Approximately follows 17-year-old Bailey (Mink) Rydell. She’s just moved across the country to live with her father. She’s a movie buff and has been chatting online quite a bit with a boy named Alex, and, unbeknownst to him, she just happens to be moving to the same town as him. Bailey proceeds to spend her summer working and flirting with an obnoxious boy named Porter, and trying to uncover Alex’s identity.

I first read Alex, Approximately when I was just getting back into reading, just after its release day and I loved it, and proceeded to pick up every other Jenn Bennett novel that followed, and much to my dismay I didn’t love any of them nearly as much. So, going into this reread of Alex, Approximately, I was hesitant. Naturally I was really surprised to find I still like Alex, Approximately

Jenn Bennett is fantastic at writing romance. She manages to perfectly capture the innocence, sweetness, and self-doubt that comes with two teenagers crushing on each other, and as a result the flirtation between Bailey and Porter was spot-on. I like that Bailey and Porter’s relationship progressed slowly and organically, they start off not getting along, but that develops slowly into friendship, and then from there romantic feelings blossom. While Bailey is physically attracted to Porter right off the bat, she isn’t fixated on his looks and her feelings feel like they come from her knowing him as a person. 

Bennett is also fantastic at writing characters, and I appreciated the representation she included in her novel. Bailey feels extremely fleshed out, as do majority of the side characters. She feels like an authentic teenage voice then again I’m not a teenager, so do I really know what an authentic teenage voice is?. Bailey starts off pretty passive, and she refers to herself as an evader, but over time she learns to open up. She has to work to get out of her shell, and it doesn’t feel like an instantaneous change. I also like that the novel wasn’t wholly focused on romance, and that Bailey’s relationships with her father and with her new best friend Grace were important to the story.

My one complaint with Alex, Approximately is that it’s a bit too dramatic for my personal tastes, as I tend to prefer light and fluffy romances. Both Bailey and Porter have very dramatic backstories, and Bailey’s deals with PTSD (I don’t know how accurate this representation is). But what really didn’t work for me was Porter’s drama with his ex-friend Davey, I think this didn’t add anything to the story. As for the drama at the end of the book, I also have had an online friend who I shared an extremely meaningful relationship with, and I’m not sure how I would have reacted to Bailey’s situation. Given her age I don’t think her reaction was too out-there though, and it made sense given her personality and the situation.

Overall I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a cute, sweet romance.

Content warning: gun violence, stalking, violence

Have you read Alex, Approximately? If not, do you plan to? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading! 💗

WWW Wednesday #6

WWW Wednesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Taking on a World of Words answering the following questions:

1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:

Age of Empyre by Michael J. Sullivan
I’ve made it to the final book and so far I’m not loving it. This last instalment is incredibly cheesy and the romance is pretty awful. I also just cannot get over how inaccurate I feel the development of writing is. I’m pretty disappointed and don’t really see this novel redeeming itself for me.

Trade Me by Courtney Milan
I think this novel is making it apparent to me that the only adult romances I really enjoy are of the comedic sort. This is just a bit too angsty and dramatic for my tastes. Still, I do find this premise really interesting and I am rooting for the couple.

Joy at Work by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein
I’m still reading this! I’m actually planning to finish it today. Since picking this up I’ve tried implementing a few changes to my daily life and I really do find some of these tips helpful.

Recently Finished

Lovesick Ellie Volume 6 by Fujimomo
This was easily my favourite volume of Lovesick Ellie so far. I really like “love triangles” when I like both potential love interests and that’s definitely the case here.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
I was pretty pleased by my reread of Sense and Sensibility. I think the story is of the unconventional variety and I really like the direction the plot goes in.

Yona of the Dawn Volume 2 by Mizuho Kusanagi
This really is a series that gets better upon reread, it becomes a lot more apparent how much growth each character goes through, and I enjoy watching the art improve.

Reading Next

Lovesick Ellie Volume 7 by Fujimomo
I was going to drag reading this series out (that’s my bad habit, but only when it comes to manga) because I wasn’t sure when it was going to end and I wanted it to last which doesn’t even make sense given rereading is a thing but after finding out that the series is ending this month (hopefully translations aren’t too far behind with it) I decided that waiting it out is pointless. Plus the way things ended in the last volume has me extremely eager to read this one.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
Still waiting for my copy in the mail, but I imagine once I get it I won’t be able to resist not reading it.

Anna K by Jenny Lee
Did you know this is getting a sequel? I literally just found out by looking this up on Goodreads just now. Anyways, technically I’m currently (re)reading this now, but I decided I wanted to switch to the audiobook, so this’ll be my next audiobook.

What are you currently reading? What have you just finished reading? What are you planning to read next? I’d love to hear it! As well as any of your thoughts on the books above. Happy reading! 💗

Top 5 Tuesday #3

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Bionic Book Worm, this week’s prompt is:

Top 5 Opening Lines

I can’t help it, I’ve definitely chosen more than 5 books for this topic because I think it’s so great.

I have a thing for shocking/murderous lines 😅

❥Heroine by Mindy McGinnis
When I wake up, all my friends are dead.

❥Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Of all my many murders, committed for love and for better reasons, the first was the most important.

❥Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley.

❥Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
On the second Sabbat of Twelfthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky.

❥The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
This is how I kill someone.

Bonus 1: iconic first lines that I love

❥Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

❥Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
‘“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

❥Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Bonus 2: opening paragraphs that I absolutely love

❥Cracked by Eliza Crewe
There are some people you know you shouldn’t anger because it isn’t right. Like your mom-if she’s the nice sort. There are other people you know you shouldn’t anger because they have the authority to punish you. Police officers, politicians, insane asylum wardens, your mom-if she’s the bad sort. But there are some people you shouldn’t anger that you don’t know about, because no one ever survived to warn you. I’m the third kind.

❥Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
The real story isn’t half as pretty as the one you’ve heard. The real story is, the miller’s daughter with her long golden hair wants to catch a lord, a prince, a rich man’s son, so she goes to the moneylender and borrows for a ring and a necklace and decks herself out for the festival. And she’s beautiful enough, so the lord, the prince, the rich man’s son notices her, and dances with her, and tumbles her in a quiet hayloft when the dancing is over, and afterwards he goes home and marries the rich woman his family has picked out for him. Then the miller’s despoiled daughter tells everyone that the moneylender’s in league with the devil, and the village runs him out or maybe even stones him, so at least she gets to keep the jewels for a dowry, and the blacksmith marries her before that firstborn child comes along a little early. Because that’s what the story’s really about: getting out of paying your debts.

Obviously I saved by favourite book for last, and if that opening paragraph doesn’t sell you on it then I don’t know what will. I’d love to know some of your favourite opening lines, and if any of these ones grabbed your attention! Happy reading! 💗

Manga Reviews: Love at Fourteen Volumes 8, & 9

Love at Fourteen follows two middle school students (7th grade to be specific), Kanata Tanaka and Kazuki Yoshikawa who are very mature for their age. Because of the way their classmates perceive them, the two feel the only people they can be their true selves around is each other. A very sweet, innocent first-love blossoms between the two.

Series: Love at Fourteen
Volume 8
Author: Fuka Mizutani
First published: 2010
Ongoing: yes
Rating: 3/5 stars
Date read: April 25, 2020

Majority of the focus of this volume was on one of the side characters, Kato, and a girl he really wants to help out. We also have a Shiki storyline, with Shiki trying to deal with her unreciprocated feelings towards Kanata.

Before we get into the reviews I feel the need to address that this manga has some very problematic content. It features a lot of student-teacher relationships and if that is not something you are comfortable with, then this is not the manga for you. I personally like to imagine these kids are in high school or university, and that’s how I cope.

If I’m being completely honest, Shiki is one of my least favourite characters, her attitude towards Kazuki makes me really uncomfortable, so naturally this is one of my least favourite volumes. I really do hope she finds someone who can reciprocate her feelings. Also, while I did find Kato and Arisaka’s situation and interactions cute, I can’t get behind an elementary student dating. I wish, more strongly than ever, that the students in this series had been aged up, college would have been ideal (I totally think you can be sweet and innocent in college!) and would have made the problematic elements in this story less so, heck even high school would have been an improvement. As always, Kazuki and Kanata’s interactions are adorable and the highlight of the volume for me. 

Series: Love at Fourteen
Volume 9
Author: Fuka Mizutani
First published: 2010
Ongoing: yes
Rating: 4.25/5 stars
Date read: April 26, 2020

We start off Volume 9 with Hinohara wanting Nagai to watch Mino in a live concert, and trying to figure out a way to make that happen. Kanata also happens to break her leg in this volume, and this causes her and Kazuki to have an even harder time getting time alone.

I’ve always thought of Love at Fourteen as episodic, in that I don’t feel there is an overarching story, and each volume stands pretty well on its own. While these characters are changing and growing up (I say this especially in the case of Nagai, he’s easily had the most character development) it’s all pretty subtle. What I didn’t realize was that we really are just following a year in their lives and that at some point that year is going to end. Volume 9 really brought that idea home, and I was shocked by what transpired in this volume.

Volume 9 really tugged at my heartstrings. I loved seeing Nagai and Shota help out Kazuki; I think that really reflects the growth both characters have experienced and the friendships that have evolved. But the real kicker was Kazuki’s news to Kanata. I spent majority of the time I dated my husband (5 years) in a long distance relationship, so naturally this made me very upset. I think the way the situation was handled was great, and this is the first time where a manga has made me teary eyed over this type of reveal. I really hope things work out for the two of them because I’ve never read about two characters more perfectly suited for each other. I do also take this to mean the manga is nearing its end. It’s so strange to think that knowing I’ve been reading this manga for seven years. 

If you’ve read Love at Fourteen or plan to, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading! 💗

Project Reread Update #3

Over the past few years my book collection has expanded a lot. Because I have a small apartment and as a result, limited shelf space, I decided I wanted to limit the number of books I have on my shelves with no reread value. Initially I thought I’d just unhaul books I’m no longer interested in, and one set of books that almost didn’t make the cut was The Boyfriend List. But then I remembered how much I loved that series growing up, so I gave it another chance, reread it, and absolutely loved it. Since then I started Project Reread, where I reread all the books on my shelves in order to give them a fair chance before potentially unhauling them. Here’s the latest set.

Title: Shadow of the Fox
Author: Julie Kagawa
First date read: December 23, 2018
First rating: 4.25/5 stars
Second date read: February 19, 2020
Second rating: 4/5 stars

Shadow of the Fox takes place in a world where every 1000 years a dragon can be summoned, using a prayer on a sacred scroll, to grant the summoner their heart’s desire. Because of the dangers of such a thing, the scroll is broken up into three pieces and hidden away. We follow a half-kitsune named Yumeko who lives at one of the temples guarding a piece of the scroll. After her temple is attacked by demons searching for the scroll, Yumeko flees the temple with the scroll, in hopes of placing it in safe hands at the mysterious and hidden Steel Feather temple. Yumeko teams up with a demon slayer to search for the temple, though said demon hunter does not know what she carries. 

I loved Shadow of the Fox the first time I read it, it reminded me a lot of an anime, which was a total throwback given that I haven’t watched anime in ages. It also had some of my favourite anime tropes, a rag tag group going on a quest that becomes a found-family? Love it. But unfortunately Shadow of the Fox also at one point has a creepy crawly villain and I did NOT enjoy rereading that. Since this reread and since reading and not loving the sequel, Soul of the Sword, I’ve decided Shadow of the Fox is not a title I want to keep on my shelves. I still really like this book but I don’t foresee myself rereading it again in the future, and if at some point I want to I’ll just borrow it from the library.

Title: Soul Eaters (Cracked, Crushed, Crossed)
Author: Eliza Crewe
First date read: March 22, 2017 – June 2, 2017
First rating: 4.5/5 stars (across the board)
Second date read: March 3, 2020 – April 28, 2020
Second rating: 4.5, 4.5, 4.75 respectively

Cracked follows a half-demon, half-human named Meda who believes she is the only one of her kind. One day, in the middle of one of her human meals, she runs into demons and demon hunters. Meda tricks the demon hunters into thinking she’s harmless in order to infiltrate their base and learn more about herself. 

With this reread the Soul Eaters series has solidified its position as one of my favourite series. I am so emotionally invested and connected to these characters and I look forward to revisiting their story again and again. I’m just never going to get enough of Meda’s snarky personality or Jo’s bad attitude.

Title: Stardust
Author: Neil Gaiman
First date read: December 25, 2015
First rating: 3.5/5 stars
Second date read: March 3, 2020
Second rating: 4/5 stars

Stardust follows a young man named Tristan who is tasked by the woman he loves, to catch a fallen star. Tristans love is unreciprocated and he hopes that by collecting this star he can win her over. In order to retrieve the star he needs to venture over the mysterious wall and into Faerie. 

Rereading Stardust was an interesting experience. I have thought about unhauling this book with the intention of repurchasing it because I don’t love the edition I own, but I ultimately cannot bring myself to do it because I buddy read this book with someone who meant a lot to me at the time, so I’m emotionally attached to my copy. As for the reread, I enjoyed it a lot more the second time around and I greatly attribute that to the fact that I listened to the audiobook instead of physically rereading it. Gaiman does an amazing job with the narration and now I have a newfound appreciate for Stardust.

Title: Emma
Author: Jane Austen
First date read: September 6, 2017
First rating: 3.75/5 stars
Second date read: March 3, 2020
Second rating: 4/5 stars

Emma follows an unconventional heroine named Emma who likes to play matchmaker. 

Technically I don’t think Emma should be on this list, because it was never a question of whether I was going to unhaul this book, I just recently bought a new edition and I love it and want to keep it on my shelves forever. But anyways, I’ve rekindled my appreciate for Jane Austen through listening to her stories as audiobooks and I am enjoying rereading her novels immensely.

Title: The Girl with a Pearl Earring
Author: Tracy Chevalier
First date read: February 6, 2016
First rating: 4.5/5 stars
Second date read: March 21, 2020
Second rating: 3.5/5 stars

The Girl with a Pearl Earring follows a young woman named Griet, who after her family comes down on hard times, is hired as a maid in the Vermeer household. Through Griet, Chevalier imagines the origins of Vermeer’s most famous work, Girl with a Pearl Earring.

And we’re ending things off today with a miss! I loved The Girl With a Pearl Earring the first time I read it. I thought there was something so magical about learning about Vermeer and getting into his head a bit. This second time around I started to question whether I’ve become an art snob or something because I did not feel that Chevalier did his paintings justice in there descriptions! I don’t see myself revisiting this story ever again, so this one’s in the unhaul pile.

Final thoughts: Again, my results were pretty mixed up this time around. I’m unhauling Shadow of the Fox (and Soul of the Sword) and The Girl With a Pearl Earring, but keeping the Soul Eaters series, Stardust, and Emma. I wasn’t too surprised by what I decided to keep on my shelves (I was relatively confident that I liked all these titles) but I was a bit surprised by what I’m unhauling.

If you’ve read any of these titles or plan to, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading! 💗

Six for Sunday #3

#SixforSunday is a weekly MEME hosted by A Little But a Lot, this week’s prompt is:

Series you can’t wait to get into

From putting together this post I’ve come to realize that my TBR is made up of a lot more standalones than series. But anyways, here are my top picks!

❥ The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski
This was an obvious choice for me, The Midnight Lie is one of my most anticipated releases for 2020. I don’t actually know the synopsis, only that it takes place in the same world as The Winner’s Kiss, and that’s good enough for me. The only reason I haven’t picked this up yet is that I want to shorten the length of time I have to wait between sequels. I’m planning to pick this up at the end of the year.

❥Kiss Me At the Stroke of Midnight by Rin Mikimoto
Shoujo manga is my biggest weakness, and I’m always looking for more to read. Super Space Chick mentioned liking this one in one of her videos and that’s how it ended up on my radar. What is this about? I don’t remember, but it has decent ratings and cute art so that’s enough to draw me in.

❥The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
Have you read the Broken Earth Trilogy? If not, you really need to! It’s a masterpiece and it’s made me want to check out more of N.K. Jemisin’s works, and this series is where I’m starting next.

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Admittedly, I could totally see myself starting this and then DNF-ing it, but because of the Neflix adaptation I’m super intrigued and will at least give this a shot.

❥Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
Kings of the Wyld isn’t something I’d normally pick up but I have heard nothing but good things about it and so now I really want to give it a try. I do try to step out of my comfort zone every now and again, and I am looking forward to giving this a shot.

❥A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
This is legitimately my most anticipated novel of 2020. The only thing stopping me from picking this one up is the fact that it hasn’t been released yet. Naomi Novik wrote my favourite book ever, Spinning Silver, and it’s now a guarantee that I’ll pick up anything she writes.

Do you have any series you’re really looking forward to? Have you read or are interested in any of these titles? I’d love to know! Happy reading! 💗