#T5W Rewind | Booktube Made Me Read It

This week, we are talking about the book recommended by Booktube.

But before that, I would like to share an update regarding my previous T5W post. I posted my Merch Monster topic a few weeks ago and there, I said I would love a Treebeard Funko Pop (as much as I don’t prefer Funkos). Well… during my weekly Little Tokyo visit, I picked one up. 

Yep. Call me “multi-fandom”. This is why I don’t do Tumblr anymore. I mean, I was there when it first started but now, it’s become to big and I have so many active fandoms, I can’t do it.

A former professor noticed that I have a Groot bobble head at the bottom there. Next time I rearrange, I will put him next to Treebeard. Below this shelf is a sneak peek of my LOTR collection. Right above is my Gunpla display pictured in this post. That part of the fandom obviously overflowed to this shelf. It’s supposedly my Harry Potter and Jane Eyre shelf. There’s Hagrid in the back with Dumbledore. Those The Hunger Games books there are in Filipino. Behind those 3D glasses (that I got when I watched The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies red carpet premiere) and below the spare GP base is a VHS (yes) copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone signed by Daniel Radcliffe and Chris Columbus. I may retire those Gundam: IBO keychains so I’ll have more space for figures. It’s an ever evolving process.


Anyway, I already have a list of 10 things that I bought/read because of booktube. But if I’m being honest, about 80% of my TBR is because of booktube. I’ve since weeded out some and added in titles that were under the “Recommended” tab but the fact still remains that booktube is a damn good promoter of books.

  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee.
    When this became the OwlCrate book of the month, there was no way to miss this book or hear what it’s about. I have no interest in subscription boxes (I have enough merch to last me several lifetimes) therefore, I wasn’t interested in reading or purchasing this. Until I saw it available on Hoopla Digital as an audio book. I took the chance and I’m so glad I did.
  • A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis.
    Just how out of touch am I with the bookish community? Well, I’ve heard of her other book, The Female of the Species. I heard about this book from other smaller booktubers who I trust. Until I looked up the author’s other works, I had no idea that one person wrote both books. Hehehe, yeah. I haven’t read Female but I damn love this one.
  • Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente.
    I heard about this from the current moderator of this weekly tag, Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. We may have different opinions about this book but I’m thankful that I got this recommendation from her.
  • The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson.
    Another recommendation from Sam. I heard this first from her channel and as the books were released, she had nothing but high praises. With this trilogy, I agree with her opinions. I then bought all three books in hardcover.
  • New Adult genre.
    All the NA books that I’ve read – and loved – so far are direct recommendations from booktube. My most recent one, Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas, is from Jess from PeaceLoveBooks. The New Camelot trilogy by Sierra Simone and Him/Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy were from Julie from Pages & Pens. Although I’ve read Sierra Simone’s other book, Priest, I would have never checked her other series out without hearing someone I trust talk about it. Then the first NA book that I actually liked, Amour Amour by Krista and Becca Ritchie, I heard from Carol from The Reading Wallflower. Now, I’m starting to branch out on my own. I’m beginning to realize what I like and what pushes my buttons, so to speak. 😉

I had Seanan McGuire books” on my draft list but I read her works as Mira Grant before The Wayward Children series was released. And while I did hear about ACOTAR on booktube, I would’ve read it eventually because I saw it everywhere I went. And as I listen to the final hour of Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, I placed it on my TBR before I heard anyone on booktube talk about it.

Social media is a great platform to have one message reach so many. Our responsibility as consumer is to decide if these things are worth our time and pay it forward if it is.

 

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MUSING MONDAYS | Hello Again

The last one I’ve done was in November. 2017. Oh boy.

I almost forgot what the header I made for this tag looked like. For shame. XD But I want to talk about books again. I may not be buying a lot but I’m reading a lot. So here we go!

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

If you’re not following me on GoodReads (feel free to do so), it may seem that I’m not doing much reading. Apart from my wrap-ups, I don’t really talk about that. Hey, I don’t even post reviews anymore. Although, I do get inspired from time to time. I may post them on GoodReads but I don’t feel like putting them here because they really are just word vomit blocks of text, essentially knee-jerk reactions written as soon as I finish the book.

(If you like that, do let me know. I may be persuaded to cross post LMAO.)

As of this post, I’ve read 47 books so far out of my yearly goal of 25. Yes, a good chunk of that is manga. And audio book. But hey, if that’s the way I can put in some extra reading, why not? They’re fun. Also, I’ve gotten so much use from my Kobo Aura ONE. I love it so much.

I am currently reading 2 books — an audio book, Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco and Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas. Two very different books. I am enjoying both immensely.

I’m currently 70% through Birthday Girl. Shoot me but I love the age gap trope in NA contemporary. Not much into the dark and twisted BSDM kinky stuff though. Anyway, this book is about a 19-year-old girl falling for her boyfriend’s dad who is 39 years old. I heard this from Jess from Peace Love Books and immediately got my copy. Now, I’m trying not to fill my TBR with other age gap romances. I know people have a hard time with this trope but I love it. Oh boy, I love it. I could’ve finished this book in one sitting but I had to stop myself to do other things… like watch The Avengers: Infinity War.

Stalking Jack the Ripper was in my TBR for the longest time. I’m enjoying the audio book so much. It gripped me from the first sentence. I love mystery stories on audio. I’m able to grasp so much even though I’m only half paying attention. But this is not the first one I listened to after Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. I put Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor on hold. Not DNF though. I may read it in the future. But not through audio. I got through 8 hours of it and I can’t remember anyone or what’s going on. I wasn’t bored per se but I was rather uninterested. I thought it would work because I read and loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy on audio. Laini Taylor’s writing is nothing short of magical. But it wasn’t working for me on Strange the Dreamer.

I might finish both books within the week. I may read another age gap NA contemporary after Birthday Girl. Do you have any suggestions? 😉

For this week’s random question: Do you like to read outside?

Yes, I do. On the train is my favorite place to read. I have less distractions outside than reading in my room. I can tune out the rest of the world but when I get the urge to watch anime or an anisong concert on my laptop, my reading’s done lol. That’s not to say I can’t read indoors though.

So what are you currently reading? Or… what was your latest DNF? I want to know!

#T5W Rewind | Merch Monster!

This week, we are talking about Favorite Fandom Items.

It was actually last week. And yesterday. But look, I barely posted last month after saying time and time again that I will be better about it. Well, that’s life for you. My last post was my March wrap up and here we are at the very beginning of May, waiting for my April wrap up.

I would have you know, however, that I’ve been reading quite a bit. My reading hasn’t suffered. Just my blogging, both in time and inspiration. No T5W topics interested me last month except this last one. It was a perfect topic for someone like me… a merch monster. I had a list down, of five “wants” and five favorites in my current collection. I even planned some photos to go with it. But they weren’t exactly bookish. Honestly, I do not collect bookish merch outside of signed books. I’ve even said that I will only buy books if they are signed. So far, I’ve been very good with my purchasing. I have mostly anime merch. But understand that a lot of these anime are adapted from manga… which is a form of book. So I guess it counts?

Unfortunately, I already threw away my old list. I was hoping to retro post it but I gave up. I shouldn’t have because May is a freebie month. Looks like I may still have a chance! Like my original list, I will split this into two: my wish list and my favorites. Note that wish listing is very hard for me because I tend to have trigger fingers when I see something I want. 😉


Let’s start with my WISH LIST.

  • Deku and Bakugo Nendoroids from My Hero Academia.
    I admit, I’m a bit late on this Nendoroid train. I only started collecting around September of last year (and now have all of Karasuno and some more; it’s an addiction). Had I known about this sooner, I would’ve pre-ordered them. But now, they cost an actual arm and an actual leg. I’ve resorted to “collecting” the Funko Pops and the Banpresto DXF figures but I wouldn’t say no to these Nendoroids for a good price.
  • Yuri Plisetsky , GEM Series figure from Yuri!!! On Ice.
    I don’t care much for the Yuuri and Viktor figures but this one is so beautiful. My mom actually promised this for my birthday but I don’t know… either I want something else for my birthday or I eventually get it myself.
  • Large Kaeru plushie from The IdolMaster Side M.
    I can’t even begin to explain how much I want this. BADLY. Ever since I saw it in one of their Nico Nico livestreams, I so want it. I love Pierre and I want this huge Kaeru plush in my life.
  • Treebeard Funko Pop from The Lord of the Rings.
    I’m not the biggest fan of Funko Pops but I want this. I might look out for this at conventions if I can’t get it at Hot Topic asap or something.

And here are my FAVORITES:

  • Pictured above is a small part of my Haikyuu!! collection. That one is the complete “Karasuno vs Nekoma: Battle of the Garbage Dump” set from Banpresto. It took me a while to complete but it is so worth it. I have all but two figures from the Banpresto DXF line, every released Karasuno Nendoroid and Kenma, and a couple of smaller official figures and charms (both legit and knock offs). I also have two seasons on limited edition BD/DVD and I’m in the process of collecting all the stage plays on video. Yes, this is my life.
  • And you’ve seen photos of my Gunpla collection in past posts. It’s something I share with my brother. I’ve assembled my share of Bear’gguys and Petit’gguys and I’m slowly venturing out to Gundam and mobile suits. I recently finished my first “humanoid” kit, the Mrs. Loheng-rinko model. It was so much fun. With the new season, I’m pretty sure I’m just going to add to this never-ending collection. I still have so many other to assemble!

China’gguy and Mrs. Loheng-rinko.


Someday, I will take a photo of my collection. There is just so many and no, I don’t think I will ever sell them. I’m not like that. It’s only going to get bigger from here. I mean, Haikyuu is still releasing figures. I may have stopped buying books and makeup but my monies are definitely going somewhere else. 😉

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Saving Grace

For April, I will try to blog more often. I hope. Don’t take me seriously. LOL.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday the 10 Characters I Liked That Were in Books I Didn’t Like.

This list was actually easier than I thought. I don’t dislike that very many books; I’m usually a good judge of picking reads that I think I will like. It’s usually when I buy into the hype that I get those random 3-star reads or less. But I tend to like certain characters even if the book overall wasn’t up to my liking.

Again, we’ll try for ten. Here goes…


Nikolai, Genya, and David from The Grishaverse.
Is that the official trilogy name now? I don’t know. I didn’t like this trilogy. But Nikolai was a brilliant character. I kept reading the books because of him but in the end, there wasn’t enough. Then Genya and David’s relationship was suddenly introduced and developed towards the end out of almost nowhere. It also kept me going to see where they’ll end up. Forget Alina and that loser Mal, I wanted more of Genya and David.

Kaden > Rafe from The Remnant Chronicles.
I didn’t hate this trilogy particularly. I actually kind of liked it – definitely more than the other “popular” YA trilogies I’ve read in the past year or so. But I had problems with the main girl and the first book was kind of disappointing to I guess it counts. I say Kaden more than Rafe even though I liked both boys. I did kind of hate Rafe at some point in the trilogy but things got better eventually. I won’t say why because that’s a potential spoiler. 😉

Wolf from Scarlet.
Scarlet is my least favorite book from the Lunar Chronicles. And I don’t like Scarlet, the character, as much as the rest of the main crew. I thought she was just there… a tool so there’s a red-headed girl to represent Red Riding Hood. But Wolf was such a delight to read about. I loved every scene that included him, even in the graphic novels. To the end, I wanted all the best for him — and it made Scarlet more bearable for me.

Julian from Caraval.
Giiirl, I didn’t like this book AT ALL. Scarlett Dragna is one of the worst characters I’ve ever read. And I think even Julian knows! He called out her BS multiple times in the book. That is what made me like him out of the many bad characters in this book.

Minho from The Scorch Trials.
I did like The Maze Runner. Except for Theresa. What the hell happened to everyone in The Scorch Trials? But I’m glad I still liked Minho. I also like him in the movies. He’s a solid character and at least the author didn’t mess with him as the series went awfully downhill.

Mather from Snow Like Ashes.
I was so badly disappointed with this book. It was sold as this whimsical world divided into seasons but it wasn’t really like that. Then the writing was amateurish. I was told it got better but I… maybe. I haven’t dropped this trilogy officially yet. However, I liked Mather from the get-go. Meira was okay too. But like I said in my review (somewhere here on the blog or on GoodReads), the best thing about this book was the love triangle. Yes.


And that is it. I had more on my list but these are the only ones I felt rather strongly about. And looking at this list, even if I loved these books, these characters will still be my favorites. 🙂

#T5W | SFF Anime and Games

This week, we are talking about Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy in Other Media.

It’s the second day of Spring and it’s pouring rain here in Southern California. All I want to do is stay at home and veg. I have a pile of Gunpla that needs to be assembled, a stack of books waiting to be read, a backlog of anime to watch, and Aidios knows what else to do. But hey, gotta make the money, right? 😉

I’ve been reading a good chunk of NA Contemporary lately but Sci-fi/Fantasy still remains one of my favorite genres. Yes, they’re harder and more intimidating to read than fluffy contemporaries but they’re so much fun. It’s the same with my consumption of other media. I love me some fantasy games. While I love the slice of life genre, anime is where fantasy and science fiction are made possible. For someone who grew up on Yuyu Hakusho and Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, can you blame me for being conditioned to love SFF? I’d do the same to my future children, to be honest. Western animated shows be damned lol.

The list that I drafted definitely was over 5… hell, it was over 10! Majority of the anime that I watch may be slice of life but has fantasy elements in it. Take Orange for example. It’s about the day to day lives of six friends then they receive letters from their future selves. Girls und Panzer looks like a cutesy moe show about a tankery school but come on, I just wish a tankery school would exist! Even something as confusing as Glasslip has fantasy elements.

Maybe I’ll do 5 games and 5 anime? Or at least separate them in this list? Let’s see.


VIDEO GAMES (with all of these, I suggest playing them in publication order)

Legend of Heroes franchise.
Specifically Trails of Cold Steel. Before I found about about this wonderful game, Final Fantasy VIII ruled my gaming heart. This took over so fast. I love EVERYTHING about it – the story, the attack system, music… the VOICE ACTORS. It’s both character and story driven. Every single character – playable or not – has a rich backstory. All the other games – Sky, Azure, Cold Steel, etc. – are all connected. It has elements of magic as well as science fiction in Gundam-like machinery and other technologies. The world-building is like no other. It’s such an engaging game series.

The Tales of… series.
Graces f, Symphonia, Xillia, Zesteria, Berseria… don’t ask what they mean because I’m pretty sure it doesn’t really mean anything. But the games, goodness me. Tales of Zesteria even has an anime adaptation that I actually prefer over the game. I love all the characters across all games. Again, as with a lot of RPGs, there is a big element of magic and lore. It’s whimsical, magical, and all around amazing.

Persona 4.
Specifically this game. I like P5 as well but I enjoyed every version of P4 from the fighting game to the rhythm game so damn much. I loved the voice acting as well as the sometimes freaky art style. But really, the music… come on. It also deals with rather complicated matters of the self and other people. You go into the “Midnight TV” and there, you encounter your alternate self, your “shadow”. Then you fight your shadow to discover the real you. It’s awesome.

Final Fantasy VIII.
I can’t help it. I still love it. I hope they remaster it so you can skip long ass cut scenes and have much better graphics. And maybe voice acting too? Squall is still one of my fictional boyfriends. This game has my favorite magic systems (and card games) of all time. And the music… I’m still in love with all the songs on every soundtrack CD.

(I could also put Kingdom Hearts but my main pull to that game franchise is the crossover with Final Fantasy VII and VIII. I do like it too but it’s in no way a favorite.)


ANIME

Mobile Suit Gundam franchise.
I think the above photo is explanation enough. I grew up watching Gundam Wing. I assembled Gunpla in high school. I picked it up again not too long ago when I discovered Iron-blooded Orphans and Build Fighters. I’m obsessed with Bear’gguys. Now, I’m working my way through Gundam 00. It’s your classic mecha anime. I think under this item also comes classic favorites such as Voltes V and Daimos. My parents watched those shows around me therefore, I grew up loving them too.

Steins;Gate.
Technically, it’s also a game. A visual novel. But my introduction to Steins;Gate was through the anime adaptation. It’s more science fiction than fantasy because it deals heavily with time travel. I love it so much that I cosplay Mayuri every Anime Expo. It starts off as a comedy then it gets darker and darker as the series goes on. The 2nd game will also have an anime adaptation and I can’t wait!

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
This won’t be a list of fantasy anime without FMA. Despite the “metal” in the name, this is definitely more fantasy than sci-fi. And while I do mention Brotherhood specifically, do watch the first series before this one. I know it’s long and you’d think it’s repetitive but you’ll definitely thank me later.


Well, I couldn’t do five each but I tried. Of course, there are still more titles but if I mention everything here, we’ll be here forever. Let me know if you want more recommendations – or if you have some for me – and we can talk in the comments!

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Surprise Me

It’s been FOREVER since I participated in this weekly meme. I missed it. I miss blogging.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday are books that we are thankful for.

I think this is my first time (?) doing this since The Artsy Reader Girl took over this. Anyway, I’m happy it’s still a thing. I love making lists. It calms me down.

So… books that surprised me in good ways and bad. I’m not sure how to tackle this topic. I’m pretty good at picking books that I most likely will like and I tend to stay away from genres that I know I won’t like. Off the top of my head, I can think of more series than books so I guess we’ll do this my way. As always, I can’t promise 10 but I’ll try!

The New Adult genre in general.
If you look back in my very earliest posts, I may have mentioned that I am not the biggest fan of NA books. I take that back. I’m still not a fan of YA contemporary but give me NA any time. I think the quality has gone up over the years and the number of good NA books have increased also. No longer are they simply plotless and poorly written sexytimes. I think it’s because of the reaction that 50 Shades got that NA authors want to do better to represent their genre. Also, NA is awesome when you are in a reading slump… unless it puts you in one at the first place.

Author Sierra Simone.
I’ve read five Sierra Simone books in the last five months. More like binge-read through them. Priest and Midnight Mass caught my eye because I saw it on my recommendations on Goodreads. It’s a bad pun but those books are so SINFULLY hot. Then New Camelot came along. Needless to say, it was intense. I read all three back-to-back-to-back because I couldn’t stop. The plot can be a little (a lot) whacko but it was so well-written and easy to read. I am determined to read everything Sierra Simone has published. However, I enjoyed New Camelot a lot that it did put me into a sort of a reading slump. XD

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.
I’m surprised at how much I didn’t like it. Okay, I don’t HATE it. But it didn’t change my life either. The marketing was vastly different than the content of the book. Yes, the whole series matched the description but this particular book was more of a mystery than anything.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.
I had not so good experiences with fairytale retellings before finally taking the plunge and reading this series. I listened to all 4 books on audio and it was my best audio book experience yet. The retelling elements were obvious but subtle at the same time. It was there but not in your face. It was so creative that I almost didn’t want it to end.

Audio books.
The trick is finding the right mood and the right narrator for the book. I’ve DNF’d audio books because I wasn’t happy with the narrator. Recently, I stopped listening to a book by a Japanese author because I hated the way the narrator pronounced Japanese names. I can listen to 2-3 audio books per month depending on my mood or how busy I am at work. I love the experience. It’s like podcasts but longer.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber.
This was a shock. Like I said, I’m pretty good with choosing what I read. I chose wrong with this. This was all around BAD. I was surprised how huge this book got. If you liked it, good for you. I didn’t. Stephanie Garber is a sweetheart though.

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami.
Classified in the YA genre, this had more blood and guts than a hundred The Hunger Games put together. This makes Western YA horror books seem as if they’re written for children. Schools ban books for the most trivial of reasons… I want to see what they say about this book.


I’m trying to think of more but I’m all tapped out today. It’s raining in LA today and all I want to do is curl up in my room and read… or watch anime. 😉

 

#T5W | That Lovin’ Feelin’

This week, we are talking about our favorite romance novels.

Yeah, yeah. I disappeared from the blogosphere for two weeks. I don’t have a good reason so I won’t even pretend I have one. I’m sort of back. That should be okay, right? Right.

So, romance novels. To be honest, I haven’t read that many strictly romance novels. It’s always a side plot in a fantasy or a chapter in a mystery/thriller. I’ve read my share of smutty erotica romance. But it’s only recently when I started appreciating New Adult Contemporary Romance. I still won’t touch YA Contemporary but oh boy, I’m loving all these NA goodness lately.

I’m currently marathoning the New Camelot trilogy by Sierra Simone. And I guess the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, too, on audio. But dang, American Queen and American Prince are so… actually, written very well. The plots were crazy at parts and everyone seemed to take it all in stride but I liked these books and I’m sure I’m going to like American King just as much. I need Embry Moore in my life, please. (Sierra Simone has another sinfully hot series called Priest. It’s not really the “romantic” type but this was the book that started this sort of NA binge read for me.)

I won’t fill up my list with NA, no. I still haven’t read enough. But I so want to. So if you have any recommendations, let me know!


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
I may not read a lot of romance but my favorite book of all time is a romance classic. I don’t think the inclusion of this book on this list needs any further discussion. #TeamRochester!

When It’s Real by Erin Watt.
I borrowed the audiobook from Audible expecting a steamy sexytimes romance. The other Erin Watt book that I’m aware of is the Paper Princess ones. I wanted those but I figured this would be along the same lines. But it’s more of a YA-ish, mildly sexy , actually pretty sweet story about a pop star and a simple girl. It’s a fake-to-real relationship romance and I had my earphones glued to my ears the whole time. I loved every bit of it. The narrators were excellent. It’s just an all around great read.

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi.
The banter between Gauri and Vikram was so cute. They weren’t the lovey-dovey couple like in the first book. They were like a cat and a dog, bickering every chance they got. Sort of like Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. Their way of showing endearment is through a verbal sparring. Tsundere, if you can call it that.

Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy.
Jamie and Wes were also in my previous T5W list. I went with Him instead of Us because in this book, there are still establishing and exploring each other and the potential in their relationship. Imagine, two burly athletic guys with the feelz of a teenager. It’s so sweet. They’re so sweet.

American Prince by Sierra Simone.
I just have to include this one. Embry!!! My poor tortured Embry. This book is told in his perspective and it’s definitely the most “romantic” of the three. He’s such an idealist, a romantic, and a martyr. His love for… the people around him… hurts him so much. I question yet love the dynamics of his relation… ships. Yes, I can’t give anything away. It’s part of the “charm”.


Again, my comments section is open for any NA romance recommendations. I want it. I crave it!

(I might retro-post yesterday’s Top Ten Tuesday topic later today or tomorrow… depending on how I’m feeling.)