#SixforSunday: Best Debuts of the Year

I hope you all are having a great weekend! #SixforSunday is a weekly meme hosted by Steph @ A Little But a Lot. The theme for this week is best debuts, so I decided to list my favorite debut books of this year (so far!). There have been so many amazing debuts this year and there are still more that I’m looking forward to releasing in the upcoming months. It’s hard to believe these books are from debut authors, as they’re all so expertly crafted and written. 

347264691. THE SKY IN THE DEEP
This book has made it onto a lot of lists lately. I read this back in February, and until August, this was the best book I had read all year. It quickly became one of my favorite books. As soon as I was finished, I knew it would be a story that would stick with me always. Everything was executed perfectly to created a breathtaking, emotional story full of grit and heart. [review]

347286672. CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE
This was probably one of the most hyped books of the year – and with good reason. It was a thrilling fantasy full of action and adventure, magic, expert writing, and a cast of superb characters. The story and characters are very reminiscent of Avatar: The Last Air Bender, so if you love that children’s show as much as I do, this book is for you. [review]

350687053. THE POPPY WAR
Make no mistake: this is no young adult fantasy novel. The Poppy War is a grimdark fantasy featuring a fierce heroine, political intrigue, addictive writing, and plenty of action. There are so many amazing elements about it that make it a totally engrossing read. I was also very impressed by her ability to blend fantasy elements with history, as the book is inspired by parts of Chinese history, such as the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Nanking Massacre. Heed the trigger warnings. [review]

311790064. SWEET BLACK WAVES
I’m very adamant about the fact that I want more YA books based on Celtic mythology and Irish folklore, and boy was I blessed (or perhaps cursed?) with this novel. It’s easy to tell that Kristina Pérez is very knowledgable in this area, and the way she wove fantasy elements with history was wonderful. As a retelling of Tristan and Iseult, this story is full of magic and adventure, friendship and romance, betrayal and heartbreak. The ending will gut you, and I’ve yet to find it within myself to forgive the author. [review]

327024875. BETWEEN THE BIRD AND THE BLADE
The book that sent me to an early grave. I knew going into this that it was going to hurt spectacularly: I thought that by reading the other reviews I would be prepared for the inevitable heartbreaking ending, but I underestimated Megan Bannen’s ability to completely annihilate my emotions. This is a fascinating, compelling story that was both unique and intriguing in seamlessly blending historical elements of the Mongol Empire with the Italian opera, Turandot. The story ends in a way that is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching, and altogether unforgettable. Have tissues ready. [ready]

365020546. SEAWITCH
There have been a lot of The Little Mermaid retellings lately, but I think this one is my favorite. I loved the atmospheric writing and how the historical setting remained true to the origins of the tale. This is more of a origin story for the sea witch of The Little Mermaid, and so the ending is very bittersweet. It was heartbreaking, and while I want every character to live their happily ever after, I thought it was very fitting for the story and well-done.

 

#SixforSunday: Books That Have Been on My TBR the Longest

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! #SixforSunday is a weekly meme hosted by Steph @ A Little But a Lot. The theme for this week is books that have sat on our TBR lists the longest. The struggle of many a reader are those books that we keep meaning to read, but never actually seem to get around to actually doing. And with so many new and interesting books released every year, it seems almost impossible to ever catch up on my TBR. 

The Zookeeper's Wife MIT.indd1. THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE
I couldn’t even attempt to guess how long this book has been sitting on my bookshelf unread. I’ve started this a handful of times, but could never seem to even get halfway through the first chapter. Historical fiction – especially set during WWII – is one of my favorite genres to read. Even with the release of the movie, I couldn’t seem to get motivated to read this.


218536212.
THE NIGHTINGALE
I bought this book on a whim (which I never do!) because I kept seeing so many five star reviews and positive things about it. And then when I started to dig a little deeper and read some spoilers (oops) it kind of made me regret my decision. Everyone seems to absolutely love this book, and as a historical novel set during WWII it’s right up my ally. However, those spoilers alerted me to the fact that one of my biggest turn-offs while reading, is actually a huge plot point in the book. So now the book just sits on my shelf, and I remain unsure as to whether or not I actually want to go through with reading it.

187052093. THE BLOOD OF OLYMPUS
The very last book in the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series, and I have yet to read it. I attempted to start it when it first came out, but I didn’t get very far and quickly became bored. I know the reason I haven’t read this yet is because Annabeth and Percy don’t have POVs, and honestly I’m not as invested in anyone else’s story, with the exception of Reyna. One day, I hope I will finally get around to finishing this series, however. 

2590294. BLACK HAWK DOWN
War memoirs are a very small sub-genre that I find myself really enjoying. I bought this when I had just finished Lone Survivor and American Sniper consecutively, and wanted another book-to-movie adaptation to read. Black Hawk Down is one of my favorite movies and I thought I would dive right into this as soon as I had time, and yet it too has sat untouched on my shelf for years, much to my chagrin. 

135310795. BIRDSONG
For someone who claims to enjoy reading historical fiction, I am now realizing how many books on this list that I haven’t read fall into that category. I’ll be honest: most of the time I forget I even have this book. It’s been on my shelf for so long it’s basically just decoration at this point. To be fair, this has been turned into a tv series which has also been left unwatched in my amazon watchlist for quite a while as well. 

104413346. FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC
I’ve seen the movie, and this is one of the books my mom bought me because she really liked it as a teenager, but I’ve never felt compelled to actually sit down and read it. Like, I want to eventually read the book, but I don’t know when I will ever feel the motivation to do it. 

 

#SixforSunday: Questions for George R.R. Martin

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! #SixforSunday is a weekly meme hosted by Steph @ A Little But a Lot. I just came across this meme a few weeks ago and I couldn’t wait to join in! I tweaked the theme for this week a bit because as soon as I saw the prompt – questions you have for authors – I was struck with inspiration. After I finished reading A Storm of Swords, I had so many questions for George R. R. Martin! One day, I hope they will all be answered haha. 

1. WHO IS THE KNIGHT OF THE LAUGHING TREE?
The main theory that everyone, including myself, seems to believe is that the Knight of the Laughing Tree is Lyanna Stark. And while there is some evidence in the book that it could be her, in typical GRRM fashion, he seems to avoid outright stating it.

2. WHAT IS THE TRUTH IN REGARDS TO ASHARA DAYNE AND HER STORY?
There is a ton of mystery surrounding her and a lot other characters seem to be connected with her untimely demise; Ned Stark, Brandon Stark, Jon Snow, Arthur Dayne, Barristan Selmy. There’s obviously a lot more to the story than we know and I can’t wait for everything to be revealed. 

3. WHAT REALLY HAPPENED BETWEEN RHAEGAR TARGARYEN AND LYANNA STARK?
Again, there are so many theories – and I have my own beliefs regarding them – but I really hope in the future books GRRM comes out with the actual truth. 

4. WHAT CAUSED THE TRAGEDY AT SUMMERHALL?
Another story shrouded in mystery and rumors. I’m so interested to know what started the fire and what was actually going on in that castle.

5. WHAT NAME WAS JON SNOW GIVEN AT BIRTH?
I really think this is going to differ from the show. I refuse to believe it’s Aegon; there’s so much foreshadowing in the books that suggests it’ll be Aemon. 

6. WHEN WILL THE WINDS OF WINTER BE FINISHED?
I’m going crazy here, and I just started reading the series last year! I can’t imagine how other fans feel that have been waiting even longer than I have. 


If you could ask George R. R. Martin anything, what would it be? Is there any author you’d like to sit down and chat with? Tell me in the comments!