TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Starting Another Series

I’ve been looking forward to this topic for weeks.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start bu Haven’t Yet.

I’m getting better with the series on my TBR; actually finishing them, back-to-back sometimes. I realized that I enjoy it that way. I get to be in the world for longer and I don’t forget anything in between books. Since I’m super late on this YA train, I have a crapton of finished series that I have yet to start. I narrowed down my ~extensive~ list to ten. Some of these I already own the whole set, some just the first book, and some I’ve yet to own the physical copy. I can’t guarantee I will get to them. That’s just the way it is. But I am interested. Very interested.

(This is a list of finished series. I have more to mention but a lot of them are still on-going.)


The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson.
I’ve been intrigued by this since the first book came out. A princess runs away on her wedding day and she’s being chased down by two guys, her betrothed and an assassin. But you won’t know who’s who until the end. So many booktubers sing its praises. I’ve picked up and put down this series so many times – including just now at the Book Outlet sale.

The Young Elites trilogy by Marie Lu.
My copies of the complete trilogy are all signed. I’m planning to marathon this before the release of Warcross or before the end of the year. I will read anything Marie Lu writes. Anything.

The Queen of the Tearling trilogy by Erika Johansen.
At first I thought this was a YA book but I eventually started seeing it shelved with the adult SFF. I honestly don’t know anything about this trilogy but I am interested to read it. I heard it’s high fantasy but still easy to follow.

Starcrossed trilogy by Leisa Reyven.
You will see this trilogy of my TBR until I actually pick it up and start it. I have the whole thing in paperback. Now that I’m getting in to New Adult, I just might pick this up this summer.

Prisoner of Night and Fog duology by Anne Blankman.
When I heard that this was about a world where Nazi Germany won, I put it on the top of my wishlist. When I finally got a copy of the two books, I planned to marathon it. But that didn’t happen. At least not yet. I love reading duologies back-to-back. I will definitely get to this around the fall season.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman.
I only have book 1 and have technically started it. I think I’m on chapter 2-3? But that was some time ago and I’ve forgotten much of it. This doesn’t have the best reviews but I’m still interested. I won’t go into this expecting a grown up Harry Potter. I heard that if you do that, you’ll only set yourself up for failure.

The Divine Cities trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett.
Again, I have all three books. This has been in my radar since the second book came out. It was offered on Blogging For Books but I didn’t have the 1st one. Then I won an ARC of the 3rd book a year later. I never forgot the blurb for the second book so I then decided to pick up the first one so I can read it.

Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo.
I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of The Grisha trilogy. I was super disappointed, to be honest. But I heard that this duology is way better so I still have high hopes.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.
I literally just finished The Scorpio Races on audio about a minute ago. Her writing is magic. I’m debating whether to listen to this series on audio or read it. Or both!

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.
I was supposed to buy the boxed set today from the Book Outlet sale but in the end, I decided to skip the sale all together. It was $30 for all 4 books in hardcover including Fairest. But no thanks. Not right now. Eventually. Maybe when Winter is released on paperback. I’ve asked my brother time and again if Cinder was worth the read. He always said yes but for some reason, I never followed through. I think it’s about time I do.


I want your recommendations! Which ones have you already read? Which series should I prioritize? What else should I add to this list?

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#T5W | I like these authors. A lot.

This week, we are talking about Authors You Want to Read More From.

I am at a loss at how to kick off this post so I’ll just go straight to the list. I’m having a bad day at work today and I need a distraction. Wish.com, AliExpress, and several online book shops aren’t helping much. (LOL.)

  1. Roshani Chokshi. I met her last February and had my copy of The Star-Touched Queen signed and personalized. Then I read it. It’s quite purple prose-y but I truly enjoyed it. Instead of it being annoying and tiring with all the flowery words and metaphors, it set up the mood nicely and it made imagining the world she wrote so easy and enjoyable. I do have A Crown of Wishes which I will get to very soon. And she recently announced that she is releasing a middle grade book next year. Yaaasss!
  2. Marie Lu. I also met her at the same event that I mentioned above. Ever since reading the Legend trilogy last year, Marie Lu has become an auto-buy author. I just love how well she writes action and her characters are so simple yet rich. I have The Young Elites trilogy (signed and) waiting for me. And I cannot wait to get my hands on Warcross. And I also hope to have all of my copies of her books signed… eventually.
  3. Ryan Graudin. I read her Wolf by Wolf duology and instantly fell in love. So much that I plan to try her All that Glows duology even though I’m not a fan of fae. There’s something about her writing that feels so strong and solid. Both Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood blew me away. Yes, they are YA books but it had none of that shallowness that even dystopian YA has, whether intentional or not. Invictus is going to be released this year and I will surely read that.
  4. Brandon Sanderson. My 2017 project is to finish the Mistborn trilogy. I’ve read and absolutely loved The Final Empire. I might read the next one in the coming months and the last one by the end of the year. And this author has a LOT of other books. So many of them are well-loved by the book community, not just by the SFF readers. The Final Empire was so easy to read and follow despite the large cast of characters and rather complicated magic system.
  5. Keigo Higashino. I debated whether to mention him or another Japanese author here but I decided with Keigo Higashino. I own six of his translated works but have only read one. Which is strange because I enjoyed the one that I read, The Devotion of Suspect X. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. I love how he puts a spin on a detective story. What I love about Japanese fiction is that it has its own mood that is so distinct from Western mysteries. I really should pick up the other books by this author because all of them sound so interesting.

I have other picks. But looking at my list, I am most excited about these five authors.

#T5W | I’m (a) Game(r)

This week, we are talking about Books That Would Make Good Games.

One thing you may not know about me is that I’m a gamer. Sure, I spectate more than I actually play but I’ve always had a controller in my hand since the classic Nintendo Famicom. I had three PSX consoles, 2 PS One, 2 PS2, a PS3, 3 PSPs, a PS Vita, and a PS4 Pro. My brother and I are actually planning to buy another PS Vita because the one we have now is rooted in the Japanese PlayStation store. And if it’s not yet obvious, we’re Playstation fans. I’ve never even held a GameBoy or a Nintendo DS in my life. No joke. XD

My favorite genres are Japanese RPG, survival horror, and fighting games. Tekken 3 is like the national video game in the Philippines. Final Fantasy VIII was my top favorite JRPG until recently. And while kids spend the day with their dads in parks, malls, or fixing cars… I was helping him beat Silent Hill. Today, I still love Tekken and have grown to love Street Fighter. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has dethroned FF8 as my favorite JRPG so much that I am seriously contemplating on buying a Windows system so I can play the game’s re-release with 5000 extra voice over clips. And I think Resident Evil: Biohazard is one of the scariest video games ever! I can talk you to the ground about video games like I can with books and anime.

Anyway, I figure this is going to be a long post. I will not only name 5 (or more) books that would make great video games but I will try to mention games that can be good books too. And I will be categorizing them into genres/modes instead of the book’s genres. This is going to be fun!

Continue reading

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Spring Forward!

I really could use that one hour. For sleep, for reading, for watching two more anime episodes… guh. But at least I get home with the sun still up and high in the sky.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR.

I always say that I’m not much for TBRs but lately, I’ve been making lists of books that I definitely do want to get to this month, this season, this year. And actually writing them down so I won’t forget. That counts for a TBR, right? It makes me so excited; but not too excited. The reason why I never formally followed a TBR because I don’t want to feel boxed in like I’m obligated to read these titles just because in my head, writing them down means I’m committed. I ain’t that deep. LOL. But I’ve accumulated quite a few books that I really wanted lately. February was a huge month for me in terms of meeting authors and acquiring signed books. This list is basically by February book haul.

Spring starts on March 20 but it’s already upwards of 80s and 90s here in Southern California. I won’t have many upcoming releases on this list. Other than that, I own all of these titles. Man, what a difference. I wouldn’t be able to say that same time last year.

This list is in no particular order. I will definitely read these books but I can’t guarantee I’ll read all of them by the end of spring, June 20. We’ll see.

(I met the authors of these first four books in two days.)

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I’m sure you’ve heard of this book already. It’s the most hyped book of the winter season. It is compared to The Night Circus. I loved that book. I’ve been hearing praise for Caraval left and right… except from people that I trust. Yikes. I saw how excited the author and the fans were for this book at the signing. The girls there were so passionate about it. But then I hear disappointments and DNF’ing from vloggers and bloggers that I trust. So… I don’t know. I still want to read it but I’ve heard some scary things.
  • Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. I met her during her book launch the day before I met Stephanie Garber. I also have a special art print. It’s a loose retelling of Labyrinth and the way her fellow authors describe the writing, I really want to experience it myself. I love anything with music and I can’t wait to see how she put that into words.
  • A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi. I met her at the same event with S. Jae-Jones. I read The Star-Touched Queen last month and enjoyed it. (Today is the last day to pre-order this book and receive a perk.) I love her energy! I also love how she incorporated the Indian culture in her book. It was gorgeous. I already pre-ordered this and hopefully, I can get to it as soon as I receive it. (Release date: 3/23/2017)
  •  The Young Elites by Marie Lu. Rounding out the three authors. Yes, it was a very fun night. I absolutely love Marie Lu’s writing. I then managed to acquire signed copies of this trilogy. I loved Legend and I heard nothing but good things about this one. She has a new series coming out this year. I hope to read that too. Ah, I just love her.

[I realized that I have trouble starting (another) series without finishing the one I started before that. I did finish two series lately: Shades of Magic by VE Schwab and Orange by Ichigo TakanoSo I guess I can start some new ones now!]

  • As Red as Blood by Salla Simukka. I received this from Blogging for Books. I have 90 days to read it so I guess it’ll definitely fall into my Spring reads. It’s a thriller and that’s all I need to know. I’ve glanced at some reviews and they are pretty positive so I would like to go into this blindly.
  • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. I might read this next, after I finish Battle Royale. There’s a story behind this — I already bought a copy from Target. About a month after, I saw a signed first edition paperback copy at that same Target. I bought it and planned to return my unsigned one with the newer receipt. But then I just decided to pass it along to someone else who might like it also. I saw the book trailer at Target, yep the same one, and I got intrigued. The second book just came out so we’ll see how this goes.
  • Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry. I have all the books in this series. I told myself I will go through all of them last year but I only managed to read the first one. I enjoyed it so much and I’m definitely ready for more. I’m not really a “seasonal” reader so I’ll still read this in the middle of a park lush with trees and green grass. XD
  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. Seriously, I’ve been wanting to start this trilogy for years. Ever since it came out. Now I have all three so there’s not reason not to marathon this, right? I honestly don’t know much about this trilogy apart from it’s about a pianist. Or there’s something about a pianist. That’s all. You got me.
  • Another Episode S/0 by Yukito Ayatsuji. This is a companion to Another. It is about Misaki Mei and her experiences with a ghost. Really, any continuation to Another, I will inhale it.
  • Loop by Koji Suzuki. This is the 3rd book in the Ring series. I loved Ring and Spiral. I actually wanted to read this in February but things got in the way. I want to hopefully get to this book this month. I wanted to read one Japanese novel per month this year and I already missed February.

That’s my list. I must stay, I’m genuinely excited to read all of these books. Hopefully, I get to them. Follow me on Goodreads to find out!

#T5W | Favorite Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

This week, we are talking about FAVORITE SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY BOOKS.

I was looking at my books and fantasy is definitely one of my favorite genres. I do read sci-fi as well, maybe starting to dabble deeper into it soon. I definitely had more than 5 books in my first list. I tried to see if I can have five fantasy and five sci-fi books but it was just impossible to separate them into categories. The line between fantasy and sci-fi is blurring more and more. I wrote down some titles that toe that line, jump across it multiple times, and plant one foot on each side of it. I am overthinking this, aren’t I?

Or I can just do this:

All of these are signed copies!

That’s my list. Bye-bye! *logs off*


I’m kidding! While VE Schwab is definitely deserving a top spot on this list, I’m counting all these books as one. The Shades of Magic trilogy alone is an excellent example of a solid fantasy series with awesome world-building and an interesting magic system with equally engaging characters. The Savage Song, written under the name Victoria Schwab is a YA fantasy with NO ROMANCE. About monsters. No romance. Let that sink in. And my favorite, Vicious, is about two villains – anti-heroes. Both of them are bad guys trying to eliminate the other. Vicious and This Savage Song is bordering on urban fantasy while Shades of Magic is straight up magic and adventure and yes, romance.

I guess that’s my first pick!

Number two, The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. It’s the first book in the Mistborn trilogy. I only read the first book so far but I have every intention to finish this book by the end of 2017. It’s high fantasy but it’s so easy to read and follow. We follow Kelsier and Vin and their band of rebels trying to overthrow the Lord Ruler. The pretty UK paperbacks are a booktube and bookstagram staple so you bet I have them too. The world-building is excellent and while the magic system can be complicated, it is so interesting that you won’t mind it. Plus, there are guides that you can check out. Honestly, the hype is real with this book. It’s not even hype… it’s PRAISE!

(I just noticed parallels between The Final Empire and A Conjuring of Light, specifically. I would have to do more research but I’m lazy and I’m sure other people already noticed that too.)

My pick of sci-fi is the Parasitology trilogy by Mira Grant. I feel like this is an underrated series. It’s about parasites in the form of worms that is consumed by the body to help it combat illness and basically better the quality of life. Then these parasites develop a mind of their own and start to take over their hosts. This trilogy is unique where the pace doesn’t really change. It’s a continuous slow-ish burn. There’s so many twists and turns. While it does get a bit repetitive at parts, it’s still an enjoyable ride.

This can’t be a list of fantasy books without one of my favorite books of all time, The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. There was a time I read this twice in a row – the first one was for leisure and the second one for school. All in three days. I used to read this once a year but I’ve since fell off of that tradition. However, I recently got the 50th Anniversary Limited Edition so I might go back on that re-read habit.

And I’m going to bookend this list with another author pick, James Rollins. Specifically, his Sigma Force series. I finished listening to The 6th Extinction a few hours ago. They are perfect audio book material especially if you’re already used to the formula that these sci-fi thrillers usually have. And of course, a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. I absolutely love this series and I’m actually thinking of re-reading some now that GoodReads has the re-read feature. There’s never a dull moment when reading this series.


There you have it. That’s five. But in my indecisiveness, I can’t leave out these titles. Honorable mentions!

37/200

  • Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. I was hesitant to include this because I wasn’t sure if it were fantasy or sci-fi. Both then. I completely fell in love with Marie Lu’s writing and at how simple yet intense this trilogy is.
  • Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown. This didn’t make the cut because I didn’t enjoy the first book as much as I did the second and third ones. The first book was more sci-fi while the rest is definitely fantasy.

Notice the lack of Harry PotterThe Night Circus, and Ready Player One… while I do love all of them, these title stand out more to me when I hear the words “fantasy” and “sci-fi”.

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Not What I Thought

I feel like I made a list like this before. But I’m too lazy to check the rest of my posts so we’re still doing this!

TopTenTues

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the Top Ten Books I Loved Less/More than I Thought I Would.

While it didn’t take me long to end up with this list, it was kind of difficult to come up with it. I’m a mood reader and quite picky at that. I don’t usually veer away from genres that I know I like. And I do extensive research even before putting a book as “to-read”. If I don’t like the sound of the blurb, I probably won’t pick it up.

But for those that made the cut, my expectations aren’t always spot on. For some, I liked it more that I thought I would and that’s awesome. Yet for those that I expected to like but ended up not liking, well… the disappointment is real. So why not we start with those.

BOOKS THAT I LIKED LESS THAN I THOUGHT I WOULD (this GIF pretty much describes my feelings about these books):

Trivia: Rei is my favorite character from “Free!”; then Makoto.

  • Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes. I’m still not over this. This is the book that disappointed me the most. In all my life. I feel like I should be inserting that Tyra Banks gif here instead. I mean, to begin with, my expectation wasn’t that high. But that hook, man. Half-boy, half-deer carcass found in the woods? Criminal Minds should be wheels up in 30. Then it became this magical realism BS that is just so ridiculous. No. Unhauled faster than I hauled it.
  • I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. Same reason as above, really. The premise was A+ but it ended up being a C. At least to me. I was excited that it was a series but I’m not continuing on with it.
  • To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han. See, I went in to this prepared for cheese and bubbles and  a lot of eye-rolling. I already knew that I wasn’t going to sing its praises. But when I read this… geez. I originally rated this a 3 but the more I thought about it, I actually hate this book. Then this standalone is now a trilogy. Wow.
  • Snow Like Ashes by Sara RaaschThis wasn’t particularly bad. I just had high hopes for this book and everything in it. And it disappointed me at every turn. The writing wasn’t good, the world building is the most convoluted thing ever, the magic system had potential but none of the characters were good enough to embody it. The best thing about it is the love triangle. There you go.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Wow. It’s Twilight time all over again. Prior to picking up this book, I’ve never held a SJM book in my hands. I finally gave in to the pressure but I had low expectations, regardless of the glowing reviews this book has on Goodreads and everywhere. Dang, this is totally guilty pleasure read. And even with that mindset, this was laughably disappointing. Bordering on bad. Fae is not my thing. But you know what, I kind of want to continue with this series.

BOOKS THAT I LIKED MORE THAN I THOUGHT I WOULD (yes, Viktor — I love them too):

  • Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. I read the entire trilogy and two graphic novels last year. It was already an old trilogy filled with the dystopian tropes that avid YA dystopian readers are used to. But I wasn’t one of them and I loved this trilogy so damn much. I was able to have Champion personalized and signed by the author not too long ago.
  • Eon duology by Alison Goodman. I knew next to nothing about this book when I bought it. But my brother read it and he said it was okay. No, it was more than okay. I loved it. Enough to marathon the whole thing. Lost sleep even.
  • Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. No one is more surprised than myself. Contemporary is not my thing but I enjoyed this one so darn much. It was cute and it came in the perfect time in my life. It wasn’t super cheesy and I loved the playlists.
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Talk about going in blind. I bought this book because I needed something to read on a long-ish wait. And it was $1.99 at Goodwill. But I loved this book. LOVED IT.
  • Lexicon by Max Barry. It’s more like I’m surprised at the strong urge to re-read this book. I’ve been meaning to re-read this for about a year now. I knew nothing about this book when I picked it up but the story stuck with me. I can’t remember particulars but I remember how creative this story is and it’s so smart. I hope I can get to this book again this year.

Notice the anime gifs in my posts? Yep. It’s taking over my life again. I should do an anime version of this topic. 😉

AUTHOR SIGNING: S. JAE-JONES | Wintersong

And I also met Roshani Chokshi, Marie Lu, and Leigh Bardugo at the same event.

(L-R) Roshani Chokshi, S. Jae-Jones, Marie Lu

(L-R) Roshani Chokshi, S. Jae-Jones, Marie Lu

Guys, while the Lord of the Rings cast is still my #friendshipgoals, author friendships come a close second. This author event became so much more than a book birthday and signing because of the relationship among these three gorgeous women.

Once again, many thanks to Vroman’s Bookstore in Old Town Pasadena for hosting this event. Support your local independent bookstore, people, they’re seriously awesome. It is definitely one of my favorite places in Pasadena and I’m so happy that many authors love this place too. Plus I live so close so… yay!

Anyway, it’s been a long minute since my last author event. I think it wasn’t even a legit author event. It was the VE Schwab panel at WonderCon 2016, if I remember correctly. Then, nothing. Sigh, for someone who read 80 books last year, my overall events list was lacking.  Continue reading